Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

Dr Etienne Van Der Walt (South Africa)

MC 5: Using neuroscience to build resilience for high-end innovation

1 April 2019, 2:15pm – 4:45pm
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Plenary 5 – Intelligence 2.0 – An augmented future

3 April 2019, 11:00 AM

Co-founder and CEO of Neurozone

Etienne is an accomplished neurologist with a special interest in cognitive neuroscience, and authority in early childhood brain development. Etienne’s 14-year career as a clinical neurologist means he has a deep understanding of the anatomy, biology, and physiology of the brain and the human nervous system. In more recent years, his professional and personal fascination with the remarkable discoveries coming from the various brain sciences has led him to believe in the vast potential of this new knowledge to enhance human capacity. The realisation of this vision is the founding of Cape Town based Neurozone ®, a neuroscience business dedicated to the application of brain science to enhance human capacity.

At the heart of the business of Neurozone ® is a proprietary working model of brain performance. Conceived and developed by Etienne, this model builds on the anatomy, biology, and physiology of brain performance to identify key drivers that can be individually and collectively enhanced for resilience and high performance for thriving in life. The model draws on research from neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry etc. and its impact in large organisations has been validated and is currently being used in various industries to enhance human capacity by focusing on the brain/body system. As a result, Etienne has developed a keen understanding of the neurobiological substrates, principles and insights that underpin organisational behaviour and performance.

Etienne is the founder of AmazingBrainz™, an organisation dedicated to the design of programs for the brain stimulation of young, developing children – especially in disadvantaged communities. Etienne worked as a neurologist in South Africa, the UK, and the Netherlands and currently spearheads the development of the Centre for Brain Performance Sciences in Cape Town in collaboration with the Stellenbosch University. As an avid keynote speaker, Etienne engages with diverse audiences of leaders, professionals, educators, and parents on the amazing human brain and its applications as foundational knowledge in a variety of fields where resilience and optimising human capacity takes center stage.

In addition to his Medical and Clinical Neurology degrees, Etienne also holds BSc degrees in Chemistry, Mathematical Statistics as well as Integrated Physiology and Virology.

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"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

“Remarkable, mind blowing, brilliantly choreographed – easily the best conference ever and I’ve been to plenty. Truly wonderful and amazing.”

Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

“Thank you for a challenging and rewarding couple of days. The quality of the team you had at the conference was extraordinary! These events will change people and thereby the world.”

Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne