The IDEAS Festival is a not-for-profit event hosted by the Educational Charity IEX. 


A full day event culminating in an evening of live music as a backdrop to conversations that will change lives.   Quiz, question and connect with amazing cutting edge presenters in a casual setting with all day food and drink. 

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Melissa is a marine biologist and wildlife educator who studies sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras (Chondrichthyans). She created The Fins United Initiative to provide access to free, scientifically accurate materials. A TEDx speaker and active science communicator, she also enjoys painting shark skin patterns, provides career guidance and has a Spanish-speaking podcast (ConCiencia Azul) here she discusses marine science issues.

Emily is a cybersecurity enthusiast and a gadget lover. She wants to become a cyborg one day, the sooner the better. We love our digital world, and so do the cybercriminals. Find out how the organised cybercrimes work and hear out some better-than-tv-drama cybercriminal stories.

Hailing from the UK but now a certified Kiwi, Chris is well known for having had more jobs than might be considered normal. These days he provides seriously cool experiences helping people consider education and it’s role in creating the future. A previous Microsoft’s International Innovative Educator  Chris now works in science, technology and how to use education in creating desirable futures.

Jess is the Chief People Wrangler at PledgeMe, co-founder of ‘Women Who Get Sh*t Done’ and a freelance jack of several trades. After getting a master’s degree in security studies and spending a few years in international development, she found her calling in grassroots and local action​. She spends her free time working with non-profits, patting other people’s dogs, ​eating cheese, ​knitting, and hatching elaborate schemes.

Having completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Otago, Meg is now undertaking a PhD with Brain Research New Zealand at the University of Auckland, and has been working with the Neurological Foundation since 2014.  Meg is passionate about improving the health of the ageing brain. In her research, she uses neuroimaging to search for changes in brain structure and function that may one day assist in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Chris is a proud Porirua lad who loves his family, fishing and heavy bass lines. He spends his working life supporting young people who are striving to impact even the darkest parts of our beautiful world. For the last 6 years he has worked for World Vision and he absolutely believes the world needs urgent change and that every one of us has an exciting role to play.

Jamie is an ecologist and science writer who is interested in exploring and challenging current attitudes to conservation in NZ. He has a PhD in Environmental Science and is currently a Senior Biodiversity Advisor for Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Alexia founded GirlBoss NZ whilst she was still at school and has grown it to an organisation of 8000 ambitious young women. The mission of GirlBoss is simple - to inspire, empower and equip New Zealand girls to become our next CEO's, leaders and changemakeHers. A full time activist and entrepreneur, Alexia is a 2018 Queen's Young Leader and a 2017 Top 30 Global Teen Leader.

With over a decade of Visual Effects experience, Jacob combines his artistic talents with passion for cutting-edge technology to create compelling 3D animations and imagery. He has worked on many large-scale blockbuster films including Avatar, The Hobbit and The Avengers. Currently focusing on virtual reality and interactive media he creates innovative virtual experiences for national and international clients.

Klaasz is a graphic designer and artist from Amsterdam. He graduating in Fine Arts in the Netherlands and as a keen video performance artist he has been providing visuals at a number of international gigs and concerts. He's involved in local art festivals and exhibitions and loves initiating new projects. 

Sue studied science and environmental management before studying law. She specialises in emerging issues which are often high profile and combine her love of science, law and public interest.  e.g. legalising medicinal cannabis, the use of 1080 and other pest control poisons. Sue has led cases in all levels of the NZ courts, spoken publicly around NZ on a range of issues and is regularly asked for media comment. 

Win-Li Toh  feels very lucky to have found a profession that lets her indulge both Maths and talking to people. Win-Li studied Maths at Oxford University. She is presently a Consulting Actuary providing analytics, actuarial, statistical and policy advice to business and government.

Technically a computer scientist, Simon describes himself as a technology and people enthusiast. He oversees the ICT delivery to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and loves recruiting.

As well as sitting on two tertiary advisory boards, Simon promotes ICT as a real career choice for those who may not realise the variety and opportunity available.

What do you get when you mix Spanish passion with science?- Amadeo... a crazy passionate science communicator who has spent half of his life getting people into science. Amadeo became a secondary teacher so he could help those that struggle with science in school. His goal is to have everyone enjoy science as that is ultimately what will make the world a better place.