Events Best Series

The Business Excellence Series in the Tropics ('Best') is brought to you by the James Cook University College of Business, Law and Governance.

Upcoming event

Featuring guest speaker Holly Ransom

Thursday 8 June 2017
6:30am for 6:45am start to 8:30am
Ballroom, Rydges Southbank Townsville

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Harnessing change to drive results - new vision for leadership

Internationally acclaimed leadership expert, Holly Ransom, delivers cutting-edge solutions to the problems facing leaders in the rapidly-changing workplace.

Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in marketing to millennials, disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders to execute change.

  • Learn how to successfully lead the new intergenerational workforce
  • Discover the keys to positioning your organisation in an environment of accelerating change

Holly Ransom is the youngest person ever to be nominated in Australia’s '100 Most Influential Women'. She has worked with the likes of Microsoft, Europcar, KPMG and Virgin. Holly is listed by Richard Branson as one of his dream dinner guests.

In 2014 she chaired the G20 Youth Summit, attended by Barack Obama and other world leaders. Holly has featured on ABC’s ‘Q&A’, Channel 7 News & Channel 10’s ‘The Project’.

About Holly Ransom

Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in the development of high performing intergenerational workforces, leadership and social outcomes. Holly is renowned for generating innovative solutions to complex multi-stakeholder problems for corporations, governments and nonprofit organisations, and for coaching and professionally mentoring leaders of all generations around the world.

In 2014, the Australian Prime Minister appointed Holly to chair the G20 Youth Summit, resulting in the first summit to secure its policy demands from G20 leaders. Holly also co-author the strategy paper on youth entrepreneurship and unemployment for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal agenda.

Her corporate career has involved working as Chief of Staff to NAB Wealth Chief Executive Andrew Hagger and for Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh, leading key organisational strategy and business improvement initiatives and integrated corporate affairs projects. Holly’s company, Emergent, has worked with the likes of INPEX, CBH, Conoco Phillips, KPMG, as well as local, state and federal government departments around the world.

Holly holds a Law degree and BA (Economics). In 2012, she was the youngest person to be named in Australia’s ‘100 Most Influential Women’, and also became the world’s youngest-ever Rotary President. Holly is a Director of Layne Beachley’s Aim For the Stars Foundation and Global Voices, and is on the Advisory Board of Swimming Australia, Black Sheep Capital and RMIT’s Business School.

In 2016, Holly was appointed to Co-Chair of the United Nations Global Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs and became the youngest ever female Director of an AFL club with her appointment to the board of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

An accomplished global keynote speaker, Holly has presented across six continents, including delivering a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, presenting at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco and addressing the G20’s Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers. She is also a popular blogger, contributor to a number of leading publications and a regular radio and TV guest.


'Best' features a series of presentations by prominent community, industry and government leaders who share their knowledge and experience on a range of topical themes, issues, challenges and trends.

Best' engages a high calibre of speakers, recognized both nationally and internationally. 'Best' provides a unique opportunity for business networking and keeps you up to date with the latest developments at JCU.

Who attends 'Best'?

These events are always well attended by prominent regional business leaders, high ranking Defense personnel, regional political and public figures and interested members of the general public, business community and education sector.

Features and format

Each 'Best' event is held over breakfast and features a keynote presentation, followed by a panel discussion with the guest speaker and local industry leaders. 'Best' events are held twice a year in Townsville with events held around May/June and October/November each year.

Previous speakers


  • Mia Freedman - Co-founder of Mamamia Women's Network
  • Lieutenant General David Morrison AO - Australian of the Year 2016


  • The Hon. Tim Fischer AC - Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister
  • Ita Buttrose - Australian journalist, businesswoman, television personality and author


  • Kristina Keneally - former Australian politician
  • Phil Ruthven - founder and director of IBISWorld, an international corporation providing online business information, forecasting and strategic services


  • Jeff Kennett - former Australian politician who was the 43rd Premier of Victoria and a current media commentator
  • Tom Potter - founder of pizza chain Eagle Boys


  • Bob Ansett - founded the Budget Rent A Car System


For more information about 'Best' please contact the JCU Events team by emailing

*James Cook University reserves the right to alter venue locations without notice.