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Co-Designing Better Futures

Kia Ora, Ni Hao & Hello!
My name is Jade Tang-Taylor.



I’m a Designer, Facilitator, Innovator, Collaborator & Educator, and I'm deeply passionate about Co-Designing Better Futures.

I was initially trained in graphic design, and started off my career as a digital / web designer. More recently, I've been practicing strategic design, human-centred design, co-design and social innovation. Moving forward I'm particularly interested in life-centred design, regenerative, inclusive and participatory design. In addition, exploring how emerging tech & speculative futures can enable design for social impact & systems innovation in the 21st century, and beyond!


My professional background is more of a squiggly line than a straight one. I wear many hats, but they all have a central theme: a passion for ‘Co-Designing Better Futures’. This is reflected in the myriad of projects, roles & experience below.

In 2003, I was fortunate enough to receive an AUT Vice-Chancellor's scholarship. This allowed me to study a Bachelor of Design (in 2005 and Masters of Arts Management (in 2010) where I focussed my research on creative and social entrepreneurship. In 2020, I embarked on a ‘Designing for Social Systems’ masterclass at Stanford D.School, and most recently have been teaching and advising masters candidates at academyEX.

Over the past decade, I’ve immersed myself in professional life and loved every minute of it! Over the next decade, I intend to shift my focus and energy to create more long-term social change and systems change. 



My personal background is something I've learnt to embrace more of since our lil human was born.

I was born in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, my whakapapa/ancestry is from China, my whānau/family migrated to Aotearoa, New Zealand when I was two, where I'm lucky enough to find my turangawaewae/sense of belonging in Waitakere, West Auckland. Lived Experience of these Eastern traditions interwoven with Western mindsets has made me a proud “Chiwi” – someone of Malaysian/Chinese ethnicity and Kiwi/New Zealand nationality.

I believe that growing up in a low socio-economic environment within a diverse community, and venturing on various international travel experiences (Central America, North America, Asia, South East Asia, Europe and South Africa), gives me a broad worldview. I'm incredibly humbled by the different perspectives and approaches I've experienced, which inform and influence who I am, and how I show up in the world today, both personally and professionally.

Overall, I'm deeply passionate about: 
Co-Designing Better Futures.


I'm curious about the intersection of design thinking, systems thinking, and futures thinking. Namely, how we expand our methods from design thinking to systems thinking, how we shift our mindsets for social change to enable systems change, and how we can co-create and co-design our preferred futures together. All while embracing emerging technology and honouring indigenous wisdom.

I'm often learning, unlearning, and relearning, so I love connecting with other like-minded people, hearing their stories, journeys, and experiences, and what inspired them to be where they are today. If you would like to connect and catch-up over a virtual (or IRL) cuppa, I would love to hear from you. So, feel free to please get in touch »

Ngā Mihi, Xie Xie & Thank You
for stopping by my lil home on the internet.

Jade Tang-Taylor



" The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."

- Alvin Tofller, author of Future Shock.


I'm fortunate to have been involved in, co-founded, co-hosted and lead a wide range of projects and roles over the years. From local design initiatives to global creative events, and a few start-up social enterprises/side projects in between. If you’re interested in getting involved with any of my current projects, learning more about my previous projects, or have an idea for an upcoming project, please get in touch »

Projects & Roles
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The Mind Lab | Tech Futures Lab | Earth Futures Lab
Innovation Advisor & Facilitator


At academyEX we provide innovative learning programmes that build relevant skills and capabilities to match the requirements of our constantly changing world.

Across our faculties, The Mind Lab, Tech Futures Lab and Earth Futures Lab, we redefine learning and professional development so you can step into the future with confidence and an ability to create impactful futures.


I have been the Innovation Director for the past few years, and recently transitioned into an Innovation Advisor & Facilitator in 2024.


Design Futures Initiative
Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland
Chapter Co-Founder 


The Design Futures Initiative connects designers, strategists, engineers, scientists, artists and futurists from around the world. We facilitate programs and conversations on the ethical, environmental, political and economic impact of future products and services.

I am currently a co-founder of the Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland chapter.

Wāhi Whakaaro


ThinkPlace is a strategic design consultancy with a global network operating across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Kenya, Senegal and U.S.A. For 15+ years, we have been tackling some of the world’s most complex challenges using design-led, human-centred approaches. 

