July 24 & 25, Aug 1 2018 – Millennials Move Up, Gen Z Move In

Wellington, 24 July – Shed 6 (7-9am)

Auckland, 25 July – SKYCITY Theatre (7-9am)

Christchurch, 1 Aug – The Piano (7-9am)


Harnessing tomorrow’s talent, the next generation is entering the workforce! Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, make room for the next generation set to hit the work force, Gen Z; a diverse, digitally-driven generation who are socially conscious, committed and practical. Understanding them will be critical to businesses wanting to succeed in the next decade and beyond.  Our exciting line-up of speakers delved into the generation change set to transform the way we do business tomorrow.

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Sam Stuchbury – Creative Director & Founder, Motion Sickness


Sam Stuchbury is the 28-year-old Founder and Creative Director of Auckland-based creative agency Motion Sickness.

Sam Stuchbury founded award-winning creative agency Motion Sickness in 2014 while living in his student flat in Dunedin during his final year of study, whilst completing a marketing and design degree at the University of Otago. The now Auckland-based company works on delivering unique creative campaigns and content, using social media and high quality production. Their unique and fresh approach to advertising has landed the company a suite of New Zealand and international clients such as Les Mills International, Icebreaker, Oxfam and Blunt Umbrellas.

In March Sam was also selected to be on this year’s Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list of creative ‘disruptors’, the only kiwi to make the list in 2018.


Komal Mistry – General Manager, Fonterra Ventures


Komal is the General Manager of Fonterra Ventures responsible for building new revenue streams globally for Fonterra. This involves generating future growth opportunities for the business through a diverse range of sourcing levers such as external partnerships, pursuing strategic investments and building internal ventures.

Komal has been with Fonterra since 2011 and previously held roles in the Co-operative’s consumer business in New Zealand. Prior to joining Fonterra, Komal worked for Deloitte across both the London and New Zealand offices. She has completed the Executive Program at Stanford University School of Business and holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Waikato. Komal is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand as well as a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

She was named New Zealand’s Young Executive of the Year in the 2017 Deloitte Top 200 Awards.

Sam Johnson – Head of Community, Mycare


Sam Johnson is the Head of Community Innovation at Mycare, Chair of the Student Volunteer Army and an Adjunct Fellow in the School of Education and Leadership at the University of Canterbury. Most well-known for founding the Student Volunteer Army after the Christchurch earthquakes and for his work in the international disaster risk community, Sam returned home in 2016 to develop a social enterprise that can connect generations for mutual benefit. His venture joined forces with Mycare in 2017 to help recreate mutually beneficial models of community and new types of peer to peer social infrastructure. Sam has been previously named a Young New Zealander of the Year award and Communicator of the Year. He is a board member of Westpac’s Sustainability Advisory Board and Prince’s Trust New Zealand.

Robert Stewart – Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Mycare


After seeing the struggles of family caring for aging grandparents Robert Co-Founded Mycare; a social enterprise that matches people who need help, with workers or volunteers in the local community. With a belief that through technology there must be a better way to support our aging population to live where they want to; in their own homes, supported by people they have meaningful relationships with. Mycare is creating jobs and training opportunities for young people, strengthening generational ties, all the while supporting communities to develop their own solutions.

Robert is passionate about applying technology to enable and enrich people’s lives, with over 12 years’ experience working with businesses and government agencies in both Australia and New Zealand.

Nuwanthie Samarakone – CEO, ICE 


Nuwanthie is the CEO of ICE, an early in careers people consultancy firm specialising in designing, delivering and developing schemes for organisations looking to build talent pipelines for the future.

She believes that young and aspiring individuals represent the future of the organisational environment and will be responsible for driving the seismic shift in both workplace culture and functionality that we will begin to witness emerge over the coming years. Due to this phenomenon, it is critical that organisations look forward towards future thinking that both aligns and proofs their strategic talent schemes.

Moving beyond the traditional graduate processes and explore new alternatives for how we can develop emerging young professionals in this constantly changing world of work is critical. Approaching these issues holistically has enabled the development of having offices across 6 markets with the team of specialist thinkers, designers and consultants. Some of the clients ICE partner with are FTSE 500, Forbes top 100 brands and across Government Agencies here in New Zealand and overseas.

