Workshop Speakers


AGE LAB workshop

Helen James


Helen James from Lifemark will take you on the journey of a lifetime. 

This is a fun and interactive workshop that gives you a chance to personally experience the impact of ageing and therefore better understand the reasons why designs that incorporate freedom of movement and spatial features are simply better designs for an ageing and changing population. 

The Age Lab uses an Age Experience suit that was developed in Germany and presents compelling information on why an age friendly approach to housing and the built environment is essential for all communities that value health, independence and inclusion.


Be Curious - Be. Accessible workshop

Be Curious ?

1 in 4 New Zealanders currently live with an access need. At Be, this statistic isn't about deficit, lack, or limitation. Because for us, this statistic isn't about disability – it's about possibility. 

Be. Curious, our new possibility thought leadership platform, has a radical goal. We are seeking to position Aotearoa as a global leader – a visionary powerhouse – in access innovation. We envision a thriving nation whose leaders, thinkers, and makers are embracing the opportunities accessibility presents. NZ as an access tourism leader and societies built around universal design and innovative thinking are at the heart of what Be. does.

Be. Curious will urge you to take part in a bold new conversation – to open to new ideas, new perspectives, and new challenges – Come and explore the opportunities opened up through innovative thinking and designing spaces , places and experiences to the edge. 

Be ready for a provocative discussion and possibility in action our facilitators will be exemplars of possibility in action. 


Managing the media and gaining public support for change workshop

Mark Ames, Director

Strategic Cities

The success of any change in the urban realm hinges on how it is portrayed by the media. Whether you're introducing equality by design, lowering traffic speeds, or even building bike lanes Mark Ames from Sydney-based Strategic Cities will argue everyone in the business of change must be thinking about the media, and will share practical tips on overcoming resistance and generating community support.

Drawing on the experience of often controversial public space and urban design initiatives from around the world, Mark will discuss how to share your vision, make friends with the media and inspire the public to embrace your plans for more people-friendly places.


Mark Ames established Strategic Cities in 2015, and specialises in communication strategy and media management advice for cities, government agencies and peak bodies.

Mark started his urban career writing in London, where he was an influential figure in helping to secure the Mayor of London's ambitious and controversial 10-year cycling strategy and action plan.

He's gone on to work with clients such as the cities of Sydney, Adelaide and Vincent (WA) as well as Auckland Transport.

He recently delivered the keynote session at the Iberian Cities and Cycling Conference in Spain, and addressed the global Velo-City conference in the Netherlands last year.

He has previously written about cities and transport for WA Today, The Times, The Guardian, the London Evening Standard and the Royal Town Planning Institute magazine. Broadcast appearances include Sky News, ITV News, BBC London, Russia Today, Public Radio International's The World, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's As It Happens and the BBC's flagship current affairs programme Newsnight.

Mark believes an understanding of the media production process is today both a vital and underestimated skill for anyone involved in achieving change in cities.

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsor

Be Accessible logo, registered trademark. Yellow circle with a large bold word

Universal Design City Tour Sponsor

Satchel Sponsor