Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Business stars join Pure Advantage

Victoria Ransom, co-founder of Wildfire, is joining green business group Pure Advantage. Photo / Supplied
Victoria Ransom, co-founder of Wildfire, is joining green business group Pure Advantage. Photo / Supplied

Two of New Zealand's brightest business stars have joined high-powered green business group Pure Advantage.

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Victoria Ransom and Sysdoc Group founder Katherine Corich have signed on as trustees for the think-tank alongside such other business identities as Phillip Mills, Sir Stephen Tindall, Jeremy Moon and Chris Liddell.

Pure Advantage was launched in 2011 to help build a New Zealand "green economy", estimated to be globally worth US$3 trillion ($4.4 trillion) by 2050, by promoting sustainability and more environmentally friendly business practices.

Group chairman, Rob Morrison, said its two latest recruits brought another "important intellectual perspective" to its work.

Ms Ransom rose to prominence when, in 2008, she and partner Alain Chuard launched Wildfire Interactive, a groundbreaking social media marketing platform.

Within a year, they'd taken Wildfire into profit, eventually signing 31 of the world's top 50 brands as clients.

When Google acquired the company for US$450 million in 2012, she became Google's director of product before leaving the giant last year to pursue new interests.

A Harvard MBA graduate, she has been recognised by President Obama for her contribution to entrepreneurship, and was included among Fortune magazine's "Most Powerful Women" entrepreneurs.

She was also named among the World Economic Forum's 2015 intake of Young Global Leaders: individuals aged under 40 "who represent the next generation of leadership".

Ms Ransom believed Pure Advantage's efforts to promote green business was "essential" to New Zealand's long-term success.

"To retain its unique position in the world, New Zealand must pursue growth strategies that are in harmony with our incredible natural environment."

Ms Corich is best known for founding the New Zealand-based international business consultancy Sysdoc Group, which now has offices in four countries and a client list that includes the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, National Australia Bank and the Vodafone Group.

An Associate Fellow of the University of Oxford-Said Business School, with an MA in Linguistics, she was recently inducted into the NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame and was named the 2015 UK New Zealander of the Year.

"Our beautiful country has so many natural advantages and it's vital that we protect, enhance and use them sustainably for the greater good," she said, of joining the group.

The enlisting of the pair comes soon after Pure Advantage released its latest major report "Our Forest Future", which called for the planting of 1.3 million hectares of new permanent forest and a national forest strategy.

- NZ Herald

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