Creative Welly Episode #32 | Michelle Kitney & Rob Cousins

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Michelle Kitney, Chief Executive at Volunteering New Zealand

Michelle Kitney lead’s Volunteering New Zealand. Originally from Taranaki, she lives in Te whanganui a tara with her three boys and husband.

Volunteering New Zealand is the national umbrella organisation for volunteers and volunteering. It’s purpose is to empower volunteers to enrich Aotearoa New Zealand.

Michelle has a background in communications, marketing, social enterprise and not for profit experience. She has also worked in the public sector in New Zealand and the UK. She says she volunteered her way into her current job. Gaining relevant experience through a variety of volunteering roles.

She cooks and plays Floorball in her spare time.

Rob Cousins, Innovation Manager

Being honest, I’m a jack of all trades and master of none, who often seems to land on my feet, and somehow finds a way to make a difference with the people I meet. After a mediocre degree in Psychology, I worked in insurance and risk management in the UK, whilst pursuing hobbies that were both uninsurable and risky in many other parts of the world. Instead of a career, I’ve followed opportunities as they’ve arisen, and as I’ve pursued various different interests.

All of this has taught me that they key to most challenges is people, their experience, being curious and caring. Right now I am bringing this to how health and safety is understood, and how we might regulate that, from WorkSafeNZ. Shifting away from paperwork, compliance and rules. Moving towards caring about people, creating improvement, and giving people power over the things that affect them.

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Creative Welly Episode #31 | Victoria Crockford & James McCulloch

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Victoria Crockford, Chief Executive Officer, Community Housing Aotearoa Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa

Vic is the Chief Executive at Community Housing Aotearoa-Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa (CHA), a peak body for Aotearoa’s community housing sector. With 90 members providing homes for over 18,000 households, CHA is working everyday towards a future where all New Zealanders are well-housed. With a builder husband and parents in the trades, Vic lives and breathes housing, and views it as the core around which all our lives revolve. Before joining CHA, Vic worked in the energy sector in communications and government relations, as well as in general community rabble rousing and the television sector in Tāhuna / Queenstown. She loves places where cultures collide and has lived in France, Italy, Ghana and the United Kingdom.

The work part adds colour, but the heart of Vic’s life is her family. She is a Mum to Eloise (7) and Cormac (5) and really digs her awesome husband, Rich.

James McCulloch, Chief Executive,
English Language Partners

I am currently Chief Executive of English Language Partners. ELP is the largest New Zealand education NGO working with former refugees and migrants, and helps over 7,000 people a year to settle and thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I was approached to join ELP in mid-2020, as the world of work and learning rapidly shifted, to guide the team on a journey of rapid transformation and digital growth following my experiences scaling the learning company Inspire Group in NZ and overseas.

Prior to this, I led several NGO organisations in the UK and New Zealand and was formerly the Community Director at the City of London.

So, my roles have been diverse in location, but with one common theme, my why:

Life changing impact for individuals, teams and communities.

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Creative Welly Episode #30 | Pamela Bell & Josh Forde

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Pamela Bell, Innovation Consultant

Pamela Bell is an Innovation Consultant and Board Director to a range of start-ups, Council controlled entities and commercial organisations. Her work is focused on innovative construction, affordable housing and added-value timber.

She founded PrefabNZ ‘the hub for innovative construction’ in 2010 from her Master of Architecture thesis Kiwi Prefab which was also turned into a book and museum exhibition.

Pamela has been the lucky recipient of several awards including the Victoria University of Wellington Alumni Award (2019). She is an Adjunct Professor at VUW investigating the relationship between design thinking and business. Most recently she has become intrigued about the interface between design thinking and governance for the boardroom with a series of articles for the Institute of Directors.

Josh Forde, Head of BD, Ackama

Josh is the cofounder of Ackama, a software firm focused on delivering tech with great social impact. Founded in Wellington and Melbourne he works with great teams to design and build online software and has worked with an incredible range of organisations around the globe.

Their work has taken them into organisations as diverse as the World Health Organisation to small clients in Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands while having our local roots.

