Our Experts

Dr Ron McDowall ONZM

PhD, M.Phil, D.Phil, BBS/Sc, CPEng, IntPE, (F.NZIM, FEngNZ, M.RSNZ, MInstD)

Ron is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a registered international Ingenieur and is currently a Board member of Institution of Professional Engineers NZ. He is also a Professional Member of the Royal Society of NZ. He was awarded the ONZM for services to Science for his work with the UN in 2010. He also received an award from the Government of France for service in the field. His international experience with world agencies includes facilitating many interagency negotiations, conferences and workshops.  Ron has consulted internationally to more than thirty governments along with the World Bank and most United Nations agencies. He has consulted to many corporate organisations both internationally and nationally.

Ron is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato Engineering School and teaching in the AUT MBA program and is a Director of the Rutherford Business Institute.  His current teaching and research focuses on complexity and chaos, resilience, decision/judgment theory, sustainability, governance and ethics.  Ron was a specialist scientist engineer working in the area of sustainable development in developing countries and has traveled the world on more than 140 major UN Food and Agriculture Organisation missions.  He has more than 30 years of industrial consulting engineering and management experience with many industry sector groups.

He is a well-established and recognized international expert on complex systems, the decision sciences and sustainability, from both technical, engineering and business points of view. He has presented high level courses all around the world, covering high stakes decision making and executive judgment for hundreds of senior executives. Ron maintains an on-going program of consultancy, research, and publishes articles for well recognized international organizations UN Environment Program, UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Bank, UN Development Program, and many refereed conference papers.

Dr Sohail Inayatullah

UNESCO Chair in Future Studies, Futurist at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taipei; and Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne; and Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. He has written and co-edited 22 books. Sohail has over 30 years’ experience as a forward thinker. He has helped leaders from Canada, Turkey, Thailand, Australia, France, Malaysia, South Korea, Belgium, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Turkey, Switzerland, Singapore and many other countries create the narrative they need to shape their future. Sohail provides the learning framework to consider alternatives and help envisage the preferred future.

Dr Giles Burch

PhD (London), DCP (Sydney), MSc (Sydney), MSc (London), BSc (Cardiff)

Giles has 20 years of experience as a organisational consultant, coach and clinician, and has worked with senior management, work teams and individuals across New Zealand, Australia and the UK.  Being qualified as both an organizational psychologist and a clinical psychologist, Giles has a particular passion for working with executives who are being hindered in their performance, or held back from achieving their personal, career, leadership and/or business objectives by psychological factors, such as, stress, worry, low mood and other motivational and performance hindrances

He has consulted across a number of industries, including, financial services (investment banking, private banking, venture capital), engineering, construction, media, IT, retail and the UK-Government. In addition to his experience as an executive coach, Giles has particular expertise in the design and delivery of leadership development programmes, performance appraisal and management systems and selection & assessment processes.

Giles has taught on executive and corporate programmes at a number of universities, including the Australian Graduate School of Management (University of new South Wales), Mt. Eliza Executive Education (Melbourne Business School), Birkbeck, University of London, and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Auckland University.

His qualifications include a PhD in Psychology from King’s College London’s prestigious Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, an MSc in Occupational Psychology and a PG Certificate in Psychological Counselling. Giles is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in New Zealand and a Registered Occupational Psychologist in the UK, where he is also a Registered Occupational Safety and Health consultant. He is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society, the Australian Clinical Psychology Association and the Royal Society of Medicine in London.

Dr James McDowall

PhD, BMS(Hons), MRSNZ, MInstD, AEngNZ

James has a PhD in marketing, and he was the first in New Zealand to utilise scenarios and futures studies in this field. This study included significant research into artificial intelligence and its impact on business practice. Outside of his research, James is a highly experienced digital marketer, and works with companies in New Zealand and abroad, in addition to managing his own business ventures.

Nicole Oliver

B.Bus, MPM(Agri-Business), PhD candidate

Nicole is a big-picture thinker who is passionate about helping individuals and businesses have ‘lightbulb moments.’ She takes a strategic approach to projects and has an enthusiasm for digital marketing and communications and helping clients she works with get this right. Her areas of strength are in online communication, developing social media strategies and digital content creation, including videography and photography. As well as her strengths in the digital space, Nicole has an in-depth knowledge of the agri sector and is involved with a number of organisations, such as NZ Young Farmers and the Rural Business Network. Nicole was recently a digital advisor and photographer to former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Bill English. She is a graduate of The University of Waikato with a Masters in Agribusiness and is a current PhD candidate.

Dr Carron Blom

PhD, MSc (Env Sc/Zoo), BSc (Chem/Zoo)

Carron Blom is the Managing Director of Anguillid Consulting Engineers and Scientists Ltd (Anguillid), a specialist consultancy in environmental management strategies. She has 20 years of postgraduate experience in resource management. Her experience includes award winning technical and specialist management in the assessment, consenting, and delivery of major infrastructure projects. This includes senior management or review roles in a number of billion dollar projects both in New Zealand and in Australia. Carron has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK (Centre for Sustainable Development, Department of Engineering). Her research focused on the delivery and management of infrastructure at a strategic / organisational level. It also developed systems thinking principles to advance ‘value innovation’ and resilience.

Dr Maree Roche

PhD, MMS (Hons), PGDipOB (Hons), BSocSc, PGCertAdtTech, MHRINZ.

Maree brings a psychological and strengths based perspective to enhancing leadership, with a particular emphasis on the psychological processes that enable full potential in leadership.

Particularly, Maree’s expertise is in positive psychology and leadership. She has examined many positive psychology strengths including mindfulness, psychological capital, motivation, goals and psychological needs in relation to business leaders, with an overall finding that the enhanced strengths of leaders manifests in many positive outcomes for leaders’, organisations and their employees.

While she has a particular interest in developing women leaders, her research with CEOs, Senior Leaders and Junior Leaders demonstrates the importance of developing psychological assets that enable positive leaders and performance.

Maree has a strong research profile and has been published in internationally renowned top tier journals (including Journal of Personnel Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology). Her workshops translates these latest research findings into practical and applied training programs. She has a wide range of experience in leadership facilitation, coaching and consulting projects and skills, and currently lectures at Waikato University.