Home / About / News / Silver Linings: Aotearoa innovation during Covid

Silver Linings: Aotearoa innovation during Covid

MOTAT opens new exhibition celebrating small business success stories in time of hardship.
Background image

Opening 29 May - Silver Linings: Aotearoa innovation during Covid is a new MOTAT exhibition exploring six uplifting stories of hope and enthusiasm that emerged after the fear, hardship and loss many small businesses faced following the Covid-19 lockdowns.

MOTAT’s new exhibition promises to be a visually rich experience. Poignant images
capture and share the emotional stories of resilience as told by MOTAT Board member David Downs and Nanogirl Labs co- founder Joe Davis in their book Silver Linings.

Nanogirl Labs are one of the six businesses featured in the new MOTAT exhibition. Their
story is a familiar one to many small businesses across Aotearoa, co-founders Joe Davis and Michelle Dickson elaborate “we lost 18 months of work almost overnight - it was devastating”.

“At that moment we could have shut up shop and gone home. Instead, we decided to
see the lockdown as an opportunity to do something new.”

The silver lining for Nanogirl Labs was the success of their brand-new online STEM learning programmes for families. Now available in 76 countries around the world, the company tripled its headcount as other businesses were making redundancies.

While Nanogirl Labs adapted their offering, the lockdown also created the opportunity to create something new. A community. Manaaki launched on the first day of the level 4 lockdown, the online platform was designed to empower Aotearoa small businesses by connecting them to expert business advice.

Manaaki is a te ao Māori concept that means generosity and putting the care of others
first. The Manaaki online community ended up being a silver lining to many, engaging over 300,000 New Zealanders with advice and mentorship.

MOTAT’s new exhibition inspires people of all ages to see the opportunities that can spring from less than ideal circumstances. Enjoy the stories of resilience or use it as a way to inspire and motivate young minds to trying something new.

Silver Linings is the first of two exhibitions being opened by the Museum for the Winter 21 season.

Silver Linings opens on 29 May for a limited six-month run, closing Dec 2021. The exhibition is included with general admission ticketing. Plan your visit to MOTAT here.

For more information, images, or to organise an interview please contact:

Saskia van Well | Senior Communications Advisor | saskia.vanwell@motat.org.nz | 021564719