Dr Alistair Scarf presents at YiA Innovation Forum for Groundswell Festival

Innovation Tips from Alistair Scarff

Now in its ninth year – the YiA Innovation Forum was one of the cornerstone event of Groundswell Festival of Innovation and featured a stellar line up of innovators. Our three speakers shared their personal innovation stories and how they are paving the way for the future. Maru Nihoniho talked about how gaming can solve depression, Suan Yeo explained how Google is revolutionising global education and Dr Alistair Scarfe shared how robotics are changing farming.

We’ve pulled together some top-tips from Alistair’s talk, and how he has made it to the top of one of New Zealand’s most forward thinking and progressive businesses as Chief Technology Officer of Robotics Plus.

  • People. Solve world problems, not just create new technology. Creating things that solve people challenges, allow them to be more efficient and support industry growth – is Alistair’s driving motivator.
  • Push. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Be bold, take risks. Remember, there’s no set formula on how to do this, so question advice, adapt and change.
  • Partner. Choose the right partners, they are crucial to the success of your team and business.
  • Practice. As Gladwell says, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. ‘Deliberate practice’, testing, learning, challenging yourself. Never stop doing these things.
  • Prepare. Luck favours those who are prepared. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities, don’t wait for them to arrive to get ready.
  • Persist. Your ability and character to deal with setbacks and challenges is far more important than being the smartest person in the room. Big daunting challenges can be broken down.

Key takeaway from Alistair: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” Albert Einstein.