What if Wednesdays - Free public lectures, twice monthly

The University of Canterbury holds free public lectures on campus, twice a month on Wednesdays from 7.00pm.

The What if Wednesdays (WIW) public lecture series is returning for 2015. This year the series will be held twice a month with interesting topics and speakers from the University of Canterbury. You can register your interest by entering your details here..

Should you wish to revisit any of the WIW lectures from 2015, 2014 or 2013, you can view them via our YouTube channel.

Upcoming Lectures

21 October

What if... you had solar power for your home?

Dr Allan Miller, Director of the EPECentre and Green Grid programme

• A brief introduction to solar power, the technology, and the resource
• A brief introduction to the GREEN Grid programme
• Uptake of solar power globally and in New Zealand
• The economics of solar power to households and businesses
• Environmental aspects of solar power

Solar power, from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, is growing rapidly in New Zealand. However at about 5.5 Watts per person, New Zealand is a long way behind its neighbour, Australia at 180 Watts per person. Germany, the world leader is at 440 Watts per person. This presentation introduces solar PV technology, examines the worldwide solar PV market, and solar PV in New Zealand. In looking at solar PV in New Zealand, the presentation looks at the uptake, economics, environmental aspects, and impact on the electricity grid. This work comes from the ‘Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid’ research project (also known as GREEN Grid) led by the Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre) at the University of Canterbury. Shreejan Pandey, Manager of the EPECentre will talk about his experience installing solar PV on schools in Tonga, as part of an international aid programme.

Register now!

28 October

What if... we wore our computers?

Presenter: Professor Leyland Pitt, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

• How is wearable technology used in everyday life?
• How do consumers benefit from the information that the devices collect?
• What information should be accessible and who can use it?
• How do marketers and firms integrate wearable technology into their information systems practices?

Wearable technology is emerging as one of the key areas companies are investing in. Recently Facebook acquired Oculus VR, and Apple announced its $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics. By 2017, wearable technology is predicted to be worth $10 billion, with 170 million wearable technological devices in general use.

Currently, the biggest area for wearables is sports and fitness – Fitbit tracks and monitors exercise; a Google project uses contact lenses for diabetics to monitor blood glucose levels; the Owlet ankle strap continuously monitors critical health indicators in newborns. However, marketers, IS practitioners, and organisations in general are only beginning to give attention to the potential advantages and pitfalls, and applications of wearable technology.
This lecture looks at how firms understand how wearable technologies can be integrated into their information systems practices in ways that enhance customer value, and improve organisational effectiveness. The research develops ways to generalise wearable technology beyond applications such as fitness and medicine, to construct frameworks that will assist marketers and information systems practitioners in understanding and advancing the impact wearable technology has on their firms.

Leyland F Pitt, MCom, MBA, PhD, PhD, is Professor of Marketing and has previously taught on executive and MBA programs at major international business schools such as the Graham School of Continuing Studies at the University of Chicago, the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University, and London Business School, and the Wirtschafts Universitat Vienna/ Carlsson School of Management, University of Minnesota.
Professor Pitt has won many awards for research and teaching excellence and is listed as one of Canada’s top MBA professors in the magazine, Canadian Business. Professor Pitt is currently a visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury.

Register now!