Jason Swanson
Director of Strategic Foresight, KnowledgeWorks, USA

Jason Swanson is the Director of Strategic Foresight at KnowledgeWorks, where he helps lead the organization’s research into the future of learning, develops publications, and works with education stakeholders to generate actionable insights. Jason holds a BA in Public Policy from West Chester University and an MS in Foresight from the University of Houston. He is a fellow with the Royal Society of Arts and is a member of the Remake Learning Council.

Jason has explored how trends and developments such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality might impact learning. He has authored dozens of dozens of articles and forecasts, ranging from the future of work and readiness, the future of credentials, the expansion and diversification of educator roles, and the creation of learning ecosystems.

With his current team at KnowledgeWorks, Jason is partnering with mid-sized urban communities in the United States to generate community-specific insights to help plan for the future of learning and work. An experienced speaker and facilitator, Jason has worked with a diverse array of education stakeholders to make sense of the future, including students, teachers, administrators, education innovators, policymakers, and more.


Boma NZ Educational Fellows
Powered by Christchurch Airport

Technology is changing everything—the way we educate cannot be left behind.

Over the course of 2019, 2020, and 2021, Boma New Zealand will enable three groups of 10 motivated, Canterbury-based secondary school educators to become Boma NZ Education Fellows, powered by Christchurch Airport.

Each group of Boma NZ Education Fellows will excel through a free, year-long programme designed to help them explore ways of bringing exponential thinking, technology, and innovative leadership into their schools.

All of these learning experiences will enable the Boma NZ Education Fellows to create hands-on projects in Canterbury secondary schools, resulting in tangible outcomes that can be scaled to others in the wider education community.

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh
Founder and Director, She#

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh PhD is a computer engineer with a background in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Since 2013, Mahsa has been involved with Google’s Computer Science for High Schools initiative and has run these workshops in Auckland for the last 4 years. Mahsa is also the founder and director of the women’s technology group She# – shesharp.co.nz, a platform aimed at promoting STEM to the next generation, and creating networking opportunities for tertiary students and industry professionals in the digital sector. 

Her passion for promoting careers in technology to young women has been widely recognised, and she has received a number of nominations and awards for her efforts, including the Emerging Leader Award at the NZ Women of Influence Awards, and is also a semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year 2018.

John Balash
Director of Educational Engagement, Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, USA

John has always found himself on one side of the desk or the other. Whether as a student, a TA, a teacher, professor, or most currently as the Director of Educational Engagement at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, John’s passion will always be education. John holds several degrees ranging from graphic design, to fine art, education, and is seeking his PhD in Instructional Technology.


Throughout his career he has created curricula from the ground up and has helped to establish new programs which revolve around emergent technologies. John has experience serving in various roles throughout the K-Graduate School spectrum. John can be found at Carnegie Mellon University’s ETC, his Alma mater, and in the newly open MuseumLab, where he hopes to transform education through community.

Jan Owen
CEO, Foundation for Young Australians

Jan Owen AM Hon DLitt, DUniv, is a social entrepreneur, innovator, influencer and author.

As CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians for the past 8 years, Jan has led the organisation’s strategic mission to equip young people to create, lead and thrive into the future. This focus has included ground-breaking research regarding the future of work and education for young Australians; the largest in-school entrepreneurship and youth social enterprise programs in the nation; and the development and launch of several new initiatives including YLab, FYA’s youth-led social enterprise.

Jan’s lifelong work and commitment to unleashing the talent of young people, driving social innovation and entrepreneurship, and transforming education has seen her recognised as one of Australia’s ‘True Leaders’ in 2018 and the Inaugural Australian Financial Review and Westpac ‘Woman of Influence’ in 2012.

Jan has been awarded honorary Doctorates from the University of Sydney and Murdoch University in Perth and membership to the Order of Australia in 2000 for services to the Australian community.

Jan is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).

