Global Cafe Speakers - Choose Brisbane


If you care about our future, you couldn’t afford to miss what the world’s leading thinkers had to say about it

Brisbane Global CafeSeventy-five of the world’s sharpest, provocative and most innovative minds converged on Brisbane for an historic forum of global importance.

The Brisbane Global Cafe – commencing just three days before the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit in the Queensland capital – further strengthened Brisbane’s status as Australia’s new world city and an influential leader in the Asia Pacific region.

This was a must-attend event for anyone at the vanguard of thought-leadership.

The forum, held on November 12 and 13 2014, comprised five key themes pivotal to our future - Improving Human Life; Powering Future Economies; The Digital Age - Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Tourism’s New Frontiers and Cities of the Future.


This is a different stage. And the Global Cafe is a great term. A cafe is a place you go to discuss things. We’ll be discussing problems that are facing the globe.

Professor Frank Gannon, Co-chair Improving Human Life

This fascinating international debate featured world experts across a broad range of specialist areas. Included among the speakers’ line-up (list below) were renowned biochemist Prof Christopher Leaver from University of Oxford; US demographer Alan Berube; Chinese digital media mogul SY Lau from Tencent; Israeli Digital entrepreneur Gadi Mazor, Thai retail developer Chadatip Chutrakul of Siam Piwat and Hong Kong’s richest woman Pansy Ho. The packed program included keynotes, panel discussions and short showcase presentations in the main auditorium of Brisbane’s spectacular City Hall. Every theme also included a parallel series of related breakout room discussions for a more intense, granular exploration of key global issues.

Greg Clark


Greg Clark is an advisor, advocate and mentor for cities and businesses. Based in London, he works with public and private leadership in global cities, global firms, global organisations and at global events. He is a Global Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington DC, Chairman of the OECD LEED Forum on Local Development and Investment Strategies and Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute in London. Mr Clark trained as an economist, social and political scientist and city and regional planner at Cambridge University, Columbia University and the London School of Economics. He is a Harkness Fellow and author of 10 books and numerous reports and papers on cities and business development issues.

Ray Martin


Ray Martin is an Australian television legend who helped launch 60 Minutes in 1978, the award-winning program he still reports for today. He has also hosted Midday, A Current Affair, won five Gold Logies, more than 20 Silver Logies, and was awarded an Order of Australia in 2011.

Haslinda Amin



Haslinda Amin is a news correspondent and anchor for Bloomberg Television. Based in Singapore, Ms Amin has been at the heart of market makers and stories that have driven the transformation of Southeast Asia.

Patrick McVeigh

Patrick McVeigh is the General Manager for Economic Growth at Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development where he has led the growth of economic, employment and innovation strategies in the public and private sector. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 2013, he was the Managing Director of London-based consultancy Shared Intelligence. He has also worked at the London Development Agency.

Alan Berbube

Alan Berube researches the impact of a globalised economy on poverty, workforce and education in cities. A Senior Fellow and Deputy Director at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, Mr Berube is co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. Prior to Brookings, he was a policy advisor in the Office of Community Development Policy at the US Treasury Department.

Andrew Boraine

Andrew Boraine Andrew Boraine specialises in local government, urban and economic development, and transition processes in South Africa. Mr Boraine is CEO of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership and was previously Chief Executive of the Cape Town Partnership. In 2002 he conceptualised and coordinated the establishment of the South African Cities Network, involving nine city regions in South Africa.

Chris Whelan

Chris Whelan is CEO of Accelerate Cape Town, a business think tank engaged in leadership development, business relationship building and advocacy. Mr Whelan has extensive skills and experience as a management consultant and business strategist. He specialises in the use of systems thinking, scenario planning and foresight development in performance improvement.

Jordi William Carnes

Jordi William Carnes is CEO of the Barcelona Tourism Board, President of the Catalan Technological Foundation and founder of the Consultancy Carnes Global Projects (CGP). He is a philology graduate who has spent much of his career in politics and with government bodies. His positions include Head of the President’s Office at the Barcelona Provincial Council, and Deputy Mayor in charge of budget and economic promotion at the Barcelona City Council.

Rosemary Feenan

Dr Rosemary Feenan (BSC MA) is a former urban planner and market strategist, and now an International Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, where she developed and runs the firm’s global research programs. She focuses on innovation and techniques to assess the impact of social, economic and technological change for land use, buildings, work practices and cities. For the past decade she has concentrated on city futures and real estate.

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz is Leader of CSIRO Futures and a principal scientist working in the field of strategic foresight at Australia’s national science agency – CSIRO. Based in Brisbane, he helps governments, companies and communities comprehend patterns of change to make wiser choices and secure better futures. His recent work has examined global food security, tourism, property markets, organised crime, urban water supply and the manufacturing sector.

Mateu Hernandez

Mateu Hernández is the CEO of Barcelona Global, a private not-for-profit business leaders’ platform that aims to attract international talent and develop economic activity. Mr Hernández is a member of international advisory boards for the strategic plans of New York, Oslo, and Torino, and secretary of the International Advisory Board of the Smart Cities World Expo. He was the CEO for Economic Development at the Barcelona City Council.

Ratna Omidvar

Ratna Omidvar is an expert in migration, diversity and poverty reduction. She is Executive Director, Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Canada – a centre examining migration, integration, inclusion and diversity issues. Previously she was President of Maytree, a private foundation for poverty reduction, immigrant integration and inclusion; and diversity in the workplace, boardroom and public office.

