- Current board member of Start Up Victoria, investor, founder and explorer.
- Founder and Director of Creative Studio Roshambo.co.
- Entrepreneur in Residence at Victoria University.
- Former Lonely Planet’s Executive Director and CTO.
- Led Lonely Planet through significant product, system and cultural transformation.
- Has developed strong innovation partnerships with companies like Nokia, Apple, Google X, Tennis Australia, and others.
- Speaks on a variety of topics relating to business transformation including:
- Change and change management.
- Customer centric organisations.
- Disrupted markets.
- Business transformation.
- Developing trust internally and with customers.
- Innovation and the art of action.
- Creativity and how to unlock it.
- Team building and how to build high performance.
- Creating cultures of innovation.
- Large IT infrastructure change, Waterfall and Agile challenges.
- Building resilience or adaptability.
- Futurism and trends.
- Built-from-scratch global tech teams.
- Startup acquisitions and early stage funding.
- Cultures of trust and accountability
- Cultures of trust, psychological safety, autonomy and action. What does it take to treat everyone like an adult and feel responsible for change.
- The fabric of team building and how to achieve high performance.
- The leadership traits needed to harness the collective power of individuals and help them collaborate and cooperate in uncertain circumstances.
- The importance of understanding self and how businesses start with each individual. If we can hack the way our brain works and how we respond and behave we can change the culture of a place. After all, it is the sum of our behaviours and decisions that forms the performance of a business or a team.
- Unlocking agility and adaptability
- The challenges of corporate momentum and how to break traditional, repetitive business processes in favour of agile and more entrepreneurial models.
- How to create structures and systems capable of supporting established AND emerging business models simultaneously.
- Transforming industries, businesses, departments, teams and individuals to become more adaptable and succeed in rapid changing markets.
- Customer focus and activating innovation
- The importance of focusing on the customer and not business problems and the dangers of falling in love with your product and service.
- The power of simplifying innovation to its core: moving from an unsolved problem to a solved problem. Practical tools to help turn the often vague concept of innovation into immediate action and how to involve everyone across the business or industry in the process. - We all have a role to play.
- How our brain has evolved primarily to hunter-gather and not for current speed of advancement. We are at odds with our own instincts. Gus will help you love change and become aware of your instinctual rejection to change.
- Future trends
- Discussing future trends with an emphasis on what we can do now rather than what we could do later.
- Spend less time guessing and more time doing something about the future. Talk is cheap, action difficult.
- Gus comes from the future which helps!!!
Gus is also high energy and completely engaged the audience. He really challenges the mindset of the audience through his story telling and examples.
Gus was fantastic, such a great speaker. He was the perfect presenter for the virtual presentation format.
Bathurst Regional Council
Gus Balbontin never disappoints! He is always engaging and thought provoking.
Ramsay Health Care
Gus was brilliant. His energy and enthusiasm shone through the screen as brightly as it did on stage at previous events we have booked him for. The content was perfect for our program and audience. We would book Gus again for future events.
Recruitment and Consulting Services Association
Your enthusiasm and humour was contagious and guests were quick to let their colleagues know what a great experience they had missed out on.
You certainly set the tone of the ADX Exhibition with an uplifting and entertaining presentation with fabulous business insights for all to take away.
We definitely could not have found a better speaker to open the exhibition. Again, thank you for your time, effort and sharing your wisdom. Your message resonated with us.
Australian Dental Industry Association
Gus was very well received and we appreciated he stayed to speak to School students the following day.
Campaspe Shire Council
Gus captured the audience within the first minutes. He connected with each person in his unique style, and educated and entertained us.
Thank you for everything Gus, the team have a different mindset and already have some of your quotes laminated on their desk. We have also named our new printer GUS, he has a name badge and it is a wonderful reminder of the Gus, his words and advice.
Gus was the highlight of our summit. Embedded within his humour and energy was a message that truly resonated with the team.
Gus was a fantastic presenter who engaged, enthused and enthralled the audience with humorous ease! He built rapport with the entire room in about 1 minute flat and had everyone engrossed in his messaging - which was on point, pertinent and totally aligned with our transitioning business. The feedback we have been receiving about Gus’s keynote reflects this wholeheartedly!
One of the best keynote speakers I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, Gus’s willingness to provide value-add opportunities (with an exclusive face to face meeting with our top sellers on the day as well as a live video call later in the year) only added to the value we received from his overall engagement with us.
