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Culture and Design Lab: Empowering Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Undoing Racism and Building Allyships through Indigenous Learning Design and Strategy

Culture and Design Lab, an indigenous learning design and strategy company, has emerged as a driving force in fostering diversity and inclusion within New Zealand workplaces. Committed to undoing racism and cultivating allyships, Culture and Design Lab aims to transform workplace cultures through a revolutionary approach.

The inception of Culture and Design Lab stemmed from the team’s experience working with clients on cultural competence. After a year of education, it became evident that simply filling seats with knowledge did not necessarily result in a cultural shift. Realising the need for a more integrated approach, Culture and Design Lab set out to provide “snackable” learning moments throughout the day, fostering continuous cultural competence among employees. To achieve this, they are developing an AI chatbot assistant that measures sentiment and engagement, providing invaluable data analytics to HR departments and illuminating areas for growth and improvement.

Over the next 12 months, Culture and Design Lab has set ambitious goals to validate their idea and address the primary challenges faced when working with Māori and Pacific peoples. Through continued customer interviews, they aim to gain deep insights and develop their Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Following this, they plan to conduct pilot tests and onboard early adopters to refine and perfect their solution.

The team behind Culture and Design Lab possesses the ideal combination of expertise and passion to spearhead this transformative idea. With 34 years of experience in Māori and Pacific media and social change, Iulia brings a wealth of knowledge in Māori and Pasifika cultural competence. Ngapeita is driven by a strong commitment to decolonization and harnessing the power of indigenous design to effect behavioral change.

Culture and Design Lab joined the Kōkiri programme to seize the opportunity to cultivate a product that truly works. They value the environment of like-minded Māori entrepreneurs and the guidance provided by exceptional speakers, which has allowed them to grow in confidence as entrepreneurs. With unwavering determination, they aim to absorb all the valuable teachings offered by the programme.

At the core of Culture and Design Lab’s mission is the endeavor to increase diversity and inclusion in New Zealand workplaces. By empowering workplace leaders to foster social cohesion and cultivate cultural intelligence, they aim to create environments where individuals feel a sense of belonging, inclusion, participation, and recognition.

As Culture and Design Lab embarks on their entrepreneurial journey, they express their gratitude for the opportunity presented by Kōkiri. Their commitment to effecting positive change in workplace cultures, through their innovative learning design and strategy, is sure to transform the landscape of diversity and inclusion in New Zealand and beyond.

Connect with Culture & Design Lab

EMAIL: [email protected]


Culture & Design Lab - Team Photo
Culture & Design Lab – Team Photo
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