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Business Futurist and Innovation Expert


Craig Rispin is one of the world's leading futurists - he is an expert in emerging business, people and technology trends - and how companies can profit from them.

Craig's keynotes and strategic planning are powered by Artificial Intelligence research of over 1 million data resources - revealing the future of any industry or major topic.

He has over 35 years of experience working where the future has been created - with some of the most innovative organisations in the world.


An award-winning keynote speaker and CEO mentor, he shows his clients how to: Know First, Be First and Profit First. 


Chief Economist and Head of Market Strategy, Bank of Queensland (BOQ)


Peter is the Chief Economist and Head of Market Strategy at the Bank of Queensland (BOQ). He has worked at the Federal Treasury in Canberra, as well as in senior economics roles at the Bankers Trust and CBA. He has co-authored reports on the Australian and Chinese financial systems that gained significant domestic and international media attention.

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Managing Director, Red Door Research Ltd

Senior Consultant - Commodities Strategy, Macquarie Capital (Europe) Ltd


Jim has over 41 years of experience in researching the international metals and mining industries. 

He worked at Macquarie from 1994 to 2013, leaving to set up his own consulting company, Red Door Research Ltd. The consulting company specialises in the economic analysis of commodity markets. Jim remains a part-time consultant to Macquarie.

Until June 2013, he was Chairman of Commodities at Macquarie. Jim joined Macquarie in 1994 and worked full-time for the company for 19 years. He founded and headed up a 10-person research team in London, Singapore, and Shanghai which served the equity, LME trading and corporate advisory divisions of the bank with steel, coal, metals and minerals research and market intelligence. Jim and his team were regularly ranked number one in various surveys of commodities research among equity investors for over a decade.

Prior to Macquarie, Jim worked for 10 years at CRU International, where he headed up a team specialising in special steels (including stainless steel) and steelmaking alloys (mainly manganese, silicon, chrome, nickel, and molybdenum). While at CRU, Jim also undertook major studies on metallurgical coal and iron ore.

Jim's current major specialisations are the main base metals and steel industries and their raw materials including nickel, chrome, molybdenum, iron ore and coking coal.

Before joining CRU, Jim worked as a marketing analyst at New Zealand Steel. He has also worked as an Associate Director of Metals and Mining Research at Sheraton Lehman Hutton Securities.

Jim has a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has a strong interest in development economics.

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Managing Director, Watkins Steel

Executive Board Member, Queensland Manufacturing Institute


Des Watkins, Owner and Managing Director of Watkins Steel, has over 30 years of experience within the steel manufacturing industry. He is a strong advocate for the Australian steel industry and an active member of the Australian Steel Institute, AI Group and Chapter Chair of YPO Gold. Des is also a member and sits on the Board of the Queensland Manufacturing Institute.

Responsible for spearheading multiple initiatives over the years, Des has successfully adopted and implemented digital transformation practices at Watkins Steel to achieve operational excellence for his steel fabrication company. He has also led the development of the "Watkins Steel Four Step Process", an end-to-end digital workflow for steel fabrication and installation that enables Watkins Steel to successfully compete in local and international markets.

Passionate about innovation, Des established Holovision in 2018, a technology business that offers clients 3D laser scanning, survey and drone services to clients. His continued drive for innovation today has also led to the commissioning of an R&D Innovative Centre where students and researchers collaborate and apply advanced robotics and mixed reality technologies, to solve client problems within the construction and steel fabrication industry.

Des' innovative outlook has led Watkins Steel to win several awards, including the 2015 YPO Tommy Award for "out of the box" innovation, the 2016 AFR and PWC's Private Clients Aspire Awards in the category of Private Business Growth and Transformation ($10m-$50m), 2017 Lord Mayor's Business Award for Digital Adoption Strategy and 2018 Endeavour Awards for Most Innovative Manufacturing Company.



