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Refactor: November 2017

It's Refactor time again! We have an awesome line-up to round out our year: Ruth James, Lisa Wood, and Steph Cooper. Read on to learn more about them or grab your ticket now!  

The event is presented in conjunction with our awesome sponsors AUT, Pushpay, and Catalyst, and our brand spanking new sponsor Vend!

Tuesday 14 November 2017, 6-8:30pm
Room WG308 at AUT, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD
Tickets $25 – open to all

Speaker Profiles

Ruth James

Ruth (@RuthJamesNZ) fell into the NZ tech industry by complete fluke when she arrive in the country ten years ago! Her first job was as a receptionist for a tech company (Fronde), since then she’s worked for a number of New Zealand technology companies and is currently the Happiness Engineer at Xero.

In the last five years she has become increasingly active in encouraging the next generation of Kiwi’s into the tech sector. She has thrown herself at every opportunity going where she can help enable, inspire and encourage school and university students to pursue a career in tech.

Lisa Wood

Lisa is Digital Transformation Change Lead at Air NZ, a role that has brought together three areas Lisa is particularly curious about - systems thinking, cognitive science and change. Previously an Agile Coach, Product Manager, Entrepreneur dabbler and Travel Consultant, it's fair to say she is a generalist. An insatiable curiosity about everything does make it challenging for her to keep focussed, but her ultimate goal in life is to make a positive difference in the lives of the people she encounters on her journey and to impact some positive social change.

Steph Cooper

Steph is a Lean|Agile Coach and has worked in technology for over 20 years. From an unlikely start as an art history graduate, Steph was drawn to the passion of folks who worked with technology. She was part of the Lean|Agile Practice at Assurity and has had stints with 2degrees on their Leadership Team after launch, and with Serko Travel as the Product Delivery Lead. Her superpower is helping groups of people to find focus and get stuff done together. And she hopes that one day we will live in a world where no-one uses the word ‘resource’ when they mean ‘person’.

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Refactor: June 2017

It's Refactor time again! We have an awesome line-up to warm up the winter blues: Dr Rhema Vaithianathan, Bridget Beh, and Katherine Barrow. Read on to learn more about them or grab your ticket now!  

The event is presented in conjunction with our awesome sponsors AUT, Pushpay, and Catalyst!

Wednesday 28 June 2017, 6-8:30pm
Room WG308 at AUT, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD
Tickets $25 – open to all

Speaker Profiles

Dr Rhema Vaithianathan

Rhema (@RVaithianathan) is a health economist and co-director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics (@AUTCSDA) at AUT.  The Centre’s mission is  to solve hard social problems with innovative data analytics solutions.   Rhema is always looking for opportunities to use data to address intractable social problems.  At the CSDA she leads data scientists and researchers working on projects in NZ, the US and the UK, all aiming to deliver measurable social impact.  Rhema’s work often makes use of existing administrative data  that can be  transformed to predict certain adverse outcomes, like child maltreatment or chronic homelessness.  Recent work of note includes development of the Allegheny Family Screening Tool, a predictive risk model for child welfare implemented in the US last year, and impact evaluations of New Zealand’s Family Start, Teen Parent Units and Social Workers in Schools programmes.  As a researcher Rhema is known for pairing the best possible scientific methodologies with enviable human engagement:  “Data doesn’t change minds.  People do”.   

Bridget Beh

Bridget is a Software Engineer at Serato, a world-leading music software company. She currently works on Serato DJ, a cross-platform native desktop application and was part of the team that launched Pyro, an iOS app that automatically mixes music. Prior to Serato, Bridget completed internships at Orion Health, First NZ Capital and Google. She is a keen FutureInTech ambassador and in her free time you can find her jamming on various musical instruments.

Katherine Barrow

Katherine (@katbarrow) is the Experience Director at Pixel Fusion.  She works at the intersection of customer experience, technology and business strategy, helping businesses apply design thinking and innovation methodologies across their channels and products.  She has an eclectic background, having worked in tourism and teaching before joining the design and tech industries 7 years ago.  She’s passionate about the importance of empathy and ethics in the tech industry, and the responsibility that we have to shape the world consciously and inclusively.


