Annual Members Retreat ‘Fit for the Future’!

A huge thank you to the 85 members who joined us at this year’s annual retreat in Queenstown. It was an action-packed and inspiring few days with plenty of time for connecting and networking among peers.

At opening celebrations we enjoyed Pecha Kucha presentations from members Susan Peterson, Erica Whineray Kelly and Tania Simpson. The three gave us a fast-paced insight into their diverse life and career journeys thus far – heartfelt, entertaining, insightful, and a wonderful way to kick start the retreat. They provided us with some great food for thought too…”When life’s getting comfortable, ask yourself – what are the next borders to push?” Something we, as Global Women members, should all be pondering from time to time.


A definite highlight of the retreat was keynote speaker and Quid founder, Sean Gourley,

on Friday morning, who both fascinated and terrified us with his accounts of how algorithms are shaping our world. “Artificial intelligence and learning algorithms will make it almost impossible to tell robots from humans in the future, and real news from fake.” Sean provided some healthy debate on the subject and plenty of food for thought. Exactly what kind of world do we want to shape with technology?

Our ‘Philanthropy at the Frontier’ session with international aid worker, Linda Cruse, CEO of Unicef NZ, Viv Maidaborn, Founder of RAW (Reclaim Another Woman), Annah Stretton, and RAW participant, Rena Campbell, was nothing short of powerful and inspirational.

The role these women play at the frontline of their philanthropic work is impressive and commendable and left many of us feeling motivated to follow in their footsteps. Rena was a captivating and powerful speaker and her story touched many of us in the room. Through RAW and with her mentor’s help, Rena is finally building and living the life she deserves. We wish her every success for the future.


The valuable ‘Concentrate Sessions’ were a chance to focus energies on more thoughtful matters

and the Interactive Group Session facilitated by CEO of the Olympic Committee, Kereyn Smith, and MD of Xero NZ, Victoria Crone got us thinking about how we, as New Zealand’s leaders, can develop new leadership strategies that are ‘Fit for the Future.’ There were many valuable insights and take-outs from this session, including – the need to apply constructive disruptive thinking to NZ business models, what will NZ look like if we are able to capitalise on constructive disruption? And most importantly, our collective strengths to problem-solving are a very powerful force.

The weather behaved itself, allowing some of our members to get out and about in the fresh mountain air and the dinners were a great opportunity for members to catch up.

We have some lovely photographs of our members who attended the retreat. Please click here to view the images.

Sue Sheldon, Chair Global Women