General Manager, Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA)


Lissel has been working for the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) for the past 12 years and was appointed General Manager in 2018. Lissel leads all operational matters of ASSDA, and develops and executes strategic initiatives to improve the performance of the industry and grow the Association's position.

With a Bachelor's Degree in Communications with Marketing and Public Relations majors, Lissel came from a corporate marketing and property development background before joining ASSDA. She is instrumental in the delivery of all ASSDA publications and events, including Australia's only dedicated stainless steel conference, PacRim Stainless. She has overseen the delivery of over 10 conferences and over 40 publications, including the Australian Stainless Reference Manual, Stock Guide, and Australian Stainless Magazine, and was responsible for the recent update of the world stainless Stainless Steel Specialist Course. She is passionate about developing the next generation of stainless industry leaders.

Lissel has extensive experience in association management, delivering value to ASSDA's Members and the wider stainless industry in growing the local market and promoting stainless steel as a material of choice around the world.

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Project Manager, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence


Harry is a Project Manager at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence in the Forecasting and Consultancy Division. He supports clients with market analysis and strategic decisions throughout the lithium-ion value chain, with a particular focus on nickel and cobalt. Harry has 8 years of experience in commodity markets in both consultancy and analytical roles.



Director, Market Development, Nickel Institute


Richard has worked in the nickel and stainless steel industries since 1987. His career began in Queensland Nickel with him later consulting on many of the new nickel projects of the era. Richard undertook the principal research into the establishment of the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) and has worked with the organisation for the past 30 years, mainly as Executive Director. During his tenure the market for stainless steel more than doubled in Australia.  
Richard has extensive knowledge of nickel and its applications and has helped establish and grow markets for nickel-containing products in diverse sectors, including concrete reinforcement, plumbing and civil engineering. 
Richard began with the Nickel Institute in 2007. Today he leads the global Market Development team of the Institute to promote the use of nickel in appropriate applications which includes leading the Institute’s Batteries project.

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International Sales Manager, Arcus Wire Group


Based in the Australian head office on the Gold Coast, Josh has over 10 years' experience in specifying and project managing the delivery of stainless steel tensile cable systems including grades 316, 316L, 304 and 2205 duplex.

Most recently Josh led the technical and commercial completion for the delivery of 2205 duplex cables for a hydropower project in the Middle East. The cables were manufactured and tested at Arcus Wire Group's facility in Australia and exported to Israel. This project won the 2022 ASSDA Fabricator Project of the Year Award under the Architecture, Building and Construction category.

Following the success of the award-winning project, Josh is now leading the Arcus Wire Group team in the specification and commercial delivery of several large 2205 duplex projects across the region.

In 2023 Arcus Group celebrates 59 years as one of Australia's leading stainless steel suppliers. Proudly Australian-owned and operated, Arcus Wire Group is a Silver Member and Accredited Fabricator of ASSDA, and a Foundation Member of the ASSDA Young Professionals Network.

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Senior Materials Engineer, Arup

Lauren is a Materials Engineer based in Melbourne, having transferred from Arup's London office in 2020. During her career at Arup, Lauren has worked on diverse projects, from inspections and failure investigations to large, complex infrastructure and building projects, offering advice on material specification, durability and sustainability to designers and engineers.

Over the last four years, she has started to focus on materials and sustainability, supporting clients to understand the embodied carbon and potential application of circular economy principles. Lauren was a Co-Chair of one of the working groups within the Materials and Embodied Carbon Alliance (MECLA), an alliance of organisations that was set up across the construction industry in Australia to drive a reduction in embodied carbon. 



Technical Director, International Molybdenum Association (IMOA)

Nicole Kinsman has been the Technical Director of the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA), a non-profit trade association based in London, UK, since 2002. Before that, she was the Market Development Manager for TMR, a stainless steel consulting firm based in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Dr Kinsman holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (1991) and a PhD in Metallurgy (1994) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and an MBA (2001) from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.

She has specialised in stainless steel technical market development for over 25 years,

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