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Dr Michelle
Dickinson MNZM

Nanotechnologist & Materials Engineer Breaking Stereotypes through Science

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


Dr. Michelle Dickinson (MNZM) is a force of nature in the world of nanotechnology and materials engineering. Her career is a testament to her unwavering commitment to innovation, education, and empowering others.

For over two decades, Michelle has been at the forefront of technological breakthroughs, tackling challenges across various fields - from medical applications to cutting-edge solutions for startups and established corporations.

Driven by an insatiable curiosity and a lifelong love for science, Michelle established New Zealand's only nanomechanical testing laboratory. Here, she dives deep into the intricate world of the minuscule, helping companies translate groundbreaking ideas into tangible realities. Her expertise is highly sought after by investors and venture capitalists who rely on her insights to navigate the high-tech investment landscape. However, Michelle emphasises that true success in technology transcends the brilliance of the innovations themselves; it hinges on clear communication of science and fostering diversity within engineering teams.

Michelle's personal story is one of triumph. Having overcome challenging circumstances through the power of education, she co-founded Nanogirl Labs with a mission: to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) not just understandable, but truly engaging for everyone. Nanogirl Labs is more than an educational platform; it's a movement that ignites a passion for science. Through captivating content and interactive learning experiences, Michelle empowers individuals from all backgrounds to not only understand technology but also become creators in this exciting field. Initiatives like the bestselling "The Kitchen Science Cookbook" and STEM education programs in the Pacific Islands are testaments to her dedication to breaking down barriers and fostering scientific exploration.

Michelle's ability to translate complex concepts into clear and engaging narratives extends beyond the lab. As a captivating keynote speaker, she shares her insights on the future of education, work, and technology. Her presentations, brimming with real-world examples, make advancements in AI and robotics not only understandable but also thrilling. Michelle's talks are more than informative; they inspire and equip audiences with the tools needed to thrive in a world of constant technological evolution.

Her numerous accolades, including the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award, and the Women of Influence Award for Science and Innovation, speak volumes about her impact on science and society.

In a world where technology races forward at breakneck speed, Michelle's guidance becomes even more valuable. She champions curiosity as the driving force behind innovation, demonstrating that exploration fueled by wonder leads to the most meaningful technological advancements. Her story is a powerful narrative of relentless pursuit, transformative education, and the unwavering belief that everyone has the potential to be a creator in the ever-evolving world of technology. Dr. Michelle Dickinson's journey is a beacon of inspiration, illuminating the path towards a future brimming with possibility.

Talking Points

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.

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.

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.

Technology Trends

Delves into future technology trends, emphasising how these trends stem from the convergence of current business and societal shifts. Through her expertise as a nanotechnologist and engineer, Michelle explores how businesses can strategise to adapt to these emerging trends. She highlights the significance of customer-centricity in technology investment decisions and the role of curiosity in driving innovation within organisations.

Key Takeaways:

Convergence of Trends:
• Future technology trends are shaped by the intersection of current trends in both business and society.
• Businesses need to anticipate and plan for these trends to stay competitive in the future market.

Customer-Centric Technology Investment:
• With numerous technologies available, it's challenging to determine the best investments for optimal returns.
• Michelle illustrates through case studies that neglecting customer needs in technology decisions poses the greatest risk to businesses.
• Emphasises the importance of aligning technology investments with customer preferences and demands.

The Power of Curiosity:
• Curiosity is a fundamental driver of innovation.
• Children's innate curiosity fosters limitless ideas due to their absence of fear of failure.
• Despite this, curiosity tends to diminish with seniority in business.
• Academic research supports the importance of curiosity in fostering business innovation.
• Michelle offers tips to encourage and harness curiosity within the workplace environment.

Innovating the Future of Tomorrow

Michelle discusses the rapid advancements in technology and their impact on workplaces and daily lives. Emphasises the importance of staying ahead of the curve in a world of constant change. Drawing from real-world examples, Michelle demystifies innovation, highlighting that it can be both accessible and enjoyable. The talk aims to inspire and empower individuals, whether business leaders navigating industry shifts or individuals curious about the future, to thrive in the evolving landscape of technological innovation.
Key Takeaways:
Definition of Innovation:
• Innovation is crucial for business survival in a fast-paced world.
• It's often misunderstood due to its broad and unspecific nature.
• Innovation should be seen as a process rather than a vague concept.

Challenges of Innovation:
• Innovation is typically inefficient, slow, and expensive.
• Traditional success metrics may stifle innovation.
• Failure is inherent in the innovation process and should be embraced.

Keeping Up with Technology:
• Technologies like AI and robotics are constantly evolving and impacting industries.
• It's challenging to discern between clickbait headlines and genuinely impactful technologies.
• The speaker offers a simple guide to assess the relevance of new technologies for businesses.
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. Trustpower

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.


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.


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

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 was brilliant! She adapted her content to suit our audience and was a very dynamic and engaging speaker. She was the absolute highlight of our conference.

Pact Group

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

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.


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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