International Reference Group

Our International Reference Group (IRG) is a 14-member network of global leaders in business, civil society, philanthropy and academia, whose insights into global trends, innovation, science and technology are used to help us understand regional needs in a future context.

The IRG meets on a 6-monthly basis to discuss innovative approaches, new partnerships, critically assess progress and provide strategic guidance on the priorities and investments of the innovationXchange.

The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia's Federal Coalition GovernmentShe is also the Deputy Leader of the... more


The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia’s Federal Coalition Government.

She is also the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and has served as the Member for Curtin in the House of Representatives since 1998.

Minister Bishop was sworn in as Australia’s first female Foreign Minister on 18 September 2013 following four years in the role of Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

She previously served as a Cabinet Minister in the Howard Government as Minister for Education, Science and Training and as the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues. Prior to this, Minister Bishop was Minister for Ageing.

Minister Bishop has also served on a number of parliamentary and policy committees including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

Before entering Parliament Minister Bishop was a commercial litigation lawyer at Perth firm Clayton Utz, becoming a partner in 1985, and managing partner in 1994.

Minister Bishop graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide in 1978 and attended Harvard Business School in Boston in 1996 completing the Advanced Management Program for Senior Managers.

She is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and has held a number of positions including Director of the West Coast Eagles AFL Club, Chair of the Western Australia Town Planning Appeals Tribunal, Member of Murdoch University Senate and the Anglican Schools Commission and Director of the Special Broadcasting Service and the Committee for Economic Development Australia.

Minister Bishop was inducted into the WA Women Hall of Fame in 2011 and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Western Australian Museum Foundation and a Board Member of His Majesty’s Theatre Foundation.

Mr Michael Bloomberg

Founder of Bloomberg LP and three-term mayor of New York CityMr Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who... more


Mr Michael Bloomberg

Founder of Bloomberg LP and three-term mayor of New York City

Mr Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as mayor of New York City from 2002 through 2013. In 1981, he launched a technology startup to provide real-time data and analysis to the financial services industry. Bloomberg LP has since grown into a global company that has offices in 73 countries, employing 16,000 people and serving 320,000 subscribers.

The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that led Mr Bloomberg to found the company has led to its repeated expansion in new directions. In 1990, Mr Bloomberg launched a news division that has steadily grown and today covers the world and produces more than 5,000 daily stories.

As a philanthropist, Mr Bloomberg has given away more than $3.3 billion. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, employs a unique data-driven approach to its five main focus areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. Mr Bloomberg also leads a number of bi-partisan coalitions that are taking action on urgent national issues, including illegal guns, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, and climate change. In 2014, he was appointed to be the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

Mr Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City less than two months after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the city rebounded faster and stronger than expected. His administration cut crime by 32 percent, raised high school graduation rates by 40 percent, reduced the city’s carbon footprint by 19 percent and increased life expectancy by three years. His economic policies, which supported entrepreneurs, small businesses, and emerging industries such as tech and bioscience, all helped led to create a record number of jobs. Mr Bloomberg graduated from The Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.

Dr Catharina Boehme

Dr Catharina Boehme leads FIND, an international non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland that enables the... more


Dr Catharina Boehme

Dr. Catharina Boehme leads FIND, an international non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland that enables the development and delivery of much-needed diagnostic tests for diseases of poverty, including tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis C, HIV, sleeping sickness and other neglected tropical diseases.

Dr. Boehme holds a Doctor of Medicine in Internal Medicine from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, as well as diplomas in Public Health and in Management & Leadership. Dr. Boehme serves on several Public Health Advisory Committees (e.g. Horizon 2020 Dx) and is a WHO TB STAG member.

Prior to joining FIND in 2005 with a focus on clinical trials and laboratory strengthening, she worked as programme coordinator for the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Munich and established a TB research unit at Mbeya Medical Research Program in Tanzania.

Dr Bjorn Lomborg

Director Copenhagen Consensus Center USADr Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to improve the environment... more


Dr Bjorn Lomborg

Director Copenhagen Consensus Center USA

Dr Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to improve the environment and the world. He is one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century according to Esquire Magazine, and one of the 50 people who could save the planet according to the UK Guardian. Lomborg has repeatedly been named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.

