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Jade Tang-Taylor

Jade is a sense maker. She’s able to grasp threads of ideas and tie them together into a bouquet of beautiful potential.

Jade’s ability to see through the clutter is perfectly suited to her role at Tech Futures Lab as Innovation Director. After all, innovation is about taking a good idea and matching it with a real world need.

Like many in the Tech Futures Lab whānau, Jade’s path here has been squiggly. Over the past 15 years she’s moved across the design, tech and education sectors (to name a few), yet has always anchored her purpose and passion to design for social innovation and social change. Today she spends any spare moment that she’s not working, spending time with her family and friends, mentoring other social entrepreneurs and practising yoga.

In her role as Innovation Director at Tech Futures Lab, Jade’s focus is to identify opportunities for innovation, both inside and outside the organisation, across postgraduate programmes and our strategic partnerships. A lifelong learner, Jade qualified from Stanford D.School with a Designing for Social Systems masterclass, has a Masters of Arts Management (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Design, both from AUT.

Outside of Tech Futures Lab, Jade is an Edmund Hillary Fellow (2020), a member of the Institute of Directors, member of NACEW (National Advisory Council of Employment for Women) at Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women, is the chair and founding member of the Iti Rearea Collective. Jade’s clearly leveraging her superpower ability to connect and convene people and stakeholders across various sectors for positive systems-level change.

Despite all the incredible work Jade has instigated and is involved with, she remains humble and curious. In particular, she’s keen to explore how we might use emerging technologies like Web3 and the Metaverse as tools for positive social impact on our planet and for our people, versus the status quo where big tech is only for profit.

For the rest of us at academyEX, it’s a case of what we’ll learn from Jade’s rich social innovation and diverse experience. The optimism and energy she adds to the team is very welcome indeed.