Organisers & Stakeholders
Organisers & Stakeholders
Summit Steering Group
Manager of Sustainability & Env, University of Auckland
Lesley Stone manages the University of Auckland’s institutional sustainability programme. Her decades long involvement in sustainability has included advocacy, research and teaching in her specialty area of organisational change for sustainability. She has also acted as an advisor to central and local government agencies, businesses, community groups and NGOs, and has served as a board member or trustee in sustainability, environmental and conservation groups in New Zealand and Australia. She is co-chair of the 2019 Summit Steering Group and co-convenor of the 2019 Summit Stakeholder Group. She also chairs a Universities New Zealand working group on the SDGs and sustainability.
Chair of the Vice-Chancellor’s taskforce for sustainability, AUT
Thomas Neitzert is currently the Chair of the Vice-Chancellor’s taskforce for sustainability at Auckland University of Technology. He is a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and has a background of leadership positions in industry as well as academia in New Zealand and overseas.
Thomas is also the President of Engineers for Social Responsibilities Inc. and was part of the team organizing the first Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New Zealand in 2018. He is co-chair of the 2019 Summit Steering Group and co-convenor of the 2019 Summit Stakeholder Group.
Lindsey du Preez
Sustainability Advisor, AUT
Lindsey is the Sustainability Advisor in the Estates Group at Auckland University of Technology. She works with staff and students to embed sustainability more deeply into everyday operations. She is a member of the Sustainability Taskforce and contributed to the University’s Sustainability Roadmap. She has worked for more than 15 years in the fields of waste, environmental management and sustainability.
Head of Communications, AUT
More than twenty years in the communications field has given AUT’s Head of Communications, Alison Sykora, numerous opportunities to work with people, understand and share their stories and figure out how best to navigate and communicate these changing times. Her work has spanned stints as a journalist, an entrepreneur and senior roles with Coca-Cola, Vodafone and Sealord in which corporate responsibility and sustainability were central. Providing pro bono strategic communications advice to non-profits, investing in a rammed earth home and grappling with how best to have an eco-friendly toddler are part of her personal sustainability journey.
Manager, Strategic Relations in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, The University of Auckland
Amy Malcolm is the Manager, Strategic Relations in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at The University of Auckland. She works with local government and Auckland business and communities to align strategies and increase the University’s impact. She is also the Director of the Creative Thinking Project based at the University. Previously she was the University’s campaign manager for their record breaking $300m fundraising campaign and the University’s marketing manager.
Associate Dean Sustainability, Faculty of science, Professor of Microbiology at the School of Biological Sciences and University Proctor
Gillian is currently Associate Dean Sustainability, Faculty of science, Professor of Microbiology at the School of Biological Sciences and University Proctor.
Her research focusses on the interactions of complex microbial communities and their response to natural and anthropogenic impacts in freshwater environments and the safety of drinking water, beaches and marine waters and the transmission routes of water borne pathogens.
Gillian is an expert on water quality issues and has consulted on several aspects of the NZ regulatory framework for food safety and water quality. She has published over 80 peer reviewed articles and one book on Water Microbiology and Ecology.
Summit Stakeholder Group
Membership Executive, NZGBC
Having worked at New Zealand Green Building Council since 2014, Susan has a broad knowledge of the construction and property sectors in New Zealand. Her role connects her with profit and not-for-profit organisations across New Zealand and promotes sustainability across 9 SDGs on a daily basis. She believes strongly in the need for New Zealand to increase the quality of the built environment giving better health outcomes for people, communities, building performance and environmental footprint. She leads the NZGBC Future Thinkers membership connecting young professionals with each other and the green building industry.
Holding a BA(Hons) in Management and French, she has lived and worked in five countries, from Republic of Korea to Switzerland; and travelled extensively between. She identifies as a global citizen.
Projects & Advisory Lead, Sustainable Business Network
Emma is a Projects & Advisory Lead at the Sustainable Business Network (SBN). The SBN is New Zealand’s largest and longest-standing sustainable business organisation. Their members include more than 500+ corporates, SMEs, social entrepreneurs and government agencies.
For 15 years SBN has been delivering value to its membership through events that network, educate and celebrate sustainability in business as well as delivering projects across key strategic areas such as circular economy, food, water, transport, procurement, and tourism. Emma leads a number of projects at SBN in areas of tourism, food and circular economy. She also leads SBN’s Advisory Service.
CEO, Mindful Money
Barry Coates is the founder and CEO of Mindful Money www.mindfulmoney.nz, a charitable social enterprise. Mindful Money aims to make investment a force for good through switching Kiwisaver and other funds away from pollution and exploitation towards a responsible investment and positive social and environmental impact. Barry is a member of the government’s Trade for All Advisory Board and 350 Aotearoa Board. He is a campaigner for climate action, fair trade and social justice. He has a Masters from Yale University in management, experience as a business strategy consultant and has been the CEO of charities, most recently Oxfam New Zealand 2003-2014. He was a list MP in 2016-17.
Hello, my name is Anna Cusack. Last year I was President of the Auckland University Students’ Association, where I worked with and supported a large network of young people. In 2019 I am also learning more about sustainable business and social action on a Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Latin America. I have become deeply passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals through being a World Vision Youth Ambassador to Malawi, attending UNFCC and my Law and Politics studies. I believe New Zealand can and must do more and I look to seeing the tangible outcomes from this conference.
