Speakers

Amplify upcoming speakers

“The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.” – Steve Jobs

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Distinguished Faculty
Singularity University
Founder Director
Futures-Diagnosis Ltd
Founder Director
Tech Futures Lab
Founder
Aubot (formerly 2Mar Robotics)

David Roberts

Distinguished Faculty
Singularity University

David Roberts is regarded as one of the world's top experts on disruptive innovation and exponentially advancing technology. He is an award winning CEO and serial entrepreneur, and has started ventures backed with over $100 million of investment from Kleiner Perkins, Vinod Khosla, Cisco, Oracle, Accenture, In-Q-Tel, and others. David is Chairman at HaloDrop, a revolutionary global drone services company, Chairman at 1QBit the world’s first software company for quantum computers, and is a formal adviser to Made-In-Space, responsible for manufacturing the first object in Space with a 3D printer on the Space Station. 

David has led the development of some of the most complex, state-of-the art systems ever built, to include satellites, drones, and fusion centers. He also worked as an Investment Banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs Headquarters. He received his B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from M.I.T. was a Distinguished Graduate, and majored in Artificial Intelligence and Bio-Computer Engineering. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Norman Lewis

Founder Director
Futures-Diagnosis Ltd

Norman Lewis is recognised worldwide as an expert on future trends and user behaviour with regard to technology innovation and adoption. He has spoken on these topics at events all over the world. Norman is currently a Founding Director of Futures-Diagnosis, a new networked global consultancy. He recently left PwC, where he was responsible for running their crowd sourced innovation programme. He is co-author of Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation.

Prior to joining PwC he was Chief Innovation Officer and partner at Open-Knowledge – a global consultancy on enterprise social software. He was the chief strategy officer of Wireless Grids Corporation, USA and the director of Technology Research for Orange UK, formerly the Home Division of France Telecom. He was also previously an executive board member of the MIT Communications Futures Programme, and a former chairman of the ITU TELECOM Forum Programme Committee.

Frances Valintine

Founder Director
Tech Futures Lab

Frances Valintine (CNZM) is a thought-leader in emerging and disruptive technologies and has 20 years’ experience across business, technology and education.

In 2013 Frances founded The Mind Lab to bring contemporary knowledge and practical skills to students and teachers around New Zealand. In 2016, she launched Tech Futures Lab to navigate the new world of technology enabled businesses, as exponential technologies impact on every role, every sector and every economy. 

Frances has worked with and advised 250+ organisations from every sector in New Zealand, from agriculture to finance, retail to law, and has gained a reputation as an expert in leading change initiatives.

In the 2018 New Year Honours, Frances was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit recognising her lifetime of contribution in education and technology. Last year Frances received the NZ Flying Kiwi Award and was inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame. Frances was also named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year at the 2017 NZer of the Year awards.  In 2016 Frances was named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International, and was also awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award. In 2015 Frances was awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education).

Frances sits on the boards of Callaghan Innovation, KEA and the NZ Artificial Intelligence Forum. She sits on a US Board of Talentnomics, committed to the empowerment of women in developing nations.

She holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne.

 

Marita Cheng

Founder
Aubot (formerly 2Mar Robotics)

Marita was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year for demonstrating vision and leadership well beyond her years as the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals Global.

Noticing the low number of girls in her engineering classes at the University of Melbourne, Marita rounded up her fellow engineering peers and they went to schools to teach girls robotics to encourage girls into engineering. While on academic exchange at Imperial College London, Marita expanded the group to London and through innovation and sheer will, Marita then expanded Robogals throughout Australia, the UK, the USA and Japan. The group runs robotics workshops, career talks and various other community activities to introduce young women to engineering. Robogals has now taught 70,000 girls from 11 countries our robotics workshops across 32 chapters.

Marita is also the founder and CEO of aubot (formerly 2Mar Robotics), which builds telepresence robots to assist kids with cancer in hospital to attend school, people with a disability to attend work and to monitor and socialise with elderly people. Aubot also conducts research and development in robotic arms, virtual reality and autonomous mapping and navigation. Hundreds of people have used aubot's Teleport robots, and this year, 70 students with cancer will attend school remotely via aubot's robot.

While studying at Singularity University’s flagship 10-week program located at NASA Ames and on a full scholarship funded by Google, Marita cofounded Aipoly with Alberto Rizzoli, which has been downloaded 500,000 times for blind people to recognise objects in their everyday lives. 2 billion image recognitions have been made in the past two years.

Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne. She serves on the boards of Robogals Global, the Foundation for Young Australians, and RMIT's New Enterprise Investment Fund, where she helps decide on startup investments, the Victorian State Innovation Expert Panel, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative's Tech Advisory Board.