Keynote speakers

Mykel DixonMykel Dixon

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Named Australia’s Breakthrough Speaker of the Year, and the author of ‘Everyday Creative – a dangerous guide to making magic at work’, Mykel Dixon leads a new wave of entrepreneurial savants showing fortune 500 and ASX 200 listed companies how to stay relevant in a 21st-Century Renaissance.

A jazz musician by trade, gypsy by nature, fierce non-conformist & prolific anti-perfectionist, his live-learning experiences unite teams, ignite creativity and infuse participants with the skills they need to solve complex 21st-century business challenges. Blending his unique life & business experience, a bias for action and a magnetic stage presence, Mykel’s highly interactive keynotes and conference and event offerings are powerful, poetic and full of possibility. His use of live music, spoken word poetry, visual storytelling and audience participation gives him an unmistakable edge.

Dr Angus Hervey, Future Crunch

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

 Angus is a political economist specialising in the impact of disruptive technologies on society. He is a founder of Future Crunch, a group of scientists, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs that believes science and technology are creating a world that is more peaceful, connected and abundant. Their mission is to foster intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future, and to empower people to contribute to a 21st century that works for everyone.

He was the founding community manager of Random Hacks of Kindness, a global initiative from Google, IBM, Microsoft, NASA and the World Bank to create open-source technology solutions to social challenges. He was also the first editorial manager for Global Policy, one of the world’s leading international policy journals. He holds a PhD in Government and a Masters in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics, where he was also the Ralph Miliband Scholar from 2009 to 2012.


Tane Hunter, Future Crunch

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Tane is a cancer researcher and science communicator. He is a founder of Future Crunch, a group of scientists, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs that believes science and technology are creating a world that is more peaceful, connected and abundant. Their mission is to foster intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future, and to empower people to contribute to a 21st century that works for everyone.

He has a Masters in Bioinformatics from the University of Melbourne, and has worked for the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital diagnosing rare genetic diseases. He is currently completing his PhD at the Victorian Cancer Care Centre, using molecular biomarkers in DNA and analysing them with artificial intelligence to improve treatments for people suffering from cancer. He’s also a former United States mountain biking champion and an avid sailor.


Sharon Zollner

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Sharon grew up on a farm near Methven, and holds a Master of Commerce from the University of Canterbury. She started her career at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1998, and has also worked at the central bank of Norway. She moved to the New Zealand banking sector in 2006. She joined the ANZ economics team in 2010 and became Chief Economist in late 2017. Sharon manages a team of six sector experts around New Zealand.



Matt Church

When: Wednesday 17 November (in-person)

Matt is a seeker of truth, sharing his learning through teaching and writing. As the founder of Thought Leaders and a highly respected conference presenter, he communicates, connects and challenges audiences and himself to be the best version of themselves. He invites all leaders to expand their view of what is and find true inspiration. Highly intuitive, he experiences much of life beyond the observable and explainable. His ability to make the complex simple and the way forward clear has him speaking all over the world. Grounding big ideas in practical perspectives, the evolution of his thinking can be traced through the 11 books he has written. Always one to draw a line in the sand, his latest book ‘Rise Up; an evolution in leadership’ represents the next level for Matt, as he turns inwards to understand and apply age old wisdom to leadership.


Siouxsie Wiles

When: Wednesday 17 November (in-person)

With her bright pink hair, Dr. Siouxsie Wiles is hard to miss! She’s one of the country’s most recognised and respected scientists, trained as a microbiologist. At the Bioluminescent Superbug Lab at Auckland University, Siouxsie and her team make nasty bacteria glow in the dark to find out what ’s making us sick with the aim of finding new medicines. She still can’t quite believe she gets paid to do it for a living. Outside the lab, Siouxsie regularly appears on radio and TV, working hard to smash the stereotypes people have about what scientists and leaders look like.

