18 & 19 MARCH 2024

Monday 18 March: Conference speakers

Jonathan Pickup & Yasmin Handrich, Kantar


Jonathan Pickup

Jonathan began his insights career in 2001 and has worked for agencies in the UK, Australia and NZ. 

His enthusiasm about our test reflects a deep respect for traditional research coupled with a curiosity about how the industry might evolve. 


Yasmin Handrich

Yasmin is originally from Germany, grew up in Malaysia before settling in NZ in 2018.

She has worked in management consulting and market research for almost two decades and is extremely passionate about getting to the root of it while keeping a big picture mentality.

Petra Baker, Research First


Petra (Keahikekoa) Baker, a proud Kānaka Maoli wahine, brings a distinct Tāngata Moana | Pacific perspective to her role as Insights Manager at Research First. Grounded in the principles of indigenisation, her approach weaves indigenous wisdom into the research process, ensuring research is not only inclusive and accessible but also impactful in a way that honours and amplifies the voices and stories of participants.

Nik Samoylov, Conjointly

Nik is director of Conjointly, a research platform. He oversees methodology development and leads an international team of researchers who deliver pricing, product, and marketing research. Nik previously worked as a management consultant and graduated from ANU (Australian National University) with University Medal.

Debrah Harding, MRSUK

Debrah Harding is Managing Director of the Market Research Society (MRS), Chair of the Global Research Business Network and Vice-President of EFAMRO.

Debrah leads the MRS’ contribution to the Global Data Quality initiative and is an expert on research standards and ethics.


Chris Barry, The Evolved Group

Chris is CEO, HumanListening for The Evolved Group.  Passionate about using technology to create meaningful connections with consumers, he has over 20 years’ experience in insights and analytics, helping brands identify opportunities, optimise experiences, and deliver growth.

Emily Blumenthal, Yabble

A leader in CX, Insights and Data intelligence with over 20 years’ experience in the Research Industry. Emily started out her research career as a Cati interviewer at AC Nielsen in her late teens. She went on to build and lead award winning insights capabilities in top organisations including; Foodstuffs, Coca-Cola and Sky.  In 2023 Emily officially joined the AI revolution as Research Director for emerging global leader in AI for Insights, Yabble. In her role at Yabble Emily is at the forefront of transforming the research and insights industry, supporting the transition from a traditional set of research methods to, truly harnessing all the power that AI has to offer to take us all to the next level.

Dr Helena Bahrami, Wine-Searcher

Dr. Helena Bahrami, AI and Machine Learning Lead at Wine-Searcher excels in quantum-inspired, brain-like computing models for Spiking Neural Networks. Bridging academia and industry, she propels forefront AI research and development, with a focus on Machine Learning, Vision, and Generative AI.

Vince Galvin, Stats NZ

Vince is the Chief Methodologist at Stats NZ. Its part of his role to work with sibling agencies around the world with an eye to what can be incorporated into how Stats NZ does its work.

Jonathan Dodd, Ipsos

Jonathan Dodd has been a market researcher since the early 90s and still enjoys the variety of what the profession offers. He’s researched most sectors and client questions and so far still enjoys the ever-learning nature of our work and the fantastic people the industry attracts.Jonathan is a RANZ Fellow.

Brad Wallwork, Research First

As a veteran graphic designer and insatiably curious person, Brad is uniquely placed within Research First to facilitate the journey from data to insights through visual storytelling. Brad adds perspective and creativity to our insights, making them appealing and easy to absorb.

Winifred Henderson, Dementia New Zealand

Winifred Henderson, MA Dementia (Hons), is a brain health and dementia consultant and educator.

Winifred is passionate about raising awareness of brain health and dementia and reducing stigma, while supporting and empowering people with dementia, their carers, whanau and healthcare professionals. Winifred is a RANZ Fellow.

Kathryn Topp, Yabble

Kathryn Topp, an award-winning researcher with over 25 years of experience, founded Yabble, a Generative AI company transforming insight creation. Recognized globally as one of the top 250 global insights leaders by ESOMAR, Kathryn is a global speaker and thought leader in the field of generative AI for insights.

Kevin Miniter, Consider.it Consulting

Kevin has helped governments from Denver, Seattle, Boston, Hawaii, California, NASA, along with nonprofits and businesses engage their stakeholders online around the most contentious issues using consider.it. With hundreds of thousands of opinions shared, Kevin has shown he can create civil, deliberative and organized online insights with innovative opinion analytics.

Johan van Kuyk, Infotools

Johan is the Director of Product & Delivery at Infotools/Ipsos and has been part of software development initiatives for over 25 years. Starting with hands-on roles in the late 90’s Johan has taken this technical understanding to now building, leading and inspiring teams to delight customers with software innovation, capability, form and function.


Andrew Cannon, GRBN

Andrew has spent over 35 years working in and around the market research and insights sector holding positions on both the agency- and client-side, and for the last 10 years leading GRBN, the Global Research Business Network, the global trade federation for industry associations. Andrew is currently on a mission, through the Art and Science of Joy and EQJOY, to empower people to lead more joy-filled lives and for children to develop their emotional intelligence skills.


Perry Li, QuickDecision

Perry has 25 years of experience as a brand strategy and market research expert. He has successively served as the Head of Proctor & Gamble Greater China Baby Care, personal cleaning products, Taiwan and Hong Kong operations, and P & G’s global strategic planning market research. He was also Head of Research Innovation of P & G Greater China.

Perry joined QuickDecision in 2018 and is responsible for customer development and research, and Research Innovation.

List of speakers





Debrah Harding

Managing Director


AI and Research: Ethics v the Machine

Nik Samoylov

Founder at Conjointly


Questioning the validity and reliability of synthetic data in market research

Emily Blumenthal

Research Director


The Human Touch in an AI-Driven Insights World

Chris Barry


The Evolved Group

Travels of a Research Brief in the new AI Insights Economy

Dr. Helena Bahrami

Vince Galvin

AI & Machine Learning Lead Expert
Chief Methodologist


Stats NZ

Synergizing Souls and Silicon: Redefining Humanity in the AI Renaissance

Finding our way ahead with AI: Getting a little help from our friends

Jonathan Pickup &
Yasmin Handrich

Group Client Director
& Group Account Director


The Great Insights Showdown – Team Human vs. Team Machine

Brad Wallwork

Senior Creative

Research First

Creativity and Data Storytelling in the AI Age: Preserving the Human Touch

Jonathan Dodd

Research Director


Human or AI? - How to identify and protect surveys from AI-generated responses

Petra Baker

Insights Manager

Research First

Revisiting AI Analysis: A Decolonisation and Indigenisation Perspective

Winifred Henderson

Educator & Community Development Manager

Dementia NZ

Navigating the Future: Human Presence in the Evolving Insights Industry

Kevin Miniter



The Lorax in the Algorithm: Using AI to Simulate Environmental “Voices” to Better Inform Human Opinions

Andrew Cannon

Executive Director


The trust imperative in an AI world. Machines vs humans as trusted advisors!

Kathryn Topp

CEO & Founder


Synthetic Data: The Future of Data-Driven Decision Making

Johan van Kuyk

Director of Product


Where Are All the Humans? The nexus of AI and human-driven research

Perry Li

General Manager


Embrace AI, Find and Talk to Humans Everywhere

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