See our 2023 Speaker Line-up  


Anders Sörman Nilsson

Global Futurist

Anders is a futurist and the founder of the think tank and trend analysis firm - Thinque, which provides data-based research, foresight, and thought leadership.  This Swedish-Australian has shared the stage with Hillary Clinton, Nobel   Laureates, and European and Australian heads of state. He is an active member of TEDGlobal, has keynoted at   TEDx in the United States and Australia, was nominated to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders,   and was the keynote speaker at the G20’s Y20 Summit in Australia. His presentations are meticulously researched,   highly energetic, and always fascinating with content tailored to the audience, which is why clients like Apple, Cisco,   Mercedes Benz, Hilton, SAP, Gartner, and Macquarie Bank have turned to Anders over the years to help them turn research into foresight and business impact.


Mary Jo Vergara

Senior Economist, Kiwibank

For someone who's under the age of 30, Vergara is not your typical economist! Vergara, who works for Kiwibank, is passionate about her work, especially since she’s been thrown into the thick of dealing with economic upheaval thanks to the pandemic.

Mary Jo Vergara joined the Kiwibank economics team in 2019. Mary Jo has a keen interest in how the Kiwi economy fits within the global landscape. Her research ranges from macroeconomics to international finance to New Zealand’s economic history. Prior to joining Kiwibank, Mary Jo worked in economic consulting as a research analyst following five years of university study. Mary Jo holds a Master’s in Economics from the University of Auckland.


Prof Paul Spoonley 

Sociologist and Author

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley was, until 2019, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Massey University. He retired from Massey University in April 2021. He is the author or editor of 28 books. The most recent is an edited book, Rebooting the Regions (2016) while his book, The “New” New Zealand. Facing Demographic Disruption was published in late 2020. (It is now in its second edition). He is also writing a book on the extreme right in this country. He was a Programme Leader of a research programme on the impacts of immigration and diversity on Aotearoa (MBIE, 2014-2021, $6 million). 

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011 and was granted the title of Distinguished Professor by Massey University in 2013. The Royal Society awarded him the Science and Technology Medal in 2009, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of California Berkeley in 2010, and since 2013, he has been a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany. The Auckland War Memorial Museum made him a Fellow in 2015. He is currently a member of the Marsden Fund Council, and a Senior Affiliate of Koi Tū : The Centre for Informed Futures. He has been a long time participant in the Metropolis network and recently became the Co-Chair of this international network of those interested in migration.


Allison Mooney

Author and award-winning speaker

Not surprising that Inspirational International speaker Allie Mooney has been the recipient of “Speaker of the Year (Professional Speakers Association of NZ) award three times. She has spoken at over 75 international events in the past five years. Prior to changing her career at 40, she Managed the First Class Lounge of Qantas International and the Frequent Flyers lounge of Ansett New Zealand. She describes herself as a “people interpreter” and has the Midas touch in being able to ‘speed read’ people, an essential skill at home and work. You will go away today with this same ability.


Graham Christie

Co-Founder & Director, Changing the Game

Graham Christie is co-founder and Partner of Changing The Game, a specialist business transformation consultancy and Practice Lead of the business’s Retail Media Practice. 

He is co-author of the internationally best-selling and award-winning book Changing The Game: The Playbook for Leading Business Transformation (WILEY). Graham is an acknowledged expert in business strategy, transformation and innovation with experience in a dozen markets across Europe and SE-Asia. He is an accomplished entrepreneur co-founding in 2009, the pioneering digital media services business Big Mobile to local and international success.  

He is a director, investor and a restless advocate for boldness in business.


Cole Armstrong

Managing Director

Cole Armstrong is the Founder and Managing Director of NeuroSpot, a behavioural insights agency that provides a deep understanding into what customers actually think and feel, as opposed to what they say. NeuroSpot leverages Cole’s interest in the behavioural sciences – utilizing the latest findings from psychology, neuroscience and behavioural economics.  

At NeuroSpot, Cole’s worked with some of NZ’s largest companies, including Countdown, The Warehouse, Trustpower, AA Insurance, Southern Cross Travel Insurance, and the Vodafone Warriors.