Ilse Treurnicht

Dr Ilse Treurnicht is the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, a leading innovation centre in Toronto. She oversees the development and operations of the MaRS Centre and its broad suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs. Dr Treurnicht joined MaRS from her role as President and CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, a startup-stage venture capital fund focused on the advanced technologies sector.

Jason Pomeroy

Professor Jason Pomeroy is an award-winning, UK-registered architect and academic at the forefront of the sustainable built environment agenda. He is the Founding Principal of Pomeroy Studio. Notable projects include Idea House, the first carbon zero prototype in Southeast Asia; and Nova by Century, the first zero carbon public realm in the Philippines.

Christian Steiner

Christian Steiner is Head of Corporate Mobility Services at BMW Group. He previously served as Head of Mobility Services BMW Group Financial Services, Member of the Management Board at Alphabet International, and Managing Director of Fleetlevel+ Services GmbH, where he led the development and international roll-out of new innovative mobility services such as AlphaCity (Corporate CarSharing) and BMW on Demand.

Jaana Remes

Dr Jaana Remes is a Principal at the McKinsey Global Institute’s business and economics research arm based in San Francisco where she leads research on the productivity, urbanisation, competitiveness, and growth of cities. Other recent work examines the changing global manufacturing landscape through case studies of diverse industries and draws implications for companies and policy-makers.

Brian Haratsis

Brian Haratsis is a best-selling author, futurist and thought leader who is regarded as a leading economic and strategic adviser operating in the property sector locally and internationally. He is Chairman and Managing Director of MacroPlan Dimasi, where he produces business and property strategies, forecasts niche trends, facilitates strategic outcomes and delivers major projects and policies.

Campbell Middleton

Professor Campbell Middleton is the Laing O’Rourke Professor of Construction Engineering at Cambridge University. Prior to Cambridge he worked in professional practice in infrastructure construction and design in Australia and with Arup in London. He acts as a consultant in the UK and abroad, specialising in strategic policy developments in infrastructure and smart technologies.

Ian Frazer


Professor Ian Frazer is the CEO and Director of Research at the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane. He trained as a physician and clinical immunologist at Edinburgh University before moving to Australia in 1980. He established the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research at the University of Queensland, starting in earnest his work to create a vaccine for human papilloma virus. By 1991, his team had created a world-first vaccine and began approaching drug companies to assist with development and clinical trials. Professor Frazer continues to make progress in his fields of immunoregulation and immunotherapeutic vaccines for papillomavirus associated cancers through his work at TRI and at The University of Queensland. Professor Frazer was named Australian of the Year in 2006.

Professor Fran Gannon


Professor Frank Gannon is the Director and CEO of the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. He has held this role, in which he oversees the Institute’s strategy and research work, since January 2011. Previously, he was the Director General at the Science Foundation Ireland. He has also held roles including Executive Director and Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Organisation and Director of the National Diagnostic Centre. His major research interest is the regulation of gene expression by the oestrogen receptor, which plays a major role in breast and endometrial cancer. Professor Gannon has authored more than 200 research articles published in international journals. His work has led to seven patent applications, including four that remain active.

Jillian Whiting



Jillian Whiting is a journalist and TV presenter who has enjoyed a successful media career for more than 20 years in Queensland. She is also a Director at Media Potential, working with leading Australian businesses in media and presentation training and communication workshops.

Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin is Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet, renowned for his best-selling biography Mao’s Last Dancer. Mr Li has worked in finance and enjoyed a career as an internationally acclaimed dancer after being selected at the age of 11 to attend the Beijing Dance Academy. At 18, he was awarded one of the first US cultural scholarships, leading him to defect two years later in a dramatic media storm, which involved the then Vice President George Bush Snr.

Alan Berbube

Professor Tony Wong is passionate about rivers and the vital ecosystems attached to these arteries of life. He is Chief Executive of the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, which includes research hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Professor Wong is internationally recognised for his research into sustainable urban water management, particularly for water-sensitive urban design.

Professor Fran Baum

Professor Fran Baum is one of Australia’s leading public health academics, with extensive research into the social and economic determinants of health. Her book, The New Public Health, is widely cited and used in public health courses. She is a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health, and served as a Commissioner on the World Health Organisation’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health from 2005-08.

Dr Kathleen Pike

Dr Kathleen Pike is recognised internationally for her work on eating disorders – their risk factors and evidence-based treatment. She is Executive Director and Scientific Co-director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University Medical Center where she leads the Global Mental Health Program – World Health Organization Collaboration. Dr Pike has held academic and administrative university appointments in Japan.

Professor Chris J Leaver

Professor Chris J Leaver (CBD, FRS, FRSE) is an Oxford University food security expert – promoting modern methods of plant breeding to ensure global food sustainability. As Emeritus Professor of Plant Science and Fellow of St John’s College, he helps the public understand science, with particular reference on improving agricultural efficiencies in third world countries.

Professor Jeffrey Lipman

Professor Jeffrey Lipman is interested in all aspects of infection management in intensive care, especially the pharmacokinetics of antibiotics. He is Director of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital; Professor and Head of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at The University of Queensland; and Executive Director of the Burns, Trauma, and Critical Care Research Centre.

