In this week’s HEDx episode, Karl and Martin are joined by their first international guest in Professor Giselle Byrnes. Giselle is the Provost with responsibilities across research, commercialisation and teaching and learning at distance learning innovator Massey University in New Zealand. She gives pointers in her interview to some of the differences in culture, tradition, priorities and practice in national jurisdictions and reflects on the implications of these for the way disruption might be led from different parts of the world. She makes a call for more compassionate leadership by Vice Chancellors in these times. The episode gives insights into how variabilities in cultural starting points impact how culture change and leadership will need ideas from outside the sector to be aligned with the practices we have established within if we are to find new ways of serving increasingly diverse student needs.