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    me Convention speakers

all speakers at a glance

Get to know the bright minds who will light up the stage at the upcoming me Convention in Stockholm.

Adriene Mishler is an actress, international yoga teacher and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas. On a mission to get the tools of yoga into schools and homes, Adriene hosts the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene (YWA), an online community of 3.5 million subscribers. YWA provides high quality practices on yoga and mindfulness at no cost to inspire people of all ages, shapes and sizes across the globe. YWA was recognized by Google as the most searched workout of 2015, has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and was awarded a Streamy in Health and Wellness in 2016. Adriene also co-founded the subscription network Find What Feels Good (FWFG), dubbed the first “Netflix For Yoga” providing creative Yoga and Yoga Lifestyle content across all devices. Adriene combines studies of traditional yoga with developmental movement, storytelling and mindfulness. Her approach to regular self care embodies a playfulness and even a sense of humor that encourages all personalities to the mat. With a professional theatre background, Adriene works in television, voiceover, film and dance and is a regular contributor for magazines and blogs. She writes a regular underground blog for her global community each week and in 2018 will launch FWFG Podcast. Adriene hosts classes and workshops in yoga, meditation and self care in the modern world all across the globe.

Aleksandra Przegalinska - PhD in philosophy of artificial intelligence, Assistant Professor at Kozminski University, currently Research Fellow at the Center for Collective Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Recent visiting scholar at The New School for Social Research/ Brown University in New York City (2014). In 2011 Aleksandra worked as the Chairman of Media Regulation Working Party at the Council of European Union in Brussels. As a William J. Fulbright Scholar Aleksandra also majored in Sociology at The New School for Social Research in New York (2012), where she participated in research on identity in virtual reality, with particular emphasis on Second Life. Aleksandra’s current primary research interest include consequences of introducing artificial intelligence systems to people’s social and professional sphere as well as wearable technologies and human/bot interaction.

Alexey Li is a passionate internet entrepreneur and angel investor. He is the co-founder of the largest online travel agency in Kazakhstan, Aviata.kz. After a successful merger he is working on his new ventures. Earlier, he founded Ticketon.kz, the first Kazakhstan online ticketing platform for movies, theaters, sports and cultural events. He has some background in art, information design and computer programming. He is an active member of startup community and is often invited as a speaker to startup events on entrepreneurship and management.

With over 25 years of experience, Ana has shown leadership in product management, product design, and creative direction across new technology surfaces for consumer electronics, lifestyle experiences, UX/UI systems, and ethics & AI. Her talents have been recognized by iF Design Awards, Good Design Awards, EISA Awards, and Cool Hunting. Formerly with Facebook, Samsung, Monohm, Sony & PlayStation, and Apple, Ana is now a Partner, Design Director for AI/Research & Bing with Microsoft. Her values are grounded in principles that every experience crafted should be – Human. Simple. Authentic.

Bret Schafer is a social media analyst and communications officer at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at German Marshall Fund. He has a master’s in public diplomacy from the University of Southern California, and a BS in communications with a major in radio/television/film from Northwestern University. As an expert in computational propaganda, he has appeared in the New York Times, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has regularly been a guest on NPR and BBC radio. Prior to joining ASD, Bret spent more than ten years in the film industry, including stints as a development assistant at Cartoon Network, a development producer at Citizen Skull Productions, and a freelance writer at Warner Brothers. He has also worked in Budapest as a radio host, and in Berlin as a semi-professional baseball player in Germany’s Bundesliga. He is the former editor-in-chief of Public Diplomacy Magazine, and his work has been published in the Chronicle of Social Change, LAist.com, and the Cipher Brief, among others. His regional interests are Russia and Central/Eastern Europe, and he previously interned in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.

Britt Wray researches the science and ethics of emerging technologies and makes documentaries, podcasts, and books about what she finds. She is co-host of the BBC podcast Tomorrow's world and an appearing host on CBC TV's The Nature of Things as well as CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks. Britt is the author of Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction. She holds degrees in biology and media arts as well as a PhD in science communication with a focus on synthetic biology.

Carl Öhman is a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, supervised by Professor Luciano Floridi. He holds a research grant from technology doctor Marcus Wallenberg’s foundation for education in international industrial enterprise.His interests fall at the intersection between economic sociology and ethics. More specifically, Carl’s research looks at the ethical challenges regarding commercial management of ‘digital human remains’, data left by deceased users on the Internet.Carl graduated from Oxford 2016 with the award-winning thesis The Political Economy of Death in the Age of Information: A Critical Approach to the Digital Afterlife Industry. Prior to the OII, Carl studied for a B.A. in Sociology and Comparative literature at Uppsala University Sweden, where he explored autobiographical strategies among social media users, and the political economy of Twitter hashtags.Research interests: Digital Afterlife, Death, Immortality, Ethics, Economic sociology, Critical theory, Informational privacy, Personal identity, Ontology.

