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Event: Inspire Canterbury

From The Studio


Inspiring Pure Publica Genius

Publica has been working with the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce for a year now so when they asked if we would like to support their annual Inspire Canterbury event we were keen to get involved.

The theme for this year’s event was Pure Kiwi Genius and The Chamber brought together a group of high achieving and inspirational Kiwis who have done some remarkable things in business both at home and overseas.

Whilst the title of the event was ‘Pure Kiwi Genius’ it seemed like the running theme from all the speakers was ‘Pure Kiwi Guts’ as they all talked about taking risks, pushing yourself to do your best and going all out for the things you believe in despite challenges that come your way.

The event began with Sarah Robb O’Hagan, an executive, activist and entrepreneur who now lives Stateside and is shining the Kiwi light brightly as she wins amazing accolades in the Forbes Magazine, Most Powerful Women in Sports list and the Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business awards.  Sarah’s top three pieces of advice:

  1. Get out of line, find the thing no one else is excelling in and make yourself the expert.
  2. Be extreme you, be true to who you are and go all out being you in your work
  3. Narrow the focus of your company, but diversify your team so together you represent numerous perspectives on a joint passion

A lot of this was echoed in the following speakers from young and yet already crazy successful entrepreneur, Jake Millar who has already learnt in his two years of being in business that being uncomfortable is an important part of the journey of life because that’s when you make the decisions that catapult you into realising your dreams.

Or Linda Jenkinson, the first woman in New Zealand to take a company public on New York’s NASDAQ stock exchange, who paid attention when her grandma taught her to play poker and now uses the game’s principles in business – once again supporting the notion that taking risks is an important part of being a successful entrepreneur.

Local businessman Henry Lane who created the EPIC IT Hub after the Christchurch earthquakes and dazzled us with his augmented reality technology, demonstrated that he shares Sarah’s view on business as he uses augmented reality in sectors outside of the entertainment industry and is taking it into the less obvious health and car manufacturing sectors.

Later Mike Gray, founder of outdoor advertising company Go Media, shared his often entertaining journey to success and reiterated the principle that whilst you might be working in an area that other people are also succeeding in, it’s up to you set yourself apart, take risks and raise your business above the rest.

Finally, social impact entrepreneur, Rachel Petero who has recently returned to New Zealand to run Rise2025 encouraged us with the inspiring words of Te Puea Herangi, “If I dream, I dream alone.  If we dream together, we shall achieve.”  A principle that all the speakers touched on as they told their stories, all of them inspired and supported by people around them.

It was a great afternoon for Team Publica to share as we were jointly inspired and challenged by such awesome Kiwi Geniuses.  We’re excited about being true to ourselves as we push boundaries in our joint passions of design, branding and digital innovation and stretching ourselves to get the most out of our talents.

Thanks to The Chamber and their guest speakers for the inspiration!


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