FailCon Sydney 2013 Speakers and Presenters

Layne Beachley

Champion Surfer, Speaker, Foundation Director – @LayneCBeachley

Layne Beachley is regarded as the most successful female surfer in history. The only surfer to claim six consecutive world titles (1998-2003), she currently holds seven world champion titles. She is the founder and director of the Layne Beachley Aim For The Stars Foundation, celebrating achievement and supporting - morally and financially - the journey of Australia's young women to aspire to achieve in all their endeavours. Layne's global and local achievements include: 2004 Laureus Alternative Sports Person of the year, 2006 Surfing Hall of Fame inductee, 2011 Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee and ISA World Masters Champion, Athlete Liaison Officer at the 2012 Olympic Games. Earlier this year Layne was recognised as one of the top 10 most influential surfers in Australia (The only woman to grace the top 10) and awarded #3 greatest Australian female athlete of all time, behind Dawn Fraser and Betty Cuthbert. Layne currently serves on the board of Surfing Australia, Sport Australia Hall Of Fame, is an ISA Vice President, and long time ambassador for Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific. She also supports several other charities and organisations such as The National Breast Cancer Foundation, The Laureus Sport For Good Foundation, PCYC, Sunnyfield and Tourism NSW.

Tim Longhurst

Futurist – @timlonghurst

Tim Longhurst is a futurist with an appetite for awesome. He uses the latest data, powerful case studies and entertaining anecdotes from the field to bring the best bits of the present to life and inspire change. His client list has grown to include IKEA, Citigroup, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, as well as a number of governments and NGO's. He has been Director of Strategy at an NGO (GetUp!) and an ad agency (Razorfish). Today he is head of the strategic foresight consultancy, Key Message.

Dan Ilic

Comedian, Media Personality and Producer – @danilic

Dan Ilic is an Australian comedian, writer, performer, actor, broadcaster, and filmmaker. He is best known for his work on the sketch comedy TV show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, and writing and performing in Beaconsfield: The Musical. Dan is also a reporter/presenter on the ABC show Hungry Beast. Recently, Ilic has been a constant in the media, being the creator of the Dick Smith Foods tongue-in-cheek advertisement (TVC) in the lead up to Australia Day 2013.

Mark Cameron

CEO and Social Media Columnist – @markrcameron

Mark Cameron is CEO of social media strategy agency Working Three, based in Melbourne, Australia. His company deals with enterprise clients in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Mark is a regular speaker and writer on social media and digital strategy. He is the social media columnist for Australia's most widely read business magazine BRW and also writes for Market Magazine, Anthill Online in Australia, along with Social Media Monthly, Business 2 Community and Social Media Today - all based in the USA. More recently, Mark is co-founding a Big-Data start-up based in New Zealand and the USA.

Angela Vithoulkas

Business Owner, Broadcaster, City of Sydney Councillor – @AngelaVIVO

Elected to Council in September 2012, Councillor Angela Vithoulkas has built a successful career as a small business owner, entrepreneur and keynote speaker. Managing an inner city business Vivo Café, establishing online radio station Eagle Waves Radio and launching her political career all translates into a unique perspective. Angela is the recipient of a number of business awards including the City of Sydney Business of the Year and NSW Entrepreneur of the Year as well as 2007 Telstra Women's Business Owner of the Year. As a civic leader, her belief in the interests of the people of the City of Sydney remains firmly linked to her desire to be a voice for the community - the residents and small business owners. Angela is very proud to be the first Australian Greek Woman to be elected to the City of Sydney and has been recognised by the European Council for this achievement.

Alan Noble

Engineering Director, Google Australia & New Zealand – @scruzin

Alan Noble is an IT entrepreneur and executive with 25 years of international technology leadership and management experience, in Australia, the United States and Japan. Since February 2007 he has led Google's research and development operations in Australia, one of Google's fastest growing engineering centres and the home of Google Maps and Google Wave. He joined Google from NetPriva, a networking software company he founded in 2005 which was acquired by Expand Networks. From 1982 to 1986 he lived in Japan where he worked for Daiichi Kaden and NEC. From 1986 until 2002 he lived in California, where he worked for Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, for 8 years. In 1996 he founded NetMind, which developed the Internet's first change detection service. NetMind was acquired in 2000 by Intellisync (now part of Nokia) where he remained as VP of Engineering until returning to Australia in 2002. Alan is also a national director of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), a cofounder of SA Angels and an advisor on five Australian University advisory boards (NSW, Queensland, Adelaide, ANU and CMU). He is a graduate of Adelaide University and Stanford University, and an adjunct professor at Adelaide University. He has been granted seven patents and has several others pending.

David Bitton

Owner & MD, Bitton Café & Bistro – @bittongourmet

David Bitton is the Owner and Managing Director of Bitton Café & Bistro, product range and the recently launched Bitton Consulting. A French born and trained chef, his career has spanned over 25 years in fine dining establishments around the world. David, together with his wife Sohani, founded Bitton 13 years ago. Since then the business has grown exponentially, to now employing over 30 staff and serving more than 2000 customers a week. The product range and David's first cookbook draw on influences from his own training, his Moroccan and Turkish heritage and Sohani's South African Indian background. David was also honoured with being named an Australia Day Ambassador for 2013.

Avis Mulhall

Social Entrepreneur – @avismulhall

An Irish girl who ditched her successful corporate career to live in a rainforest in Africa, Avis is an inspiring and determined young woman who has overcome adversity to follow her passions and fearlessly invent a better future. A respected expert on social enterprise and collaborative consumption, Avis is a true social innovator who recently represented Australia at the G20 YES Summit in Mexico and was named in Sydney Magazines Top 100 People of Influence for 2012. She is the co-founder of global social travel network, creator of Sydney’s fastest growing change-maker community Think Act Change and founder of Looloo Paper – a toilet paper business that uses its profits to improve sanitation in developing countries.

Johannes Weissenbaeck

Founder and Director, PLAY Communication

Johannes is a marketer, entrepreneur, lateral thinker, public speaker and co-founder of PLAY Communication, Australia's leading Brand Experience Agency. Throughout his 17-year career, he has pioneered experience thinking across marketing communications, digital, retail and brand activation. Johannes has helped brands create meaningful dialogues with consumers and has influenced the likes of Volkswagen, Optus, Qantas, ASOS, MINI, Jaguar, Sydney Opera House, Telstra, Vodafone, Samsung, Tourism Victoria, Freehills, Ernst & Young and many more. His background is in branding and strategic planning, working at agencies in Europe and Asia Pacific including Fitch Worldwide. He studied Business Administration in Austria and completed his Marketing Degree in London.

Mick Calder

Executive Director, 333 Management

For the past 15 years, Mick has specialised in transitioning and improving companies which are undergoing capital transactions or business turnaround. He focuses on multiple industries including retail, fashion, technology, media, manufacturing and services. He has developed, managed and advised businesses in Europe, US and Asia-Pacific, including start-ups, growth and multi-nationals.

Lizza Gebilagin

Social Entrepreneur – @lizzagebilagin

Lizza Gebilagin is a social entrepreneur who believes in creating social impact through innovation and creativity. She first got a taste of magazines, pop culture, and the power of storytelling by working for Rolling Stone. Since then she's freelanced for music publications in Toronto, dabbled in politics, and worked as Chief Subeditor of Cleo magazine. Lizza started social enterprise Corker Media Pty Ltd in 2007 to help promote the work of Australian creatives. She won the Project Achievement Award at the School for Social Entrepreneurs in 2012 and is currently studying at NIDA.

Dan Steiner

Writer and Editor

Dan Steiner, a man well acquainted with failure in both the professional and personal spheres, currently works as the Associate Editor for MAXIM Magazine, a men's lifestyle publication. Before that, he worked for a men's lifestyle publication. And before that, he worked for a men's lifestyle publication. In his spare time, he used to freelance for men's lifestyle publications. It is fair to say that, over the past six years, he has come to know men's lifestyle publications quite intimately. Please do not judge him on his choice of career alone.

