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Speakers

The humAIn AI conference speakers are thought leaders in the media and marketing industry with real experience of AI integration and creativity.
Our speakers will present practical, actionable sessions to help your organisation use AI effectively.
These recognised industry experts will deliver a program which offers depth and relevance to the media and marketing audience.

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Founder, NotContent.ai

Jeremy Somers

Jeremy Somers, a lifetime creative and storyteller, embarked on a remarkable path that began in the realm of photography and design.

It was his venture into Australia's early and esteemed digital agencies that truly propelled him forward. Jeremy's journey of innovation and transformative endeavors unfolded, pushing boundaries and shaping industries along the way.

 

In 2009, he founded the iconic fashion label, We Are Handsome, leaving an indelible impact on the landscape of style.

Driven by an insatiable thirst for change and bringing top-notch creative into the world, Jeremy ventured into uncharted territory once again in 2022, founding NotContent—the world's first AI-driven creative agency. This groundbreaking endeavor holds the potential to reshape the very foundations of the creative world.

 

Jeremy Somers' remarkable narrative epitomizes an unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and an unparalleled dedication to crafting a new era of creativity.

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Minister for Industry and Science

The Hon. Ed Husic

The Hon Ed Husic has been the Minister for Industry and Science since 2022.

Husic. was elected the Federal Member for Chifley in 2010 and was re-elected for his fifth term at the 2022 Federal Election.

He believes strongly in the power of bringing people from across the community together to improve the quality of life for all.

That’s why he's championed and worked for improved healthcare, broadband, infrastructure, education and community services for his area.

Ed has a strong interest in Australian tech and digital endeavour and has been vocal about the need for our country to think ahead about the impact of technology on jobs and communities – to help prepare and get the most out of the changes ahead.
Husic is a member of the Australian House of Representatives, elected to represent the seat of Chifley in western Sydney for the Australian Labor Party at the 2010 federal election.

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Founder & CEO, Jelix Ventures

Andrea Gardiner

Andrea Gardiner has been an entrepreneur, investor, lawyer, investment banker, company director as well as world class climber and skier. She is the founder and CEO of Jelix Ventures, a fast-growing venture capital firm based in Sydney. Jelix focuses on early-stage investments in innovative technology, much of which is facilitated by AI and some of which the core technology is AI. Jelix backs daring founders to make the world better. 

Andrea started Jelix leading small, syndicated investments into early-stage tech startups. Jelix now has $50m under management including a $30m fund.

 

Andrea is also a co-founder of WinVC, which aims to facilitate the success of women venture capital investors.

 

Andrea is passionate about supporting the innovation and startup sector as she believes it is a critical economic imperative for Australia and the future of our children. And she has a particular interest in backing excellent women founders, too many of whom are passed over by VCs. 

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Chief Data Officer & Partner, Atomic 212º 

James Dixon

James Dixon is co-founder of NextBrain, a Generative Business Intelligence tool that aims to bring business insight and chat to the CSuite. 

 

With category experience in media and marketing Nextbrain has been developed with marketers in mind, to provide the marketing team with real time intel on everything thats going on and expected / predicted to happen.

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CPO & Co-Founder, Heatseeker

Fiona Triaca

Fiona Triaca is all about understanding customers – yours and hers.

 

Prior to founding Heatseeker, Fiona ran the design and innovation agency Naked Ambition as its CEO where she led the growth of new products and services for some of Australia’s biggest brands. Much of her work at Naked Ambition involved using Generative AI to augment the product design and customer experimentation process.

 

Previously, she worked as an investment banker raising capital for UK, European, and US companies.  

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Responsible AI Consultant

Shaun Davies

Shaun was the director of content safety for Microsoft’s Start news feed globally. He’s held senior journalism, PR and tech roles across Asia and now advises companies on digital safety issues.

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Commercial Director of Media – Sales and Customer Solutions, carsales media house

Vanya Mariani

Vanya has forged a dynamic career at carsales since 2009, culminating her current role. With a background and qualifications in business, marketing and psychology, she is dedicated to providing market-leading ideas and services to clients and championing the vision of carsales mediahouse.