Dr Lomborg is an adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School and regularly works with many of the world’s top economists. His think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania as one of the world’s “Top 25 Environmental Think Tanks”. Dr Lomborg is a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media, for outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, CNN, FOX, and the BBC. His monthly column is published in 19 languages, in 30+ newspapers with more than 30 million readers globally.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg is an academic and the author of the best-selling “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and “Cool It”. He challenges mainstream concerns about the environment and points out that we need to focus attention on the smartest solutions first. He is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center which brings together many of the world’s top economists, including seven Nobel Laureates, to set priorities for the world.

Dr Lomborg is a frequent participant in public debates on policy issues. His analysis and commentaries have appeared regularly in such prestigious publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Economist, The Atlantic, Forbes Magazine, Globe & Mail, The Guardian, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The Australian, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and Der Spiegel. Dr Lomborg’s monthly column appears in around 40 papers in 19 languages, with more than 30 million readers.

Ms Veronica Lukito

CEO and Managing Director Ancora Capital, IndonesiaMs Veronica Lukito is the CEO and Managing Director of Ancora... more


Ms Veronica Lukito

CEO and Managing Director Ancora Capital, Indonesia

Ms Veronica Lukito is the CEO and Managing Director of Ancora Capital Management, an Indonesia-focused private equity fund management firm which she co-founded in 2007. Ancora is one of only a handful of firms that can lay claim to shaping this fast-growing sub-sector in Indonesia. Since then, Ancora and its predecessor entities have invested close to USD 200 million, primarily in natural resources and consumer-related and similar businesses.

In addition to establishing a type of business that at the time was still distinctively new to Indonesia, Ms Lukito was involved in setting up various investee companies for the firm’s investments in plantation, health care and education. With a breadth of experience on the ground, she is deeply knowledgeable of Indonesia’s intricate investment and start-up environments.

Before she became an entrepreneur and private equity investor, Ms Lukito was a Vice President in the investment banking division at J.P. Morgan in Indonesia, where she handled client relationships and sourced and executed numerous transactions encompassing financing, acquisitions and corporate restructuring deals. Prior to working at JP Morgan, Ms Lukito spent two years at Indosat, the second largest telecommunication operator in Indonesia. Ms Lukito started her career in investment banking as an Assistant Vice President at PT Bahana Securities, which was the de-facto partner of Goldman Sachs in Indonesia. She also spent three years as a corporate and credit banker at Citibank N.A. in Jakarta, handling top-tier Indonesian conglomerate relationships. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Ms Lukito was named as one of the 10 Inspiring Women by Forbes Indonesia in 2013, and Asia’s Power Business Women by Forbes Asia in 2014. She is also a 2014 nominee for ALBF Awards, Dubai and a 2015 nominee for Channel News Asia Luminary Award, Singapore.

Ms Sam Mostyn

President, Australian Council for International DevelopmentMs Sam Mostyn is the President of the Australian... more


Ms Sam Mostyn

President, Australian Council for International Development

Ms Sam Mostyn is the President of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and a widely sought after non-executive director and sustainability adviser.  She sits on the boards of Virgin Australia, Transurban Group, Mirvac, Citibank Australia and CoverMore, and has previously held senior executive roles at Insurance Australia Group, Optus Communications and Cable & Wireless plc.

Ms Mostyn has been involved in a number of collaborative social and environmental initiatives including the Business Roundtable on Climate Change and Business for Millennium Development. She was also the first woman appointed to the AFL Commission, has been a member of the board of Australian Volunteers International for the past 6 years, and served for several years on the board of Reconciliation Australia.

Ms Mostyn served on the Chief of the Defence Force’s Womens Advisory Group and was a member of the Human Rights Commission Review of the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force.  She is the Deputy Chair of the Diversity Council of Australia.  She has long been involved in sustainability issues, serving on the boards of ClimateWorks Australia, the Climate Council and 1 Million Women, the National Sustainability Council, the advisory board of the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, and the National Mental Health Commission.  Ms Mostyn is also a member of the Australian Faculty of the Cambridge University.

Dr Andrew Moutu

Director PNG National Museum & Art GalleryDr Moutu is originally from Wewak in the East Sepik Province of Papua... more


Dr Andrew Moutu

Director PNG National Museum & Art Gallery

Dr Moutu is originally from Wewak in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Dr Moutu was trained in philosophy and anthropology at the University of PNG before undertaking a masters and doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He then worked in Cambridge as a postdoctoral fellow for three years between 2004 and 2007 before completing a second postdoctoral fellowship at the National University of Ireland in Dublin in 2009. Following his research fellowships he was appointed a lecturer in anthropology at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

He resigned the lectureship in Adelaide and returned home in 2010 to help the Government of PNG to rebuild the National Museum and Art Gallery and take up the position of Director.

