Dutch-born Joost Bakker is the creator of hospitality venues Greenhouse by Joost and Silo By Joost, as well as the building company Built By Joost. Over the last two decades he has worked on a multitude of concepts and products that have encompassed sustainable design practices. Driven by making a difference to the world, Joost’s innovations in building materials, waste treatment and nutrition are attracting global interest. Living in a time where there are many challenges and uncertainties regarding resources and the state of the environment, people are welcoming Joost’s pioneering ideas and thinking. Joost is regularly invited to share the principles behind what he does, in order to inspire others to contribute to a better future.
From busking the streets of Western Australia and becoming Australia's most successful independent artist ever, John Butler has taken his brand of roots/rock music to all corners of the world and remains an icon and inspiration for independent and socially active musicians everywhere.
2012 Young Australian of the Year Marita Cheng is dedicated to changing the way girls view their capacity to contribute to engineering and technology. In 2008 she founded Robogals Global in response to the traditionally low levels of participation by women in engineering and technology. Robogals uses fun and educational activities to teach schoolgirls about engineering and the difference that engineers make to our lives. Already Robogals has run robotics workshops for 10,000 girls across 90 schools in Australia and now has 16 chapters across Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. In October 2012 Marita was named one of 100 Women of Influence by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac. She has a Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship, an International Youth Foundation YouthActionNet Fellowship and an Anita Borg Change Agent Award. A former panelist on ABC TV's New Inventors, Marita serves as a Board Member for the Foundation for Young Australians.
Australia’s new music ensemble, dedicated to the performance of innovative music and cross-genre collaborations. The Sydney-based group is committed to a living classical music tradition combining classics of the 20th century with the music of tomorrow from Australia and abroad.
Alice Gorman is an archaeologist who specialises in the material culture of space exploration, from its origins in the 1930s through to the present. Her particular focus is orbital debris, or “space junk”, including historic satellites. Her aim is to contribute a cultural-heritage perspective to international agreements on reducing the orbital debris problem. Other areas she has researched and written about include rocket launch sites, tracking stations, Skylab, and Russian landing sites on Venus. Alice is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at Flinders University, an Adjunct Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at ANU, and a member of the Space Industry Association of Australia. Her favourite spacecraft is Australis Oscar V, launched in 1970 by a group of Australian students and still in orbit around the Earth.
Veren began his musical adventure at the age of three; his natural dedication to the violin prompted a life of passionate devotion to his instrument and musical frontiers. The Bulgarian born, award-winning violinist/composer immigrated to Australia in 1980. His colourful musical journey has provided rich experiences in orchestral and ensemble, theatre, opera, circus and solo work.
Dr Rebecca Huntley is a researcher, author and social commentator with a background in publishing, academia and politics. She holds degrees in law and film studies and a PhD in Gender Studies. Rebecca is the Director of The Mind and Mood Report, Australia’s longest-running social trends report, currently in its 35th year. Rebecca is the author of numerous books including a memoir, The Italian Girl. She is also a columnist for BRW and a feature writer for Vogue. She is a sought-after commentator on social trends on radio, in print and on television.
Simon Jackman is Professor of Political Science and (by courtesy) of Statistics at Stanford University, where he works at the intersection of statistics and the social sciences. He currently serves as one of the Principal Investigators of American National Election Studies, the world’s longest-running and most authoritative survey-based study of political behaviour and attitudes. Simon is a pioneer of “poll averaging” methods, developing Bayesian models and algorithms for tracking state-level polls and forming Electoral College forecasts. His work in the 2012 U.S. election cycle — which powered the Pollster section of huffingtonpost.com — was widely hailed as part of the “triumph of the quants”, resulting in a perfect set of predictions of the election outcome in each state. Simon has taught at Stanford, with previous appointments at the University of Chicago and the Australian National University. A book-length treatment of his work on Bayesian statistical methods, Bayesian Analysis for the Social Sciences, was published in 2009. He is a past president of Society for Political Methodology, is currently co-editor of Annual Reviews of Political Science, and an Associate Editor of the journal ‘Political Analysis’.
Danny Kennedy is Sungevity’s Founder and author of “Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy – and our Planet – from Dirty Energy”. A long-time social entrepreneur, Danny has achieved global recognition as an environmental activist, spokesperson and opinion leader. Before Sungevity, Danny was the Campaigns Manager for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. In 2001, he ran Greenpeace’s California Clean Energy Campaign, the success of which helped lead to the current California Solar Initiative. Danny was the founder and first Executive Director of Project Underground in the 90s, and serves on several for- and not-for-profit boards. He has a Bachelor of Science from Macquarie University in Sydney and dropped out of the Law School there. Danny lives in California with his wife Miya Yoshitani and two daughters.
