Project NZ: Speakers


View the programme.

The speakers at the Project NZ: Telling Good Stories conference, together with their presentations, are:

Matthew Yeomans headshotMatthew Yeomans – CEO, Sustainly

Matthew Yeomans is the founder of Sustainly, a media platform providing companies and agencies the information they need to deliver authentic and creative sustainability content. He is the author of the annual Social Media Sustainability Index.

He has 25 years’ experience working as a writer, editor and communications consultant. He co-founded the media company Social Media Influence and the editorial consultancy Custom Communication and has worked with clients including PwC, HSBC, Nike, BASF, Lloyds Banking Group and many others. He is the author of three books and has contributed to many publications including: Time, The New York Times, National Geographic, Ad Age, Fortune, The Industry Standard, The Guardian Sustainable Business and Wired.


Nicky_BellNicky Bell – CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi 

Since joining Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand as CEO in 2010, Nicky has led the agency through a transformation to become a thriving, innovative business oriented around the creation of ‘ideas worth sharing’.  Throughout this journey, Nicky has focused on building a strong, healthy culture to drive higher levels of creativity, innovation and productivity.

Nicky was previously based in New York, where she worked for 10 years at Ogilvy as a Worldwide Managing Director on brands such as Motorola, Kodak, Dove, Avon, San Pellegrino, Perrier and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

In addition to her CEO role, Nicky is a board member of the Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand, Saatchi & Saatchi Asia Pacific, KEA New Zealand and the Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation. This year, Nicky has also been selected as a member of the New Zealand Flag Consideration Panel.

Nicky is a member of the Global Women Organisation and is an alumni of the Stanford University Graduate Business School.

15_04 Angela Buglass, Chief Exec TIL_HR2 

Angela Buglass – Chief Executive, Trilogy International Ltd

Angela recently returned from 15 years in the UK where she held the role of Vice President Marketing for LF Beauty, part of the global sourcing giant Li & Fung. Her core focus in her last two years there was brand growth and development within the UK and Asia. Angela’s beauty industry experience includes roles with leading players Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and Estée Lauder (working on the AVEDA brand). Her category experience includes cosmetics, skincare/spa, haircare/salon and fragrance. As Vice President, her areas of responsibility included sales, brand marketing, product sourcing/new product development, merchandising and display and new market expansion.

Click here to view Angela’s presentation

Alicia Darvall – Executive Director, B Corps Australia

In her role with B Lab Australia, Alicia is building a community of values-driven businesses and working to benchmark their great work. B Lab drives this systemic change by building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing. To become a B Corp, businesses are certified by B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Alicia has more than 15 years of community-building experience in the private and public sectors, and has worked with a range of businesses including Moonlight Cinema, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Melbourne Fashion Festival. Her past roles have involved working with Gordon Ramsay Holdings, Village Roadshow, Right Angle Studio and Social Traders. Alicia holds a Masters of Management from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Social Science (Environmental Policy) from RMIT University.

Click here to view Alicia’s presentation


John Heckman – Managing Director, thinkstep (North America)

John specialises in the link between business value and sustainability.  John has applied the Sustainability Business Value Framework concept with dozens of organisations across the globe to identify opportunities to grow revenue, improve brand, reduce cost and minimise risk, including work with Shell, Best Buy, Honeywell, Starbucks, Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, City of Denver and California Wine. John has a PhD in Ecology from Virginia Tech.

Click here to view John’s presentation

 jacqueline-irelandJacqueline Farman – CEO, Colmar Brunton

Jacqueline has a postgraduate degree in Marketing from Auckland University, and over two decades of experience as a marketing and research consultant. She heads up Colmar Brunton in New Zealand, which is part of the global Millward Brown group of companies.

Jacqueline has a real passion for helping clients make great decisions based on the best possible data and analytics. She believes in the power of corporate purpose, and its ability to build great and sustainable organisations that unite stakeholder groups across territories and cultures.

Jacqueline is a board member of both Colmar Brunton and the Sustainable Business Network and consults to clients in the airlines, telecommunications, banking, government and business to business sectors.

Click here to view Jacqueline’s presentation

Mike Pollok – Managing Director, Ricoh

Mike Pollok is the Managing Director of Ricoh New Zealand, part of Ricoh Global, one of the worlds largest business technology companies.

Mike has led Ricoh through an enormous pendulum swing, as businesses recognise the need to re-invent themselves for the times. Most are looking to reduce costs, become more lean and efficient  and ultimately, more sustainable though profitability.  Ricoh had long anticipated a shift from paper to digital by its customers and actively moved into enabling organisations to automate workflows, leading to increased productivity, flexibility and sustainability.

Mike has been at the helm of Ricoh New Zealand for 30 years and is known for his commitment to sustainability.

Click here to view Mike’s presentation

 GuyGuy Ryan – CEO and Founder, Inspiring Stories

Young New Zealander of the Year 2015, Guy is an entrepreneur who outside of work loves the outdoors, surfing and adventure. He is the CEO and founder of Inspiring Stories, a nationwide charity with a vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world. Since 2011, Inspiring Stories has developed an impressive track record of programmes and partnerships to develop and support 5,000 young people creating change in their communities. These programmes include the flagship national event, Festival for the Future, and the accelerator programme, Live the Dream. Guy regularly speaks on the topic of engaging and inspiring young people, including at the 2015 Social Enterprise World Forum in Milan, Italy.

Click here to view Guy’s presentation

DavidDavid Trubridge – Captain and Designer, David Trubridge 

David Trubridge is New Zealand’s best known furniture/lighting designer: his work, which is all manufactured by his own company in Hawkes Bay, is sold and exhibited all around the world. His designs have featured in countless international publications, including the most influential, as an instigator of the trend of ‘raw sophistication’ and as an exemplar of environmentally responsible design. In 2008 the French magazine Express listed him as one of the top 15 designers in the world, and in 2012 the Pompidou Centre in Paris purchased his ‘Icarus’ installation for its permanent collection.


