We are delighted to announce we have secured a number of well-known and engaging speakers:
Dr Michelle Dickinson – Nanogirl
Having set up and run New Zealand’s only nanomechanical testing laboratory that specialises in making and breaking tiny things (nano and micro), Michelle spends her time helping companies with board advisory around science and technology commercialisation including technical consulting for investors and VC’s looking for ROI advice for high-tech start-ups. Her experience spans academia, government labs and large-scale R&D departments. She says the key to success is not necessarily how great the technology is, but how well the science is communicated and how diverse the engineering team is.
Michelle’s success comes from her hard work and lots of lucky opportunities, allowing her to break the poverty cycle she grew up in through education. This experience led her to Co-Found Nanogirl Labs, a socially conscious business designed to create beautiful and engaging content to help everyone build confidence around STEM.
Nanogirl Labs is both an in-person and a digital platform that highlights positive, diverse role models with fun and engaging storylines and kinaesthetic based learning helping everyone to see that they can be a creator not just a consumer. Nanogirl Labs’s goal is to help people have a meaningful relationship with technology no matter their educational background or socioeconomic status. Their projects include the bestselling book The Kitchen Science Cookbook and TV show, a digital STEM platform and STEM education in schools in the pacific islands.
Michelle became a household name during New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, often called upon by the media and government to present the complex happenings in layman’s terms. During this time, she was praised for her work in the education sector to explain the disease and its implications to children – her videos and content became a highly sought after resource by parents and teachers.
Having grown up with a father who was the president of the Mongrel Mob and in and out of prison throughout his childhood, Dave understands what it means to struggle.
It took Dave a near-death experience to pull him out of a downward spiral. From there, he embarked on a journey that led to him owning several businesses, playing rugby league all over the world, becoming a professional boxer, losing almost 100 kg in body weight, and starting over.
Dave is an inspiration to thousands of Kiwis, achieving his transformation purely through hard work and dedication. Starting his platform via his private Facebook group where over 10,000 people have achieved life-changing levels of weight loss, Dave went on to found his company Buttabean Motivation (BBM), where he and his team are currently working with public health and social service providers across Auckland to deliver his highly effective BBM programs to improve the health outcomes for obese people. In 2022, Dave joined the radio team at Today FM hosting the 12 – 2 pm show on Sunday’s where he shares health, fitness and motivational tips.
Often consulted by the media, and even the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Dave’s bold and no-nonsense approach has changed thousands of lives in his community and around New Zealand. In 2022, Dave was awarded with the Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the year Award for his incredible work across Aotearoa.