His first book, a study of the nature and behavior of ownership, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. He has a diverse range of academic interests including philosophical anthropology, legal anthropology, intellectual property rights, museums and material culture, Melanesian systems of knowledge, holographic imagination and anthropology of perception.

Dr Moutu is interested in PNG’s modern history and the intersection between sorcery, witchcraft and the law in PNG. Dr Moutu also serves as a Board Member of the PNG Institute of Biological Research, focusing on conservation.

Ms Tara Nathan

Executive Director, Public Private Partnerships, International Development, MastercardMs Nathan is Executive... more


Ms Tara Nathan

Executive Director, Public Private Partnerships, International Development, Mastercard

Ms Nathan is Executive Director for International Development at MasterCard. In this role, she leads partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development organizations, international financial institutions, corporate foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to leverage payments technology to make advances in the areas of financial inclusion, humanitarian response, government transparency and economic formalization. The International Development team innovates and brings to market new solutions that serve the needs of the unbanked and under-served, and furthers MasterCard’s strategy to accelerate market transitions from cash to electronic payments.

Ms Nathan previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Payment Solutions, a MasterCard/Smart Hub, Inc. joint venture, leading innovation and commercial development of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway, an open mobile payment processing platform designed to facilitate mobile payments for consumers, including those in emerging economies.  Before joining MasterCard, Ms Nathan headed Citigroup’s cross-sell business, overseeing business strategy and development, product development and innovation, multi-channel sales, and customer management and operations.  She also held various management roles across Citigroup’s retail banking business. Prior to joining MasterCard, Ms Nathan was a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service serving posts in Taiwan, Japan and China.

Ms Nathan serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Humanitarian Response and is on the Board of Directors for The After School Corporation (TASC), a non-profit organization that partners with communities to equalize educational opportunities for all children via comprehensive after-school programs in major cities.  She earned a BSFS from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

Ms Sally Osberg

President and CEO, Skoll FoundationFor decades, Sally Osberg has been leading entrepreneurial organizations and the... more


Ms Sally Osberg

President and CEO, Skoll Foundation

For decades, Sally Osberg has been leading entrepreneurial organizations and the charge for global social progress. The more she has engaged in this work, the greater her sense of urgency to address social challenges in a way that matches the complexity, scale, and interconnectedness of the issues themselves.

As President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, Sally partners with Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll in supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs working on some of the world’s most pressing problems. She is an author and a global thought leader, closely studying and writing about cross-sector solutions in global health, education, and access to opportunity that are actually working and creating large-scale change in the world.

Sally has developed platforms to engage government, business, and civil society leaders to advance large-scale structural solutions to complex problems. She founded the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, the largest gathering of innovators around the world. As Advisor to The Elders and Founding Board Member of the Social Progress Imperative and Index, Sally has worked to drive an enabling environment for social change. Forming strategic partnerships with the UN, USAID, Sundance, TED, and Oxford, and building multi-sector networks and media channels, Sally has brought together funders, government and business leaders, academics, and other influencers to advance innovative entrepreneurial solutions to some of the thorniest global challenges.

Currently, Sally serves on the boards of the Skoll Foundation, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Social Progress Imperative, the Oracle Education Foundation and the Palestine-based Partners for Sustainable Development. She was founding Executive Director of Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, guiding that institution to international recognition for its cutting edge work in the museum field, and formerly active as a director on the boards of the American Association of Museums, the American Leadership Forum, and Women and Philanthropy, among others. Sally has received the John Gardner Leadership Award from the American Leadership Forum, been inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, and been named by the San Jose Mercury News as one of the “Millennium 100” for her role in shaping and leading Silicon Valley.

A global leader, a visionary, and a credible champion of social entrepreneurship as a critical lever for change, Sally’s energizing vision and magnetic moral compass have inspired many, across sectors, regions, and perspectives.

Dr Sarah Pearson

Pro Vice Chancellor, Industry Engagement and Innovation, University of NewcastleResponsible for open innovation,... more


Dr Sarah Pearson

Pro Vice Chancellor, Industry Engagement and Innovation, University of Newcastle.

