Pause Fest 2021 Headliners just dropped

We are so excited to bring you the first announcement of our Pause Fest 2021 speakers. 

This year has seen one of the biggest global shifts in our lifetime. As many of you may have experienced, it’s given us time to reflect and look at the state of the world with a new perspective. That is why our new theme ‘Changes’ is strikingly relevant going into 2021.

 “Change is the only constant in life.”  - Heraclitus 

This statement was made 2,500 years ago, going forward from the past, we adapt, we grow and we change. Changes are part of us, they are an essential process of existence. Business’ and humans who shift with the world are leaders, innovators and pioneers. We’ve developed an entirely new experience for Pause Fest 2021 and applied behavioral programming through UX. Our new content streams have been designed to encourage the change in you - to apply to your business, work, life and mindset. 

Going into a brave new world in 2021, Pause Fest brings together the world’s leading talent to bring you insights to innovate with. We are thrilled to announce our first headliners, and many more to come. 

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Danielle Krettek Cobb, Founder, Google's Empathy Lab

Krettek Cobb founded Google Empathy Lab in 2015. Her Design Feeling method explores deeper universal systems of nature and being in order to design more vibrantly attuned, human-kind experiences. Danielle brightly tends to the human heart in splendidly wild ways, most notably her collaborations with Ram Dass, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Brene Brown, Geoff McFetridge, On Being, Stanford and Sundance.

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Dirk Ahlborn, Founder & CEO, HyperloopTT

Dirk’s talk and Q&A is exclusive for Innovation Ticket holders.

Dirk Ahlborn is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, and crowdsourcing. He is the man behind a new model of starting and scaling companies - one that has the power to mobilize a crowd of innovators, experts, and doers in a way that delivers disruptive innovation to even the most established industries. He is the Founder and CEO of JumpStarter Inc. and the Founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc.

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Myleeta Aga-Williams, Director, Content - SEA and Australia, Netflix

Myleeta’s talk and Q&A is exclusive for Innovation Ticket holders.

Myleeta Aga-Williams is Netflix’s Director of Content for Southeast Asia and Australia, responsible for delivering best in class content from across the region to be enjoyed by Netflix members around the world. Before joining Netflix in late 2019, Myleeta spent over a decade in senior roles at BBC Studios.

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Christopher Gerty, Exploration Spacesuit Informatics Lead, NASA

Christopher Gerty is an aerospace engineer who worked on NASA's Constellation Program. He is an advocate of NASA's Open Government Initiative and is a leading voice on the concept of participatory exploration and collaboration. He has fifteen years of experience working on complex, technology-intense projects at NASA, and served as an aquanaut on the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 13 (NEEMO 13) crew.

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Sam Bompas, Founder, Bompas & Parr

Bompas & Parr is globally recognised as the leading expert in multi-sensory experience design. The studio works with commercial brands, artistic institutions, private clients and governments to deliver emotionally compelling experiences to a wide variety of audiences.

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Dominic Price, Work Futurist, Atlassian

Dominic Price has a career that has reached far and wide through Europe, the US and the Asia Pacific. He has responsibilities spanning seven global R&D centres and is Atlassian's in house “Team Doctor” helping the company scale by being ruthlessly efficient and effective, with one eye on the future. Previously he was the General Manager for Program Management at a global gaming company and then a Director at Deloitte.

Ester van Steekelenburg, Co-Founder, iDiscover

Dutch born urban planner Ester van Steekelenburg has long been fascinated by Asia’s fast changing cities. She’s also saddened by the disappearance of culture, heritage & identity in the city’s older neighbourhoods. In 2014 she co-founded social enterprise Urban Discovery. From their base-camp in Hong Kong this small team works with governments, developers and NGO’s across Asia to build the business case for heritage revitalisation. Their newest initiative is iDiscover, an App&Map platform that enables communities to map what matters in their neighbourhood. Before it’s too late…

Bradley G Munkowitz, Designer and Director, GMUNK Incorporated

GMUNK is a visionary whose creativity and innovation spans multiple platforms, and has established himself as one of the top visual and design directors in the world. Utilizing a fusion of science-fiction themes, psychedelic palettes, and practical in-camera effects, his signature style is enigmatic, atmospheric, and metaphysical – much like the Munky himself. 