Siouxsie has been recognised many times for her amazing contributions to science and society in New Zealand. In 2019 she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to microbiology and science communication. Prior to this, she had been honoured as a Blake Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Trust as well as winning both the Royal Society Te Aparangi Callaghan Medal and the Prime Minister ’s Science Media Communication Prize. Most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Siouxsie became one of the primary faces, communicators and educators in NZ, helping ease the public’s anxiety through lockdown and beyond. This led to Siouxsie being named the supreme winner of the Stuff-Westpac Women of Influence Awards 2020.


Business Session Speakers

Michael Kitces

Michael Kitces

When: Wednesday 17  November (online)

Michael Kitces is the Chief Financial Planning Nerd at, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning and helping to make financial advisors better and more successful.

In addition, he is the Head of Planning Strategy at Buckingham Wealth Partners, the co-founder of the XY Planning Network, AdvicePay, New Planner Recruiting, fpPathfinder, and FA BeanCounters, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, the host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View

In 2010, Michael was recognized with one of the FPA’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication and work in advancing the profession.


John Spense

John Spence

When: Wednesday 17 November (online)

John Spence is recognized as one of the top business thought leaders and leadership development experts in the world and was named by the American Management Association as one of America’s Top 50 Leaders to Watch along with Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

John was the owner or CEO of six companies and currently serves as a board member or adviser to several organizations and executives. He is a guest lecturer at more than 90 colleges and universities including MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Wharton School of Business, University of Auckland, Canterbury University, University of Krakow, and Kozminski University.


Professor Paul Spoonley

When: Wednesday 17  November (in-person)

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley was, until 2019, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Massey University. He retired from that post  in April this year. He is the author or editor of 28 books, the most recent being Rebooting the Regions (2016), while his book, The “New” New Zealand – Facing Demographic Disruption, was published last August. He is also writing a book on the extreme right in this country. He was a Programme Leader of a research programme on the impacts of immigration and diversity on Aotearoa (MBIE, 2014-2021, $6 million).

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011 and was granted the title of Distinguished Professor by Massey University in 2013. He was awarded the Science and Technology Medal by the Royal Society in 2009, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of California Berkeley in 2010, and since 2013 he has been a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany, most recently in 2019. The Auckland War Memorial Museum made him a Fellow in 2015. He is currently a member of the Marsden Fund Council, and a Senior Affiliate of Koi Tū : The Centre for Informed Futures. He has been a long time participant in the Metropolis network and recently became the Co-Director of this international network of those interested in migration.


Michael Henderson

When: Wednesday 17  November (in-person)

Michael is a Corporate Anthropologist, which means his job is to help organisations enhance their workplace culture to improve business results, customer experience and employee satisfaction.

As an anthropologist, Michael delivers deep insights into culture that go
far beyond most organisations current levels of know-how and understanding. He is vastly experienced having worked with and studied both traditional and organisational cultures all around the world.

He has supported over three hundred company culture transformations across a wide variety of sectors. His clients include The Australian Navy, The New Zealand Rugby Union, Canon, NZ Olympic High Performance Sports, Westpac Bank, Coca-Cola, Z Energy, McDonalds, The Silver Ferns Netball team, Outward Bound, Sanitarium, Fidelity Life, Refining NZ.

Michael is an award-winning author of eight books on organisational culture, leading culture, culture and values, and is a co-author of a book on Thought Leadership.


Tools for You Speakers

Dr Sven Hansen

When: Wednesday 17 November (in-person)

Dr Sven Hansen, (MBChB, MBA) has been working to help business master mental health, wellbeing and resilience for the past 25 years.  He has worked with multinationals, professionals, education, entrepreneurship and sports.

With a background in Special Forces and Sports Medicine, Sven is the founder of the Resilience Institute with teams in New Zealand, UK, Australia, Asia, Europe and the US. Based on their own research, they created a Resilience App to measure, learn achieve growth. Sven lives in Auckland and is a keen outdoor sports enthusiast.


Chelsea Lane

When: Wednesday 17 November (in-person)

Chelsea has worked with elite and professional athletes for the past 20 years. Having guided athletes to the heights of sporting achievements, Chelsea is a firm believer that healthier, happier humans make for higher performing athletes, and organisations as a whole. Her methods for successful coaching and motivation is grounded in a “human first” mentality.

