Mahuki – Part 3. The builds continue, more branding sessions for me, and the CEOs do some extreme market exploration… #MahukiNZ

Month 3

Build and Market Exploration

Week nine meant that we were officially over halfway through the Mahuki programme…

The teams have been making steady progress building their prototypes, and continuing to test their hypotheses with both the visitors and staff at Te Papa, as well as working to line up test areas and users for feedback and development.

For the first fortnight, it was pretty busy with plenty of sessions in the Hub, including visits from:

– Dr Lynda Kelly, Head of Learning at the Australian National Maritime Museum
– Julie Chrisford, DUON (IP Law)
– Tim Antric, Executive Director at Public Libraries NZ
– Karen Diver, previously Special Assistant to the President on Native American Affairs
– and Trent Yeo, Director at Ziptrek Ecotours

Trent Yeo – Understanding the Experience Economy

I really enjoyed Trent’s talk, although I don’t think it was quite what some of the audience were expecting.

As the title of the talk suggests, Trent was discussing the value of experiences in comparison to monetary value, and especially how the generational trends were leaning more towards experience. By this, I mean that instead of spending a lot of money on something or placing value with material items, now many are looking more to the experiences they can gain and what they can learn, and the value placed on these elements. Trent was also looking at the value of cultural exchange from both sides, the tourist and the ‘host’.

This cultural exchange element is something Trent’s company, Ziptrek Ecotours, tries to offer. Concentrating on the ‘Ecotourism’ aspects of travel, i.e. while developing a tourist economy with the local people, it also promotes conservation – of areas and traditions.

I think there were a few in the audience who did not really understand the standpoint Yeo was speaking from, questioning the offset of commercial value, both monetary and in carbon footprint, in comparison to the cultural value gained by both parties… but personally I think I’m already part of this ‘experience-based’ economy. Perhaps this stems from my love of travel and my preference for going to experience different places and cultures.

I felt this was a great alternative point of view and I really appreciated the opportunity to speak with him afterwards, and I wish Trent all the best with his upcoming TEDxQueenstown events.


Trent Yeo – Understanding the Experience Economy, talk delivered as part of the Collider Wellington programme hosted at Mahuki

Branding sessions

Alongside the speaker sessions, the teams were actively preparing to send their CEOs across to the USA. This meant for me there were a number of catchups with teams about their branding, and a focus on any marketing materials they were planning to take with them.

The offshore section of the programme was purposefully designed to provide teams with access to US institutions, where they were able to speak about the programme, and their products, to key people and measure the market outside of New Zealand.


After having several discussions with the team about potential renaming, we came to the conclusion (with their input) that the original name ‘Craft Mapper’ worked pretty well in defining their product and service, but could easily be made a bit more modern and become a compound and verb in future (with products being ‘craftmapped’)…

Craftmapper are working to improve and revitalise the lives of indigenous communities via connecting crafts’ makers with museum and gallery shops around the world, and recording the endangered skills and materials within the community.

Alongside Craftmapper’s intern Ompha, Laura and I ran a brainstorm and ideation session, followed a few days later with a catch up on some of the more developed ideas. We had spent a fair amount of time looking at the patterns, and common shapes in them, used by the Pacific island communities. With help from Ompha’s Papua New Guinea heritage and Chris from Craftmapper’s experience within the communities, we came to a simple but elegant solution combining a beautifully crafted typeface and shape to represent the communities and their skills.

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