Marita Cheng

Marita Cheng is the founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics and was named Young Australian of the Year in 2012. Ms Cheng’s company has invented a robotic arm to help people with limited upper mobility, with users able to control the technology via an iPhone or iPad. In 2008 she founded Robogals Global to improve the traditionally low levels of participation by women in engineering and technology.

Professor Robert Shepherd

Professor Robert Shepherd helps build versions of Hollywood’s Six Million Dollar Man – using bionic implants to improve people’s lives. As Director of the Bionics Institute and Head of the Medical Bionics Department of the University of Melbourne, he is trialling a bionic eye in an Australia-wide collaboration with Bionic Vision. The prototype bionic eye has been successfully implanted in blind volunteers.

Professor David Paterson

Professor David Paterson researches antibiotic-resistant bacteria as Professor of Infectious Diseases at The University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research. He is an infectious diseases physician at The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, and a clinical microbiologist for Pathology Queensland.

Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis has been instrumental in promoting awareness, securing funding, and developing programs to build sustainable eye care systems in developing communities. Ms Davis is Global COO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Public Health Division with additional responsibilities of the Regional Director for Asia Pacific. She has worked in a number of key management roles in the eye-care sector for the past 13 years.

Egbert Schillings

Egbert Schillings is concerned with finding a global approach to healthcare as CEO of the World Innovation Summit for Health, Qatar. He was previously Senior Vice President of Client Service for McKinsey’s Leading Systems Network, which convenes health systems globally for collective performance improvement. Prior to McKinsey, Mr Schillings served as Managing Director at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California.

Associate Professor Dimity Dornan

Associate Professor Dimity Dornan is founder and Executive Director of Hear and Say, which teaches children with hearing loss to listen and speak. Professor Dornan, a speech pathologist, also trains health and education professionals and parents of children with hearing loss. Awards include: Member of the Order of Australia (1998) and Officer of the Order of Australia (2014).

Professor Ralph Martins

Professor Ralph Martins studies genetic risk factors for ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. He was instrumental in establishing the McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation in Western Australia and is the Director of Research. He was appointed to the Inaugural Chair in Ageing and Alzheimer’s at Edith Cowan University in 2004, and holds numerous adjunct professorial appointments around the world.

Professor James McCarthy

Professor James McCarthy is a leader in the battle against one of the most deadly diseases known to man – malaria. He leads research into tropical disease and parasitology as Head of the Clinical Tropical Medicine Laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. Although the aim of these studies has been to accelerate anti-malarial drug development, they have improved understanding of the pathology and immune response in early malaria.

Kongjian Yu

Professor Kongjian Yu is one of the world’s leading landscape architects, passionate about creating ecological infrastructure based on environmental ethics. The Harvard graduate is Founder and Dean of the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture at Peking University. He is also Founder and President of Turenscape – the first and largest private landscape architecture and architecture firm in China.

Jeannette Young


Dr Jeannette Young is the Chief Health Officer for Queensland, responsible for health disaster planning and response, aero-medical retrieval services, and licensing of private hospitals. She also oversees policy regarding research, organ and tissue donation services, cancer screening services, communicable diseases, environmental health, preventive health and other population health services, blood, poisons and medicines.

Michael Marmot


Professor Sir Michael Marmot is the Director of the Institute of Health Equity and an expert in epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities. He was the World Health Organisation’s Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, served as President of the British Medical Association in 2010-2011, and is the new President of the British Lung Foundation.

Matt Brown


Professor Matt Brown is a clinician-scientist who initially trained as a rheumatologist before a career in immunogenetics research, initially at University of Oxford, but since 2005 at The University of Queensland. He is interested in the disease ankylosing spondylitis, where he has played a major role in the discovery of genes associated with the disease. Since 2011 he has been Director of The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

Robert Henry


Professor Robert Henry is the Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, where he specialises in the study of agricultural crops using molecular tools. He is particularly interested in Australian flora and plants of economic and social importance and has led research into genome sequencing to capture novel genetic resources for the diversification of food crops to deliver improved food products.

Mark Kendall


Professor Mark Kendall is a pioneer in the field of needle-free gene and drug delivery using micro-nanostructures. The technology was successfully commercialised and purchased by Pfizer for $400 million. He joined the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) after eight years at the University of Oxford. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Rolex Laureate award for his work on the Nanopatch.

Ian Wronski


Professor Ian Wronski AO is Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University. He was the first Director of Health Services of the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council. He was recently appointed to the Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education, through leadership and research roles in indigenous, rural and remote health, and to tropical health medicine.

Nick Graves


Nicholas Graves is Professor of Health Economics jointly appointed to the Institute of Biomedical and Health Innovation at the School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology; and the Centre for Healthcare Related Infection Control and Surveillance, Queensland Health, Australia. He is the Academic Director for the Centre of Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections.

Peter Silburn


Professor Peter Silburn is a neurologist and a Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at The University of Queensland. He is a world-renowned expert in the treatment and research of Parkinson’s disease, related neurodegenerative disorders and Deep Brain Stimulation.

Richard Kirk


Richard Kirk is the Principal Director of KIRK – an architectural firm with studios in Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. He is committed to developing and establishing new benchmarks for sustainability and is the Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter President and Adjunct Professor at The University of Queensland.

