13-14 NOVEMBER 2023 | Aotea Centre AUCKLAND

Speakers & Sessions

Day Two: Tuesday 14 November
2.00 pm-3.00 pm

Keynote Speaker

Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nano Girl)

Dr. Michelle Dickinson (MNZM), a Nanotechnologist and Materials Engineer, has returned. It has been four years since her last appearance, and during this time, the world has undergone significant transformations due to the impact of COVID and rapid technological advancements like AI and the increasing Cyber risk landscape. 

She has spent the last two decades contributing to cutting-edge technologies, researching solutions for medical and technology applications for clients who range from small start-ups to large corporates. 

Having set up and run New Zealand’s only nanomechanical testing laboratory that specialises in making and breaking tiny things (nano and micro), Michelle spends her time helping companies with board advisory around science and technology commercialisation including technical consulting for investors and VC’s looking for ROI advice for high-tech start-ups. Her experience spans academia, government labs and large-scale R&D departments. She says the key to success is not necessarily how great the technology is, but how well the science is communicated and how diverse the engineering team is. 

Michelle’s success comes from her hard work and lots of lucky opportunities, allowing her to break the poverty cycle she grew up in through education. This experience led her to Co-Found Nanogirl Labs, a socially conscious business designed to create beautiful and engaging content to help everyone build confidence around STEM.

Nanogirl Labs is both an in-person and a digital platform that highlights positive, diverse role models with fun and engaging storylines and kinaesthetic based learning helping everyone to see that they can be a creator not just a consumer. Nanogirl Labs’s goal is to help people have a meaningful relationship with technology no matter their educational background or socioeconomic status. Their projects include the bestselling book The Kitchen Science Cookbook and TV show, a digital STEM platform and STEM education in schools in the pacific islands.

Michelle became a household name during New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, often called upon by the media and government to present the complex happenings in layman’s terms. During this time, she was praised for her work in the education sector to explain the disease and its implications to children - her videos and content became a highly sought after resource by parents and teachers.

Dr Michelle is now helping businesses who are concerned about their staff’s wellbeing, providing presentations to support people around the vaccine - breaking down misinformation, providing clear communication and myth busting! 


Michelle has been recognised for her many services to New Zealand for her work in STEM including; becoming a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours, awarded the Sir Peter Blake Leadership award  in 2015, was the winner of the Women of Influence award for science and innovation in 2016, winner of the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communicators Award in 2014.

Session Topic

The Future at the Crossroads: Are Robots taking our jobs?

As our closing speaker we present a compelling exploration into the future with the topic, “The Future at the Crossroads: Are Robots Taking Our Jobs?” Distinguished speaker Dr. Michelle Dickinson will lead this engaging discussion, delving into the intricate relationship between emerging technologies, particularly robotics and artificial intelligence, and the workforce.

As automation and AI continue to reshape industries, concerns about job displacement and the impact on the human workforce have intensified. Dr. Michelle Dickinson, an esteemed expert in nanotechnology and materials engineering, will provide an expert analysis of the current state of affairs and offer valuable insights into the potential trajectories of the job market.

Download Presentation

Resources shared by Dr Michelle:

Uncertaintyexperts.com (quiz) 




Theme: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

The “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” theme for the IIA NZ Conference 2023 challenges internal auditors to reflect on their past successes while embracing the need for innovation and adaptation in an everchanging business landscape. The conference theme serves as a powerful reminder that traditional methods and strategies that have led to success in the past may no longer be sufficient to navigate the complexities of the present and the future. 

During this thought-provoking conference, attendees will explore how the role of internal auditors has evolved over time and how they must evolve with it. Speakers will share inspiring stories of organisations and professionals who have recognised the importance of continuous improvement and embraced transformative approaches to internal audit processes.

Participants will gain valuable insights into emerging trends and technologies shaping the internal audit profession. Workshops and interactive sessions will encourage attendees to challenge the status quo, identify opportunities for growth, and enhance their internal audit practices to drive maximum value for their organisations.

The “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” IIA NZ Conference 2023 theme is a call to action, urging internal auditors to be proactive change agents. By embracing innovation, adopting new methodologies, and enhancing their skillsets, internal auditors will be better equipped to lead their organisations through uncertainty and towards sustainable success.

Speakers & Sessions

Dr Michelle Dickinson

Tony Alexander

Hon. Simon Bridges

Dan Te Whenua Walker

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With thanks to our sponsors

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