Brilliant. Relevant. Funny. Informative. And now sought after! We would welcome Gus back at any time in the future and hope to do just that really soon!
Quality Garments Pty. Ltd.
Gus opened the Melbourne Executive Summit with high energy and overall thought provoking content. He was amazing and the topic speaker from the event!
Amazing presenter who fully engaged the whole audience.
Gus’s presentation was outstanding, salient, dynamic, thought provoking, and thoroughly entertaining. The energy and enthusiasm that Gus brought to the event was infectious and had all the delegates talking.
Gus was fantastic – his content and delivery of presentation was perfect. Our audience really loved him – the perfect way to open the conference.
Recruitment & Consulting Services Association
Gus provided a very engaging and thought provoking session to the Coles team which has left a lasting impression. He was able to articulate a great message on the importance of innovation that helped open the thinking of my team. He is very passionate about this topic and his expertise was evident. He also brought a lot of energy to the room which the team loved!!! We would have him back time and time again!!
Gus is a fantastic speaker, engaging and thought provoking. Our advisers loved hearing from him.
Gus was incredible. Rave reviews from all of the delegates. He is intelligent, energetic.
Gus, was great, excellent presentation and on brief. Was a very difficult audience to engage with.
Gus was excellent during his presentation and the feedback received by the staff in attendance has been overwhelmingly positive. Gus was able link his own personal experiences to the key messages we had advised were important for the day.
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
Gus was amazing with his energy and his message/content. He used content from the prior session from our CEO and incorporated it into his message; showing a consistent message. All attendees have been raving about Gus’ presentation, his message and his energy. Additionally all attendees thought they could listen to Gus again straight away given how great a presenter he was with an amazing story and message. Thank you.
Gus is such an engaging speaker and always well received. Love that he always does that bit extra to try and engage whether this be with the delegates directly or via social media.
Gus was a very good fit for our leadership programme and his topic resonated very strongly.
Engaged the audience, high energy, made people laugh. Appropriate content. Provoked thought and conversation.
Cobden & Hayson
Gus has an infections positive energy, he read the room, was able to build a rapport/trust quickly with our members which lead to a highly engaged audience - he nailed our conference theme, and really challenged people in their thought processes to be more adaptable and be able to keep ahead of the curve. One member commented "seeing Gus present alone was worth coming to the conference". I particularly think Gus is authentic, and this was important for our members. Gus went above and beyond, he also was open to media which was greatly appreciated by Hospitality NZ.
Hospitality New Zealand
Gus—where do I start! He has enough energy to power the whole of Australia. His infectious personality made for a fabulous end to our conference. Attendees had been out partying the night before and he was worried when he came off stage that the audience were flat, but they couldn't stop talking about him on social media. He was the perfect choice to end the event. He was generous with his time afterwards, giving us video quotes and also mingling and chatting with guests. He also texted me a few days later to say his inbox had blown up with positive feedback from attendees and thanked me again for the invitation to speak. I must admit, I was a little worried about the amount of expletives in his talk (not that the audience weren't up for it, but rather we had a few members of our senior leadership team there from the US and I wasn't sure they'd be so casual and accepting of it), but it wasn't an issue in the end. Gus was a blast and we were delighted to have him at Interactive.
Gus was amazing – by far the best speaker we have had over the five years we have been running the Gippsland Small Business Festival. Gus was engaging and relevant with a cracking sense of humour and was more than happy to take the time with attendees at our events. Thank you so much!
Gus challenged our thinking in an amazing manner by showing his own experienced (sic) with what’s happening in the industry at the moment. His content was extremely engaging and his personality is magnetic.
Gus was amazing – many people said he was the best presenter we have ever had!
Marshall White Real Estate
Gus is so compelling as a speaker. His message is quite simple but the effective way he delivers his message of adapting to change and disruption is such a strong takeaway for our delegates. Everyone has commented on how great his keynote was and we are always looking for an excuse to have him back!
National Vet Care
Gus was fantastic, his experiences in business / life were just the right fit for the audience. So many synergies for where we are taking our mass market division.
Gus is a truly inspirational speaker with great insight.
Housing Industry Association
Having worked across the professional event space for the past 6 years, I would have to say that Gus has been the most refreshing presenter I have come across. He presents in a way unlike no other, and in addition to clearly being very knowledgeable, he has a wonderful presence and draws in the crowd with his natural ability to entertain.