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Creative Welly Episode #29 | Emilie Fetscher & James Bushell

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Emilie Fetscher, Entrepreneur / Designer / Researcher, GM Design @ Xero

Need zest? Meet Emilie. Deeply curious, passionately collaborative, and inspired by the people and world we live in; Emilie brings a diverse background and relentless optimism to all her endeavors. She’s worked in and out of design as an outdoor guide, a freelancer, in a boutique consultancy, as well as starting tech and non-tech businesses before taking the plunge into the large global team that is Xero. Outside of her day job she contributes to the startup ecosystem, mentoring programs for young women, and as a lurker in environmental communities. She’s also an outdoor enthusiast and lover of great dinner table conversations with old friends and new.

James Bushell, Director / Investor / Strategist, MOTIF

James Bushell is the founding director of MOTIF, a specialist business advisory for organisations that want to create a more equitable and sustainable world. He is a leading strategist in incorporating ethics and sustainability into commercial models and has had governance and executive experience in developing, emerging and developed economies. James is also an author and recently released a book called HUMANGOOD – a field guide to ethical leadership.

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Creative Welly Episode #28 | Janine Sudbury & Mark Gee

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Janine Sudbury, Experiential Leadership Development Trainer and Executive Leadership Coach

Janine Sudbury is a former BBC and National Radio broadcast journalist and presenter. She has created one of the most unique training centres in the country which uses horse whispering to teach you how to become a better leader.

She has a BA in Philosophy and Politics, has worked in Congress in Washington DC and has used these experiences to develop Impact Leadership.

Janine has been involved with horses from when she was a young child living in London. Her passion has led her to work on ranches in the United States, break in horses at Mt Nicholas station in Queenstown, ride trackwork at Otaki racetrack, and spend much of her spare time training her two horses at her venue, Sudbury in Kapiti.

Mark Gee, Photographer / Filmmaker / Visual Effects Supervisor

Mark Gee is an award winning photographer, time-lapse filmmaker and visual effects supervisor based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wholly self-taught, Mark ventures out to the darkest, most remote locations both locally and internationally, enjoying the challenge of combining striking landscapes with the ethereal beauty of the night sky in new, creative ways.

In 2013, Mark won the prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year, and has since spread his love of the night sky through various public talks and presentations including TEDx, and astrophotography workshops.

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Creative Welly Episode #27 | Negin Imani & Derek Bradley

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Dr Negin Imani

Negin is a lecturer in Architectural and Building Science, founder of Biomimicry NZ, representing New Zealand in the Biomimicry Institute global network, and a Visiting Scholar at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand since 2020.

Negin’s research is focused on sustainable architecture and biomimetic energy efficient building design. She is the first post-doctoral researcher at the VUW school of architecture. Her research investigates possibilities to develop living building modules. She has co-authored the book “Heating with Wolves, Cooling with Cacti”.

As a recipient of the National Science Challenge, Science for Technological Innovation, Seed Project grant, Negin is working as the Principle Investigator of the project, Biomimetic Buildings for Climate Change Adaptation: Future Generation of Facades.

Derek Bradley, CEO, A44 Games

Derek Bradley is the CEO of A44 Games an independent games studio based in Wellington, New Zealand. He was the Game Director on ASHEN, the company’s first title, which was released world-wide at the Annual Game Awards in 2018.

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Creative Welly Episode #26 | Glenis Hiria Philip-Barbara & Sam Trubridge

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Glenis Hiria Philip-Barbara, Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children, Ngāti Porou/Ngāti Uepōhatu

Glenis has committed a lifetime to the restoration and recovery of matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems) as a direct response to the impact of colonisation on her whānau, hapū, iwi and the wider community. 

Her thirty year career serving the public sector, iwi and community has been primarily focused on bringing Te Tiriti o Waitangi to life in practical ways in order to address chronic disparities between Pakeha New Zealanders and Māori peoples across all measures of well-being. 

Glenis has been on a mission of late to figure out how to help end racism in Aotearoa and help create the conditions for peaceful co-existence for our collective mokopuna.

Sam Trubridge, Director, Designer, and Performance Artist

Sam Trubridge is founding director of The Performance Arcade: a festival of performance art on Wellington Waterfront that is attended by 60-90,000 people each year since 2011.

