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Meet The Collaborators

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Taino Bendz

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Taino is a visionary with 10 years' of industry experience across a range of sectors such as IT, logistics, health care, renewable energy, management consulting. He holds an M.Sc. in engineering and management and is a published research collaborator of Auckland University of Technology. 

Apart from running workshops and keynote presentations on Tech Life balance and he also organises the annual Phone Free Day challenge. 

He is a keen basketballer with two young boys and loves being out in nature, preferably leaving the phone at home!

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Dr Lena Waizenegger

Collaboration Partner

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Lena is a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology in areas such as constant connectivity, team collaboration, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence. She if often cited in media and has been featured in many renowned channels including BBC, Daily Mail, Psychology Today, Forbes and other top journals. Lena has won several awards including Auckland University of Technology Emerging Researcher. 

She is a former professional snowboarder and still keeps very active, at the gym, in the snow, or on some epic hike. 

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Sohail Kashkari

Collaboration Partner

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Sohail is a health coach specialised in self discipline and technology distractions. He has a B.Sc in psychology and is a certified Personal Trainer with long experience of public speaking and working with clients one on one to help build healthy habits.


He has worked as a mentor on innovation and innovative thinking with corporate and governmental organisations and also co-organised Phone Free Day.


In his free time Sohail enjoys relaxing in nature, rock climbing, yoga, learning languages and reading.

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The story

During a trip to the playground, down on all four, founder Taino saw a crying child and looked up seeking the eyes of the parents. What met him instead was the backside of a dozen of phones, as all parents were absorbed by their devices.


In that moment he realised the impact that his own use of digital technology was having on the people around him, and decided to get off the bench and create impact. He was amazed at the response and recognition he got after starting the initiative Phone Free Day, and subsequently wanted to actively help people create a lasting change in their use of screen based devices. He created Tech Smart, but was far from alone.


Sharing this concern and passion with Dr. Lena Waizenegger at Auckland University of Technology, the two developed the first workshop: a hands-on & research based session to instantly become more in charge of your phone usage. They also initiated research projects on the topic.


Later, Taino met with Sohail Kashkari who became heavily involved in Phone Free Day as well as co-developed a new holistic tech-life balance workshop. 

Taino and partners focus on digital habits to promote wellbeing, productivity, and increased human connection. 

We believe that digital technology is amazing, but that we need to be smart about how we use it. The exponential digitalisation and innovation wave has caught us off guard in some aspects, leaving people overwhelmed by the abundance of information and distractions.

The mission is simple: 

To raise awareness about how digital technology is affecting us, and help people improve different areas of their lives by building healthy technology habits. 

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