5 Disrupters to Watch out for

Speedometer with the words: re-think, re-imagine, re-invent, and disrupt
Lisa Portolan
Tue 17 Sep

Disruption is one of the buzzwords of the last decade, alongside innovation and agitation. Defined by Google dictionary as, “Someone or something that interrupts an event, activity, or process by causing a disturbance or problem,” or “Something that drastically alters or destroys the structure of something.” At The Shaker we are still committed to the concept of disruption, and want to bring you 5 disrupters to watch out for. In doing so, we want to disrupt the long-held notion of disrupters – which have been traditionally male and within the tech-space, and bring you a diversity of disrupters across genders, ages, ethnicities and of course industries. Here are our top 5. 


Hoosan is a twelve-year-old First Nations boy from the Northern Territory who appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2019 to stop jailing First Nations minors. The youngest person to speak to the UNHRC Hoosan is of Arrernte and Garrwa descent, a skilled hunter, fluent in three languages, and considered a heeler. He said, “I want adults to stop putting 10-year-old kids in jail …I want my school to be run by Aboriginal people. I want, in my future to be able to learn strong culture and language.” 

Hoosan travelled from the Northern Territory to Geneva to describe the frustration he experiences with the Australian political system. He said, “I came here to speak with you because the Australian Government is not listening. Adults never listen to kids like me, but I have important things to say.”

Hoosan epitomises a new wave of young people ready to take action, first seen through Greta Thunberg, Swedish student and activist who is forcing politicians the world-over to take action on climate change. Driving the concept of children with agency and with voices that need to be heard. 


Wolfe Herd is the tech magnate who conceptualised and heads up dating app Bumble. Just 30 years old Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble, was also the co-founder of Tinder. Bumble launched in 2014 as the first women-focussed dating app, where women make the first move. Since then Bumble has launched a series of verticals including BumbleBizz and BumbleBFF for finding friends. 

Wolfe Herd has also been the central force in driving new Texan state laws (HB2789), making it illegal for someone to send nude unsolicited photographs. Wolfe Herd has crusaded against unsolicited lewd imagery creating an AI feature on Bumble which protects users against the receipt of images, by scanning them in advance, and warning users prior to receipt. 

Wolfe Herd is currently on the cover of Fast Company magazine alongside the slogan, “If women ran the internet – no guns, no lewd pics, and women make the first move.” Bumble is indeed driving a world-wide revolution with Wolfe Herd at the helm. 


Rugg is the executive director of Change.org and an LGBTIQ activist. Credited as the public face of the Australian “Yes” campaign, she is a regular opinion leader for mainstream media. She has been on Mamamia and Amnesty International’s list of most powerful LGBTIQ activists and has recently released her first book,How Powerful We are: Behind the scenes with one of Australia’s activists. 

Rugg demonstrates the old slogan, how the personal is also political, driving a powerful agenda, and changing the hearts and minds of the Australian public. 


Lee is a designer, creator and artist who has showcased in San Francisco, New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney. A multicultural Australian artist she draws inspiration from her Indigenous heritage and has created a platform with First Nations artists for collaboration and cultural expression, spearheading a number of partnerships. Central to her work is mentoring indigenous communities encouraging young creatives to express their work via fashion and art. Named as one of the Women of the Future for Women’s Weekly 2019, Lee is one to watch as she drives uniquely First Nation’s collaborations. 


Robards is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Monash University who is credited with developing the “Facebook-scroll” style of research, which refers to reflecting back on a person’s Facebook timeline to remember or re-imagine the past, significantly changing the way digital research is conducted and conceptualised. Robards works on the sociology of youth and cultural sociology of digital media, and while he a ground-breaking academic, he is passionate about bringing these techniques to teaching and to young minds not only in Australia but across the world.