⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa

By Ben Reid

How exponential technology is defining the future of New Zealand… and what we can do about it.

Featuring stunning illustrations imagining the future of Aotearoa by Sam Ragnarsson ^ AI.

Paperback first edition now shipping.

What readers are saying...

"A techno-optimist’s manifesto...
Ben Reid may be 50 years ahead of most of us in his thinking, but ⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa presents a compelling case for why we urgently need to catch up.”

- Peter Griffin, BusinessDesk

"New Zealand’s technology futurist, Ben Reid has recently published a remarkable book ⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa, sharing his multi-year research on emerging technology and the impact and implications on New Zealanders, our society and governance."

- Justin Flitter, NewZealand.ai

"The hive mind of Ben Reid has just released this cacophony on technology, natural capital and vision...his "10 missions and 100 technology solutions to ⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa" are a worthy inspection of decades of his global experience⚡️"

- Alex McCall, RegenerateNZ

How can New Zealand keep up with the exponential  technology change
that is shaping the world around us?

In 2024, you can feel the pace of technological development accelerating on a weekly basis - from artificial intelligence to virtual reality, robotics to nanotech, biological enhancement to space exploration - breakthroughs in emerging technologies are arriving into our lives and shaping the future we will live in. Ready or not.

In parallel, the planet is in the midst of an escalating, hypercomplex, interconnected “Polycrisis” of ecological overshoot, geopolitical instability and techno-capital power concentration.

In his new book ⏩ Fast Forward Aotearoa, technology futurist Ben Reid explores the key technologies which are defining New Zealand’s future - and the increasingly concentrated control of giant international technology companies - exposing in the process national vulnerabilities stemming from an endemic lack of strategic thinking about technology in our public sector, businesses and education system.

He argues that only by renewed investment in building foresight and development capability to harness the newest, exponentially advancing technologies in collaboration with other aligned parties can these challenges be solved openly and democratically, to secure the future wellbeing and sovereignty of Aotearoa New Zealand’s tangata (people), nga puna ora (ecosystems) and whenua (land).

The book lays out an outline for a new national technology strategy for New Zealand in the form of "10 missions and 100 technology solutions to ⏩ Fast Forward Aotearoa".

The book also includes stunning, high-impact AI-generated images which imagine possible futures for New Zealand created by Sam Ragnarsson^AI.

Book Overview

Rapidly advancing technologies are completely reshaping the future of Aotearoa - our country needs to invest NOW in a national-scale, open source technology strategy to ensure we retain sovereignty and agency to maximise the potential wellbeing of future generations.


Chapter 1: Looking forward without looking backwards

Aotearoa’s future will be unlike its past


Chapter 2: Defining a small country

Small country, big challenges…big opportunities


Chapter 3: Welcome to the Polycrisis

Surveying the escalating, hypercomplex, interconnected “Polycrisis” of ecological overshoot, geopolitical instability and techno-capital power concentration


Chapter 4: Exponential technological change

The Singularity is… here?


Chapter 5: A taxonomy of technologies

A deep-dive across the general and applied technologies shaping the world today


Chapter 6: Artificial intelligence technologies

A future history of AI 


Chapter 7: Renewable energy generation and storage technologies

Ratcheting down energy intensity


Chapter 8: Four possible futures for Aotearoa

Exploring scenarios for how emerging technologies may shape the future


Chapter 9: Aotearoa’s changing innovation landscape

What is “innovation” anyway?


Chapter 10: Towards a national technology strategy

How to fill the technology-shaped hole in Aotearoa’s government and private sector


Chapter 11: Time for Solutioneering

Getting your thinking caps on


Chapter 12: Fast Forward Aotearoa

10 missions, 100 technology investments to improve Wellbeing and resilience in Aotearoa

About the Author

Ben Reid works as a strategic advisor with senior leadership teams across Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, advising on technology strategy, growth planning and innovation.

He is also a regular commentator and public speaker focusing on new emerging technology trends and their impacts for businesses and society.

Ben is the author of the long-running Memia newsletter, read by thousands around the world each week, which explores the cutting edge of AI and other emerging technologies - together with their future implications for humanity.

He brings over 25 years’ career experience in software development, enterprise architecture, digital transformation and strategic business consulting.

Collaborator and AI artist

Thought Architect & Futurist at RONGO – Sam is a Principal Data and Information expert with extensive experience in working on complex national issues that rely on data and future technology.

Sam has a global career spanning strategic alignment, risk management and interagency collaboration, with a focus on data interoperability and the integration of emerging technologies.

Drawing from his expertise in future technologies and data-driven insights, Sam collaborated with Ben by creating a set of stunning AI-generated illustrations which not only visualize but deeply resonate with the themes and foresight presented in this book.

Upcoming events

Join us for special Fast Forward Aotearoa events around New Zealand during 2024 with Ben Reid, Technology Futurist at Memia and panelists.

Fast Forward Aotearoa Gallery

Working with Thought Architect and Futurist Sam Ragnarsson and AI, we have been imagining the future of Aotearoa. Click to expand.

Get your copy today

Digital PDF download available from 5th March 2024. Printed paperback edition now available for pre-order online for delivery from April 2024.

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