Speakers

The Emerging Leaders Summit is packed with expert professional speakers from a diverse range of backgrounds.

The summit attracts a fantastic mix of inspirational speakers and leaders from successful businesses sharing their own case studies and stories.

Would you like to be considered as a speaker at future ThinkTank events? You can submit an application here.

Alicia McKay

Alicia McKay is New Zealand’s leading voice in strategy, change and leadership. Former strategy consultant and facilitator, Alicia has led critical conversations with New Zealand and Australia’s most senior leaders in government, business and community.

Alicia helps people level up their lives, work and leadership by focusing on what really matters, even as the world goes mad around them. She’s spent the last decade supporting leaders to make hard decisions, transform their organisations and bring their vision to life – and now she’s sharing those lessons with the world.

Co-host of “What’s on Your Mind?” podcast, LinkedIn addict, prolific blogger and author of two books: From Strategy to Action: A Guide to Getting Shit Done in the Public Sector and the forthcoming You Don’t Need An MBA: Leadership Lessons that Cut through the Crap, Alicia reaches global audiences, cutting through the complexity for a new world of work. No buzzwords. No bullshit.

Callum McKirdy

Described as curious, creative and kind, Callum McKirdy specialises in unlocking leadership potential. With a successful career assisting businesses to develop cultures of engagement, productivity and inclusiveness, Callum works with service-based organisations across the Asia-Pacific region helping them harness and leverage what makes them different.

Proudly dyslexic and ADHD-positive, Callum champions organisations to think differently about different thinking. Undiagnosed until his early 40s, he knows all about the fear and shame of hiding and covering up mistakes, micro-failures and inadequacies, as well as all the work-arounds and genius coping mechanisms that see those with the ability to ‘hack your life’ be the innovative super-workforce of the future.

Digby Scott

Digby works with people and organisations that are on a mission to make a difference. His aim is to help people to think and act in new ways so that they nail it.

Creative, curious and a master communicator, Digby has a unique perspective on the leadership and workplace challenges that we are all trying to navigate. As a former National Manager for Robert Walters in New Zealand, and having established and sold numerous businesses, Digby understands the harsh realities we all face, and what it actually takes to succeed.

He’s the author of two books, Change Makers and Out There. As well as the co-host of the popular podcast series ‘What’s On Your Mind?’. He’s also fallen flat on his face more times than he cares to remember. The good thing is that he’s taken those lessons and applied them to helping thousands of leaders to learn how to develop themselves, and grow others, so they create lives worth living and cultures worth being a part of.

Filipo Levi

As a leader, deciding the first step towards change is often the hardest thing to do. Enter Filipo Levi, an experienced leader and former international Rugby Captain, Filipo is inspiring, motivating and transforming people with the right tools and knowledge.

Filipo Levi has helped clients to unleash their potential, paving the way towards both personal and professional success. Filipo is passionate about supporting leaders to inspire, motivate and transform their teams.

Gerry Lynch

Gerry Lynch set up The Real Leadership Company in 2020 to help companies build stronger cultures and businesses.  He focuses on helping them with their strategies and the capabilities and culture to enable the strategy.

Prior to this Gerry was the CEO at Delmaine Fine Foods for two years and General Manager of Mars New Zealand for eight years. Just over a decade ago, Mars New Zealand had a forty per cent staff turnover and did not even make it into the top 100 Best Workplaces in New Zealand.  By 2016 however, Mars NZ was a finalist in the IBM/Kenexa Best Workplaces for the tenth year running, having won its category eight times and been the supreme winner of all categories on two occasions.

Gerry has been a board member of the Food & Grocery Council since 2012 chairing the Industry Relations group. In this capacity he set up a safety group involving all of the retailer and supplier representatives so as to drive progress on safety culture for the industry. This has now transformed into ShopCare, supported by ACC to help step change H&S in the retail and supply chain industry.

Gerry has also been on the Business Leaders Steering Group committee. This is a group of CEOs driving safety culture and leadership in New Zealand.

Jacqui Maguire

Clinical Psychologist Jacqui Maguire is one of New Zealand’s key science communicators, providing authentic and relatable thought leadership on global mental health and wellbeing issues. Jacqui is TVNZ’s go-to psychologist and a regular contributor to Stuff, NZ Herald, Radio New Zealand and Newstalk ZB. She is also the founder of the #1 ranking Mind Brew podcast, where she has interviewed some of the world’s leading psychologists.

Bringing her scientific knowledge of wellbeing to life, Jacqui translates the evidence into practical strategies that support people to optimise their wellbeing, work and relationships. Her entrepreneurial history and business acumen make her a keynote favourite, and she is known for engaging a diverse range of people, including those who may be sceptical of the benefits of psychological interventions.

Lisa O’Neill

In an all-too-serious world, Lisa O’Neill is a colourful bubble of joy and laughter. Make no mistake, though, her memorable messages come from life-tested wisdom. From a career in fashion and television to being a mum of four, Lisa has her feet on the ground.

With refreshing directness, Lisa is passionate that we should all get to live the best version of ourselves. She has written five books on how to do exactly that. ‘Look Gorgeous Be Happy’, ‘Juggling in High Heels’, ’The Lickable Third’, ‘100 Questions to Self Awareness’ and ‘Everything You Want’.

Lisa is guaranteed to leave you inspired, energised and ready to change the way you think about life.

Dr Suze Wilson

Dr Suze Wilson is a senior lecturer at Massey University, where she researches leadership and also teaches about leadership, teamwork and other people-related topics as part of Massey’s Executive MBA and MBA programmes.

Suze has an extensive practitioner background, including in senior roles such as GM of HR at NZ Post and Deputy Commissioner, People Capability, at the State Services Commission. Her PhD was completed at the School of Management at Victoria University of Wellington.

She has written two books about leadership, co-edited a third and also has work published in a range of academic journals. Her most recent publication is a case study of the New Zealand government’s leadership practices in relation to Covid-19.

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