The New Zealand Organisational Learning Symposium

Experience | Inclusion | Engagement

Event Details

Renetta Alexander

Future Capabilities and Culture Strategist

A highly trained and competent NLP Specialist with a passion for leading and influencing the culture of learning within organisations; an exceptional communicator at all levels who displays a professional and impartial attitude; brings highly developed critical thinking, well developed presentation skills, and an ability to align learning to strategy; key strengths are in effectively leading through periods of complex change, navigating ambiguity with effective decision making, strategic thinking, and a results focus. Renetta has a passion for working at the intersection of Culture, Future Capabilities and Digital Technology. She is currently completing a Masters of Technological Futures and Adaptive Cultures Accreditation programme.

Clare Parkes

Founder and Lead Consultant

Beyond Performance

Clare leads the Beyond Performance team. Her greatest strengths lie in her strategic insight, ability to translate needs into solutions, and commercial acumen. These strengths have been developed over a 25+ year career in Human Resources, working at a senior level with businesses like The Warehouse, Price Waterhouse Cooper, 3Com and Arcadia Group in the UK and New Zealand. Clare’s knowledge of the way in which human capability influences business performance has moved her from more generalist HR to specialise in organisational development and learning and development. With a particular interest in the future of work and the influences on our ability to change, Clare is often found discussing the challenges and opportunities that lie with leaning into the contemporary workplace.

Mel Rowsell


Wisdom at Work

Mel Rowsell is a master practitioner in the dark arts of humanity. With her 20+ years of experience in Human Resources; coupled with experience in brain based coaching, and a Diploma in Secondary Education, she has spent her entire adult life perfecting, as she says, “how to people”. Mel played a founding role at Vend, a web based point of sale solution, which quickly grew from the founding team to 200 team members globally. Her role heading up the People function, and latterly focusing on culture and leadership, gave her an opportunity to prove what a common sense approach to people and culture can do. These days Mel is principal consultant at Wisdom at Work. She spends her days helping businesses develop and scale amazing cultures, define their values and build strong leaders. She works with a range of businesses who are ambitious for the future and see their people as a major asset. Within coaching, Mel specialises in working with leaders seeking to understand and improve on their own leadership style, especially where it comes to getting the most out of people around them. She also provides coaching to HR professionals who want to cultivate more of a humanistic view without compromising on deliverables. She has worked with many innovative companies including Vend, The Icehouse, Stretchsense, Naveya & Sloane, Creative HQ and Boffa Miskell.

Adnan Belushi


Johnson Corner 

Adnan is a co-founder of Johnson Corner, an 'ecosystem building' startup based out of Taranaki, New Zealand. Johnson Corner is on a mission to create coworking/innovation labs around the globe where New Zealand innovation ethos and culture enables the acceleration of solutions to humanity's greatest challenges. Adnan is also the founder of Future Humans Lab, a research and education platform that teaches humans the art of constant re-invention by following ecosystem beliefs. The mission of this platform is to ensure that humans engage in building the future, instead of being spectator of our future. Adnan is originally from the United Arab Emirates, now living in New Zealand with his wife Elle and son Arlo. He is passionate about advancing humanity by ecosystem first approach.

James Ballard

Product Manager (Enterprise)

Kineo APAC

James is a seasoned learning professional with a specialism in elearning strategy. Adept at helping organisations provide effective and personalised learning experiences, James rejoined Kineo in 2018 as a product leader. James works with clients on supporting technologies for changing learner needs. As part of his PhD at the University of Melbourne James researches emotional responses to learning and is exploring the path individuals take to develop strategies for learning. At Kineo, James is focused on several projects that explore the benefits of an experience layer approach to learning technologies and the facilitation of xAPI.

Jody Boshoff

Director of Marketing


Jody Boshoff is the Director of Marketing at AI tech company FaceMe. She is a marketing and communication professional and multi-media storyteller by trade. She is also a qualified teacher and has led the implementation of several organisation-wide change and education initiatives within large corporates. She’s a TABPI and IABC Gold and Bronze Quill winner. Engagement that builds high-performing organisations is her bread and butter, but creating ‘experiences’ is what really excites her. She’s developed and implemented award-winning marketing and communication strategy across digital platforms, with extensive experience in professional services, and is fascinated by what it will take to ‘level up’ to create WOW client (or staff) experiences in future. In an overcrowded online world in which everyone has a platform and no-one has a voice – she’s interested in how brands can rise above the noise and use AI to ‘defy gravity’.

