Mr. Simon Bligh, BA (Oxon), ACA (ICAEW), serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Dun & Bradstreet for Australia & New Zealand at Dun & Bradstreet (Australia) Pty Ltd. Mr. Bligh served as the Chief Data Officer of Veda Group Limited from May 2013 to April 1, 2015. He served as the Chief Data Officer at Veda Advantage Limited and also as its Chief Financial Officer since 2010. Mr. Bligh joined Veda Advantage Group in November 2010. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Sydney Airport Corporation Limited. His career spans 20 years in a wide range of financial roles in Europe and Australia. Prior to Sydney Airport, he served for 13 years in telecommunications businesses in Australia, France, Ukraine and the UK. He served for four years in Paris as AT&T European Chief Financial Officer responsible for over 300 staff located in countries. He has extensive treasury, risk management, vendor management and commercial expertise. Previously, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Sydney Airport where amongst other responsibilities he led major re-financing of the business and was responsible for all commercial matters with airlines including airline acquisition. Mr. Bligh holds degree in English Literature from University of Oxford.
Colin Smith, Managing Director of Global Media and Sports has advised leading professional sports and global events in Asia, Europe, Australasia and Africa. Colin is recognised as a global authority on the structuring of events that maximise media exposure and rights together with sponsorship. Colin’s expertise is across all media platforms of television, radio and the rapidly evolving and growing digital platforms
Rachna is currently CEO of Service NSW. With an exceptional track record in the business world, Rachna brings strategic and commercial expertise to Service NSW. Service NSW is the state’s transactional services one stop shop leading major service delivery and digital reform in government.
Rachna is a recognised expert in customer centric design and innovation. Rachna also has an extensive background in customer service, distribution, operations, employee engagement and organisational change. She is an experienced executive, having worked in across banking, wealth management and hospitality sectors domestically and internationally. In her previous executive positions Rachna has successfully led business transformations to embed a customer, data driven culture, enhance service delivery models and drive digital innovation.
Rachna recently featured in ‘The World We See’ publication; a compilation of personal letters from Australia’s leading male and female CEO’s and advocates of change on their vision and desire for the next generation of female leaders.
Rachna holds a PhD in Consumer Behaviour; and post graduate qualifications in Customer-Led Strategic Transformations from Stanford University (USA).
Karen Lawson is an award winning business executive and leader in the digital industry. She has held executive positions within both global companies and joint ventures. With experience leading teams through change and motivating and developing cross functional teams to peak performance, Karen is extremely passionate about delivering great results and helping others achieve their true potential.
Karen is a prolific networker and an experienced media commentator and guest speaker, with appearances on TV, radio in print and digital, as well as industry forums.
In 2016, Karen took the reins of Slingshot, a corporate accelerator focused on driving collaboration between Startups, Scaleups and corporates to lead the next wave of innovation. More than 50 Startups have participated in Slingshot’s programs, achieving a combined market capitalisation in excess of $60m and creating nearly 100 full time jobs.
Karen is leading the business through its next stage of growth, using her proven experience in driving reinvention and transformation to help Australia’s biggest businesses stay ahead of disruption.
Prior to her role at Slingshot, Karen served as CEO of CareerOne, a joint venture between News Limited and Monster Worldwide. With a remit to forge a new digital strategy, Karen restructured the business from a traditional job board, into a leading targeting and digital business offering media, employer branding, SaaS and sourcing solutions. CareerOne went on to be awarded a spot in the coveted BRW ‘Top 50 most innovative companies’ list for 2014.
BRW Magazine quoted this turnaround as follows: “CareerOne is no longer second to SEEK in the recruitment advertising market – not because it’s caught up, but because it has redefined the market it is in.”
Karen also served as General Manager – Business Development at Yahoo7! where she held full commercial and operational responsibility for data, advertising, publishing, technology, search, mobile and strategic partnerships, including the Microsoft Bing alliance.
Karen has a passion for driving innovation and has worked alongside a number of leading organisations as a consultant including Laureate International (the largest private educator in the world), Harris Farms and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. She was named UN ambassador for Womens Entrepeneurship Day, a Nominee for Telstra Woman of the year and the Australian Growth Company Awards 2015.
Karen is also a huge ‘foodie’ and has been a food and luxury travel journalist for over ten years, writing for a diverse range of publishers. She doesn’t have holidays, but has research and writing trips! To balance this out she is an avid runner having completed both New York and London Marathons, though these days she is more likely to be seen jogging around Blackwattle Bay at a much more sedate pace!
Ian is one of Australia’s leading Design authorities having pioneered Customer Centred Design in Australia. He helped shape the industry and formed one of the largest award winning Design practices in corporate Australia. He is a sought after design educator, keynote presenter, and Design judge. Ian is also a passionate mentor to start-ups and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Anne-Marie advises government, business and NGOs on leveraging the innovation ecosystem to solve problems. She preaches the gospel of disrupting the status quo and re-purposes methods used in tech, start up, entrepreneurship and design to innovate responses to tipping point problems. Collaboration is her calling card and she brings together cross sector efforts to support social change initiatives. Anne-Marie is on the board of VibeWire, Western Sydney Women and the Autism Advisory and Support Service Board and on the Board of the Settlement Services International Foundation.
David Ray is a senior media, digital and business development executive with extensive strategy, commercial, product, marketing, technology, legal and content rights experience. David’s career has focused on building digital and mobile businesses end-to-end, binding strategy creation and implementation with ongoing commercial management.
David has held executive roles at local and global digital media companies, most recently as the Director of Audiences and Growth for Twitter Australia. At Twitter David was responsible for creating and implementing the country strategy and business plan, driving the delivery of audience and commercial targets. David was also part of Twitter’s global live rights team, which led Twitter’s drive into live streaming of sports, entertainment, news and politics.
Prior to Twitter, as General Manager NRL Digital Media, David led the business case, negotiation and implementation of Telstra’s partnership investment in the National Rugby League. Under David’s stewardship, NRL Digital Media launched over 100 digital products to market across online, apps, mobile, video and IPTV channels, achieving significant commercial success and record audiences.
Jamie Pride is a venture capitalist and thought leader on disruptive technology. He is a the managing partner of Phi Digital Ventures, and early stage venture fund and accelerator. In 2012 Jamie sold his technology startup, Velteo, to New York based System Integrator Bluewolf. Jamie has over 20 years experience with international technology and digital media organisations including leading realestate.com.au, and senior positions with salesforce.com, Red Hat, Veritas & Cisco Systems. He was a Partner at Deloitte, where he led the Deloitte Digital practice in Sydney.
Shane Mattiske leads the Nielsen Sports business in Australia and New Zealand. Nielsen Sports is focused on leveraging a deep bed of sports, media and consumer data to drive insights and consulting projects for its sports, media and brand clients.
As one of Australia’s most respected sports administrators, Mattiske had spent 15 years at the National Rugby League (NRL), including a period as interim Chief Executive in which he led the league’s 2012 – 2017 record breaking broadcast rights agreements.