Dr George Poonkhin Khut (pronounced Pün-kin, Küt) is an artist and interaction designer working across the domains of contemporary art, design and health research, with a special interest in user experience, participation, and tangible interactions. His doctoral research focused on the use of biofeedback interactions as catalysts for reflections and conversations around ideas and experiences of embodiment, health and selfhood. In 2012 he won the prestigious Queensland Art Gallery National New Media Art Award for his heart-rate controlled artwork “Distillery: Waveforming” - a project that emerged through his collaboration with Dr Angie Morrow at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, researching the use of mobile heart-rate controlled creative relaxation-training apps for children undergoing painful, anxiety-provoking procedures. Other recent projects include the 'The Heart Library Project' at St. Vincent’s Public Hospital and the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, and 'Thinking Through The Body', an interdisciplinary project that explored new approaches to body-focussed interactive art and design informed by the somatic bodywork methodology of Moshe Feldenkrais.
Australian-based musician Jeff Lang has earned worldwide acclaim as a virtuosic guitarist, a dynamic songwriter and a startlingly distinctive live performer. Blending rock, roots, folk, blues, ballads, instrumentals, improvisation and a devastatingly high level of musicality, Jeff Lang is a singularly unique performer in the world.
Thirty-three year old Damien Mander served as a special operations sniper and clearance diver for Australia. Whilst deployed in Iraq he project managed the Iraq Special Police Training Academy, overseeing training of up to 700 cadets at one time. Following three years on the frontline of the Iraq war he departed in 2008 with no new direction in life. A trip to Africa left him face-to-face with the horrors that the world’s wildlife is dealing with. Liquidating all personal assets acquired from 12 tours of duty, he founded the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. The organisation focuses on ranger training, operations and integrating modern technology into conservation. Today, the Australian is a soldier-turned-environmental activist. He is outspoken about conservation and the nature of our priorities in an uncertain world. Damien's work has featured in National Geographic Magazine, 60 Minutes, Animal Planet, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Forbes, Sunday Times, & Good Weekend Magazine.
Professor Ron McCallum AO is one of Australia’s most respected industrial and discrimination lawyers and a prominent human rights advocate. With a long and successful career as a legal academic and teacher, in 1993 he became the first totally blind person appointed to a full professorship at any Australian university when he became Professor in Industrial Law at the University of Sydney. He served as Dean of the University of Sydney Law School for 5 years and is now an Emeritus Professor. Ron is a leading light in the disabled community, working for equality among all Australians. He is also Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2011, Ron was named Senior Australian of the Year. His interests include reading, listening to music and meditation.
Kate Miller-Heidke released her critically-acclaimed 3rd studio album, 'Nightflight' in 2012, debuting at #2 on the ARIA album. Her first album ‘Little Eve’ went gold and received four ARIA nominations. Her second album ‘Curiouser’ reached double platinum sales in Australia, spawning two platinum hits ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘Caught In The Crowd.’
Dr Lisa Murray is the City Historian at City of Sydney Council. Lisa is passionate about making history accessible to the public. She writes books, devises walking tours, curates exhibitions, develops websites, fosters community engagement with and speaks regularly on Sydney’s history. She is the Chair of the Dictionary of Sydney, an ambitious digital history project about Greater Sydney, a Councillor of the History Council of NSW, and a Member of the Professional Historians’ Association. Her research interests include the intersection between urban, local and family histories; history and the digital humanities; cultural mapping of Aboriginal history sites; cemeteries, cultural landscapes and memory; music in Sydney; and Sydney cookery books. She is currently writing a history of Redfern, Alexandria and Waterloo.
Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He is the former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. He has released three hip hop albums, two poetry books (including "Parang") and appeared on ABC's Q&A. He is currently working on a play, "Bonegatherer", to be staged in 2014. He is part of international hip hop group MoneyKat and his debut novel "Here Come the Dogs" will be published by Penguin Australia in 2014.
Marc Newson is one of the most acclaimed and influential designers of his generation. He has worked across a wide range of disciplines, creating everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and cars, private and commercial aircraft, yachts, various architectural commissions, and signature sculptural pieces for clients across the globe. Marc was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and has received numerous awards and distinctions: he was appointed The Royal Designer for Industry in the UK, received an honorary doctorate from Sydney University, holds Adjunct Professorships at Sydney College of the Arts and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and most recently was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen. Marc has lived and worked in Tokyo, Paris and London, where he is now based. He is married with two children.
Andrew Parker studied marine biology and physics at the Australian Museum and Macquarie University, and then moved to Oxford University. After founding the ‘Light Switch Hypothesis’ – that the Big Bang of evolution was triggered by the evolution of the eye – he now works on biomimetics, copying good design found in nature. This includes hummingbird colours for paints, non-reflective surfaces on insect eyes for solar panels, and water-capture devices in Namibian beetles for collecting clean drinking water in Africa. He was selected as a ‘Scientist for the New Century’ by The Royal Institution (London) and wrote the popular science books In the Blink of an Eye and Seven Deadly Colours (Simon & Schuster). Today he is a Research Leader at The Natural History Museum, London and Green Templeton College, Oxford University.
