Creative Welly Episode #19 | Paula Eskett & Ari Sargent

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

Paula Eskett, District Libraries Manager, Waimakariri District Council

Paula Eskett has worked in libraries since her parents told her she needed an afterschool job at 14.

Her belief and determination in the community building and strengthening power of libraries has been reinforced through her mahi in an array of library roles across Aotearoa.

She is most engaged when advocating for and designing services that promote equity of access to all that libraries can offer their communities; knowledge in all its different forms, the tools and technology to create and share new knowledge and spaces to grow understanding and social connections.

Paula currently leads Waimakariri Libraries, is a LIANZA past president, CORE Education eFellow and fellow of Creative Common’s Institute of Open Leadership

Ari Sargent, Managing Director, Octopus Energy NZ

Known for his ability to think deeply, he was once described by a colleague as a “Brainbox wearing sneakers and shorts”. This description exemplifies the intelligent disobedience he likes to apply problem solving and innovation.

A 30 year veteran of the energy industry makes him either a dinosaur or a guru. He describes his early career as being interesting and extremely rewarding – he set up Meridian Energy’s trading operation, negotiated the renewal of the Tiwai Point electricity contract and spearheaded the company’s renewable energy strategy. But he definitely felt like a square peg in a corporate round hole. No surprise he lept from that environment to create Powershop, one of New Zealand’s most loved consumer brands, and established the world’s first multinational energy franchise to take Powershop to the world.

These days he is heading up UK unicorn Octopus Energy’s entry into the NZ electricity market and wants to make accessing clean energy easy and affordable.

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Creative Welly Episode #16 | Natasha Zimmerman & Ben Preston

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

Natasha Zimmerman, Meaning Maker

Natasha is the founder and creative force behind Unchatter, an organisation focused on bringing meaningful connection to the world. She creates spaces where small talk is banned and an array of thoughtfully curated exercises get participants to dig deep.

Natasha’s fab accent will tell you from the US, where she was a healthcare executive before coming to NZ to pursue her PhD at the University of Canterbury. Her current research is centered on belonging and connection in organisations, and she loves finding the juicy intersection of science, humanism, and practical application.

When she’s not engaged in a deep conversation, you’ll find Natasha getting lost in a good book, looking at the moon, organizing things for fun, and baking ridiculous cakes. She’s an old soul, an introvert, and a poetry zealot. Natasha lives in Christchurch with her joy-givers: her partner Hassan and her baby boy Bodhi.

Ben Preston, Independent Creative Consultant + Project Director at MOTIF

As an engineering technologist and regenerative practitioner, Ben supports revitalisation of the life-giving patterning in social, environmental and economic systems in business and place-based design.

This involves placing living, ecological processes of environments and cultures at the core of project team operations, engaging new forms of collaboration, procurement and design that are inclusive and holistic, and re-integrating individuals and groups in the re-patterning processes of their surroundings.

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