From the lab bench to social impact entrepreneurship: May 2024 Design and Innovation Meetup

May’s BOP Design and Innovation Meetup featured Elizabeth Copeland, inventor of the Marine Invaders game, speaking to a diverse audience of local innovators, hosted at Priority One.

Elizabeth is a Technical Officer at the University Waikato’s Coastal Marine Field Station, and she talked about her journey from working in a science lab, to realising the importance of public outreach and awareness for biosecurity, to designing and delivering a game to teach young people native and invasive species. Attendees then enjoyed playing the game, with Elizabeth’s guidance.

As ever, the session was highly interactive, with Elizabeth having the challenge of translating the science of marine biodiversity into public action, stimulating lots of question and discussion.  Her entrepreneurial spirit and creativity in designing a game, that could potentially make a huge difference to the health of our oceans, is inspirational.

The Design and Innovation Meetup has been operating since 2016 and provides a space for innovators and creators in our region to connect, share experiences and learn from each other and experts. It’s free to all, and meets every two months, with the next session scheduled for July 2023. As well as Elizabeth’s awesome story, recently the group had sessions on:

  • Multisensory experience (including a mini Master Chef competition, with Stacey Jones of Secret Sauce)
  • ZuruTech’s disruptive housing innovation, with Craig Shannon from Globex
  • Sustainability into Action with Gemma Hignett and Marissa Nikora (Priority One)
  • Managing Innovation Projects with Jason Low (Solid Consulting) and William Fisher and Hadyn Natusch from Oasis Engineering
  • Robots, People and Design, with Nick Pickering (University of Waikato) and Carl Menary (Robotics Plus)

For more information and the latest on what’s happening in the Bay of Plenty Design Thinking And Innovation Meetup, join the official Meetup page here, or contact Shane Stuart at: