A specialist in disruptive strategy, a private company director and advocate for social and economic inclusion, Holly Ransom is recognized globally for her super-human ability to synthesize and simplify complex issues, and create engaging, thought-provoking conversation.
As founder and CEO of renowned consulting firm Emergent, Holly has partnered with clients such as P&G, Microsoft, Virgin, Cisco and across all levels of government to catalyse new strategic thinking, build innovative workplace cultures and to help leaders prepare for the employment, consumer and community challenges created by the rapid evolution of both technology and society.
A 2019 Fulbright Scholar and Harvard Kennedy School Class of ‘21 fellow, Holly is currently undertaking a Master of Public Policy with a focus on how we drive better decision-making when it comes to technology’s impact on humanity. Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Holly has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, interviewed Barack Obama on stage and was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch in 2017. In 2019 she was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence.
Identified early as a dynamic leader by the Australian Prime Minister, Holly was asked to Chair the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, and is the youngest Director to have been appointed to an Australian Football Club Board (Port Adelaide).
Holly attributes her intense curiosity and bias for pragmatism to a childhood in which answers always warranted further questions!
One of Australia’s most successful Paralympians, Dylan Alcott is one of only a few athletes to win two gold medals in two different sports (basketball and tennis) across two different Olympic or Paralympic games. Achieving his feat whilst still a teenager, Dylan was then awarded an OAM at the age of 18.
Born with a rare type of tumour wrapped around his spinal cord, Dylan defied his survival odds and through sheer determination and hard work and has become one of Australia’s best and most recognised wheelchair athletes.
Since 2013, Dylan has focused on his tennis career and won his first ever grand slam title in 2015 - The Australian Open. He has gone on to win eight more grand slam titles and is currently ranked number one in the world in men’s quad.
In 2017, Dylan created the Dylan Alcott Foundation, a foundation to help young people who are struggling to come to terms with their disabilities. The foundation aims to improve quality of life through mentoring, scholarships and grants which assists individuals to be involved in education and sport.
Dylan is also an entrepreneur, and is the co-founder of Get Skilled Access, a training provider educating corporates and governments on how to better understand and treat customers with disabilities. He was nominated in 2017 for the Young Australian of the Year.
Dylan’s true passion is his work as a motivational speaker, continually trying to alter and change the way people with disabilities are perceived. He also works extensively in the media, regularly making appearances on Channel Ten’s The Project, Channel 7 Sports, is a former Triple J Radio host and currently co-hosts ABC’s live music program The Set.
In 2018, Dylan published his autobiography, Able - Gold Medals, Grand Slams and Smashing Glass Ceilings and in 2019 won the Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent.
Michael McQueen is a multi-award winning speaker, trend forecaster and bestselling author. With clients including KPMG, Pepsi and Cisco, he has helped some of the world’s most successful brands navigate disruption and maintain momentum.
Coming from a background in marketing and research, in 2004 Michael founded a consultancy specialising in demographic shifts and social trends called The Nexgen Group.
In addition to featuring regularly as a commentator on TV and radio, Michael is a familiar face on the international conference circuit having shared the stage with the likes of Bill Gates, Dr. John Maxwell and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Michael’s most recent publication The Case for Character examines the latest consumer trends data and highlights why transparency, trust and clarity of purpose are increasingly essential for any business or institution. This book and corresponding keynote offers a blueprint for becoming an individual, brand or organisation that stands for something - and reaps the rewards of doing so.
Michael has spoken to over 500,000 people across 5 continents since 2004, and is known for his engaging, entertaining and practical conference presentations.
Having been recently named Australia’s Keynote Speaker of the Year, Michael was inducted into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.
Dr Craig Challen and Dr Richard Harris
Dr Richard "Harry" Harris and Dr Craig Challen were the two Australian cave divers who were instrumental to the rescue of 12 soccer players and their coach from a cave in Thailand in July 2018.
For seventeen days, the world watched and held its breath as the Wild Boar soccer team were trapped deep in a cave. Marooned beyond flooded cave passages after unexpected rains, they were finally rescued, one by one, against almost impossible odds, by an international cave-diving team which included Australians Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen.
These two men were chosen for their medical expertise and cave diving knowledge, but this dangerous rescue asked so much more of them. They had to remain calm under extreme pressure and intense scrutiny, adapt to constantly changing circumstances, and importantly, build trust among the rescue team and with the young boys and their coach, whose lives were in their hands.
Richard and Craig were recognised for their heroic efforts by being named joint Australian’s of the Year in 2019 and will give their first-hand account of the rescue and answer your questions at the Business Lunch on Friday 29 May.
Leila McKinnon started her career as a junior reporter in Rockhampton, Queensland before moving to WIN’s Cairns bureau. In 2005 Leila was appointed news presenter for Today. From there she returned to present the morning bulletin for National Nine morning news and continues to be one of the Network’s leading journalists and presenters - currently a reporter and fill in presenter for Nine News and A Current Affair.
When she is not reporting on the latest news stories you can find Leila indulging in some of her self-confessed ‘nanna’ past-times of knitting and crochet.