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Keynote Speakers

Mark Pesce

Mark Pesce is an inventor, entrepreneur, writer, educator and broadcaster. In 1994 He co-invented VRML, a 3D interface to the World Wide Web, and has gone on to write six books, including The Playful World: How Technology is Transforming Our Imagination, which explored the frontiers of the future through an examination of interactive toys, and THE NEXT BILLION SECONDS ( an analysis of culture now that we're all 'hyperconnected'.

Mark's work has kept him at the forefront of emerging developments in science, technology and media. With a unique ability to make abstract concepts clear for lay audiences and to further the knowledge of the technologically savvy, he is a highly sought-after public speaker. Mark lectures throughout the world on a variety of topics - from the latest trends on the Internet, to current developments in neuroeconomics, to the future of design in an energy-conscious world.

The author of five books and numerous articles, Mark Pesce is widely respected as a technologist, futurist, philosopher and communicator who can translate abstract concepts into concrete explanations. He has been profiled in publications that include Forbes ASAP, TIME Digital, WIRED and The New York Times. A highly-respected journalist, Mark has written for WIRED, Feed, Salon, PC Magazine, and The Age. His views on the interactive world that we live in and innovation are highly sought after - particularly in his role as a panelist on the hit ABC show The New Inventors.

From 2003 to 2006, Mark Pesce chaired the Emerging Media and Interactive Design Program at the world-renowned Australian Film Television and Radio School. His mandate - to bring cinema and broadcast television into the interactive era - led him to create a program that encouraged creative vision. Marks work has resulted in a pipeline of award-winning entertainment professionals who are shaping the media of the 21st century.

Mark Pesce currently holds an appointment as an Honorary Associate in the Digital Cultures programme at the University of Sydney, and in 2006 founded FutureSt, a Sydney media and technology consultancy. He brings his encyclopedic knowledge of technology together with a consumer-focused sensibility to refine products and strategies for leading clients that include Telstra, Lonely Planet and SanDisk

Tony Haymet

Tony Haymet is a distinguished scientist, educator, policy advisor and business development leader. Since 2006 he has been Distinguished Professor of Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California San Diego. He is now Director and Vice-Chancellor for Marine Sciences Emeritus, having led the Institution for 6 years.

He is also co-founder and Chair of CleanTech San Diego, a 501c6 business organization promoting and supporting clean technology businesses, now with over 100 members.  He is appointed to the VCAT of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Since 2009 he has served as a part-time Strategic Advisor to Pegasus Capital Advisers matters relating to the environment, oceans, food security and climate change. He is elected to and serves upon numerous national and international boards and committees.  For example, he was a member of the Establishment Council of the Australian Biofuels Research Institute, which released its report and first grants in December 2011, and an on-site reviewer for the German Government in their 2012 higher education excellence initiative.

Tony Haymet was born and educated in Sydney, and gained a PhD at the University of Chicago.  Prior to his appointment at Scripps, he was Chief of Marine and Atmospheric Research, with 5 laboratories around Australia, and then Science and Policy Director, for CSIRO, Australia’s science, industry and business research agency.  From 1991-98 he held the Established Chair of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sydney.  He is the author of over 172 peer-reviewed publications. In 2004, he attended Australian Institute of Company Directors residential course for Company Directors.  In 2010. Prof Haymet served NIST Blue Ribbon Commission on Management and Safety (II). Tony Haymet brings to the understanding of the natural world a business focus and understanding of ocean resources, in all their forms, and technological solution to analyzing and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions.

He is a frequent contributor of Op-Ed pieces to newspapers around the world, listed here , a contributor to the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and to climate meetings in Copenhagen and Cancun, and a guest of leading radio and TV analysis programs. . He also presented at The Economist’s Ocean meeting in Singapore.  More details may be found at .

Andy Yates

Andrew Yates is a Project Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI); near Cambridge, England. He has worked in bioinformatics for 10 years and currently runs the core software team for the Ensembl project ( responsible for the continued evolution of Ensembl’s databases and APIs as well as the development of Ensembl’s core infrastructure. Ensembl is one of the primary methods biological scientific researchers access human genome data in a free and open source environment. Preceding this project Andy was a founder member of Ensembl Genomes project ( extending Ensembl’s infrastructure to a wider taxonomic scope of species.

Andy was educated at the University of Manchester gaining an MSc in Bioinfomatics before joining the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, England. He continues to be involved the open source BioJava project.

