Datacomp: Moving Beyond Sustainability and Embracing Regenerative Design

By Taryn Ellis & Kerry Topp | Datacom

Decades of resource extraction, consumption, pollution and waste, have had a devastating cumulative impact on our planet and our people. Globally, a growing number of people realise this cannot continue and they are taking to the streets in protest. 

At Datacom we believe if we are to make a significant, urgent and meaningful impact, we need to examine our world-view and make fundamental changes.

Internationally the United Nations is doing just that. Through its Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), it has called for countries to look beyond just economic measures of success. They are asking countries and businesses to look at social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing, as well.

Locally, the New Zealand Government has redefined what success means for New Zealand. Our Government believes that to be successful Aotearoa New Zealand needs to build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy, which improves the wellbeing and living standards of all New Zealanders.

At Datacom we ask ourselves how do we add value and enable a unified view that prioritises genuine wealth and holistic wellbeing for all life? 

We believe it is possible for businesses to genuinely embrace, a new set of performance measures for businesses. We believe these measures must place an increased importance on positive contribution to the preservation and regeneration of society, culture and the environment.

We are testing this thinking in two ways;

  1. By mobilising our people and partners to look at areas where they could embrace doing better socially, environmentally and culturally. 
  2. And by shaping up a way for business to easily report on their impact and wellbeing.


Datacomp is our annual innovation activation. It brings together 350 – 430 people of diverse background and experience to solve gnarly challenges. This year we’ve challenged our participants to embrace Circular Design to reimagine how advanced tech can reinvent, reframe and reuse for the good of people, the planet & business.

Underlying this challenge is a not so subtle question we are also asking ourselves;

‘what if we bring together a single, multi-stakeholder conversation about value creation, not value extraction?’ 

Datacomp 2019 – Circular is both our experiment to test this but also our start to think and act differently ourselves. 

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