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Frances Valintine (CNZM)

Frances Valintine CNZM is a passionate educator and technologist who is focused on challenging the traditional education structure and its ability to fully prepare the generations of tomorrow for the changing world.

Frances Valintine CNZM is a passionate educator and technologist who is focused on developing education opportunities that connect professionals to the knowledge they need to be successful in today’s rapidly advancing world. For 25 years she has been dedicated to shifting education and business practice to develop the capabilities, knowledge and mindset needed to respond to the future of work, changing societal expectations and the protection of the planet. 

In her day to day role, she is the Founder of academyEX, a post-graduate institute focused on professional development and knowledge in the fields of technological advancement, education, sustainability and leadership.

In 2013 she founded The Mind Lab, a unique offering designed to empower students and educators to develop applied digital knowledge and capability.  Over the past ten years The Mind Lab has enabled an entire generation of teachers and educators to upskill and develop their confidence in emerging digital technologies, and to rethink the model of learning and education and support school-aged children to foster these critical skills. The immediate impact The Mind Lab has earned the organisation the title of Best Start-Up in Asia Pacific as judged by Steve Wozniak and Sir Richard Branson in 2014.

A Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her lifetime contribution to education and technology (2018), Frances has received numerous awards recognising her passion and commitment to supporting the young and more mature to seek opportunities and reach their potential.  In 2022, Frances was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs and in 2020 Frances received the lifetime award for her Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business at the CIO Awards. Her past accolades also include:

2017:  Frances received the NZ Flying Kiwi Award, and she was inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame and named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year at the NZer of the Year awards.

2016: named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International; awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award.

2015: awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education)

Driven by a strong sense of purpose to support positive growth for Aotearoa, Frances sits on the board of Watercare and is a selection adviser to EHF (Edmund Hillary Foundation), a judge on the Hi Tech Awards, and the National Expert for the global World Summit Awards. Frances is also a mentor to a number of global female technology leaders, and a Director to On Being Bold, an initiative to support and encourage emerging female leaders and female students to aim high and dream big.  Frances is also on the Board of Trustees for the University of Silicon Valley.


Frances is the author of Future You, a book dedicated to shifting perceptions about learning as an adult and promoting the need to stay connected, relevant and informed throughout our life. Frances holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne.

To enquire about a presentation or speaking engagement, please contact Melissa Fincham.