Selwyn Cook

National Employer Ambassador

Workbridge NZ

Selwyn Cook was a Shell and Z Retailer in the Waikato owning and operating a multiple service station business for twenty seven years. His discovery of the talent pool that identifies with disability had a significant impact on the positive performance of his business. He has worked with organisations such as Workbridge, Enrich+, Idea Services and the Blind Foundation to recruit people with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities, In the last three years in business he employed over seventy job seekers through Workbridge alone. Selwyn has won a number of awards for his work including the Attitude ACC Employer Award 2014, a Diversity Works Diversability award in 2015 and was the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Local Hero winner for 2016. This led to Selwyn to take up a new challenge as the Workbridge Employer Ambassador. He has always been committed to reflecting diversity in the workplace and ensuring businesses become more inclusive of those living with a disability or illness. The role allows him to continue to promote the benefits to employers so to consider the disability talent pool and to work alongside other New Zealand organisations to help them build inclusive workplaces that better reflect their customers, markets and our society.

Rob Heaney

Director, Management Consulting

PwC New Zealand

Rob is a practical strategist, architect and leader of organisational development and change. Rob is a Director within PwC’s Management Consulting practice. Rob has significant hands-on experience in developing and leading workforce strategy and plans, operating model design and implementation, organisational development and change management programmes. Before returning to PwC in 2017, Rob was the Director of Defence Human Resources at the New Zealand Defence Force. Rob has extensive private and public sector experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and is tertiary qualified in Human Resource Management, Commercial Law and Industrial Relations.

Mary Johnson

Organisational Development Manager

Auckland Council

Leading the organisational development team for Auckland Council, Mary is responsible for developing a culture that enables high performance and high engagement. As an experienced strategic practitioner whose career spans over 18 years, she’s passionate about working with business leaders to help their organisations gain a competitive advantage by aligning their strategy, structure, people and processes. Mary firmly believes that OD is not just about capability building, but about creating an environment where people can bring their diverse learning, backgrounds and experiences to their daily working lives – in essence, their best selves. Mary has successfully led many culture, change and transformational projects and programmes for a wide variety of organisations in both the private and public in the UK and globally and, in the past three years, in NZ. Her very diverse career has been in the retail, marketing and IT industries, over 20 years in PwC then providing consultancy services to a variety of businesses in NZ such as Sandfords and Mercedes Benz and more recently as the Head of Culture and Development at Manukau Institute of Technology.

Anna Kingston


Brightstar Training 

Anna has always loved to learn.  But in this rapidly changing world, even she feels that keeping up with all the new ideas, skills and information coming at us every day is a challenge.  That's why she loves to help you filter, curate and learn, so you feel both calm and current.  Anna helps you apply some of the new practices like design thinking, agile and lean enterprise to your business problems so you can achieve fast, modern and sustainable business results and learning.  "It's never about throwing out your current values, mindsets or toolkits.  It's about using what works, removing what doesn't and creating more time for you to be successful in life and work.” Anna has worked in the Learning and Development industry for over 15 years both at a strategic and a hands-on level, as a Learning and Development Manager, Learning Designer, Coach, and Facilitator. Within complex global telecommunications, retail, airline, financial, corporate and manufacturing enterprises, Anna has been responsible for designing innovative leadership and sales and service improvement programs, including many blended learning solutions which have led to immediate increases in performance. Anna is passionate about creating immediately applicable, practical, learner-centred and useful learning solutions, developing buy-in from both learners and stakeholders. Anna loves to work with learning teams and practitioners.

Diane Lithgow

Head of Engagement

The Skills Organisation

Diane Lithgow is an experienced senior manager and education professional.  Di has held a range of policy, operational and strategic roles over the last 20 years and has extensive knowledge of the vocational education sector - both in New Zealand and abroad.  Di brings innovative and outside-the box thinking that both challenges and inspires.  With a passion for best practice in learning and development, Di has successfully led teams across the quality assurance, qualification and programme development areas. In her most current role as Head of Engagement for the Skills Group, Di brings her relationship skills to the fore as she manages the strategic relationships with 22 industries, member associations, government agencies, regulators and education providers.

