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SESSION ONE: 22 JULY 2008:

"Seven Foundations – Our Reality 2008, Our Future 2028."

1. To introduce the 2008 series: Brian Sweeney, who with Jan Bieringa created 7x7 in Wellington in 2000. He is Director of SweeneyVesty, a Wellington international communications consultancy he founded in 1987 with Jane Vesty. He produces www.nzedge.com with Kevin Roberts about New Zealand's global life. A photographer, his exhibition Paradise Road was recently shown in NYC.

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2. Rod Oram has 30 years experience as an international financial journalist.  He has worked in Europe and North America for leading publications such as the Financial Times of London and is devoted to the development of the new economy. He is currently a columnist for the Sunday Star-Times; a regular broadcaster on radio and television; a frequent public speaker on business and economic issues; and an occasional correspondent for the Financial Times. In 2007 Rod published his first book, "Reinventing Paradise" in which he talks about how New Zealand can become mobilised to "earn a bigger, sustainable living in the world economy".

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3. Dr David Skilling is the founding Chief Executive of the New Zealand Institute, an independent think-tank that has been established to contribute new and creative thinking to the public debate on issues that matter for New Zealand's future. The Institute has published significant and provocative papers on New Zealand's export economy, savings, broadband, and our national strategy.

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4. Dr Brian Easton is an independent scholar, consultant and teacher in economics, social statistics, public policy and New Zealand Studies. His writings include the economics column for The Listener, journals, newspapers and academic literature. www.eastonbh.ac.nz includes papers on the history of ideas, methodology and philosophy; growth and innovation; governance; globalisation.

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5. Michael Field is a New Zealand journalist and published author, renowned for his expertise on Pacific affairs. He has worked throughout the world, including in the US Congress as part of a Harkness Fellowship program with Harvard University. Currently working for Fairfax New Zealand, Michael is especially known for his coverage of the Fijian 2000 and 2006 coups.

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6. Professor Jacqueline Rowarth holds the Foundation Chair of Pastoral Agriculture at Massey University, where she is also the Director of Massey Agriculture. Her research over the past 25 years has focused on efficient use of fertilizer (product yield and quality with minimum environmental impact). She has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Agricultural Science.

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7. Dr Morgan Williams has degrees in biology and ecology, drawing on research in Antarctica and the tropical Pacific, and 20 years experience with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. His interests lie in how people think about and relate to the natural world, and the political and economic influences on the management of our natural capital. He was Commissioner for the Environment for nine years.

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