UC academic looks to the future on What Next? TV series

12 June 2017

University of Canterbury academic Sacha McMeeking (Ngāi Tahu), Head of the Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, features on the What Next? panel of futurists all week in a live TV event.

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    UC's Head of Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, Sacha McMeeking, says it’s exciting to be part of a conversation about our collective future on What Next? “This conversation is an opportunity for us to co-design, with Kiwi ingenuity and fearlessness, the opportunities we can craft in a rapidly changing world.”

Featuring on the What Next? panel of futurists all week in a live TV event, University of Canterbury academic Sacha McMeeking (Ngāi Tahu) is the Head of the Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at UC.

Over five consecutive nights, What Next? – co-hosted by Nigel Latta and John Campbell – aims to challenge New Zealanders to think about what our lives, and the country as a whole, could and should look like in 20 years. TVNZ's “live documentary” series is being touted as one of the most ambitious television projects in Kiwi broadcast history.

Of her involvement in the TV series, Ms McMeeking says it’s exciting to be part of a conversation about our collective future in What Next? 

“What got us to 2017 will not get us to 2037. Complex and converging global trends will buffet our nation as both fair winds and turbulent storms.  This conversation is an opportunity for us to co-design, with Kiwi ingenuity and fearlessness, the opportunities we can craft in a rapidly changing world.”

At UC, Ms McMeeking’s research and teaching includes the areas of Māori futures, social innovation and transformation, commercial development, political engagement and public policy issues.

“I have an entrepreneurial character. I like making things happen and UC at this time is just a remarkably abundant, potent place to make change happen. There’s a really encouraging, enabling environment. If you have a good idea, you can get it off the ground,” she says.

“We have also established the Māui Lab which connects students with our communities and organisations to create Next Generation Solutions for Te Ao Māori: our students have talent, heart and are seeking experience; our communities have bigger aspirations that resources, so we play matchmaker and manaaki in the middle.”

The Māui Lab is a partnership between the Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre and the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor Māori at UC.

A serial entrepreneur, Ms McMeeking co-founded the Ministry of Awesome in Christchurch, post-quake.

“I'm also a partner in Tū Māia Partners, a collaboration of Ngāi Tahu women to Dare Our Own, Grow our Own, Back Our Own. We design and deliver inspirational leadership and entrepreneurship programmes, from a base of ngakau Māori and with insight into catalysing and growing our people.”

She was the inaugural New Zealand Fulbright Harkness Fellow in 2010 for emerging and established leaders and until 2011, the General Manager of Strategy and Influence with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, responsible for leading the external affairs portfolio for the Iwi spanning government engagement, public policy, brand and reputation.

She graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Master of Laws (First Class Honours) in 2006 and went on to lecture in the faculty in various fields, including constitutional law, Māori legal issues, comparative indigenous rights and international law.

Ms McMeeking has been at the forefront of Iwi, Māori and indigenous development in her career, both locally and internationally. Domestically, she has led substantive commercial and policy reforms, particularly focused within a Post Treaty Settlement environment. 

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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