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Dateline Dunedin 2063

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Dateline Dunedin 2063

A University of Otago research project is looking at what work might be like in Dunedin in the future.

The research is being undertaken by a team comprising five staff members from the Department of Management – Dr Sara Walton, Dr Paula O’Kane, Dr Diane Ruwhiu, Virginia Cathro and Rachel Turner – in partnership with the Dunedin City Council.

Walton says the research is focusing on the businesses we are likely to see in Dunedin and some of the ways that people will be working up to 50 years from now.

The team initially collated research on the future of New Zealand and extracted various themes. It then enlisted the help of 40 experts who either live in Dunedin or have a business or personal connection with the city, and are responding to various scenarios fashioned by the team about work in Dunedin in decades to come.

The researchers say people are so busy from day to day that they don’t have a lot of time to grapple with the future and the team hopes the project will start people looking beyond short-term business plans.

Walton, the team leader, says the research was prompted by her frustration while researching sustainability and climate change that there was a lack of vision about what these changes might mean to people living in Dunedin.

She says they hope Dunedin will act as a pilot study and they are then able to apply it to New Zealand’s place in the world in 50 years’ time.