Programme & Speakers

Niki Harré

Niki Harré is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland. Her recent research projects have focused on sustainable communities and schools, positive youth development and political activism. Niki lives in Pt Chevalier, Auckland and has three children. She is a founding member of the Pt Chevalier Transition Town, cycles to work, learns the guitar from a musician who lives on her street, and has a large organic garden thanks to her husband. In 2007 Niki edited, with Quentin Atkinson, the book Carbon Neutral by 2020: How New Zealanders Can Tackle Climate Change. In 2011 she released a second book, Psychology for a Better World: Strategies to Inspire Sustainability. It can be downloaded for free here. Her latest work is on life as an infinite game:

Deirdre Kent

Deirdre Kent is a New Zealand activist and writer. She stood for the Values Party in 1975 and was a Tauranga City Councillor. After a decade as a full-time paid lobbyist for tobacco control, she taught lobbying skills and was active in the Green Party. She wrote The Indicator newsletter, started NZ Banking Reform, and was a founding trustee of the Living Economies Educational Trust. After forming Otaki Transition Town group and Otaki Timebank she co-founded the New Economics Party a group who worked on policy combining monetary reform and land tax. She is the author of Healthy Money Healthy Planet Developing Sustainability through New Money Systems and has just written The Big Shift – Redesigning Money, Tax, Welfare and Governance for the Next Economic System.The small book will be available at the Expo.

Stephanie Rearick

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Rearick is founder and former Co-Director of the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) - a 2800+-member timebank devoted to building a just and inclusive economy - and Project Coordinator of Mutual Aid Networks. In addition to her work in timebanking and promoting grassroots-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool's Coffeehouse. Rearick worked for Greenpeace for six years of young adulthood, helped launch Madison Hours local currency in 1995 and served for several years on the steering committee of independent local political party Progressive Dane. Rearick also works as a musician, performing since 1993. Her solo work is keyboard-based classical/cabaret/pop (piano, Casio, trumpet and loops). Rearick also plays drums and shares vocal duties in Ladyscissors, a jangly guitar, 3-girl-singers 4-piece rock n roll band.

Gary Flomenhoft

Part-time sailor, full-time commoner

Student of Herman Daly in Ecological Economics and Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Currently a PhD student at UQ in communal property rights in mining. 12 year Fellow and Lecturer at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. Initiated bills for Green Taxes, Subsidy Reform, Common Assets Basic Income, and Public Banking in the Vermont Legislature. Currently working on helping to establish the first Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in Australia..

Gar Alperovitz

Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative and Co-Chair, Next System Project

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. For fifteen years, he was the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard's Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Gar is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy. As a well known policy expert, he has testified before numerous Congressional committees and lectures widely around the country.

Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition, Gar was nominated to be a member of the Council of Economic Advisers by leading national consumer, labor, and environmental organizations.

He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.

Gar lives in Washington, DC.

Tāmati Kruger

Tāmati Kruger (BA (Hons) in Māori Studies, 1978) is a Māori advocate and social and political analyst who has dedicated his career to the development of his iwi. From the Ngāti Koura, Ngāti Rongo and Te Urewera hapū of Tūhoe, Tāmati was instrumental in securing the largest Treaty of Waitangi settlement to date ($450 million) for the Central North Island Iwi Collective. He is now a director of CNI Holdings, representing Tūhoe.

More recently, Tāmati was chief negotiator of the Tūhoe-Te Urewera Treaty of Waitangi Settlement, which lasted six years from 2009 to 2014. The landmark settlement included a Crown apology for historical grievances, a social service management plan for the Tūhoe rohe and a financial and commercial redress package totaling $170 million.

The settlement also included legislative changes to transfer Te Urewera National Park to its own separate legal entity, looked after by the Te Urewera Board, of which Tāmati is chair.

Tāmati’s contribution is not limited to his tribe. He chaired the Second Ministerial Māori Taskforce on Whānau Violence and developed the Mauri Ora Framework and was awarded the Kahukura award in 2013 in recognition of this work.

He was a finalist in the 2012 New Zealander of the Year awards and was the Supreme Winner of the Marae Investigates Māori of the Year in 2014. In 2015 he was a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award by Victoria University.

Raf Manji

Raf's main purpose in life is to help create a better world. His broad range of experience enables him to move easily between different sectors. Raf enjoys adding value wherever possible and relishes new challenges.