Sam Johnson
Founder, Student Volunteer Army

Social entrepreneur Sam Johnson is Founder and Exec Director of the Student Volunteer Army. Sam has helped the SVA mature from a student social media movement into an internationally recognised charity that will engage 60,000 young people from all corners of New Zealand in its volunteering programmes this year. Sam is a trustee of the Prince’s Trust New Zealand, Emerging Leaders Co-Chair for the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum and an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Canterbury.

Hamish Duff
Technologist, Futurist and Permaculturalist, Recalibrate

Hamish Duff BSc. MSc. MBA is a Director at Recalibrate Ltd. He works at the intersection of two of the megatrends affecting our time – climate and technology change. He helps organisations to successfully take advantage of technology to transform the way they operate, by reviewing their technology and analysing technology strategy, developing roadmaps for change, establishing strong technology foundations and strategic positioning to thrive and survive in a world of rapid technology change.

Technology change is the greatest business threat of our age, but also potentially the most exciting opportunity – and Hamish specialises in helping businesses to understand their role in creating the future.

Hamish is a lifelong learner – with qualifications and experience across multiple disciplines, from science, to biotechnology, through to technology and business. He believes that we all need to learn and adapt if we are to thrive in the increasingly digital world we are entering – and we need to prepare both students of the future and existing employees for the change. He is currently a member of the Ministry of Education Technology Advisory Board, and on the Board of the Food Resilience Network.

Dr Cheryl Doig
Leadership Futurist, Think Beyond

Cheryl Doig PhD is a leadership futurist who sees exponential technologies as an opportunity to amplify our human characteristics. She loves challenging organisations to think differently in order to adapt to a rapidly changing and complex world. This world must consider equity, ethics and social impact as our preferred future.

Cheryl has been an award-winning principal and is involved in a number of strategic roles and foresight projects. This includes Grow Waitaha, a project supporting Christchurch schools through the change process. In 2017 Cheryl was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards, in the Innovation and Science category.

She is currently a Board Chair of the NZ Brain Research Institute,  and Ako Ōtautahi, Learning City Christchurch. Cheryl is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Future Society.

Dr Eruera Tarena
Executive Director, Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective

Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui.

Eruera is the Executive Director for Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective, a Ngāi Tahu-led approach to tackle inequality at its roots.  The vision is to create equity in education, employment and income for all Ngāi Tahu and Māori in the Ngāi Tahu Takiwā by 2040.  Our legacy – a world where all Māori are inspired by their futures, confident in their culture, prosperous in their careers and succeeding as Māori.

Our mission is to create a Ngāi Tahu-led Treaty-based approach for social change.  Drawing from our whānau, hapū, communities, and partners Tokona Te Raki uses social innovation tools and processes to develop community-driven solutions that enable rangatahi to succeed and thrive with a key focus on creating pathways for Māori to the jobs of the future.

Margaret Pickering
Co Founder and COO, MTech Games and Stickmen Media

Margaret began her working life as a professional musician, first as a classical cellist and pianist, and then as lead guitarist and later as drummer and bluegrass fiddler, playing in several bands and in the studio, and touring several times, including in the US.

She followed up graphic design training by co-founding a web design company in which she held the role of Creative Director for 14 years, and was involved in design and back end development as well as business management.

In 2012 she co-founded Stickmen Media, a software development company specialising in apps, games, virtual reality and augmented reality. Stickmen was a finalist in the 2015 Champion Canterbury Awards and the New Zealand Innovation Awards. Also in 2015 Margaret co-founded MTech Games, a startup using the technical expertise gained from Stickmen’s experience to create VR solutions for rehabilitation. In 2017 MTech won a Champion Canterbury Professional Services Award.

Chris Henderson
Associate Director, Te Whai Toi Tangata, University of Waikato

Chris Henderson is an innovative leader in international and comparative education with expertise in teacher professional learning, youth development, global citizenship education and education in emergencies. He brings infectious energy to his work and gets a buzz supporting teachers and learners in their engagement with, understanding of, and success in the Asia-Pacific region.

