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Meet the new CEO of Unleash Space

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Building has completed on the University of Auckland’s new innovation hub Unleash Space. Before the official opening next year, the next round of building will be of the team that will manage this unique and iconic collaboration and education space.

Unleash Space will be administered by three full time staff members from the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, supporting its student leaders.

Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director, Wendy Kerr says “Like Velocity, our successful student and staff entrepreneurship programme, Unleash Space will be run by students in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We know having students at the heart of this space will ensure a vibrant, inspiring and welcoming culture will be created.”

Wynona Dekker, the newly appointed CEO, will be leading the team.

Tell us about you as a person and your background – what lead to your interest in innovation and entrepreneurship?

I recall my first entrepreneurial spark as a nine-year-old girl being raised in a small city just north of London. I had the desire to fly back to NZ for Christmas to see my grandparents. My parents agreed on the condition that I would pay for at least half of the flight myself. With a touch of Kiwi ingenuity, I started planting lettuce to sell to local cafes, busking on my violin at the local market and selling old books on the street corner. Eventually, I made my way home for the holidays. I enjoy undertaking each challenge life throws with a stride of optimism and am always in search of innovative solutions to make sure it all works out for the best.

What made you decide to apply to be CEO of Unleash Space and what do you think your role will be?

My involvement with Unleash Space commenced seven months ago through sheer synchronicity during the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Summer Lab programme. It was clear the vision and values the space held were very much in line with my passion to help current and future generations thrive, and adapt their stance on education. I have been fortunate enough to wear many hats during the development of this project and I hope to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone to do the same. I applied for the position of CEO thanks to the immense support and encouragement from our team; and I hope a large part of my role will include connecting more like-minded students, who together can create magic.

What are you most looking forward to at Unleash Space and what opportunities do you think it particularly provides to students?

Unleash Space epitomises the application of Kiwi, practical ingenuity, backed up by theoretical knowledge. I think it is critical with much talk of changes to the workforce that students can learn in a unique collaborative environment. It is important they feel safe and free to create whatever they wish, exploring ideas alongside peers that support their endeavours. I hope that by interacting with the space, it gives people the opportunity to think critically and learn soft skills that will help them stay relevant and send positive ripples of change.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

I’m open to the future holding many possibilities but I suppose there are three things I would like to see happen. (1) I hope that I continue to open my eyes and learn all that I can. (2) I aspire to work on my entrepreneurial spark to solve a problem that I can start a business with. (3) Finally, and most importantly, I hope that no matter what path I choose, I do it with as much passion as I feel for this project. It’s wonderful working within the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, surrounded by an awesome team that embraces change, support one another and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Wynona is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Information Management and Marketing.

 

 

The new CEO of Unleash Space Wynona Dekker

The new CEO of Unleash Space Wynona Dekker.

The new CEO of Unleash Space Wynona Dekker

The new CEO of Unleash Space Wynona Dekker.

social media

Building has completed on the University of Auckland’s new innovation hub Unleash Space. Before the official opening next year, the next round of building will be of the team that will manage this unique and iconic collaboration and education space.

Unleash Space will be administered by three full time staff members from the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, supporting its student leaders.

Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director, Wendy Kerr says “Like Velocity, our successful student and staff entrepreneurship programme, Unleash Space will be run by students in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We know having students at the heart of this space will ensure a vibrant, inspiring and welcoming culture will be created.”

Wynona Dekker, the newly appointed CEO, will be leading the team.

Tell us about you as a person and your background – what lead to your interest in innovation and entrepreneurship?

I recall my first entrepreneurial spark as a nine-year-old girl being raised in a small city just north of London. I had the desire to fly back to NZ for Christmas to see my grandparents. My parents agreed on the condition that I would pay for at least half of the flight myself. With a touch of Kiwi ingenuity, I started planting lettuce to sell to local cafes, busking on my violin at the local market and selling old books on the street corner. Eventually, I made my way home for the holidays. I enjoy undertaking each challenge life throws with a stride of optimism and am always in search of innovative solutions to make sure it all works out for the best.

What made you decide to apply to be CEO of Unleash Space and what do you think your role will be?

My involvement with Unleash Space commenced seven months ago through sheer synchronicity during the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Summer Lab programme. It was clear the vision and values the space held were very much in line with my passion to help current and future generations thrive, and adapt their stance on education. I have been fortunate enough to wear many hats during the development of this project and I hope to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone to do the same. I applied for the position of CEO thanks to the immense support and encouragement from our team; and I hope a large part of my role will include connecting more like-minded students, who together can create magic.

What are you most looking forward to at Unleash Space and what opportunities do you think it particularly provides to students?

Unleash Space epitomises the application of Kiwi, practical ingenuity, backed up by theoretical knowledge. I think it is critical with much talk of changes to the workforce that students can learn in a unique collaborative environment. It is important they feel safe and free to create whatever they wish, exploring ideas alongside peers that support their endeavours. I hope that by interacting with the space, it gives people the opportunity to think critically and learn soft skills that will help them stay relevant and send positive ripples of change.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

I’m open to the future holding many possibilities but I suppose there are three things I would like to see happen. (1) I hope that I continue to open my eyes and learn all that I can. (2) I aspire to work on my entrepreneurial spark to solve a problem that I can start a business with. (3) Finally, and most importantly, I hope that no matter what path I choose, I do it with as much passion as I feel for this project. It’s wonderful working within the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, surrounded by an awesome team that embraces change, support one another and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Wynona is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Information Management and Marketing.

 

 


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