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Here is the full speaker lineup for the fifth and final session on 26 August: “Seven Imaginations: Things to do today”

1. Dr Stu Gowland is a senior medical consultant and surgeon who lead the project to provide rural New Zealand with a mobile surgical bus. This endeavor brought safe day surgery to heartland communities, as well as developing video communication facilities which allowed rural practitioners access to the latest medical advances coming from medical specialists elsewhere. The idea emerged from a health think-tank in 1999, and the bus now regularly visits twenty rural hospitals across New Zealand and has operated on over 4000 patients.

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2. Dr Helen Anderson is the Chief Executive of MoRST, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, after previously being Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry for more than five years. An expert in seismology, Helen has a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Cambridge. In her current role she has made a significant contribution to increasing the impact of research, science and technology in New Zealand, including setting a clear agenda and increasing both public and private sector investment.

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3. Professor Paul Callaghan is one of New Zealand’s best known and well respected scientists, and is the Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences at Victoria University, while also heading the multi-university MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. In 2005 Professor Callaghan won New Zealand’s top science award, the Rutherford Medal, for his world-leading research in the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Paul’s genuine love of discovery is reflected in the enthusiasm with which he shares his knowledge with the general community, through teaching introductory physics courses and regular public talks.

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4. Brent Edwards is the Political Editor for Radio New Zealand. Prior to his appointment to this position in 2006, he was an Economics Correspondent, also at RNZ. With over 25 years of media experience, much of it reporting on Parliament, Brent has a deep understanding of New Zealand’s political and economic landscape. Passionate about quality journalism, Brent is the convenor of the review of journalism in New Zealand which sprung from 2007’s EPMU Journalism Matters conference.

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5. Gary Nairn brought the geospatial industry to the national stage in his former role as an Australian Minister of State. Also responsible for e-government, Gary was behind the move to spatially enable Australian government. This initiative provided benefits to social services and taxation processes by producing real time information, and has been estimated as contributing between $A6 billion to $A12 billion to GDP.

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6. Wendy McGuinness is the Chief Executive and Editor of Sustainable Future, a non-partisan, not-for-profit research organization specialising in issues affecting New Zealand. The group, made up of post-graduate students, academics and professionals, work together to produce discussion papers to inform, support and inspire other New Zealanders on sustainability issues. Ultimately the research will form the basis of Project 2058, a scenario-based analysis of where New Zealand will be socially, economically and environmentally in 50 years’ time.

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7. Chief Judge Joe Williams is the Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal. He is an internationally recognised expert in indigenous rights law and one of New Zealand's leading specialists in Maori issues. As well as being the youngest person to have been appointed to the position of Chief Judge, Judge Williams was the first Maori lecturer in law at Victoria University in Wellington and he established the first unit specialising in Maori issues at a major law firm (Kensington Swan). He remains determined to ensure that Maori value systems are recognised within the judicial system.

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