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Refactor North: Whangarei April 2017

Welcome to the first ever Refactor North! We're bringing Refactor to Whangarei. Join us for an awesome evening of inspiring talks, where we'll hear from Lillian Grace, Jane McKenzie, and Philippa Mannagh.

Wednesday 5 April 2017, 6:00pm-8:30pm
Distinction Hotel, 9 Riverside Drive, Whangarei
Tickets $20 (which includes canapés and your first drink) – open to all

Speaker profiles

Lillian Grace

Lillian (@gracefullillian) is CEO and Founder of Figure.NZ, the first organisation globally to assert everyone can use data in their thinking, and to build the systems, software, relationships and trust to enable this. Figure.NZ provides a data publishing service to organisations with data, standardising it and making it truly usable for everyone regardless of skill level. Lillian is on the recently established Data Futures Partnership Working Group, on the Expert Advisory Panel of the Open Government Partnership, as well as on the board of the NZ Innovation Partnership and of NZ’s Centre of Research Excellence Te Pūnaha Matatini. Previously Lillian was at Academy Award-Winning Massive Software, and at think tank The New Zealand Institute.

Jane McKenzie

Jane is the Head of Corporate IT at RefiningNZ.  She's had the opportunity to work across many industry sectors and she has been part of and witnessed from the beginning the pace of technology and the progression of workforce cultural re-calibration. Her path to this role started in Dunedin as an Information Systems student and stepped through various application development, PC Support, training, engineering, IT architecture and management and programme leadership roles up the country to Northland. Here she can commute to work from Manganese Point to Marsden Cove by boat every day.

Philippa Mannagh

Philippa Mannagh's idea to dive into the world of social media management birthed from a quiet night in with the hubby, noticing then trends in America and a passion to network with people and other businesses online from the comfort of her own family home. Her desire to connect women in business through story-telling, social media and networking drove her everyday mum-juggle to a freedom lifestyle that would ensure she could be at the sidelines of school sports days and even work from the beach when desired.  Four years later, she now works with companies, local business, individuals and organisations to better themselves online and to help them to find their voice. Philippa's business today was built purely from her Facebook Business Page and her then, three fellow Mums in Business chatting around her coffee table multiplied quickly into a community of over 550 online women eager to support each other through this busy time of their lives, finding more flexibility and permission to have the best of both worlds. 

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Refactor: March 2017

Welcome back to Refactor for 2017! We have an awesome line-up to kick off the year: Nicole Ferguson, Alysha Delany, Rochelle Ivanson and Sian Simpson. Read on to learn more about them or grab your ticket now!  

The event is presented in conjunction with our awesome sponsors AUT, Pushpay, Microsoft,  and Catalyst!

Wednesday 15 March 2017, 6-8:30pm
Room WG308 at AUT, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD
Tickets $25 – open to all

Speaker profiles

Nicole Ferguson

Nicole (@nicolerferg) is Chief Executive at REANNZ, the Crown-owned company that owns and operates the specialised, high-performance telecommunications network for New Zealand’s education, research and innovation communities. Initially trained as a Chartered Accountant, REANNZ was one of Nicole’s first clients when she took up the role of Senior Accountant at KPMG NZ in early 2008. Two and a half years later she decided to join them permanently, and, aside from a brief stint at Inland Revenue, has been with REANNZ ever since – the first five years as CFO, before stepping into the CEO role in November 2015. During that time, Nicole's developed a strong passion for tech and innovation, and become a staunch advocate for women and diversity in STEM industries - including recently driving the trial of a blind-hiring process for a number of executive roles. And she's picked up a number of insights along the way, on being a non-techie leading a high-performance tech organisation.

Alysha Delany

Alysha is a partner at MBM, New Zealand’s largest independent media agency, and has been pivotal in its growth, focusing the agency around technology led communications including data and analytics, digital insights, marketing automation, search marketing and digital PR with the overarching objective to deliver client business success through the power of media and technology. It took a long time for Alysha to find her passion, after working in IT, Strategy and Marketing roles before entering the advertising industry ten years ago, but this combination has been perfect for the role that she now loves.

Rochelle Ivanson

Rochelle (@ri) recently left a career in the fast paced world of advertising to work in the even faster paced local startup, Pushpay. In her spare time she organizes one of New Zealand's largest technology and design conferences, Gather.

