inSight: a sneak peek into our future

inSight 2017: September 2-3

How will we live in the future? How will our town shape us – and how can we shape our town? Is it a question of reinvent or die for our tourist resort home? inSight dived into these big, audacious questions when it explored “Tomorrow’s Towns” over a weekend of end-to-end events that brought experts, community and our youngest citizens together to explore the options ahead of us. The weekend’s finale was a student showcase and prizegiving – the culmination of months of exploring, investigating and collaborating between schools across the Wakatipu.  

inSight 2017 featured:

  • keynote speakers by leading experts
  • TEDish talks from Wakatipu High School students exploring future issues
  • performances from the WHS Science Buskers Academy
  • projects and tabletop science demonstrations from local students, looking at our future through their eyes
  • Sci Short Films from The Centre for Science Communications
  • Future Towns displays.

Supported by Beca, The Brain Health Research Centre, Bridget Williams Books, The Centre for Science Communication, Fluid, QLDC, The Rees Hotel Queenstown, University of Otago, and Visual Events. More info on

inSight 2016: August 29 – September 2

Catalyst presented a five-day festival of science, technology and innovation with over 20 free films, talks, demonstrations and other events for all the family. We brought you a sneak peek into our future and the opportunity to investigate the big issues, access the experts and explore possible paths ahead for our community with Leading Edge public talks, Sci Shorts science short film festival and the Fast Forward programme for schools. Read what the media said here.

Here’s just a few of the stats we collected … 370 primary school students completed two hours of laboratory experiments led by 34 high school student tutors at Wakatipu High School’s Lab Open Door. 470 students visited Lab in a Box, and 100 took part in a full day workshop with the Centre for Science and Citizenship. Nearly 400 people visited the school showcase event, featuring projects and posters produced by the students and culminating in a prize giving with judge Deputy Vice-Chancellor Richard Blaikie.

Around 180 students completed Future Queenstown science posters, 24 St Joseph’s and Queenstown School students presented their Table Top Science projects, 18 students from throughout the Wakatipu designed Fast Forward logos, 210 Wakatipu High School year nine and 10 students completed science projects and eight presented their TED-style talks to a public audience. Thirty Arrowtown primary and QPS students then submitted their projects to the Southland science fair.

Several of the TED talks led to concrete results thanks to follow up by Catalyst. We connected a student who wants subdivisions to be ‘bee friendly’ with the developer of new residential area Bridesdale Farm, and now she is a consultant to the development; we brought together students, councillors, council staff, youth trust and Shaping our Future representatives to initiate a Youth Council , which will be giving input to council’s parks and open space strategy and downtown bay development; and a council engineer who attended the talks and science fair forwarded photos of student projects on infrastructure to fellow council staff to prompt discussion.

We’d like to thank our community for their enthusiastic participation and our supporters including the Brain Health Research Centre, Curious Minds, University of Otago, Centre for Science and Citizenship, Centre for Science Communication, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Mainfreight and Fluid Design.

inSight logo curious minds