NEM Australia & New Zealand Leadership Summit 2018

defining milestone was achieved at the first NEM Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Leadership Summit in Brisbane where over 20 team members and partners gathered at the ‘NEMhouse’ to consolidate our vision, cement our values and clarify our roles and goals as an organisation.

More than the fun, food and friendships formed, many felt that we were creating history by forming a standard for the future of NEM and for some, a personal milestone. Just one year ago, NEM kicked off in Australia with a team of just 2 — Nelson and myself and today, we are 20-strong with full-time teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington. Together we have worked on building:

  • 30 ecosystem & community members
  • At least 7 projects building on NEM
  • 3 ongoing and upcoming ICOs,
  • 2 NEM Blockchain Hubs launched in Brisbane (Aus) and Westport (NZ) with much more in the pipeline.

We have travelled as far as Darwin to Dunedin, Canberra to Christchurch, Auckland to Australia’s first digital currency town- Agnes Water/1770 in our goal to help educate the community on the NEM Blockchain. We have made our presence known in at least 12 cities in ANZ and we are clear in our mission to position NEM as an easy to use blockchain solution that developers can build with speed, security and scalability in mind.

We are community focused and operate as an on-the-ground blockchain protocol with an approachable and responsive team that values transparency, integrity and progress over perfection. We practice leadership with a heart and believe that everyone has the opportunity to be abundant in their thinking and actions.

The best is yet to come and we look forward to working as a team in our growth phases — forming, storming, norming and onward to performing!

~Regards | Jason Lee , NEM Expansion Director for Australia & New Zealand

Leadership Summit Highlights ✨

Values 💡

A core part of the summit was in determining and defining the values that would carry NEM ANZ forward. Karen Cohen, General Manager for the Blockchain Centre (Australia’s largest blockchain community), brings with her two decades of HR experience as she helped facilitate our values session. It started with each person writing down their top 5 values and then gathering in groups to share the similarities and then each presenting their top value to the whole group.

As a team we decided on 6 values that we would live and work by, which are:

Leadership with a heart

We practice taking a proactive and positive approach as leaders. We make decisions taking into account everyone as an organisation and to do so with heart.

Progress before perfection

Although we are an outcome driven organisation, we encourage and reward effort over results. We support those who are empowered to have a go and give it a try and do things out of their comfort zone.


We act and operate with clear intentions with nothing to hide and nothing to fear. Our focus is on ensuring that everyone is on the same page and any uncertainty is always clarified.


If we commit to doing something, we do it. We work with integrity and we call out anything uncertain. We are accountable for our actions and take ownership of our work.


We are always filled with more to give and there will always be more than enough for everyone. We want to make the world a better place through the power of blockchain technology.

Fun & Friendship

We always have an element of fun in what we do and we make sure that we look out for each other because at the end of the day, friendships are what we value the most.

These 6 values will be the driving force in how we operate and work as an organisation and as an individual.

Masterclasses 📚

Another part of the summit were masterclasses that were championed by our Team Leaders. We had Amanda Au who shared a masterclass on Social Media and Jian Chan who shared on Ecosystem Partnership and Business Development. The masterclasses gave a general overview of how NEM ANZ currently operates in each area so that everyone has a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve, how we are doing it and learn how they can contribute. It was a great opportunity for people to ask questions and give feedback on each area.

Amanda & Jian presenting at the Masterclass

Strategy Sessions 💭

The strategy session was the heavyweight of the summit with 3 groups being formed:

  • Marketing & Communications
  • Business Development & Operations
  • NEM Blockchain Hub strategy

The groups were given time to work on their strategies for the next 6 months with everyone contributing ideas to create an aligned vision that everyone could work towards.

Each group then had the opportunity to present their strategies in front of the whole group so that everyone could learn from each other and give feedback. It was amazing to see the power of collaboration and teamwork when people come together to brainstorm ideas and have open discussions on strategy.

The groups presenting their strategies

Team Building ⚒

An important part of the leadership summit was spending quality time with each other and forming connections. We played a few ice breaker games to get conversations flowing and also help shape our team culture. The games included:

The Toilet Roll Game

As part of a ‘get to know each other’ icebreaker, everyone had to take the number of toilet sheets they would use when they go to the washroom. (random yet entertaining 😆) People did not know that the amount of sheets they took equated to the number of facts they had to give about themselves. The skimpy savers (3–5 sheets) and scrunchers (5 sheets or more) were identified and many random facts and embarrassing stories were shared. It was a great opportunity for people to share their story on a more personal level and learn how they got involved with NEM.

Create Your Coin Game

Everyone had a post-it note and they were given time to think, ‘if I were to develop a token or cryptocurrency, what would I name this coin and what would the logo look like?’ They would then draw their logo of the coin and share what it meant to them. This was a good time for everyone to think about their own personal goals and what they would do if they could start their own blockchain project. A common theme was social impact with lots of projects created to help others such as the Hope (Heaven on Planet Earth) coin, Karma Coin, Pay It Forward coin and Education Coin.

The NEM Logo Trivia Quiz

Everyone was put into a team and had 10 minutes to name as many NEM project logos as they could. There were 80 logos on an A4 sheet of paper with parts of the logo taken out to make it more challenging. At the end of the game, each person picked a project to share about, discussing what they do and their application on the NEM blockchain. It was a very informative and fun game with everyone learning something new about the NEM projects around the world. The winning team named 37 logos!

NEM Leadership Summit Reflection 💫

Honoured to hear from NEM ANZ Regional Head, Nelson Valero

We ended the NEM ANZ Leadership Summit with a reflection of how the summit went and any observations that we found throughout the time spent together. One thing was clear, everyone came back with an aligned view of the NEM ANZ vision and values and were excited in executing the strategies which were formed.

Most importantly though was the time spent together as a team and developing personal friendships with team members across the regions. We realised that everyone was super friendly, approachable and fun and that is important in creating team camaraderie.

Thank you to Nelson and Jason for bringing us all together and for your continuous support and guidance, you really exhibit all our values especially leadership with a heart! ❤

For more information about the NEM Foundation and its mission, you can follow us on Twitter, at Inside NEM, our Facebook page, NEM Australia Telegram or visit our website.

NEM Australia & New Zealand

A community space featuring activities and events by the Australian & New Zealand NEM team.


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NEM Australia & New Zealand

A community space featuring activities and events by the Australian & New Zealand NEM team.