Sian Simpson

Sian (@siansimpson) is the Global Community Manager of the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco where she helps take NZ technology to the world. Sian started the well known and loved Sales and Marketing Jam (NZSMJ) which brings US start up and technology experts to share their experience and networks with Kiwi businesses. The KLP is supported by leading organisations, such as Air New Zealand, Vodafone, BNZ & NZTE. Sian is also a video director, interviewer and content strategist for media, technology and startup clients whom she works with in the US. In her spare time she mentors up and coming young entrepreneurs, and is currently setting up a youth innovation centre on the North Shore of Auckland where young people can achieve their excellence and learn about the future of work and connect with industry.


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Refactor: November 2016

We have a great speaker line-up for the final Refactor event of 2016: Anna Curzon, Jessica Venning-Bryan, Emily Melhuish and Lisa Miles-Heal. Read on to learn more about them or grab your ticket now!  

The event is presented in conjunction with our awesome sponsors AUTPushpayMicrosoft,  and Catalyst!

Wednesday 16 November 2016, 6-8:30pm
Room WG308 at AUT, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD
Tickets $25 – open to all

Speaker profiles

Anna Curzon

Anna Curzon (@anna_curzon) is the Managing Director of Xero New Zealand and a key member of the global sales leadership team, responsible for driving relationships with government, financial institutions, enterprise and promoting the small business economy.  Prior to Xero Anna led Internet Banking at ASB and Digital First at Spark and brings deep experience of online, financial services and operations to Xero.

Jessica Venning-Bryan

Jessica (@jvenningbryan) has spent 15 years advising organisations like Lion, the Electoral Commission, Seafood NZ, Saatchi & Saatchi Global, and the Sustainable Business Council on how to engage customers with projects and brands. From beer to electricity, voting systems to employment, she’s delivered projects in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the UK. She is currently GM Brand at Flick Electric Co., and was part of Flick’s founding team. Jessica is also on the Board of PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform; and is the Founder and Trustee of Cultivate Mentoring Lab, a not-for-profit that partners early to mid-career women with experienced mentors to help them grow their confidence and progress equally at work.

Emily Melhuish

Emily (@kanocarra) was that one kid at school who was obsessed with anything and everything horses. Throughout high school, she became more exposed to the wonders of technology and decided to pursue a career in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, specialising in power electronics and machine learning. Emily also works as a full stack web developer for Trade Me Motors. With a passion for both hardware and software, Emily hopes to combine the two to make technology smarter and more sustainable. When she's not buried under books in the engineering library, she can be found on the soccer pitch, in a kayak, blowing up circuits, working on her car, designing websites or crafting a decadent dessert.    

Lisa Miles-Heal

Lisa is GM and CTO at Unleashed Software, a Takapuna HQ'd technology company that provides a SaaS inventory management solution to medium sized businesses around the world. LMH (as she is known) is a passionate supporter of young people following a career pathway in IT, women succeeding in business generally and great coffee and macarons. She has a range of skills, from marketing to project management, operational execution and strategy - and above all being your genuine and awesome self!.

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Refactor: August 2016

Our next Refactor event is on Tuesday 16 August 2016.  We're at a brand new venue, AUT, and the event is presented in conjunction with our sponsors Microsoft, Pushpay and Catalyst!

Tickets $25 – open to both women & men


Speaker profiles

Priti Ambani

Priti (@envirotarian) is co-founder at The Next Billion, an impact-driven enterprise founded on the belief that by gathering our collective resources to invest in women, we can positively impact/change the world for the better. The company is set to launch Globally Spotted - a discovery platform for smart and innovative women led business from the world over.
Priti is an engineer and began her career 11 years ago in environmental design. Over the last 6 years, Priti has sought out and landed opportunities on global teams, to grow early stage startups, for-profit and non-profit entities creating impact through digital collaboration and crowds. She is a zealot for the digital and crowd economy and for helping organisations that are keen to harness the productivity of the Internet to solve societal challenges. Most recently, Priti began working with the core team at Tech Futures Lab, helping Kiwis be better prepared for the exponential technologies and careers in the 21st century.
Priti was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She moved to Auckland with her husband and sons in 2015 after 13 years in the United States. Priti is a lover of the outdoors, traveling and from-scratch cooking!  