Claire L. Evans is a writer and musician. She is the singer and coauthor of the pop group YACHT, the founding editor of Terraform, VICE's science-fiction vertical, and the author of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. She is the former futures editor of Motherboard, and a contributor to VICE, Rhizome, The Guardian, WIRED, and Aeon; previously, she was a contributor to Grantland and wrote National Geographic's popular culture and science blog, Universe. She is an advisor to design students at Art Center College of Design and a member of the cyberfeminist collective Deep Lab. She lives in Los Angeles.

Daniel Plotrino is entrepreneur, technology executive and innovation expert. He co-founded the startups Vivant, Wearbee and was CTO of IoT Experience, a knowledge platform developing the Internet of Things. Most recently founded Akaty Innovation, a company dedicated to accelerating corporate innovation and startups growth. He is Director at FIESP (Federation of Industry from São Paulo State), the largest Brazilian industry sector entity, representing more than 130,000 industries and hosting the largest startups hub from Latin America, where he is helping to develop the Brazilian startups ecosystem and connecting it with other around the globe. He is also is speaker, mentor and advisor in private and governmental programs for startup development.

Dawid Marcinkowski and Katarzyna Kifert aka The Kissinger Twins are a film and interactive director duo. In their works, they mix digital technologies with film, music and literature to create new forms of storytelling. They are authors of artistic projects such as Sufferosa, Forget Me Not, Webby Award winning The Trip, but also create interactive films and experiences for brands such as Expedia, Honda, Channel 4 or Samsung. Their work has been awarded and presented at international film and new media festivals, including SXSW, Vancouver IFF, Reykjavik IFF, onedotzero, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

Denitsa is the CEO of the Association of the Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE) where she leads and supports a community of 200+ members and entrepreneurs while running projects such as the Bulgarian National Finale of Central European Startup Awards, the digital startup map of Bulgaria - StartupNavigator.eu and others. She is also involved in several startup projects - in the blockchain-based Open Source University as a community advisor and in the program for digital entrepreneurship in the construction sector Leaders Academy as part of the advisory board. Denitsa's professional experience includes working as a business reporter at Capital.bg and as an expert on “General investment services” at Invest Bulgaria Agency. Denitsa holds a Master of e-Management and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Sofia and graduated a Summer Entrepreneurship Program at Babson College in the United States.

Emilie Baltz is an award-winning food designer, technologist and experiential artist who uses food and the senses as material for provoking delightful new experiences that create emotional impact. She creates large scale dining experiences, experimental instruments, books, innovation workshops, and happenings that foster joy, curiosity and human connection.

Eric Morrow is the Director of Design Thinking at ConsenSys. His mission is to introduce design thinking as the default way venture teams at ConsenSys engage with users and clients to create incredible product, service, and consulting experiences. He also helps internal teams use design thinking to create better processes and outcomes to serve the wider ConsenSys community.

Gabrielle Costigan is the Managing Director for weXelerate. She spent 10 years in the oil and gas industry in the executive management roles of scaling the oil business in the Middle East. She has also worked for Accenture for 10 years, a global management consulting company and with Fortune 500 companies in the area of strategy, intelligent operations, digital value creation and innovation. With a civil engineering background - Gabrielle is passionate about “bridging” the gaps between (traditional) corporates and entrepreneurship for effective impact. She is a mum of an amazing 5 year old who has opened the eyes of what creative thinking means in every-day life.

Throughout​ ​​Julie's career, customer centricity and being a​ ​frontrunner in introducing important and sustainable changes in society have​ ​been focus points.​ ​Introducing organic biscuits in regular sales points​ ​and selling cherry stones as a wellness product have been part of her​ ​experience in the private sector.​ ​Since 2001 Julie joined the city of Antwerp as an​ ​economic consultant. She founded ‘Bedrijvenloket’, the one stop shop for​ ​entrepreneurs. The last three years she has been project manager digital​ ​innovation. By fostering the ecosystem for digital innovation, the city of​ ​Antwerp stimulates a faster and more successful acceleration of a growing​ ​number of companies.