For New Zealand’s Ministry of Education Chris is a key advisor on global citizenship and sustainability education, and is focused on the integration of global competence learning across all aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum. Internationally, Chris advises clients including the World Bank, United Nations agencies, and government ministries on creative and culturally responsive resources relating to teacher leadership, education sector resilience, and community-centred curriculum design.

Chris holds a Master of Education with High Distinction from the University of Sydney and has completed professional development through the Future of Learning Institute at Harvard University.


Kendall Flutey
Co Founder and CEO, Banqer

Kendall is the Co Founder and CEO of Banqer, the financial education platform named 2018 NZ Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year, and a recipient of a Global Inclusion Award at the G20 Summit in Berlin in 2017.

In 2018 Kendall was recognised for her efforts in raising the financial capability of over 150,000 students being named the 2018 Young Māori Business Leader and in 2019 the Young New Zealander of the Year.

Kendall has a background in Accounting, Economics and Web Development, having walked the unconventional path of a true entrepreneur. Founding two start-ups prior to Banqer, Kendall’s passion has always lay in social issues, particularly educating youth to enable better outcomes for not only them, but their wider communities.

Jody Boshoff
Director of Marketing, UneeQ

Jody Boshoff is the Director of Marketing at AI tech company UneeQ. She is a marketing and communication professional and multi-media storyteller by trade. She is also a qualified teacher and has led the implementation of several organisation-wide change and education initiatives within large corporates. She’s a TABPI and IABC Gold and Bronze Quill winner. Engagement that builds high-performing organisations is her bread and butter, but creating ‘experiences’ is what really excites her. She’s developed and implemented award-winning marketing and communication strategy across digital platforms, with extensive experience in professional services, and is fascinated by what it will take to ‘level up’ to create WOW client (or staff) experiences in future. In an overcrowded online world in which everyone has a platform and no-one has a voice – she’s interested in how brands can rise above the noise and use AI to ‘defy gravity’.

Brianne Fick
Marketing and Innovation Advisor, Citycare

Brianne works in creating a more sustainable future through business. With over seven years of international experience in fast paced and dynamic environments, she uses digital platforms and digital connectivity to achieve outcomes in sustainability, marketing, business development, and strategy.

As the Citycare Marketing & Innovation Advisor, she develops and supports their internal innovation eco-system. She built and manages the innovation programme called the Citycare Ideas Suite © using a combination of online platforms, and offline research and design workflows. The programme is designed to surface new ideas from our national employee base and then coach idea owners to reorganise their ideas into actionable, research-based initiatives through to execution.

As well, she is currently involved in the development of a new digital badging and micro-credential learning recognition platform for a Citycare-supported community action model – Community Guardians ©.

Jessica Trybus
Chief Games Officer, Simcoach Games, USA

Jessica Trybus’s background spans education, community and economic development, workforce development, technology innovation and entrepreneurship…all shaped through using cool technology to solve big problems!

Jessica is the Founder of Simcoach Games, a company whose mission is to create fun video games that inspire youth and connect them to relevant career paths. The Simcoach Skill Arcade is a workforce development platform that exposes job seekers to careers and connects them with relevant training and job opportunities. Simcoach Games is a spin off of Carnegie Mellon University and has delivered 100s of games for learning and workplace training since 2005.

Jessica also served as a longtime faculty member (2004-2018) of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), where she led or contributed to many initiatives, partnerships or projects related to using interactive technology and games for education and inspiration. She is also a founding member of Remake Learning, an incredible social network committed to equitable learning and opportunity for youth.

Additionally, Jess is very active in the U.S. in workforce development and in 2015 was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board. She served as a Board Member of Partner4Work, one of the most progressive and impactful workforce investment boards in the country, from 2012-2019. Through a translation of U.S. WIOA law into workforce development initiatives related to industry, education, community and economic development, these organizations are dedicated to connecting a qualified workforce to employers.

