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Tomorrow, Today, Event Series: The AI Revolution – Sustainability

From energy, farming, financial services and government services to manufacturing, retail and transport, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming every aspect of the economy. The first event in our brand new Tomorrow, Today series explores how AI is transforming the economy and ushering in a new era of change. AI will soon be as ubiquitous as electricity, impacting every industry sector, improving productivity, reducing costs and creating growth opportunities. Harnessing AI gives us immense opportunities to repair and leverage our environment for the benefit of all. Dr Rod Carr, NZ’s Climate Change Commissioner,  joins us for an event that looks at the challenges we face around:

  1. Powering NZ sustainably
  2. Leveraging AI to build a sustainable environment
  3. The capability to radically reform our Climate Change and Risk Assessment reporting capability to change the way we power our economy. 

Event Details:

  • Date: Tuesday, 27 June, 2023
  • Time: 3pm -7.30pm
  • Location: University of Canterbury, Rehua 005, corner of Forestry and Arts, Ilam, Christchurch
  • Event Type: In person
  • Cost: Free

online event

This event will also be online as a two-part session: 3:15pm – 4:35pm and 6pm – 7pm. If you’d like to attend the online event, please register here.

register online event

About this event series: The AI Forum’s Today, Tomorrow event series encourages a public dialogue about today’s tech and its impact on tomorrow.

Supported by: 



Dr. Rod Carr - Chairperson - Climate Change Commission
Dr Carr has extensive experience in both public and private sector governance and leadership. He served as Chair and non-executive director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and served as Deputy Governor and for a time Acting Governor of the Bank. Dr Carr was the founding Chair of the National Infrastructure Advisory Board and for over a decade was a non-executive director of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce. He led the University of Canterbury as Vice Chancellor for ten years, and holds a PhD in Insurance and Risk Management, an MA in Applied Economics and Managerial Science, an MBA in Money and Finance and honours degrees in law and economics.
Sam Kivi - CTO and co-founder - Grid Share
Sam Kivi is CTO and co-founder of Grid Share, a start-up focussed on accelerating grid-scale renewable energy growth. Sam has over 11 years experience in the energy sector, primarily in power electronics design and manufacture. At Enatel, Christchurch's world leading telecommunications power and battery charging innovator, Sam gained experience in manufacturing engineering as well as research and development of a range of globally disruptive power conversion products. Most recently, Sam led a multidisciplinary team pursuing the next generation of home solar and energy control systems at Enatel. Sam holds a BSc in Physics from Canterbury University and co-founded Grid Share in 2019 to help speed the transition to a zero-carbon future.
Matt Lythe - Managing Director - Lynker Analytics
Matt has a background in environmental science, geospatial data, technology and analytics. He has managed multinational data, technology and analytics projects. He is a member of the NZ AI Forum Executive Council and the AI for Good Council. Matt holds a MSc. (Hons) from the University of Auckland and has ten publications in peer reviewed journals.
Richard Green - Professor - University of Canterbury
Since 2004 Professor Richard Green has been lecturing in computer science at the University of Canterbury (UC) after running his own successful 50 staff software company in Sydney (sold to a multinational). With over 200 refereed publications, Richard heads the UC Computer Vision Research Lab (https://ucvision.org.nz) with an emphasis on AI and machine learning for computer vision. Richard has led (as PI) three large successful MBIE projects and also co-chairs the NZ AI Researchers Association and leads UC AI (UC Research Cluster).
Varvara Vetrova - Senior Lecturer - University of Canterbury
Dr. Varvara Vetrova is a Senior Lecturer above the bar in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Canterbury. Her research interests revolve around applied machine learning and deep learning in the environmental domain. Currently, she is a part of the research team in the MBIE-funded environmental data science initiative - TAIAO. Most recently, she co-led the development of AI tool for Aotearoa species classification. Currently, she is also researching methods for anomalous climate events prediction as part of the TAIAO project. Varvara received her Ph.D. at the University of Waikato in 2016.
Albert Bifet - Te Ipu o te Mahara AI Institute -University of Waikato
Albert is a Professor of AI, Director of the Te Ipu o te Mahara AI Institute at the University of Waikato and Co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence Researchers Association (AIRA). His research focuses on Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Science, and Machine Learning for Data Streams.
Josh Dry - Business Development Director, APAC - Cogo
Providing climate action solutions to financial institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific to help their business and retail customers understand, measure and reduce their impact on people and the planet.
Lincoln is CEO of ESP. ESP provides enterprise Carbon Accounting and Carbon Reduction software and services to Banks, Insurance companies and the broader market including ASB, BNZ and NAB globally as well as 20% of New Zealand’s Climate Leaders Coalition. ESP has helped clients reduce carbon emissions by 62,000 TCO2-e and save $81m. ESP introduced CLIVE in 2021, as NZ’s first Machine Learning bot dedicated to reducing carbon emissions. CLIVE monitors 2m datapoints every day at a scale and speed no human can match to identify anomalous emissions and waste. Prior to ESP Lincoln build extensive financial services experience as COO of Perpetual Guardian, CIO at Craigs Investment Partners and Technology Manager at Goldman Sachs JBWere. He also grew and exited his own software system integrator and was CEO of Legaltech startup Arken.legal.
Richard Copus - Head of Digital Innovation and Partnerships, GM Enterprise Architecture - ANZ
I like to think that I'm an insightful business and technology leader focused on delivering change to deliver real business outcomes. I have a particular strength in developing concepts into a commercial reality and leading complex transformational change. Complementing my current Technology interests in banking and financial services, I also have a passion for advancing and promoting the blue economy (particularly renewable energy from the sea), the Fintech and Agritech sector of NZ.
Kari Jones - General Manager - Analytics & Insights - Woolworths NZ
My experience in business strategy, my passion for the power of data alongside my strong execution ability enables me to deliver outcomes in challenging environments. Over the past 10 years I have worked with a range of iconic organisations in senior data focused leadership roles, each time with the objective of increasing the organisation’s digital and analytics maturity through the execution of practical strategies that improve customer-centricity and operational effectiveness.
Prof. Robert Amor - Professor - School of Computer Science, University of Auckland
Rose Challies - CEO - Terra Nova Foundation


Jun 27
3:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Type
Is this event run by the Tech Alliance?


University of Canterbury
Rehua 005, corner of Forestry and Arts, Ilam
Christchurch, canterbury New Zealand
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