At home in New Zealand, she spent almost ten years working with some of the nations’ most successful Olympic, Paralympic and professional athletes.  More recently, she has been working in the USA, as Vice President for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Chelsea was the first woman to lead a performance and sports medicine team in the NBA. She achieved this mile stone with her appointment as the Director of Performance and Sports medicine for the Golden State Warriors, working with some of the leagues most celebrated athletes of all time.


Dr Sarah Ferguson

When: Wednesday 17 November (in-person)

Dr. Sarah Ferguson spent many years in the US where she worked among the best and the brightest in the field of physics. Her passion is for learning and understanding how things work, and this especially applies to wellness in relation to peak performance. Over the years, she found yoga and mindfulness to be the best complement to intellectual work and can speak first-hand to the symbiosis between personal and professional flourishing. Sarah’s workshops and classes incorporate intelligent sequencing, mindfulness, and a chance to unwind the body and mind. She is known for her passion, enthusiasm, and warmth. She teaches both in New Zealand and internationally at conferences.



Lightning Talk Speakers

Ben Teusse

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Ben co-founded Habit with Steve Pugh in 2003 and now has the role of Group Chief Executive of Habit Health. As a Physiotherapist and with a Masters in Health Practice, he’s seen first-hand how evidence-based rehabilitation and health services can improve a person’s quality of life. Ben’s passion is to deliver best practice healthcare across multiple disciplines, bringing the best service and customer experience to all Habit Group clients.



Sam Johnson

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Sam Johnson is one of New Zealand’s most inspiring young citizens. His relentless energy to mobilise people around ideas has a magic ability in building movements that matter! Farm boy turned social entrepreneur, his work is on the leading edge of using the collective to overcome the bureaucratic – shifting our belief system about what is possible when teams, organisations and communities authentically connect and build empathy. 

Sam is founder and chief executive of the Student Volunteer Army and is well-known for his entrepreneurial ideas that continue to make significant differences to the lives of others. He leads the team to design and operate projects that impact over 65,000 volunteers each year in New Zealand. The Student Army partnered with New World supermarkets during COVID to design, develop and deploy an end-to-end shopping service for people most at–risk from the virus within a week. Sam oversaw his team scaling from a team of seven to 98 and building capacity to deliver contactless groceries for up to 10,000 households a week. Sam and the team are continuing to make the most of the crisis, as every organisation must do, by rapidly testing new initiatives, and evolving their business model to fit the challenging times we are in.


Sonya Williams

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Sonya Williams is the co-founder, director and 3EO (co-CEO) of Sharesies. Sonya has built a career in technology and global marketing and product management, in some of NZ loved companies Xero and Kiwibank. She is passionate about using technology to solve big problems, and create a more equitable society. This led her to seeing the opportunity to make investing more accessible, providing everyone with an equal chance to grow their wealth. Sonya was the co-winner of the 2020 Women of Influence- Business award, alongside co-founder, Brooke Roberts.



 Simon White

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

Simon is currently the General Manger of Hotel Operations for Rydges, QT and Atura. Never has there been such a significant disruption to the hospitality sector than with COVID-19. This has meant the business has had to significantly pivot as the government’s response to COVID has evolved. This has included providing MIQ facilities and responding to New Zealanders reactions as we move from Alert Levels.

Simon has had to show leadership to both the sector and a businesses of scale as he navigates these uncertain times. 
Simon has over 31 years experience in international hotels with 19 years as General Manager / Area General Manager of hotels. 


Steven Korner

When: Tuesday 16 November (in-person)

From the kitchen table to international success. Steven and his wife India founded Method from their kitchen table, after continuing to see organisations that wanted to recycle without the tools to be successful. In 2019 Method was recognised as the 15th fastest growing company in New Zealand along with international design, sustainability and marketing awards.

Steven graduated from Canterbury University with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering, having initially qualified as a physiotherapist at Otago University. He worked at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare for five years where he led the team designing the award-winning products for neonatal care. He gained a real insight into the design of plastics and product development – skills he’s now harnessing as the owner of Method.


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