Michael Breakspear


Professor Michael Breakspear is interested in the basic principles of large-scale brain dynamics, how these arise from (and reshape) cortical architectures, and how they underpin cognitive operations, such as perception, inference and motor control. As a psychiatrist, with a PhD in computational neuroscience, he also hopes to contribute to our understanding of major mental illnesses such as mood disorders, schizophrenia, autism and dementia.

Christopher Brown



Christopher Brown is Chairman and CEO of Taylor Street Consulting. For two decades, Mr Brown was managing director of two of the nation’s most high-profile CEO-based industry associations – the Tourism & Transport Forum and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. Mr Brown is a director of the $1B Moorebank Intermodal Company Ltd and the University of Western Sydney, sits on the advisory boards of Moss Capital and ANZ Stadium and is founding chair of the high-powered Western Sydney Leadership Forum. He acts as Special Counsel to the Secretary General of the Madrid-based United Nations World Tourism Organisation, having previously been President of the UNWTO Business Council.

Rick Antonson

Rick Antonson is the former CEO of Tourism Vancouver and now a full-time author of books such as Route 66 Still Kicks; Driving America’s Main Streetand To Timbuktu for a Haircut; A Journey Through West Africa (2013). He has previously held the following positions: 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games Ambassador; Destination Marketing Association International Chair; and Pacific Asia Travel Association Deputy Chair.

John Morse

John Morse AM is a former Managing Director of Tourism Australia who has spent the past decade working with Aboriginal people and communities to develop indigenous tourism. Mr Morse has extensive knowledge of Yolngu culture and a deep relationship with the Yolngu people. He was adviser to Parks Australia on indigenous tourism in Kakadu National Park, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and Booderee National Park. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2003.

Professor Fran Baum

Djawa Burarrwanga introduces tourists to the Australian Aboriginal way of life. As a traditional Aboriginal landowner and the Chairman of Lirrwi Yolngu Tourism, Mr Burarrwanga coordinates efforts to build the tourism industry in East Arnhem in the Northern Territory. He serves on a number of North East Arnhem Land corporation and association boards, including the Gumatj Association and Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation. He is also a Member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal people. He is the Managing Director of Bawaka Cultural Experiences, which runs cultural tours and programs to his homeland at Bawaka, Port Bradshaw in the Northern Territory.

Brett Godfrey

Brett Godfrey is a leading aviation industry figure and the former CEO of Virgin Blue. He has a strong financial background and his awards include the Centenary Medal 2003 for services to the Queensland tourism industry, CEO of the Year 2004 for the Customer Service Institute Awards and Outstanding Chartered Accountants in Business Award 2003.

Professor Jeffrey Lipman

David Gavaghan is Chief Executive of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter – one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects. The ambition is to return the area in a contemporary context to what it was a century ago – a hive of industry, creativity and wealth formation. Mr Gavaghan was previously the Executive Director of Quintain, a fund management business for residential healthcare, student accommodation, science parks and niche secondary property. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of Strategic Investment Board Limited for six years, advising ministers in Northern Ireland on infrastructure programmes across the region; and was also a Director of Hambros Bank in the City of London.

Marita Cheng

Darrell Wade is the CEO of PEAK Adventure Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company. He is also the co-founder of Intrepid Travel, an award-winning adventure travel company and recognised leader in responsible business. He won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2002 and completed Climate Project training with former US Vice President Al Gore in 2006.

Professor James McCarthy

Pansy Ho is the Managing Director of Shun Tak Holdings Limited, a conglomerate listed in Hong Kong with core businesses in property, transport, hospitality and investments. Ms Ho is also Co-chairperson and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited. She serves as a Standing Committee Member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Beijing and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Lily Cheng

Lily Cheng is the Asia Pacific President of the world’s largest travel site – TripAdvisor, responsible for driving TripAdvisor’s growth. Prior to TripAdvisor, Ms Cheng was at Expedia in various capacities including managing global product development and marketing for the company’s private label and affiliate business Expedia Affiliate Network. She was also a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.

Jonathan Emery

Jonathan Emery joined Lend Lease Australia as Managing Director of Urban Regeneration in 2014 – having worked in the industry for 25 years in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He has been involved in award-winning projects, including urban regeneration, super-regional retail centres, commercial headquarters, hotels and serviced apartments, master planned communities, and residential developments.

Svend Leirvaag


Svend Leirvaag is Vice President of Industry Affairs at Amadeus IT Group. He is responsible for the company’s relationships with the travel industry, as well as relevant governmental or regulatory bodies, and CSR and Environmental Sustainability activities. Prior to Amadeus, he worked as an adviser to top management of companies across industries, with a focus on commercial strategy, customer management, and digital technology.

Martin Craigs


Martin J Craigs is the CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), a not-for profit, public-private sector corporate membership association that acts as a catalyst to develop travel and tourism in the region. Prior to PATA, he worked with airliner manufacturers and lessors. In 2002, he founded his own institutional advisory company Hillcrest International with clients including Air Asia, Liberty Aerospace, The Economist Group, Reed Elsevier and ELFC.

Agustin Alvarado


Agustin Javier Alvarado has been instrumental in managing investment in Mexico’s tourism infrastructure, transport and energy sectors. He is the Deputy Director of FONATUR, Mexico’s multi-billion dollar National Trust Fund for Tourism Development, regarded as one of the world’s largest real estate developers and a key player in the country’s tourism industry.