Keith Jones runs Sw7 (Start with Seven), Africa’s largest technology accelerator, with his wife, Odette Jones. Keith worked in tech for ten years in UK, Belgium, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia before buying a boat and sailing back to South Africa to start his own tech business. He ran this business for ten years and listed it in London in 2009. He left in 2011 to ride his motorbike from Cape Town to Cairo and started Sw7 in 2013. Sw7 has run nine programs in Cape Town, Africa’s acceleration hub, and Johannesburg, Africa’s commercial hub. They have accelerated over one hundred and fifty tech business and have over one hundred tech CEO’s that Mentor for them. Their mission is Acceleration at Scale, their goal is to accelerate ten thousand businesses in Africa in the next four years.

Khalifa Almarri is the Director of the Infrastructure Operations Department at Smart Dubai. He is responsible for ensuring the continual operations of all of Smart Dubai’s underlying infrastructure and the Dubai Government Shared Infrastructure, like the Government Information Network, which serves as the backbone of communication between the Dubai Government entities. Khalifa has over 13 years of experience in IT Services and Infrastructure Operations. He began his career at Dubai Aluminium (now Emirates Global Aluminium,) working in fields such as IT Security, IT Networking, IT Operations, and Telecommunications. Since then he moved on to IT leadership roles at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and later joined Smart Dubai. Khalifa holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Information Technology from The Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai, and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing from City, University of London.

Line Gerstrand has worked strategically with digital transformation, Business Development and Smart Cities since 2005. She is a co-founder of the Smart Aarhus partnership and works as Smart City coordinator in the City of Aarhus. Line was heavily involved in the launch of Denmark’s first open data portal in 2013 and is behind events like Internet Week Denmark and more recently Denmark’s first Sharing Economy Festival in 2017.

Maria works at Startup Portugal, a non-profit organization created to support entrepreneurs and investors who wish to set up their businesses in Portugal. Previously, she spent 2 years as special advisor to the Portuguese Government, helping to design public policies on entrepreneurship. Starting as a business journalist 20 years ago, she told the stories of countless startups and conspired to become a founder herself. After an 8-year detour through a couple of multinational consultancy firms, she left to create Too Small To Fail, a service-provider helping shape the startup Lisbon ecosystem.

Naveen Raja is a design strategist with hundreds of hours design thinking facilitation experience. His passion for design has allowed him to vision, scope and scale design facilitation programs for companies both large and small. Through helping various teams at IBM, Fidelity Investments, Citibank, Marriott Hotels and more he is perfecting his recipe for how to help people to achieve by using design thinking. He is passionate about how people, places and cultures intermix and the significance it can play in creating an experience. When he’s not writing about design, you can find him doing Brazilian Juijitsu or hopping on a plane to see the world.

Founder and CEO of Per Schlingmann AB. Per is a PR and marketing expert. He is an advisor to top-tier companies in communication, strategy and change management. He is an author of several books in the area such as "Urban Express" and "Kommunikationskriget". Per has a unique background from both politics and business. He served as an advisor to the Swedish Prime Minister, and had a central role in shaping the Moderate Party in Sweden as the Chief of Communication, Party Secretary and Chief Strategist. Per is one of the leading speakers in Sweden in areas of digitization, communication and change management. He has been pointed out as one of the most influential communicators in Sweden and perceived by many as the Swedish Spin Doctor. Per is Vice Chairman of SOS Childrens Villages and in the board of Svenska Film. His novel "I maktens öga" is being made into a film adaptation on Viaplay Originals and season 1 will be aired in the beginning of 2019.

Renée DiResta is the Director of Research at New Knowledge and Head of Policy at nonprofit Data for Democracy, where she investigates the spread of disinformation and manipulated narratives across social networks. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations. In 2017, Renée was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar. In 2018, she received a Mozilla Foundation fellowship and affiliation with the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University to work on their Media, Misinformation, and Trust project. She is a Founding Advisor to the Center for Humane Technology, and a Staff Associate at Columbia University Data Science Institute.

Sanja Stankovic is co-founder of Hamburg Startups and StartupSpot Germany. Hamburg Startups is the leading independent private startup platform in northern Germany and is committed to effective networking and presentation of the regional startup scene. The ecosystem, which has been significantly influenced by their work in recent years, has become a model for numerous other locations. In addition to the magazine, various extraordinary event formats such as the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch and HamburgStartups@SXSW the team around the founders Sina Gritzuhn and Sanja Stankovic has created the StartupSpot, a platform that offers a transparent presentation of all startups in Germany and deep data insights into regions such as Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg, Rhine-Main and Central Germany. In April of this year, the StartupSpot Female Founders the first German database with startups with at least one female founding member, was published, which proves that 25% of startups in Germany are once again co-founded by women.

