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Meet the Ozwater'19 keynote speakers transforming our world

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action plan for people, the planet and prosperity. This was the inspiration for Ozwater’19, which is themed ‘Transforming Our World’.

This theme shaped the entire conference, including the nine inspiring keynote speakers delegates will hear from over three days.

Meet the people transforming our world.

Tuesday, 7 May

Jeffrey Sachs

Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and economics professor

Jeffrey SachsJeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, educator and global leader in sustainable development. He is currently Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and a Professor at Columbia University, where he is also Director of the Center for Sustainable Development.

Sachs’ work on ending poverty, overcoming macroeconomic instability, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices has taken him to more than 125 countries.

He was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and has received 28 honorary degrees.

If this impressive back catalogue hasn’t already piqued your interest, did we mention Sachs will be making Ozwater history by appearing as a hologram? This is one not to miss.

Mina Guli

Founder and CEO of Thirst

Mina GuliYou might know entrepreneur and adventurer Mina Guli as the woman running for water. After co-founding boutique investment firm Peony Capital, she established Thirst, a non-profit that aims to solve the world’s water crisis by changing the way people think.

To highlight the global water crisis, she has completed the 7 Deserts Run and the 6 River Run in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6.

On 4 November 2018 Guli began her next challenge, Running Dry, a campaign of 100 marathons in 100 days. With media coverage across the world, Guli’s messages about water have reached more than four billion people.

Wednesday, 8 May

Craig Reucassel

Writer and comedian

Craig Reucassel is an Australian writer and comedian best known for his work with The Chaser and for going through your bins on the ABC’s War on Waste.

One of the most memorable episodes was his investigation into bottled water use, and at Ozwater’19 Reucassel will unpack his findings and talk about creating behavioural change and transforming our world through more sustainable practices.

Macinley Butson

2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year and 2017 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize winner

Macinley ButsonMacinley Butson is an 18-year-old inventor from Wollongong, NSW who achieved international success as the first Australian to win first place at the ‘Olympics of science’ – the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair – in the category of Transitional Medical Science.

In 2017, she won the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize with a system that simultaneously collects solar power and filters water, and her latest invention, the SODIS Sticker, accurately measures the solar UV exposure required to sanitise drinking water through a high accuracy transparent UV-sensitive film coupled with a partial UV blocking filter.

Butson is once again up for the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize, which will be announced at the Australian Water Awards on Wednesday night.

Iain Walker

Executive Director of the newDemocracy Foundation

Iain WalkerThe newDemocracy Foundation aims to find ways to do democracy better by researching, trialling and implementing processes that will result in trusted public decisions. Executive Director Iain Walker has led over 20 trial projects at local and state government levels, ranging from long-term budgeting for the $4 billion City of Melbourne Financial Plan, to the potential for a high-level nuclear waste storage facility in South Australia.

In his address at Ozwater'19, Walker will explore how we can have a meaningful conversation with the community around concepts that fail the ‘pub test’, like recycled water.

Thursday, 9 May

Sidney Dekker

Safety Science Innovation Lab, Griffith University

Sidney DekkerSidney Dekker is a professor at Griffith University, where he runs the Safety Science Innovation Lab. He is also chief scientist at Art of Work.

Dekker has won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in human factors and safety and has released two documentaries on the topic: Safety Differently and Just Culture.

He will present a keynote on Thursday morning at Ozwater'19, before hosting a 90-minute workshop where he will make the case for doing safety differently. The workshop forms part of the Industry Safety and Wellbeing Program, sponsored by John Holland.

Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie

Game designer, innovation facilitator and explainer of the future

Kate Raynes-GoldieKate Raynes-Goldie made her first video game when she was 14. Now, she travels the world helping organisations rediscover the power of play and how games can be used for building better teams, fostering innovation or preparing for the future.

At Ozwater, Raynes-Goldie will look at why the future will be playful, why we need to pay attention to games, and how the next big wave of technology will see the virtual and the real, the physical and the digital merging.

Lucas Patchett and David Tubb

Co-Founder (Patchett) and Chief Innovation Officer (Tubb) at Orange Sky

Orange SkyOn a mission to improve hygiene standards, in 2014 Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, the 2016 Young Australians of the Year, created Orange Sky, a world-first, free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness.

Patchett and Chief Innovation Officer David Tubb will discuss the Orange Sky story at Ozwater'19, including growing its network of volunteers from 250 to over 1500.  

To view the full Ozwater'19 program, download the app or click here.