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Connect with thought leaders.
Comedian, Actor, Author
Born in Yemen in 1962, British comedian Eddie Izzard found inspiration in Monty Python's Flying Circus.
He worked in street theatre and comedy clubs before becoming nationally known through videos of his stand-up act. In 2000 he won two Emmy Awards for Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill. Other shows include One Word Improv (1997), Glorious (1997), and Sexie (2003). Izzard also appeared in film and TV
Former Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
Lord Mark Malloch Brown is a former number two in the United Nations as well as having served in the British Cabinet and Foreign Office. He is active both in business and in the non-profit world, and also remains deeply involved in international affairs. He is currently Chairman of SGO and its elections division Smartmatic, a leading elections technology company. He is on the Boards of Investec and Seplat, which are listed on the London as well as Johannesburg and Lagos stock markets respectively. He is also on the board of Kerogen, an oil and gas private equity fund. He is Co-chair of a new Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development.
US Managing Editor, Financial Times
Credited as one of the few people who warned of the global financial crisis, Gillian Tett is the US Managing Editor of the Financial Times having previously covered markets and finance for the paper. A social anthropologist by training, Gillian worked extensively in Soviet-influenced Central Asia and eventually became Tokyo Bureau Chief for the FT. She later became deputy head of the influential Lex column. She was appointed the US Managing Editor, then worked as an assistant editor and columnist before returning to her US posting. In the years immediately before the financial crisis, Gillian applied her academic ethnographic research skills to the investment bank JP Morgan.
She discovered a corporate culture the rejected outside interference which led to the creation of complex financial instruments that few people understood. She concluded that the culture and those instruments could lead to a collapse.
Despite her findings being fatefully ignored, Gillian published Fool’s Gold: How unrestrained greed corrupted a dream, shattered global markets and unleashed a catastrophe just after the crisis exploded. Widely acclaimed and respected, it won the Spear’s Financial Book of the Year. Gillian was also the recipient of several prestigious journalism prizes, including the British Academy President’s Medal, the British Press Awards’ Columnist of the Year, and the Wincott Prize.
Whilst continuing her work at the FT and commentating in the media more generally, Gillian has expanded on some of the areas covered in Fool’s Gold in her book The Silo Effect: Why putting everything in its place isn’t such a bright idea. She highlights how organisational insularity doesn’t just stifle innovation, but can also lead to a blindness to problems that can bring down entire companies.
Data Scientist and Futurist
Inma Martinez is a pioneer in the mobile and data analytics industries since the 2000s, Fortune and TIME have described Inma Martinez as one of Europe’s top talents in social engagement through technology, Red Herring ranked her among the top 40 women in technology, and FastCompany labelled her a "firestarter". After her career in Telecoms heading IP services strategy for Cable & Wireless in the 1990s, Inma was part of the core data team that created one of the first A.I. systems to personalise in real time the mobile WAP portals of the main European mobile operators and media companies. Her second company, Visual Radio Oy (Finland) was the pioneer of visual and music streaming on mobile devices.
Futurologist Mark Stevenson is an author, broadcaster and expert on global trends and innovation. He is one of the world’s most respected thinkers on the interplay of technology and society, helping a diverse mix of clients to become future literate and adapt their cultures and strategy to squarely face the questions the future is asking them.
His key skill is his ability to take complex or abstract concepts and make them understandable by non-specialists without trivialising the subject matter.
He is the author of two best-selling books, An Optimist's Tour of the Future and the award-winning We Do Things Differently: the outsiders rebooting our world.
Mark’s advisory roles include Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge, the policy and regulation division of the GSMA, future-literacy hub Atlas of the Future, music industry re-boot The Rattle and being resident futurist at The National Theatre of Scotland.
Digital Anthropologist and Strategist
Rahaf Harfoush is a Strategist, Digital Anthropologist, and Best-Selling Author who focuses on the intersections between emerging technology, innovation, and digital culture. Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Programme at the World Economic Forum in Geneva where she helped identify disruptive-startups that were improving the state of the world. Rahaf is the founder of Red Thread Inc., Think Tank and Special Projects Agency that supports organizations in transforming digital trends into strategic opportunities. She teaches “Innovation & Emerging Business Models” at Sciences Po’s MBA program in Paris. She was recognized a top future thinker by the Hay Literary Festival and as a Young Global Shaper by the G20 Think Tank Summit. Rahaf is also named a Young Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society.
Presenter and Futurist
Jason Bradbury is best known for presenting The Gadget Show, both in the UK and US. He has also worked as a presenter and producer on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. Away from the studio he is also a lecturer on the University of Lincoln’s Computer Science and Product Design courses. With huge enthusiasm, a constant flow of ideas, Jason takes a whirlwind tour of the history of technology, how we got to where we are, how the pace of change is increasing, and where we might be in years to come. He explores themes such as the exponential advance in digital technology and how computers will be so integral to the world around us they will cease to be seen as an object in themselves. Having visited some of the companies and campuses at the cutting edge, he reveals who is changing the world and how. As well as being a student of all things tech, Jason also builds things, from hoverboards to robots to mind-reading devices and frequently illustrates his presentations with them, surprising and engaging audiences as well making them think. He combines a breathless passion for technology and the future with genuine insight and understanding of where the latest developments might come from and how they work.
