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Researcher (PhD), Engineer, Author & Curious Rebel

BEng, MSc, (PhD)

Rebellious Curiosity disrupts status quo, evoking radical change.

Yemi Penn is a global thought leader on how to ignite your Rebellious Curiosity at an individual, team and organisational level.

An Engineer by profession and entrepreneur by passion, Yemi fuses analytical thinking with creativity to produce superior outcomes. She advocates for challenging the status quo, being a disruptor in all industries to bring about innovative and sometimes radical change.

She is a champion and steadfast advocate for equality and equity in STEM fields, inviting individuals to tap into their self-empowerment using her bespoke ‘pain to power’ mapping technique which unlocks their unique resilience blueprint.

Yemi is a force to be reckoned with and has inspired audiences across Australia, the United Kingdom, Africa and the United States, where she has delivered a TED talk on the TEDx Ocala stage in Florida.
Yemi’s superpower is meeting people wherever they are.

Current Work:

Yemi is a sought-after global speaker and facilitator on Belonging, Liminal Thinking and Transformation. She was the opening keynote speaker for PwC’s recent signature experience, ‘The Outside’, which saw over 3,000 of their staff experience a transformational residential over 3 days in NSW’s Hunter Valley region across five weeks.

Yemi’s keynotes go beyond a typical presentation of inspiration; she moves her audience to action by inviting them to start with ‘self’. She has a unique ability to cut through surface-level conversation by asking high-quality questions. She has recently designed and facilitated round table discussions with BT, SalesForce, PayPal, Macquarie Bank and Commonwealth Bank on Gender Equity in cyber security, as well as discussed the emerging challenge businesses face in bringing teams back into the physical working space.

Yemi is a chameleon across industries. She recognises the common thread is people and connection; once this is established in its most authentic form, wellness, transformation, and productivity can be achieved in any organisation.

Deep dive sessions following her keynote presentations are one of her specialities where people get the deepest learning and change. Through these deep dives, Yemi holds space for the conversations to go where it needs to, inviting the attendees to ignite their rebellious curiosity by asking and answering high-quality questions.

Previous Clients:

Speaker: Yemi has spoken at ANSTO, Hammond Care, University Technology of Sydney, NAWIC, WSP, Hitachi ABB, Business Chicks, Reckitt and many more.

She also represented Australia at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, forming part of the Female Founders Mission group and spoke at the Women’s Economic Forum in London.

Media: Yemi has featured in a number of worldwide media outlets sharing her story and tips for people to change theirs. This includes The Age, Sky News,, Australia News, Women’s Agenda, Refinery29, MI Woman, Engineers Australia, ABC radio and more

Talking Points

Human Disruptor

We are born into an inherited narrative of what works and what doesn’t.

We learn to go through life without question until something goes wrong, but even then, at times, we still stay quiet for fear of retribution, eradicating creativity, and collaboration. We learn to accept things because they are simply the way they are and have always been. This leads to people feeling unfulfilled, frustrated, and uninspired. Impacting their well-being and how they show up in life and at work.

Yemi Penn will inspire attendees and move them to action by sharing tools and challenging attendees to start with themselves by being curious about their belief systems and challenging the status quo in the process.

Key takeaways:
- Remembering the curiosity of the inner child
- Understanding that rebelling without kindness is counterproductive
- Increased creativity and collaboration
- An understanding of how to challenge the status quo to move things forward
- A handful of tools and anchors to bring about desired results from being curious

Sustainable Peak Performance + Mindset Transformation

Liminal means threshold. To solve problems, we will need to shift our perspectives and change the mindset in which these problems were created. This will require deconstruction of existing systems, requiring a bit of unreasonableness and the alchemy of bending reality.

Yemi Penn will share her formula for bending reality, sharing how the boundaries that usually cage us can be used as props to bring about superior outcomes.

Key takeaways:
- Understand the key principles of Liminal thinking
- That thinking outside the box is redundant because there is no box
- That acknowledging the elephant in the room and Emotional Intelligence resolves conflict
- How you can as a leader create better relationships within organisations and teams
- A higher sense of compassion and understanding of those around you

Courage and Resilience

Our resilience blueprint is individual to us, meaning our specific distressing events is what creates resiliency in us, and the approach we take to get through it is what builds our blueprint.

