Co-Founder, MasterClass. Serial entrepreneur.
Aaron Rasmussen is a serial entrepreneur focused on blending creative and technical skill to produce innovation. He is co-founder and former Creative Director and CTO of MasterClass, an online education company with classes by Aaron Sorkin, Serena Williams, Werner Herzog, Frank Gehry, and many others. He was previously CEO of USMechatronics, an industrial robotics company he started out of college and sold, and CEO of Harcos Laboratories, an award-winning consumer packaged goods company that he also later sold. He is currently working on a new project.
Singer / Beatboxer / Musician / Activist
Butterscotch, the retro-futuristic, voice percussionist virtuosa, is a force to be reckoned with in today’s music scene. Being the world’s first female beatboxing champion, she has created a unique style and is truly the definition of a one woman band. Butterscotch fuses multiple genres (jazz, hip-hop, soul, reggae) and creates endless layers of singing, beatboxing, guitar and keyboard, that she records live on her loop station, and sonically sounds like a live band. Her music always contains a message to reach those who are in need of love and inspiration. Butterscotch has opened up and shared stages with Erykah Badu, Thievery Corporation, Sergio Mendes, Wyclef Jean, Earth, Wind & Fire and other musical legends. See Full Bio.
Art Director, Senior Concept Artist – Weta Workshop
For the last fifteen years Paul has been employed at Weta Workshop Design Studio, where he works as a Art Director and Senior Concept Artist on film, television and game projects. In addition to concept design, Paul is co-creator of Weta Workshop’s Giant Killer Robots and is co-supervisor of Weta Workshop School. Outside of work Paul created White Cloud Worlds – a science fiction and fantasy art-book trilogy from New Zealand. In 2016 he launched New Zealand’s leading Entertainment Industry convention the Industry of Imagination, serving as Creative Director. He also runs industry workshops and is a frequent speaker at Universities and Conventions worldwide.
Professional Company Director and Foresight Practitioner
Melissa Clark-Reynolds ONZM is widely recognised as an inspirational role model and business leader. Melissa is a Digital Strategist and Professional Director – with 25 years experience as an entrepreneur and in the business start-up community. She trained with Clayton Christiansen in his approach to Disruptive Innovation through Harvard. Melissa has been CEO of a number of technology companies and is a Governor of Radio NZ, and sits on the Boards of Beef and Lamb, Kiwi Insurance, Jasmax, and Softed. Melissa Chairs the LINZ Risk & Audit Committee. In 2016 she attended the Te Hono Bootcamp at Stanford University.
Dr Tim Kastelle
Associate Professor in Innovation Management / MBA Director
Tim’s research, teaching and engagement work are all based on his study of innovation management. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in economics, and his MBA and PhD were completed at UQ. He has worked in marketing and management positions in a variety of industries including radio, office equipment, industrial chemicals, higher education and software, and these experiences inform both his research and his teaching. Tim has published widely in the leading innovation journals. He is deeply committed to translating research into practice. To this end, he writes a well-regarded innovation blog for managers, and he has worked extensively with a wide range of organisations. Tim has worked closely with the CSIRO to build the national research commercialisation program ON Prime. He is currently the MBA Director for the UQ Business School, and runs the School’s collaborations with the Wharton and Fudan Business Schools.
Knowledge Curator / President LIANZA
Paula works for CORE Education as the Knowledge Curator, is President of LIANZA (The Library and Information Association of Aotearoa New Zealand) and is a board member of TohaToha (formerly Creative Commons Aotearoa) representing the education sector. She is an experienced Library and Information professional, driven by a passion to change the perception of The Library to The Community Commons – spaces where communities come together to chat, share ideas and collaborate, designing and co-creating new knowledge and ideas that improve societies.
Chief Executive, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise
Peter, and the team at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, are helping companies grow internationally, for the good of New Zealand. The team are driven by the conviction that NZ is not only one of the best countries in the world, but one of the best countries for the world. Before NZTE, Peter spent 23 years in the engineering, manufacturing, and pulp and paper industries. Peter was the General Manager of Tasman Paper in Kawerau, New Zealand, before taking up a role as Senior Vice President for Norske Skog International at the global HQ in Oslo, covering business in South America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australasia. Board roles have included the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Australian Pulp and Paper Innovation Council, the NZ China Council, the Asia NZ Foundation and Te Hono. Currently with offices in 40 locations around the world, Peter has a passion for building organisational culture in a cross cultural environment.
DK (Master of Ceremonies)
Creative Producer – Speaker Coach
As a Creative Producer, DK is the TEDxWellington / TEDxWellingtonWomen licensee, founder of Creative Welly plus the Creative Leadership NZ conference. He’s also a Speaker Coach, working with CEO’s and senior executives plus a random ex-All Black and Dame thrown into the mix. Previously, DK founded Mediasnackers and through it has over a decade of working in the social media space consulting / delivering training on five continents and to a cross-sector range of clients from UNICEF, Gates Foundation, BBC, Ubisoft, Hasbro plus spent time as a social media manager for a national education company in NZ. He also established Collider, a city-wide programme focussed on transforming Wellington into an internationally recognised Smart Capital (with 200 events in 14 months with over 5000 attendees averaging quality rating of 4.2 and above (out of 5)). DK loves ‽’s.