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Gus is the former Executive Director and CTO of lonely planet. He lead one of the most loved and recognisable brands in the world through significant business transformation.

He is involved in the start up scene as a founder, investor and advisor. He currently runs a small boutique Design and Innovation agency called Roshambo and is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Victoria University which keeps him close to large public corporate challenges as well as small business puzzles.

Starting in the late 90's and continuing for over a decade, TV - Music - Movies - Newspapers - Magazines - Books and other Media Industry players endured a level of disruption and change that had not been seen since the industrial revolution a few centuries earlier. It’s very likely that your industry and business is muscling through similar challenges right now.

Let Gus take you behind the scenes to understand what companies did right and wrong during these decades of unparalleled change. The lessons he shares can be applied to all modern business and individuals facing the digital revolution and the relentless pace of technology.

He is candid and full of energy. He will make you laugh hard and equally think deeply about the puzzles of running a business, irrespective of size, in our current ever changing world. His common sense will disarm you and his practical approach will get you moving on Monday first thing!


"I will make you laugh hard and equally think deeply about the puzzles of running a business in today's world"



Raised in the Argentinean Patagonia, Gus knew from the age of eight that he was going to travel the world even though he did not know how to make that dream a reality.

Gus earned a scholarship at 17 that lead him to the other side of the world in Byron Bay. When he returned home, determined to carry on his mission to travel, Gus journeyed  through South America without spending a cent. Meeting other travellers along the way he discussed amazing journeys and travel guidebook improvements he would share with anyone that would listen.

Eventually, he returned to Australia working in various jobs when he stumbled upon an opportunity with a travel company and he was fated to apply. His lack of experience was no deterrent and against the odds he secured a designer role at Lonely Planet. As far as Gus was concerned, he had landed his dream job, but it was just the beginning.

Fast forward to 2014; Gus completed an MBA, had spent countless hours on planes, progressed through a number of different roles within Lonely Planet and eventually lead the company globally. The company went from books dominating the world of travel information to the internet and a mobile revolution few saw coming.

Gus is a big thinker who doesn’t let ‘life’s hurdles’ get in the way of big solutions. His knowledge and expertise in transformation and digital innovation is genuinely impressive, as he teaches his audience how to navigate the struggles and successes that even the biggest brands in the world experience.


“Most useful lessons for life and business coming out of school happen in the playground...make sure your kids pay attention and learn to hack it”

/  gus balbontin  /


"Momentum is the ally of efficiency and productivity but the enemy of re-invention. Be careful! Momentum can wreak havoc in your business"

/  gus balbontin  /