Responsible for open innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship. Dr Pearson is an internationally experienced Open Innovation practitioner, innovation ecosystem builder, and advocate for collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia. Dr Pearson drives innovation strategy and practice in both corporate and government arenas, and she is passionate about helping Australia benefit from this effective and efficient approach in both industrial and social innovation applications.

Dr Pearson has had an eclectic career, specialising in innovation and entrepreneurship, scientific research, strategy, and managing change. Previous roles include Founding CEO of the CBR Innovation Network, management consulting with McKinsey & Co in Sydney, tenured Physics academic at UNE, and global head of Open Innovation at Cadbury plc in Reading UK. Dr Pearson’s strategic, research, and innovation skills are also currently applied through a number of Board positions.

Dr Pearson’s most recent past position was Founding CEO of CBR Innovation Network, an entity set up to transform the ACT economy through innovation & entrepreneurship – connecting, promoting and accelerating an innovation ecosystem in Canberra.

Dr Pearson holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford in particle physics, and has published research in the areas of particle physics, medical physics, artificial intelligence, innovation, science communication and science policy. Dr Pearson is an author on eight international patents for cancer diagnosis and novel confectionary.

Dr Sam Prince MD

Founder of Mejico, Zambrero Founder and Chairman OneDiseaseBorn in Dundee, Scotland to Sri Lankan immigrants, Dr... more


Dr Sam Prince MD

Founder of Mejico, Zambrero
Founder and Chairman OneDisease

Born in Dundee, Scotland to Sri Lankan immigrants, Dr Sam Prince moved with his family to Australia in 1986. Gifted academically, he began tertiary education at the age of 16 at the Australian National University after which he graduated with a under-graduate degree in Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Monash University in Melbourne.

Dr Prince’s success in his businesses and aid work derives from a rare ability to clearly visualise gaps and practical solutions to seemingly vast problems. He drives implementation using willpower and by inspiring others to believe in his vision. He believes that aid work should be run with the same rigour as business. With a dedicated and passionate team, which invariably includes the best minds in their fields, he has demonstrated that outcomes can be achieved in business and aid when this rigour is applied.

Dr Prince created his first business, Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill in his hometown – Canberra, at age 21. Zambrero is built upon the key principles of happiness, healthy food, and humanitarianism. In the following years, Dr Prince continued to practice as a doctor and has grown Zambrero to over 80 stores, 650 staff and over $60 million in-group revenue. The business was recognised as the fastest growing franchise in Australia in 2010 by BRW and continues to double in size each year. Zambrero’s unique difference is its Plate 4 Plate program. Through partnership with Stop Hunger Now, Zambrero has provided over 4.5million high protein, high vitamin meals that help strengthen people suffering from malnutrition in developing countries.

Mѐjico restaurant and tequila bar was launched in Sydney CBD in February 2013. The restaurant was born from Dr Prince’s passion for both the hospitality industry and Mexican food. Mejico restaurants are growing globally with two additional restaurants now in Miranda and Bangkok. The hospitality group is also adding a new concept under its banner in 2015.

In 2014 Dr Prince founded Life Letters, a company that is bringing genetic testing into the hands of doctors and consumers. Life Letters believes that genetics can help prevent disease and promote wellness. By completing a simple test people can gain a greater understanding of their own bodies and make better, more informed decisions about their health and the health of their families.

Dr Prince established the not-for-profit One Disease that aims to eliminate significant diseases affecting Australians today. Dr Prince, now joined by a team including Nobel laureates, the Australian Governor General and legendary medal scientists have redefined the model of how to partner and practice within Aboriginal communities in Australia. They have currently focused their efforts on Crusted Scabies.

Paying homage to his parent’s heritage (and grateful for his start in life), Dr Prince founded The E-magine Foundation in 2007, which built and equipped 15 information technology (IT) learning centres in rural Sri Lanka. The program was handed over the Sri Lanka government to manage and expand further.

Dr Prince is also a sought-after speaker on both a local and international stage. His achievements have been recognised through a number of awards including the 2012 ACT Young Australian of the Year, 2012 Ernst & Young ACT Entrepreneur of the Year, the Junior Chambers International ‘Outstanding Young Person of the World’ 2008. He was honoured with the Monash University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012 and he received the Weary Dunlop Fellowship in 2011.