Raf is very passionate about developing a new generation of leaders and their disruptive technologies. He has spent many years examining the friction between the public and private space and is especially interested in the reform of our monetary, welfare and tax systems, as well as in the developing social investment and peer to peer sector. Raf is keen to develop a new social contract. His other areas of focus include: a universal basic income, overt monetary financing, participatory democracy, decentralization and a more strategic approach to policy development.

Raf is currently a Christchurch City Councillor and chair of the Strategy and Finance committee. His main focus has been the Council's financial position as well as its strategic direction and risk management.

After graduating from the University of Manchester in 1987 with a degree in Economics and Social Studies, Raf spent 11 years trading global markets for investment banks in London. In 2000, he left banking to help start up and develop Trucost, which helps companies measure their environmental footprint in monetary terms. In 2002, he moved to New Zealand with his young family and has since been actively involved as a volunteer and trustee with Christchurch Budget Services, Pillars, Volunteer Army Foundation, Christchurch Arts Festival, as well as investing in and helping out early stage companies. He has a Grad Dip Arts in Political science, and a Masters in International Law and Politics from the University of Canterbury.

Nicole Foss

Nicole Foss is Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth. She and co-author, Raúl Ilargi Meijer, have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and geopolitics in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what we can do about it.

Nicole is also an international speaker on energy and global finance. She has lectured in hundreds of locations across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and has made numerous media appearances in a variety of countries.

Prior to the establishment of TAE, Nicole was editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and finance. She also ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects, grid connections for renewable energy and Feed-In Tariff policy development. While living in the UK she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where she specialised in nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and conducted research into electricity policy at the EU level. She also has significant previous experience practicing as an environmental consultant.

Her academic qualifications include a BSc in Biology from Carleton University in Canada (where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology), a post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, and the common professional examination in law and an LLM in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK.

Matthew Slater

Matthew Slater builds community software and specialises in complementary currencies and money systems. He will be leading a session of the 'Trading Floor Game' which was very popular when he visited 3 years ago, and is also looking forward to sharing his reflections with us, having spent the previous 2 weeks touring projects around the country.

Nafeez Ahmed

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is an award-winning 15-year investigative journalist, noted international security scholar, bestselling author, and film-maker. A sought-after commentator, he tracks the 'war on terror' in the context of what he calls the 'Crisis of Civilisation.' Recognising the interlinking crises his most recent articles have focused on the global big picture, identifying the complex systems relationships that got us to this point, and what the rise of Trump really means. Nafeez is adamant we are not powerless in the face of the emerging perfect storm of chaotic social, political, economic and environmental disaster. “It is amidst moments of acute crisis that we uncover the potential for truly radical transformation and mobilisation, that we reach deep into what the human spirit is capable of doing. We're in that moment now.” He says systems are already responding on a small scale, building strong local networks and connections, put effort and energy into building the ‘new system’. We must “create something new, as part of a collective that connects one’s self to that wider context. How can I bring who I am productively and constructively into relationships with these real-world networks so that we can, collectively, create something new which fundamentally breaks with the old paradigm and brings forth the emerging paradigm — that fundamentally disrupts the old, and innovates a breakthrough revolutionary way of seeing, living, working, doing for yourself and those around you?” “What breaks free from the old paradigm, and brings me closer to the new paradigm?” Nafeez is currently International Editor at The Canary, 'System Shift' columnist at VICE's science magazineMotherboard, weekly columnist at Middle East Eye, and the creator of INSURGEintelligence, a crowdfunded public interest investigative journalism project. Nafeez has been published in The Guardian, VICE, Independent on Sunday, The Independent, The Scotsman, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, The New Statesman, Prospect, Le Monde diplomatique, Raw Story, New Internationalist, Huffington Post UK, Al-Arabiya English, AlterNet, The Ecologist, and Asia Times, among other places. A recovering academic, Nafeez holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Sussex, where he taught politics and history. Since 2015, Nafeez has been Visiting Research Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University's Faculty of Science and Technology.

Daryl Taylor

Daryl has more than 20 years working in community and organizational development roles. He has had significant “whole systems” project leadership experience. Established in 2005, Integralevolution serves federal, state and local government, university, technical, adult and community education; community health, not-for-profit agency clients, and provides extensive pro-bono support to local community groups and community organisations.