Nick Mackeson-Smith

Learning and Development Lead


Nick Mackeson-Smith is the Learning and Development Lead at Spark New Zealand.  He has had a wealth of leadership experience in organisational development, learning, culture and change Management at some of New Zealand’s and the world’s most influential organisations, including Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays. Now at Spark, Nick leads a team of coaches, learning partners, innovation specialists and employee experience experts who together help make Spark a great place for employees to develop and build their career.  This year Nick and his team led the learning programme for a ground breaking and radical transformation at Spark – the shift to Agile ways of working. He and his team are known for wanting to do things that have never been done before and have a stellar track record in delivering against that goal. Ako – Sparks’ new performance/social learning/career pathways/engagement/coaching platform has been built by his team in-house and breaks practically every rule of what an LMS “should be”. This “Anti-LMS” is a key enabler in an environment where people are no longer trained but are given all the opportunities and tools for them to able to learn.

Dr Gayle Morris

Associate Professor, Project Lead: Learning and Teaching Transformation, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor


Associate Professor Gayle Morris currently leads learning and teaching transformation as part of a newly formed Learning, Teaching and Curriculum Leadership Cluster at AUT. Gayle has been involved in adult, professional and work-based learning, in Higher Education, and the Vocational Education and Training Sector in Canada, Australia and more recently Hong Kong, for over 18 years. She has nine years of Faculty-based academic leadership in teaching and learning enhancement; five of those with The Faculty of Business and Commerce at The University of Melbourne, in addition to her most recent experience as Director of Academic Programs at the University of Hong Kong prior to joining AUT in 2013. Gayle is a passionate educator and committed to designing transformative learning experiences that better position graduates to thrive in complex and dynamic times.

Justine Munro

Co-Founder and Lab Director

21C Skills Lab

Justine is the Co-Founder and Director of the 21C Skills Lab. She has a long career in innovation, education and social change, having led or helped establish a number of organisations including the Springboard Trust, Starpath, NZ Centre for Social Innovation, Global Women, DiverseNZ, the Champions for Change, TupuToa, and the Well Foundation. She has previously served as the Director of the Champions for Change, a group of 50 NZ CEOs and Chairs committed to advancing diversity and inclusion, and Executive Director of Education at Social Ventures Australia. She has sat on a number of boards including Z Energy, NZQA, Simplicity Charitable Trust, TupuToa, Teach First NZ, the Akina Foundation and the Well Foundation. She is a former McKinsey & Company consultant, lawyer specialising in indigenous issues and Rhodes Scholar.

Jacinta Penn

Director of Customer Experience


Jacinta has been working in e-learning for 8 years and has consulted as an instructional designer on a wide variety of learning projects. These have been as diverse as compliance at Fonterra, serious games at Auckland University for teaching digital technologies in schools, and how to handle an armed robbery in 360VR. She is is now also working with ShowHow as Director of Customer Experience.

Racheal Reeves

Learning Innovation Lead


Racheal likes to shake things up. With a background in technology and design she is constantly searching for new ways to democratise knowledge and put the power of information in the hands of those who need it, when they need it and how they need it. Racheal is currently the Learning Innovation Lead at Spark working on developing a data driven, user centric learning platform for those who want to face challenges confidentially not complete trainings. In her spare time you will find her working on - a tool she co-founded in 2017 for the NZ elections, which recently was a finalist at the NZ Best Design Awards.

Christina Rogstad


The Sage-ing Institute NZ

Christina Rogstad is a Principal at The Sage-ing Institute NZ, an organisation that is challenging the perceptions of ageing. We are in the midst of an extraordinary time of change, no matter what your age. A baby born in NZ toady has a greater than 50% change of living past100. We are all going to need to reconsider the way we work and how long we work. The Sage-ing Institute works with organisations and individuals to re-set the reality and take advantage of the opportunities of our longer lives. NZ organisations are unprepared for the change that is already here. Christina has held senior positions in a range of corporate and entrepreneurial organisation, both large and small, leading teams that implement innovative strategies in Health, Education and Technology in the US, Australia and NZ.

