Social entrepreneur/restaurateur

Through his cooking, philanthropic efforts, systems design, and love for the community Mark has found a unique balance between business and purpose.


As one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs, with 11 businesses under his belt he is an example of a new form of leadership that encompasses good in every step. 


Determined to breathe new life into struggling, disjointed communities through his work in social impact business, Mark shares his message on the importance of sustainable business models that make a difference, while also creating successful bottom lines.

Five years ago, he took over Vancouver butcher and diner Save On Meats, which has provided food security and access since 1957. In 2013, he created The Token Programme, an alternate currency to feed those in need without a cash exchange.


Since then, more than 100,000 tokens have been redeemed, filling 100,000 empty stomachs.

In partnership with his charity A Better Life Foundation (ABLF), more than 1.8 million meals have left Save On Meat’s doors to feed those who struggle.

Mark is also a graduate of THNK, a Stanford fellow, A Professor of Innovation at USC, executive chef for Pope Francis’s Laudato Si Challenge, and a business advisor.


VIDEO: Social Entrepreneur Mark Brand, Once Homeless, Now Helps Feed The Hungry





Founder/managing director of Catalyst IT


With more than 25 years’ experience in IT consulting and implementation, Don heads New Zealand’s leading open source specialist, Catalyst IT.


Since its inception in 1997, the organisation now employs 200 open source technologists across New Zealand and another 60 in our Australian and UK subsidiaries.


In that time, Catalyst has started or invested in a total of nine start-ups and has brought exciting new open source technologies to New Zealand.


Don manages Catalyst's global development strategy and key accounts and remains active on matters affecting the openness of the internet.


He has been responsible for the management and delivery of some key systems for Catalyst clients such as Spark, Fairfax NZ and Intel Corporation.


As well as being dedicated to Catalyst, Don is a former New Zealand Open Source Society president and has sat on the Council of Internet New Zealand for two years.


He also co-chairs NZRise, an organisation he helped to set up to represent the interests of New Zealand-owned digital businesses.


VIDEO: Don speaking at the 2018 Canterbury Tech Summit, Sept 18, 2018 
"Open everything ... opportunities & challenges for the tech sector"





Workplace leadership champion


Jo has a varied portfolio that includes working as a consultant facilitating strategy sessions with leadership teams, coach emerging leaders and lead substantial policy, strategy and gender projects. Recent assignments include facilitating sessions at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018, and working with the leadership team of the New Zealand Defence Force to develop strategies to increase the gender diversity of the forces. She is the part-time Chief Executive of the New Zealand Book Council promoting reading and delivering literacy projects and holds a number of directorships on government and NGO boards.  


Her interest in the future of work stems from her experience of moving from a 'traditional' executive career a portfolio one.  Her research has resulted in the co-authored book 'Don't Worry About the Robots: How to Survive and Thrive in the New World of Work'.   


Jo was the previous Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women and the Deputy Children's Commissioner. One of the youngest Chief Executives ever appointed in the New Zealand Public Service, she has invested her time and energy in advancing the cause of the vulnerable in society, spearheading some of the most difficult issues of our time, including child abuse, child poverty, family violence and vulnerable women.


Check out JO CRIBB's new book:
DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE ROBOTS - how to survive and thrive in the new world of work"






New Zealand Productivity Commission - principal advisor


Since joining the New Zealand Productivity Commission at its inception in 2012, Dave has made significant contributions to its inquiries into international freight transport, trans-Tasman economic relations, services sector productivity, social services and tertiary education.


He has worked on the commissions’ most recent project, Growing the digital economy and maximising opportunities for SMEs, in conjunction with the Australian Productivity Commission.


Having lived and worked in both countries and having published on digital economics, Dave was well-suited to the project.


Before studying economics, he had 25 years’ experience in the computer industry and has worked for, managed and owned small businesses.


In the 1990s and 2000s, he launched a number of software start-ups.


Before his most recent role at the commission, Dave was a Research Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation at Victoria University of Wellington.


He has an MBA (with distinction) from Victoria University of Wellington, and a Bachelor of Science (computer science) from the University of Tasmania.


Outside of work, Dave volunteers for bird conservation projects in Fiordland and for Wellington Land Search and Rescue. He is also a keen skier, tramper and runner.




serial technology entrepreneur


Ezel considers herself fortunate to have discovered her calling early; the 18-year-old made a difficult decision to leave her computer science degree in favour of bringing her first mobile app to life. The 25-year-old technology entrepreneur now lays claim to three successful and innovative start-up enterprises.


As an 18-year-old co-founder and product manager of storytelling app STQRY, Ezel broke barriers constantly as one of the youngest product managers in her trade. 


