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Here is the full speaker lineup for the penultimate fourth session on 18 August: “Seven Connections – Creating the NZ Powerhouse.”

1. Paul Morgan is the Deputy Chair and Chief Executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities, New Zealand’s largest Maori business network.  He is also involved in many Maori commercial interests, including ventures in horticulture, agriculture, forestry, fishing, viticulture, equities and commercial properties.  Paul has twenty years’ experience as a director of public listed companies, CRIs, SOEs and Maori Incorporations, and has an established track record of negotiation, development and repositioning of Maori business in both domestic and global markets.

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2. Charles Finny is the CEO of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce, joining the organisation after 22 years of experience in international trade, economics and diplomacy.  He has a high level of interest and expertise in the economic opportunities presented by links with Asian countries, particularly China, and has worked in official posts in Taipei, Beijing and Singapore.  Charles has an active interest in small and medium sized enterprises and their challenges and has, with his wife Wendy Hinton, developed Kawarau Estate, whose award winning wines are exported globally.

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3. Professor Sally Davenport has extensive experience across both the academic and corporate centers of innovation, having initially worked as a research chemist before becoming a consultant in the UK. She is now a professor at Victoria University researching the management of scientific and technological innovation and the growth paths of NZ high-tech firms. She is currently the leader of a project investigating firm level productivity in the food & beverage and biotech sectors.

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4. Branton Kenton-Dau is a director of Vortex DNA, a Christchurch-based company founded on a mathematical structure which maps and predicts human consciousness and intention.  While the applications of this algorithm are broad, the company is currently focusing on breaking into the global insurance and advertising industries and plans to make a dual listing on the New Zealand and American stock exchanges within the next six months.  Branton’s background combines religion, philosophy and big business, giving him a deep interest and understanding of complex systems.

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5. Guy Salmon is the Executive Director of Ecologic, a think tank working towards sustainable solutions to problems which integrate environmental, economic and ethical benefits. Guy has worked as an environmental policy specialist in consulting, policy advice and research roles for both government and business. His most recent project was a four-year comparative study of sustainable development in New Zealand and the Nordic countries which was carried out with collaborators at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

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6. Megan Hosking owns and runs Alto, a design business that focuses on sustainability and cultural transformation.  Passionate about communication design and the opportunities that the quest for a sustainable future creates, Megan is in the Sustainable Business Network, a member of the New Zealand Futures Trust, and the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.  She is also a mentor for Intersect, the networking group for young professionals with a passion for sustainability.

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7. Greg O’Brien is a leading New Zealand poet, painter, art writer and curator at Wellington’s City Gallery.  He has maintained a prolific and acclaimed literary output, including books of poetry, short fiction, novels and non-fiction.  Greg is passionate about making art accessible to all, and this is reflected in his most recent book: Back and Beyond: New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious (May 2008), which is a lively and lyrical introduction to some of the historic and contemporary treasures held in art galleries around the country.

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Speakers for the fifth and final session on 26 August will be announced shortly. Join our mailing list to receive updates.

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