Creativity and connection – Octave’s Away Day

September 26, 2023
Chloe Johnston

The team at Octave recently enjoyed a perfect Wellington day for their off-site event on the stunning cliffs at Boomrock. We combined work and play with the focus being an Idea's Incubator, leaving everyone inspired and buzzing with new ideas.

Picture a perfect Wellington day. There’s no wind. The sun’s out. We’re heading to the south coast, coffee in hand. Out of office on ✅ Can’t beat it. 

And so began our away day. 

Perched on the cliffs at Boomrock, teams worked together to pitch ideas ranging from AI-plays to impactful social good initiatives, with rounds of golf and clay bird shooting peppered in between. 

Staying connected

Our off-site wasn't just about escaping the day-to-day. With our team working hybrid, and with a few working remotely from up north and the deep south, we wanted to bring everyone together, hangout, and get our creativity flowing.

Inspiring ideas

The main event was our Idea Incubator. We wanted to give the team space to develop new IP, experiment with tech or productise their favourite project. 

In the lead up to the day, we pitched ideas Dragon’s Den style. Over 10 people pitched and had 5 minutes to sell their dream to the team. In the end it whittled down to four cross-discipline teams who joined forces to compete for the People’s Choice Award. 

The four teams were:

FastDraft: an AI Wagtail Plugin

Many businesses are grappling with how to use AI for content creation while balancing issues like plagiarism, accuracy and appropriation. The FastDraft team set out to create a ChatGPT Wagtail plug-in to make content creation easier for our clients in our favourite CMS. By the end of the Idea Incubator they had a working proof of concept for the plug-in and a strategy for managing risk, including an AI policy outline.

Wordbridge: exploring opportunities for ReoAko abroad

Language revitalisation is a key goal of our ReoAko product and we wanted to see if a similar tech stack could be used for other indigenous languages. The Wordbridge team developed a product-market fit criteria and segmented languages globally to narrow down the potential audience. On the day, they presented a business case for ReoAko abroad alongside a Figma prototype to show it in action. 

Main Character Energy: using AI for good

This team’s vision was to show to kids that they can be the hero of any story. After much experimentation with AI prompts, they created an interface that empowers kids to create a bespoke story. Their proof of concept for the Away Day was an illustrated story with diverse and inclusive narratives, fostering a strong sense of identity and belonging. It was a great opportunity to experiment with AI technology and explore its use cases.

The Projects: a consultation tool for councils 

Collecting a balanced view from the community is a challenge for any Council. This team wanted to empower more people to share their voice with a tool that makes public consultations easier and more representative of the people living in different communities. At the end of the Idea Incubator, they showcased their strategic thinking with a joint venture product roadmap. 

The outcome

We’re always learning and playing with new tech at Octave. In doing so we refine our craft and create great work for our clients. The Away Day was the perfect opportunity to push the boat out, hone our skills and work together on new ideas. In a little under 4 hours, we had teams present business cases, working code, prototypes and proof of concepts. Most importantly, it brought the team together – and our filled our minds with new, actionable ideas!