Speakers

Bron Thomson

Bron is the founder and CEO of a highly successful digital design agency in Wellington, New Zealand. She has built her company, Springload, up to a 70 strong team. Over the last 15 years she has worked with many high profile clients including a number of large banks in both NZ and Australia, the NZ Red Cross, multiple local and central Government agencies, international arts festivals, and many highly successful medium to large size corporations across NZ.

Her strength is in human-centred future thinking, and digital strategy. She is a disruptor and an innovator, and brings a huge wealth of digital thinking and behavioural science to her clients businesses as well as her own.

Dave Gougé

Dave Gougé is the Head of Marketing & Publicity at Weta Digital. He manages the reputation of the studio, including company positioning and messaging as well as publicity, event and digital marketing strategy.  He helped established the NZ chapter of the Visual Effects Society and is an active Board member and serves on the conference program Boards of FMX, Wellington-X, The RealTime Conference, and Animfx NZ. Dave is also an experienced speaker, interviewer and moderator.

Prior to Weta Digital, Dave was the Media & Entertainment Sr. Brand Manager for Autodesk. He continues to advise new and emerging players in the technology/digital space on marketing and go-to-market strategy.

Dave began his career in advertising, working at top global firms like Young & Rubicam and Goodby Silverstein & Partners as well as smaller shops specialising in integrated marketing.  With over 20 years of experience, Dave has a unique talent for building technology and entertainment brands.

Hon Grant Robertson

The Hon Grant Robertson was appointed Minister of Finance, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage after the 2017 election.

Grant’s belief in social justice and a desire to see every New Zealander achieve their potential led him to politics, and he has been the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central since November 2008. In Opposition, Grant held a range of portfolios, including Finance from 2014 to 2017.

Hīria Te Rangi

Hīria (Ngāti Porou, Tūwharetoa) is Kaiwhakahaere (CEO) and Trustee of Whare Hauora, a social enterprise empowering families to use smart home sensors and an app to know if their home is making them sick, what to do next if it is and then referring whānau to organisations that help fix homes.

Kara Dentice

Kara Dentice was born and raised in ‘Wainuiomata’. His upbringing was grounded in the practice of service to his community, to his iwi (tribe), hapu (sub-tribe), whanau (family), whenua (environment) and the world around him. He holds a sense of responsibility to all these things and for that reason he is an active leader across a number of areas – from tribal governance to ‘on the ground’ projects and activities.

He is a co-founder of a recent movement called Te Tech Tribe which is about building a platform to act as a mega connector for Maori and Pacific whanau, to leverage and support them into creative, innovative and technological landscapes and ultimately into business empowered to determine their own future.

Kim Connolly-Stone

Kim Connolly-Stone is the Policy Director for Labour and Immigration Policy at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Former director of MBIE’s Digital Economy Programme and member of the Digital Skills Forum, and NZTech Board Member, Kim is passionate about ensuring New Zealanders have the skills they need for an increasingly digital future.

Kim’s career has included a mix of public sector roles and time as a lawyer negotiating Treaty settlements for iwi. At MBIE (and the former Ministry of Economic Development) Kim’s previous roles have included Principal Advisor to the Chief Executive Director of Pike River implementation, and Chief Advisor Intellectual Property. She has also spent time at the Financial Markets Authority and started working life at TPK. Offshore Kim has worked for the UK Intellectual Property Office and the Biodiversity Convention Office in Canada.

Nicholas Lane

Nicholas has been involved in the startup technology industry since he was 17. It’s a passion that’s seen him start his own company, travel the world to learn about how great startups are built & scaled in different markets around the world, and most recently join Raygun as an Associate Product Manager, helping create products that enable people to build better, faster & more.

Pamela Bell

Pamela Bell is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer, PrefabNZ. She brings experience in architecture (MArch), Olympic-level sport (snowboarding), small business development (Fruition Apparel Ltd and NZ Snowboard Academy Ltd), governance (Snow Sports NZ) and management.