I am currently a fractional 

director at ThinkPlace | Wāhi Whakaaro in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Edmund Hillary Fellowship
Ngā Manu Titi Rere Ao


The Edmund Hillary Fellowship brings visionary entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams together in NZ to create global impact.

I am currently selected to be a EHF fellow as part of their final cohort 8; Ngā Manu Titi Rere Ao.


Iti Rearea Collective
Chair & Founding Member

Iti Rearea Collective exists to remove systemic barriers that keep migrant communities from reaching their full potential in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I am currently the chair and founding member of this collective impact & systems change initiative.

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Haere Mai & Welcome
Co-Founder & Catalyst


'Haere Mai & Welcome' to Glen Eden is a creative initiative that provides new residents with all the information they need to find their feet in their new neighbourhood.

I am currently catalysing and co-designing this creative collaboration with the wider community.

Current Projects
Previous Projects
Projects & Roles


Centre for Social Impact



The Centre for Social Impact is an initiative of Foundation North and helps grant-makers and funders invest for impact, and enables their community partners to turn that investment into inspiring and sustainable social change.

I was previously an associate of the Centre for Social Impact.


Foundation North
Ethnic Diversity
Strategy Activator


Foundation North is the trust for the Auckland and Northland communities with a putea / endowment, of over a billion dollars.

I was previously the Ethnic Diversity Strategy Activator as part of the Leadership Team.


Innovation Unit



Innovation Unit is a social enterprise based in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

We work internationally, applying disciplined approaches to develop new solutions and create impact at scale.

I stepped down as the Director of Innovation & Partnerships in 2022, and transitioned into an Associate role.

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AUT University
Design Thinking &
Business Lecturer


Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is the fastest growing and second largest university in New Zealand. 

I was previously part-time lecturing papers in the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies (DCT) that are also available for Faculty of Business students:
- Design for Business
- Design Thinking/Co-Design
- Design Management

100 Days - logo

University of Auckland (CAI)
Creative Arts & Industries
Project Catalyst & Consultant

Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries (CAI), the University of Auckland's creative centre, the faculty promotes artistic and professional innovation and collaboration.

I was previously co-leading a design-thinking process to understand and prototype the Creative Ecology of Auckland/Aotearoa for CAI students, graduates and emerging creative professionals.


Toi Āria | Massey University

Toi Āria is a design research & evaluation centre harnessing design for positive social change through effective community engagement.

I am currently an AKL-based associate.


Cheese Cartel
Co-Founder &
Design Director

Cheese Cartel is a monthly subscription box of local artisan cheeses from across Aotearoa, NZ

I was previously one part of five fabulous socially conscious and social entrepreneur co-founders.



SheEO is a radically generous community supporting women + non-binary people working on the World’s To-Do List.

I am currently a SheEO activator in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

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100 Days /100 Mums Project

Co-Founder & Creative

The 100 Days Project is a simple creativity project that requires one thing, every day for 100 days.


During my maternity leave, I took the opportunity to adapt this concept to embark on a creative challenge to do 100 empathy interviews with 100 inspiring mums.


CreativeMornings / AKL logo

CreativeMornings /AKL
Chapter Founder & Co-Host


CreativeMornings is a global monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types.


I founded the Auckland Chapter in 2011 and since stepping down as co-host in 2016, have passed the creative initiative to several incredible creative hosts; Kaan Hiini, Sarah Longbottom, Laura Kerrison, and now, Anjana Iyer.

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Fail Club
Founding Member

Fail Club is a bi-monthly breakfast founded by a small group of creative entrepreneurs, service designers, social innovators. 

We first came together in
2013 for a HCD for social innovation course and have continued to meet after developing & prototyping
our initial idea.

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Curative NZ Ltd

Co-Founder & Director

Curative is a creative agency committed to making the world a little bit better.

Co-founded in 2012 along with Eddy Royal, I resigned from my role in 2016 as director to focus on other upcoming projects.


Do you have an interesting idea?

If you have an upcoming project/ interesting idea related to"Co-Designing Better Futures" you would like to discuss and explore with me, don't hesitate to get in touch » 


"  The future belongs to those who believe in the
beauty of their dreams."