Rory Hunter


Rory Hunter is the chairman and CEO of Song Saa Hotels and Resorts and the developer and operator of Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia. Based in Hong Kong, he has pioneered sustainable development in Cambodia’s costal environment. In his previous life he was an advertising executive for global firms including Saatchi and Saatchi.

Matt Bekier


Matt Bekier is Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Echo Entertainment, one of Australia’s leading casino and entertainment groups. Echo Entertainment owns and manages casino, hotel and resort destinations in Sydney, at the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. Before his appointment as CEO in April, Matt was Chief Financial Officer with Echo Entertainment. He holds degrees in Economics and Commerce as well as a PhD in Finance from St Gallen University in Switzerland.

Dr Mathew McDougall

Dr Mathew McDougall is the founder and CEO of Digital Jungle, a specialist digital marketing agency that works with Western organisations wanting to target a Chinese audience. Digital Jungle is now an international agency helping brands market to a Chinese audience, Chinese living in China, or Chinese living abroad. Prior to Digital Jungle, he founded SinoTech Group, a social media analytics and consulting company.


Murat Bas is the Senior Vice President of Turkish Airlines, the world’s No.1 airline in terms of destination countries. He is responsible for marketing and sales activities in Australia, Americas, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Africa, Asia and Far East regions. Mr Bas has a high level of marketing and network planning expertise, with more than 10 years’ experience. He also designed Turkish Airlines’ penetration strategy for the African market.

Dr Jana Matthews


Professor Jana Matthews is the ANZ Chair in Business Growth Director, Centre for Business Growth, UniSA Business School. An internationally recognised expert on entrepreneurial business growth, she earned her doctorate at Harvard University and also studied at Yale. She was named a Global Thought Leader at multinational software corporation SAP and has consulted widely with executives and at universities across the world. Professor Matthews has written seven books including three on business growth that have been translated into 13 languages: Building the Awesome Organisation, Lessons from the Edge and Leading at the Speed of Growth. She has also been an expert commentator on CNN and on television programs in Australia, India and New Zealand.

Bernie Hobbs



Bernie Hobbs is best known as a judge on ABC television’s The New Inventors, and she hosts weekly science spots on ABC radio around the country. With a background in medical research, environmental writing and science teaching, she can tackle tough or technical subjects and bring the driest topics alive for lay or expert audiences.

Liu Shengyi

SY Lau is Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of its Online Media Group – the third-largest online media group after Google and Amazon, making it the most profitable internet company in China. Mr Lau spent more than 20 years in the media and marketing industry before joining Tencent, where he oversees Tencent Online Media Group including Tencent News Portal, Tencent Video, Tencent Weibo, Tencent Weishi and mobile media products such as Tencent News and Tencent Portfolio.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is Co-CEO and Co-founder of, recently dubbed China’s 2014 “Most Influential Overseas Property Portal.” has created a global platform for real estate information servicing the world’s Chinese communities. Started in 2011, is a services-based business on a strong IT platform working with millions of Chinese property buyers around the world engaged in global property investment. Also led by fellow Brisbane Co-founder and Co-CEO Simon Henry, leads the way in global innovation in B2B and B2C systems that create cross-border opportunities.

Alexis Ohanian


Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of reddit, a platform for online communities to share links and discussions. Having sold the site to Conde Nast, he now sits on the board of reddit, one of the 50 biggest US websites. He has built other brands including breadpig and hipmunk, and is a Partner at Y Combinator.

Sangeet Paul Choudary

Sangeet Paul Choundary is the Managing Director of Platform Thinking Labs, concentrating on platform business models and network effects. He is a widely-published industry analyst, advisor to top-level executives, and an educator at world-leading universities. He was formerly Head of Innovation and New Ventures at Intuit Asia-Pacific and a founding member of Fasal.

Frank Farrall

Frank Farrall is the Lead Partner for Deloitte Digital and an information technology specialist. He has substantial experience in the delivery of mobile applications development, social media and digital content management initiatives, as well as large-scale broadband telecommunications programs. Prior to Deloitte, he led large-scale e-commerce and broadband technology initiatives in the US telecommunications sector for KPMG and Sprint.

Nathan Cher

Nathan Cher is a General Partner of the equity crowd funding company OurCrowd and Director of OurCrowd Australia. Previously, Nathan co-founded Real Estate Corp (acquired by Little Group) employing over 240 staff and Com Tech Communications (acquired by Dimension Data), which was recognised as the leading provider of network integration services in Australia, employing over 1400 staff. Nathan studied Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sydney.

Andrew Barnes

Andrew Barnes has been an entrepreneur since high school, when he first identified a niche business he believed he could develop into a market leader. Just a decade later, Mr Barnes’ idea proved correct. He is the CEO and co-founder of GO1 – a technology firm that  has developed an eLearning system ( and an intelligent business platform ( He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Queensland (2014) and is undertaking an MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at the University of Oxford, while also completing a PhD, researching how relational information (networks) can inform system improvement opportunities.

Amil Davityan

Emil Davityan is a former Australian national security and international Policy Adviser specialising in cyber security. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of Bluedot Innovation, a technology company specialising in high-precision, location-based services and payments. He was an Adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2009-2013.