Yemi Penn is a leading thought leader on Trauma in Australia, currently undertaking a PhD researching the transformative nature of trauma. She leads individuals and organisations through their pain points using her bespoke ‘pain to power’ mapping tool to empower people through their transformation. Paving the way for greater connection within teams and kinder organisations.

Key Takeaways:
- Shame is linked to trauma and is one of the most useless emotions
- Resilient Blueprint - ‘Pain to Power’ mapping so that individuals can understand how to move to their position of power
- An understanding that Event + Response = Outcome
- More resilient individuals and organisations

Who this is for: - All levels within an organisation, managers, and leaders, particularly people working under intense pressure.

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

We are living in disintegrated times, and so to do our part in creating a Just, Equal, Diverse, and Inclusive (JEDI) world, we will need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Through her research, Yemi shares how much the body keeps the score and builds unconscious bias in the most conscious of people.
Through keynotes and deep dives, Yemi holds the space for uncomfortable yet necessary conversations that are typically avoided because it is just too hard.

These necessary conversations allow organisations to move from feeling thwarted to thriving due to the sense of belonging created for all individuals.

Key Takeaways:
- The bio-diversity in permaculture principles that relate to a diverse workforce
- Deconstructing belief systems for individuals and organisations
- An understanding that the most flexible person influences the environment
- A sense of belonging for all

Who this is for: - Executives, Senior Leaders, Charity and Not-for-Profit organisations, Media organisation

Deep Dives

This offering works well they have no structure but are designed for Yemi to guide the conversation with deep listening following my keynote. We go deeper into the tools and concepts Yemi shares and create a safe space for the smaller group to participate. These deep dives are more intense than a keynote as it is emotional housekeeping and deeper integrated neurolinguistic programming.

Round Table Discussions

In these discussions with the Senior Leadership teams, Yemi designs and facilitates difficult conversations in the workplace on topics such as race, gender, consent and allyship. These sessions are designed for small groups to begin with with the potential to extend the discussion into a Keynote for wider audiences.

IWD 2024: Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment

In this Keynote Yemi addresses the IWD 2024 theme by focusing on pragmatic strategies and rebelliously curious ways to bridge the gender gap in economic spheres, inviting the collective to take actionable steps to make radical changes.

To count ‘her’ in, we will need everyone (all genders) to lean into the dialogue, operating outside of echo chambers, ensuring those we invite to the table are decision-makers and change agents for gender equality. Yemi will empower the audience to understand their role in the policies that shape paradigms and influence economic empowerment.
Through humour, research, lived experience and a bit of cheeky rebellion Yemi will meet all audiences wherever they are in the journey of championing gender equality, connecting the audience steadily yet deeply to the ‘why’, why we are where we are and why we need to continue to ‘be’ and ‘do’ the work.

Key Takeaways
- Understand why rebellious curiosity and liminal thinking is one way to clear the current pathway for greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere.
- Changing the narrative: although history has rarely been her-story, it leaves clues. Yemi will share the power of female narratives over the past decades. Using her research to glean wisdom from these case studies, Yemi will help the audience build a new narrative blueprint that empowers women and girls economically.
- Power and Privilege: We have got to name it, not to shame but to ‘call in’ those who underestimate the influence they have in changing the trajectory of gender equality for the better. Using liminal thinking, Yemi guides the audience, especially allies, to reframe how they see and use their power and privilege.
- Policy and Cultural Shifts: Yemi will outline the necessary internal shifts required to take place before influencing policy changes and cultural shifts, emphasising the role of corporations and communities in fostering an inclusive economic environment.
Yemi facilitated an extremely complex and challenging symposium over 2 days of multiple sessions with several stakeholders to help us achieve concrete outcomes and action plans that we wanted. It was an immense task and Yemi was beyond excellent in keeping people engaged, active and in good humour to work collaboratively and effectively. University of Technology Sydney

Yemi is an engaging and authentic presenter. Her energy and connectedness invites her audience to journey with her through her presentation. Highly recommended!


Yemi was a fabulous opening keynote. She is inspiring.

Department of Education Northern Territory Government
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