Within 3 years, they were the number one technology provider to museums the world over, raising $7m of funding, accrued a database of more than 500 customers worldwide with offices in New Zealand, United States, France and Singapore.


In 2016, Ezel left STQRY to pursue her new venture, Non-Stop Tix, a ticketing platform developed to fix the growing consumer dissatisfaction around the steep booking fees and poor customer service which plagued the existing companies. It achieved almost overnight success. Non Stop Tix was sold to a local promoter in the same year that it was developed.


October 2016, saw the birth of Ezel’s third venture, Passphere. Specialising in bespoke ticketing management with a correlating analytics system, it’s sophistication reflects the two-year research and development phase.


Her team are now pioneering the first event-based facial recognition technology in the events sector and has also patented cutting-edge anti-scalping software. Passphere will be launching February 2019 with sights set on Sydney, Auckland, United States, Amsterdam and Singapore.





MC, presenter, producer & clinical psychologist


Sarb has been a psychologist, working in New Zealand and the UK since 1991. Born in London he moved to New Zealand in 2005, and has been based in Wellington since 2006.


He is a qualified clinical and health psychologist, and holds two doctoral level degrees from the University of Cardiff, and University College London. Sarb also has a qualification in Management Consulting from the National School of Government in the UK. 


Sarb met his wife Sarah in a simulated car-jacking. He currently combines being the lead parent at home for two daughters aged 8 and 18 months with developing his passion for photography and vlogging, as well as working as a consultant psychologist.


He has held one solo and two group exhibitions over the past year, winning a US Embassy in New Zealand Public Diplomacy Grant to show his work and being shortlisted as a finalist in the Wellington Regional Arts Review 2018. He is also a contributing photographer for the Getty Images and Canva ecosystems.


Sarb is a regular MC at TEDxWellington, podcast presenter and producer, and is a frequent contributor to Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon parenting slot.




Intelligence professional


Sam developed a passion for space from an early age, and these days he’s just as passionate about New Zealand’s future in space and inspiring people to look up.


After joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as a pilot in 1992, he flew numerous long nights up and down country, marvelling at the stars and clear view above the clouds.


However, in 2000 he changed his career path to specialise in intelligence.
Sam has since been attached to military units in both Australia and the United Kingdom and commanded New Zealand forces in Timor Leste as Deputy Commander of the International Stabilisation Force. Other roles include running strategic and operational intelligence for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and RNZAF intelligence branch director.
In 2015 Sam took a new tangent, this time joining the Ministry for Primary Industries as head of Planning and Readiness. In 2017 he became director of Intelligence, Planning and Co-ordination Services.


He is also president of the New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals.


Sam’s interest in space hasn’t waned either – he helps with astronomy outreach, promoting science, and volunteers for the New Zealand Astrobiology Network.




Career Development Association of New Zealand - president 


As a career consultant and president of New Zealand’s professional association for career practitioners Jennie is a vocal advocate for the importance of social equity through lifelong access to career development services.


She combines her two fields of interest and expertise - business leadership and career counselling - to campaign for a fairer and more economically sound approach to work and life choices.


Alongside her CDANZ responsibilities, Jennie works largely in corporate and government contracts for restructures and closures, individual redundancies and career transitions, and has a low-key side hustle in teen career counselling.


Born and raised in Timaru and now residing in Auckland, Jennie completed a Graduate Diploma in Career Development when she transferred from the City of Sails to Taranaki for eight years with her young family and has enjoyed a range of career development roles with a variety of client groups and organisations over the intervening years.


With a business degree from Massey University in marketing and business psychology, her earlier career encompassed roles in marketing and business development, market research, financial control, and IT sales and training, across a range of industries and business models.




Fomana Capital - chief executive

NUKU ki te Puku - chairman


Wayne is a founding partner and chief executive of Fomana, a boutique Maori investment company based in Wellington that specialises in investments in technology innovations.


The well-known Maori entrepreneur has a passion for creativity and building new business models that will see less reliance on commodities. 


As a result, he’s currently heading a new venture called NUKU ki te Puku, which has brought together a group of Maori entrepreneurs and scientists, investors, marketers and horticulturists to launch plant-based nutrition products.


Wayne has also been instrumental in another New Zealand/Taiwan technology collaboration in the form of NZ Bio Forestry.


As founder and chief executive, his goal is to remove petroleum-based plastics from use and consumption in New Zealand through collaborating in technology, investment, design and manufacturing of new generation bio-polyma products as an alternative.


If that’s not hands-on enough, Wayne is a professional director and trustee of many organisations, including his Wellington iwi’s post-settlement entity, Wellington Regional Economic Agency, Genomics Aotearoa, NZ Festival Trust, Anagenix Group, Midland Regional Health Charitable Trust and Taranaki-based Maori health entity, Tui Ora Limited. He is also a shareholder in and advisor to HoneyLab.




