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Designer... Dreamer... Doer

Kia Ora, Ni Hao & Hello!
My name is Jade Tang-Taylor.
I’m a Designer... a Dreamer... and a Doer.

( Ummm... What exactly does that mean? )


As a Designer: 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 planet-centred design, regenerative, inclusive and participatory design. Also, exploring how technological futures can enable and accelerate design for social innovation, deliberative democracy and governance in the 21st century and beyond.

As a Dreamer: I’m a purpose-driven, design-led, somewhat idealistic and optimistic creative social entrepreneur. Always dreaming and endeavouring to connect cross-sector, cross-disciplinary, and cross-cultural communities to co-design and co-create new solutions and collective impact.


As a Doer: I’m someone who loves to make sh*t happen
(not too much hui / hui, more do-ey / do-ey ;))



My professional background is more of a squiggly line than a straight one... However, regardless of what "hat" I'm wearing, the central thread through them all is that I'm deeply passionate about ‘Design for Social Change’ as reflected in the myriad of projects, roles & experience below.

I was fortunate enough to receive an AUT Vice-Chancellor's scholarship, I was then able to study a Bachelor of Design (in 2005) and Masters of Arts Management (in 2010) where I focussed a lot of reading/research on creative and social entrepreneurship, and most recently embarked on a "Designing for Social Systems" masterclass at Stanford D.School.

I’ve immersed myself in professional life over the past decade and loved every minute of it! Over the next decade, I intend to shift my focus & energy in creating more long-term social impact and systems change. However, starting with my community, my family and my personal background.



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 also 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 & South Africa), I'm incredibly humbled by the different perspectives, world-views and approaches I've been lucky to have experienced which inform and influence who I am, and how I show up in the world today... Both personally & professionally.

Overall, I'm deeply passionate about: Design for Social Change / Systems Change, Design for Social Impact & Design for Social Innovation, with a personal focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging.

Currently, I'm curious about how we move from design thinking to systems thinking, how we shift our mindsets for social change to systems change, how we can co-create and co-design our future together, embracing technological futures & Web3.

However, I'm always learning, unlearning and re-learning... And I always love to connect with other like-minded people, hear about their stories, journeys & experiences and what inspired them to be where they are today and/or what they're doing today. If you would like to connect and catch-up over a cuppa, I would love to hear from you... So, feel free to please get in touch »

Ngā mihi, Xie Xie &
Thanks for stopping by!




" It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another."

- Nelson Mandela


I've been fortunate enough to have been involved in, co-founded, co-hosted and lead a wide range of projects & roles over the years. From local design initiatives, to global creative events and a few start-up social enteprises / side projects in between.


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 Director


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 recently been joined the whānau as Innovation Director.


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.

Edmund Hillary Fellowship

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.

Toi Āria

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.


Co Jam
Co-Founder &

CoJam is similar to a weekend hackathon, but with a focus on designing with the community.

Connecting with young changemakers, learn about creative problem-solving skills and collaborate with our former refugee & resettlement communities

I am currently one of the catalysts as part of the co-design colab.

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Haere Mai & Welcome
Co-Founder &
Community 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.


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 have recently stepped down as Director and transitioned into a Associate role.

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 Activator


Foundation North is holds in trust for the Auckland and Northland communities an endowment, or putea, of over a billion dollars.

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


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 entrepreneurial founders.

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AUT | The Draft

Catalyst & Board Member

AUT | The Draft is a student-led agency for social impact.

This is a prototype that evolved out of a Strategic Design course I design, developed and delivered whilst I was lecturing at AUT. As well as a few follow-up design thinking workshop around staff and students.

On The Grid - logo

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.

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 currently in the process of officially handing over to my co-host Kaan Hiini, and setting up the advisory board.



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.

100 Days - logo

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.


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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 have recently resigned from my role as director to focus on other upcoming projects.

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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.

The Feast - logo

The Feast /AKL
Chapter Founder & Host

The Feast is about bringing together inspired people from across disciplines to connect, create, and celebrate social innovation and the power of human potential. 


We hosted a satellite event 'Feast on Good' Worldwide Auckland Hub in collaboration with other changemakers.

The Big Idea - logo

The Big Idea

Community Manager

The Big Idea is an online community for creatives in NZ, all about valuing creativity and accelerating success.

I was the Community Manager in 2011, where I lived by the mantra "work on projects that inspire you with people you aspire to" and worked with an incredible team.


We Can Create
Comms/Media Manager

We Can Create is New Zealand’s alternative art and creative industries showcase.

I was the Marketing / Media liaison and worked closely with the Creative Director to help realise this event in its inaugural year in 2011.

yMedia logo

Art Director & Connector 

yMedia connects students, industry and not-for-profit organisations to develop and implement new media initiatives for collective growth.

Founded in 2008, I became involved in this youth driven social enterprise as Art Director & Connector and managed the yMedia Challenge in 2010.


Have an interesting idea?

If you have an upcoming project/interesting idea related to design/creative/social change 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, stages & podcasts across Aotearoa NZ & beyond. Interested in having me speak, share or give a talk? Please get in touch »

Recent speaking engagements

The Transformative Power of Technology in Education and Career Development

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


UN Women
Women's Entrepreneurship Day

Date:  November 2022
Venue: University of Auckland

Title: Web3 for a better future

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Mindset of Design Festival
Explore the unobvious

Date: May 2022

Venue: Datacom WLG

Title: Design for Social Change & Systems Change

10th birthday!

Date: November 2021

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


The Creative Mother


Date: April 2022

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

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

– Māori  Proverb



I love people and a self-confessed "networkaholic" and 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 and women. Interested in joining any of these networks or connecting with one of these communities? Please get in touch »

Community & Networks
CreativeMornings - hero image


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

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Honestly speaking, I'm not much of a writer, however I do find myself from time to time, feeling compelled and passionate enough about a topic or issue that I'll cobble together some thoughts and share my opinion.

Fortunately, 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, however if you're keen to read more, or follow me on Medium​ or view the full blog »

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