Joe Davis (summit MC)
Joe Davis is a leader, innovator and author with a deep passion for bringing teams together around big challenges with real purpose. Co-Founder & CEO of Nanogirl Labs with wife and business partner Dr Michelle Dickinson, Joe’s current mission is to democratise access to world class education, working across technology, education and entertainment to inspire, educate and empower learners.
Joe is the author of Silver Linings, a book (published by Penguin Random House) which explores the journeys of more than 100 NZ businesses and community leaders who have found ways to respond and thrive during New Zealand’s first COVID-19 ‘lockdown’. The work behind the book has led Joe, and co-author David Downs, to form a clear thesis as to what makes companies able to innovate and be resilient when a crisis strikes.
The book was inspired by Nanogirl Labs’ own lockdown experience. Faced with the loss of their business, Joe and Michelle pivoted from a live-engagement-led business to an online platform. They created a brand new digital platform in just 4 days, grew the business dramatically, and ultimately reached more than 340,000 young people with STEM learning during the lockdown period. “Everyone, everywhere deserves the chance to access a world-class education – and that’s now genuinely in our reach.”
Joe’s leadership career has spanned sectors from software development to design, performing arts to sea rescue, automotive CX design to education. The common thread – great people, deep culture, and a clear sense of ‘why’.
Outside of his professional career, Joe has more than 20 years’ experience as a sea rescue skipper in the Royal New Zealand Coastguard, and has been actively involved in political campaigning and advocacy.