Zach Johnson


Entrepreneur in Residence, Maroochydore

An exploration of human interfaces to artificial intelligence

"Her" is here. Nearly. Many of the technological innovations in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning such as those depicted in popular culture are years, not decades away. Organisations across the globe are dedicating considerable resources to solve problems related to automation and assistive technologies using AI and ML. 

While some are focusing on efficiencies others are looking at improvements to the human condition and, paradoxically, using more technology to improve the human experience. Join Zach and a special small humanoid celebrity at the conference dinner for a tour of technologies that are available today and a glimpse into the near future when humanity and artificially intelligent machines coexist and what that means to communities of the future.

Zach Johnson has over 20 years’ experience in startups and digital innovation in many of the world's tech hot spots including Boston, New York, Hamburg, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Sydney.  

After serving in the US Army as a special ops soldier, Zach started his professional career as a policy analyst working in housing and community development. Since joining an internet consultancy at the start of the first ‘dot com boom’ Zach has been involved in launching several startups and delivering technology solutions to some of the world's largest organisations.  Notable projects include: developing the first online banking portal for Citibank Japan in 1998; delivering an intranet for all 300,000 employees of the newly merged DaimlerChrysler in 2003 and creating the online learning platform for the UK Ministry of Defence in 2005. 

Zach is co-founder and managing partner of SPARK BUREAU, a startup incubator focused on smart cities and emerging technologies, cofounder of Xandra, a conversation design agency and the Entrepreneur in Residence at Maroochydore, Australia's only greenfield smart city development.