Lauren Merritt – Head of xone and Innovation, Vodafone


Lauren is the Head of xone and Innovation at Vodafone – an NZ-based Innovation Lab and Startup Accelerator helping to bring the best startup and corporate ideas global. Previous to this she led Ministry of Awesome as the Chief Awesome Officer where they supported early stage entrepreneurs to take the first steps in developing their ideas for startups, businesses and social enterprises. This work focussed on building the Christchurch entrepreneurial ecosystem in a post-earthquake context.
Lauren’s passion is in supporting people to live a life they love. Previously, she managed the southern branch of StarJam working with young people with disabilities in performance, resettled refugees in the US and leads leadership programmes for a personal and professional development company.

May 9 & 10 2018 – Business & Bots

Auckland, 9 May – SKYCITY Theatre (7-9am)

Wellington, 10 May – Shed 6 (7-9am)


What impact could AI have on the future of your business? Join us as we explore the ideal relationship between humankind and machine intelligence, the social impacts of AI, and how a collaborative approach between humans and AI can improve business productivity and enhance customer experiences.

You’ll leave with the knowledge, insights and strategies to grow and diversify in the ever-changing landscape of New Zealand business.

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Josh Comrie – CEO & Co-Founder, Ambit


Josh is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Company Director. He’s a founder and the CEO of Ambit: a NZ owned Artificial Intelligence Platform company. He’s invested in over 20 NZ hi-tech startups, so is behind some of NZ’s most successful technology exports. He acts as a director and adviser to several and Chair of one, however some simply want his money. Prior to his AI ventures, he has a background in human capital solutions, having founded and exited from 3 highly successful brands.

Through his role as CEO, Josh advises organisations and individuals on how to extract the value from this nascent technology along with avoiding the pitfalls of new to market offerings. His perspective of AI is unique as he blends the human element, a business level view of technology and the future of work.

Sitting at the global forefront of technology, Ambit has created a proprietary Smartbot platform. In what is a rapidly expanding and evolving market, Ambit has established a local leadership position and is moving into the global market.

In his talk he will cover the history and state of AI, the current uses of the technology, why it’s likely to change the world and how you can get started.


Dr Olivia J. Erdelyi – Lecturer, University of Canterbury Law School


Olivia is a lecturer at University of Canterbury, School of Law. Benefiting from a multidisciplinary background in artificial intelligence (AI), economics, law, and political science, she is primarily specialized in AI & law and has a keen interest in studying AI’s societal impacts. She has been participating in interdisciplinary research projects and publishing in leading AI venues on topics ranging from fundamental theoretic AI research with a predominantly computer scientific focus to more applied issues revolving around the nowadays increasingly central question of how society should deal with the emergence of ever more pervasive AI technologies. Prior to this role, she worked with several international law firms and European Institutions, such as the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Commission, in the areas of corporate law and international financial regulation. As part of the worldwide efforts to revise financial stability frameworks in the aftermath of the latest global financial crisis, she contributed to European financial services and corporate group law policies. Using the insights from this regulatory policy experience, she now focuses on the daunting challenge of developing consistent international AI regulatory and governance policies in collaboration with various international stakeholders from academia, industry, and government.

Asa Cox – CEO & Co-Founder, Intela AI


Asa is CEO and Co-Founder of Intela AI, a Wellington based machine learning product development and advisory firm. Managing a team of data scientists, Intela deliver solutions across data cleansing, machine vision analytics and natural language insights. Asa is the AI translator, his broad background in business and tech enables him to connect the needs of enterprise with the best data science solution.

Mike Burke – Director, Westpac Ventures


Mike Burke is a founding member of Westpac Ventures. The innovative and entrepreneurial business unit charged with pioneering what is next in banking focusing on horizon 2 and 3 opportunities. They are the team that pioneered the launch of Cloud, API’s and consumer facing AI among many others for banking in Australasia.  Mike was the business owner that produced ‘Wes’, Westpac NZ’s artificially intelligent personal financial assistant, launching in July as the first banking chatbot in Australasia and now partners with the squad to help achieve their strategy. He enjoys anything to do with eggs benedict, is learning lots about horse farming and is expecting his first child in September 2018.

