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.

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.

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SUZY WATSON

CFO

15 years experience in finance, accounting, tax, strategy and operations management for listed and multinational companies, Universities and startups. 3 x startup CFO.

Experience includes 7 years in banking & financial services, 4 years in experiential education program design & leadership, and roles in mining in-house strategy, online retail and event services startups.
Masters of Accounting and Bachelor of Science.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

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PHILIPP LAUFENBERG

Director, Products & Technology

Philipp is a proven leader with 8 years of multinational business, consulting and product management experience and successfully led multiple education technology product development projects for our clients in Australia, Vietnam and USA. Philipp has a passion for understanding users, a deep understanding of the technology sector and a strong track record of translating market needs into real solutions.

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 a learning scientist with a particular passion for personalised learning enabled by artificial intelligence. She is an expert educator and instructional designer with 10+ years experience designing and delivering innovative experiential learning programs across four continents. 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 is currently a Doctoral Candidate at The University of Liverpool where she is researching the application of artificial intelligence to enable the personalisation of intervention, feedback and content throughout an experiential learning experience. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration, Fellowship in Social Enterprise, Certificate in Leadership and Bachelor of Exercise Science.

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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.

ADVISORY BOARD

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TONY WATSON

Professor Tony Watson is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at ECU, current WA Chair Australian Computer Society Foundation and Chair of the Computer Security Research Institute. Tony brings over 35 years experience in higher education and ICT research leadership as a former Deputy-Vice Chancellor International, Executive Dean, Computing, Health & Science, Chief Information Officer for Edith Cowan University. He helped build ECU from foundation to a global 50 under 50 University over 30 years, including 20 years in executive and management roles.

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CHRIS STYLES

Chris Styles is the Dean of the UNSW Business School. The Business School at UNSW Australia is Australia’s leading Business School on a number of dimensions, including undergraduate and post-graduate education, research, and engagement with business, government and third sector organisations.

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GERHARD VORSTER

Gerhard Vorster is the Managing Director of Quidni Advisory a boutique strategy firm advising Board and Executive teams, Patron of Good Design Australia and Chair of the RMIT College of Business Advisory Board. Previously Gerhard was the Chief Strategy Officer for Deloitte Australia and Asia-Pacific – a position he held for 5 years. Prior to that Gerhard was the Managing Partner (Consulting) for the South African, East Asian, Australian and Asia-Pacific practice regions.