– Eleanor Roosevelt


I've been lucky enough to be invited to talk on various topics in various spaces, places, panels & podcasts across Aotearoa NZ & beyond. Interested in having me speak, share or give a talk? Please get in touch »

Recent speaking engagements
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Women in Public Service Summit
Government Women's Network (GWN)

Date: November 2023

Venue: Aotea Centre AKL

Panel Title: Your leadership as service

Economy for Public Good Conference
Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEALL)

Date: August 2023

Venue: AUT University
Workshop Title: Systems Thinking & Systems Change 101

Beyond Consultation


Date: December 2023

Venue: Podcast recording
Podcast Title: Redesigning the future (and yourself)


The Transformative Power of Technology in Education and Career Development

Date: April 2023
Venue: University of Auckland
Title: From Dial-Up... To Levelling Up

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Mindset of Design Festival
Explore the unobvious

Date: May 2022

Venue: Datacom WLG

Title: Design for Social Change & Systems Change

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10th birthday!

Date: November 2021

Venue: ZOOM
Title: 10 years, 10 designs, 10 lessons learnt.



UN Women
Women's Entrepreneurship Day

Date:  November 2022
Venue: University of Auckland

Title: Web3 for a better future


The Creative Mother


Date: April 2022

Venue: Podcast recording
Title: Designing for social impact through connection & community

Ka mua, ka muri
Walking backwards into
the future 

– Māori  Whakataukī




I love people and I’m a self-confessed ‘networkaholic’. I believe in both the strength of grassroots communities & leadership networks to connect, collaborate and create change for a better Aotearoa/New Zealand/World. Most of the membership networks I belong to relate to either design, diversity, creativity, social change, leadership, and the future. Interested in joining any of these networks or connecting with one of these communities? Please get in touch »

Community & Networks
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Chapter founder & Host 2011 - 2017 


DINZ logo

The Designers Institute of NZ 
Best Awards Judge - Public Good 2015

Design Assembly - logo

Design Assembly
friend & contributor

Leadership NZ - logo

Leadership NZ
Alumni 2015

Asian NZ Foundation - logo

Asia NZ foundation leadership network

NZ Asian Leaders - logo

NZ Asian Leaders network member

Super Diverse Women - logo

Super Diverse Women network member

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Super Diversity Institute
100 Diverse Board Ready 2021


Auckland Council
Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel, Deputy Chair
2017.- 2020


Community Waitakere

Board of Trustees
2018 - 2020



Waitakere Ethnic Board
Board Member
2019 - 2020


Healthy Families Waitakere: Strategic Leaders Group
2018 - 2021


Ministry for Women | Member of (NACEW) National Advisory Council for the Employment of Women
2019 - 2022

Co-Chair of  Digital Innovation Inclusive Governance Steering Group

2022 - Present


Office of Ethnic Communities | (MECAG) Ministerial Ethnic Communities Advisory Group
2020 - 2021


Institute of Directors NZ network member 2020 - present


I was recently asked "what I offer?", which can be a tricky question to answer. I predominantly collaborate, innovate and strategically partner with various organisations as a fractional leader (see above). However, due to multiple requests, I have captured 3x independent offerings below.

A better future is possible, and I'm passionate about co-designing it with you. I offer personalised services to help individuals, organisations, and systems create positive change in the world.

If you're interested in learning more, please get in touch »

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Systems Level

At the systems level, alongside the organisations I work with, we partner with governments, communities, and other stakeholders to design and implement policies and programs that drive positive change and build a more just and equitable world.

Currently working alongside various organisations as a fractional leader (see above) & associates to deliver system-level change projects. Interested? Please get in touch »

Organisational Level
(1:MANY offering)

At the organisational level, I partner with purpose-led businesses and non-profits to develop innovative solutions to complex challenges, and to create cultures of collaboration, creativity,
and social innovation.

Recently worked with a few purpose-led businesses, space to explore more this year. Keen to co-create a better future with your team? Please get in touch »

Personal Level
(1:1 offering)

At the personal level, I help individuals identify their values and strengths, and develop a roadmap for achieving their goals and making a positive impact in the world.

Currently mentoring two young leaders, space for one more, keen to explore what this might look like for you? Please get in touch »

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Wonderful! Message received.


I'm not much of a writer, but from time to time I find myself compelled and passionate enough about a topic or issue to jot down some thoughts and share my perspectives. I've been lucky enough to have a few pieces written about me/my work too. Here's the most recent posts on my blog below, if you're keen to read more, follow me on Medium​ or view the full blog »

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