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Senior Creative Technologist, Leonardo.AI

Jessie Hughes

Jessie Hughes is an internationally recognised new media artist, technologist, scholar and screenwriter with her works exhibited most notably at Sundance, SXSW, Cannes and the Tate Modern. She’s collaborated with the likes of Meta, Oculus and Abode in a decade of leading imaginative emerging technologies. Professionally, Jessie works as a Creative Technologist, toying at the intersection of design, technology, art, research and strategy for social innovation. She is the Senior Creative Technologist and Artist-In-Residence at generative AI leader, Leonardo.Ai, pioneering tools for a new era of human creativity. She is an American Australian Association Arts Scholar, Winston Churchill Fellow, Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist Fellow and a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador.

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 Co-Founder, Man of Many

Scott Purcell

Scott Purcell, the Co-Founder of Man of Many and a CFA Charterholder, is a renowned figure in the media industry.

 

His entrepreneurial spirit was recognised in 2017 when he was a Finalist for Young Entrepreneur at the NSW Business Chamber Awards.

 

With a special focus on technology, finance, whisky, and general lifestyle content, Scott has collaborated with leading international brands like Apple, Samsung, IWC, and TAG Heuer.

 

In 2023, his leadership and innovation were further acknowledged as he, alongside Frank Arthur, ranked #47 on the MediaWeek Power 100 List by MediaWeek.

 

Under his guidance, Man of Many triumphed as the Best Media Platform at the B&T Awards, 2023, and clinched the titles for Best Engagement Strategy, Website of the Year, and Publish Leader of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards, 2023, showcasing his unparalleled expertise and influence in the media sector.

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Head of Kantar Analytics Australia

John Cucka

As the Head of Kantar Analytics Australia, John has spent over 30 years in the industry specialising in developing quantitative models for strategic and tactical marketing decision-making.

 

His current passion is leveraging data science, AI and statistics to create unified models of marketing response across brand, media and creative.

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Head of News and Information, Southern Cross Austereo

Melanie Withnall

Melanie has been a journalist for more than eighteen years, was the former Manager of ABC Radio Sydney and currently leads a news team of 50 journalists across more than 30 markets to deliver news to 9 million Australians per week.

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Chief Executive, Australia, Edelman

Tom Robinson 

Tom Robinson joined Edelman as Chief Executive, Australia in August 2022 and sits on the APAC Executive Leadership Team. Edelman is a global communications business with more than 6,000 talented individuals globally who are passionate about delivering trusted communications solutions.

Tom has nearly 20 years experience consulting with global and local brands in Europe, Asia and Australia in areas of brand marketing, commerce & integrated communications strategy. Tom and his teams have delivered awarded work across the public and private sector for clients including Dell, KFC, Mars, Universal Pictures, Victoria & Queensland Governments among others.  

Tom is asked to speak regularly on the topic of brand strategy and trust in communications while his passions like in championing the future of communications through through creativity and innovation. Tom has served as a juror on Effies, FOMA, Mumbrella and B&T. 

In addition to the day job, Tom has been a mentor for the University of Sydney Business School in addition to active contributions to the membership of the media federation of Australia and Council for Economic Development Australia. Championing progress and innovation in industry, Tom was a founding member of the Australian Influencer Marketing Council, helping to establish a new code of conduct for the influencer marketing industry.

Hailing from the UK, Tom moved to Australia in 2011 before meeting his partner Laura and having two boys, Oscar & Archie. 

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AI Strategist, Consultant & Advisor, Time Under Tension

Stephen Foxworthy

Steph is a digital strategy, marketing and customer experience professional with over 25 years' experience and is an AI Strategist at Time Under Tension, Australia’s first Generative AI agency.

 

Prior to joining Time Under Tension, Steph was a Managing Director at Accenture Song, the world’s largest tech-powered creative group.

