Speaker - Lillian Grace

15 July 2016 – Posted by Gareth Evans

Starting at the start: Why purpose and context are critical for designing great systems

The online world is an opportunity for us to do things differently than ever before, but we’re only now starting to see real changes in our behaviour – in how we share information, communicate, and organise and govern ourselves. Lillian will share her thoughts on the implications of this change through her experience heading up Figure.NZ, an organisation focused on creating a data democracy. She’ll talk about how it has led the team to think more about the wider context they’re operating in, how it affects what the organisation does and where it fits, and why this means the redesign of the Figure.NZ API has become a critical part for achieving their mission.


Lillian brings a new perspective on data, one where data is a language in which everyone can be fluent. She believes societies and individuals will benefit when anyone can use data to inform their thinking and insights without requiring intermediaries. In establishing Figure.NZ in 2012, Lillian took the unique position of designating everyone to be a user of data. She leads the team to build systems and software, and to widely and deeply collaborate throughout New Zealand to deliver to this standard.

Lillian is also on the Data Futures Partnership Working Group, as well as on the board of the NZ Innovation Partnership and of NZ Centre of Research Excellence Te Pūnaha Matatini. Previously Lillian was at Academy Award-Winning Massive Software, at think tank The New Zealand Institute.

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