Bernard profile photoBernard Hickey – MC & Moderator

Bernard Hickey is an independent financial and economic commentator with over 25 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and publisher for Reuters, the FT Group, Fairfax Media and He is also the Wellington-based publisher of Hive News and regularly commentates on economic and financial issues.

Click here to view Bernard’s presentation

 Rod Oram – business journalist

Rod Oram has 40 years’ experience as an international business journalist. He has worked for various publications in Europe and North America, including the Financial Times of London. He is currently a columnist for the Sunday Star-Times; a regular broadcaster on radio and television; and a frequent public speaker on business, economics, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, in both NZ and global contexts. In 2010, Rod was the winner in the individual category in the Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards and was Columnist of the Year in the consumer category in the national magazine awards for his columns in Good, a consumer sustainability magazine. Rod was a founding trustee and chairman of the Akina Foundation and is a founding trustee of the Aotearoa NZ Foundation for Public Interest Journalism.

Click here to view Rod’s presentation

Nevil Gibson – Editor, The National Business Review

Nevil Gibson is Editor at Large at The National Business Review. He has been a professional journalist since 1968, working mainly in print and radio. He was appointed Editor of the NBR in 1989 and until recently was Editor in Chief. He is chairman of the advisory board of the NZ Catholic fortnightly newspaper and writes its film column. He has judged a wide range of business awards, both past and present.

Click here to view Nevil’s presentation

 James Russell – Editor, Element Magazine

James is the founding and current editor of Element magazine, New Zealand’s largest sustainable business and lifestyle magazine. Element arrives monthly in the pages of The New Zealand Herald and has over 135,000 readers.

Rachel headnshoulder 2014



Rachel Brown – CEO, Sustainable Business Network 

As founder and CEO of the Sustainable Business Network Rachel has played a critical role in advancing the value of sustainability for the past decade. Her recent work has seen the introduction to SBN of critical transformation areas in which New Zealand can lead the world. She leads SBN on a number of projects with a strong focus on communicating the value and benefit of reshaping profit.

In 2009 Rachel was one of 15 New Zealanders to be trained by Al Gore to present The Inconvenient Truth and joined an elite group of international presenters to be part of the Climate Reality Project broadcast. The broadcast reached over 3 million people across the globe. As a regular presenter, collaborator and driver of action within NZ communities, Rachel is committed to the role business plays in supercharging and transforming NZ’s economy into one that is smarter and more sustainable.

Click here to view Rachel’s presentation

Gerri Ward – Sustainability Manager, Z Energy

Gerri leads and implements Z’s sustainability commitments. She has a background in business opportunities out of sustainability and climate change, and has previously worked for the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment. She has a Bachelor of Law from the University of Waikato and a Masters in International Environmental Law from the University of Nottingham.

Click here for Gerri’s presentation

Barbara NebelBarbara Nebel – Managing Director, Thinkstep

Barbara is Managing Director of thinkstep (Australasia). thinkstep enables companies worldwide to recalibrate their strategies and operations for long-term sustainability success with unrivalled data, technology and services.

Barbara has worked with organisations of all sizes in Europe, Australia and New Zealand for more than 15 years improving their sustainability performance management. Recently she has initiated the Australasian EPD Programme and is President of the Life Cycle Association of New Zealand.

Click here to view Barbara’s presentation

Kath Dewar head and shoulders-2Kath Dewar – Managing Director and Founder, GoodSense

Kath has more than 25 years’ experience at the sharp end of marketing, she’s held senior roles in the UK and New Zealand and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Her marketing services business GoodSense provides expertise to progressive organisations and her training business GoodSense Learning offers a unique online course in green marketing ( in partnership with the Marketing Association and the Sustainable Business Network. Kath delivers workshops, speaks at conferences and provides media commentary on the future of marketing at a time when ethical and environmental concerns make daily headlines.

Click here to view Kath’s presentation

sophieSophie Heighway – Corporate Sustainability Specialist

Sophie is a corporate sustainability specialist and has held roles with national corporations such as Downer, NZ Post Group and Air New Zealand. Over the last 10 years she has managed a range of environmental and social sustainability programmes, including social and community engagement, corporate responsibility and supply chain management. Sophie represented NZ Post Group on the Pilot Programme of the International Integrated Reporting Council, the first NZ company to participate and produce an Integrated Report. She is a strong advocate for the benefits of reporting and the value it provides to businesses.

Click here to view Sophie’s presentation

Leanne FrisbieLeanne Frisbie – Director, Passion PR

Leanne’s well-established, ethical Auckland PR agency Passion PR aims to work with organisations and brands dedicated to making a positive difference in the world from an environmental, social, and cultural standpoint. Leanne has well over a decade’s experience in the area of marketing, communications and journalism. Passionate about sustainability, she is on the board of the Sustainable Business Network and Envirochallenge.


Fiona Stephenson – National Communications Manager, Sustainable Business Network

Fiona has been communicating sustainability for more than 15 years and has overseen a rebrand of SBN’s communications. She has worked for a mix of non-profits, businesses and universities and her past roles include speech writing for the UK Government’s chief sustainability advisor, Sir Crispin Tickell; communications for the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute and Green College Centre; and PR consultancy with the Baldwin Boyle Group, specialising in sustainability. In 1999 she was nominated as one of Britain’s Women of the Year. She has Honours and Master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge, the latter in Environment and Development.

Click here to view Fiona’s presentation

Please note the line-up of speakers is subject to change