Speaker profiles will be uploaded as they are confirmed


Kaila Colbin

Kaila Colbin spearheaded the hugely successful SingularityU New Zealand and Australia Summits, introducingt more than 2,500 people to exponential technologies and their impact on humanity.

She is also a co-founder and Chair of the non-profit Ministry of Awesome, the starting point for early-stage entrepreneurs in Christchurch; the Curator and Licensee for TEDxChristchurch in New ealand and TEDxScottBase in Antarctica; Chair of the New York based culinary school Natural Gourmet Institute; Deputy Chair of CORE Education; and a Director of ChristchurchNZ.

Her purpose in life is to be an uplifitn presence.

Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt is the General Manager of RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness division across Australia and New Zealand. Tim's responsibilities include analysing developments in the regional and global dairy markets, coordinating Rabobank's medium term dairy forecasts, advising Rabobank on its engagement with the dairy industry, advising clients on the implications of market developments for their business, and assisting with mergers and acquisitions advisory.  Tim is a professional economist with more than 20 years' experience, gained through working with leading financial institutions and strategic consultancies in Australia, England and the United States.

Lain Jager

Lain Jager is the Chairman of the Primary Sector Council. Lain completed nine years as CEO of kiwifruit marketer Zespri in December 2017 where he was well recognised for is part in the rebuilding of the industry following the impact of PSA in late 2010.

Lain is an investor and director across a number of businesses in the primary and tourism sectors.


Rod Oram has more than 40 years' experience as an international business journalist. He has worked for various publications in Europe and North America, including the Financial Times of London.

Rod and his family emigrated from the UK to New Zealand in 1997.

He contributes weekly to Nine to Noon, Newsroom.co.nz and Newstalk ZB. He is a frequent public speaker on deep sustainability, business, economics, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, in both NZ and global contexts.

For more than a decade, Rod has been helping fast-growing New Zealand companies through his involvement with The ICEHOUSE, the entrepreneurship centre at the University of Auckland's Business School.

Penguin published in 2007 his book on the New Zealand economy, Reinventing Paradise. He was named the Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year for 2009. In 2010, Rod was the winner in the individual category in the Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards. Rod was a founding trustee and the second chairman of Akina Foundation, which helps social enterprises develop their business models in areas of sustainability. He remains actively involved with the foundation and the ventures it supports.

Rod is an adjunct professor at AUT; and Bridget Williams Books has published his latest book, Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene, details at bwb.co.nz/books/three-cities

Rod is in the inaugural cohort of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, www.ehf.org. This bold programme brings together innovators and investors from here and abroad to help foster global change from Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Murray Sherwin

Murray was appointed Chair of the newly created New Zealand Productivity Commission in November 2010.  The Commission - an independent Crown Entity - conducts in-depth inquiry reports on topics selected by the Government, carries out productivity-related research, and promotes understanding of productivity issues.

Murray's previous appointments include: Chief Executive and Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; member of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank; and member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Group.

Vangelis Vitalis

Vangelis Vitalis is the Deputy Secretary, Trade and Economic at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Vangelis was also the Chief Negotiator for the recently concluded Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Prior to this, Vangelis was New Zealand's Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva during which time he chaired (in a personal capacity) the WTO agriculture negotiations and drafted the text of the  Nairobi Agreement to eliminate agricultural export subsidies (2015).  Prior to his posting in Geneva, Vangelis was Ambassador to the European Union and NATO and has had postings in Canberra and Moscow. He was also the Chief Negotiator who concluded the ASEAN-Australia NZ FTA (2008) and the Malaysia-NZ FTA (2009) and is the Chief Negotiator for the (suspended) negotiations for an FTA with the Customs Union of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Between 2008-2016 he chaired in a personal capacity the OECD Committee on Trade and the Environment. Vangelis is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on International Trade and is New Zealand's Special Envoy for the Small Advanced Economies' Initiative. Earlier in his career, Vangelis was an economist at the OECD. Vangelis speaks German, Greek and Russian. 


Colin James


Colin James is a political journalist of 45 years experience who still writes intermittently. He is a senior associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. Unquiet Time, the latest of his seven books, was published in 2017. He has edited several others and contributed chapters to many books and papers to many conferences. He has an honorary doctorate from Victoria University, is a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration and a life member of the New Zealand Parliamentary Press Gallery and the E Tu Union.

Mahyar Osanlouy

Mahyar Osanlouy is a Research Scientist with a wide range of expertise in engineering, computer science, and statistics. He is currently at the University of Auckland Bioengineering Institute, applying advanced statistical/mathematical modelling and machine learning tools to develop realistic computational models.

Mahyar has deep technical insights and domain knowledge in modelling, data science, AI, Internet ofThings, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. He is interested in analysing large datasets to create new knowledge, help make decisions, develop products, and ultimately solve challenging questions. 

He is an IBM certified Blockchain expert and a Crypto-investor.

Lesley Hamilton

Lesley Hamilton worked in media for 25 years as a journalist, newsreader and presenter, primarily in radio. She also has considerable MC and presentation experience. She worked as Prime Minister John Key's Press Secretary for eight years before joining Trade Minister Todd McClay's office for two years. In 2016, she joined Seafood New Zealand as Communications Manager with responsibilities for the industry's strategic communications direction, in particular the trust and reputation of the industry.

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy, B+LNZ Platinum Ambassador Chef

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