Disruptive Technologies: Risks, Opportunities – can New Zealand make the most of them?

This week, for the first time, I was on a panel with a hologram.  It was also the first time I have been in an indoor meeting with a drone buzzing around.  And all this at a conference of accountants.  Not what you might expect, but Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand were holding an event to launch their FutureInc report and set about breaking quite a few stereotypes.

Hologram presentation at the FutureInc launch


FutureInc, has  been prepared by NZIER for CAANZ and covers a lot of material in common with our Future of Work Commission.  Some of the headline grabbing points in the report are

  • 46% of New Zealand jobs are at risk of automation in the next two decades.  This is a similar figure to the Australian and US studies referenced elsewhere on this site.
  • Some regional variation among potential job losses with high probabilities in areas like West Coast, Southland, Gisborne.
  • The importance of public debate on the appropriate place of technology in our lives and introduction and adaption of technology.
  • The need for education to keep pace and  for people to adapt and continuously  upskill while avoiding supporting occupational  specific skills.

There are some interesting case studies on smart cars, energy transformation and medical advances that could radical extension of life.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand deserve to be congratulated for some great leadership on these issues.  Accountancy is one of the at-risk professions, but by taking this approach they are well positioned to redefine their industry as a leader in a new world of work. 

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