David Glover
Co-author, 'Don’t Worry About the Robots'

David is co-author of Don’t Worry About the Robots: How to Survive and Thrive in the New World of Work, a senior leader and professional director. He has an extensive track record in strategy and marketing and has worked with government agencies, educational institutions and international corporations. He is currently Executive Director – Partnerships at Unitec Institute of Technology and is a Chair and Director of a number of technology companies including Edge Learning Systems, Synapsys and The Mind Lab.

David has a long-standing involvement in digital technology, education and workforce planning. He founded the Wellington EdTech Meet up, the EdTech for Export conference and is a member of the Executive Council of the EdTech Association. He holds an MA from Cambridge University, is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Raphael Nolden
Founder and CEO, Amy.app

Raphael studied history and medical physics and co-developed a patent in medical technology before becoming a lecturer in mathematical modelling. He is CEO and Founder of Jaipuna, the creators of Amy an Artificial Intelligence based private tutoring system for maths www.amy.app. He is passionate about the future of education and ensuring that this is evenly distributed around the world. He is actively involved in the development of the startup ecosystem, helped to establish Canterbury Angels and mentoring at Startup Weekends around the world.

Sakthi Priya Balaji Ranganathan
Design Technologist, CEO and Founder, Jix Reality

Design Technologist, Entrepreneur and Director at JIX Reality.

Driven by relentless curiosity and a passion unhindered by time, Sakthi quit his 9-5 Digital Designer job to realise his mission: “To cultivate design thinking and innovation in the next generation of curious minds by inciting JOY” at the 2017 Startup Weekend.

He now runs his Cross Reality startup and Ed-Tech Social Enterprise ‘JIX’ creating compelling, immersive and interactive experiences for Educational Spaces, Attractions and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums).

Last year, JIX went on to become the Regional Finalist for the first ever ‘NZ Space Challenge’ and was also part of the world’s first culture-tech accelerator programme MAHUKI, commissioned by Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. Connect with him for mentorship, tech talks and workshops based in New Zealand.

Shailan Patel
Education Manager, MYOB

Shailan is the Education Manager for MYOB across New Zealand. He is passionate about helping students catapult from education into meaningful employment, working alongside all types of education providers and organisations, accounting and business students, young Kiwi entrepreneurs, and tech students.

His career has been diverse, previously also managing MYOB’s NZ Retail network, and having worked in sales and advertising for three of New Zealand’s largest media companies after moving to Auckland from England. Shailan is no stranger to the stage – having presented at education/tech events across NZ about the future of work.

James Hayes
CEO, Virtual Medical Coaching

James is the Founder of Virtual Medical Coaching an Edtech startup which develops virtual reality software for use in training and education combined with adaptive e-learning software which is powered by a machine learning and artificial intelligence platform for individual efficient and effective learning.

We work with tertiary providers and companies who are seeking to improve the staff or end-user training. Everything hinges on the data that is provided by the learning without this the simulations are not as powerful – there is an expression in the industry that “you’re either into training or gaming”.  We are definitely into training.

James grew up in Dublin, Ireland but moved to the UK for his undergraduate degree in medical imaging. He worked in medical imaging for a decade and completed a number of medical imaging post-graduate papers before moving into full-time medical imaging education at Ara Institute of Canterbury in Christchurch. He completed his tertiary teaching and learning qualifications at Ara and MSc at the University of Canterbury in 2015. In late 2015, having spotted a gap in the students’ educational needs, formed Virtual Medical Coaching. The idea is not just to replace physical simulation but to make it at least 10 times better by incorporating a strong learning component be the VR platform.

