Ms Rita Arrigo

Rita Arrigo is Chief Digital Advisor at Microsoft, Australia.

With a passion for using emerging technology to realise the possiblities of AI, mixed meality, the Internet of Things and blockchain, she designs programs of change using design thinking and inclusive design, hacks, and prototypes.

Her role is focused on change, innovation and creating business value with technology in the health, government and financial services.

She believes in making our lives more “human” and in transforming our working lives into a lifelong learning culture powered by data. Her role as an AI ambassador drives many “AI for good” initiatives, including smart inclusive cities, diversity, sustainability and humanitarian aspects.

Rita graduated from engineering and computing in 1989, entering the technology industry and moving into hardware sales for a large Hewlett Packard reseller. In 1995 she witnessed the dawn of the internet, and with like-minded friends launched Australia’s first internet cafe, in St Kilda. During this time, she presented and produced Byte Into It; a 3RRR radio show focused on embracing technology.

Rita joined Telstra in 1997, building a channel for internet and data services valued at more than $1 billion. After the birth of her first child she moved to Optus, had a second child, and followed that role by becoming part of a leading ICT organisation with a focus on digitalisation of government services.

Her passion for future transformation was ignited as she went on to grow some of Australia’s largest digital agencies. With the emergence of user experience, her skills from were sought-after in the growing consulting industry. Rita is considered a thought leader in collaboration and technology strategy.

She’s now a popular speaker and author among the business community. Embracing design thinking, she’s been involved in delivering digital projects for corporate and government, driving self-service and process automation. Now at Microsoft, she’s determined to make a positive difference to society through the power of technology. She’s mentored in the ways of Gen Z by her student daughters, and is married to Chris Beaumont, an artist.