Be inspired by our expert guest speakers who have created change on the world stage.
Dorothy Adams has headed up Social Investment since it was established as a Unit in July 2015, now the Social Investment Agency. Before taking up this role she was GM Insights, Ministry of Social Development (MSD), responsible for leading its data, analytics and evidence hub. Prior to joining the Ministry in 2008, Dorothy worked in local government for 10 years specialising in policy and governance, with her most recent role being Manager, Strategic Development at Hutt City Council. Dorothy has also held senior roles in the Department of Labour, NZ Employment Service and was an advisor to the Minister of Employment. Dorothy has a Master of Public Administration from Monash University and an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington. She is an Enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Wellington.
Priti Ambani is an engineer, researcher, entrepreneur, educator and mum. Her professional career began in civil and environmental design. Over the last 9 years, as part of global teams, she has gained a deep understanding of the dynamics of digital collaboration, co-creation, emerging disruptive technologies and its impact on our societies. Her perspective is unique on account of her Indian roots, cultural intelligence, global interactions with diverse collaborators and her role as a mother.
As an educator, Priti shares her vision and perspectives on the future of work, business and society introducing individuals and businesses to possibilities around emerging disruptive technologies as Business Innovation Faculty at Tech Futures Lab.
At ItsNoon, Priti activates inclusive networks with their human empowerment technology – digital and social frameworks that enable people and organisations to activate meaningful relationships with their communities, customers and stakeholders. Priti has also co-founded The Next Billion, an impact-driven enterprise that pools collective resources to invest in female-led businesses.
Priti was born and raised in Mumbai, India and lived in the United States for 13 years. In 2015, her family moved to Auckland, New Zealand.
Helen Mitchell has lectured in the business area for many years. She has also been involved with the Ministry of Education Task Force – Technology and was a Judge for Technology Skills New Zealand. Helen has taken part in various boards and committees, as well as being a member of the Advisory Board for innovation and entrepreneurship. For several years she coordinated activities between the education institute and the local Business Association, and was a Director of Dress for Success – a Trust that assists young women entering business. Helen has been associated with many businesses in their start-up stage and coached entrants for business awards with great success.
Dr Stephanie Pride is a professional futurist who heads StratEDGY Strategic Foresight, a consultancy helping sectors, organisations and communities anticipate and adjust to change.
She has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the UK in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as well as academia. Stephanie and StratEDGY currently have a particular focus on the changing nature of work, supporting all sectors to understand and respond sustainably to a work landscape that is changing rapidly.
Prior to setting up StratEDGY, she designed and led the State Service Commission’s Futures Programme for the state sector and was Chief Advisor for Secondary Futures, the New Zealand arm of the OECD Schooling for Tomorrow programme.
In addition to client work, Stephanie has initiated a number of public good futures events to help build futures literacy for all. The events include game-based, free public futures conversations (one on the long term future of Christchurch and two on the science and the future of New Zealand), and New Zealand’s inaugural ‘ArtsTech Speed Dating’ event, bringing together classical performers with scientists and tech innovators to explore the potential in the application of science and technology to ballet, opera, orchestras and kapa haka.
She has served on the board of the international Shaping Tomorrow Foresight Network and the New Zealand Futures Trust. She is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Future Studies Federation.
Shay Wright is an indigenous social entrepreneur, named in the Forbes Asia list of ‘30 top Social Entrepreneurs Under 30’ for his work enabling indigenous leaders to innovate their way to community change. Shay co-founded Te Whare Hukahuka, an award-winning social enterprise empowering indigenous leaders to grow world-class social enterprises. They have trained and provided enterprise advisory to more than 800 Māori leaders who collectively serve more than 250,000 Maori whānau. Shay grew up in a small Far North community that experiences significant social and economic deprivation, and is an advocate for utilising entrepreneurship and business to make social change and empower communities. He helped establish top teacher recruitment and training organisation, Teach First NZ; and youth leadership programme, Ka Eke Poutama.