Grace O'Hara, Founder, Small Fires Publishing

A connector of dots and people, Grace is a fiend for things that make the world a little bit better. She likes working amongst passionate communities and taking little steps in good directions.

Currently, she's the Founder of Small Fires Publishing, helping to make children's books that teach empathy, amplify diverse voices and create a sustainable income for local change-makers around the world. During the day, she works with meaningful organisations, helping them to create safe and action-oriented communities, tell great stories and measure their impact.

Harriet McDougall, Associate Director, MAKE Studios

Harriet is a service designer, strategist, illustrator and graphic facilitator with a knack for making the abstract tangible and depth of expertise in design for higher education, government services and social justice.

A creative pragmatist, she believes that design gives us the power to navigate complex challenges through making, visualising and just f*cking doing. Her approach champions experimentation and drawing on adjacent disciplines such as art, mindfulness, systems thinking and storytelling.


Helen Steel, Founding CEO, Shared Value Project & Good Thing Australia

Since establishing the Shared Value Project Australia & New Zealand in 2014, Helen has devoted herself to inspiring, convening and empowering the corporate sector to realise its potential to create a more resilient and sustainable world.

She is committed to accelerating the adoption of shared value as a means to deliver on this purpose, profitably. Her aim is that by growing this movement, we will not only maximise the social and environmental impact of business, we will also build a more prosperous world for companies to operate in.

Jay Wong, Staff UX Lead and Manager, Google Pay

Jay Wong leads the Google Pay UX team across APAC, focusing on making money simple, secure and accessible for the next billion users. Jay started her career at Google in 2012, where she helped design Google+ Photos and Hangouts before building and leading the Google Fi team in reimagining phone plans. Her prior experience co-founding and running her own software company has enabled her to deftly bridge business, engineering and product together to innovate on immensely complex design problems. In her free time she’s an avid ceramicist and side-hustler.

JF Gauthier, Founder & CEO, Startup Genome

JF Gauthier is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Startup Genome. He is the world’s leading expert in innovation ecosystem development, having advised—and learned from—more than 100 governments and private-public partnerships across 40 countries. He is an angel investor and has founded five businesses across two continents and three sectors (Tech, Life Sciences and Cleantech), with two exits and one growing at scaleup stage. He previously worked in corporate innovation advising some of the largest Tech and Life Sciences corporations alongside Clayton Christensen and other thought leaders. Harvard MBA.

Kate Arthur, Founder & CEO, Kids Code Jeunesse

Kate is the founder and CEO of Kids Code Jeunesse (KCJ), a Canadian charity that has introduced computational thinking and coding to over 350,000 kids and across Canada. In 2019, KCJ launched #kids2030, an initiative that will educate 1,000,000 kids and 50,000 educators on artificial intelligence, ethics, and using technology to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Global Goals by 2030. Kate was raised in the U.K., Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Canada, and has witnessed the power of an educated country.

Lee Hatton, Executive Vice President, Afterpay

Lee has over 20 years’ experience internationally in the Financial Services industry and has held senior executive roles in marketing, strategy and risk in large scale customer-facing businesses.

In 2020 Lee joined the Global Executive team at Afterpay and is responsible for driving the business’s strategy for new products and services. Previously she was the Chief Executive Officer of UBank from 2015 to 2020. Lee has been recognised by IBM as one of 40 Women Leaders in Artificial Intelligence across the globe for her work in delivering world-first innovations.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Business from Auckland University of Technology (NZ), and is an alumni of Berkeley Haas School of Business. She is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW) which represents Australia’s most senior and distinguished female leaders.

Matt Baxby, Country CEO, Australia, Revolut

Matt is a strategic and people-oriented leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and over 15 years of diverse experience across B2C businesses facing disruption or significant regulatory change.

In his role as Revolut Australia CEO, Matt is responsible for launching and expanding Revolut’s product offering in the Australian market. He oversees all aspects of operational and financial performance including licensing, regulation, product development and hiring.

Merel van Helsdingen, Founder & Managing Director, NxT Museum

Merel van Helsdingen has worked on Marketing and Partnerships for tech, music and entertainment companies in London (Apple, BBH, Crowdmix). She specialised in digital marketing and entertainment partnerships at BBH, working with the likes of Rovio and Universal Music.

