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Sir Ray Avery to kick off innovation conference next month

Scientist, social entrepreneur and inventor Sir Ray Avery is an inspirational Kiwi if ever there was one – and you can catch him at a public lecture at Massey University’s Albany campus next month.

Scientist, social entrepreneur and inventor Sir Ray Avery is an inspirational Kiwi if ever there was one – and you can catch him at a public lecture at Massey University’s Albany campus next month.

Ray AveryHis lecture, Unlocking New Zealand's Knowledge Bank, doubles as the opening address of Massey University’s Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference on December 1.

The 2010 New Zealander of the Year will examine New Zealand’s education, governmental and private research and innovation landscapes and discuss “the root causes of New Zealand’s poor Global Innovation Index”.

The founder and chief executive of non-profit development agency Medicine Mondiale will discuss practical low-cost solutions for implementation of customer-centric product strategies. He created affordable intraocular lenses that are implanted into eyes of people blinded by cataracts to help them to see again, widely used in the developing world.

A two-day conference follows with about 80 academics and practitioners from New Zealand and around the world, organised by the New Zealand Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre.

Its director Professor Anne de Bruin says social innovation and entrepreneurship will play an increasingly important role in the future.

“When we launched the centre last year, Sir Ray Avery had just received his award and was bringing social entrepreneurship to the forefront of people’s minds. This public lecture will give people an opportunity to hear his story, the contribution he has made and his ideas for the future. To listen to someone who is a world leader in the field of social innovation will be an inspiring opening to our conference.”

Professor Eleanor Shaw, of Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, will deliver  a keynote address on entrepreneurial philanthropy and discuss motivations for involvement of entrepreneurs in social change and the impact they have. There will also be a panel discussion entitled Measuring Social Innovation and Impact: Issues, Problems and Solutions.

Sir Ray’s lecture will take place on the Albany campus from 6pm. Places are limited. Email Public-Lectures@massey.ac.nz to reserve a seat.

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