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Dr Michelle
Dickinson MNZM

Nanotechnologist & Materials Engineer Breaking Stereotypes through Science

  • Exclusive
The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Dr Michelle Dickinson (MNZM) is a Nanotechnologist and Materials Engineer. She has spent the last two decades contributing to cutting-edge technologies, researching solutions for medical and technology applications for clients who range from small start-ups to large corporates.

Current Work:
Having set up and run New Zealand’s only nanomechanical testing laboratory that specialises in making and breaking tiny things (nano and micro), Michelle spends her time helping companies with board advisory around science and technology commercialisation including technical consulting for investors and VC’s looking for ROI advice for high-tech start-ups. Her experience spans academia, government labs and large-scale R&D departments. She says the key to success is not necessarily how great the technology is, but how well the science is communicated and how diverse the engineering team is.

Michelle’s success comes from her hard work and lots of lucky opportunities, allowing her to break the poverty cycle she grew up in through education. This experience led her to Co-Found Nanogirl Labs, a socially conscious business designed to create beautiful and engaging content to help everyone build confidence around STEM.

Nanogirl Labs is both an in-person and a digital platform that highlights positive, diverse role models with fun and engaging storylines and kinaesthetic based learning helping everyone to see that they can be a creator not just a consumer. Nanogirl Labs’s goal is to help people have a meaningful relationship with technology no matter their educational background or socioeconomic status. Their projects include the bestselling book The Kitchen Science Cookbook and TV show, a digital STEM platform and STEM education in schools in the pacific islands.

As a keynote speaker, Michelle loves to speak on the future of education and work, innovation & technology, change management, STEM and entrepreneurship.

Michelle became a household name during New Zealand's COVID-19 response, often called upon by the media and government to present the complex happenings in layman’s terms. During this time, she was praised for her work in the education sector to explain the disease and its implications to children - her videos and content became a highly sought after resource by parents and teachers.
Dr Michelle is now helping businesses who are concerned about their staff’s wellbeing, providing presentations to support people around the vaccine - breaking down misinformation, providing clear communication and myth busting!

Her warm and empathetic style allows her to present key information to any audience. Your team will leave Dr Michelle’s presentation equipped with clear answers to all their vaccine and COVID questions.

Michelle has been recognised for her many services to New Zealand for her work in STEM including; becoming a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours, awarded the Sir Peter Blake Leadership award in 2015, was the winner of the Women of Influence award for science and innovation in 2016, winner of the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communicators Award in 2014.

Talking Points

Re-Wiring For The Future

Technology is rapidly effecting the way that almost all industries do business. With these changes, many human centred functions are also changing, and in some cases being replaced by technology. How can we prepare for the future and what skills can we work on today to ensure that our knowledge is re-wired and ready for the jobs of the future?

How to be an Innovator

The stereotype of an innovator is often very different to the reality. Having written a book about innovators and their inventions (No 8 Recharged) and working for some of the most successful innovators in the world, Dr Michelle Dickinson has collected her top lessons for how to innovate in all industries. The key is that innovation isn’t about ideas - it’s about making ideas happen.

Public Speaking For Introverts

The world seems to be designed for extroverts yet some of the world’s best innovations have come from deep-thinking introverts. So how do naturally quiet people find their voice? Dr Michelle Dickinson has navigated this complex world as an introvert in the tech sector to an international public speaker and through tried and tested lessons learned from experience (and other introverts) about the best ways to have a voice while still staying true to yourself.

Curiosity - how we lost it and why it’s so important

Before going to school, a child asks up to 100 questions an hour, by the age of 11 this has dropped to almost zero. So what is curiosity anyway, and why is it so important? Dr Michelle Dickinson will take you on a curiosity driven hands-on journey to experience how great ideas happen through trying, failing and thinking differently.

