Executive Director Metabola, ISDE Executive Committee Member
Richard’s career spans architecture, technology, and politics.
In the 1980s he co-founded a pioneering 3D computer graphics firm (Cadabra) and took New Zealand innovation to the world. He also played a key role in the design team that conceived and initiated Auckland’s Sky Tower, and applied very early 3D computer graphics to visualise and determine the sunlight performance controls and view corridors that now, a quarter of a century later, define the splendid urban skyline of Auckland.
In 1997, he joined Intergraph, as a senior executive and was based out of their corporate headquarters in the US, with global responsibilities for Utilities, Local Government, and Telecommunications sectors. He played a lead role on number of very large urban infrastructure projects in the telecommunications, infrastructure, energy and utilities sectors – especially in South East Asia, Japan and China.
In 2004 he was elected as an Auckland City Councillor on a grass roots community ticket for the CBD and central Auckland suburbs (Hobson) and served as Chair of Auckland’s Transport and Deputy Chair of Economic Development Committee. At the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland he held a lead role in innovation and commercialisation of their core research applied to the Physiome project – a comprehensive multi-scaled mathematical model of the body. He brought this platform thinking to Nextspace, a catalyst established by the NZ Government for advancing 3D visualisation technology. At Nextspace he led the vision and platform planning for Digital Earth inspired ‘ Visual City’, and the Vanadium series of products.
Richard has served on the International Society of Digital Earth (ISDE) executive committee since 2005. He was Chair of the inaugural Digital Earth Summit held in Auckland in 2006, and is Chair of ISDE’s working group on Digital Cities. This year he has co-edited an e-book with Davina Jackson for this working group:
He recently co-authored a visioning paper led by Mike Goodchild entitled “Next Generation Digital Earth”. This paper was featured as a perspective in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in June 2012.
Richard Simpson is an executive director of MetaBola, an international management and technology consultancy firm based in New Zealand: