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2018's World Class Speakers

Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker is New Zealand’s most successful boxer and, after defeating Andy Ruiz for the WBO title, became the first heavyweight boxer from either New Zealand or the Pacific Islands to win a major world championship. He held the WBO heavyweight title from 2016 to 2018, and previously multiple regional heavyweight championships including the WBO Oriental, Africa, and Oceania titles; as well as the PABA, OPBF and New Zealand titles. As an amateur he represented New Zealand at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the super-heavyweight division, and narrowly missed qualification for the 2012 Olympics.

Having his first fight at the early age of twelve, Parker grew and progressed, winning the 2009 New Zealand Golden Gloves Tournament in Palmerston North. Parker started boxing internationally at sixteen. He is currently ranked as one of the top 5 heavyweight boxers in the world with a massive fight coming up in late July that would see him next in line to challenge for the heavyweight championship of the world again.

Joseph will be sharing his learning’s from his journey to date at Nurture Change - his learning’s will be very applicable to being more successful in business. He is really looking forward to hanging at Nurture Change with fellow attendees and meeting new people. 


Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Dr Lance O’Sullivan lives in Kaitaia and is well known for being recognised as the New Zealander of the Year 2014 for bringing health programmes to disadvantaged rural areas. Lance set up the Manawa Ora Korokoro Ora (Moko) programme, Northland's first full-time, school-based health clinic, providing medical care to 2000 children across the region, as well as the Kainga Ora (Well Home) initiative, which promotes the idea of fixing rundown homes, as he believes wellness begins in safe warm homes. 

Lance developed the iMOKO medical app, an innovative, digitally enhanced healthcare programme developed to increase access to health services for children. iMOKO is challenging the way medical advice is given in NZ and it has real potential to massively disrupt both in NZ and internationally. 

Prior to being named New Zealander of the Year, Lance was named supreme Maori of the Year in 2013, as well as winning in the Health category in the New Zealander of the Year that year. He has been awarded a Sir Peter Blake Trust leadership award, and a public health champion award. Add to these Communicator of the Year in 2015.

Lance has impacted so many lives for good with his medical abilities as a doctor and beyond. There is even talk of him being in Government in 2020 potentially as the Minister of Health. Lance is one of the best leaders around and he will be sharing his learnings as a leader to impact you as well as his biggest learnings in business to date.


Lisa King

Lisa is the founder of Eat My Lunch, launching in 2015 and already one of NZ’s most successful social businesses. Lisa was named the Women of Influence in 2016 for business and again in 2017 for community, and has received two NZ Local Hero awards, and recently spoke at TedX Auckland. 

Lisa launched Eat My Lunch with the belief that clever business solutions can solve big social issues. After 15 years working in large FMCGs, marketing some of the country’s biggest food brands, Lisa decided to put her commercial acumen towards doing something that would make a positive impact in the community. As a mother of two children, she couldn’t fathom that in a country like New Zealand, 27% of children live in poverty and an estimated 25,000 go to school every day without lunch. 

In just 2 and a half years, Eat My Lunch has gone from a small business run out of a family home to making over 1.2 million lunches, with 650,000 given to kids in 64 low-decile schools in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. 

Eat My Lunch is the recipient of numerous awards including three Westpac Auckland Business Awards in 2016, Deloittes Fast 50 Rising Star 2016 and 2017 and TVNZ Marketing Awards 2016.


Mike Beagley

Mike Beagley, Rodd and Gunn CEO, is one of New Zealand’s most successful fashion entrepreneurs and retailers. Mike ran shoe company Hannahs in the 1990s and then bought a majority shareholding in Rodd and Gunn, the iconic NZ men's apparel brand in the early 2000s. As CEO, Mike has grown Rodd and Gunn to be the 2nd largest NZ fashion exporter with significant presence in North America and Australia. Mike has been incredibly innovative in how he has grown the brand to be a global icon and is constantly pushing the boundaries - recently they opened their first bar in Queenstown. Rodd and Gunn is stocked in Nordstroms, David Jones, Myers to name a few. Mike will be sharing his vast experience in business and how to build a global brand at Nurture Change.


Mavis Mullins

Mavis Raylene Mullins is a successful entrepreneur businesswoman and an experienced governor of public and private business, government entities and not for profits. 

She began her working life as a wool classer in her family's shearing business and soon moved into management  and then ownership. The company became the first shearing business in the world to achieve ISO 9002 accreditation

In 1996 she graduated from Massey University with a Masters in Business Administration, and has since held governance positions on the Massey University Council, Landcorp Farming and a number of District Health Boards. 

In 2000, Mavis worked with a dedicated board of Maori, Hautaki Ltd, culminating in the launch of 2degrees, a telecommunications company.  Technology has always been an itch and this sees her on the Advisory board for NZ Techweek, StockX, Pasturemap and T3W – a collaboration of Maori tech entities.

Mavis currently chairs the boards of Atihau Whanganui Inc. Taratahi Agricultural Institute and the AgriWomens Development Trust. Other board responsibilities are with Wool Industry Research Ltd, Poutama Trust, Nga Whenua Rahui and the Hawkes Bay Rugby Union.

In the 2002 Queen's Birthday and Golden Julbilee Honours Mullins was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the wool industry. In 2015 Mavis was named University of Auckland Inaugural Business Woman of the Year. The following year winning the Rural category of the New Zealand Women of InfluenceNew Zealand Women of Influence Award. In 2017 Mavis was recognised as the Massey University Distinguished Alumni, Auckland University Supreme Maori Business Leader and inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.

Mavis will share how looking big, looking long and knowing your true north can take you to all corners, in and out of your comfort zone. 


Murray Thom

Murray left school at 15 with no qualifications. By the age of 23 he was Managing Director of CBS Records NZ. With a strong desire to be self-employed, he left to start his own company. Murray's boutique music company, Thom Music, has enjoyed great success. Two of his productions, 'Together' and 'Miracle', featured on the Oprah Winfery show - Together named as Oprah Winfrey's 'favourite thing of the year'. 

Other creations include The Great New Zealand Songbook, The Great Australian Songbook, The Great Australian Cookbook and The Great New Zealand Cookbook - the latter won 'Best Easy Recipes' at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and spent 10 weeks at #1 on the NZ non-fiction bestsellers list. 


Dame Julie Christie

Julie founded TV production company Touchdown and turned it into an international player through the exploitation of intellectual property she had created mostly here in New Zealand. She had worldwide success with shows like Treasure Island and her gameshow, The Chair, which sold to 29 countries. She sold Touchdown to the Eyeworks Media Group in 2006 but remained CEO until 2013. It is now owned by Warner Bros. She also owned two Sky channels, The Living Channel and FoodTV which she sold to Discovery Networks in 2015. Julie has won many TV and media awards in NZ and helped launch the careers of talent such as Matthew Ridge and Marc Ellis, April Ieremia, Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, Mark Richardson and Jeremy Corbett. 

Julie was the first Kiwi recipient of the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Award for women in business. In 2007 Julie was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Television; she became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017, for her contributions to governance having served on the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise board, the Flag Consideration Panel, the 2011 Rugby World Cup board and the NZ Story Group which assists New Zealand companies to market themselves overseas, “protects the intellectual property of the Silver Fern" and runs the Fernmark scheme.

Julie has served on the NZ Rugby commercial committee for the past four years and was on the board of directors at MediaWorks until last year - the owners of TV3 and many radio stations. Julie was most recently appointed to the World Expo Dubai 2020 Steering Group and Development West Coast. Julie will be sharing about her learnings in starting a new business, the exploitation of intellectual property and what to do and not to do when taking your business to the world.


Michol Dalcourt

Michol Dalcourt is an internationally recognised industry-leading expert in human movement and performance. He is the Founder and Director of IoM Health - a progress organisation, which deals with Prevention Health - he is the inventor of the fitness tool “ViPR” and co-founder of PTA Global - a certification for fitness professionals. Michol is based in San Diego, California. 

As an international lecturer and educator, Michol has authored numerous articles on human design, function and health. He has served as Faculty for the School of Health Sciences for NAIT College as well as the University of San Francisco.  

Michol sits on the Equinox Health Advisory Board as well as Nike’s Performance Council, informing these brands about aspects of Health and Performance.  

Michol will share with you how to have the best chance of performing physically and mentally at your peak.


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.


Dr Michelle Dickinson

Dr Michelle Dickinson (MNZM) is a passionate researcher and teacher with a love of science, engineering and how these can be applied to business thinking. She is also known as Nano girl and writes weekly for the NZ Herald. Author of No 8 Recharged (with David Downs, the book which shares 202 world-changing innovations from NZ) and The Kitchen Science Cookbook, Michelle has made it her life mission to make science and engineering accessible for all. 

Michelle is one of NZ’s more foremost experts in innovation speaking at TedTalks around the world. Michelle has a host of accolades to her name including Member of New Zealand Order of Merit, the Women of Influence award for science and innovation in 2016, the Sir Peter Blake Leadership in 2015, the Prime Ministers Science Media Communication Prize and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communicators Award in 2014. 

Michelle strongly believes that science should be open, transparent and a topic of conversation over the dinner table, not just the lab bench, and her vision is to create positive role models in the world that our children can aspire to be like. Nano girl co-founded the charity OMG Tech in 2014 with Vaughan Rowsell and Rab Heath to provide children of all ages and backgrounds access to learning opportunities about technology. Michelle loves a challenge, whether it’s her favourite sports of kitesurfing, martial arts and mountain biking, or working towards finding a new scientific or engineering solution. Being innovative is in her blood. Michelle will be sharing at Nurture Change about how to be more innovative in your business.


Daniel Williams

Daniel is the Managing Director of the 3rd largest privately owned engineering firm in the country “Woods Engineering” who work on many of NZs most exciting land developments. Woods won the best workplace in Australia and NZ in the Aon Hewitt Awards. Daniel will be sharing about the failures he has had to get to the successful place where Woods is today.


Cliff Harvey

Cliff Harvey is a registered clinical nutritionist and naturopath. He has been coaching people ranging from world champion athletes through to the chronically and acutely unwell to perform at their best, since the 1990s. 

Cliff was one of the first practitioners in Australasia to start working with low-carb and ketogenic diets in the late 1990s and has pioneered their use in this part of the word. He now focusses mostly on teaching and research, especially in helping people determine the correct diet for their body and lifestyle. 

Cliff’s early research work centred on mind-body healthcare in clinical practice. 

His further master’s research focussed on the use of medium chain triglycerides to mitigate keto-flu and encourage faster induction of ketosis, and his PhD research is focussed on identifying markers of carbohydrate tolerance. 

He is the founder of the Holistic Performance Institute, a private post-tertiary college, Nutrition Store Online, a distributor of quality health and performance supplements, and a co-founder of Nuzest, a global supplement company. 

Cliff is the author of seven books including the The Carbohydrate Appropriate Diet, Time Rich, Cash Optional and the upcoming Carb-Appropriate 101.


Samantha Gadd

Samantha is the Founder and Managing Director of sister companies Humankind and Kin. Humankind is an innovative and future-focused consulting business, leading the way in providing expert employee experience and human resource consulting and advice to organisations and government agencies nationwide. Kin is a talent business that is reshaping the recruitment world! It's futuristic focus applies a flat hourly rate instead of the traditional commission-based recruitment model.

Samantha is excited and passionate about the future of work utilising their inspirational Employee Experience (EX) model - helping to provide organisations with the tools and knowledge to create great EX, meaning better Customer Experience, ultimately resulting in increased commercial outcomes, which is great for business!  So much so, that Humankind, in partnership with Joyous, has just recently launched NZ's first EVER Employee Experience Awards, EX18, which celebrate organisations throughout New Zealand who are leading the way delivering exceptional experiences to their people and therefore known as the best employers in the country!

Humankind was named fastest growing services business in Wellington and the Lower North Island in the 2015 Deloitte Fast 50 awards, and was also placed 35th in the 2015 50 fastest growing businesses in the country.  In 2015 Humankind was also recognised in the Wellington business Gold Awards as a finalist in the emerging services category. In 2016 Humankind was a finalist in the AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards and the Westpac Auckland Business Awards.

Prior to Humankind and Kin, Samantha has proven experience and success across the broad range of HR functions including strategy, recruitment, employment relations, restructuring, performance management, learning and development and coaching across small/medium business, hospitality, government and professional services including one of New Zealand's top tier law firms. After working in the industry as an HR Manager, Samantha went on to be certified as a Personal and Professional Coach by completing the Intensive Coach Training and Executive Coach Training with The NeuroLeadership Institute.


Amy Ellis

Amy is a partner in PwC's Mergers & Acquisitions practice, and for the last ten plus years she has specialised in advising private company owners selling their businesses. She's had the privilege of working alongside a stream of incredible New Zealand businesses, names you might otherwise not hear about - understated Kiwi success stories. She loves that so many New Zealand businesses are killing it locally and out in the global market, leaders in their field, unassuming Kiwi owners at the helm leading with instinct and strong values.

She will share some practical tips to help you lift your line of sight up to think ahead to the end game.


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!


Ben Reid

Ben Reid is one of Australasia’s leading brand designers. The biggest and the best companies turn to Ben and his team for guidance on how to make their brands stand out to resonate with customers more. Ben owns Milk, a multi award winning design agency. Ben and his agency have worked with companies like Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sanitarium, Colgate, Fonterra, Air New Zealand, Lion Nathan and Tip Top. Many of the brands that you are familiar with in your day to day life are courtesy of Ben and his design approach.


He has accumulated more than 15 years experience in the creative industries, working with industry leading design houses in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, developing award winning projects for local brands and international clients. Ben specialises in creative problem solving and showing commercially measurable success with creativity. Established in December 2004, Milk has been responsible for many award winning and disruptive category success stories, most notably in retail, identity and packaging design. Ben will be sharing why taking your brand to the next level is critical to business success.


Matt Johns

Matt has a wide and varied background across a range of roles and industries. Most recently he has developed extensive experience guiding and working with leadership groups throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond. He has helped Executive Teams and Boards bring clarity to their strategy; defining winning aspirations, and making clear choices on where to play and how to win.

Having acted as the Chief Strategy Officer at a Big Four Consulting firm, Matt is experienced at separating the important from the urgent. He coaches senior leaders, including CEO’s and Chairs on communication skills and how to inspire and engage employees.
Matt is passionate about deliberately designed experiences – for both customers and employees, and places significant value in understanding how people are feeling and thinking before designing targeted solutions. To achieve this, Matt has developed a unique methodology incorporating ethnography as a way to understand people and their unique behaviours. This approach draws on his wider experience, including as an intelligence operative in the UK police to understand how emotions and motivations impact individual behaviour.


Chris Price

Chris started Ark Advance back in November 2002 with a borrowed laptop and vision to help businesses sell their services and products online. The team to support this vision continues to grow, as does the opportunity itself. Chris came to New Zealand from the UK in 1986 after completing his training in Mechanical Engineering. 

Chris and his business Ark Advance have helped hundreds of NZ and Australian companies to get found online and their advice has added tens of millions of dollars of sales to their clients. Chris has built Ark Advance to have a net promoter score of over 80% which makes them right up there with the top few in the world customer experience wise. Chris will add great value to your knowledge of what you can do better to grow your online visibility and to maximise your potential customers finding you and you converting them. 

He is married to Claire and has two teenage daughters. He enjoys meandering through the New Zealand bush by trail running and mountain biking.


Gabe Lunte

Born and raised in a small town in Southern Oregon, Gabe moved to New Zealand in late 2010 to study Film, Television & Media at the University of Auckland. During his study, he connected with fellow students Milon Tesiram and Jonathan Potton. Their shared passion for telling stories culminated in them founding Auckland-based content agency Chillbox Creative.

 A small but diverse team, Chillbox has spent the last 6 years producing a range of award-winning digital content for clients across New Zealand and overseas. This includes work for big brands like Genesis Energy, Spark, Callaghan Innovation and Les Mills, as well as fast-growing startups like Invivo Wines and Snowball Effect. They have also been involved in coordinating large national campaigns, including developing a suite of content for the New Zealand Olympic Committee leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics – that work won Campaign of the Year at the New Zealand Social Media Awards in 2017. 

The team is also committed to supporting and producing independent creative content. They have produced a series of short documentaries for Radio New Zealand’s The Wireless, a handful of web-series for TVNZ’s On-Demand platform, and have won the infamous 48Hours Film Competition twice. In an increasingly saturated market, Chillbox has dedicated themselves to helping their clients create content that stands out and gets results. Gabe and the team sum up their mission with a simple set of values: Help people. Tell stories. Help people tell stories. 


Mike Jenkins

Mike's first gig was loading Novell floppy disk sets onto Compaq machines in the 90s as an after school job. Today, his IT solutions business works with some of the biggest names in New Zealand and Mike is widely recognised as a rising star of the hi-tech industry - confirmed by taking out the Emerging ICT Leader of the Year award in 2016. 

After graduating from Auckland University of Technology, Mike honed his skills and garnered a global perspective through studying in Portsmouth, UK  and Boston University, USA. This learning was followed by an extensive career with a number of IT multinationals in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. In 2013, Mike founded The Instillery with the aim of helping businesses from all sectors utilise the Cloud and Cloud-based services. The Instillery has over 100 staff with offices in Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and the America. Mike is also co-founder of Knode, an Agtech IoT platform, and Nobility, a socially-responsible big data engine.

Mike is not afraid to publicly challenge the traditional "suit and tie" mafia, fat margins and outdated thinking in the traditional tech sector. He brings a fresh new lens and a commitment to tangible business outcomes, using the public cloud, machine learning and automation. Inspired by the impactful nature of tech across all sectors, Mike's on a mission to "level up" the tech sector, both here and on the global stage. 



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