 

He’s an advocate for the power of technology to augment human creativity and to help drive growth and impact for customers, businesses, and society.

 

Steph has worked across large-scale enterprise transformations of customer functions including strategy, marketing, customer service, sales, ecommerce and new product incubation, as well as with smaller clients, not-for-profit and government organisations to deliver high-impact digital experiences that deliver great outcomes for all stakeholders.

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CEO, UnLtd

Stephen Hunt

Stephen Hunt is an award-winning entrepreneur known for pioneering the use of AI technologies to improve humanity across a variety of industries. He’s spoken on the stage of TEDx and SXSW, been featured in major international publications such as Rolling Stone, Variety, Billboard, The Times UK and been engaged to speak or consult to forward-thinking companies such as Adobe, The Australian Medical Association, St Luke’s Care, Universal Music Group, Treasury Wine Estates, NY Times, Sennheiser, Apparent, NSW Health, Penfolds, Betfair and the Australian Institute of Music. 

 

A veteran of the media and music industries, Steve has always been at the forefront of major disruptions. He was one of the first media sales people in Australia to sell digital media before identifying nearly two decades ago that all TV and film would one day be delivered online. This led him to found Australia’s first video ad network (Adconion TV - now Singtel’s Amobee) and subsequently its first video DSP (TubeMogul - now Adobe AdCloud). He spent 3 years guiding the digital transformation of Universal Music Group as a Managing Director ANZ preparing the music giant for the looming AI, XR and Blockchain disruptions.

 

After leaving UMG, Steve founded the AIM iHub (the only startup incubator in the southern hemisphere dedicated to music startups) where he met Nicc Johnson. Nicc and Steve co-founded Music Health Inc to explore the potential for music to transform the healthcare industry. They launched an award-winning app called Vera that deploys music as a therapy in dementia care. The app delivered incredible results in research trials and has since expanded internationally.

 

In addition to his impressive corporate career, Steve has been an active advisor and board member for companies like Squadify (a team improvement platform), Lution/IHAC (a marketing consultancy pioneering the in-house agency model), Our Race (a not-for-profit focused on anti-racism) and Popsta (a music-focused media company). His diverse client portfolio underscores the versatility of his expertise and the universal appeal of his innovative approach.

 

As a leader at the confluence of innovation, strategy and human benefit, Stephen Hunt continues to inspire and guide industries towards a future where technology serves as a catalyst for positive change and growth.

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Director of Corporate Strategy, SBS

Sarah Yassien

Sarah Yassien is the SBS Director of Corporate Strategy, responsible for Corporate Strategy, Audience Data and Insights and Audience Relations. Prior to her appointment to Director, Sarah led SBS's digital transformation and product strategy, driving the transformation of the digital offering to deliver a deeper audience connection with SBS’s distinctive programs and services.

 

With close to 20 years’ industry experience, Sarah has led strategic business transformation in Australia and overseas. Previous roles include senior positions with the BBC, Amnesty International and Westpac Group.

 

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney, and a Master of International Studies from the University of Sydney.

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Futurist, author

Ross Dawson

Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and authority on business strategy.

He is Founding Chairman of the Advanced Human Technologies group of companies, and the bestselling author of five books, most recently Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information.

 

Strong global demand has seen him deliver keynote speeches to business and government leaders in over 30 countries, while frequent media appearances include CNN, Bloomberg TV, SkyNews, ABC TV, Today and Sunrise shows, The New York Times, and many others.

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Founder & CEO, Omnipresence

Karen Powell

Karen is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience, having guided 900 B2B brands in Asia Pacific to remarkable revenue growth. Recognising the pivotal role of aligning Sales, Marketing, and Service, she founded Omnipresence, empowering B2B leaders with cutting-edge AI technology and advisory services to streamline sales operations and enhance customer relationships. 

Karen is dedicated to revolutionising B2B sales, leveraging AI technologies to shift the focus to customer interactions. She has established and scaled firms across Cloud, Digital, Big Data, IOT, ML, and AI, serving as an advisor and system implementation partner for ML and AI businesses in Asia Pacific. 