Australasian Promotional Products Association
Gus admits upfront that his forthright views and strong opinions surrounding his theme of managing business disruption will challenge his audience. It’s often said that ‘comfort is the enemy of progress’ and Gus makes you positively uncomfortable.
Engaging and thought provoking speaker dealing with the contemptuous subject being disruption.
Gus was great, quite different in his view which challenged our audience.
We knew that Gus would be able to inspire and energise Wyndham’s Senior Leadership Team. He surprised us by his ability to authentically challenge us and our sector to do more and learn more by doing.
Wyndham City Council
Gus delivered a terrific keynote presentation and delivered the perfect message on transformation with humour and high energy.
Gus knows how to shake things up and get everyone in the room thinking about life and work in a different way! His genuine and authentic passion is what makes Gus so memorable.
He was the conference highlight, delegates have not stopped raving about his session. He was engaging, challenging and set the tone for the day - everything you want out of a keynote.
Gus was very engaging, funny, but importantly delivered a message that all of us in business must take seriously.
Boutique Financial Planners Group
Gus was energizing, thought provoking and entertaining.
BAE Systems Australia
Very energetic, various age groups in the room could relate.
Data Action Pty. Ltd.
Vibrant, switched on, engaging, energetic, shared his experiences and ability to make his messaging relevant to the Financial Planning industry. Open in taking questions and encouraging audience participation.
AMP Financial Planners Association Ltd.
Gus delivered workshops for our business with such energy and enthusiasm that everyone walked away from them with positive feedback. His innovative ideas coupled with charismatic personality and engaging delivery meant our staff had the thought-provoking workshops I had requested. Gus was brilliant; I’d love to consider him for future talks at Prospa, and would also happily recommend him to other companies.
Prospa Advance Pty. Ltd.
Gus was brilliant; I’d love to consider him for future talks at Prospa, and would also happily recommend him to other companies.
Thought provoking, Energetic, Innovative, Inspirational, Engaging, Charismatic, Generous with his time engaging with clients.
Gus is an amazing presenter who brings a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and passion for all things change, leadership and common sense!
Quite simply OUTSTANDING! Rated as “best ever” by numerous delegates.
Leagues Club Australia Ltd.
One of the best speakers I have seen in my over 20 years of being in the business!
to A T Productions
Gus was brilliant!!! Really nailed our brief. His style is spot! He delivered a clear message in an entertaining and personable way.
On point, inspiring, energetic, approachable would highly recommend.
SG Fleet Group Limited
His overarching message was particularly relevant given the stage of business growth our business is currently in. Very accommodating and willing to go above and beyond on the night.
All our delegates loved Gus’ manner and felt that it was a really natural, unscripted presentation.
BT Financial Group
Gus was perfect for our conference. His topic of disruption was timely as our industry is on the brink of possible disruption. He was young, edgy, and engaged the entire audience – he did a second more casual session over Dinner and people were genuinely interested in everything he talked about – he could also consider stand up comedy! Question time after Dinner went for ages – we had to cut so people could get Dessert. Not only did our younger delegates rave about him but we also had comments from several of our older seasoned high level delegates and sponsors (who all see many presentations each year) that he was the best speaker they had seen in ages.
Gus was entertaining yet very definitely got the point across. Gus' presentation was very on message for the strategies we are encouraging our business owners and operators to embrace.
Fantastic speaker on a range of subjects and very personable and engaging. The audience loved him.
Crowne Plaza Adelaide
Gus Balbontin delivers a clear message about focusing on your customers’ needs, not your own. He is engaging, authentic and very ‘light on his feet’. We have had tremendous feedback from conference delegates.
Gus' message really set up the day's agenda for us. It delivered content consistent with what we were trying to achieve for the day. The idea that you have to be ahead, and not be complacent.
Gus delivers a dynamic presentation based on his own experiences. The presentation has a general approach which is suited to all walks of life.
Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia
Gus was down to earth, interactive and had some good new ideas / concepts that were presented in a new way. We appreciated his willingness to be fully engaged in the event, spending time with participants, offering assistance and generally being wonderful. We love presenters who are fully ‘there’ for us and Gus was definitely one of them.
Gus was fantastic! Highly engaging and lots of energy. We had many comments on the day about how interesting and engaging he was and also how his presentation was so aligned with our strategy and how much his messages resonated throughout the team. The examples and real life experiences he told really brought to life his key messages.
BT Financial Group
I spoke with Leanne from ICMI shortly after our event to advise her how pleased we were with your presentation. The feedback we had was overwhelmingly positive for your speaking spot. In fact, you were the most popular speaker from the entire event, with some delegates even saying they would hear you again next year! You really did a great job for us – thank you!
