Fulbright New Zealand took part in Techweek19, a nationwide festival of events taking place for one week in May celebrating technology and “innovation that’s good for the world”.
Fulbright hosted two forums, in Wellington and Auckland, involving two of our Fulbrighters, Octavius Jones and Elizabeth Broadbent, whose awards and research both intersect with technology.
Our Wellington event was held on Tuesday 21 May at Bizdojo Market Lane in Wellington. We hosted drinks and nibbles followed by a presentation from Octavius Jones.
Octavius is currently over from the United States on a Fulbright US Graduate award based at Victoria University of Wellington. Octavius’ research project seeks to examine how Māori women understand and implement sustainable use of marine resources, and what their strategies and methods are for passing these knowledges down to younger generations. Through digital storytelling he is examining how Māori women understand their environment, and what role they play in marine conservation.
Octavius has lived on the African continent for over four years. He is a published author for parasitology research in Ethiopia, has been a Program Manager in an international public health NGO in Botswana, an Adjunct Professor in Ethnic and Women’s Studies, and an International Conference and Workshop Storyteller. Octavius shared with us his story, including who and what led him to his studies and why he chose NZ to do this, and also what he hopes to see for the future.
The following day, Wednesday 22 May, we headed up to Auckland and held our second talk at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where we heard presentations from both Octavius and Elizabeth Broadbent.
Elizabeth is a Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Auckland, and a Fulbright alumnae. In 2017 Elizabeth received a New Zealand Scholar award to research the design of companion robots to improve health at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
In her presentation, Elizabeth talked about the role of robotics in healthcare in assisting patients with adherence and also providing companionship. She is currently conducting research into how we can enhance robot-patient communication via verbal and nonverbal behaviours, and talked about how these behaviours, or emotional intelligence, may increase patient trust and satisfaction with healthcare robots, and result in better health behaviours and outcomes.
If you’re interested in seeing a copy of either of these presentations please get in touch with us at [email protected]