Brenda Leeuwenberg

Brenda Leeuwenberg

Brenda is the ultimate multi-purpose team player at Nomad8. She brings extensive skills and experience with coaching, training, strategy development, problem solving and making-shit-happen to any new challenge. A digital strategist with a media and agency background, Brenda has taken time out to be Head of Digital and Innovation at NZ On Air, she then created the National Strategy for Financial Capability for the Retirement Commission, and Digital Strategy for Māori Television. She keeps the Nomad8 machine humming as well.

Contact Brenda

Where it all began

After getting her PhD in Biochemistry Brenda dropped her promising science career like a hot potato when the internet made its public appearance in the late 90s. Excited by the potential of the internet she was one of NZ’s early digital pioneers, advocating for opportunities for women in technology and establishing networks throughout the creative sector as the industry carved out space for business and the NZ internet scene was created.

She set up her own web agency Spunk, in 1999 and promptly sold it to a more corporate entity who couldn’t cope with the name. This acquisition gave Brenda experience of and insight into the corporate IT world and she realised it wasn’t for her.

Moving to Amsterdam in 2002 she helped grow fledgling internet agency Media Catalyst to become one of the best in the Netherlands, and managed their key accounts including Sony Ericsson global, Speedo and Dunlop as well as led the client services team.

Back in NZ in 2007 she started Nomad8 together with Sandy Mamoli. With Nomad8 Brenda has coached many teams and worked alongside leaders to inject Agile ways of thinking and working into their business. She has also taken time out to follow her passion for the creative sector - as Project Director she set up and led the development of NZ On Screen, and then became the Head of Digital and Innovation at NZ On Air.

Most recently she worked with Te Ara Ahunga Ora - the Retirement Commission to create the National Strategy for Financial Capability which was launched at Parliament in 2021.

What she does

Brenda brings her particular flair for the creative sector and enthusiasm for Agile together. She works with creative agencies to introduce and tailor Agile ways of working to the peculiarities of agency world. She has been both client and vendor in this context and that experience is hugely valuable.

Brenda has extensive leadership experience at agency, government and business levels. She enjoys working with leaders and managers - helping to strip away the mental clutter that stifles innovation and efficiency, and bringing clarity to their work.

Brenda is especially good if there is a big complex challenge that requires untangling and creating stakeholder networks, bringing people on a project journey, and finding the nuggets needed to succeed.

She also is an excellent trainer and Agile coach.

Articles by Brenda

The decline of the A word

Oct 03, 2023

“Agile is Dead” seems to be the phrase of the day. Not really what you want to be hearing when Agile consulting is your bread and butter and you are fairly passionate about everything it encompasses - and know that fundamentally this sentiment is not founded on any logical reality. So I set out to e... continue reading

#JAFAC2023 was wonderful!

Mar 09, 2023

One of the highlights of the Nomad8 calendar is always #JAFAC. Where we create and curate the conference we want to attend, and then relish the opportunity to share it with the Agile community. So it was especially exciting to be able to run the conference again after a 3 year break. It felt differe... continue reading

Leading Responsible Adults

May 21, 2022

Back in the pre-COVID days, when we never imagined the future we now live in, I started to look into workplace culture and how it flowed through an organisation. While much has been written about this from many wiser heads than mine, my perspective was a bit unusual. It was when I sat in the toilet... continue reading

The "new" new ways of working are not normal

Apr 13, 2020

We’re over the halfway mark of our initial lockdown period and there’s been a dramatic series of pivots going on as people and organisations re-evaluate what’s important, what their business needs to survive, and how to keep people busy and productive. The irony of there really being ‘new ways of w... continue reading

Check yourself listening

Dec 01, 2019

I’ve been meeting new people lately, work-related. And one of my pet peeves has resurfaced with a vengeance… people who don’t listen. Not just not listening, but basically just waiting for their opportunity to jump into the conversation and talk about their angle on whatever I just raised, as if the... continue reading

The lowdown on JAFAC 2019

Oct 08, 2019

What is JAFAC? Born out of a desire to attend a conference full of speakers we really would like to hear from, the Nomad8 team decided to create the event we craved. JAFAC is a relatively small but carefully crafted conference that brings together ten speakers, 120 people, and creates plenty of (Ope... continue reading

The Agile Bandwagon

Dec 12, 2018

Although it’s been around for a really long time, Agile is still the newcomer on the scene for some organisations. But like the snowball rolling down the hill – it’s been growing larger and gathering momentum for some time – (and picking up all kinds of shit along the way) attracting more attention... continue reading

Just Another F&#king Agile Conference - #JAFAC2018

Jul 03, 2018

It’s the little conference that could, and has. A few years ago the people of Nomad8 decided to create the agile conference that we’d want to go to, as there really wasn’t another option that met our needs. We wanted a conference with diverse speakers, who would spark our imaginations, talk about in... continue reading

Just Another F’ing Agile Conference

Mar 16, 2017

It’s a funny thing, the Agile world. Globally accepted as the right and logical way to do things most of the time, it is still pretty much in the ramping up phase in Aotearoa. Nomad8 started out in 2007 as a group of people who loved Agile and who wanted to share that love with people and organisati... continue reading

Happy New Year from Nomad8

Dec 16, 2015

Thank you for being part of our extended whanau, friends and partners this past year! We’ve had a hugely busy and exciting year and we thought we’d jump on the newsletter bandwagon and tell you about a few of the things we’ve been doing. Nomads Emigrate, Immigrate and MigrateIn February we moved our... continue reading

Making Agile work for the client

May 22, 2013

Working Agile in the client-vendor context is not always an experience filled with joy and achievement. It can be daunting, frustrating, expensive and unrewarding - as much as it can be productive, useful, involving and successful. Working with Agile with internal teams can be challenging enough, bu... continue reading

Taking Personal Kanban to the World

Jul 08, 2012

Round 2! All is not lost. Moving right along from the children’s book publishing no-go concept, on which I spent a fair amount of time planning and preparing, startup idea #2 is already out the door and up and running in less than a month. Stemming from an initiative that emerged at Snapper while Sa... continue reading

Knowing when to call it quits

Jun 24, 2012

My startup idea has been on my mind for at least ten years. However it has only been recently that the congruence of technology and time made it possible for me to try it out. The idea has evolved over the last ten years and I have had many conversations with people about it during that time. No one... continue reading

Passion as a Priority

Mar 24, 2012

The driving force behind why people start startups is likely to vary wildly across different industries and types of business. For many it’s the promise of lucrative return - from sales of product or selling their eventual company. For some it’s the burning desire to fill a perceived gap in the mark... continue reading