Teri Willey

Teri Willey has a strong record in venture capital and research commercialisation. She is Vice President of Business Development and Technology Transfer at New York’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), which has a rich history of biomedical discovery and technology advancement. She directs CSHL’s commercialisation and technology transfer activities, including patenting, licensing, company startups, corporate partnerships and collaborations.

Alex French

Alex French is CEO and co-founder of Peepable, a new video search technology which can find specific clips by searching for the spoken word within internet videos. The technology also offers publishers greater control of their revenue by driving search traffic directly to their websites. He is also founder of Captioning Studio, a multi-award winning accessibility technology company.

Hugh Durrant-Whyte

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte is the CEO of National Information Communications Technology Australia (NICTA). He was previously a Professor and ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). He has founded four successful startup companies.

Savvas Dimitriou

Savvas Dimitriou is an Adelaide-based entrepreneur and developer, and the CEO of Kicktone – an online platform enabling artists to sell music direct to fans. Prior to launching Kicktone, he created the music-sharing portal Tindeck. His expertise includes organic growth hacking, intimate knowledge of the digital music industry, iterative web development, and digital fast scaling.

Professor David Lloyd

Professor David Lloyd, as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia, is involved in the challenges facing higher education in terms of online delivery of courses. A Dublin-born and educated biochemist specialising in computer-aided drug design, he has led a new plan to ensure the university remains at the cutting edge, while being globally connected. Before joining the university, he was Bursar and Director of Strategic Innovation at Trinity College Dublin.

Wayne Gerard

Wayne Gerardhas built his career on innovation. After working in engineering, mining and consulting, the Brisbane local co-founded RedEye Apps, a company now expanding into Silicon Valley. RedEye delivers a cloud-based solution for managing engineering drawings in the global mining, oil and gas, power and water industries.

Elliot Verreault

Elliot Verreault was named one of the world’s 10 Innovation Zeitgeist Young Minds by Google in 2012 for his work with technology focusing on humanitarian issues. He is a Canadian entrepreneur and product designer who co-founded He lives between London, the UK and Chile and is passionate about the nexus between technology and international development, data science and conflict prevention.

Stuart Evans

Stuart Evans  Stuart Evans was twice named a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is an entrepreneur in clean- and high-technology and is Chairman of Reduse “unprinter” technology which wipes print from paper. He has previously been Founding Chairman and/or CEO of technology start-ups: Novacem (carbon-negative cement); Plastic Logic (plastic electronics) and Cotag International Radio Frequency Identification systems.

Josh Lerner

Professor Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, and Head of the Entrepreneurial Management unit. He serves as Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Investing. He has worked on technological innovation and public policy at the Brookings Institution, for a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill.

Shane Cheek

Shane Cheek is Founder and Managing Partner of Acumen Ventures, an Australian-based venture capital firm investing in enterprise technology in Australia and Southeast Asia. Previously he worked in investment, transaction and strategy roles with Playford Capital, Itek Ventures and the Australian Institute for Commercialisation. He teaches Entrepreneurial Strategy and Finance at the University of Adelaide, and at Ngee Ann Institute Singapore.

Vu Tran


Vu Tran is Co-founder and Director of Sales Operations at GO1, a leading Australian and international digital technology and development firm. Mr Tran, together with his business partner Andrew Barnes, has overseen the development of the company’s key flagship products. These include the Aduro Learning Management System and GoCatalze data management and development platform. At 25 years old, he is also a qualified medical doctor.

Mark Bregman


Dr Mark Bregman focuses on processes and models for innovation. He started in fundamental science and worked in semiconductor research and development, computing systems, emerging technologies and software. Dr Bregman has worked at IBM and Symantec. His most recent position was Chief Technology Officer at Neustar, which he left in September to write a book exploring the evolution of innovation models and examining how new models of innovation will empower economic development.

Alex Wonhas


Dr Alex Wonhas is Executive Director, Energy and Resources at CSIRO – Australia’s national science agency. Dr Wonhas leads a team of more than 600 researchers who provide science and technology solutions for the energy and resources sector. Dr Wonhas took up his position five years ago after working with global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised national and international energy and resources companies. He has served on energy-related committees and boards including The Australian Solar Institute. Dr Wonhas was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours and a Master of Science with Honours from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. He also has a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Tim McLennan


Tim McLennan is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Energy Centre. His latest role continues an extensive resources-related career that has included a role as the inaugural Global Director of Business Development and Commercialisation for the minerals resources arm of the CSIRO. Mr McLennan led the commercial development of CSIRO Chile – the first international in-country joint research entity. Previously, he had worked in the Australian Cooperative Research Centres Program where he was responsible for the research and commercial development of technologies for the coal, CSG and minerals sector. He was also a former Executive Manager of the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technology.

Linda Yeuh


Linda Yueh is the BBC’s chief business correspondent, and the presenter of Talking Business with Linda Yueh on BBC World News. As Chief Business Correspondent, she focuses on the changing nature of global business and how it affects our everyday lives.

John Taylor



John Taylor has been a journalist with the ABC since 1995, living and working throughout Australia. He has been a foreign correspondent based in China, and national TV and Radio current affairs reporter.

John Connor

John Connor is an analyst and commentator on the rollercoaster that has been Australia’s domestic and international carbon policy. A qualified lawyer, he is CEO of The Climate Institute overseeing institutional investors and climate risk. He serves on the NSW Government’s Climate Council, is on the board of the Environment Defenders Office and the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, and is a “Governator” with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.


