Join us on the first Wednesday of every month!
Next event is 1 May at Little Andromeda.

1 May Speakers

“Digital interfaces so bad that they’re good: a case study of parking meters”
by Tim Bell

Have you ever been frustrated using a digital device? Perhaps even had violent thoughts about it? Have you ever wondered why something that is pitched as “user friendly” isn’t? The technical name for interfaces that suck is “poor usability”. In this talk we’ll look at a particular case that provides a goldmine of usability problems: paying for car parking.

Tim is a computer scientist who is kept away from society by being allowed to teach at the University of Canterbury. When teaching about digital interfaces, his philosophy is ‘don’t get mad, get even’; the worst interfaces he comes across are photographed and reported in his teaching. When he’s not computer sciencing, he sometimes manages to get out in public by playing in a band.


“A brief tour of the Universe over all space and time (in 15 mins)”
by Karen Pollard

As they say in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Space is big, really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.” In this talk, we’ll take a quick tour of the universe in space (which is big) and in time (which is also big) in 15 minutes (which is small). We’ll see how we go…  

Karen grew up in Christchurch wanting to find out more about space, particularly the stuff in space, …. which can be hard to study, because space is big, really big. Karen actually wanted to be an astronaut when she was small, but she suffered from terrible motion sickness, so she decided looking at stuff in space using a telescope was a much better idea. She is currently the Director of the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory in at Tekapo, which houses the largest optical telescopes in New Zealand, so she doesn’t have to buy her own.


“Parenting: the single greatest blockage to sustainability
by Mr. G

Despite growing pressure from global communities and decades of scientific arguments for sustainability and climate change, very little has been done to progress humanity on environmental and social progress. Why then, should we turn to parenting to unblock positive change?

Mr. G is a Sustainability and Change Management Coach improving the sustainability journeys of companies, NGOs and Governments from Cambodia to Poland and now at home in New Zealand. His mahi has won him the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s Green Business Awards in Cambodia and helped push the sustainable business agenda for organizations such as the United Nations to the Royal Government of Cambodia. Recently he’s helped the Crusaders to the Christchurch Town Hall improve their waste diversion to above 80% averages.