As Managing Director of Australia's premier B2B marketing agency, Karen advised renowned brands like Lexus, Telstra, EMC, Harley Davidson, SAP, and American Express. She expanded the agency from 10 to 250 staff, setting up offices in Japan, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and fostering strategic alliances within the BBN network. 

Karen was the first Global Chief Operating Officer of an Australian Headquartered B2C Integrated Agency, overseeing a network of 19 independent agencies offering brand creative, consultancy services in business transformation and digital marketing across APAC and USA. During this time, she initiated global agency transformation programs, focusing on Sales Management Foundations, AI Infusion, Product Restructuring, Global Acquisition Operationalisation, and Operational Excellence. 

Karen is deeply committed to championing the Global Women in Revenue movement in Asia Pacific and actively participating in the COMPTIA Global AI Council and Australian AI Builders Club. With a Masters in International Business, a Bachelor of Asian Studies, and a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing, Karen drives innovation and empowers leaders in the AI industry. 

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Senior Data Scientist, carsales 

Markus Rollmann

Markus is a seasoned Data Scientist with a PhD in Physics from Oxford University, UK. Starting his career in data science consulting, he built out robust anti-credit card fraud solutions for a leading bank and tackled challenges in underground mining safety, insurance, and environmental monitoring.

Since joining carsales, Markus has dedicated the last two years improving personalisation, ad targeting, computer vision, and recommendation systems.

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CEO, AdFixus

Marko Markovic

With over 20 years of experience in Ad Tech/MarTech and a proven track record of senior roles at Nine and Microsoft, Marko is a seasoned CEO in various EMEA businesses. His passion for technology and business development led him to identify a need for industry change, with a focus on achieving harmony between relevancy and consumer privacy through technology. AdFixus emerged from this vision, securing multiple patents in the USA and Australia. Today, AdFixus leads the way in assisting publishers, advertisers, and consumers in controlling and managing their first-party data.

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CEO & Co-Founder, Heatseeker

Kate O'Keefe

Kate was born to build great SaaS products.

 

Before founding Heatseeker, she spent ten years in Silicon Valley running innovation for Cisco, including supporting and sourcing startups. During that time, she worked as a Partner and Head of the Design practice at BCG Digital Ventures as well as working as acting CEO of a neo-insurance startup.

 

Heatseeker emerged from a strong belief that all founders should have the ability to test their business and product assumptions, so they can make smart pivots.  

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Director of Product, CultureAmp

Cheryl Gledhill

Cheryl is currently a Director of Product at CultureAmp, a prominent Australian unicorn at the forefront of leveraging people science to enhance the employee experience. In her role, she specialises in the Talent space and with the AI team, bringing a wealth of expertise and innovation to drive organisational success.

 

Cheryl has a proven track record of nearly three decades in the startup landscape. Her journey includes impactful stints at notable companies such as Zip and BlueChilli, where she played pivotal roles in shaping their trajectories. Throughout her career, she has been a driving force in diverse sectors, ranging from mobile and fintech to disability-tech and telecoms.

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Founder, AirStack

Tom Pitney

Tom Pitney is founder of AI innovation agency AirStack, aimed at helping Australian businesses identify and evaluate tailored opportunities for Artificial Intelligence that save time, money and improve outcomes for teams.

 

With a background running creative, publishing, media and digital agency teams, Tom has contributed to the growth of leading brands such as Westpac, American Express, Chemist Warehouse and Netflix. Pitney's successful ventures range from buying and scaling former Fairfax publication TheVine, before its acquisition by Junkee Media, and founding youth publication Punkee. Following this, he transitioned to strategic leadership positions at oOh! Media and, more recently, served as Strategy Director at NewsCorp Australia.

In 2023, Tom founded AirStack AI to address the gap in practical AI application in business. AirStack AI specialises in simplifying AI for companies, going beyond cookie-cutter approaches to identifying, evaluating and develop tailored tools to drive measurable growth. 

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Executive Creative Director, Howatson+Company.

