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2018's World Class Speakers

Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Dr Lance O’Sullivan lives in Kaitaia and was recognised as the New Zealander of the Year 2014 for bringing health programmes to disadvantaged in rural areas. Cameron Bennett, chief judge of the awards, said “Lance O’Sullivan’s passion, drive and unwavering commitment to eradicating poverty related illnesses are exactly the kind of qualities we look for." In 2014, he was named the second most trusted New Zealander by Readers Digest. 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 that wellness begins in safe warm homes. He is also the developer of the iMOKO medical app, that helps to deal with medical issues as they are found from any location in New Zealand - iMOKO is challenging the normal way that health advice is giving in NZ and it has real potential to massively disrupt both in NZ and internationally. 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.  In 2015 he was named Communicator of the Year. 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.


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. She is one of NZ’s more foremost experts in innovation. Michelle has spoken at TedTalks around the world. Awarded Member of New Zealand Order of Merit Michelle was winner of the Women of Influence award for science and innovation in 2016, was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Leadership in 2015 and was winner of 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.


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. She was also 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. She 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.


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.


Mike Beagley

Mike is one of NZ’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 male apparel brand in the early 2000s. As the MD, 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 brand now 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 to date at Nurture Change.


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.


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.


Zac de Silva

You’d think being the principal of a thriving business coaching business (Business Changing) and developing and running a virtual coaching software (AccMe.co) would be enough to keep anyone busy, but Zac couldn’t resist co-founding Nurture Change too. He says running 3 businesses gives him great on-the-ground experience so that his 100+ business coaching clients know that he can walk the talk and better help them. Zac has worked for several very successful and well-known businesses, including being CFO of Flight Centre and running FCM Travel and owning Barkers Menswear, but what makes him happiest is seeing his clients increase their profitability and grow. You’ll meet many of his awesome Business Changing clients on this retreat and experience his game-changing AccMe software too.


Lisa King

Social entrepreneur Lisa King is on a mission to ensure no child goes hungry at school, starting in our own backyard. Lisa is the founder of Eat My Lunch, 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, has received two NZ Local Hero awards, and recently spoke at TedX Auckland. Lisa launched Eat My Lunch in 2015 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. From day one Eat My Lunch established that a simple yet powerful idea could empower consumers by giving them a choice every day with something they already do - for every lunch you Buy, Eat My lunch Gives a lunch to a Kiwi kid in need. 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 1,200,000 lunches, with 650,000 Given to kids in 64 low-decile schools in Auckland, Hamilton and
Wellington. Eat My Lunch has been the recipient of numerous awards including three Westpac Auckland Business Awards in 2016, Deloittes Fast 50 Rising Star 2016 and 2017, TVNZ Marketing
Awards 2016.


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 the corporate life 19 years ago to have a go on his own. Murray's boutique music company, Thom Music, has enjoyed great success. Two of his productions, 'Together' and 'Miracle', featured on the Oprah Winfrey show. 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. Murray is a keen sailor; in 2005 he won the World Laser Masters championship in Brazil. 


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