Communicating for Impact: The Power of Curiosity

Staying across the latest research is increasingly key to effective decision making for business - whether driving innovation, finding new opportunities, or shaping practice. With over two million peer-reviewed scientific articles published each year across over 30,000 academic journals, sifting through the information can seem like an impossible task. Communicating science in a way that’s both impactful and engaging is a critical bridge between research and industry. Shifting conversations from closed research communities into the public arena is paramount if we want evidence based science to be used in practice. How do you communicate scientific research in a way that maximises engagement and impact? Dr Michelle Dickinson MNZM will discuss the importance of inspiring and fostering curiosity to cut through the noise and drive meaningful, lasting change.

Shaping technology to make the world work better

The pace of technological change is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and with each evolution comes new claims around innovation holding the key to a more promising future. With so much new information to digest, the challenge of staying across all the emerging trends while discerning which technologies will truly make a meaningful impact can seem overwhelming. In her presentation, Dr Michelle Dickinson will offer expert insights into navigating the complex landscape of technology and share her findings around the core principles of the innovation cycle.
Our team found Michelle’s presentation both interesting and informative, her fun and friendly delivery bought a great energy to the room and the presentation was very well received and relevant. There is no doubt that Michelle’s passion, vitality and engaging presentation style captured our audience and the post conference feedback has rated her presentation very highly. Plus4 Insurance Solutions

Michelle is an inspiration and has a way of taking complex concepts and communicating them in memorable and approachable ways. Michelle is an incredible person who will reframe your understand of the world and change the way that you think about what’s possible.


The best keynote speaker I personally have seen in 10 years. Michelle was engaging, funny, easy to listen to and an all round lovely person. The delegates have not stopped talking about how excellent her presentation was.


The feedback we received in regards to Dr Michelle Dickinson’s zoom session has all been positive. Overwhelmingly - people appreciated the simplicity of her messaging, her kind approach (and encouragement of kindness to others) and of course, her knowledge.


She was a fantastic speaker and was very well received by our audience - staff and residents alike. She communicated a somewhat complicated and information heavy subject in a clear, easy to understand and enjoyable way. I think everyone went away with a better understanding of the vaccines, how they work, the virus itself and also how to mitigate the risks as we move into the traffic light system.


Very easy to work with and was the perfect speaker to launch our learning festival with.

ANZ Bank

Michelle is a pleasure to work with. This is the second time she has been involved in an Auckland Conversations that I was working on and it was such a smooth process. She knew just exactly what we needed to tie the discussion back to local government elections and I think she was the perfect person to MC this event.

Auckland Council

Michelle was fantastic, she engaged the audience from the very start and using hands on experiments was amazing!

New Zealand Grain and Seed

We received very favourable feedback from delegates on how inspirational Dr Michelle Dickinson was. Here presentation was engaging and started our conference very well.

NZ Sterile Science Association

Michelle is one of the stand out favourites based on the attendee survey so far which is great.

Financial Services Federation

Michelle has such a warm and engaging style, our audience was captivated for the full hour and would have happily continued for another hour!


The content and delivery of Michelle's presentation was perfect for our event. She was engaged and raised the energy levels at the end of our team event.


Michelle was excellent. She was incredibly engaging and inspired our team to be curious, and to think outside the box.


Dr Michelle Dickinson was a superb keynote speaker at our Talent X event. Her content was adapted to our audience and event theme perfectly and Michelle was professional and slick on stage, even when the audio had issues at the start of her session!

Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association

Fabulous speaker. Connected with the audience in a really relatable way. Professional, friendly and all-round great person to deal with!

Matamata-Piako District Council

Michelle continues to deliver professional engaging presentations. Our delegates know her well as she was a speaker for us back in 2019. Great to have her back.

The Institute of Internal Auditors

Let's talk, enquire with Louise now

Louise Ryburn

Managing Director - Celebrity Speakers NZ

Let's talk, enquire with Louise now

Louise Ryburn

Managing Director - Celebrity Speakers NZ

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