Stef is the go-to guy for startups in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. On behalf of the city he helps Eindhoven-based startups to succeed and grow by engaging them in the city’s innovation ecosystem. Next tot his, he is responsible for introducing outside startups and scaleups to Brainport Eindhoven – Europe’s leading high-tech region with Eindhoven at its very heart. Before joining the city of Eindhoven, Stef worked as a tech journalist and project manager for a EU-funded innovation project.

Stephanie Lampkin, TEDx speaker and former downhill ski racer, has graced the cover of The Atlantic, MIT Tech Review 35 under 35 and Forbes to name a few. She is the founder & CEO of Blendoor, enterprise software that mitigates unconscious bias in hiring. Stephanie has had a 15 year career in the tech industry founding two startups and working in technical roles at Lockheed, Microsoft, and TripAdvisor. Stephanie holds a BS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from MIT. Born in SE Washington, DC to a homeless single mother that battled a drug addiction, Stephanie has seen the world through many lenses and experienced being over-marginalized and underestimated. These experiences have given her insights that she now uses to promote technology that levels playing fields and helps us see people better.

Tom Gray graduated from Queen’s University Belfast, holds a BSc. in Computer Science, and has studied Innovation Management at MIT Sloan. Tom is a 30-year tech veteran and, in addition to being Director of Digital Catapult Northern Ireland, is CTO and Director of Innovation at Kainos Group plc. Tom has been the driving force behind many of Kainos’ most innovative and successful customer and staff initiatives, including HealthHackEU, Kainos AI Camp, CodeCamp and Code4Derry. Tom founded and curates the content for the annual BelTech conference, which has a strong focus on emerging Digital technology. Tom invests in NI Startups and is a Director of SureCert and NEON. Tom is a member of the Board of the Northern Ireland Science Panel – MATRIX – and is Deputy-Chair of the MATRIX ICT panel. Tom is a member of the CCEA Regulatory Advisory Panel. Tom is Chairman of the University of Ulster Industrial Liaison Board, and is a member of the Industry Board of Manchester Connected Health. Tom is past-Chair of the IET in Northern Ireland.

At 15 Tom hacked into his school’s computer network and uncovered students who were downloading illegal and damaging content into the school’s computers. Tom revealed the systems’ weaknesses to his headmaster and was rewarded with a bursary and administrative right to the school computers. This was the beginning of Tom’s love affair with coding. A hooded coder by day and thrilling stage performer by night, Tom simultaneously resides in two conflicting worlds. Part dystopian black mirror-esque visionary, part charming entertainer and story-teller. Tom is able to connect and inspire both the worlds most senior web security officials and the average Candy-Crush addict leaving both with jaws dropped. The youngest magician ever to be initiated into the magic circle, for the last five years Tom has had the pleasure of touring the world performing his acts for four presidents, hundreds of celebrities as well as appearing on television in front of over 20 million people. Online his performances have amassed over 40 million views, and at just 25 he has performed his combination of magic and keynote address in over 30 countries on behalf of brands such as Microsoft, HP, Snapchat and Instagram.

Xin Liu is the current recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship from Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Arts Curator in Space Exploration Initiative in MIT Media Lab. She has received awards in SXSW, FastCoDesign, Core77 and her academic publications were nominated for best papers in ACM conferences. Xin has shown her work internationally at events and venues including Ars Electronica, Boston Museum of Fine Art , Sundance Film Festival, The Walker Art Center, OCAT Shanghai, Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum, Eyebeam, International Symposium on Electronic Art and Music Tech Festival Berlin . As a researcher, Xin has worked in institutions including Microsoft Research NYC, Microsoft Research Asia, Google ATAP, TASML and presented her research at international conferences including UIST, UbiComp, TEI, DIS and Augmented Human. Xin received her BE in Measurement, Control Technology and Instrument from Tsinghua University in 2013, a MFA in Digital+Media from Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 and her Master in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT Media Lab in 2017.

Zackes Brustik is passionate about connecting people and organizations within digitalization. As a workshop coach he helps teams and companies to improve and advance their work. He designs and facilitates formats such as cross-unit exchanges, innovation challenges, agile recruiting events or team workshops. He also hosts the stages of various international conferences, competitions and award shows across Europe, always focusing on tech, startups and digitalization. Combining his background in arts with training as a facilitator and coach, he combines his experience in exploration and collaborative creativity with methodological work processes. Currently he works with colleagues on a format for companies to explore the possibilities of blockchain. He's based out of Berlin and Copenhagen.

Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW and Mercedes-Benz.