aimee whitcroft - election statement


profile photo for election

Kia ora. The internet is one of the major circulatory systems of today’s societies - infrastructure we depend on, but too seldom apply long-term, strategic thinking to. It runs through almost everything we do, and every day becomes more important to how we live and work.

Its potential is enormous, both for good and for bad, and now more than ever we need organisations like InternetNZ to help us hold the line, and push towards good.

I’m honoured to to have put my name forward for election as a Council member.

aimee: #openX

My background and interests are varied, and always widening. As a voracious infovore - and social / environmental good nerd - I work in and advocate for open data, open government, civic technology, open source, service design, placemaking, tech (for good), social good and sustainability, strategy, entrepreneurship, foresight / futurecasting and innovation. 

At present, issues around data (including shared and open data, and data collaboratives), machine learning and AI, the internet, open smart cities, trust, governance, ethics and impact are foremost in my mind. 

We’re at a turning point. We could use these technologies to help us reach towards our potential, mitigate the effects of climate change and stop or reverse the damage we’ve done to our planet (and ourselves). Or - as we see in stories every day - we could do the opposite. I’m committed to doing whatever I can for that positive future, and I believe openness will be vital to that.

I’ve worked for a number of NZ’s most respected scientific, government and non-profit organisations. I’m founder of web agency Syntropics and co-founder of design consultancy GovWorks NZ. I’ve also worked on, founded or led a number of community events, from NetHui to GovHack NZ to NerdNite Wellington and Startup Weekend 

You can find some of my writing at https://medium.com/quicksand and https://medium.com/proceeding-by-inquiry.

InternetNZ: ever better

InternetNZ stands as New Zealand’s preeminent internet organisation, through its excellent policy, research and community work, not to mention its work on .nz.

It’s also long been one of my most beloved and respected organisations, and I’ve hugely enjoyed being a part of it and its work. 

InternetNZ brings a strong sense of social conscience, as well as pragmatism, to its laudable mission to advance an open and uncapturable internet in New Zealand, and help make a better world through a better internet.

I’d love to see InternetNZ not only continue its current great work, but continue to thrive and grow. This could include reaching into new policy areas like smart cities and next-gen communication, visualisation and immersive technologies.

It could also include furthering its existing work in areas like privacy and security: two of the largest internet issues of our time.

Further, I believe we could do more directly in and for our communities - urban and rural - from supporting civic technology initiatives to education and training programmes to infrastructure and connectivity itself. We could play a strong role - as the organisation wanting to help make a better world through a better internet - in helping to pilot and prototype what that looks like. 

And we should continue to reach out to our existing membership, to ensure we’re meeting their needs - especially those groups which may be underrepresented - while actively working to grow that membership, and a space for diverse and inclusive backgrounds and views.

If you elect me to Council, I will work to achieve these goals.

What I can bring

  • My passion for, and knowledge of, the openX spaces - open data, open government, open source, etc (and civic technology!).
  • Context - I work at the intersections of the technical and non-technical, government and non-government, and keep a close eye on technological and sociocultural issues, and how they intersect. These, and my varied background, give me an ability to see wider issues and patterns.
  • Great love for kōrero - I believe we all have much to learn from each other, and its only through real, open, honest and deep discussion that we can find optimal outcomes.

Find me

I’m most active on LinkedIn these days, at linkedin.com/in/awhitcroft.

I’m also on Twitter, at twitter.com/teh_aimee.