Merel’s passion for new media, film and music, combined with her entrepreneurial flair, inspired the idea for Nxt Museum in 2018. Over the last two and a half years, Merel has built the museum from scratch, leading on everything from the concept to fundraising and artist liaison, with the support of her network of advisors. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Media & Culture and a Masters in Marketing.

Paul Francis, Head of Sport Science, Adidas

Paul is the Head of Sport Science for adidas globally, leading the internal teams and the external network to discover new opportunities to change lives through sport. With over two decades of experience in elite sport and the mindset of a problem solver, Paul has worked with some of the greatest sporting champions and performance minds, in the pursuit of making each athlete better.

Piero Pelizzaro, Urban Resilience and Climate Adaptation Specialist, Comune di Milano

Pelizzaro has 10 years of experience in climate change policies and urban resilience planning.

Currently Pelizzaro is the Milan Chief Resilience Officer and the City Lead for the H2020 Lighthouse project Sharing Cities at the Municipality of Milan. An advisor of the Italian Ministry of Environment Land and Sea on Urban Adaptation Policy to Climate Change and the Co-Founder of Climalia, specialised consulting company providing climate services in Italy.

Pelizzaro specialised in Urban Resilience, Environmental Economic Accounting, Energy Scenario and Climate Change Impact Models through working experience at the Stockholm Environment Institute – Tallinn Office. 

Rei Inamoto, Founding Partner, Design, I&CO

Named in Creativity Magazine’s annual “Creativity 50” as well as one of “the Top 25 Most Creative People in Advertising” in Forbes Magazine, Rei Inamoto is one of the most influential individuals in the marketing and creative industry today. Originally from Tokyo, Rei spent his childhood and teenage years in Japan and Europe. He then moved to the US to complete his university studies with degrees in fine arts and computer science. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Until the fall of 2015, Rei served as Chief Creative Officer of AKQA worldwide, responsible for delivering creative solutions for the agency’s clients such as Audi, Google, Nike, Xbox, and many others. During his tenure, AKQA grew tenfold, growing to a network of 14 offices across the world. It also became the first agency in history to receive five Agency of the Year accolades from industry publications.


Safi Obeidullah, Director, Office of Chief Technology Officer, Citrix

Safi Obeidullah brings a passion for people and technology together with over 20 years of experience in IT to help organisations unlock new ways of working and defining a richer, more productive employee experience. As Citrix Field CTO, Safi is responsible for supporting strategic customer/partner relationships, assessing market needs and industry trends to help shape product priorities and evangelizing Citrix solutions at events across APJ.

Sarah Owen, Senior Strategist, Insight, WGSN

Sarah is a sociologist, brand strategist, and trend forecaster with a background in social media and youth trends. She leads a team on WGSN Insight dedicated to helping our clients understand digital trends, youth culture, and marketing strategies. Sarah has previously worked across the USA, Australia and Europe researching global generational trends, consulting with Fortune 500 brands, and writing for New York magazine, Vogue, and The New York Times. When she's not connecting the dots, she's busy learning a new skill (a recently certified pilates instructor) or language (she's currently living in Lisbon learning Portuguese).

Scott Cohen, Co-Founder, Newlab

Entrepreneur/investor/artist working in film, photography, design. Director of Red Knot, winner of the FIPRESCI Grand Jury Award for Best New American Cinema.

Sergio Guerreiro, Senior Director for Knowledge Management and Innovation, Turismo de Portugal

Senior Director for Knowledge Management and Innovation at Turismo de Portugal (National Tourism Board), currently in charge of statistics, business intelligence, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Chairman of the OECD Tourism Committee, Chairman of the European Travel Commission’s Market Intelligence Group and Executive Director of NovaSBE’s Westmont Institute of Tourism and Hospitality.

Tim Duggan, Co-Founder & Editor-at-Large, Junkee Media

Tim Duggan is a new media entrepreneur who has co-founded several digital media ventures, most notably Junkee Media – Australia’s leading millennials digital publisher. In 2018, industry organisation Mumbrella named Junkee Media Large Publishing Company of The Year.

Tim began his career as a music journalist for Rolling Stone. He sits on the boards of Hello Sunday Morning, a tech start-up working to change people’s relationship with alcohol, and the Griffin Theatre Company, Australia's new writing theatre.

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Explore more of the incredible people joining us in 2020. FROM HERE.

Get your tickets to Pause Fest 2021 today.