Nick Burnett
Founder, Next Level Greatness

Nick is an Education and Learning Entrepreneur and Futurist. He is also an author, presenter and executive coach. He has a particular interest and expertise in the areas of exponential technologies and their relevance/impact in education and learning. He also has interest and expertise in next level conversations, coaching, leadership, special education and behaviour support. He has been a teacher, senior leader and school principal, and, since 2004, coach, trainer and consultant primarily to those in education, but also to others in the not-for-profit sector.

Throughout his time in education, spanning 30 years, Nick has been committed to developing individuals at all levels, including students, and has a strong belief that everyone can develop, improve and achieve.

Since 2004, Nick has run training and facilitation for well over 4000 people, presented at numerous conferences, and has written for a wide range of publications, including authoring books on leadership, behaviour support, restorative practices, Solutions Focused Special Education and Navigating The Myriad of Leadership Conversations. Prior to this he was recognised as an ‘excellent leader’ of an all-age, large Special School Provision in the UK.

Michael Simmons
Senior Business Development Advisor, Otago Polytechnic

Michael Simmons is Senior Business Development Advisor at Otago Polytechnic (OP), one of New Zealand’s most successful and innovative tertiary institutions with the highest possible quality rating from government and recent international recognition as the first organisation in New Zealand to be awarded the Baldrige-affiliated Performance Excellence Study Award (PESA).
With one foot firmly in the business world and the other in education, Michael has spent the last 10 years designing, developing and delivering organisational learning and development programmes around the world. Currently his primary focus is on micro-credentials where he oversees every aspect of development from concept development, contract, financial management, project management and delivery.

Seku Skandan
COO & Chief Marketing Officer, Jix Reality

Séku Skandan, a Content Technologist and a COO & CMO of JIX, graduated with honours in Computer Science Engineering and worked for technology companies before he migrated to explore distinct domains like journalism, photography, marketing, disaster management, social research and policy before he dived into the startup world, innovation management, tech commercialization and digital transformation. He has had significant freelance work experience from campaigning for and educating kids informally by breaking third world barriers teaching life & digital skills, frugal engineering, hygiene and disaster preparedness through grassroots and international organisations.

He now vouches for exponential technologies and immersive storytelling to transform modern educational content and IGNITE the next generation of curious minds to care for the future and nature.

Tim Bell
Professor, University of Canterbury

Tim Bell is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His main research interest is computer science education. His “Computer Science Unplugged” project, which introduces students and teachers to computer science without using computers, is widely used internationally, and its books and videos have been translated into over 20 languages. He received the 2018 ACM SIGCSE Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education award. He has been actively involved in the design and deployment of Digital Technologies as part of the New Zealand curriculum. He is also a qualified musician, and performs regularly on instruments that have black-and-white keyboards.

Piripi Prendergast
Facilitator, Tokona Te Raki: Māori Futures Collective

Kia ora koutou. Ko Piripi Prendergast taku ingoa. Ngāti Pākehā te iwi. My journey took its first twist when, as an infant, I embarked on a six-week boat journey from Cornwall to rural Canterbury. Somehow that evolved into a career teaching in secondary schools mostly in bilingual programmes and kura kaupapa. More recently I worked as a facilitator to support whole school change to realize Māori success. Currently, I work for Tokona Te Raki – Māori Futures Collective. Our vision is equity for Māori in education, employment and income and to achieve this, we need to operate at scale. My particular role is to mobilize stakeholders and bring them to the table to wānanga how we can all work together to make our vision a reality.

Ray O'Brien
Learning and Teaching Specialist, Otago Polytechnic

Ray O’Brien works across several areas at Otago Polytechnic but at the core of all of them he is a learning designer. He has been part of the team designing and implementing the new and innovative Bachelor of Leadership for Change. He specialises in the integration of sustainable practice into programmes across many disciplines through capability development and learner experience design. As a researcher Ray is currently exploring how complexity theory can inform learning design to maximise the potential global impact of all learners. His past experience includes adventure guiding in many locations around the world, corporate development training, and military leadership training. If he was to boil what he believes education should be into one word it would be “Authentic”.