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International Reference Group


The innovationXchange will harness the expertise, creativity and networks of global leaders in business, civil society, philanthropy and academia to drive innovation across Australia’s aid program.

A 14-member International Reference Group (IRG) will bring together leading innovators to provide strategic guidance on the priorities and investments of the Xchange. It will help to forge linkages with new partners and leverage new sources of financing.

The IRG will come together on a 6-monthly basis to discuss innovative approaches and new partnerships, critically assess progress and make recommendations to the Minster on future directions.

Download the International Reference Group - Terms of Reference here.


Mr Michael Bloomberg

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 Bjorn Lomborg

Dr Bjorn Lomborg

Director Copenhagen Consensus Center USA In

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 Veronika Lukito

Ms Veronika Lukito

CEO and Managing Director Ancora Capital, Indonesia

Ms Veronika 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

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

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

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

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

Dr Sarah Pearson

CEO CBR Innovation Network Ltd

Dr Sarah Pearson is a globally recognised practitioner and advocate of innovation, especially Open Innovation. She works at the interface of industry, government and research, with experience in all sectors and a capacity to cross the divides. She is passionate about a new Australian economy of ideas. Her methods are widely emulated and her advice is influential in the many communities she has served. She has driven innovation strategy and practice in both corporate, research and government arenas, nationally and internationally, and is passionate about helping Australia benefit from effective and efficient approaches in industrial, research, government and social innovation applications.

Dr Pearson is currently the CEO of the newly formed CBR Innovation Network Ltd. This company captures Canberra’s potential as a clever, creative and connected city. Dr Pearson has designed and overseen a broad suite of offerings to the innovation community, including a network for entrepreneurs, innovative programs for youth, provision of co-working space and an accelerator program, development of an incubator program, support for small business, and activities encouraging students to studying science and mathematics.

She is the public face of ACT innovation and a prominent advocate for the ACT in national and international forums. Dr Pearson is also a board director and member on 10 boards, panels and committees covering innovation, manufacturing, industry peak bodies, social innovation, angel investment and STEM support.

Dr Pearson’s interest in innovation was kindled as a strategic management consultant at McKinsey & Co in Sydney. With a DPhil in particle physics from the University of Oxford, she connected easily with high-tech industries powered by R&D. She went on to develop and patent new methods for cancer diagnosis as a tenured physics academic, with the support of several prestigious national grants.

Dr Pearson’s industrial innovation experience came via the inaugural Open Innovation Champion at Cadbury, where she was an early pioneer of a new approach to harnessing ideas. Her philosophy of reaching out – to consumers, researchers and industry partners – transformed her team from a small UK-based operation to a highly influential global unit.

Returning to Australia, Dr Pearson took on the role of Director of Science in the Office of the Chief Scientist where she managed teams of in-house and external advisors. She facilitated the flow of advice to government; managed the Expert Working Groups and Secretariat for the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council; and supported the Chief Scientist’s public advocacy role.

Dr Pearson was later recruited to establish a new knowledge transfer unit within ANU Enterprise – ANU Edge. Her success resulted in promotion to CEO of the Enterprise group of companies, which she turned from loss to profit within two years, selling part of the company and purchasing another.

Dr Pearson has published extensively through TV, radio, books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and is an author on eight international patents, for cancer diagnosis and novel confectionary.


Dr Sam Prince MD

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

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

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

Mr Chris Vein

CEO Dome Advisory Services

Described by FedInsider as “innovating innovation itself,” Mr. Chris Vein is currently Chief Executive Officer of Dome Advisory Services.

Previously, Mr. Vein was the Chief Innovation Officer for Global Technology Development at the World Bank. In that capacity, Mr Vein leads the implementation of the World Bank’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy, ICT policy and engagement dialogue with internal and external clients, and global ICT knowledge and expertise with client countries.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr Vein was the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In that role, Mr Vein focused on making government more open, entrepreneurial, and lean; creating new and innovative opportunities for delivering government products, services and processes; and incubating innovation capacity in the civic, technology and civic society arenas.

Over the past two decades, Mr Vein 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, Mr Vein is based in California where he is still renovating his geodesic dome house and mentors those in need. Mr Vein is a sought-after commentator and speaker, quoted in a wide range of news sources from the Economist to Inc. Magazine.