The Kura ki Pakihi – Digital Equity pitch night showcased new, innovative, digital solutions developed by rangatahi across Ōtautahi, Christchurch, which aim to solve many issues across the digital equity spectrum.
From how to engage more wāhine in tech, to upskilling those who need better digital skills, and a game to help youth equip themselves with better mental and physical life skills, students collaborated to solve equity challenges posed by local businesses and civic groups.
“We were inspired, humbled and very grateful to be a part of this event, and to gain an insight into what the future could look like if we collaborate and listen to and support our young people,” said Anissa Ljanta from the Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa.
The challenges engaged the students to think about:
- Designing an online portal for people with irritable bowel disease and their health professionals? (Stratos Technology Partners)
- Enabling access to technology for ALL people, regardless of socio-economic status? (Smart Christchurch - Christchurch City Council)
- Improving access to the highly paid jobs available in the fast-growing tech sector for those who lack awareness, knowledge, skills and/or resources? (Canterbury Tech)
Solutions to connecting more students to the tech industry included the creation of a digital solutions club, which would connect students with each other and industry. It was proposed that the model could operate like a “Tinder for Business” which would match businesses’ employee criteria with the skills of students.
Another innovation included a game that would enable students who were feeling alone and without a support network, to play e-sports and improve their mental health by learning and making better choices through the game.
One group developed an app designed to better manage and eradicate irritable bowel disease (IBD). The app would connect people with their doctor, health statistics, and others in the community who were suffering from and solving their IBD issues.
Guest speakers included Councillor Anne Galloway from the Christchurch City Council, Dr Hana O’Regan (CORE Education) and Garry Williams (Ministry of Education).
This event was run as part of the Ōtautahi Learning Days Festival (9th to 15th of May). Delivered by Ako Ōtautahi Learning City Christchurch this festival delivers the latest innovations and developments in the areas of equity, access, and innovation. This is done through connecting rich conversations, encouraging hands-on learning and focusing on future opportunities.
More information on Ōtautahi Learning Days Festival can be found here.