Introducing our Tech21 Summit Speakers
Amber Taylor, CEO, ARA Journeys
Ngāti Mutunga, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa.
Amber Taylor is Co-Founder and CEO of ARA Journeys, a mobile gaming company that blends the digital world with te taiao and te ao Māori. Inspired by and drawing on mātauranga Māori, ARA’s award-winning games use immersive technologies (AR, MR, XR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to promote connection, education, and exploration. Amber is passionate about growing Māori and Pasifika representation in STEAM subjects and seeing South Auckland lead the way as champions of innovation.
Amber is a business mentor with NZ Business Mentor Association, Auckland Lead at SingularityU, Auckland Regional Ambassador for National Digital Forum (Ministry for Culture & Heritage), member of the Young Business Leaders Initiative with Ministry for Foreign Affairs & Trade, and NZ scout for USA Female Founded Club.
Brittany Teei, Founder of KidsCoin
Rarotonga, Avatiu, Atiu, Ngāi Tahu
Brittany used to be a professional tennis player and coach! She teamed up with her mum Teri who has been a teacher for more than 35 years. Together they had no tech experience, but they believed in their idea and KidsCoin was launched in 2016. It’s all about learning how to make, manage and invest while having fun!
Alexia Hilbertidou, Founder/CEO of GirlBoss
Alexia is the CEO of GirlBoss NZ – the school project which has grown to become NZ’s largest organisation for young women. Founded when Alexia was just 16, GirlBoss now has 13 and a half thousand members.
Alexia’s mission is to get women to the table – the boardroom table that is, and she believes the decisions made while young are crucial in paving the way.
She has received over 30 awards for her work including being named the 2019 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award Winner, Semi-Finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year, and the Most Influential NZ Woman under 25 at the Westpac Women of Influence Awards.
Alexia was also awarded a Queen’s Young Leader Award for Services to the Commonwealth by Her Majesty, The Queen, at Buckingham Palace. She was selected from over 20,000 nominations and is the youngest Commonwealth Citizen to hold this honour.
Anne Taunga, Facial Motion Department Manager, Weta Digital
Kūki Āirani Māori
Anne Taunga (Annie) is the Facial Motion Department Manager at Weta Digital, an Academy Award-winning visual effects company based in Wellington. Weta Digital created the ground-breaking visual effects for Director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and for James Cameron’s Avatar.
Weta Digital’s artists, animators and technological innovators work on some of the world’s most high-profile movies and series, including the recent Zack Synder’s Justice League, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mulan, Umbrella Academy, Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame.
Annie manages facial motion at Weta Digital, enabling the Facial Motion Department and show project teams to bring to life the faces and expressions of digital characters and creatures.
Annie has a BA in Theatre and Film from Victoria University of Wellington and a Diploma in Journalism from the Auckland Technical Institute. She is an advocate for Pasifika and Māori young people, encouraging them to find their voices creatively.