Kaku Michio


Dr Michio Kaku is one of the most widely recognised figures in the science world today. His goal is the complete Einstein’s dream of a "theory of everything", to derive an equation, perhaps no more than one inch long, which will summarise all the physical laws of the universe. He is also an internationally recognised authority in predicting trends affecting business, commerce and finance based on the latest research in science.

Ivor F


Ivor Frischknecht is ARENA’s inaugural CEO. Prior to ARENA he was responsible for clean technology investments at venture capital firm Starfish Ventures. He was previously Director of New Ventures at Idealab, which develops and invests in renewable energy technology start-up companies. Before focusing on investments, Mr Frischknecht worked at a various entrepreneurial and clean energy companies.

Bjorn Lomborg

Dr Bjorn Lomborg spends much of his time challenging mainstream concerns about the environment. An academic and author, he heads the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center, which brings together many of the world’s top economists to set priorities for the world. He is an Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School and holds a PhD in political science from the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen.


David Knox

David Knox was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Santos in July 2008. He has over 30 years of experience in the global oil and gas industry, including as Managing Director for BP Developments in Australasia. In addition to leading Santos, David holds a number of positions including Chair of the CSIRO Energy Strategic Advisory Committee, Council Member of the Royal Institute of Australia and Council Member of the Business Council of Australia.


Glenn Kellow

Glenn Kellow is President and COO of Peabody Energy, responsible for all aspects of the company’s global operations. Based in Missouri, he has worked across a broad range of commodities. During a 28-year career with BHP Billiton, he held multiple leadership posts on three continents, most recently as President of the multinational aluminum and nickel business.


Ian Mcloud

Ian McLeod is Chief Executive of Ergon Energy Corporation Limited, responsible for the business’ overall direction. He brings extensive electricity industry experience to Ergon Energy gained through management roles in the private contracting industry, in Powercor Australia, the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and Ergon Energy.


Grant King

Grant King is Managing Director of Origin Energy, which has Australia’s largest energy customer base, the largest portfolio of power generation assets, and is a leading producer of gas on the Australian east coast. He was previously Managing Director of Boral. Mr King’s extensive experience in the Australian oil and gas industry includes more than 17 years at AGL in a range of management positions, including General Manager, AGL Gas Companies.


Matt Rogers

Matt Rogers is a Director at McKinsey San Francisco, concentrating on the role technology and innovation plays in restructuring markets, especially in oil, gas, and energy. His work focuses on unconventional resources in North America, restructuring US power markets, and how technology is reshaping capital productivity and operational efficiency in oil, gas, and power projects.


Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis is a Partner in McKinsey’s Sydney office where he leads the Australian Oil and Gas practice and serves a major, integrated mining company. Prior to McKinsey Mr Ellis worked for Shell in Australia and the US, with his final role as an operations manager at an Australian refinery responsible for the entire operation.


Terry Effeney

Terry Effeney is the CEO of Energex. He combines an engineering and economics background with extensive operational management experience. With more than 30 years in the energy industry, Mr Effeney has previously held the roles of COO and Executive Manager at Ergon Energy, as well as Chairman of the Energy Networks Association. He is currently a Board Member and Chair of the Asset Management Committee.


Paul Finn


Paul Finn is is a career banker and former Global Head of Project and Structured Finance at ANZ Banking Group. He has 25 years experience in financing electricity generation, infrastructure, mining, resources and petrochemical developments around the world. He is now an independent infrastructure strategy and finance advisor focused on sustainable developments across Australasia, South Asia and the Pacific.

Chen Lei



Chen Lei is the Chief Anchor for International Channel Shanghai, producing and hosting programs such as her bilingual chat show Talk to Lei which has hundreds of millions of viewers.

Linglong Kong


Linglong Kong Linglong Kong for more than a decade has held a ringside seat at the opening up of the Chinese economy to foreign investors. He was a Director of the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) from 2004 to May this year, helping to oversee the use of foreign capital and investment. He is now Managing Director of the China Industrial Overseas Development Association.

Hu Weiping


Hu Wei Ping China is an increasingly energy-hungry country and Hu Wei Ping has been heavily involved in some of the country’s biggest energy projects, including the West-East Natural Gas Transmission project. He is the Deputy Director General of the Oil and Gas Department, the National Energy Administration; and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China.

Jing Ulrich


Jing Ulrich has been dubbed "the unofficial voice of China" and the "Oprah Winfrey of the investment world.” Ms Ulrich is Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific at JPMorgan Chase. Educated at Harvard and Stanford Universities, Ms Ulrich is one of the most prominent advisors to the world’s largest asset-management companies, sovereign wealth funds, and multinational corporations.

Holly Ransom


Moderator & Chair

Holly Ransom was appointed by the Australian Government to chair the G20 Youth Summit. She works as a strategic project consultant for NAB Wealth CEO Andrew Hagger and runs international consulting and leadership development company HRE Global. In 2012, Holly was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Australian Women and became the world’s youngest Rotary president.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is Co-CEO and Co-founder of, recently dubbed China’s 2014 “Most Influential Overseas Property Portal.” has created a global platform for real estate information servicing the world’s Chinese communities. Started in 2011, is a services-based business on a strong IT platform working with millions of Chinese property buyers around the world engaged in global property investment. Also led by fellow Brisbane Co-founder and Co-CEO Simon Henry, leads the way in global innovation in B2B and B2C systems that create cross-border opportunities.