Director, Eurasia Group Geo-Technology Practice
Kevin is the Director of Eurasia Group’s Geo-Technology practice, and help clients understand how rapid innovation is reshaping relationships among states, citizens, and non-state groups. He analyzes how these changes will affect companies, investors, and governments. Kevin also contributes to Signal, Eurasia Group's newsletter on geopolitics.
Kevin started his career at the Financial Times in London and then wrote for the newspaper from New York and San Francisco, where he covered Silicon Valley. He later worked in global equity sales at UBS and as a columnist at Reuters. Kevin holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he focused on science and technology policy. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna, Austria, and a 2015 Journalism Fellow in Complex Systems Science at the Santa Fe Institute.
Geo Political Consultant, Eurasia Group
Having served numerous positions in the Canadian federal government, including foreign minister, John Baird offers a broad array of sectoral expertise, including in financial services, aviation, infrastructure, energy, and the environment. As minister, Baird supported cross-border partnerships, provided development assistance, and strengthened trade and economic engagement with Canada. His extensive diplomatic, political, and economic experience centers on North and South Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas.
Prior to his tenure as foreign minister, John served as president of the Treasury Board (2006–2007); minister of the environment (2007–2008 and 2010–2011); minister of transport, infrastructure, and communities (2008– 2010); and leader of the government in the House of Commons (2010–2011). He previously spent ten years in the Ontario legislature, where he served as minister of community and social services, minister of energy, and government house leader.
In addition to his work with Eurasia Group, John is a senior business advisor at Bennett Jones LLP and sits on the advisory board of Barrick Gold Corp. and the corporate boards of CP Rail, FWD Group, and PineBridge Investments. He is also a global strategic advisor to Hatch Ltd, a Canadian global multidisciplinary management, engineering, and development consultancy. He holds a bachelor of arts (honors) in political studies from Queen's University at Kingston.
In his current role as founder and managing partner of Ebtikaar, a transliteration of the Arabic word for “Innovation‟, a boutique innovation consultancy, Petar specialises in applying the Scientific Method to tackle business challenges in government -and corporate- sector innovation and entrepreneurship. At the government level, Petar is working across a number of key initiatives in the flagship Accelerator program for the SHERAA Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, an initiative under the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority SHUROOQ, along well as a recent collaboration with the Emirates Youth Council Entrepreneurship Task Dr.Stojanov helps established organisations think in a disruptive and aim for exponential and innovative growth. He has developed his own set of frame-works and with numerous case-studies managed to 5x-10x different organisations.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, VUL9 Security Solutions
Mohamed is a serial entrepreneur who launched his first venture in second year of undergrad, started his own publication (Gulf Elite) a year later with over 40,000 monthly readers, and published 2 books by the end of university. He is currently co-founder and CEO of VUL9 Security Solutions, the region‟s fastest growing cybersecurity company currently helping UAE tech giants such as Careemand Aramex better secure their platforms and data, as well as assisting various marquee brands in the UAE better defend against cyber attacks and cyber breaches. Mohamed has been recognised “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by Arabian Business, “10 top African change leaders” by African Leadership University, “One of 7 youth transforming the world” by Spain-based organisation Pangea and was the youngest entrepreneur to ever be featured on the cover of Forbes Middle East Magazine.
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Neutral Fuels
Since starting his first company which was sold to Microsoft in 1995, Karl has enjoyed a long history of successfully guiding companies through the different stages of growth. He has built and sold five companies, the most recent in 2009 to global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL, and led two companies to their Initial Public Offering.After 15 years of success in the IT industry, including being recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Karl turned his attention to the cleantech industry in 2006. He started The Neutral Group to reduce energy and carbon for multinational companies and governments.
Following a three year secondment working for the CEO and CFO of Deutsche Post DHL, heading up their global carbon reduction strategy, in 2010 The Neutral Group began work creating and executing a sustainability strategy for the McDonald‟s supply chain in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Karl moved with his family to the UAE where he founded the highly successful Neutral Fuelsto formalise The Neutral Group‟s biofuel business.In 2011 Neutral Fuels pioneered commercial biofuel production in the Middle East when it commissioned the UAE‟s first licensed biorefinery in Dubai. The company quickly became the Middle East‟s first commercial producer and seller of biodiesel converted from used cooking oil.
Strategist, Innovator and Entrepreneur
Nader Sabry is an innovator, entrepreneur, advisor and a leading global voice in innovation in space technology, government, and health and wellness. He is a passionate advocate for inspiring the youth to embrace science and technology in developing nations, through the Get2space.com initiative in partnership with the US Space Foundation.
He was former Chief Strategist for the Dubai Department Of Economic Development, Director Of Strategy For The Dubai Foreign Investment Office, head of innovation and thought leadership at A.T. Kearney, advised governments and fortune 1000 companies. He has also helped found several successful start-ups. He has raised directly US $20 Million in early-stage venture capital and indirectly $100 million for startups he has advised and cofounded.