Irene Direnko-Smith

Irene graduated with a degree in computer science but has spent the last 12 years doing technical sales and strategic consulting. Her diverse experience ranges from establishing and implementing sales strategy for software start-ups like Thematic through to enterprise solutions selling for large multinational technology companies. Irene has a very strong record of success and believes that greater gender diversity in ICT sales would lead to more profitable and sustainable industry.    

Nicki Raistrick

Nicki (@nicki_raistrick) is a leader in Digital Innovation and transformation with nineteen years’ experience working with global organisations. Creating high performing teams with permission to think differently and a focus on value creation is a key strength. Recent achievements include establishing the Digital Innovation Lab for Fletcher Building, creating innovative & smart digital solutions for the construction industry; and for Spark Ventures, setting up the Delivery Teams and the Strategy and Planning function which was responsible for bringing five companies to market in under a year.


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Refactor: May 2016 in conjunction with Techweek AKL

Our next Refactor event is on Thursday 19 May 2016. It's presented in conjunction with Techweek AKL, and our sponsors Catalyst and Microsoft!

Refactor tickets $25 – open to both women & men

Speaker profiles

Claudia Batten

US-based Kiwi Claudia Batten (@claudiabatten) will openly admit she is digitally obsessed. From her roots in commercial law, she has been a founding member of two highly successful entrepreneurial ventures. As part of the founding team of Massive Incorporated, a network for advertising in video games, she helped pioneer “digital” as a media buy. Massive was sold to Microsoft in 2006, where Claudia then spent 3 years scaling the in-game network. In 2009 she co-founded Victors & Spoils, the first advertising agency built on the principles of crowdsourcing. After two years in market, V&S was majority acquired by French holding company Havas Worldwide. In 2014 Claudia cofounded Broadli with Ale Lariu and Mary Abraham to redefine how we use digital connectivity to power networking. Broadli can be downloaded at Claudia was most recently appointed to run North American operations for NZTE, supporting New Zealand business as they grow internationally into that market.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles

Dr Siouxsie Wiles (@siouxsiew) is an award-winning scientist who has made a career of her twin passions for bioluminescence (think glow worms and fireflies) and infectious diseases. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team at the University of Auckland make nasty bacteria glow in the dark to understand how superbugs make us sick and to find new medicines. Siouxsie also has a keen interest in demystifying science for the public; she is a keen blogger, podcaster, artist, curator and media science commentator and has won a hat trick of prizes for her efforts, including the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize and the Royal Society of New Zealand Callaghan Medal. 

Mel Rowsell

Mel Rowsell (@melrowsell) works with organisations to co-create kick-ass organisational cultures. Mel has over 20 years experience in the Human Resources field. Her last five years at Vend provided her the opportunity to play around with what works to build and scale a successful culture within the fast-moving tech sector. Mel is a holistic and creative thinker with a mindful approach to life.  

What's Techweek AKL?

A first of its kind in Auckland, Techweek AKL is an unmissable cluster of events hosted by various international and local keynote speakers, accompanied by a breadth of relevant, trend-focused topics.

It’s the new calendar event that focuses on reshaping our world through design, innovation and technology. The theme ‘Reshaping our world’ will be interpreted through social, cultural, technological, environmental and political lenses. To find out more visit 

Techweek AKL is proudly presented by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

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Refactor: March 2016 - in conjunction with Codemania

Our next Refactor event is on Wednesday 30 March 2016. It's presented in conjunction with the awesome Codemania conference, and our sponsors Catalyst and Microsoft!

Refactor tickets $25 – open to both women & men

Speaker profiles

Katherine Daniels

Katherine Daniels (@beerops) is a senior operations engineer at Etsy who got her start in programming with TI-80 calculators back when Geocities was still cool, and these days has opinions on things like ‘the cloud’ and ‘devops’. Before escaping to the world of operations, she spent a few years doing R&D and systems engineering in the corporate world. She lives in Brooklyn with a perfectly reasonable number of cats, and in her spare time can often be found rock-climbing or hand crafting knitted server koozies for the data center. She is co-author of O’Reilly Media’s Effective DevOps. 

