Future State has landed

Future State video overlay

On 11 May 2023, Spark Lab and Semi Permanent presented their first Future State event at Spark Arena, Auckland. It was a one-day series of high-impact business briefings from innovators at world-changing companies from across the world.

The first edition of the event was curated to the theme of ‘New Realities’, with key speakers exploring the driving forces behind the next era of technological innovation. 

Hear from our Future State speakers

What's next?

What does the future of technology have in store for us? Jonnie Penn, Mark Adams and Constantine Gavryok will share their insights around trends and continuous innovation. 

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Technology, culture and language

Hear from Mikaela Jade and Danielle Krettek Cobb as they discuss how technology interacts with culture and language, focusing on indigenous perspectives and opportunities. 

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Brand building and the customer

Hear from Mark Adams and Constantine Gavrykov as they discuss brand building and the customer. They explore authenticity, personalisation, user experience and more.

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Ethics of AI

Hear from Danielle Krettek Cobb, Dr Jonnie Penn and Mikaela Jade as they explore the ethics of artificial intelligence.

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Technology, sustainability and community

Hear from Future State speakers Danielle Krettek Cobb and Dr Jonnie Penn as they explore the themes of technology, sustainability and community.

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Exploring Uncertainty Tolerance

Hear from Sam Conniff, creator of The Uncertainty Experts. He shares valuable insights into how you can build your Uncertainty Tolerance and utilise this skill in the workplace.

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Watch keynotes from Future State: New Realities

Watch the full keynotes from our Future State speakers.

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Key speakers


Mark Adams

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and award-winning global thought leader, sitting at the intersection of technology, entertainment, and brand building. He has worked directly with A-list celebs to C-suite to drive brand growth and transformation. Mark is now Senior Vice President and Head of Innovation at VICE Media Group.

Alexandra Popova

Alexandra is a Senior Director of Personalisation and Future of Content at adidas. Alexandra and her team are responsible for rewiring the adidas digital landscape, delighting consumers with predictive and intuitive digital experiences. Her passion is to celebrate the possibilities of digital and connect people to sport.

Constantine Gavrykov

Constantine is an experienced design leader with a 20-year track record of delivering impactful business results. He has done so in the face of evolving human behaviour, technological advancements, and economic pressures. Constantine spent 15 years in Amsterdam heading product design at a leading video game developer. He has since worked with top apparel brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and now adidas. Constantine is a passionate advocate for user experience and mindful technology.

Mikaela Jade

Mikaela founded the Indigenous edu-tech company Indigital. She seeks to develop innovative ways to digitise and translate knowledge and culture from remote and ancient communities. Her aim is for Indigital to help create meaningful pathways for Indigenous people into the digital economy and the creation of future technologies. She is also a member of the WEF Metaverse Governance Steering Group and a delegate on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues.

Lucy Blakiston
Shit You Should Care About

Lucy is the CEO and Founder of Shit You Should Care About - a media company with a daily newsletter, two podcasts, and a social following of over 3.6 million people. Shit You Should Care About believes that we should all be able to understand the news and the world around us because it’s happening to all of us.

Jonnie Penn
University of Cambridge

Dr Jonnie Penn, FRSA, is a professor of AI Ethics and Society at the University of Cambridge. He is a historian of technology, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and a sought-after public speaker. He was formerly a MIT Media Lab Assembly Fellow, Google Technology Policy Fellow, Fellow of the British National Academy of Writing and popular broadcaster.

Danielle Krettek Cobb

Danielle is a trailblazing force in empathic design, with two decades of work grounded equally in science and soul. Her work has transformed some of the largest organisations and tech companies in the world. At Google, Danielle founded Google Empathy Lab. She works with teams from AI and BARD to ATAP, Devices, Inclusion and Crisis Response.

Sam Conniff
The Uncertainty Experts

Sam Conniff is the creator of The Uncertainty Experts, a unique hybrid of online learning, interactive documentary, and psychological intervention. He has been a co-founder of several projects including Livity, Digify Africa and Don’t Panic. He is a consultant to brands from Rolex to Red Bull and a mentor to many entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.



Dr Michelle Dickinson
Nanogirl Labs

Dr Michelle Dickinson (MNZM) is a Nanotechnologist and Materials Engineer. She has spent the last two decades contributing to cutting-edge technologies. Dr Michelle has set up and run New Zealand’s only nanomechanical testing laboratory. She is also the Co-Founder of Nanogirl Labs.

Jack Tame
TVNZ & Newstalk ZB

Jack Tame is a journalist and broadcaster who’s been a regular on New Zealand airwaves for more than fifteen years. He's the host of Q+A on TVNZ1 and Saturday Mornings on Newstalk ZB.

Watch the podcast episodes

Hear from our Future State speakers on the Business is Boring podcast with Simon Pound.

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