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In the lead up to FILEX 2014, where he’ll be inspiring club owners and operators to think innovatively about ways to boost their bottom line, Club Network took some time out to pick the brains of ideas man Nils Vesk.

Where do you live and work?
I live in the Northern Beaches of Sydney and my work takes me as far afield as South East Asia.

What are your main qualifications?
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Diploma Yoga teaching, NLP practitioner.

What is your main role in business?

I’m an innovation consultant and workshop facilitator. I consult to companies who want to use innovation to accelerate their business growth through innovation.

How did you get into your line of work and how did you arrive at where you are today in your career?
I studied design at university and worked as a designer on everything from museums and theme parks to new towns. After nine years of designing I needed a change and, as I was always into fitness, I did a personal training course, a shiatsu and yoga teaching diploma and worked in the health and wellbeing world for a while.

I had a great mentor in Matt Church who asked me how I came up with all my ideas and asked me to mentor his business on that process for around six months. This seemed to work, so he proceeded to hook me up with four other company CEOs and I did the same for them. One of these contacts decided to take me on as a part time consultant on idea generation. That’s when I realised that the ‘design thinking’ that I was doing was really valuable and I started to roll it out as a commercial offering. From there the clients have just rolled in.

What skills are needed in your role?

The ability to ‘design think’; communication skills, including facilitating and public speaking; strategy; motivation; the ability to think on my feet and to execute ideas quickly; problem solving; and idea generation.

What are the best and worst aspects of your job?
The best aspects are being able to work with so many varied clients and industries and help them generate commercial ideas as we work together. The worst aspects are sometimes working on your own (even though I have a small support team that helps) and having to continually drive the business.

What has been your greatest career challenge to date?
I once had a book that I worked on for a year that was rejected by my publisher and never made it to the shelves – it took a lot to get over that disappointment.

And your greatest highlight?

I don’t think I can name just a single highlight, they all have their moments in my history – writing an internationally published book, speaking in some of the world’s most exotic locations, helping my clients create multi-million dollar ideas in my workshops and speaking to audiences of over 3,000 people – to name a few!

What’s your main focus now and what are your goals for the future?

My main focus is on running a 12-month Innovation Program that I’ve been developing for the last year and a half, and continuing to build a business that allows me to live an extraordinary life. Some goals for the future include writing another book, representing Australia at the World hang gliding championships in 2015, finding a partner and starting a family, and speaking more in Europe.

Who has inspired you in your career, and why?
I’ve had a lot of mentors (some paid, some as bosses) including Matt Church, for helping me unpack and commercialise my thinking process; Creel Price, for his entrepreneurial genius – he sold his company for over $100 million; Matt Gilmour, the founder of, for his entrepreneurial success and his philanthropic work; and Michael Henderson, the international author and anthropologist who showed me you can always add value, no matter what training you’ve had.

What are you most looking forward to about presenting at FILEX 2014?
Helping business owners create commercial money-making ideas.

What motto or words of wisdom sum up your business/life philosophy?
If you’ve got a good idea run with it, if you run hard enough the idea will take off.

And finally – who would be on your ultimate dinner party guest list, and why?
Jack Black, the actor and musician because he’d play some crazy music; Anne McKevitt, a billionaire businesswoman – I’ve had lunch with her before and love that she’s into yoga and meditation and down to earth; David Attenborough, who I’d get to narrate the party; Will Ferrell, in character as Ron Burgundy; Jamie Oliver, who could cook for everyone and talk at the same time; Kamahl, to entertain us; a bunch of my crazy hang gliding friends, and the Australian Women’s Hockey Team, because… well – because!

Experience Nils’ incredible innovation techniques and infectious energy at the FILEX 2014 Business Summit where he will be presenting:

For more information on Nils’ session and the Business Summit check out where you can also register for the convention or the all-inclusive Business Gold Pass package that includes access to the essential Business Summit and Business Breakfast events.

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