Head of Corporate Marketing & Communications
Indue 2015 Leadership Forum
Intelligent, Interesting, Inspirational. A great partner to our process that has help broaden our thinking and engage people in debating the opportunities contained in diverse opinions. We will definitely work with Gus again and use him to help sharpen our view of our own potential and refine the possibilities of the market place.
Gus was very accommodating and went out of his way to keep me updated with the flight delays from the Sydney weather. He made every effort to get there as soon as possible. His presentation was excellent and our key stakeholders and the delegates themselves thoroughly enjoyed it. The verbal feedback from delegates throughout the day following his presentation was nothing but fantastic. I’ll definitely be recommending to our team to use him for other events.
BT Financial Group
I must say and I think I speak for all who attended, that we really enjoyed having you with us at our customer forum. It was to be fair a bit of a "left field" decision given we are not in aligned industries, but it turned out to be a fantastic addition to the day because you hit on common themes and most importantly how to think outside of our normal patterns in terms of how we approach the issues that confront us and our customers. I personally was particularly taken with the "your not solving the right problem" theme that you hit on several times, I think that fairly well resonated with most of us. In terms of rising above our usual thinking and day to day approach and sense check that we are in fact working to solve the real issue (which means identifying it first) rather then trying to find new ways to solve traditional problems which may ultimately be stunting our ability to really evolve our businesses. Also, I would say that your style is very refreshing. Anecdote based (which is best for retention the NLP guys tell us!) is always the best way to listen and also you were very direct, whilst at the same time showing an immense humility and sharing stories that other more ego driven people might be uncomfortable with, specifically to your modest start in life (which I share by the way) and your travelling in South America too. So I saw a really good balance of the innovative with the modest, the style of delivery and the anecdotal themes and also you told a "story", your "story" which gave it all context. I can tell you that since then, I have been looking at my day to day work and thinking "am I solving the right problem" and with interesting results
Chief Commercial Officer - Asia
Your presentation was a high light at our conference. Your passion and enthusiasm was infectious as you addressed the challenges of recapturing our relevancy in society. You provided a number of reference points that my team returned back to on a number of occasions throughout the strategic planning as well as post conference in our leadership team meetings. The innovation chart that you provided has been a helpful tool in my team understanding that we need some 'crazies' as well as 'sensible' people in the innovation process. We are a conservative organisation and as such we attract conservative 'sensible' people but we do have a few 'crazies' amongst us. One thing your presentation has done for us is the 'sensible' people have captured the need to embrace and empower the ideas of the 'crazies' and understand that they need to give appropriate support to assist in the framing and implementation of new ideas. Thanks so much for giving of yourself at our conference. It was a flag in the ground moment that has reinforced my message to step outside of what we have already done and consider new ways that we can address the problems we are trying to solve.
Territory Public Relations Secretary
The Salvation Army
Your ideas were profound and your delivery mesmerising. You have reinvigorated my spirit of curiosity and desire to effect change. Thank you again.
Gus did brilliantly considering we were running behind on schedule and had some issues with the AV at the venue. His presentation was a little rushed, but I don't think it's because he wasn't prepared or a good presenter - he had a late time slot to contend with so did very well. Also, very appreciative of him spending the afternoon with our members to ensure he had the one on one time.
Entrepreneur's Organisation (EO)
Your presentation and then the workshop went brilliantly thank you. Your key messages were very relevant to an organisation in the midst of major transformation and they flowed freely from all delegates throughout the remainder of the conference. We received feedback from Managers and everyone that we spoke to found you engaging and inspirational. I am therefore confident that we will be seeking you out in the future to do more work together. We also undertake an official feedback survey after each Managers Conference so I will pass on the survey results when they are to hand. Again, thank you very much!
Queensland Country Credit Union
Your enthusiasm and no BS approach was refreshing in a world of beige.
Gus’ ability to ignite enthusiasm from the audience coupled with the ability to keep the topic real and authentic brought rave reviews from those who attended. Can’t wait for the next Gus Balbontin instalment.
Gus managed to energise and engage our attendee's right from the start. He discussed his business journey and the major challenges he faced with such as rapidly changing market place. The whole session aligned perfectly and we were surprised at how many of our suppliers asked for his details so they could use him within their own business networks.
General Manager Northern Region
Australian Liquor Marketers