Lego and Lululemon business leaders to visit New Zealand for Better by Design CEO Summit in March

5 March 2017: Innovation leads from LEGO and lululemon are among top international speakers visiting the country in March to speak at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)’s eighth Better by Design CEO Summit, with tickets limited to 400 and selling fast.

Bringing together the world’s top design minds with 400 CEOs and senior managers from New Zealand’s leading export businesses, the two-day conference will immerse delegates in both the theory and real world, practical examples of global best practice in design thinking.

With a theme of ‘Culture by Design’, the focus for 2017’s Summit turns to people and developing a culture of innovation within an organisation – and how to link that culture to what consumers actually want.

Stephanie Gasperini, Director of Better by Design, says culture doesn’t happen by chance.

“Culture – especially one that supports innovation – is shaped by a conscious design process. It affects every aspect of a business and is reflected through the behaviours, people and products of a company. A culture of innovation enables businesses to focus on what really matters – solving customer problems. By applying innovative solutions to these problems, businesses are in a much stronger position to gain that elusive competitive edge. At the same time, an organisation that encourages innovation tends to have more motivated employees with greater job satisfaction. The benefits are far-reaching.”

Gasperini cautions however that retaining culture becomes increasingly difficult with scale, and that’s a problem faced by many New Zealand companies – something the Summit will seek to address.

Over the course of the two days, attendees will not only be inspired by the impressive range of international and local speakers, they’ll also be equipped with practical tools to help build and continually evolve a culture of innovation within their own workplace.

One of the international keynote speakers confirmed for the Summit is Dr Tom Waller, Senior Vice President of Whitespace™ at lululemon athletica, who heads up a team of 30 creative innovators and R&D experts. Joining him are other global thought leaders including David Gram, Senior Innovation Director at the LEGO Group, Tom Kelley from renowned design and innovation consultancy IDEO, and Lewis Road Creamery Co-founder Peter Cullinane.

Rod Drury, Xero CEO and speaker at the 2015 Summit, describes the Summit as “one of the best few days you’ll spend onshore. Spending time with the globally talented people that the Summit attracts will fire you up and expand your thinking,” comments Drury.

Tickets are limited to 400 and selling fast, so CEOs and senior executives are encouraged to register now to avoid missing out. To register, visit the Better by Design website.

The Better by Design CEO Summit 2017 is sponsored by AUT University.

For further information, imagery and interviews please contact:

Deirdre Robert

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Communications Specialist

021 242 3166


Kimberley Bartlett

Wright Communications

Senior Consultant

027 702 9318



International speakers (more to be announced): Dr Tom Waller - lululemon; David Gram - LEGO;  Tom Kelley - IDEO; Ryan Holmes - Hootsuite; Chris Hacker – formerly of Herman Miller; Simon Mainwaring – We First.

Attendees: 400 CEOs and senior leaders from New Zealand top export businesses.

What: Better by Design CEO Summit 2017

When: 14-15 March, 2017

Where: Villa Maria Estate, Auckland

Held every 18 months, NZTE’s Better by Design CEO Summit is one of the most dynamic events on the business calendar, showcasing some of the world’s top design thinkers and practitioners.

The Summit offers delegates the opportunity to be immersed in both the theory and real world examples of design thinking, giving them inspirational insights that are applicable to New Zealand businesses.

In addition to two days of inspiration, the Summit provides delegates with the opportunity to be part of a learning community of business people and designers who are committed to fostering design-led innovation in New Zealand.


Better by Design’s purpose is to inspire and enable New Zealand businesses to success by design. Better by Design is a service offering within New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Government’s international business development agency.

To learn more about the Better by Design and the CEO Summit, please visit the Better by Design website.