His exciting career has involved making performance art underwater in The Bahamas and Croatia; running a festival of NZ theatre in New York; collaborating with sleep scientists; staging productions in swimming pools, carparks and paddocks; and presenting work in London, Prague, Rome, Florence, Kyoto, Rio, Melbourne, and Sydney.

He is currently senior design tutor at Toi Whakaari O Aotearoa: NZ Drama School.

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Creative Welly Episode #25 | Isabella Cawthorn & Richard Shirtcliffe

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Isabella Cawthorn, Editor, Talk Wellington

Isabella has been meddling, influencing and generally making good change in urban spaces for 20-odd years. Her chequered career includes co-founding Frocks On Bikes, doing community engagement on windfarm construction and street improvement projects, editing Talk Wellington, briefing local government candidates on elementary urbanism, helping establish NZ’s tactical urbanism programme, and facilitating rapprochement between local councils’ community development and infrastructure teams.

She’s a 1.5-generation Pākehā from Porirua. Find her on dancefloors, drinking coffee, and striking up conversations on trains.

Richard Shirtcliffe, Story-teller / WildClean Executive Janitor

I’m really just a story-teller, with a passion for building disruptive ‘triple bottom line’ brands.

My kids are my north star, and back in 2018 I watched as they paddled through a sea of waste plastic while learning to surf. Since then I’ve been on a mish to Un-muck Their World. To create businesses that trash the status quo; eliminate single-use plastic; and transform categories by delivering better products in a better way. WildClean.com – the world’s first plastic-negative cleaning co – is the latest.

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Creative Welly Episode #24 | Jo Cribb & James Partridge

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Jo Cribb, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

Jo is an experienced consultant who is regularly asked to facilitate strategy sessions with leadership teams, coach emerging leaders and lead substantial policy, strategy and gender projects. Recent assignments include facilitating sessions at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, working with the New Zealand Defence Force to develop strategies to increase the gender diversity of the forces, and completing a gender analysis of immigration policy.

Jo was the previous Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women and Deputy Children’s Commissioner. She invests her time and energy in advancing the cause of the vulnerable in society, spearheading some of the most difficult issues of our time, including child abuse, poverty, homelessness, family violence and vulnerable women.

James Partridge, Film Producer / Film Festival Director / Marketing Strategist

James Partridge is creator, innovator and problem solver, working across the creative disciplines of film and marketing. As a film producer, two of the films James has been involved with have screened at the A-List Shanghai International Film Festival – with both being nominated for the Golden Roosters (the Chinese Oscars). As the Founder and Festival Director of the Terror-Fi Film Festival, James oversees New Zealand’s largest genre and cult film festival; that brings together thousands of film fans each year, while also serving as an interface between local talent and the global marketplace. James’ most proud achievement is having developed marketing and fundraising strategies that have helped to raise over $150m for New Zealand not-for-profit organisations.

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Creative Welly Episode #23 | Samantha Gadd & Phyo Thu

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Samantha Gadd, Passionate about all things business and employee experience, Founder / Director of Humankind and EX Design School

I am a super proud mum of three boys, business founder and EX enthusiast. I am obsessed with business, leadership, growth, brand and all things people in business.

I have recently launched EX Design School, having just stepped away from my CEO role at Humankind after nearly 10 years. EX Design School is an online programme and community with global ambitions, looking to transform how business leaders and HR practitioners design awesome employee experiences. I’m excited to learn about how to build a product and global community, alongside putting my business experience to the next test!

Phyo Thu, eMotion Maker, Founder and Creative Director of Fox & Co

After nearly a decade of experience in motion design and visual effects, I started my animation studio, Fox & Co Design, to fuel my passion for storytelling through animation and unite a subculture of like-minded creatives with the same enthusiasm. I’ve been fortunate to have built a talented team that shares my vision, and together, we continue to create inspiring visuals.

Virtual production is becoming a leading trend to constant evolutions in the animation industry – I’m excited to see how we can leverage all the emerging technology to push our boundaries and take our creativity to the next level!

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