2017's World Class Speakers

Sir Graham Henry

Graham Henry needs no introduction to kiwis. What he achieved with the All Blacks and in his coaching and management career were all based on Graham’s approach to the people on his teams and the resultant culture he was able to create. The lessons and learning’s from how the All Blacks won the World Cup (and the other successes that Graham achieved) are hugely aligned to how you can run a better business with more engagement from your team and the creation of a fun and accountable culture. Learn the secrets from our nation’s master coach and run a better business and team.

Graham finished his All Blacks career as one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time: he coached the All Blacks to 88 wins in 103 Tests for a winning percentage of 85.4 percent.  As well as winning Rugby World Cup 2011, the All Blacks held the Bledisloe Cup every year from 2003 to 2011, won the Investec Tri Nations five times and achieved three Grand Slams against the Northern Hemisphere Home Unions.


Francis Valintine

Frances Valintine has been an educator for over 20 years, committed to shifting education practice and policy within the technology-driven global environment.  She founded The Mind Lab by Unitec, developed to empower students, teachers and principals with skills for today's world. In 2016 Frances launched Tech Futures Lab to navigate the new world of technology enabled businesses. In the past three years her organisations have taught over 100,000 school students, 2,200 teachers and worked with 250 New Zealand organisations.

Frances was named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year at the 2017 NZ of the Year awards and last year, was named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International, UK and was also awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award. In 2015 Frances was awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education). 
Frances sits on the Callaghan Innovation, KEA and Washington based Talentnomics Boards and holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne


Bernard Powell

Bernard is a kiwi entrepreneur who believes (with a passion) that ALL companies should put culture first!
Premier Group International amazingly won the overall best workplace in NZ 2016 award, the first year they entered! Bernard believes that creating a happy culture is the first step any organisation should take if they want sustained great results and growth! He believes that if you get it right, then everything else will follow! Things like great customer service, creativity, innovation, quality etc etc!!!

Premier Group has achieved very strong growth year on year for the last 6 years and Bernard would like to share as many of his secrets (as time allows) with you all! They recently won GJ Gardner supplier of the year award (NZs biggest home building company) - again thanks to the culture first approach! The company mission is: Deliver happiness, create raving fans, beautify the world!

At a personal level Bernard is very passionate about family, playing the piano and singing and keeping fit and healthy


Chris Quin

Chris Quin is the Chief Executive of Foodstuffs North Island. Foodstuffs North Island is a co-operative representing New Zealand’s most iconic and loved grocery brands (including New World, Pak n Save, Four Square and Liquorland). Their stores serve over 1.5 million New Zealanders every week and are an integral part of New Zealand communities. Prior to this position, he spent twenty-three years at Spark NZ (previously Telecom NZ), serving Kiwi consumers and small businesses through call centres, online and a franchises network of 120 stores and business hubs. Mr Quin became CEO of Telecom retail in 2012, before becoming CEO of Spark Home, Business and Mobile in 2014. He has a strong track record in leadership roles, particularly in the IT, telecommunications and retail sectors.

Chris has some great learning’s for how you can take the best of what large companies do and apply them to your own medium to small business.


Dan Alpe

Fifteen years ago, Entrepreneur Dan Alpe saw a gap in the New Zealand market for good value car rentals aimed at the backpacker market. Together with his brother Tim, he bought 35 cars, leased a garage in Parnell, and started what is now New Zealand’s leading youth tourism brand, JUCY. Today, JUCY has more than 5000 vehicles in New Zealand, Australia, and the US – most notably including their signature range of green and purple campervans that the company still custom-build at their JUCY By Design Helensville factory. Whether it be through acquiring a stake in the disruptive YourDrive (JUCY’s peer-to-peer car sharing business), or launching the JUCY Snooze Pod-hostels chain, innovation is always the focus for JUCY’s passionate crew of 350 staff – with Dan and Tim still sitting at the helm.

Tourism is in Dan’s blood, having spent his childhood weekends cleaning motorhomes for his father’s business, Maui. Despite starting his love affair with New Zealand so young, he can still be found travelling his favourite NZ spots with his wife and two kids. You’ll love Dan’s learning’s and secrets that he shares to help you take on the world!


David Downs

David is the author of ìNo.8 Rewired ñ 202 Inventions that changed the worldî a book showcasing New Zealandís inventive past published in 2014 by Penguin Books. With co-author Dr Michelle Dickinson (ënanogirlí), heís just putting the finishing touches on a follow up book to highlight the amazing Technology, Science and Innovation happening in Aotearoa at the moment.

David has had a successful career in both the private, and lately the public sector, working for organizations that create, use or promote innovation and inventiveness. David has proven experience in developing, planning and executing business strategies across both multi-national corporations and small & medium business, in developed as well as emerging markets, and in economic development roles.

David has over 20 yearsí experience in the ICT industry working for Microsoft in NZ and in Asia, and he is experienced in start-up businesses in a variety of industries. He is also an author, accomplished public speaker and communicator, and an award winning radio and TV actor. He started his early life as a stand-up comedian and helped establish Aucklandís Classic Comedy Club.

David has a strong interest in working with companies that will help propel New Zealand into a position of world-leading innovation and success. In his current role of General Manager at NZ Trade and Enterprise, he is responsible for programmes to help NZ business grow internationally.


Steve Pirie

Steve describes himself as a passionate "Travel Entrepreneur" who spends his time bringing ideas to life across different sectors including travel, fitness & not-for-profit. Over the last 10 years Steve has founded a number of successful companies - the key, he reckons, is to continue to be excited and motivated by change. He's big on empowering other like-minded people, young and old. Steve’s claim to fame is founding the very successful Unleashed Travel, Australia’s largest “schoolie week” travel company. Unleashed Travel has featured on the BRW Fastest 50 Growing Australian Company. Whilst Steve is a co-founder of Nurture Change, this year Steve is our returning alumni who will be speaking. Last year we had Lizzi Whaley of Spaceworks. Wonder who our speaking alumni will be in 2018?

Steve will challenge you with your thinking and you will likely not want to sit still!


Scott McLiver

Scott's passion for business, technology and innovation has led him to a unique role. As well as assisting New Zealand business owners to grow their business, manage risk and achieve success in his role as a Partner in the Financial Advisory Services team, Scott has responsibilities for technology and innovation. He was involved in the establishment of the PwC Innovation and Ventures Hub and leads the Cloud for SMEs strategy across New Zealand, which recently launched PwC's Next: a cloud-based platform enabling small businesses to get the whole picture in one spot. The Innovation & Ventures Hub was created solely to focus on positively disrupting PwC from within and unlocking the innovative potential of the firm, so Scott knows the practical challenges of embedding an innovative mindset in a business and has some great insights on how be "disruptive" in a positive way (school teachers, take note). 


Chris Lee

Chris spends much of his day helping SME owners deal with significant transactions (sale and purchase of businesses, commercial contracts and protecting IP), shareholding arrangements and disputes, and complying with directorsí duties. Chris has been practising law since he was a boy, both in-house in NZ and overseas; in London, he was the Director of Legal Services for a large listed multinational. Here's the bit you need to know: Chris' clients love him because his commercial experience assists them to grow profitably from SMEs to large corporates and beyond, through achieving better deals and better managing their legal risk.

Random facts: Chris started his professional life as a tax accountant and, in his younger years, he was a very good cricketer, playing for Auckland and professionally in the UK!


Book now for 2017 before we sell out