In 2010 an industry organisation was set-up and governed by ten built environment industry members representing a wide range of stakeholders and a wealth of experience. PrefabNZ, the hub for pre-built construction in NZ, was established and led by Pamela.

Pamela co-authored the book ‘Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge’ with Mark Southcombe (Victoria University). She also co-authored a commemorative book on HIVE, New Zealand’s first Home Innovation Village facilitated by PrefabNZ in response to Canterbury’s earthquakes 2010-2012.

Pamela sits on the BRANZ Board that oversees the Building Levy for research towards better buildings and she is a member of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Building Advisory Panel (BAP).

Rahul Govindan

Rahul is a global entrepreneur, technology investor and business executive who has lived and worked in 8 different countries and has had a 20 year career in business, technology, public and charity sectors.

He has founded a number of companies, consulted to the likes of Nokia, Microsoft, Amazon, UNICEF and Oxfam globally. Currently is an investor, board member and advisor on strategy, operations and performance to numerous organisations in NZ and abroad, and is currently involved in building an exciting digital charity platform to be launched in 2019. Rahul is the board Chair of Belong Aotearoa, a former Chair of United Nations Youth NZ,  and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Rohan Wakefield 

Rohan is the co-founder and CEO of Enspiral Dev Academy, an accredited innovative social impact PTE that produces top software developers for the Aotearoa Tech Sector. The school has been founded on the principles of; tech becoming the biggest exporter in NZ; increasing diversity in tech; facilitating regional growth in tech; and transforming the education sector to serve tangata te whenewa a te Aotearoa for a changing world. EDA is known for training in both technical skills and human skills or soft skills and achieving high employment rates over 86% in software development.

 

Shweta Barapatre

Shweta Barapatre is a graduate software engineer currently working as a developer at Snapper Services in Wellington. At Snapper Shweta has been “lucky enough to work  on a number of awesome projects including the new kiosks around town, and Snapper RidebankTM  (if you haven’t heard of it – you should check it out!).” Shweta graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in Software at the end of 2017, with a couple of internships at NZRS and Solnet Solutions over summer. When she isn’t working chances are you’ll find her road tripping, attempting to get good at board games or drinking coffee.

Professor Tim Bell

Tim Bell is a full professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His main current research interest is computer science education. His “Computer Science Unplugged” project, which introduces students and teachers to computer science without using computers, is widely used internationally, and its books and videos have been translated into over 20 languages.

He received an inaugural New Zealand Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in 2002, the ETH (Zurich) ABZ International honorary medal for fundamental contributions in Computer Science education in 2013, and the 2018 ACM SIGCSE Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education award.

He has been actively involved in the design and deployment of Digital Technologies as part of the New Zealand curriculum. He is also a qualified musician, and performs regularly on instruments that have black-and-white keyboards.

Victoria MacLennan 

Victoria is the Managing Director OptimalBI Limited, Chair, Digital Skills Forum; Chair, DEDIMAG; Chair Digital Future Aotearoa Charitable Trust & Co-Chair, NZRise NEW ZEALAND.

Victoria is passionate about many things – growing great companies, raising digital literacy, growing New Zealands economy and equality for women. Her day jobs include Managing Director of data and information specialists OptimalBI, plus investing in and advising a range a great kiwi startups as they grow.

Victoria’s community contributions include co-Chair of NZRise a community of NZ owned digital and technology companies, Chair of the Digital Skills Forum a cross government and industry initiative focusing on the future of work, and Chair of Digital Future Aotearoa a fabulous charity established to give every kiwi kid the opportunity to learn to code.

Victoria is Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion (DEDIMAG) who are providing insight into the economic and inclusion challenges facing Aotearoa. Often found laughing, Victoria loves what she does “We live in a great country so helping every New Zealander reach their potential in life is something we can all aspire to achieve”.