The Waikato Dialogue:  The Implications of Emerging Disruptive Technologies for International Security and New Zealand

Date: 20 September 2018
Location: University of Waikato

A Security Symposium hosted by

Registration: $60 for professionals/$30 for postgraduate students (includes post-symposium dinner)

Our key note speakers:

The impact of emerging and disruptive technology on New Zealand’s Security
Dr Brian Young – Director of Defence Technology Agency

Dr Brian Young joined the Defence Technology Agency as Director in April 2012, after two and half years as Director for Research at the University of Otago. Previously, Dr Young served for four years at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC as the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology’s first Science & Technology Counsellor to the United States of America.  In his earlier life as a neuroscience researcher, he was a senior scientist at HortResearch, a Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Research Fellow at the University of Otago, and undertook a period of post-doctoral work that was divided across the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  He received a BSc(Hons) in psychology from the University of Canterbury (NZ), and a PhD in psychology (behavioural neuroscience) from Dartmouth College (USA).

Emerging Technologies and the Future of US Leadership
William A. Carter

William A. Carter is the Deputy Director of the Technology Policy Program at CSIS, and leads the Center’s research on artificial intelligence. His research focuses on international cyber and technology policy issues, including artificial intelligence, cyber conflict and deterrence, surveillance and privacy, data localization, financial sector cybersecurity, and law enforcement and technology, including encryption.

He has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken at events and conferences around the world, and has participated in Track 2 dialogues on cyber and technology policy issues with China, Russia and Australia. Before joining CSIS, he worked at Goldman Sachs, where he studied geopolitics and international affairs and their impact on markets. He previously worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and at Caxton Associates, a New York hedge fund. He graduated from New York University with a B.A. in economics.

Symposium overview:

Emerging disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, now play a ubiquitous role in everyday life, including in the manufacture of goods and services, GPS systems, user-interface software, and in self-driving vehicles. Internationally, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), such as drones, are being used extensively in counterterrorist operations, while the advent of Lethally Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) raise ethical questions about the use (and misuse) of military power.

Furthermore, the most powerful states and private corporations are investing heavily in a range of disruptive emerging technologies. These complex systems are having an impact on national security establishments and are beginning to reshape military and strategic interaction across the international system.

Other emerging technologies contributing to the complexity of international security dynamics include (but are not limited to) advanced manufacturing techniques (incorporating 3D printing), nanotechnology and quantum computing (including the miniaturisation of military technology), bioengineering (such as the development of biological weapons agents and human-machine symbiosis), and digitisation technologies (such as military tools and applications to manage ‘big data’).

Little research has considered how advances in these fields at the global level will affect New Zealand’s security, and what they mean for small states and their sovereignty in an increasingly integrated yet unstable world.

This symposium aims to contribute towards filling this gap. It will bring together a range of international and national experts, and postgraduates students in New Zealand, working in this area or that are simply interested in learning more.

For more information please email

Helpful information for symposium attendees

Thank you to our Symposium Sponsors