Soren Trampedach

Founder, Florence Guild & Work Club

Soren is a leader in the new work culture that’s emerging as a result of rapid technological change in the world. He is creating the conditions for innovation, disruption, creativity and reflection through the space he has designed at Work Club and the collaborative events running through Florence Guild.

Topics: Disruption
Innovation through collaboration

Catherine Stace

Co-Founder, SW/TCH Festival

Catherine’s expertise is in developing disruptive change strategies and developing relational partnerships to change environments, mindset and behavior aligned to purpose and values.

She is co-founder of SW/TCH Festival, an industry collaboration and learning platform to create linkages to innovation, data, ideas and disruption across industry sectors to generate commercial outcomes.

Topics: Not For Profit

Caroline Vu

Strategy, Small Giants

Caroline works at Small Giants, an enterprise founded in 2007 to create, support, nurture and empower businesses that are shifting us to a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world.

Previously she was the New Generation of Giving Manager with Philanthropy Australia.

Topics: Business for good
Impact investing
Systems change

Matt Jackson


Matt is a poet, public speaker and trainer. He has moved hearts and minds at TEDx, Wired for Wonder, Sydney’s Biennale and VIVID. He founded affectors in 2013 to help individuals and organisations unleash their authentic creative instinct. Prior to that he ran the Drawing Book Studios managing visual artists for 9 years.

Topics: Poetry

Janne Ryan

Ideas Curator

Janne is an ideas curator, writer and broadcaster, specialising in architecture and design. As the founding executive producer TEDxSydney, she believes in the power of ideas, taking risks, and strategic philanthropy. Janne is a Sydney Opera House Idealist, Trustee of the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation, and founder of the Creative Music Fund.

Topics: Architecture/design

Jess Scully

Festival Director, Vivid Ideas : Vivid Sydney

Jess uses creativity and the arts to engage communities with each other, and with the public realm. She is the director of Vivid Ideas, curator of TEDxSydney and a public art curator.

Jess has previously served as policy advisor to the NSW Minister of the Arts, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards, and edited Empty, Yen and SummerWinter magazines.

Topics: Creativity
Public art
Cultural policy

Ben Romalis


Sydney-based Ben is an artist specializing in musicology, composition and live performance.

He also holds the position of Chief Performance Analyst at Cricket NSW and is heavily involved with Affectors, a company that works towards bridging the gap between art and commerce.

Topics: Authentic communication
Music as a language
Innovation / Design

Tim Rayner (PhD)

Digital philosopher & social entrepreneur

Tim advises start-ups on innovation culture. He wrote the award-winning short film ‘Coalition of the Willing’ (2010) and Life Changing: A Philosophical Guide (2012). He has taught at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Topics: Mindblowing ideas
Innovation culture
Meaningful work

Mark Zawacki

Founder, 650Labs

Mark helps non-technology multinationals understand and react to industry-wide disruptions emanating from Silicon Valley. He has advised more than 300 clients globally on a myriad of initiatives including business strategy, innovation and disruption, business and corporate development, alliances/partnering, go-to-market strategies and international expansion.

Topics: Disruption

Michelle O’Keeffe

CEO, Engaging Communications

Michelle runs a digital agency in Sydney and is passionate about building a company that has great people who do great work for great clients, and ensuring that company contributes positively to the community in which it exists.

Michelle also teaches qigong and is fascinated by different levels of consciousness and the impact our thoughts and actions can have on the physical world around us.

She has a long history of questioning, has come to embrace her mistakes as excellent opportunities to learn and change and is a stubborn optimist.

Topics: Mindfulness
Pushing boundaries

Kate Dezarnaulds

Head of Partnerships, TEDxSydney

Kate heads the partnership team, working with a select group of organisations whose support makes TEDxSydney possible. She has 20 years experience with organisations like Sotheby’s, ArtBank, Art Month Sydney, Sydney Festival & Bundanon Trust. She is a Board Director for Underbelly Arts and National Trust of Australia (NSW).

Topics: Contemporary art
Self-sustaining creative industry
Business strategy

Steve Lennon

Director of Digital Transformation & Data Insights, CGI

Steve is a strategic provocateur, relentless change-maker and incisive storyteller. He serves clients with infectious energy and inspirational commitment. As client and consultant, banker and borrower, CEO and corporate coach, Steve has helped build, buy and sell companies, and has had to bury one or two as well.

Topics: Digital future

Hass McCook

Assistant Project Manager, DASCO Australia

Hass has been to 3 high-schools on 2 continents, 4 universities on 3 continents for 3 degrees, and had 3 student internships and 5 jobs on 2 continents in a career spanning 15 years, becoming a Chartered Professional Engineer in 2011. He is 29 years old. Adapting to change and disruption is all he knows!

Topics: Civil Engineering
Global Monetary Systems
Internet of Things

Melonie Bayl-Smith

Director, Bijl Architecture

Melonie Bayl-Smith is a registered architect and Director of Bijl Architecture, delivering contemporary, design-led projects across residential, interiors, commercial and public sectors. She is Adjunct Professor at the UTS School of Architecture and is an outspoken advocate for the profession and architectural education. Melonie’s project, studio and research collaborators span across Australia, Europe and the UK, and she maintains an active role as an examiner, writer, critic and speaker, locally and abroad.

Topics: Education
Cultural infrastructure

Jo Burston

Managing Director, Job Capital & Rare Birds

Jo is passionate about building online businesses to replace process with disruptive technology, keeping products and service totally customer-centric. After launching a number of successful businesses, she was recognized in the top 50 female entrepreneurs in Australia in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. 

Jo is currently expanding Rare Birds, a platform for empowering women entrepreneurs.

Topics: Disruption
Women’s interests

Michael do Rozario

Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Michael’s expertise is in large strategic litigation and inquiries. He is passionate about technology driven change and leads Corrs’ Legal Technology division. He is a director of the Diplomacy Training Program, one of Australia’s leading capacity building and human rights organisations and of the Wild Animal Encounters Foundation, a new wildlife education charity.

Topics: Strategy
Innovation & Technology
Building Civil Society

Richard Kovacs

Chairman & CEO, Ottomin Group

Richard Founded the Ottomin Group 20 years ago after an early career in investment banking. He oversees all areas of the Group’s activities, which are primarily focussed on investment management across a range of asset classes, with a particular emphasis on the natural resources sector (mainly gold) and emerging technologies.

Richard is actively involved in the community through the charitable activities of the Ottomin Foundation. The Foundation is a strong advocate for improving the wellbeing of socially disadvantaged and disabled children by supporting a number of children’s charities and hospital programs.

Topics: Investment markets
Organisational culture
Architecture / design / landscape