Daryl‟s participatory planning and anticipatory action research as well as his organizational and community development work have been formally acknowledged with seven states and national innovation and best practice awards and commendations. His practice features prominently in VicHealth‟s Local Government Good Practice Resource “Leading the way”.

Daryl lives with his partner, Lucy Filor, and daughter Maggie, in temporary accommodation on their property in Kinglake. Lucy, Daryl and Maggie survived the terror of Black Saturday and have led community recovery leadership projects.

Charles Drace

Activist, writer and speaker Charles Drace is a key organiser for climate action groups, Oil Free Otautahi and the anti-TPPA group Its Our Future. Charles has been active in the Green Party including being a candidate twice. Charles' history includes the disability area, financial planning, investment fund management and management. He has been instrumental in getting both the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury to oppose the government's deep sea oil drilling plans as well as prompting the city council to lobby for councils across New Zealand to buy renewable electricity. Charles' public talks include the latest science of climate change, activism, geopolitics and historical and economic trends and cycles.

Phil Stevens

Phil has chaired the Living Economies Educational Trust since 2012. He brings a wide range of experience in technology, energy, food, communication, and systems design to a number of community resilience initiatives, as well as being involved with complementary currency projects and platforms in NZ and internationally.

Phil hails from the borderlands of Southern Arizona, and his years exploring the deserts and mountains of that region gave him a lifelong awareness and appreciation for the mindfulness of limits. This mindfulness led him into activism in a wide range of issues from habitat preservation to water conservation, refugee rights, and relocalisation of food production. During this time, he played music professionally and ran a sound reinforcement contracting company and a recording studio.

Around the release of the original graphical Web browser, he helped to form one of the first web design and development companies, and became immersed in the emerging technology explosion. He spent several years working in medical software development, and then hung out his shingle as a consultant in specialist systems design and operation. This career followed him across the Pacific when Phil moved to NZ with his family in 2005. Along with his commercial clientele are a number of community currency platforms, including Community Forge, CES, and Timebanking Australia. He and his wife Sharon operate Slow Farm, a family-run smallholding and permaculture education centre in Ashhurst, and they are involved in several community initiatives. He has most recently branched out into energy management and works in implementation of energy conservation and carbon reduction projects at the enterprise level.

His interest in economics was sparked by a "Meadows Moment" as he was studying permaculture, and upon the realisation that the modern structures of money and finance were unsustainable by definition he got involved in a local currency project. This led rapidly to a relationship with Living Economies, and he joined the Board of Trustees in 2010. He now maintains relationships with the international community of complementary currency practitioners, heterodox economists, and system changers.

Margaret Jefferies

Margaret has been working in her community for many years. She chairs Project Lyttelton, an organisation that is creating Lyttelton as a living economy. Projects under Project Lyttelton’s umbrella include the Lyttelton Farmers Market, the Festival of Lights and other festivals, the Lyttelton Harbour TimeBank (Margaret introduced the TimeBank concept to New Zealand), the garage sale, the community garden, the Lyttelton vouchers, sustainable education, waste matters… all this and more and then the multiple links with other organisations also doing this work. She holds an Appreciative Inquiry perspective in her approach. Strategy is one of Margaret’s strengths and both she and Project Lyttelton have the mantra of ‘going where the energy is’. Currently Margaret is involved with three other third sector organisations in building a social enterprise in central Christchurch – a café in the Otakaro Orchard. Margaret is a member of her local savings pool and is a Living Economies Board member.

Belinda Meares

Belinda is an experienced InterPlay leader who trained in Australia, and is active in developing the practice in Australia and New Zealand/Aotearoa. She offers regular InterPlays in Christchurch and Auckland, and elsewhere at times. For more information, go to InterPlay New Zealand’s Facebook page, or Belinda lives in North Canterbury, where she is a coordinator with TimeBank Hurunui and runs the time bank’s Learning Exchange programme.

Play helps us connect our bodies-hearts-minds so we become more confident and in tune with ourselves. In the process we unwind and get to know each other better,  and develop skills of listening, supporting and being present. InterPlay is a revitalising practice that combines movement, voice, story and reflection. It’s easy, fun and helps us access our creativity and deepens group trust. In the US, where the practice originated, InterPlayers are offering “Art and Social Change” programmes for nourishing and inspiring social-change activists.

Jan Jeans

Jan is an Arts therapist, an Open Floor Dance teacher in training. She lives in Lyttelton and is passionate about the power of dance to connect and restore people’s lives.