Gavin Chimes

Gavin Chimes is an Executive Creative Director at Howatson+Company.

He cares about making purposeful, brand-building work that pushes the boundaries of craft and culture.

 

He’s been named Australian Creative of The Year, ranked #6 ECD globally at D&AD, won over 150 awards including multiple Grand Prix and has been a juror at numerous award shows such as London International Awards, Immortals, ANDY and AWARD.

In 2021, he joined CEO Chris Howatson to help start a new agency where people and creativity came first. In 3 years, their team has grown to over 130 incredible staff, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Recently, Howatson+Company was named Independent Agency of the Year at D&AD, Cannes (Good), Spikes, ANDY, LIA, B&T, AdNews and Mumbrella.

Prior to this, Gavin worked at CHE Proximity, where he was Creative Director across NRMA Insurance and Samsung, helping the agency win APAC Agency of the Year and NRMA Client of the Year.

Previously Chimes worked at some of the world’s best agencies including Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, Droga5, Marcel and M&C Saatchi.

Outside of advertising, he’s authored a children’s book, Skat the Mutt, published by Scholastic and launched the luxury dog care brand, DOG by Dr Lisa.

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Research Fellow, Centre for Media Transition 

Michael Davis

Michael is the co-author of the Centre for Media Transition’s groundbreaking report into genAI for journalism.

 

He is a research fellow at the centre, which is part of UTS. His research focuses on the impact of generative AI on news and the digital information ecosystem and regulatory responses to misinformation.

 

Michael previously worked at the Australian Communications and Media Authority on misinformation policy, the news media bargaining code, and impartiality in news.

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Author, Future Media & Founder, Oovvuu

Ricky Sutton

Ricky' career spans 35 years at the intersection of journalism and technology. he has been a war correspondent, news editor, managing editor and advisor to News Corp globally. 

 

In the mid-2000s, Ricky moved into tech, working with Microsoft and Bing in Australia before launching a media AI company Oovvuu, which now services ~200 media companies. 

 

Ricky also authors the Future Media newsletter focusing on AI, Big Media and Big Tech, future business models and the rising antitrust movement.

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Co-Founder, Friyay

Sha-mayne Chan

I design tools and services that fuse human-centric design and generative AI to help businesses grow.

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Innovation & Strategy Partner, Time Under Tension

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper, helps businesses fuse the power of creativity with technology to grow.


Having been instrumental in leading the hybridisation of digital innovation and traditional marketing, creating groundbreaking campaigns for prestige brands through his roles at leading creative agencies M&C Saatchi and The Monkeys, he is now consulting as part of Australia’s first generative AI experience agency, Time Under Tension, as well as directly to brands, agencies and scaleups – locally and internationally – at the forefront of the Climate Impact (Everclime), Mobility (Uber), large-scale Retail (Woolworths, Big W), and Luxury Hospitality sectors.

Ben's work, including the founding of innovation studio Tricky Jigsaw, reflects his belief in the transformative power of technology to enhance traditional marketing landscapes, driving both creative and strategic growth.

He is known for leading the world-first shark detection system, the 'Optus Clever Buoy' to win seven Cannes Lions and the coveted Titanium, as well as SXSW, SPIKES Grand Prix and a D&AD White Pencil. The Buoy received backing in a $16m shark mitigation pledge from the NSW Government. His studio’s methods and product design work for NRMA Fireblanket (an early bushfire detection system) won the Australian Financial Reviews ‘Most Innovative Product’ and overall ‘Best Innovation’ categories. Resulting in a pole position win as the ‘Most Innovative Company’ in Australia the same year.

Ben has been a member of the D&AD Impact Council since 2018, an ambassador for Good Design Australia, a collaborator with Design for Good and was personally recognised amongst the ‘Top 20 Creatives in Australia’ by Adnews. In his spare time, he co-founded O Six Hundred, a skin-on-frame kit kayak that won ‘Best in Category’ at the Good Design Awards.

He is always looking at what is next on the horizon.

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