One of our goals at InternetNZ is to support organisations that work to use the Internet and its technologies to help Kiwis across the country. That vision, of an Internet for all and an Internet for good, is something we want to support when we see it elsewhere.
In the run up to 31st March, we worked hard to lock in some critical sponsorships for the organisation, pooling as much of the budget we had available to support the following initiatives:
Mentoring Circles, by TechWomen
TechWomen will be continuing and increasing their Mentoring Circles initiative - facilitated groups of 6 mentees and 2 mentors to meet on a regular basis, in a safe and supportive environment, to discuss professional aspirations and challenges, with peers and senior mentors.
The concept of mentoring circles is a cool thing, as mentees benefit from multiple mentors, and can gain a variety of insights. The sessions are more conversational style of mentoring - less formal than one-on-one. And the good thing? They are online, so physical boundaries are no issue.
With 26% female representation within the tech sector in Aotearoa, there is some way to build diversity in regard to gender. Our support is going towards platform development to help increase the programme further.
Digital Identity Research, by Digital Identity NZ
In 2019, Digital Identity NZ (DINZ) commissioned research into New Zealanders' attitudes toward Digital Identity, with a particular emphasis on trust and privacy. We supported that report and we’ve agreed to also support this upcoming research report, as well.
Last year’s research highlighted a difference in attitudes towards genealogical/ancestral information between Māori and Pasifika respondents and other respondents. This year, they will explore in more qualitative depth questions relating to differences in perception and participation from Māori, Pasifika, and new migrant communities, as well as exploring what efforts are required to increase trust and confidence in the collection and use of identity information.
Selfie Reflective Podcast, by Lucy O’Connor
Selfie Reflective hosts conversations with guests who look at social media through a critical lens. By examining the ways individuals and brands are using these platforms to persuade, shape, and showcase, the podcast provides a space where listeners can engage in the discussion and evaluate how social media shows up in their lives - for better and for worse.
Via stories, knowledge, and insights, by examining both the good and the concerning, the podcast looks to unpack the seductive, individualised experience of social media and hone in on opportunities to leverage it for collective good.
Lucy O’Connor, who runs Selfie Reflective, is a freelance writer, creative consultant and voice over artist from Wellington. She also runs a vintage clothing buy/sell community alongside the podcast.
Launched in early February, this podcast is a place we can point to for an understanding of the ever-changing social media landscape.
Kiwi Game Starter, by NZ Game Developers Association (NZGDA)
Kiwi Game Starter is the NZGDA's annual game development award and startup programme for interactive games businesses and startups. The competition aims to improve the commercial outcomes for NZ developers working towards completing their games.
What we know (as many of us ourselves are turning to), is that gaming is a serious go-to right now for many kiwis as we stay in our bubbles. Games can also help with educational outcomes – flexing the brain muscles – and many with supporting social isolation. The gaming industry is booming; NZ interactive game developers earned $203.4 million dollars during the 2019 financial year – double the $99.9m earned in 2017. The industry is a hot-bed for creative and high-tech workers, some of whom we’d love to get involved with the work we do at InternetNZ, too!
We wanted to be involved, and took an opportunity to support NZDGA in their work for the wider gaming industry.
We’re excited to work with NZGDA, who openly state they are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion. These values are the same as ours.
You may sense a bit of a change to our sponsorship approach now – we need to move away from event support (as there are not many events happening right now to support) and move towards supporting different initiatives that align with our goals and the interests of our audience, and New Zealanders everywhere.