Nicola Gaston

Dr Nicola Gaston (@nicgaston) is Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence. Her group has worked extensively on quantum-mechanical simulations of the melting behaviour of metal nanoparticles, which has developed our fundamental understanding of the low melting temperature of gallium. They are currently focused on methods for the theoretical description of 'superatoms'; nanoscale atomic mimics made out of metal clusters of atoms, which exhibit quantum size effects and can act as building blocks for nanostructured materials with designer properties. Beyond her scientific research, Nicola is a prominent science communicator and advocate for women in academia, and was the President of the New Zealand Association of Scientists in 2014 and 2015. Along with many public addresses and articles, Nicola has recently published "Why Science Is Sexist". 

Jo Brothers

Jo Brothers (@jobrothers) is an indie author of 11 books and a public speaker on the topics of digital, social media and spiritual wellness. Jo pioneered in the social media space for Air New Zealand, establishing social media channels and growing an active community of 1.5 million with a Klout score of 89+. Jo was invited to Google I/O in 2013 to present at the Google Sandbox as Air New Zealand were one of the first companies in the world to build a site using G+ Social Sign ( Jo developed the popular Social Media Breakfast series and brought leading keynote speakers to New Zealand including Randi Zuckerberg, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Dancy, Teddy Goff (advisor to Hillary Clinton and Obama) and Ross Dawson, a futurist.  Jo is currently Head of Digital & Social Media at Westpac. 


What's Codemania?

Codemania is a full day of information and inspiration from software practitioners at the top of their game. Speakers Katherine Daniels and Nicola Gaston will also be presenting at Codemania.

Find out more

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Refactor: February 2016

Our next Refactor event is on Wednesday 24 February 2016. It's presented in conjunction with our sponsors Catalyst and Hapara!

Tickets $25 – open to both women & men


Speaker profiles

Tash McGill

Tash (@tashmcgill) is a strategist and writer who has been passionate about digital since first hearing the tone of a dial-up modem while posting her first weblog. She wants to change the world by helping people to think differently, so fervently believes no matter how technology and digital tools may change, we will use them first and foremost to communicate our stories. She believes integration and collaboration is the vital way forward to reimagining our digital futures. 

Serena Chen

Serena (@sereeena) is a physicist turned Editor-in-Chief at HVNGRY, an online magazine for teen girls (and boys) wanting more from mainstream media. By day she's a designer at BNZ Digital, helping make their website elegant and accessible. By night she enjoys reverse engineering puzzles, programming projects, and rocking out to Kanye. 

Kate Hannah

Kate (@knhannah) is a cultural historian by training, interested in how we depict and understand trauma and memory, in the history of the public perception and interpretation of science and technology, and in bridging the gulf between C.P. Snow’s ‘two cultures.’ By inclination she talks fast about lipstick, food, books, kids, and making the world a better place. Right now, she’s the executive manager of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a new New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for complex systems and networks, which means she’s a historian in a physics department.


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Refactor: November 2015

Our next Refactor event is on Wednesday 11 November 2015. It's presented in conjunction with our sponsors CatalystMicrosoft, and Hapara!

Tickets $25 – open to both women & men

Speaker profiles

Sophie Stanley

Hailing from a sheep and beef farm near Taupo, Sophie shares her depth of industry knowledge as Head of Rural at start-up SaaS company, Figured (Xero's farm financial management add-on). For a number of years Sophie worked in the rural banking sector, and in 2013 was awarded the prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, which enabled her to travel globally, researching the intersection of cloud technology and social media within agriculture. Upon returning from overseas, Sophie joined Figured as one of the founding team members.  She is a finalist for this year’s Westpac Woman of Influence Awards in the Rural category. 

Mandy Simpson

Mandy has more than 20 years experience in financial services in New Zealand and the UK. As NZX's Head of Operations she leads the team responsible for the real time services at the heart of New Zealand's capital markets. Prior to joining NZX Mandy was CFO at Fronde, a Wellington headquartered technology services company. 

Nat Dudley

Nat is the Solutions and Experience Lead at Vend, where she spends her days helping make life better for independent retailers. She also works with Figure.NZ helping to make open data accessible and fun for all New Zealanders. In her (elusive) spare time, she works with conferences, events and companies to make NZ's tech sector more inclusive.


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