Jimi Hunt is founder of the depression charity Live More Awesome, author of A Bit Mental and the only person silly enough to lilo the Waikato River. A sufferer of depression, Jimi aims to inspire people by doing the ridiculous -- like building the world's biggest waterslide -- using these initiatives to help others with depression and raise awareness of New Zealand's massive problem of depression, all while keeping himself sane.
Lillian Grace is the founder and chief of Wiki New Zealand, a collaborative website making data about New Zealand visually accessible for everyone. Through Wiki New Zealand, Lillian aims to make it normal to know your country. In her previous role at The New Zealand Institute, Lillian became aware of some of the challenges we face as a country. She believes that to get the best outcomes we need to make informed decisions in all areas and at all levels, and that the process needs to start with understanding the facts before we connect them to our values.
David Trubridge is an internationally renowned furniture and lighting designer. After settling on New Zealand following a five year yacht voyage with his family, David began designing furniture and lighting words inspired by his rich life experience. His Hawkes Bay manufactured works are sold all around the world and regularly feature in influential publications such as the Financial Times. David has won many awards both nationally and internationally including New Zealand's most prestigious design award, the John Britten Award.
Pete Russell is a local food advocate, social entrepreneur and founder of Ooooby. After seeing first hand the destructive nature of globalized food and the accelerating demand for local alternatives during his time at a multi-million dollar food business, Pete became committed to working in the local food space. Driven by a passion for developing smart systems for food sales and logistics, Out of our own backyards (Ooooby) is the result of his work - a local food operation delivering to hundreds of Auckland doorsteps each week.
Grace Taylor is a spoken word poet, teaching artist and youth development worker. She believes in the empowerment of words, in particular through creative manifestations and providing spaces for people to tell their own stories. Grace's poetry ciphers strongly around dialogues about identity, with her believing that the exploration of a sense of belonging is underestimated in many facets of society. Grace is co-founder of the South Auckland Poets Collective and the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Movement.
Malcolm Rands is co-founder of ecostore, New Zealand's leading range of eco-friendly household products. While initially sold by mail order, ecostore now has over 100 products in its range with products stocked in supermarkets in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and in outlets in parts of Asia. Malcolm has been active in the sustainable scene for over 25 years, co-founding New Zealand's first permaculture eco-village in 1986 and was a foundation member of the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network.
Joseph Michael is a freelance film technician, new media artist and photographer. Joseph's latest work is a New Media Arts exhibition entitled "Dark Cloud : White Light" which involves filming 3D time-lapses of New Zealand landscapes and starscapes. This project saw him braving the elements for periods of 24 hours or more to create an experience of audio and visual splendour, revealing the hidden wonders of the New Zealand landscape.
Helen Clark is Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) -- the first woman to lead the organization -- and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. Prior to joining the UNDP Helen served as Prime Minister of New Zealand for three terms, during which time she was widely engaged in policy development and advocacy across international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Now living in New York, Helen is a passionate supporter of the arts as evidenced by her promotion of the arts, culture and heritage portfolio during her time as Prime Minister.
Robert Oliver is an accomplished New Zealand chef and author of the Gourmand World Cookbook award-winning book, Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific. Raised in Fiji and Samoa, Robert's passion for the South Pacific was the driver behind Me'a Kai, which was writtenin an effort to connect the Pacific's agricultural and tourism sectors. Robert has developed restaurants in major cities around the world and now holds ambassador positions for Le Cordon Bleu and True Pacific.
Richard Faull is professor and director of the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. Raised in a small Taranaki farming community, Richard discovered his passion for the human brain as a young medical student and has spent his life pursuing exciting, innovative and groundbreaking research in this field at the University of Auckland. Richard's work has been widely recognised internationally and through appointments as Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Officer of the NZ Order of Merit, and receiving of many awards including New Zealand's highest scientific award, the Royal Society Rutherford Medal.
Ash didn't choose music, it chose him, and lucky for us it did. His songs show a maturity that is quite beyond his 18 years. His new EP Sixth Street Soul will be released in July this year shows a new and developed progression in his music, and has seen him working with the likes of Andrew Spraggon (Sola Rosa). He has already won a myriad of competitions, supported a wide range of artists from I am Giant to Anna Coddington to Shihad. His songs have placed in song writing competitions nationally and internationally, and he's playing the big NZ festivals (R&V, Blues & Brews). His music has a hook that keeps you wanting to come back for more.
Brian Sweeney is the New York-based Chairman of SweeneyVesty, a global corporate communications company founded in Wellington in 1987 with Jane Vesty. He is dedicated to the idea of New Zealand exporting its services, innovation and creativity, and to the related positioning and communications New Zealand must undertake to be competitive globally. He has a Politics degree from the University of Waikato. Brian has produced film, books, photography, theatre and music. He first attended TED in Kobe, Japan in 1994.
Sophie Tauwehe Tamati is an award-winning educational entrepreneur and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. Passionate about education, Sophie worked through many cultural and technological barriers to achieve her dream of making it easier, faster and more enjoyable for students to learn other languages and connect with those around them. Sophie launched the Hika programs - Hika EXPLORER and Hika LITE - designed to support students and teachers achieve their language goals.
Welby Ings is an award winning designer, filmmaker and playwright, with his short film 'Boy' short listed for the 2006 Academy Awards. An elected Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts and consultant to many international organisations on issues of creativity and learning, Welby is now a Professor in Design at Auckland University of Technology. Having taught at all levels of the New Zealand education system, he has remained an outspoken critic of dehumanised systems of learning. In 2001 he was awarded the Prime Minister's inaugural Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.
Robyn Paterson is a highly respected director in the New Zealand film and television industry. She has worked across a wide range of projects and includes writing, producing, directing and presenting in her screen credits. Robyn's debut feature documentary Finding Mercy followed her personal search for a lost friend in Zimbabwe's political turmoil. It was selected for the prestigious International Documentary Festival Amsterdam and won Best Cinematography & Best Emerging Filmmaker at DocEdge Film Festival.
Dale Williams is Mayor of Otorohanga and Chair of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. A certified motorcycle engineer by trade, Dale has first-hand experience launching and growing successful motorcycle dealerships and training young people through apprenticeship programs. Passionate about helping young people achieve the best career outcomes for their personal circumstances, Dale is an advocate of non-academic vocational pathways, realising that not all young people are suited to tertiary education.