Group CEO, AirAsia
Anthony Francis Fernandes is a Malaysian entrepreneur. He is the founder of Tune Air Sdn. Bhd., who introduced the first budget no-frills airline, AirAsia, to Malaysians with the tagline "Now everyone can fly". Fernandes managed to turn AirAsia, a failing government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful budget airline public-listed company. He has since founded the Tune Group of companies. He is also the majority shareholder of Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
Chief Technology Officer, Head of Engineering, Grab Financial
Vikas Agrawal is the Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering at Grab Financial. Based in Grab’s Bengaluru R&D Center, he leads the GrabPay engineering teams across three of Grab’s six R&D centers (Bengaluru, Jakarta and Singapore) to build a safe, seamless, secure, and universally accepted mobile payment solution for both online and offline spend.
Vikas has deep payments expertise, having spent over two decades of experience in senior engineering positions in India’s premier startups in the payments, financial services, e-commerce, and enterprise software space. He has a strong track record of leading multiple startups to grow into successful mid to large organisations through building strong product engineering teams.
Most recently, Vikas was Head of Engineering for Payments and Financial services at Paytm, India’s largest mobile payment and commerce platform.
Vikas is passionate about making financial inclusion a reality to more people in Southeast Asia. He joined Grab with the goal of uplifting 640 million lives through building up the GrabPay mobile wallet, which is a leading payments platform in the region.
Vice President, Talent Solutions and Learning Solutions, Asia Pacific and China
Feon is the Vice President of LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions and Learning Solutions, based in Singapore. In this role, she oversees the business and performance for both lines of businesses in Asia Pacific and China.
An accomplished, and award-winning business executive, Feon is responsible for the strategic architecting, acceleration and expansion of business across the region. Having been with Linkedin for over six years, Feon has delivered consistent results, with a keen focus on driving great performance and revenue goals through strategy, sales and cross functional collaboration.
Feon has a demonstrable track record of more than 25 years in formulating business strategy, driving organizational transformation, process improvement, team building and profit/loss enhancement. Well known for her strong leadership skills, Feon is equally passionate about nurturing talent and takes an active interest in building and empowering high-performance teams to deliver outstanding results.
Prior to LinkedIn, Feon spent more than 13 years at Gartner in various leadership roles. Her last role was Regional Vice-President, where she oversaw relationships with strategic client accounts across the Asia Pacific region. She was also instrumental in setting up offices in the region, including the Southeast Asia emerging markets and China.
Feon holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
To view Feon’s detailed profile, click on: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/feonang
Chris Riddell is one of Australia’s most sought after futurists, and award-winning industry recognised keynote speaker on digital. He is also a renowned strategist and global emerging trend spotter for businesses and leaders in today’s disrupted world.
Chris Riddell is a senior advisor to businesses across industry verticals, with consulting expertise across the technology, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, finance and communications sectors. He is a current board member of the Museum for Australian Democracy at Eureka, and writes columns for online digital agencies and corporations, providing deep insights into the world of digital, disruption and future change.
Futurist, Tech Investor
With over 20 major tech investments under his belt, Nicklas Bergman is one of the most sought-out advisers and speakers on emerging technologies and their business implications. Bergman spends extensive time with early-stage start-ups and keeping global businesses on par with the latest innovations so they can make the best decisions for their companies. He has extensive knowledge of AI, nanotechnology, new materials, genetics, web services, and computing.
Bergman is the Scandinavian adviser to the TechCast Technology Think Tank in Washington DC, where he focuses on how technology transforms society. In 2016 Bergman published a book on how to deal with new technologies from a business perspective: Surviving the Tech Storm - Strategy in Times of Technological Uncertainty.
Cybersecurity Research Director, Wall Street Journal Pro, Dow Jones
Rob Sloan researches and publishes a wide range of papers & articles, and hosts seminars, conferences, and briefings aimed at educating executives on cyber risk. Rob also writes a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal's popular, member-only, WSJ Pro Cybersecurity newsletter and is the author of Dow Jones’s training support tool for SMEs, “Response Readiness Training”. Previously, Rob worked as Response Director for a specialist IT security consultancy in London and built a team focused on detecting, investigating, and protecting against cyber intrusions and responding to incidents, especially state-sponsored attacks. Rob started his cybersecurity career working for the UK government and spent almost a decade working in the areas of defense and foreign affairs.
Group Vice President, IDC's Asia/Pacific Practice Group
Sandra NG is the Group Vice President heading IDC's Asia/Pacific Practice Group. Based in Singapore, she is responsible for thought leadership and deep-dive insights and advisory content on IDC's 3rd Platform disruptive pillars of Cloud, Mobility, Big DataAnalytics, and Social along with C-suite (CIO, CMO, CEO, COO, CFO and CxO) research and tech buyer engagements as well as the Service Provider industry. In her role, she advises both tech buyers (CIO and LoB) and IT suppliers/enablers across the ICT marketplace.Sandra leads a team of IDC's senior analysts that leverages the core research created by IDC and contextualizing the content and increasing its relevance for clients and their businesses. This unique delivery of research content brings with it IDC's thought leadership analysis and business executive insights for marketing, product management, sales and strategic leadership teams within the client's organization.