Recognised internationally for his extensive experience in graduate research training and educational leadership, Professor Zlatko Skrbiš, Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is responsible for Monash’s course and curriculum content, education policy, learning and teaching quality and student academic experience. He also oversees the University’s digital strategy, the Professions of the Future framework, graduate research policy and administration, supervisor training and the Monash Doctoral Program.
Shishir is the CEO of the Global Consulting Group, a non-profit consulting organisation with 150 volunteers in Australia completing 30 pro-bono projects a year. He is also an Independent Management Consultant, advising NFPs and ASX100 companies on strategic and operational matters. Prior to this, he worked in various professional services firms including Deloitte, PwC and EY. In 2015, Shishir was awarded the Sir John Monash Volunteer of the Year Award (High Commendation) for social impact and outstanding leadership. Shishir was also a finalist in the Victorian Young Business Person of the Year Awards and is a Monash alumnus.
Dr Niraj (Nij) Lal is a presenter of ABC SCIENCEY, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University, Principal Energy Analyst in the Victorian Government, and Director of First Principles. In 2012 Niraj graduated as a Gates Scholar with a PhD in physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and in 2016 he was named one of the ABC's Top 5 Scientists Under 40 for his research in nanophotonics for high-efficiency solar cells. In 2017 Niraj got his first gig on ABC TV with Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line with subsequent shows on the Discovery Channel, Foxtel and ABC iView. He’s written two children's books about science, is the Founder and CEO of TheKnews.org, Editor of NoiseVsSignal.org, and regularly gives public presentations about science and electricity.
Serena Lee is one of the cofounders of Farmwall, as well as Monash University Alumna. Farmwall is a pioneering startup on mission to transform cities into food-producing ecosystems. Farmwall designs and implement natural, food producing solutions in urban spaces, with the goal of enhancing the built environment with positive social and environmental outcomes. Their flagship design is the Farmwall, a system that can grow fresh produce indoors in a small-scale vertical farm. Farmwall grows produce at the place of consumption, without any food miles or food waste. Farmwall supplies delicious, high quality greens and a unique point of difference.
Often described as a social entrepreneur and community advocate, Dean Landy is an architect, urban designer, speaker, author and CEO. As a partner of Melbourne based architecture firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke, he is actively involved in the design of many town centres, mixed use developments and cities across Australia. Dean is also the author of ‘Creating Vibrant Communities’ published in 2016, and CEO of Tribus a new Australian digital start up empowering people, councils and businesses to be the change they want to see in their local community. In 2007, Dean founded ‘One Heart Foundation’, a for-purpose organisation that is providing homes and schools for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya. One Heart is creating a sustainable development model through the power of education, care and entrepreneurship. As the legal guardians of 75 children and growing, One Heart is demonstrating in Kenya what Dean believes is universally true, that by creating vibrant communities, we can improve people’s lives…no matter the context.
Urban designer and SJB Director Amanda Roberts says she is “inherently a big-picture person”. She loves working at the strategic level, where her deep understanding of the complexities of the built environment align with her passion for collaboration. With an academic grounding in architecture, landscape architecture and planning, Amanda’s multi-disciplinary expertise is enhanced by her innate curiosity about how people interact in and enjoy public spaces, an interest that has informed both her fields of study and her working career. Amanda sits on design review panels for both the Victorian and South Australian governments and says this exposes her to some amazing city-shaping projects. Amanda says whether she’s on a panel or working with a client, it’s her role “to help ensure a project will contribute to diverse, successful and safe public environments”.
Rob Sparrow is a Professor in the Philosophy Program, a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and an adjunct Professor in the Monash Bioethics Centre, at Monash University, where he works on ethical issues raised by new technologies. He has published on topics as diverse as the ethics of robotics, the moral status of AIs, human enhancement, stem cells, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, xenotransplantation, and migration. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Robot Ethics and was one of the founding members of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.
Akansha Kapoor is a Senior Consultant specialising in Technology Strategy and Agile Advisory at PwC. She is also the Chief Operating Officer at Robogals Global, an international not-for-profit founded to bring diversity to the fields of engineering and technology. In this role, she oversees the organisation's global technology, operations and marketing departments. She is also a proud global citizen having recently attended a conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She looks forward to bringing her passions for making a difference in society, challenging social norms and examining the social impacts of technology to Monash Future Thinkers.
