About us

We’re New Zealand’s most innovative, transformative learning environment where people come to find their edge in a rapidly changing world.

Our postgraduate programmes, short courses and innovation workshops are designed specifically for the new world of work. We don’t rely on outdated textbooks or traditional academia models. We teach context, not content and are focused on enhancing the skills and capabilities of all our learners to then take into the ‘real world’ and embed into their workplaces, organisations and communities.

Our vision
Our vision is to create impactful futures by aligning digital skills and capabilities with the demands of the contemporary world.
Our mission
Our mission is to lead New Zealand education, to share knowledge, to collaborate, and to build partnerships in order to achieve sustainable, impactful change.
Key objectives
Our key objectives are to increase access to education, build confidence, identify skills gaps, develop 21st century capability and challenge outdated legacy education practices.

Our story

Tech Futures Lab was the brainchild of education disruptor and innovator Frances Valintine who, back in 2016, could see New Zealand businesses and professionals lacked the learning pathways and opportunities to develop the critical skills needed in the ‘future of work’. She gathered a team of industry experts, academic rebels and big thinkers around her to develop the first innovation-focused Master’s programme for Aotearoa – Master of Technological Futures. The ethos was (and still is) to teach context, not content. Our learning approach strives to embed critical thinking skills and innovation mindsets, to create novel solutions that are led by purpose and values yet answer real-world challenges.

Since that first cohort started in 2017, we’ve seen the most incredible innovative, transformative ideas born. Some have become start ups, some have shifted the direction of an organisation, some are reaching leaders on the global stage.

Today, our suite of postgraduate programmes have evolved to work in with busy lives and the rapid pace of technological change. We offer micro-credentials and postgraduate certificates that are all perfect on their own to support professionals supercharge their knowledge, but also can stack together towards a Master’s degree.

Tech Futures Lab is the catalyst that makes it possible for New Zealanders to lead positive change, for themselves and the wider world.

A division of The Mind Lab

Tech Futures Lab is part of The Mind Lab, a NZQA-registered Tertiary Education Organisation under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. Tech Futures Lab postgraduate candidates are enrolled with The Mind Lab which is approved by NZQA to award the Master of Technological Futures, the Postgraduate Certificate in Human Potential, the Postgraduate Certificate in Connected Environments and the Organisational Agility Micro-credential. Click here to access our 2022 Academic Calendar for all programmes across The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab.

Our space

Our founder: Frances Valintine

Frances Valintine (CNZM) is dedicated to pushing Aotearoa ahead as a global leader in innovation to build a stronger, more resilient future for all New Zealanders.  A leader in her own right as an innovator, futurist and disruptor of traditional education Frances has 25 years’ experience across business, technology and education.

As the CEO and Founder of The Mind Lab (2013) and Tech Futures Lab (2016) and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2018), Frances has dedicated most of her working life to supporting people to grow their skills and knowledge to make the most of technology convergence in the world around us.

Founder and CEO of Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab


Over the past 8 years across Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab, Frances has been instrumental in reskilling and educating 20,000 adult students in formal programmes, many thousands in short tech courses in software development and over 250,000 school aged students.

With an eye always on future horizons, Frances has worked with and advised over 250 organisations across every sector in New Zealand – from agriculture to finance, retail to law and has gained a reputation as an expert in leading digital transformation initiatives that bring positive impact.

Frances has received numerous awards recognising her passion and commitment to supporting the young and more mature to seek opportunities and reach their potential.  In 2020 Frances received the Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business at the CIO Awards. Her past accolades also include:

2017:  the NZ Flying Kiwi Award, inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame and named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year the NZer of the Year awards.

2016: named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International; awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award.

2015: awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education)

Driven by a strong sense of purpose to support positive growth for Aotearoa, Frances also sits on the boards of Watercare and is a selection adviser to EHF (Edmund Hillary Foundation), a judge on the Hi Tech Awards, a mentor to a number of female technology leaders (in NZ and India), and a Director to On Being Bold, a platform to support and encourage emerging female leaders and year 13 students to dream big. Frances is also on the Board of Trustees for the University of Silicon Valley.

