Modern Media Summit 25 - 27 October 2023
Lake Taupō | New Zealand

Our 2023 speakers are: 


Shelly Davies

Writer, Trainer and Joyful Badass

Meet Shelly Davies, the popping candy of the corporate training world: sweet, exhilarating and effervescent!

Shelly is authentic, vulnerable and commands the room with her lifetime worth of stories and lessons. Degrees, dead husbands, divorces, diets, depression – all the Ds. She started university at 16, taught and studied around the world, buried her first husband on her 24th birthday, drank coffee and red wine for the first time at 38, and Te Reo is her second language. 

With 20 years of experience in education, Shelly has been a high school teacher, university teacher, indigenous educator, researcher and writer. In 2012, she jumped into the communications landscape where she is currently the Managing Director of Hamilton-based, Shelly Davies Writing & Training.

Since then, Shelly’s brand has exploded across a surprising mix of sectors and industries, rivalling players who’ve cornered New Zealand’s writing training market for decades. Because, as it turns out, business writing is more about being courageously transparent than it is about having an impressive vocab or where to put a semi-colon. Also true for life. When we choose to operate with authenticity, integrity, and courage, both our writing and our lives achieve the outcomes we’re craving. Because it’s never been worth your time to pursue bland, boring, or already been done.


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.


James Hurman

Founder/Co-founder of Previously Unavailable, Tracksuit, AF Drinks and Toothcrush

A passionate believer in the power of creativity and storytelling in business, James Hurman works at a crossroads of brand strategy, storytelling, creativity and entrepreneurialism.

As founder and CEO of Storytech, the world’s first ‘brand strategy in a box’ he has turned this theory into practise, allowing start-ups and small businesses to develop a robust brand strategy for a fraction of the traditional cost.

His Auckland-based venture studio Previously Unavailable specialises in the rapid development of innovative products with non-traditional business models, helping companies big and small bring exciting new ideas into the world.

James’ prior career in the advertising industry was recognised with dozens of marketing effectiveness awards, and in 2013 he was named the world’s #1 strategy planner. His 2011 book The Case for Creativity proved the link between imaginative marketing and commercial success and has been republished several times in multiple languages.



Lexi Sydow

Head of Insights at 

As the Head of Insights & Analytics at (formerly App Annie), Lexi leads a team of analysts and mobile experts to provide actionable insights from aggregating and assessing mobile market trends and consumer behavior. As the company’s lead analyst on its annual industry reports, including’s flagship State of Mobile Report, Lexi specializes in observation and analysis of trendlines in high-growth app categories and strategies for businesses looking to win on mobile. 

Her mobile industry insights have been quoted among the world’s leading publications including Forbes, BBC World News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Venture Beat. 

Prior to, Lexi held roles in digital strategy, data analysis and research at ntegrity agency, Peazie and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Lexi is an avid runner, enjoys yoga and always has a book in tow. When not crunching mobile metrics, you can find her hiking with her dog, volunteering as a wildlife rescuer or playing soccer.


Review our incredible 2023 line-up of speakers.

Head to our LinkedIn page to catch up on their presentations as shared by our attendees

Tim Warren

CEO and Co-Founder, Ambit

Jodi O'Donnell

Commercial Director , TVNZ

Mel Homer

MC, iMedia

Joanna Georges

Head of Australia & New Zealand, Scope3

Shelly Davies

Rockstar Writer-Trainer & Joyful Badass, Shelly Davies

Dr Catriona Wallace

Founder of Responsible Metaverse Alliance,

Jo Bye

GM Marketing and Comms, EECA

James Hurman

Founder/Co-founder of Previously Unavailable, Tracksuit, AF Drinks and Toothcrush,

Lexi Sydow

Head of Insights,

Karan Kent

Head of Sales APAC, Playground xyz

Jason Waddell

Associate Director, Business Development, The Trade Desk

John Fiddian

TVNZ Pricing and Inventory Manager, TVNZ

Sandra Scott

Sales & Partnerships Director, NZ • Demand Sales, APAC, Vistar Media

John Nguyen

Lead Account Strategist, Integral Ad Science

Sarah Stuart

Director of Harakeke, Stuff NZ

Reuben Halper

Head of Video & Display, Google

Andrew Cambridge

Head of Agency AU/NZ, TikTok

Matt Headland

Managing Director, Brand Connections, Stuff NZ

Mike Gray

Director, Go Media

Simon Lendrum

CEO, Commercial Communications Council

Blaine Hudson

Head of Product, Platforms and Data at MarketMedia, The Warehouse Group

Spencer Swaney

Enterprise Director, Teads

Simon Teagle

General Manager, Go Media

Lauren Quaintance

Chief Media and Data Officer, Sky New Zealand

Jessica James

General Manager of Trade Marketing, MediaWorks