Confirmed Headline Speakers

Libby Giles_web

Libby Giles

Libby Giles has been involved in the implementation and development of Global Citizenship Education for a number of years, in practitioner and advisory roles.   As a member of the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies and the Alliance for Responsible and Sustainable Societies, Libby has participated locally and internationally with a wide range of individuals, groups, organisations and students.  Libby is Head of Religious Education and Philosophy at St Cuthbert’s College in Auckland and is president of the New Zealand Association of Philosophy Teachers.

Experience a taste of student life at St Cuthbert's, watch our video here.

Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter

After 20 years as a university academic and professor, Ian is the founder of the award-winning writing programme: Write that Essay (  The author of over 80 works, he now works with schools to improve student literacy and writing outcomes.  Ian's PD and workshops are known for their engaging, informative, and practical content.


Jeff Johnstone

Jeff Johnstone is Education Director at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. He joined the Foundation in 2013 after five years as principal of Willow Park School in Auckland. He previously worked in schools in Auckland, Wellington, Shanghai and London.

Jeff has a Masters in educational administration from Massey University. He is passionate about learning and leadership that equips young New Zealanders to thrive in their future with Asia.


Catherine Low

Catherine Low teaches Practical Ethics and Science at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in Christchurch. She is also a leader of the New Zealand effective altruism community, and works for Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC).

SHIC is based on the principles of effective altruism, and aims to refine students moral thinking with the use evidence and analysis, so they effectively tackle the world’s most pressing problems with their donations, spare time, and career.


Juliana Mansvelt

Juliana Mansvelt is an Associate Professor in the Geography Programme, in the School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University.  She is author of Geographies of Consumption (Sage, 2005), editor of Green Consumerism An A-Z Guide (Sage, 2011), and Co-editor of Engaging Geographies: Landscapes, Lifecourses and Mobilities (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).

Juliana’s research and publications have centred on consumption practices and spaces, and experiences of ageing in place.  She enjoys teaching and is the recipient of a Massey University, a New Zealand Geographical Society and a National New Zealand Tertiary Award for sustained excellence in teaching.  She is currently Associate Editor of The New Zealand Geographer. 

She enjoys serving in her local community and is currently Chair of Horowhenua College in Levin, a member of the Horowhenua Community of Learning working group, and on the steering group of Te Hinaki, an initiative designed to make ICT devices accessible to all children in Horowhenua schools.


Diane Maxwell

As Retirement Commissioner Diane leads the Commission for Financial Capability, which is best known for the Sorted website but has been gaining increasing attention for its work around our ageing population and how we can pay for it. Diane spent the past year travelling around the country getting New Zealanders thinking and talking about the future. These conversations helped to inform her recommendations to the government around changes to retirement income policies, an area that the Commission reviews every three years.

Her goal as commissioner is to build the financial capability of New Zealanders of all ages, with an emphasis on low income and vulnerable groups, as well as an increased focus on young people. As the mother of two children she shares the concerns of other parents and grandparents over the new challenges that are facing young people at a time when debt levels are high and home ownership is declining – factors that can have a worrying effect on retirement.

The issues that she grapples with can be difficult and the subject matter dry. Her approach is to use innovation, humour, personal insights and story-telling to grab the public’s attention and get them focusing on the positive impacts of change - both at a national level and on a personal basis with their own behaviour.

Before becoming commissioner in 2013 she was at the Financial Markets Authority, where she worked on the role of regulation post GFC and the relationship between compliance, regulation and education. But her interest in financial capability began before that, during her time at the BNZ where her portfolio included complaints, government relations, media relations, sustainability, events and marketing.


Lauren Merritt

Lauren Merritt is the Chief Awesome Officer at Ministry of Awesome where she leads the team in supporting early stage entrepreneurs to make their ideas happen. Her background is in non-profit management, international relations and conflict resolution which she applied to her work resettling refugees and working with young people with disabilities in performance.

At Ministry of Awesome exists to create a thriving, connected, and activated city where people can follow their passions and have the support to do just that. Their work is all about promoting a culture of inclusion, positivity, and progress.

They believe that meaningful change happens when people with big ideas are connected to the tools, resources, and a supportive community. The experimental nature of their works allows Ministry of Awesome to create programmes, workshops and events that solve the real-time needs of local entrepreneurs and innovators of all ages.

She is particularly interested in creating pathways for young entrepreneurs to access the entrepreneurial ecosystem and have the opportunity to choose entrepreneurship as a real and valid career choice.


Ced Simpson

From a decade encouraging active global citizenship amongst senior secondary students in Tasmania, Ced Simpson went on to work for over 20 years in one of the most significant global citizenship movements – Amnesty International. During that time he worked with colleagues in a wide range of countries working to establish democratic societies after the revolutions of the 1980s and 90s, coming to realise the significance of the international human rights framework as the bedrock of global citizenship.
As director of the Human Rights in Education Trust, Ced works with school leaders and teachers to better ensure that learning communities nurture active citizenship based on agreed rights and responsibilities.


Regina Scheyvens

Regina Scheyvens heads the Institute of Development Studies at Massey University and co-directs the Pacific Research and Policy Centre. At Massey she combines a passion for teaching about international development with research on tourism, sustainable development and poverty reduction.

She has conducted fieldwork on these issues in Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, the Maldives and in Southern Africa, leading to the publication of two of her key works Tourism for Development: Empowering Communities, and Tourism and Poverty.

Regina is currently involved in a major research project to explore effective approaches that communities in the Pacific are using to develop their customary land.

Regina is the recipient of a national award for sustained excellence in tertiary teaching, and she enjoys having the opportunity to teach about topics close to her heart including gender and development, sustainable livelihoods, and theories of empowerment for marginalised peoples.

She has been privileged to work with Master’s and PhD students from Aotearoa, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, many of whom have gone on to gain employment with international NGOs, government ministries, the United Nations and humanitarian agencies.

Outside of university, Regina sits on the development and relief committee of Caritas, a social justice agency.


Kelly Spencer

Kelly is a graphic artist and letterer, based in Wellington. Her creative focus, be it through client or personal work, is to produce art which promotes positive relationships within society and nature. In her personal work this means giving a voice to the natural world, depicting animals and plants and telling their story, with the intention to send important environmental messages to her audience.

Kelly’s creative style is characterised by a bold use of colour, curvaceous forms, and clean lines. A multidisciplinary approach allows her to design across a wide variety of media and enjoy the freedom to produce work both in-studio and out in the world, adorning surfaces large and small with her colourful forms. Her work to date spans sign painting, murals/street art, illustration, apparel graphics, festival & gig branding, identity design, and painting a life sized fibre glass baby elephant.

Kelly has shown her work through NZ, Australia and the USA, and painted walls around NZ and parts of Asia.