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.