11 November 2022 at 12:08 pm

PIF Recipient: Blue Tomorrow

Empowering learners to immerse themselves in the sustainable development of the world’s oceans is the aim of the Blue Tomorrow initiative putting purpose first. 

Blue Tmorrow Image 1

A new online offering from AUT Ventures is set to immerse learners worldwide in one of the greatest challenges – and opportunities – of our times: the blue economy. More importantly, it aims to give learners the confidence to take their next steps towards a rewarding career and an education pathway that builds a more sustainable future for humanity and the ocean. 

The blue economy describes marine activities that generate economic value and contribute positively to ecological, cultural and social well-being. ‘Blue Tomorrow’ is an innovative learning experience that will guide learners through the blue economy’s mission, careers and pathways. 

Blue Tomorrow is a pilot project developed jointly by AUT Ventures and Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ), New Zealand’s government agency for international education. Through its International Education Product Innovation Fund, ENZ is supporting a range of pilot projects that reimagine how a New Zealand education can engage and inspire international learners and create impact through new delivery modes, approaches, and partnerships. 

Blue Tomorrow was one of the first projects to be supported by the Product Innovation Fund and is a natural fit as innovation is both its cause and career lens. The approach positions New Zealand as a leader and champion for sustainable oceans, inspiring learners into a diverse range of career opportunities and the education pathways to get them there. 

So why Blue Tomorrow? Globally, the blue economy is set to double in size by 2030. It is a natural fit with New Zealand’s identity as an island nation and a member of the South Pacific region, whose countries and peoples are intrinsically connected to the ocean. With 96% of its territories underwater, New Zealand has one of the world’s longest coastlines and largest exclusive economic zones, making it a hotspot for marine biodiversity. Aotearoa has the wisdom, obligation, and opportunity to lead the world toward the ocean we want.  

To deliver this programme, AUT Ventures is partnering with Moananui, a collaboration of leading private companies, public sector entities, and research institutions, with the goal of transforming Aotearoa New Zealand into a world-leading ecosystem for developing and commercialising blue economy products, services, technology, research, and capability. For Moananui, Blue Tomorrow aligns with its mission to accelerate innovation and investment in Aotearoa’s blue economy to generate unparalleled economic, social, cultural, and ecological value.  

AUT Ventures is partnering with Moananui, a collaboration of leading private companies, public sector entities, and research institutions.

Modern learners are searching for a career in service of a cause, but the pathways to enter them are often unclear. Mission-led organisations require talent and leadership with a shared purpose to fill the domestic and global needs of the growing blue economy. Blue Tomorrow flips the traditional model around - purpose first, career second, and helps take care of the pathway puzzle. The online learning experience shows how the blue economy can lead to a financially rewarding career that contributes to shared global challenges and builds a more sustainable global economy. 

In today’s climate, there is no shortage of challenges, from over-fishing and biodiversity loss to ocean warming and acidification. The importance of sustainable oceans, and the pressing need for action, are reflected in the UN Ocean Decade and Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal #14 – life below water. But developing the blue economy also presents immense opportunity, including the potential to address other SDGs, including zero hunger (SDG #2), decent work and economic growth (SDG #8), responsible consumption and production (SDG #12), and climate action (SDG #13). 

The partnership with Moananui brings together commercial, public, and community partners from New Zealand’s blue economy who have global credibility and unique stories of innovations that are good for the planet to share with learners worldwide. Blue Tomorrow has the potential to become a widely known model for linking the blue economy’s growing demand for talent with respected education offerings from New Zealand providers, building awareness, and enabling action for a more sustainable future for the ocean. 

Across four weeks of online learning, Blue Tomorrow will empower learners to find their own place in the blue economy. Unlike some traditional programmes designed to prepare learners for a specific career, sector or discipline, Blue Tomorrow aims to inspire learners around a cause – in this case, the blue economy. Local industry guests accompany learners on the journey that starts with an overview of ocean literacy and the blue economy. They then explore the blue economy sectors and take a deep dive into one (aquaculture in the pilot), where they investigate careers and pathways, including a taste of local learning (Te Pūkenga, NMIT’s sustainable aquaculture programmes in the pilot). The experience wraps up with learners reflecting on their inner development and planning for their next steps in the blue economy. 

The blue economy is one of the biggest opportunities on the planet. Blue Tomorrow puts learners at the centre of this new frontier. 

What's in it for me?