FOUNDERS

WES SONNENREICH

Co-CEO

Wes has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, having founded technology-intensive companies in the industries of education, cybersecurity, pharmaceuticals and mining, in both the US and Australia. He previously served as the General Manager of R&D for Sirius Minerals and the National Director of Innovation for Deloitte Australia. 

Wes is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with degrees in Computer Science and Jazz Composition, and Harvard Business School’s executive MBA program. He is a widely published author and speaker on the topics of education, innovation and cybersecurity.

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BEAU LEESE

Co-CEO

Beau is an innovation leader with a track record of positive impact and delivery across large business, startups, R&D and higher education.  Prior to joining Intersective full time, Beau was Head of Strategy, Innovation & International for the CSIRO – Australia’s national R&D Agency. As part of that role he developed CSIRO’s Strategy 2020, led significant organisational reform, and co-founded CSIRO’s accelerator / entrepreneurship program – CSIRO ON. Beau was formerly a Director with Deloitte Consulting, has co-founded two online startups and worked in commercialisation for an Australian University.

Beau was an AFR Boss Young Executive of the Year in 2013, holds a Certificate in Executive Leadership, Masters in Marketing, Bachelor of Laws and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

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SUZY WATSON

CFO

Suzy has 10 years of strategy, operations and accounting experience with a range of companies, from start-ups to multinationals in banking, financial services, education, mining and retail. Her experience includes several years as a senior corporate tax advisor with Bankwest.

Suzy holds a Masters in Accounting from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Western Australia.

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PHILIPP LAUFENBERG

Director, Products & Technology

Philipp is a proven leader with multinational business, consulting and product management experience and successfully led multiple education technology product development projects for our clients.

As experienced innovation coach, innovation program facilitator and experiential learning lecturer, he is on the forefront of building global innovation capabilities.

Philipp is a co-founder of three online businesses, holds two business master degrees (CEMS), received numerous awards for his achievements and is the first and only German to date who finished a 3-year full-time IT degree during high school.

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NIKKI JAMES

Director, Learning & Experience

Nikki is an experienced instructional designer and social entrepreneur. Throughout her career Nikki has pioneered an education focused charity in China, partnered with a community centre in Tanzania to develop a social enterprise training program and collaborated with artists and humanitarians from all around the world to make amazing ideas a reality.

Nikki holds a Masters of Business Administration, Fellowship in Social Enterprise, Certificate in Leadership, Bachelor of Exercise Science and am currently an Adjunct Professor at four Australian universities.

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HAYLEY BOLDING

Manager, Experience Delivery

With a diverse career in education, international development and entrepreneurship Hayley is passionate about quality education. Hayley founded educational accelerator Atma.org.in in India in 2005 and has lived and worked scaling educational programs across South Asia for 10 years. With a focus on promoting collaboration and working in cross cultural contexts Hayley has expertise as program leader, consultant and facilitator for the aii.unimelb.edu and fya.org.au

Hayley was awarded Young Australian of the Year (Victoria) in 2013 for her work in India.  She is a Board member of the Victorian Australia Day Committee, Australia India Youth Dialogue and a fellow of  the Asialink Leaders Program.

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RACHEL WALTERS

Senior Manager, Business Development

Rachel brings 13 years experience in education, China engagement, innovation and consulting. Rachel was a co-founder of the China Australia Millenial Project, Manager of education programs for a peak industry association and Business Development Manager for UTS:INSEARCH. She has also worked in business development and consulting roles in technology, investment and management consulting. Rachel holds an MBA from Tsinghua University, Master of International Studies from UTS, a BA from UNSW and is a graduate of the Asialink Business Leaders Program.

ADVISORY BOARD

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TONY WATSON

Professor Watson is Chair of our Advisory Board and brings to the role over 30 years experience in higher education, ICT, University leadership and innovation. He was instrumental in building Edith Cowan University from inception to a position as a global top 50 University under 50.

Until 2013, Professor Watson was Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International, and Exec Dean, Computing, Health and Science. He was also formerly WA Chair of the Australian Computer Society, and Chair of the WA Govt ICT Council.

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CHRIS STYLES

Professor Chris Styles is Deputy Dean at the Australian School of Business and Director of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). Prior to his appointment at UNSW in 2011, Chris was the Associate Dean (Management Education) at the University of Sydney Business School.

Professor Styles is an expertise is in strategic and international marketing, international entrepreneurship and corporate strategy. He has carried out consulting and executive teaching assignments in Australia, South-East Asia, USA, China, India, the Middle East, South Africa and Europe.Chris’ research focuses on international marketing and strategy, and in particular issues relating to the internationalisation process, international alliances and international entrepreneurship.

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GERHARD VORSTER

Gerhard Vorster is Chief Strategy Officer at Deloitte Australia and Asia-Pacific region – a position he has held since 2010. In this role, Gerhard draws upon his strategic planning, strategy execution and innovation skills and knowledge. A Member of the firm’s National Executive Committee, Gerhard also leads the Deloitte innovation program in Australia – both internally and as a service offering.

With Deloitte for over 27 years, Gerhard has been in senior leadership roles for over 25 years. With extensive international experience, Gerhard has worked for Deloitte as a Managing Partner (Consulting) in the South African, East Asian, Australian and Asia-Pacific practice regions. He also has broad sector experience in the areas of: banking and securities; industrial products and services; automotive; service delivery and innovation; mining; water; oil and gas; telecommunications; and, media.

ABOUT INTERSECTIVE

Connecting the worlds of work and learning through technology

Intersective helps educators deliver practical, collaborative learning that is impactful and rewarding for students, mentors and employers.

We build solutions that enable some of the best employability and professional skills development programs at universities and companies across Australia. These differentiated experiences increase employment opportunities and employer engagement.

Our Practera Project Learning software sits behind nationwide collaborations between tertiary educators and employers, such as NSW Global Scope, The EY Asian Century Growth Initiative and the NEXT Innovation Challenge with CSIRO, Westpac and Deloitte.

The Practera API and Analytics Service enables developers to build mobile apps and mobile-first tools that can extend and integrate with major Learning Management Systems.