Five reasons young professionals should attend the Future-Fit Aotearoa conference – and how to convince your boss

Want to go to the Future-Fit Aotearoa conference in February but don’t know how to get it across the line with your manager? We talk to ACE New Zealand Young Professionals Committee members Danielle Gatland, Akshat Malhotra and John Lee about the benefits of attending so you can convince your boss it’s money well spent.

Future-Fit Aotearoa

One – Network with peers from across the country   

More than 350 of the country’s leading consultants, engineers, project managers and more will attend the Future-Fit Aotearoa conference in Auckland early next year. It’s a great opportunity to meet a diverse range of people across the industry who have similar interests, passions and career paths. Exchanging information, advice, and support on challenges, experiences, and goals lets you gain new insights and opens the door to new opportunities.   

The engineering consulting industry is about people – it’s time to get amongst them.  

Two – Hear from leaders, key influencers and decision-makers    

The line-up of keynote speakers includes leaders of some of New Zealand’s most innovative and high-performing organisations, such as the New Zealand Green Building Council, Callaghan Innovation, Thinkproject, Kiwibank, Transpower and the Student Volunteer Army.  

Key leaders from Tonkin + Taylor, GHD, Stantec, Beca, Aurecon, BVT, WSP, Holmes Consulting and Fulton Hogan plus other large firms and SMEs will share examples of best practice and overcoming challenges. There are plenty of concurrent sessions to choose from, so you can pick what interests you and aligns to your area of work. 

Three – The future is digital  

The conference includes a whole stream of presentations on digital innovation, for example, preparing for technological change in the infrastructure sector, digital engineering in the water sector and New Zealand’s geohazard management.  

There’s also a keynote speech from Fleur Tytheridge from Thinkproject about how connected construction is the latest in digital disruption and the technologies that are changing how we work and make decisions.  

The digital sessions at the conference will help you pick up on opportunities to use technology to improve the service offerings at your firm as the world continues moving towards digital solutions. 

Four – Focus on your workplace wellbeing  

As we navigate COVID-19, there’s one word all workplaces are talking about – wellbeing. Employers are investing in yoga classes, mindfulness apps, workshops and care packages. But is any of it making a difference? 

Jane Kennelly from Skills Consulting Group will deliver a keynote presentation on how wellbeing in the workplace affects staff retention, customer experience and ultimately the bottom line.    

Journalist and mental health advocate Jehan Casinader will deliver a keynote presentation on how leaders can promote wellbeing in a way that leads to sustainable, long-term change. He’s also on a panel discussion with leading mental health champions to talk about fatigue, measuring success, and innovative ways to support people at work – it's one not to miss.  

Five - Get better at the business side of things      

ACE New Zealand focuses on the business of consulting. While the technical side of engineering is important, so too is the business side, and the Future-Fit Aotearoa conference aims to make you a better consultant.  

Whether it’s through the keynote presentations, concurrent sessions, panel discussions, site tours or simply by chatting to the people around you, you will no doubt take away some valuable knowledge and ideas to apply at your office and job site.

Register for Future-Fit Aotearoa  

Future-Fit Aotearoa is a joint ACE New Zealand and IPWEA NZ conference for consultants and engineers. It has been postponed until 2-4 February 2022.   

There’s a special early bird rate for young professionals under 35 – find out more and register