Annie Beaulieu


Annie Beaulieu is passionate about social innovations and working collaboratively with the right partners to empower people and make a bigger collective impact. A fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and an alumni of the Copland Leadership Program from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Annie is the social entrepreneur behind Freeedom, a platform to raise awareness about social and environmental innovations.

Ashraful Haque


Ashraful Haque is head of the Malaria Immunology Lab at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. After completing his degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, and gaining a PhD at Imperial College, he worked as a researcher in infectious disease at the London School of Hygiene prior to coming to Brisbane. He has worked at QIMR since 2006, principally on malaria research.

Creighton Clark


Cleighton Clark started his career in property in 1998 while completing an E-commerce degree at The University of Queensland. In February 2005, he founded Habitat Development Group Pty Ltd to focus on high-quality, affordable multi-unit residential development. More recently, he co-founded Habitat Construction Group and Habitat Property Management. Since Inception, the group has grown into a vertically integrated developer, builder and property manager and has delivered over $175 million worth of projects in South East Queensland.

Craig Somerville


Craig Somerville is the Director of Reload Business Group, an Australian-based company servicing more than 500 clients across the globe through its Australian, New Zealand and UK subsidiaries. Craig is also the inaugural Chair of the Australian Institute of Management’s Young Manager Advisory Board, tasked with advising Australia’s leading management body on the issues of Gen Y in the workplace and promoting Gen Y management success.

Jeremy Liddle


Jeremy Liddle believes entrepreneurial thinking can change the world. He specialises in entrepreneurship ecosystems, mindset and policy advice for high-growth entrepreneurial SMEs. As the Australian President for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and Director of Entrepreneurship at ENYA, he hosted the 2014 G20 YEA Summit in Sydney 2014. Jeremy also represents Australia, youth employment and entrepreneurship at the United Nations and Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Jordon Duffy


Jordan Duffy is a young entrepreneur, motivational speaker and cancer survivor from Brisbane. Having launched several successful start-ups by age 19, he believes that age should not be a limiting factor in what people can achieve. His mission is to incite global change and inspire young people to engage in all forms of enterprise. In 2014 Jordan was selected as a G20 YEA delegate for Australia.

Michelle Cooper


Michelle Cooper is a talented, results-producing professional with a proven record of accomplishment in planning and leading comprehensive business strategies in support of business goals and objectives. As Head of Strategic Engagement & Membership for the Australian Institute of Management, Michelle played an integral part in the recent merger of the five state divisions that now form the AIM Group. Michelle is a coach, a triathlete, and in-demand speaker.

Nkosana Mafico


Nkosana Mafico is a 20-year-old afrocentric entrepreneur (afropreneur) currently studying a Bachelor of Business Management at the University of Queensland. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, he is a strong advocate of Africapitalism – an economic philosophy that represents the private sector’s commitment to the transformation of Africa through long-term investments that generate both economic prosperity and social wealth. Nkosana is co-founder & CEO of Peep Digital.



Orsi Parkanyi is the sole founder of Women as Entrepreneurs, Australia’s largest community for female entrepreneurs and start-up women and is passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, social change and diversity in business. Women as Entrepreneurs has been ranked No.76 on the Global List of Top 100 Women Entrepreneur Experts to Follow on Twitter and has been featured in a variety of media outlets. Women as Entrepreneurs enjoys a solid following online via a blog and across multiple social media platforms.

Marita Cheng

Marita Cheng is the founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics and was named Young Australian of the Year in 2012. Ms Cheng’s company has invented a robotic arm to help people with limited upper mobility, with users able to control the technology via an iPhone or iPad. In 2008 she founded Robogals Global to improve the traditionally low levels of participation by women in engineering and technology.

Rachel Walters


Rachel Walters is Co-Founder and Director of Partnerships of the China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP). CAMP is a major bilateral innovation incubator uniting 200 top young leaders from Australia and China to tackle major issues facing both countries. Rachel combines expertise in business management and strategy, China engagement and business development with a strong drive to build a smarter, kinder, more innovative relationship between Australia and the world.

Rory Hunter


Rory Hunter is the chairman and CEO of Song Saa Hotels and Resorts and the developer and operator of Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia. Based in Hong Kong, he has pioneered sustainable development in Cambodia’s costal environment. In his previous life he was an advertising executive for global firms including Saatchi and Saatchi.

Tasmin Trezise


Tasmin Trezise enjoys risk and hates inefficiency, and he is best known for his fear of paperwork. Winners of the Lord Mayor's Made in Brisbane Award for High Growth Start-up, and the QUT Innovation Challenge, Tasmin and his team at Tanda are passionate about turning payroll chaos into clockwork.

Ran Heimann


Ran Heimann is the founder and CEO of Brisbane-based start-up Haystack. In the 10 years since moving to Brisbane, and prior to founding Haystack, Ran completed two degrees at QUT, was a management consultant with PwC in the mining sector, co-founded a business in the defence industry, and also co-founded a national ice-cream business. While working at PwC, Ran also lectured on Business Performance Improvement for QUT’s MBA program.