To help you get to know our keynotes, we asked them a host of unusual interview questions. Here’s what James Arvanitakis had to say.

What would your autobiography be called?

James Arvanitakis: Success is the right balance between stupidity and determination

Describe your life using film titles.

  • Fight Club
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Lost in translation
  • The men who stare at goats

[Editor’s note: We’d like to know more about that last one! And are these in chronological order?!]

If you could steal credit for any great piece of art, song, film, book etc which one would you claim?

Picasso’s Guernica

If you were the CEO of a company, name one thing you would ban in the office?

The words ‘that will never work’.

What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?

Such a pushover.

If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?

Either lay on a beach in a Greek Island and write my next book OR run a first year sociology class with no marking.

What would the name of your debut album be?

Echoes of the musically talentless.

If you were a brand, what would be your motto?

James – simple but (occasionally) effective.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Pink… used to freak out the other dudes when I wore pink at the boxing gym.

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

Who I should call next… I love hands free Bluetooth… and my next book.

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

Platypus… I mean, is there a cooler animal.

What do you want to be when you grow up?


What inspires you?

Every one person out their fighting for social justice.

What do you work toward in your free time?

My next book.

What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume or your bio?

I had to lie to Gough Whitlam once so I did not have to tell him he was wrong about my surname.

I have an awesome comic book collection.

I danced the tango at my wedding.

More James

James is our opening keynote, and you can catch him in just 8 sleeps, on Monday 4 December.

You know you don’t want to miss it!