MP for Wellington Central
Minister of Finance and Sport & Recreation
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage 


Grant’s belief in social justice and a desire to see every New Zealander able to achieve their potential led him to politics, and he has been MP for Wellington Central since 2008.

Born in Palmerston North, and having lived in Hastings and Dunedin, Grant studied politics at Otago, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 1995.


His involvement in the campaign against user-pays education led him to become Otago University Students’ Association president, and later New Zealand University Students’ Association vice president and co-president.

After leaving university, Grant joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was posted to the United Nations in New York. On his return, he became an advisor to then-Minister of Environment Marian Hobbs and Prime Minister Helen Clark.

In Opposition, Grant was Finance Spokesperson, and he has previously held spokesperson roles for Labour in Employment, Skills and Training, Economic Development, Tertiary Education, State Services, Health, and Arts, Culture and Heritage.


As the Opposition Finance Spokesperson, he set up and chaired the Future of Work Commission. And as the Minister of Finance, he initiated the forthcoming Productivity Commission Enquiry into the Future of Work.


Grant met his partner Alf in 1998 playing rugby, and their family now includes two grandchildren. In 2009 they were joined in a civil union.




Transparency International - chair, company director, economist

Suzanne leads Transparency International New Zealand’s Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA), which provides an opportunity for accounting, legal, audit, risk management and strategic development knowledge to be applied to demonstrate the strengths and advise on how to enhance the integrity of New Zealand’s financial system.


The former Wellingtonian of the Year (2013) has chaired TINZ since 2012, focusing on improving wellbeing by strengthening the integrity of the public, non-profit and business sectors.


She has also been joint co-director of the comprehensive Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment.

Previously a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers for almost 15 years, Suzanne specialised as an economic strategist.


As a company director for more than 30 years, her governance experience includes former directorships of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Wellington City Council's Capital Holdings, Whitireia and Weltec polytechs, Otago and Wairarapa Crown Health Entities,  Health Research Council, New Zealand Opera, and the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency.


She has also chaired Fulbright NZ, New Zealand’s first FM radio company Cosmopolitan FM, Mary Potter Hospice, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) and Whitireia NZ Limited.

Today, she is also an external advisor on the internal audit/risk management committees of several central government agencies and is chair of Phase 2 of the 1989 Reserve Bank Act review.





co Facilitator - Workplace Diversity Action Group

Kii (Winston) Small is the Co-Founder of Mapmo and the creator of the youth storytelling operation, The SaySoProject.


Originating from Kaitaia, Kii came to Wellington to pursue an education at Victoria University in 2015. Since then, he has had the pleasure of working alongside the Rt. Hon. Winston Peters during Youth Parliament, and other ‘game changers’ in the Youth Development sector.


Kii’s mission is to provide an innovative platform for young people to contribute to the working solutions addressing the issues that affect them the most in Aotearoa.


In his spare time, he is a board member on the MYD Partnership Fund Board, the Co-Editor in Chief at Salient Magazine and the creator of the Cozy Corner Podcast. 




Industry Training Organisation - chief executive


As boss of the national organisation for New Zealand’s Industry Training and Apprenticeship sector, Josh leads advocacy on skills and vocational education issues and works closely with government, education, and industry stakeholders.

On behalf of all 11 of New Zealand’s Industry Training Organisations, he is a leading thinker and advocate for work-based education and training, and connects education with workforce development.

Having worked in the education sector for 20 years, he’s firmly focused on skills and qualifications issues in the schooling and tertiary sectors.  

As senior policy manager at the Ministry of Education Josh led policy for vocational and foundational education, and secondary/tertiary transitions.


As programme manager for the implementation of Youth Guarantee initiatives he led the development of the successful Vocational Pathways.

Armed with a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) degree, Josh’s other roles include principal policy advisor at the Industry Training Federation, policy analyst at the Ministry of Education and NZQA, and Private Secretary to Ministers of Education.

He currently chairs the Ministry of Education’s Pathways Advisory Group, co-chairs the Greater Wellington Maori and Pasifika Trades Training Consortium, and is a member of the advisory board for Victoria University’s Centre for Labour Employment and Work.


JOSH'S BLOG 13th February 2018
Josh reacts to yesterday's government announcement about amalgamating our Polytechs:
"Do NOT dismantle industry-led training and apprenticeships"  Read more... 



Dont worry about the robots.jpg
A&NZ Digital Productivity  Report .jpg
WORK IN PROGRESS is an AGENDA Limited event.  
Phone:  +64 4 384 6417 / +64  27 208 8780    Email:    Post: Box 11-549, Manners Street, Wellington
This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now