Tessa Ramanlal, a Monash University Arts/Law graduate, is a Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, as well as a co-founder and director of ANIKA - a NFP legal tech start-up. ANIKA is designed to provide free legal advice to individuals and practical legal training to students. Tessa was recently awarded the International Legal Technology Association’s ‘Rising Star’ scholarship, which allowed her to attend ILTACON18 - a legal tech conference in Washington DC. Tessa is also a proud member of the HSF design thinking and legal tech team, and is truly excited for the future of law!
Thiago is a Production Engineer currently working with major Australian retailers at Google. He has operations and marketing experience having worked for Google in Brazil, Ireland and Australia. He strives to bring the best of state-of-art solutions to solve business challenges, and hates to do things "the way they have always been done".
Sarah is responsible for SEEK’s Corporate Communications and Government Relations. A key focus of her role is to engage with media, industry and government on matters relating to the future of work, digital disruption and employment market trends, leveraging the unique insights and data that SEEK has as a marketplace leader. Sarah also has responsibility for SEEK’s internal communications across Australia and New Zealand. Prior to SEEK Sarah held various marketing positions at McMillian Shakespeare an Australian listed financial services firm. Sarah has a Masters in Marketing, Bachelor of Applied Science and a Diploma in Financial Planning.
Through a 30-year career in journalism, politics and crisis communication, Barbara has salvaged very many corporate reputations. Public conflicts take a high toll on people and on corporate reputations. Success came from applying the world’s best large group problem solving processes to turn around large-scale, multi-party conflict. These processes are powerful and game-changing, but they’re slow, expensive and reach too few people. So Barbara and her Pax Republic team have built technology that digitises the ability to bring together people at large scale and turn diverse viewpoints into objective data to inform our most important challenges. Pax’s C-Sight conversation and analytics platform uses leading edge AI to augment the human cognition needed to manage an online forum with thousands of people participating, and to analyse millions of data points that these conversations generate.
Chris Naoumidis is a Monash student turned start up founder. He found himself drawn to the problem of why behaviour is so hard to change. This lead to Chris and his brother Alex starting Mindset, a self help app which uses hypnosis to help people overcome their self imposed limitations.
Sophie Lamond is a PhD student at the University of Melbourne where she researches university food policy and student activism. As a young academic activist Sophie runs the Fair Food Challenge. The Challenge facilitates student-led co-design of fair food policies for Australian universities, and campaigns for healthy, sustainable and equitable food environments. In 2017 Sophie was awarded the Australasia Green Gown Awards - Student Award of Excellence. Sophie has run community kitchens, mentored food projects and hosts the occasional apocalyptic dinner party. She has a keen interest in civil society advocacy and founded the Melbourne chapter of the Youth Food Movement, has been a committee member of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and a member of the Right to Food Coalition. She speaks, writes and facilitates events to open up conversations about good food and to explore possible food futures and lectures and tutors in food politics.
Katie is passionate about using business to create sustainable social and environmental change. She completed a Master of International Development at Monash. Through this study, she became frustrated with the traditional charity model and was drawn to social enterprise. She completed an internship with Pollinate Energy in India and is currently acting as the Impact and Funding Manager at Crepes for Change.
Jordi is a data and digital nerd with a deep love of pop culture, coffee and dogs. Jordi’s background is primarily in digital and comms, and she got her start doing social media and web content for Australia's largest youth-focused not-for-profit, the Foundation for Young Australians. She spent some time working in strategy and account services for one of Australia's fastest growing AdTech startups before moving to Dublin to write the digital strategy for the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland. She now works on the Melbourne Innovation District and smart infrastructure projects for the City of Melbourne.
Eddie is a medical resident with interests in public health, health policy, innovation & technology. He is particularly interested in how we may leverage technology to improve human life from insulin pumps to AI in medicine. An aspiring physician-scientist, Eddie completed his Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Oxford, where he researched the physiology of neonatal diabetes. He is the Policy Coordinator of NCDFREE and on the programming team of festival21. He is also a social entrepreneur, having co-founded Life as a Clinician-Scientist, Monash Future Thinkers, Connect Education and the Australian Medical Students’ Orchestra. In 2014, while an AMSA executive, Eddie coordinated the launch of the AMSA Mental Health Campaign and proposed policies including university fee deregulation and the GP co-payment.