Our first 2023 Keynote Speakers are:


Gus Balbontin

Advisor, Adventurer and Alternative Futurist

Born and bred in wild Patagonia, Gus never allowed his small town and humble beginnings get in the way of his big dreams. A healthy disrespect for authority and a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) landed him in Australia at the Young age of 17.

By the age of 22, he had dropped out of uni, hitchhiked South America, set up his first business, and landed his dream job at Lonely Planet. Fast forward a few years and he was leading the company globally working with companies such as Google X, Nokia, and Amazon on the latest technology, creative cultures, and high-performing teams. 

Over the last 3 years, Gus has presented around the world. From audiences of 10 to that of 10,000, the simplicity of his message and his counterintuitive way of looking at the world will motivate you to do things differently.

He is involved in the start-up scene as a founder, investor, and advisor and is on the board of Startup Victoria and Director of Above All Human. He currently runs a small Creative Studio and Innovation agency called Roshambo, is the co-founder and partner at Atessa, and is the Entrepreneur in Residence and Executive Director of VU Innovations at Victoria University which keeps him close to large public corporate challenges as well as small business puzzles.


Dr Catriona Wallace

Founder of Responsible Metaverse Alliance

Catriona is an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence and the Metaverse and is an Adjunct Professor, keynote speaker and Founder of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance. Catriona is also the co-author of the book Checkmate Humanity: the how and why of Responsible AI.

As the founder of one of the first Artificial Intelligence companies to list on the Australian Securities Exchange, Catriona has truly lived the life of an entrepreneur and CEO in the emerging technologies field. Indeed, Flamingo AI was the second only woman-led (CEO & Chair) business ever to list on the Australian Stock Exchange.


Alison Tilling

Chief Strategy Officer

With 20 years’ experience in advertising and marketing, Ali is a firm believer in building Connected Brands to create growth. Ali encourages finding human truths from beyond the laptop screen, and combining that with quantitative insight for stronger, fresher strategic thinking. Connected Brands are born of strategies that link Brand, Customer, Employee and Citizen Experience, especially for events and occasions that have global and societal importance.

Ali leads the 24-strong strategy team across Australia and NZ, including data, brand, experience and business-focused strategists, all of whom are united by a curious, generous and rigorous approach to their work. She has previous experience in brand, comms and CX strategy on retail, government, tourism, sports  and beyond. 

Ali is one of Australia’s most Effie award-winning strategists. She contributes to the industry through the APG Committee, mentoring, a regular Mumbrella column, and is an occasional panellist on ABC’s Gruen TV show.