Jerusha Sharp

360° Mentoring Programme Graduate

Ports of Auckland

Jerusha Sharp is a 360° Graduate at Ports of Auckland, equipped with a futuristic mindset to introduce strategic opportunities and encourage agile thinking in managers and team members. Since joining POAL, she has been involved in organising the annual NZ Ports Environment & Sustainability Forum and assisted in companywide awareness training for the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017. Prior to beginning the 360° Mentorship Programme, Jerusha was awarded an AUT Internz Scholarship and worked in New York City as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator.

Michelle Taggart

Community and Industry Education Manager


Michelle Taggart has worked at Xero for 4 years, specifically within the NZ education team and community to develop and implement Xero educational programs that help create skilled, confident and independent partners and Xero users. Michelle has supported first hand the transformation of learner journeys across Xero New Zealand's 320K subscribers as they embrace technology tools, adapt to continuous learning needs and demand just in time education. Michelle now leads Xero's education sector partnerships and new platform adoption for Xero Learn, a platform for teaching financial lessons and supporting education partners with tools to deliver work-ready graduates - closing the gap from education to employability. Michelle has a BBUS from AUT in Accounting and Management and her career has involved working overseas in international aid organisations and for the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as several years running her own small businesses. When Michelle is not working in the cloud you can find her outdoors exploring NZ with her family.

Greg Wallace

Chief Executive Officer

Master Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers NZ

Greg Wallace has more than 30 years’ experience in the construction sector. A former plumber, Greg spent 16 years working for a plumbing merchant, prior to completing a business management course at Auckland University. Greg has been Chief Executive Officer at Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ Inc for the past four years. He is also CEO of Masterlink, which employs around 200 apprentices in the sector and places them with host plumbing firms. Established 117 years ago, Master Plumbers represents around 70 percent of the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry. Its key roles are advocacy, member services and training. Greg has a passion for improving the quality of the industry, and lifting the profile of the plumbing, drainlaying and gasfitting sectors so young people can realise the opportunities available to them.

Jane Welch

In-house Learning and Development Manager

Brightstar Training 

Jane has been consulting in the field of people development for over 20 years in training and development, talent management, change management, career development, psychometric assessment and one on one coaching and alongside this has a strong commercial understanding. Having worked for several years in a large global consulting firm, she then went on to start a new consulting business and is now Learning and Development Manager at Brightstar Training. Throughout her career Jane has been involved in the development of tailored training programmes across many industries and organisations in a wide range of topics helping people develop their soft skills and leaderships skills. More recently she has added to this by working alongside subject matter experts in technical and specialist areas such as, contract law, project management, finance, supply chain, risk management, facilities and asset management. Jane works with a wonderful and highly skilled Learning and Development team who work closely with organisations across New Zealand to design and deliver tailored corporate training.  We are passionate about learning and development and believe it drives engagement, innovation and enhances job satisfaction allowing individuals, teams and organisations to grow, thrive and succeed.

Hadas Wittenberg

Founder and The Future of Work Enabler

Adaptive Futures

Hadas Wittenberg is a Future of work Enabler and the Founder of Adaptive Futures. Hadas’s expertise in strategic leadership, hands-on management of large-scale global teams and a proven track record of leading transformation programmes provide her with a unique combination of insights. Since starting her career in the early 90’s, Hadas was drawn into the areas of organisational changes, particularly those that were driven by the advancements in Technology. Being at the front of these exponential changes, she has seen the impact on people and organisations. Hadas is now focusing her attention on enabling a future where we apply technology broadly, alongside human creativity and productivity by finding a holistic and systematic approach to solve the broken links between people engagement, organisational culture and work performance. Known for her funny accent, Hadas will talk about what is possible, what is probable and what the future might mean for us.

Xuzhao Yan

360° Mentoring Programme Graduate

Ports of Auckland

Yan studied a Master’s degree in Business Management at the University of Auckland and joined Ports of Auckland as a 360 degree mentoring programme graduate. He has been working in four different departments; Infrastructure, Control & Planning, Sustainability and Customer Service. He has worked on the Car Handling Facility project, helping with financial modelling, managed the Supply Chain Calculator project with the Supply Chain team and created a demo online application. He has also built the emissions inventory for the past financial year and renewed the CEMARS certificate. Yan is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (NZ) Committee, creating, planning and organising events.
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