Global Citizenship, St Cuthbert’s College
Libby Giles has been active in the promotion and development of global citizenship education over the last ten years in her roles as a secondary school facilitator and teacher, project adviser and Board member the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies (NZCGS) and as president of the New Zealand Association of Philosophy Teachers. Libby is currently a senior leader and head of global citizenship at St Cuthbert’s College where she is implementing a whole school approach to global citizenship education that is aligned to the aspirations of the New Zealand Curriculum, UNESCO’s pillars of learning, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Students from around the country are invited to conferences and symposiums to explore future challenges and opportunities.
With support from the NZ Commission for UNESCO Libby has undertaken a world study tour to look at developments in global citizenship education and build networks of active educators, groups and officials. Libby continues to work closely with those networks, locally and internationally to enhance global citizenship education, including working with UNESCO Paris and the UNESCO association of schools, ASPnet. She is also a member of the Alliance for Responsible and Sustainable Societies and has a keen interest in partnerships with cities and non-state actors.
Pou Takawaenge - External Relations Coordinator for Hui E! Community Aotearoa
Ronja Ievers is the Pou Takawaenge – External Relations Coordinator for Hui E! Community Aotearoa, a national body set up to support, strengthen and connect the wider community sector in Aoteara New Zealand. Ronja’s experience in the not-for-profit sector ranges from facilitating small peer support groups for new mothers, to running the national office of the United Nations Association of New Zealand. She is now responsible for Hui E!’s work on the SDGs, among many other tasks, and currently chairs the steering group for the first Civil Society Report on the SDGs. Prior to that, Ronja worked in international education for many years, both in the private and public sector. Ronja has a first class honours in International Business Management, and has been studying towards a Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education, as part of her own journey of raising two boys. Ronja has also recently joined Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and is studying te reo Māori.
Dr Pedram Pirnia
Dr Pedram Pirnia is a Canadian, New Zealander of Persian/Iranian origin and the instigator of this Summit on this SDGs. He has served both the Canadian and the New Zealand Governments as a development analyst in different and sometimes challenging geographical settings. Pedram is currently the President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand and a lecturer. Pedram is also currently the AUT Artist in Resident at the School of Culture and Society.
Wei Heng Pok
Pok is a 2019 Global Changemakers Fellow passionate about using business as a force for good, specifically using corporate sustainability as a tool for systems change. He is also the current Co-President of University of Auckland’s Impact Consulting Group and Coordinator of the Young Sustainability Leaders program, an award-winning sustainability mentoring program which has paired students with leading sustainability executives from Air New Zealand, KPMG, Skycity and more. He is in his penultimate year at University of Auckland, studying Accounting and Supply Chain.
Victoria leads the Aotearoa Youth Declaration conference, bringing together hundreds of rangatahi to create The Youth Declaration policy document. Through this kaupapa, she advocates for youth involvement in decision-making, campaigns on issues young people care about and supports rangatahi engaging with their local leaders. She has been active in the environmental space, alongside Blake (Sir Peter Blake Trust), and has recently returned from COP24 in Poland last year. She is in her final year at Victoria University of Wellington, studying environmental studies, development studies, and politics.
Principal Advisor for Business Productivity and Sustainability at the University of Auckland Business School
As Principal Advisor for Business Productivity and Sustainability at the University of Auckland Business School, Marcus bridges the intersection between academic research and the business community with a view to nurturing partnerships that have impact. Of mixed European and New Zealand heritage and having lived in several countries, he views the world from an intrinsically multi-cultural lens. His journey with climate change started over 20 years ago and he takes a keen interest in understanding the complexity of factors that affect it, including, geopolitics, economics, sociology, and psychology. His cultural understanding has been invaluable in his business facing and relationship building roles.
Secretary General of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO
Vicki Soanes is the Secretary General of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. She also has almost a decade of experience working in the NGO sector in Zambia, the UK, France and the USA. Vicki has been a member of the National Commission Secretariat for eight years and was appointed Secretary General in 2016. The National Commission serves as a first contact for UNESCO in New Zealand and carries out a programme of activities in support of UNESCO’s mandate. It aims to enable the fostering and sharing of ideas locally and globally, and contribute to building the knowledge and capabilities needed to ensure a better future for all. UNESCO is working to support the attainment of the SDGs with a specific focus on education, and the National Commission is contributing to these efforts.
Sustainability Manager, Auckland District Health Board
Manjula has worked in the health sector for 17 years, in finance, business development and now leads Auckland District Health Board’s Sustainability Programme.
Under Manjula’s leadership, the DHB was named among the Top 20 Carbon Reducers by Enviro-Mark Solutions with a 28% reduction in GHG over four years, received silver from Green Global Healthy Hospital 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge, commendation in the Public Sector Award EECA Business Awards, finalists in Sustainable Business Network awards in 2017 and 2018.
The DHB is adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation for sustainability work to embed into the organisation’s operations.
Volunteer Coordinator, Generation Zero, Auckland
Rhys Williams is currently the volunteer coordinator for Generation Zero in Auckland. He joined Generation Zero in 2017 at the beginning of the Zero Carbon Act campaign, seeing it through multiple stages of advocacy and adoption by the government. He is passionate about expanding democratic engagement and empowering youth to express their view for the future, with effective action on climate change central to this purpose. He hopes to see a wider engagement with the SDGs through the summit and a clear commitment from all sectors to action across the 17 goals.
Environmental advocate and scholar-activist
Olivia is an environmental advocate and scholar-activist. She is the convenor of Generation Zero at the University of Auckland and has also worked on Generation Zero’s ‘Zero Carbon Act’ campaign. She is currently completing her PhD at the University of Auckland, working with Pasifika communities in Tāmaki/ Auckland to explore New Zealanders’ attitudes towards and the implications of climate change displacement in the Pacific. She is passionate about environmental justice and hopes to see Aotearoa New Zealand take more ambitious action on climate change.