Ben Hayman

Ben Hayman has extensive experience in the field of open and progressive government services, including the UK's Government Digital Service. Experienced in the fields of open source, Agile and digital service delivery, he now works for tech-delivery consultancy Assurity in Wellington. 

"Most days of the week play out this way. A steady mix of bit of income earning efforts, interest or volunteer activities with healthy doses of dog walking and family time to boot. We’ve just got back from one of our regular weeks away with the kids. We manage to do that every month or two for a week or so at a time. Its great that so much of their learning as young adults is done out side of the digital-academy in the wider world. There are so many places we all love to travel to both here and around the globe and the kids mentorship profiles jump up a level or two each time we do it.

Walter’s doing well. 25 fantastic Collie years on planet earth. He struggles quite a bit with his joints. Still as everyone tells me - he’s had a great life. I remember my grandparents talking about their dogs and how 15 years was a really good innings. It’s not lost on me that we are so damned lucky that even our pets get targeted medical treatments just the same as we humans. Global diagnosis and personalised treatment has got so smart and so easy to access for everyone.

Today like most days I need to have a presence in about 4 places at once. First though I’ll check the shopping alert I had on some walking boots I’m looking for. Two retailers say they can help me and will pay to access my consumer profile to create a great match and offer. My personal AI says one of the retailers is looking risky but the other great. The good one having reported really solid impact from their new staff policy. Their staff say they are happier and the organisation has certainly increased its investment in community partnerships in its local community. They seem like a brand I’d be happy being supplied by.

One of my 4 meetings today is our extended families health net. We are comparing the data collected by our personal health chips and getting the DNA data from our family tree visualised. We want to see if there’s anything that would be of interest to my niece who is expecting a new baby as the insight from this stuff just keeps getting exponentially better and better. I’m going to attend that meeting 100% in person as its at my sisters place around the corner and I am tired of just linking up digitally when we are so close.  

One of the other meetings is a funding review for my latest Community involvement to build a bio-dome and rare plant regeneration scheme in the Wairarapa I should be there via a tele-presence robot as we will be walking around the facility and hearing what the Gardeners and Technical boffins have to say about the rarer plants and new bio-dome build. I’m working on the construction of the cafe at the dome centre so there’s income from this for me but I’m also contributing some time for free to the whole scheme because it matters.

The other two meetings I’m attending are pretty operational work related sessions and I’ll send my AI to those as they don’t require physical presence. I’m really happy that I’ve got my AI up to a high level of trust with me now. Meetings where it’s safely within my knowledge area or where I believe the rest of the participants have a high level of background have proven safe places to trust my AI and give it a bit of a long leash. It’s also fantastic that we now have legislation in place that allows people to do this and at the same time have effective and practical post moderation rights if we feel strongly that the outcome from the AI does not represent them authentically.         

There’s a big local issue that’s on my mind a lot at the moment as our coastal area faces a new challenge on our sea defences. The old defences from 2030 need upgrading and doing that has got significant environmental impacts. Our Local Sustainability Community needs to collaborate in making some public investment choices with communities further up the coast and involve a group of commercial firms who are involved in the build work. As local citizens we need to collaborate and arrive at a decision on next steps but its really complex stuff this and I feel way out of my depth (No pun intended) So I’ve decided to trust a women with a great reputation called Sam Brookes as she’s got a background in local regeneration projects and coastal defences over in Canada. I’ve seen reviews of her work and the impact others have said she’s created. She’s better placed than me (or anyone I know of nationally) to make those kinds of calls so I’ve passed my Trust Badge to her to represent me on this topic. It looks like over 5000 other NZers have also trusted her on similar topics this month that had a high positive rating on our governments outcomes dashboard which is reassuring.

When I get asked by folk from around the world about living here I’m always super happy to be able to say I’m proud to live in this country in 2070 - and of the innovations we’ve trialled and then shared with the world. It’s brilliant that we have a national commitment to being custodians both of the land and of our physical and digital communities. Everyone has a duty of care for both the physical and digital environment as one integrated whole. We know it’s ours to care for and that it forms a constantly learning and adaptive nation. A nation that supports communities focussed on making our world better. People genuinely seem to be confidently shaping, co-designing and creating their futures here. We are in great shape to actively create the 22nd century right here."