Keynote and Plenary Speakers

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Head and shoulders image of a smiling Minnie Baragwaneth, dressed in black against a white backdrop

Minnie Baragwanath

CEO and Founder, Be. Accessible

Minnie Baragwanath is the CEO and founder of Be. Accessible – a social change agency shifting Aotearoa from disability to possibility.

Minnie believes New Zealand can become a thought-leader, a visionary, and a global powerhouse in access innovation. She envisions a thriving nation whose leaders, thinkers , designers and makers are embracing the opportunities accessibility presents.

In 2013 Minnie was a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award and in 2014 became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

In 2017 Minnie received the Women of Influence Diversity Award and in that same year was placed as a top 10 finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.

She has a BA in English Literature, a Bachelor of Communications Studies, and a graduate diploma in Economic Development and is a Leadership New Zealand Alumni.

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Victor Calise

Commissioner, New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

As Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, Victor Calise tirelessly advocates for the disability community in all City decision-making. 

Commissioner Calise chairs the Accessibility Committee of the City Building Code and leads efforts to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce through the NYC: ATWORK employment initiative. He also ensures that disability is at the forefront of technological developments including smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and digital accessibility. 

Recognized as an expert on disability, the Commissioner frequently participates in national and international conferences. A dedicated public servant, Calise previously led efforts within the Department of Parks and Recreation to make the city's park system-one of the most complex in the world-universally accessible.

Calise-an avid athlete-competed in the 1998 Paralympic Games as a member of the U.S. national sled hockey team. A native New Yorker, he is married with two daughters.

Presenter Transcript

Black and white image of a smiling Ludo Campbell-Reid, dressed in a white shirt with downtown Auckland reflected behind him

Ludo Campbell-Reid

Design Champion, Auckland Design Office

Sought out by Mayors, Cities and Governments, Ludo Campbell-Reid is a globally renowned urban design thought-leader, city planning expert and keynote speaker with over 24 years' public/private sector experience on large-scale city transformation projects. He is a globally respected commentator on cities and appears regularly in the media and trade press. 

Ludo is currently the Design Champion for Auckland, a role he has held since 2006. Prior coming to Auckland, he was Founding CEO of Urban Design London, a pan London organisation established to lift urban design quality in London.

Described as "the lightning rod for transformation" by The Property Council of New Zealand 2016 Auckland Property People Awards, Ludo is credited with transforming Auckland's City Centre and lifting urban design to new heights.

In 2015 he was described by the influential Metro Magazine as one of the Top 50 most influential Aucklanders. 

A recent Paperboy article described him as the "Design Champion with an unshakeable faith in Auckland."

You can follow Ludo on Twitter (@AklDesignChamp) and on LinkedIn.

Presenter Transcript

Bill Forrester

Founder, TravAbility

Bill was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. As a child he was fortunate to travel to many parts of the world and to learn and appreciate cultures other than his own. That passion for learning and understanding has never left him. Bill spent most of his working life in the corporate field in both financial and operation roles. He specialised in corporate and cultural change. He has extensive experience in facility management, major project delivery, stakeholder relations and corporate training programs. He has worked in the private, mutual, and government sectors. 

Bill founded TravAbility in 2007. Its mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

Presenter Presentation

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Minister for Social Development

Hon Carmel Sepuloni is the Minister for Social Development, the Minister for Disability Issues, and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Pacific Peoples. She is also the MP for Kelston and is the mother of two boys aged 20 and 5 years.

Outside of politics Carmel has worked across the health and education sectors, working as a Literacy Educator with youth in Auckland, teaching in Samoa, and managing equity programmes at the University of Auckland. She has also worked as the manager for a Pacific non-regulated health workforce development research project and as CEO of New  Zealand's only National Pacific disability, mental health and older people's service provider, Vaka Tautua.  

As the Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues Carmel is looking forward to building a fairer, more accessible and more inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Presenter Transcript

Headshot of a smiling Phil wearing a suit jacket and red tie.

Hon Phil Twyford

Minister for Housing and Urban Development and Transport

Hon Phil Twyford was born and raised in Auckland. He is the Labour Member of Parliament for Te Atatu, where he lives. Phil's vision is for New Zealand to deliver hope and opportunity to all people. He is committed to fixing the housing and transport problems that affect our biggest city, as well as much of the rest of the country.

After studying politics at Auckland University, Phil worked as a journalist and union organiser before becoming the founding Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. Phil's strong belief in justice led to him becoming Oxfam's Global Advocacy Director, based in Washington DC.

Upon returning to New Zealand, Phil was elected to Parliament for the Labour Party in 2008. In Opposition, he held the portfolios of Housing, Transport, Auckland Issues, and Disarmament and Arms Control.

As Minister for Housing and Urban Development and Transport, Phil is looking forward to working with communities to build a better New Zealand.

Presenter Transcript

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