Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to confirm and warmly welcome our Keynote Speakers for the 2018 Conference:


Holly Ransom

Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders to execute change. Emergent, has worked with the likes of Microsoft, Virgin, INPEX, Europcar, KPMG, & the AIS, as well as local, state and federal government departments globally.

Prior to Emergent, Holly’s corporate career has involved working as Chief of Staff to NAB Wealth Chief Executive and for Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh. Holly holds a Law degree and BA (Economics). In 2012, she was the youngest person to be named in Australia’s ‘100 Most Influential Women’, and also became the world’s youngest-ever Rotary President. Her work with Rotary has played a key role in the global efforts to lift youth participation in the organization.

Holly is an experienced non-executive director across the private, government and non-profit sectors. In 2016, Holly was appointed to Co-Chair the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs and in 2014, the Australian Prime Minister appointed Holly to Chair the G20 Youth Summit, resulting in the first summit to secure its policy demands from G20 leaders. Holly is the youngest ever woman appointed to the board of an AFL football club (with her appointment as a Director of Port Adelaide) and is also on the advisory Board for the launch of the AFL Women’s League.

An accomplished global keynote speaker, Holly has presented across 6 continents, including delivering a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama. She has featured on ABC’s ‘Q&A’, Channel 7 News & Channel 10’s ‘The Project’, and is renowned for her commentary on intergenerational economic and social issues. A top-ten age group finisher in her most recent Ironman Endurance Triathlon, in 2016 Holly was listed by Sir Richard Branson as one of his dream dinner guests, and in 2017 was Sir Richard’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of future game changers to watch. In 2018, she was personally requested by Barack Obama to moderate an hour-long conversation with during his only engagement in Australia.


Professor Andy Neely

Professor Andy Neely is Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge and former Head of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and of the Manufacturing and Management Division of Cambridge University Engineering Department. He is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and Founding Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance, a highly successful university-industry interface. He is widely recognized for his work on the servitization of manufacturing, as well as his work on performance measurement and management. Previously he has held appointments at Cranfield University, London Business School, Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Churchill College, and British Aerospace. He was Deputy Director of AIM Research – the UK’s management research initiative (2003 – 2012), was elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Management in 2007, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in 2008, and a Fellow of the European Operations Management Association in 2009.


Professor Stephen L. Vargo

Professor Stephen L. Vargo is a Shidler Distinguished Professor and Professor of Marketing at the University of Hawai’i. Thomson-Reuters has identified him as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds/Highly Cited Researchers (top 1%) in economics and business for four consecutive years (2014 – 2017). His research has achieved over 35,000 Google Scholar citations, and over 10,000 citations according to the more restrictive Thomson Reuters Web of Science Index. He has the most cited article published since 2000 in our pre-eminent journal, the Journal of Marketing, as well as most-cited paper awards in Marketing Theory, industrial Marketing Management, and INFORMS Service Science. Professor Vargo is best known for his work with Robert F. Lusch on ‘service-dominant logic’, and for this work has received the highest accolades in our field, including the Harold H. Maynard Award from the American Marketing Association for “significant contribution to marketing theory and thought,” and the AMA/Sheth Foundation Award for “long term contributions to the field of marketing”.