Pete Rive

Dr. Pete Rive is a researcher and lecturer at Colab. He is a founding member of the industry advisory board to Colab and has served as Chairman of that Board.

Pete holds a MA (hons) degree in Political Studies; a post-graduate Diploma in Broadcast Communications from Auckland University and a PhD in Digital Design from Victoria University. His doctoral thesis investigated design innovation and creative collaboration in a virtual world. He taught the first virtual design class in New Zealand, teaching Machinima in the virtual world Second Life. He is currently teaching Design Management; and Design Futures at AUT in Art + Design. He will be teaching post graduate classes in innovation and entrepreneurship for creative technologies.

Pete has worked in the film industry for 30 years as a producer, director, writer and editor. He established the first Avid digital editing facility in New Zealand. He has consulted to a number of New Zealand’s largest companies including the former Telecom; Saatchi & Saatch Worldwide; Auckland City Council; Auckland Plus; Education New Zealand; Clemenger BBDO; and in China the animation school BFA-MCMC; Hengdian World Studios. He was the former President of Mili Pictures Worldwide based in Shanghai, and LA with 200 employees. He has led four NZ film delegations to China and is a member of the Asia Pacific Producers Network.  He has been researching and developing design solutions in virtual reality and virtual worlds since 1999. He is currently developing a number of movie projects with China and the US.

His current research interests are design innovation; entrepreneurship; social interaction in virtual reality; entertainment in virtual reality; creative collaboration in virtual worlds; and how to enable knowledge sharing as a way to unlock creativity and design innovation. He is also interested in social sensing and using smart textiles and mobile technology to enhance collaboration in business.


  • Rive, P. B. (2008a). Knowledge Transfer and Marketing in SL. In P. Zemliansky & K. St. Amant (Eds.), Handbook of research on virtual workplaces and the new nature of business practices (pp. 424-438). Hershey PA: Information Science Reference.
  • Rive, P. B., Thomassen, A., Lyons, M., & Billinghurst, M. (2008). Face to Face with the White Rabbit: Sharing Ideas in SL. Paper presented at the IEEE International Professional Communications Conference
  • Thomassen, A., & Rive, P. (2010). How to enable knowledge exchange in SL in design education? Learning, Media and Technology, 35(2), 155-169.
  • Rive, P. B., Thomassen, A. (2012). International Collaboration and Design Innovation in Virtual Worlds: Lessons from Second Life. In K. St.Amant, S. Kelsey (Eds.), Computer-Mediated Communication Across Cultures: International Interactions in Online Environments: Information Science Reference.
  • Rive, P.B., How to Design A Virtual Innovation Ecology: A Cybernetic Systems Approach to Knowledge Creation and Design Collaboration in Second Life., Doctoral thesis for PhD., Victoria University of Wellington. (2012)
  • Rive, P.B., Virtual Design Teams in Virtual Worlds: A Theoretical Framework Using Second Life. In Baggio, B. (Ed.), Analyzing Digital Discourse and Human Behavior in Modern Virtual Environments. (Up coming publication, 2015).