Claudia Barriga-Larrivière

Team & Culture Curator – @claudiablb

Claudia is Peruvian import with over 8 years of international experience across talent and change management in technology, telecommunications and innovation. She has worked with companies like Pollenizer, Tribalise, Telstra, VHA, GP&YR and other intentional brands in building, growing and developing their star talent, as well as ensuring they attract the best and brightest to their talent pool. Claudia specialises in taking companies through change, being big or small, and making sure they come out stronger on the other end. It's never pretty, but it's always exciting. Claudia has been obsessed with human behaviour and the economics of decision-making since childhood. In that she has learned that planning in the 21st century is mostly done for peace of mind. She has made a whole career out of failing upwards by skilfully living in the margin of error. After all, that's were the fun is. Talk to her about happiness, career focus and change.

Andrew Jackson

FailCon MC

Andrew is an Actor and Speaker with a passion for New Media. Graduating with a Bachelor of Social Media and Communications he now works in the IT Industry, while writing and performing whenever he can. His previous stage credits include 'Keating!', 'The Producers', and the Post-Apocalyptic political satire 'Cabinet Fever', alongside runs in numerous Fringe and Theatre festivals. Andrew also was the Official MC of TEDxMacquarieUniversity in 2012, and the runner up in its Student Speaker competition the previous year. He is thrilled to be part of the 2013 FailCon Sydney team this year, and is safe in the knowledge that if he messes up, he can claim it was just part of the event.

Bosco Tan

Tech Entrepreneur – @student154

Bosco Tan is the Co-Founder of Pocketbook. He has years of experience working with big corporates to achieve their strategic and budgeting goals. He is now hoping to use these same principles to help individuals. Prior to Pocketbook, Bosco co-founded a startup with Pollenizer in the recruitment and talent space. He also has experience and expertise in a number of industries including media, management consulting and information security.

Janeece Keller

Entrepreneur & Storyteller – @jmksyd

Despite having always had an entrepreneurial bent, Janeece spent 8 years in corporate marketing and business improvement jobs before diving into the start-up scene. Her first venture failed. After returning to the corporate world to lick her wounds, she felt brave enough again in 2010 to create the business transformation consultancy Katoka, which now works with clients such as Canon, Commonwealth Bank and the National Prescribing Service. After failing to find a publisher for her first picture book, a long but inspirational flight from London to Sydney, and the steepest learning curve of her life; Janeece launched Bound Round interactive travel apps for kids in December 2012. Bound Round combines Janeece's three passions - travel, storytelling and making things happen.

Nic Newling

Mental Health Advocate

Nic Newling is a man of fairly limited talents. After dropping out of high school to pursue unemployment, he found his niche as a drama school student for a few months in 2003. Nic has always wanted to help make a difference in other people's lives - it's a work in progress still. He is really happy to now be working on BITE BACK, the youth positive psychology website. He also now holds a Master's degree that he recently printed off the internet.

Orsi Parkanyi

Entrepreneur Advocate – @We_Sydney

Orsi Parkanyi is founder and director of Women as Entrepreneurs, aka 'WE', Australia's number one community for female business owners, startup women and women entrepreneurs. Orsi's passion for social change, diversity & women entrepreneurs to be noticed and make a difference lead to her involvement as a mentor/judge in several start-up events including SS48, Lean Startup Machine & Launch48. Orsi is a regular commentator on topics such as women in business & gender equality and has appeared in a variety of media outlets including; Financial Review, Shoestring Media StartupSmart, Micenet Magazine, Eagle Waves Radio, among others. Orsi believes that if we challenge the outdated traditions in business and increase the numbers of women in entrepreneurship, we will empower communities, nations and shape a better world.

Michael Dijkstra

Startup Founder – @micdijkstra

Michael Dijkstra is a serial entrepreneur. Over the past 5 years he has founded two of his own startups and helped create more than five startups for Pollenizer, a Sydney incubator. Michael is currently working with PwC to help create an incubator inside a corporate environment. His two startups both failed successfully. With the first one he tried to go too big too early and with the other he built something nobody would pay for.