Dr Geoff Garrett AO

Dr Geoff Garrett was appointed Queensland Chief Scientist to the Queensland Government in January 2011. Formerly he was, for eight years, Chief Executive and member of the Board of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. CSIRO is one of the world’s largest and most diverse national research organisations, with close to 6500 staff across 55 sites in Australia and an annual turnover exceeding AUS$1 billion.

Prior to joining CSIRO, Geoff led South Africa’s national science agency, the CSIR, as President and Chief Executive from 1995, following five years as Executive Vice President: Operations. He was named South Africa’s ‘Boss of the Year’ in 1998, and ‘Engineer of the Year’ by the South African Society of Professional Engineers in 1999.

Educated in the United Kingdom, Geoff is a graduate of Cambridge University where he completed a doctorate in metallurgy. He was also a university boxing blue. He then took up a lecturing position at the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining the CSIR in 1986 to head up South Africa’s National Institute for Materials Research, he was Professor and Head of Department at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He held visiting positions at Brown University (RI, USA), and at Oxford and Sheffield Universities. His research interests centred around the fracture and fatigue behaviour of engineering materials.

On joining CSIRO, Dr Garrett and his team undertook a program of major strategic and operational transformation, seeking to achieve greater focus through their Flagship Programs on the major scientific challenges for Australia, including water, clean energy, health and climate change, and opportunities in minerals and mining, manufacturing, new food technologies and ocean science. Key to this was developing stronger partnerships across the innovation system, and growing the organisation’s impact through a more unified ‘One-CSIRO’ approach. In December 2008 CSIRO’s Flagship Programs received the top Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management.

Geoff is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Society of South Africa and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He served on the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council in Australia for eight years. From 2002 he also served as a founder Principal and subsequently as an Executive Committee member of the Global Research Alliance, a group that brings together some of the world’s most significant R&D organisations, spanning five continents.

Dr Garrett is a recipient of the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society through science, and was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s 2008 ‘True Leaders’. In June 2008 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

During 2010, Geoff was a part-time Visiting Fellow in Innovation with the Australian National University (ANU) and is the co-author with Sir Graeme Davies, formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, of the recently published “Herding Cats - Being advice to aspiring academic and research leaders” (Triarchy Press, UK). He lectures in leadership and change management and provides coaching support in these areas to academics and to senior officers of the Australian Public Service. He has also been engaged with an International Review for the US National Science Foundation of the major, 24 country Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, IODP, and in September 2010 was appointed Chairman of ANZIC, the Australia New Zealand IODP Consortium.



Dr Ian Opperman

Dr Ian Oppermann was appointed on 1 July 2012 to the role of Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, Director of the newest Flagship for Digital Productivity and Services. Prior to this appointment, Dr Oppermann was the Director of CSIRO’s ICT Centre.

 CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship addresses major scientific challenges in Wireless Communications, Government and Commercial Services, Robotics, Information Theory, environmental sensing and Health Services. Flagships are CSIRO’s response to National Challenges and the focus of the new Flagship is focussed upon frontier service creation in the Digital Economy.

 Prior to CSIRO, Ian headed Sales Partnering for Nokia Siemens Networks’ software business, and was Director of Radio Access Performance Business at Nokia. Prior to joining Nokia, Ian was director of the Centre for Wireless Communications, a research centre in Finland.

 Ian has contributed to 6 books as editor or chapter author, authored or co-authored approximately 30 journal and 90 conference papers. Ian has a Doctor of Philosophy in electrical engineering from Sydney University and an MBA from the University of London. Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



Professor Anne Cummins

Professor Anne Cummins is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) at Australian Catholic University.  Prior to this appointment she held the position of Dean of Students at ACU.

Anne has extensive experience in education as an executive and consultant. For a decade before joining ACU she ran a successful professional services firm with clients in government, all education sectors, human services and the not-for-profit sector.  Anne’s consultancy services included educational renewal at school and system levels, executive development and review, program review, demographic and business analysis, stakeholder management and governance and government relations.

Her background as educator has included leadership as a Secondary College Principal and senior executive experience in Catholic Education.

Anne has a longstanding commitment to equity and access in education and child and young people’s services.  She has extensive experience on advisory and company boards and has consulted widely in the human services sector. Anne is currently a Director of Marist Youth Care Blacktown.  She is also a member of the St Ignatius Riverview Council (NSW).

Anne holds a Bachelor of Education from Canberra College of Advanced Education, Master of Arts from Macquarie University, Graduate Diploma of Education (Religious Studies) from the Catholic College of Education Sydney and Master of Educational Leadership from ACU.  Her current research interests include equity programs in higher education and leadership strategy in educational environments.