Autumn Conversations: Meet the Auckland panel – Thursday 8 April 2021

6 months ago by

AUCKLAND DA Event: Autumn Conversations – The business of design today

April 8 @ 6:00 pm8:00 pm

Monster Valley, 74 Karangahape Road, Auckland Central

Register to attend

One year on from the emergence of Covid-19 in Aotearoa and we have all been affected by the global pandemic in many and different ways. It’s time to check with you all and ask how are you doing? How is your studio or practice going?

Join your professional local community as we navigate the topic of The Business of Design amidst Covid-19.

It’s hard enough finding your way as a designer but how do you create and maintain a thriving business that aligns with your life? We’ll hear from our local panel as they share their stories, tips and tricks that have helped them navigate the last year in the business of design.  The Auckland panel will feature:


Facilitator: Donna Maxwell, Founder, Running Mate

Donna was an owner and director of DNA for 10+ years. The last three years of her tenure at DNA were in the role of General Manager, responsible for ensuring the agency was well-designed to hit both commercial and strategic goals.

Donna now runs a consultancy called Running Mate, which she set up to help business owners and leaders grow and sustain good businesses. Donna offers coaching, strategic consulting, project-based work and business-sitting. She also has multiple governance positions.

This year, Donna will be leading DA’s new Business of Design workshop series in Auckland. This series of three workshops will help studios large or small with continuous improvement of the things that keep an agency running well. Register to attend one, or all three in Auckland.

Speaker: Elena Keith

As the driving force behind Seven, Elena leads on new business opportunities and acts as senior counsel on select accounts. With over twenty years’ experience in business transformation, she is responsible for executing strategy, driving operational excellence, leading change and delivering organisational results including the development and optimisation of existing commercial partnerships.

“It all falls apart without good capable people who are supported by a strong culture. We’re nothing without our talent and my focus is on developing and strengthening our evolving team by providing them with a robust platform that sets us up for growth and delivers results for our customers.”

Speaker: Alister Coyne

Alister started his career doing experimental projects for Chupa Chups, Toyota and Adidas at Melbourne based startup Sputnik Agency. A broken heart led him to Edinburgh where he worked in design, film and theatre before heading down to London to work on websites and campaigns for audiences of up to 80 million people in five languages. He may be responsible for the downfall of Yahoo! by launching the biggest online advertising campaign ever, creating full page takeovers and interactive banners that were simply the most annoying thing ever made. Alister moved into product design after a failed attempt to build a marketing automation platform for Affinity ID.

He set up a brand new team of designers at Trade Me in Auckland producing work for Property, Motors, Jobs and Ads. He loves the vision that Auror strives for and solving real world problems in a transparent, collaborative fashion. He’s also severely deaf, and relies on a decent pair of hearing aids, along with lip reading to get through the day.

Speaker: Annie Dow

Annie Dow is the founder and owner of two of NZ’s leading brand and design agencies Dow Goodfolk and Brother Design.

Annie’s tenacity, her passion for design, her smarts and her generosity have not only enabled her to grow the businesses, but provided opportunities for generations of New Zealand designers to grow their own talents.

Annie has been a leading industry voice championing the work of the NZ business and design community, and her mantra of ‘Design Delivers Value’ is legendary within the industry. Annie is a passionate and vocal expert on the value of branding and believes creative and strategic excellence transforms brands.

Recently Annie was recognised by DINZ, for her contribution to the design industry and was the recipient of the 2019 Black Pin award. Today the group continues to be seen as highly regarded strategic brand and design agencies, consistently delivering commercially and creatively successful work for their wide roster of clients across the FMCG, B2B, Consumer and Corporate sectors.

Annie Dow feels privileged to be working in the creative services industry, where she aims to make life easier for people. We are problem solvers. Designing brands that are simple, distinct and effective, is at the heart of our design philosophy. Through this clarity of approach, combined with an insights led philosophy putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. We have developed a method of working with our clients that consistently delivers a return a return on their investment.

Speaker: James Hurman

James Hurman is a marketing, innovation and creativity expert from New Zealand.

He is the founder and director of Previously Unavailable, an Auckland-based venture studio that partners New Zealand’s leading start-up and corporate companies on product design, brand creation and business strategy.

The former head of strategic planning at globally top-ranked advertising agency Colenso BBDO, James was named the world’s number 1 strategy planner in 2013, and has has won more than 50 local and international marketing effectiveness awards.

His 2011 book The Case for Creativity was described by The Coca Cola Company as ‘beautiful words of wisdom’. His 2016 kids book The Boy and the Lemon is New Zealand’s most backed book on Kickstarter.

He is the founder of Toothcrush, Australasia’s biggest oral care subscription business, started in 2016 and exited in 2019. And of Storytech, the world’s first brand strategy digital platform for start-ups.



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