 She holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne


Our team

The Tech Futures Lab team is genuinely passionate about learning, teaching and the future. We are a network of approachable, humble, supportive and open-minded people who look at the world from a different angle.

Tech Futures Lab Board

Frances Valintine
Founder & CEO
Jonathan Lim
James Darwell
Frank Janssen
Director and Chair
Nic Kennedy
Rob Lee

Advisory Board

Priti Ambani
Advisory Group Member
Paul Cameron
Advisory Group Member
Maru Nihoniho
Advisory Group Member
Kendra Ross
Advisory Group Member
Marcus Williams
Advisory Group Member

For Business

Nagaja Sanatkumar
Innovation Advisor
Saskia Verraes
Innovation Advisor

Programme Team

Fiona Pond
Postgraduate Programme Lead
Yuka Gray
Programme Manager
Anzel Singh
Innovation Coordinator
Judy Christie
Communities Manager/ Connected Environments Programme Manager
Sophia Zhang
Lead Advisor
Sarah Mwashomah
Programme Co-ordinator
Emma Grobart
Programme Coordinator

Master's Advisors

Paula Gair
Master's Advisor
Nikhil Ambani
Master's Advisor
Roy Davies
Mixed Reality and Calm Computing
Guillem Goodway
Master's Advisor
Sylvia Hach
Master's Supervisor/Advisor
Vivek Kumar
Master's Advisor
Felix Scholz
Product Management Learning Sprint Facilitator
Lisa Traill
Master's Advisor
Mahsa Mohaghegh
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Megan Rorich
Master's Advisor
Sarah Codling
Master's Innovation Advisor

Short Courses

Felix Scholz
Product Management Learning Sprint Facilitator
Anzel Singh
Innovation Coordinator
Craig Hilton
National Academic Director
Hayley Sparks
National Academic Manager

Student Experience Team

Fuatino Peilua
Director of Studies
Shruti Patil
Student Experience Manager
Eugenia Lytvyn
Student Experience Manager
Talita Hope
National Portal Assistant
Judy Christie
Communities Manager/ Connected Environments Programme Manager

Marketing Team

Brad Smith
Marketing Manager
Marcelle Domingo
Marketing Executive
Anna Reid
Megan Bruère

Support Team

Craig Hilton
National Academic Director
Hayley Sparks
National Academic Manager
Sandy Taylor
Financial Controller
Te Mihinga Komene
Pou Ārahi
Huw Jones
Pou Āwhina
Dane Tumahai
Cultural Advisor, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
Pāora Puru
Cultural Advisor
Fiona (Fee) Webby
General Manager
Monique Pearson
Chief Collaborator
Lorraine Guerin
Chief Technology Officer
Ankit Sachdeva
Digital Project Manager
Makini Calliste-Woollard
Salesforce Product Owner
Frank Li
Chief Data Officer
Jiawei Zhao
Data Scientist
Sophie Zou
Graduate Data Scientist
Melissa Fincham
Office Manager & Executive Team Assistant
Cassidy Huang
Front of House

Industry Advisors

Christelle Blanchet-Aissaoui
Master's Industry Advisor
Priti Ambani
Advisory Group Member
Roy Davies
Mixed Reality and Calm Computing
Justin Durocher
Innovation Advisor
Alisa Edwards
Salesforce Consultant
John Graves
Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
Chris Hails
Cyber Security Advisor
Dr. Tresna Hunt
Co-founder, Director of The Institute for Social Sustainability and Programme Designer
Melissa Jenner
Human Innovation Specialist
Brenda Leeuwenberg
Digital Strategist Advisor
Simon Martin
IP and Technology Law
John McDermott
IoT Advisor
Mahsa Mohaghegh
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Michael Moka
Māori Values and Leadership Inclusion
Kriv Naicker
Innovation Advisor
Brett Oetgen
Co-founder, Director of The Institute for Social Sustainability and Course Facilitator
Russell Pickering
David Pratt
Small Business Accounting Advisor
Rich Rowley
Innovation Advisor
Felix Scholz
Product Management Learning Sprint Facilitator
Nathan Soich
Peter Swanson
People, Culture and Organisational Design Expert
Melissa Wragge
Business Redesign, Innovation and Marketing Expert
Vadim Traenkle
Industry Advisor

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