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We are now pleased to announce the full speaker lineup for the second session on 4 August: “Seven Trailblazers – Insights from New Zealand Entrepreneurs in the Global Market.”

1. Rod Drury is founder and CEO of Xero, an NZX listed company which provides an online accounting solution for Small Businesses. Rod won a World Class New Zealand award in 2008 and was NZ Hi-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and again in 2007. He also established Glazier Systems in 1995, a leading software development and consulting company which continues today as Intergen.  Rod was also an Independent Director of TradeMe, and continues on the TradeMe Advisory Board.

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2. Nick Lewis
is CEO of Celsias, a website that helps people discuss climate change, then create and manage projects to reduce global warming and their personal carbon footprint. Celsias has been growing rapidly since its inception in November 2006, and now has up to 300,000 regular users in 120 countries. Before emigrating to New Zealand several years ago, Nick had a diverse working history including periods spent as a Wall Street investment banker covering the US utility sector, a drug testing services entrepreneur, a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen and a nuclear engineer.

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3. Brett Hewlett is the CEO of Comvita, a natural health company employing more than 250 people worldwide. Expanding rapidly, Comvita now sells 80% of its products offshore with strong brand presence in key markets - Asia, UK and Australia. Holding firmly to its founding values of New Perspectives, Passion and Respect the Company is on a path to change traditional perceptions of natural health with fresh thinking, strong science and innovative product delivery.

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4. Dave Pearce is widely regarded as one of the most innovative winemakers in New Zealand. As Chief Winemaker for Marlborough’s Grove Mill, he has played a key role in the development of the winery’s international reputation and distinctive style. In addition to winning hundreds of awards, Grove Mill is the first carbon neutral winemaker in the world, taking a proactive and inventive approach to substantially reducing its environmental impacts.

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5. Barrie Leay is the Chairman of Aquaflow, which he founded with Vicki Buck and Nick Gerritsen. The company has successfully achieved commercial scale harvesting of wild algae for conversion to biofuel. This process meets rigorous criteria for the use of renewable resources and energy. Barrie has been a leading figure in the reforms of electricity industries in New Zealand and other APEC economies and is also the Chairman of Directors for Windflow Technology Ltd, a Christchurch-based global innovator in wind power turbine design, development and manufacturing.

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6. Dr Craig Stevens is a marine physicist with NIWA, New Zealand’s leading environmental research institute. He focuses on how "things" operate in the natural fluid environment and so works across disciplines as diverse as marine ecology, climate, aquaculture, oceanography and energy. This takes him to an equally diverse range of locales including Antarctic sea ice, Danish mussel farms, Cook Strait in small boats and the open ocean in bigger boats. This seemingly broad range of topics is brought together by building on essentially the same underlying mechanics in order to explore new applications or ways of thinking.

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7. Martin Bosley is one of the most recognised names in New Zealand fine dining, having built his reputation over 25 years in the industry. Martin’s commitment to serving fresh, local, seasonal food that ‘pleases the eye as well as the palate’, has earned him a following of discerning diners and more than a few awards. This includes the Supreme prize in Cuisine magazine’s 2007 Restaurant of the Year awards, awarded to his Wellington restaurant, Martin Bosley’s. A passionate advocate for realising New Zealand’s international potential in this arena, Martin believes our world class cuisine is a major tourism and exporting opportunity.

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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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