SHE# @ TECHWEEK 2020

ENVISION THE FUTURE

Thanks for joining us at our TechWeek 2020 event - Envision the Future!
How to Create A More Diverse, Inclusive & Sustainable Future through Technology & Human-Centered Innovation

Join She Sharp for an inspiring and thought-provoking panel on the future of leadership in technology. 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to the forefront of humanity. With crisis comes opportunities. Learn how we can harness the power of human ingenuity to create a better tomorrow.

Topics to be discussed will include:

– How do we accelerate innovation and find transformative solutions to critical issues faced by organisations today and navigate the evolving industry landscape and the new normal
– How do we harness the power of cutting-edge emerging technologies for impact and agility
– What we need to do to improve diversity and inclusion within the tech sector (gender, culture, workforce, environment, ways of working, thinking)
– How should we empower New Zealanders to leverage our unique strengths to unleash our full innovative potential

Featuring a diverse range of leaders and voices from the NZ tech sector.Join us. Be inspired. Take action.

We live streamed the event online at Wednesday 29th July, 5.30 pm.

RELIVE THE EXPERIENCE...

OUR PANELISTS

Samar Alrayyes

Azure Transformation Digital Specialist, MICROSOFT

Samar Alrayyes is an Azure digital transformation specialist with Microsoft supporting the government and public sector. She has extensive technical and sales background in cloud infrastructure and data analysis. Samar holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the Philadelphia University in Jordan where she graduated first in class, and an MBA from Massey University in New Zealand (Honors).
Samar was born in Kuwait and her early schooling was there till the Gulf war happened in 1990, they had to live there during the war and the unrest as they had no place to flee to being Palestinians. Right after the war, they were forced to leave the country and went to Jordan where she finished her schooling and attended university. She was interested in technology from an early age and challenged all stereotypical and cultural norms to pursue a career with Oracle where she started out as a delivery consultant.
Her time with Oracle stretched over 14 years and included roles covering Cloud Solutions, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Lead across ECEMEA (Eastern Central Europe, Middle East, Africa) and as a Senior Territory Manager in Jordan.
Samar moved to New Zealand with her family (Husband and 6 months old son) in 2015 and remained with Oracle as a senior account executive for Cloud Solution until she joined Microsoft in 2018 to take up a role to leverage her expertise in cloud and data solutions as an Azure specialist covering New Zealand government. She is active in the Women in Technology programmes across New Zealand and is a champion for diversity and inclusiveness, where she draws on her own experiences of breaking down barriers and of discrimination. She is part of Women at Microsoft group and an executive member in NZ Tech Women.

Isuru Fernando

Google Cloud NZ &
Previously Head of AI, IBM NZ

Isuru W. Fernando works for Google Cloud Corporate New Zealand, helping NZ businesses harness the incredible potential of Google Cloud and Google AI to help solve their most important challenges and empower and scale Kiwi ingenuity for the common good and economic growth. Isuru is passionate about helping people and organisations use emerging technology to create magical solutions that improve the everyday.
He was previously at IBM for 14 years, where he was the first chief design and technology officer for IBM New Zealand and has held regional roles for the technology company. He was also head of artificial intelligence at IBM New Zealand, where he helped grow the IBM Watson business. He has held extensive leadership roles in the technology sector.
Isuru holds Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees from the University of Auckland, where he spent his time pushing the boundaries of theory and practice, and subsequently co-founded a start-up that went onto a successful acquisition. He is an author and researcher, has published in international journals, is a resident lecturer and advisor at a number of universities and academic research groups, and a member of the Embedded Systems and Robotics research group at the University of Auckland.
Isuru is a board member of the Association of Information Professionals Asia Pacific Chapter, an advisor on AI Ethics and Human Design for the World Economic Forum, an executive board member of the AI Forum NZ, and an invited member to the NZ Government Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee on AI.
Globally, Isuru has extensive experience working with leading organisations on digital and economic disruption. He extends his remit outside of his core role to create market momentum for emerging technology and advocate for trusted ethical design, and he's obsessed with data!
Isuru believes that AI will augment our intelligence in our very human endeavours. As it becomes more pervasive it is important that AI is human-centric, aligned with values and ethical principles that are inclusive, accountable and infused with trust.

Jane Hwang

General Manager,
SOLNET SOLUTIONS

Jane Hwang is what she calls a second-generation software professional. Her mom was a COBOL programmer. Jane used to visit her mom's workplace at the weekend and play Tetris on the mainframe computer there. She still loves the game.
Jane's been an enterprise software development practitioner for over 20 years. She started her career as a software engineer. To her, writing systems that help businesses transform the ways of working and serving their customers was highly satisfying. But more so was working with people. She gradually shifted her focus toward leadership and management. She is currently working as General Manager, Northern Region at Solnet Solutions. Jane is passionate about people and cares deeply about building successful teams and culture.
Jane has called NZ home since she immigrated from South Korean in the early 1990s. Jane thinks NZ is the best place where we have plentiful opportunities to meet and work with incredible people from different nations and backgrounds. In her view, open-minded, empathy, and curiosity are three keys to enjoy the diversity NZ offers.

Evelyn Seewald

Ex-General Manager,
FONTERRA FARM SOURCE DIGITAL

Evelyn Seewald has built a leadership career delivering great customer experiences through data and technology. She has delivered a number of transformation programmes and has enjoyed doing this through highly effective teams and trusted business partnerships.
Most recently she was Fonterra’s GM Digital for Farm Source where she led an innovative digital transformation programme to provide products and services for the agricultural community. This included a major Salesforce rollout, eCommerce for the Farm Source retail operation, and productivity web & app tools. One of these apps remains the most highly used productivity tool in the NZ Dairy Industry. Prior to that, she held technical innovation roles at Foodstuffs, Vodafone and The Gallagher Group.
Evelyn is originally from Canada and now lives in Auckland. She enjoys emerging tech, developing high performing teams and championing the diverse voice that female leaders can bring to the table.

Ulrich Frerk

Founder & Technical Director,
ADROIT

Ulrich Frerk is an entrepreneur who seeks to not only create world-leading IoT technology but wants to change the world and the way people interact with it.
Ulrich started as a young engineer at Datacom but quickly worked out that he wanted to be at the cutting-edge of technology and to work for himself. He left to found his own company, UM Ltd in 2010 and Co-Founded Enable-IT, both businesses that sought to find ways to utilize technology to simplify and improve the lives of people.
His work in integration made him the highest qualified KNX systems engineer and the leading mind in device integration in New Zealand, able to talk device languages the way some people speak human languages. But Ulrich became intensely frustrated by the limitations of existing device integration technology and gave up his businesses to devote himself entirely to the cause, founding Adroit in 2014.
By the time the acronym ‘the Internet of Things’ was created in 2016, Adroit was already in operation developing devices that would allow ‘dumb’ appliances like brewing machines and spa pools to be IoT capable enabling them to be controlled intelligently and learning how to control themselves through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
For Ulrich, it is all about improving human life, energy efficiency in homes and businesses and making our spaces more interactive, more welcoming and more human.
His efforts haven’t gone unrecognized. Adroit was selected as an ALPHA Candidate at the Web Summit in 2015. Adroit is a category finalist in the AUT Awards in 2017 after Ulrich has driven the company to its new successes.

Dr Reza Jarral

Primary Care Physician &
Edmund Hillary Fellow

Reza is an Auckland-based primary care physician and Edmund Hillary Fellow on a mission to democratise well-being. His work focuses on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in society and promoting the ethical use of AI in healthcare.
He recently graduated with a masters in technological futures, where his research highlighted significant gaps in representation across the tech workforce. After working with Berlin based AI company Ada, he graduated from the MIT-Harvard healthcare innovation programme, where he continues to work with senior faculty in creating digital solutions to tackle loneliness. Reza is a fan of collaborating across disciplines; he was recently voted the winner of the Acumen Generosity award by peers and consults around the world as a telemedical specialist for the Addis Clinic.
Reza mentors startups at the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator and promotes digital education in West African hospitals. He recently spoke at the Auckland Data4Good conference on human centred design and contributes to working groups promoting well-being at the AI Forum NZ, IEEE and the World Health Organisation. Reza is a gamer at heart, adores Malaysia cuisine and owns a large Siberian forest cat named Tipu.

Samar Alrayyes is an Azure digital transformation specialist with Microsoft supporting the government and public sector. She has extensive technical and sales background in cloud infrastructure and data analysis. Samar holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the Philadelphia University in Jordan where she graduated first in class, and an MBA from Massey University in New Zealand (Honors).

Samar was born in Kuwait and her early schooling was there till the Gulf war happened in 1990, they had to live there during the war and the unrest as they had no place to flee to being Palestinians. Right after the war, they were forced to leave the country and went to Jordan where she finished her schooling and attended university. She was interested in technology from an early age and challenged all stereotypical and cultural norms to pursue a career with Oracle where she started out as a delivery consultant. Her time with Oracle stretched over 14 years and included roles covering Cloud Solutions, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Lead across ECEMEA (Eastern Central Europe, Middle East, Africa) and as a Senior Territory Manager in Jordan.

Samar moved to New Zealand with her family (Husband and 6 months old son) in 2015 and remained with Oracle as a senior account executive for Cloud Solution until she joined Microsoft in 2018 to take up a role to leverage her expertise in cloud and data solutions as an Azure specialist covering New Zealand government. She is active in the Women in Technology programmes across New Zealand and is a champion for diversity and inclusiveness, where she draws on her own experiences of breaking down barriers and of discrimination. She is part of Women at Microsoft group and an executive member in NZ Tech Women.

Isuru W. Fernando works for Google Cloud Corporate New Zealand, helping NZ businesses harness the incredible potential of Google Cloud and Google AI to help solve their most important challenges and empower and scale Kiwi ingenuity for the common good and economic growth. Isuru is passionate about helping people and organisations use emerging technology to create magical solutions that improve the everyday.