Mr Sanjay Reddy

Vice-Chairman GVKG V Sanjay Reddy is the Vice Chairman of GVK, a conglomerate with interests in Energy, Airports,... more


Mr Sanjay Reddy

Vice-Chairman GVK

G V Sanjay Reddy is the Vice Chairman of GVK, a conglomerate with interests in Energy, Airports, Transportation, Resources, Real Estate, Hospitality and Life Sciences. He was instrumental in making GVK the largest private airport operator in India, by owning, developing and operating the Mumbai and Bengaluru airports, which handle over 50 million passengers per year. He founded GVK Biosciences, which is one of Asia’s largest contract research organizations employing more than 2000 scientists. He is involved with GVK EMRI 108 service, which is the world’s largest ambulance service offered free of cost to over 800 million people across India and having saved more than one million lives until date.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

He is an active contributor to the industry and the community through leadership positions at premier forums:

  • Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum
  • Chairman of the National Committee on Infrastructure at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s premier business association
  • Founder Chairman of Young Indians
  • Member, Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) & Chief Executives Organization (CEO)
  • Member of the InnovationXchange Committee, Government of Australia
  • Trustee of the Jagdish and Kamala Mittal Museum of Indian Art
  • Member of the Capital Committee of the state of Andhra Pradesh
Mr Ryan Stokes

CEO Australian Capital Equity COO Seven Group HoldingsMr Ryan Stokes is Chief Executive Officer of Australian... more


Mr Ryan Stokes

CEO Australian Capital Equity
COO Seven Group Holdings

Mr Ryan Stokes is Chief Executive Officer of Australian Capital Equity Pty Limited (ACE) and Chief Operating Officer of Seven Group Holdings Limited. Mr Stokes was appointed an Executive Director of ACE in 2001 and CEO in April 2010. ACE is a private company with its primary investment being an interest in Seven Group Holdings (SGH). He has been an Executive Director of Seven Group Holdings Limited since February 2010, and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2012.

Mr Stokes is also a Director of WesTrac Pty Limited and has extensive experience in China, having developed relationships with various mining and media companies over the past 13 years. Mr Stokes is a Director of Seven West Media which owns the Seven Network, The West Australian Newspaper, Pacific Magazines, and 50% of Yahoo7. Mr Stokes has been a Director of Seven Network Limited since 2005. Executive Director then Chairman of Pacific Magazines from 2004 until 2008 and previously a Director of Yahoo!7 from inception in 2006 until 2013.

Between 10 September 2009 and 19 November 2012, Mr Stokes was a Director of Consolidated Media Holdings Limited.

Mr Stokes was also a Director of Iron Ore Holdings Limited (IOH) as well as a former Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI.)

Mr Stokes is Chairman of the National Library of Australia, a position he has held since July 2012. Mr Stokes is also a member of the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans Mental Health, established in 2014.

Mr Stokes is the former Chairman of Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation (Headspace), a Federal Government initiative established in 2006. Mr Stokes was also a former member of the International Olympic Committee’s Radio and Television Commission.

Mr Stokes holds a BComm from Curtin University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).

Mr Chris Vein

Partner, PwC AustraliaDescribed by FedInsider as “innovating innovation itself,” Mr Chris Vein is a Partner at... more


Mr Chris Vein

Partner, PwC Australia

Described by FedInsider as “innovating innovation itself,” Mr. Chris Vein is a Partner at PwC Australia where he is developing a new global consulting practice in Digital Government Transformation. He also is Chief Advisor to the Start-up Policy Lab and adjunct professor at Universities in the U.S. and abroad.

He is passionate about using science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to solve some of the biggest challenges facing humankind. Chris has worked to make organizations in any sector more open, entrepreneurial, and lean; creating new and innovative opportunities for delivering products, services and processes; and incubating innovation capacity in the global workforce.

That passion evolved over the past three award-winning decades, when he was:

  • Founder of Dome Advisory Services, an organization that helped the public, private, and citizen sectors gain foresight and insight into the future, develop transformation strategies, and minimize operational risk.  
  • Chief Innovation Officer for Global Technology Development at the World Bank
  • Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation in the White House.   Office of Science and Technology Policy.  
  • Chief Information Officer for the City and County of San Francisco.

Chris has had the honor of serving four Presidents of the United States, thousands of professional association practitioners around the world, for-profit consulting organizations, and local government organizations.

An avid cook and traveler, Chris is based in California where he is still renovating his geodesic dome house and being a mentor. Chris is a sought-after commentator and speaker, quoted in a wide range of news sources from the Economist to Inc. Magazine.


Innovation Xchange

Australian Goverment  - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian Aid