Check out our wonderful 2012 speakers:

anna pledgemeAnna Guenther is Chief Bubble Blower / CoFounder of PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform. She recently finished her Masters in Entrepreneurship with a focus on crowdfunding.

In one of her day jobs, she focusses on building the crowdfunding community in New Zealand. Half American, half kiwi, she has travelled around the world for work – but always comes back to call New Zealand home.

Follow Anna on Twitter: @pledgeme



alex hannant Alex Hannant is the Executive Director of the Hikurangi Foundation – a social enterprise incubator focused on supporting new solutions to sustainability challenges. Before joining Hikurangi, Alex was Director of Programmes at Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) – a global network focused on leadership development for sustainability. He was also Head of Partnerships at the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), a global initiative providing technical advice and services on climate change and development to decision makers in developing countries. Alex is driven by doing things better and fairer.

Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexHannant



ben forman Ben Forman is Director of Stem Creative, a web based production company, who approach business a little differently. He also co-founded Sycamore, an aerial imagery company that uses the latest Unmanned aerial Vehicle technology to capture amazing video and stills, from the air. Ben started out the same way most successful directors have, by making parody rap videos. Ok so he may have had a strange start, but Ben’s lack of formal training has enabled to him to build a production company that steers clear of conventional production methods and looks to new and innovative forms of production. The easiest way to describe Ben is as a digital thinker, or a nerd meets artist.

Follow Ben on twitter: @benforman

anjaAnja Geelen is the founder and principal of Tawa Montessori Preschool and Little Earth Montessori, two enviro nature preschools that are now nationally and internationally recognised for their beautiful natural outdoor environments and enviro-nature programmes. With a passion for reconnecting children with nature Anja is on a mission to give young children more opportunities for unstructured play in the natural outdoors.

Having had a free range childhood in the southern region of the Netherlands, Anja believes that our children today deserve that same magical childhood that allows them to grow into the creative innovators we need tomorrow.

Follow Anja on twitter: @eyesonnature

emma saundersEmma Saunders is the cofounder of Empathy and her background weaves together academic training in psychology and people-based research with business experience in design and innovation. Her work focuses on facilitating the processes needed to create human value within an economic system, using a design approach. Wellington born and raised, Emma speaks internationally and recently facilitated a panel discussion at Better by Design’s CEO Summit 2012 plus has been trained as a d.think facilitator by Stanford d.school.

Emma has a PhD (Psychology) from the University of Warwick, in England.



sarahSarah Wilson is the founder of Adventure Coaching, a fresh approach to coaching that includes learning through adventure. Sarah’s mountaineering exploits have taught her about summit success as well as overcoming fear. She loves to inspire others to dream big dreams as well as take action to see our dreams become reality. Sarah is a Kiwi who has lived in Wellington for 20 years, and is now based on the Kapiti Coast.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @AdventureCoach



evanEvan Thomas has recently completed his studies at Massey’s Industrial design school and is now part of the team at DesignBrand. He can be easily described as a passionate maker and enjoys creating rather than purchasing to fulfill a need, be it a desk for a tight spot or surfboard for summer. Over the last few years he has furthered this trait and explored his interest in digital fabrication.

He would like to see the benefits digital fabrication break free from its niche status. To put its application within a context which is useful in everyday life where as a result, it will allow individuals to understand its potential within a relevant and meaningful context.



dan khan smallDan Khan is Programme Director at Lightning Lab, New Zealand’s first Tech Startup Accelerator programme targeting high-growth potential digital startups and offering terms favourable to entrepreneurs.

Dan is passionate about creating a sustainable tech startup ecosystem in New Zealand and has been actively involved in building the tech startup scene in Auckland over the last few years; organizing both events at the grassroots level, and helping others bootstrap StartupWeekend throughout NZ.

Follow Dan on Twitter: @leancto