Paul is the principal architect of a practice based in Sydney working on urban, rural and remote area architectural projects throughout Australia and overseas. He is also one of three directors of Healthabitat, the other two directors have medical and environmental health backgrounds. For 28 years Healthabitat has worked to improve the health of Indigenous people, by improving their living environment and housing, in suburban, rural and remote areas of Australia. Over the last 6 years similar work has expanded to projects in rural areas of Nepal and urban USA. In 2011 Healthabitat was awarded the international UN Habitat’s World Habitat Award and also the Australian Institute of Architect’s national Leadership in Sustainability prize for sustaining the lives of people.
“To solve global food insecurity, the first step is to know the right question to ask." Bill Pritchard, human geographer, challenges our views on what it takes to create a food-secure world. Bill is an Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Sydney, where he teaches and researches on food, agriculture and rural and regional development. He embraces a geographer's passion to understand the world, believing that the best way to understand an issue is to see it first hand and talk directly to the people involved. Since 2004 he has been working on a series of research projects in India dealing with issues of agricultural change and food security. He has published around 50 scholarly articles and book chapters, and is co-author of “Feeding India: Livelihoods, Entitlements and Capabilities”, to be published by Earthscan later in 2013.
Jennifer Robinson is a human rights lawyer and Director of Legal Advocacy at Bertha Philanthropies in London, where she is creating a global program to inspire and support young lawyers into public interest law. She is also an adjunct lecturer in law at the University of Sydney. Jennifer has acted in key free speech and freedom of information cases for clients such as the New York Times and Bloomberg. She is a member of the legal team for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, having acted for Assange in extradition proceedings, advised WikiLeaks during Cablegate and worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights on United States v Bradley Manning. For more than a decade she has been involved in advocacy related to self-determination and human rights in West Papua. In 2008 the UK Attorney General recognised Jennifer as a National Pro Bono Hero. Jennifer was educated at the Australian National University and the University of Oxford where she was a Rhodes scholar. She writes for publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald and Al Jazeera.
Dr Justine Rogers is a comedian and academic specialising in the sociology of elites, professional identity and ethics. Her Oxford doctoral thesis was an ethnographic study of UK barristers and she is now a Lecturer at UNSW Law. As well performing solo standup, Justine is a member of the festival hit comedy trio, Aggressively Helpful. To combine her two great loves, she founded Nerd Nite Sydney, a monthly event at a bar in which academics and other experts share their passions in deeply educational, but fun and inclusive ways.
Dancer Rajeswari Sainath’s art has been hailed as carrying an ‘imaginative splendour that goes beyond technique’. Trained in the purist Pandanallur tradition of Bharatanatyam by Indira Rajan of Chennai, Rajeswari has been performing from the age of 10. She continually renews and refreshes her artistic spirit through collaborative performances and through her intense involvement in the development of her students.
One of Australia’s premier and most innovative percussionists widely regarded internationally as a leader in his field. As a performer, he is significantly represented in the last three decades of Australian contemporary music as both a live band member and studio musician on hundreds of recordings.
David Sinclair is a scientist and entrepreneur working on increasing human health, productivity, and lifespan. After co-discovering a molecular cause of aging at the Massachusetts Institute in Boston in the mid-1990s, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School where he is now a tenured Professor. In 2005, he founded the Glenn Laboratories for Aging Research at Harvard and serves as their Co-Director. He is also a Professor at the Lowy Cancer Centre at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. His research is aimed at understanding why we grow old and using this knowledge to prevent and treat both rare and common diseases. He is perhaps best known for identifying resveratrol from red wine as an anti-aging molecule. He has founded four biotechnology companies; to treat age-related diseases (Sirtris), improve female reproductive health and IVF (OvaScience), treat type 2 diabetes (Cohbar), and develop vaccines against malaria, chlamydia, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and cancer (Genocea).
Joseph and his brother James bring an exciting performing dynamic to the stage, challenging traditional musical forms and pushing boundaries. They have been nominated 9 times consecutively in the ARIA awards for World Music and Jazz Categories and won the 2012 ARIA for 'Best World Music Album' for Concerto of the Greater Sea.
Armed with just a microphone, Tom Thum pushes the limits of the human voice to create incredible soundtracks of impossible beats and phenomenal sounds, with scratched vinyl, the Michael Jackson back-catalogue, the didgeridoo and an entire fifties jazz band amongst his vocal repertoire.
Michael West is a member and Cultural Representative of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) who are the traditional custodians of the Land, Air, Water and Culture within their boundaries. He is a member of the Stolen Generations and is an Aboriginal man of the Gamilaroi Nation. Michael is on the Board of NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, a National Executive member of the National Sorry Day Committee and is a Delegate of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. He also founded a reconciliation consultancy called "Guwaali" meaning to talk, speak and converse in his mother’s Gamilaroi language. Michael strongly supports diversity and believes the understanding and appreciation of diversity brings greater understanding of oneself, increasing the opportunities in Australia and throughout the world through respectful engagement. Michael believes everyone has value and it’s upon us, communities and society to have the capability to enable communities and individuals to achieve their dreams and aspirations.