Dr Elizabeth Broadbent – Associate Professor in Health Psychology, University of Auckland


Dr Elizabeth Broadbent is an Associate Professor in Health Psychology in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She obtained an honours degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Canterbury University (1995), to pursue her interest in making personal robots. After becoming interested in the psychological aspects of illness and in psychoneuroimmunology, she obtained her MSc (2002) and PhD degrees (2005) in health psychology from the University of Auckland. She now combines her health psychology and robotics interests to study healthcare robotics. Elizabeth is a Vice Chair of the multidisciplinary CARES robotics group. In 2010, Elizabeth was a visiting academic at the School of Psychology at Harvard University and in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA. In 2017, she obtained a Fulbright award to return to Boston to conduct further research on companion robots. She has over 100 journal publications, including randomised trials on the health benefits of personal robots.

David Jones – General Manager, Business Growth & Innovation, WREDA


David has over twenty years’ experience of regenerating and growing city economies in both the UK and New Zealand, alongside specific experience of working in the commercial sector at start-up through to multi-national company level. He has founded a business accelerator company, in 2016 was one of The Sunday Times prestigious Maserati 100 for services to entrepreneurship and now heads up Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency’s (WREDA’s) intervention in business growth, investment and talent attraction. He is the overall lead for WREDA’s tech, screen and digital sector intervention, and as part of that has been responsible for WREDA’s role in the LookSee global talent attraction campaign that resulted in over 48,000 people applying to be part of the Wellington tech scene. David is now a member of the Partnership on AI global working group on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the workforce

Mar 21 & 22 2018 – The Future of Money

Bitcoin, blockchain and beyond


Our first event of the year was on Wednesday 21st March at SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland and Thursday 22nd March at The Piano, Christchurch.


Explore the world of cryptocurrencies and the prospect of a cashless society as we look at the future of money.


Our keynote speaker is Aaron McDonald, Co-founder & CEO of Centrality, well-known as the blockchain tech company which recently sold $80m in coin offerings, in just 6 minutes! 20 year tech industry veteran Aaron will be joined by a panel of experts as we chat blockchain & beyond.



Aaron McDonald – CEO & Co-Founder, Centrality

Aaron is a 20 year tech industry veteran with experience leading teams across all aspects of a technology company. Aaron has held leadership positions in large technology companies managing portfolios over $1b in value across engineering and architecture, product management, product development, marketing and sales.
Aaron is Founder and CEO of blockchain technology company Centrality and CTO of Swiss Crypto Investment bank Blockhaus.


Alex Sims – Associate Professor, University of Auckland (blockchain researcher & enthusiast)

Alex Sims is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Auckland. She is a blockchain researcher and enthusiast and has presented on blockchain and cryptocurrencies to many organisations both in New Zealand and internationally. In late 2016, Alex was part of a team awarded a grant by the Law Foundation on the legal regulation of digital currencies in New Zealand and Australia. As part of the Law Foundation project, Alex has looked at the possible introduction of a New Zealand central bank issued cryptocurrency and the form that such a cryptocurrency should take.

Zoe Wallis – Head of Transactions & Payments, Kiwibank

Zoe Wallis heads up the Transactions and Payments business at Kiwibank where she is responsible for overseeing the bank’s domestic payments solutions for customers including credit, debit and prepaid cards, as well as everyday banking. Prior to this Zoe was the Chief Economist at Kiwibank where she headed up the economics team, producing forecasts and research for the NZ economy. Prior to joining Kiwibank, Zoe worked in a range of roles in the Financial Markets Department at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Rachel Paris – Founder, The Blockchain Boutique & former partner at Bell Gully

Rachel is a specialist financial services lawyer with a strong interest in blockchain technology and leads Bell Gully’s Fintech team. She advises financial institutions, private equity funds, corporates and blockchain businesses on a broad range of financing and capital markets transactions and regulatory issues. Rachel has been a partner at Bell Gully since 2009 and holds an LLM (International Finance) from Harvard Law School.