He was previously at IBM for 14 years, where he was the first chief design and technology officer for IBM New Zealand and has held regional roles for the technology company. He was also head of artificial intelligence at IBM New Zealand, where he helped grow the IBM Watson business. He has held extensive leadership roles in the technology sector.

Isuru holds Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees from the University of Auckland, where he spent his time pushing the boundaries of theory and practice, and subsequently co-founded a start-up that went onto a successful acquisition. He is an author and researcher, has published in international journals, is a resident lecturer and advisor at a number of universities and academic research groups, and a member of the Embedded Systems and Robotics research group at the University of Auckland.

Isuru is a board member of the Association of Information Professionals Asia Pacific Chapter, an advisor on AI Ethics and Human Design for the World Economic Forum, an executive board member of the AI Forum NZ, and an invited member to the NZ Government Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee on AI.

Globally, Isuru has extensive experience working with leading organisations on digital and economic disruption. He extends his remit outside of his core role to create market momentum for emerging technology and advocate for trusted ethical design, and he's obsessed with data!

Isuru believes that AI will augment our intelligence in our very human endeavours. As it becomes more pervasive it is important that AI is human-centric, aligned with values and ethical principles that are inclusive, accountable and infused with trust.

Jane Hwang is what she calls a second-generation software professional. Her mom was a COBOL programmer. Jane used to visit her mom's workplace at the weekend and play Tetris on the mainframe computer there. She still loves the game.

Jane's been an enterprise software development practitioner for over 20 years. She started her career as a software engineer. To her, writing systems that help businesses transform the ways of working and serving their customers was highly satisfying. But more so was working with people. She gradually shifted her focus toward leadership and management. She is currently working as General Manager, Northern Region at Solnet Solutions. Jane is passionate about people and cares deeply about building successful teams and culture.

Jane has called NZ home since she immigrated from South Korean in the early 1990s. Jane thinks NZ is the best place where we have plentiful opportunities to meet and work with incredible people from different nations and backgrounds. In her view, open-minded, empathy, and curiosity are three keys to enjoy the diversity NZ offers.

Evelyn Seewald has built a leadership career delivering great customer experiences through data and technology. She has delivered a number of transformation programmes and has enjoyed doing this through highly effective teams and trusted business partnerships.

Most recently she was Fonterra’s GM Digital for Farm Source where she led an innovative digital transformation programme to provide products and services for the agricultural community. This included a major Salesforce rollout, eCommerce for the Farm Source retail operation, and productivity web & app tools.  One of these apps remains the most highly used productivity tool in the NZ Dairy Industry. Prior to that, she held technical innovation roles at Foodstuffs, Vodafone and The Gallagher Group.

Evelyn is originally from Canada and now lives in Auckland.  She enjoys emerging tech, developing high performing teams and championing the diverse voice that female leaders can bring to the table.

Ulrich Frerk is an entrepreneur who seeks to not only create world-leading IoT technology but wants to change the world and the way people interact with it.

Ulrich started as a young engineer at Datacom but quickly worked out that he wanted to be at the cutting-edge of technology and to work for himself. He left to found his own company, UM Ltd in 2010 and Co-Founded Enable-IT, both businesses that sought to find ways to utilize technology to simplify and improve the lives of people.

His work in integration made him the highest qualified KNX systems engineer and the leading mind in device integration in New Zealand, able to talk device languages the way some people speak human languages. But Ulrich became intensely frustrated by the limitations of existing device integration technology and gave up his businesses to devote himself entirely to the cause, founding Adroit in 2014.

By the time the acronym ‘the Internet of Things’ was created in 2016, Adroit was already in operation developing devices that would allow ‘dumb’ appliances like brewing machines and spa pools to be IoT capable enabling them to be controlled intelligently and learning how to control themselves through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

For Ulrich, it is all about improving human life, energy efficiency in homes and businesses and making our spaces more interactive, more welcoming and more human.

His efforts haven’t gone unrecognized. Adroit was selected as an ALPHA Candidate at the Web Summit in 2015. Adroit is a category finalist in the AUT Awards in 2017 after Ulrich has driven the company to its new successes.

Reza is an Auckland-based primary care physician and Edmund Hillary Fellow on a mission to democratise well-being. His work focuses on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in society and promoting the ethical use of AI in healthcare.

He recently graduated with a masters in technological futures, where his research highlighted significant gaps in representation across the tech workforce. After working with Berlin based AI company Ada, he graduated from the MIT-Harvard healthcare innovation programme, where he continues to work with senior faculty in creating digital solutions to tackle loneliness. Reza is a fan of collaborating across disciplines; he was recently voted the winner of the Acumen Generosity award by peers and consults around the world as a telemedical specialist for the Addis Clinic. Reza mentors startups at the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator and promotes digital education in West African hospitals. He recently spoke at the Auckland Data4Good conference on human centred design and contributes to working groups promoting well-being at the AI Forum NZ, IEEE and the World Health Organisation. Reza is a gamer at heart, adores Malaysia cuisine and owns a large Siberian forest cat named Tipu.