Adam is focused on the growth and impact of Startup Genome’s acceleration and development of ecosystems globally. Previously, he worked in both the public and private sector across Australia and Europe, including Milan Government, European & Australian startup ecosystem initiatives, tech startup and consulting. An education and research background from The University of Melbourne and Bocconi University lead to his applied research work on the analysis, mapping and development of startup ecosystems.
family coach and parent of two teenage change-makers
Ainnat Lifshitz is a personal development and family coach with experience coaching children and their families to form better relationships, become better communicators, reach their highest potential and grow towards success. She’s also the mother of two high-achieving kids: Her 19-year-old daughter is developing a novel treatment for infectious diseases, conducting medical research, and leading the implementation of a new hospital platform for stay-at-home patients, while her 16-year-old son, an AI researcher and entrepreneur, is working with some of Canada’s top hospitals to implement practical AI solutions as well as conducting groundbreaking theoretical research at one of Canada's leading universities.
Ainnat believes that as the world evolves, parenting and educational systems need to evolve with it in order to give children the opportunity to reach their highest potential, regardless of socioeconomic background. Ainnat is currently writing a book that will detail her vision for parenting and education in the 21st century.
head of business development, thingsTHINKING
Alexander Walz is the Head of Business Development at thingsTHINKING (tT), an AI startup that helps computers understand the meaning of text. tT works with clients, partners and suppliers in the automotive industry, the mechanical engineering field, and the insurance sector, as well as with the “Big Four” in the tax and auditing sector to speed up document-driven processes.
Together with clients, colleagues and partners, Alex employs tT’s technology to add value and deliver benefits to a variety of industries. By working with several leading companies, Alex has acquired a broad overview and intuitively grasps his customers’ requirements – without being overly technical. Before joining tT, he worked as a Commercial Director and was a member of the management team at a large M-Dax group. Alex gained valuable experience from his years working in management, and he always focuses on customer needs and satisfaction.
co-founder / CMO, Scribit
Andrea is an inventor and music producer with serial experiences within organizations that transformed ideas into reality. He is currently specialized in launching new technologies and serves on the Board of Director at Remidi Inc while working as CMO at Scribit (a spin-off from MakrShakr, MIT professor Carlo Ratti’s robotic bartender). His marketing strategy allowed the startup to raise $2.4M via crowd-funding, making it one of 150 most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever.
co-founder and executive speaker coach, Talk Boutique
A successful business strategist and brand planner, Andrea Sampson spent 25 years in advertising working for some of the world’s biggest brands. Turning her sights to creating impact, Andrea then worked on TEDx and with TED coaches where she honed and refined the craft of speaker coaching. Her broad experience catalyzed in the creation of Talk Boutique with her business partner, Nick Kindler.
Talk Boutique is a speakers' bureau that curates speakers for large-scale events and focuses on speaker development to turn change-makers in science, technology, academia and art into recognized thought leaders. Talk Boutique’s vision is to create opportunities for intelligent, meaningful conversations on topics that make a difference in the world.
Andrea’s passion and skills have made her sought-after coach for professional speakers and corporate leaders, as well as a go-to resource for Singularity University Faculty. In 2018, Andrea and Talk Boutique were part of the team that brought the Singularity brand to Canada. She is now Head of Faculty for SingularityU Canada and works with the team at Singularity University Global to certify all Singularity University faculty worldwide.
head of sustainability, REHAU
Andreas Jenne studied Civil Engineering at the University of Coburg and University of Hertfordshire. Here his focus was already on waste management and environmental technology. In 1995 he started his career at REHAU in the technical product management followed by many years in Export Sales for Africa and the Middle and Near East. Various positions in Innovation Management, Key Account Management and Business Development came afterwards mainly related to environmental technologies and products. In 2007 he received the responsibility to build up a new product management incl. market development for various products and markets for the European “Energiewende”.
head of european product management, DJI
André is the Head of European Product Management directing DJI‘s consumer, professional and industrial product portfolio in the European market. He works closely with DJI’s research & development divisions on upcoming products, market intelligence and developing product positioning that differentiates DJI’s innovative products in the market.
André is originally from Germany, speaking both German and English. He joined DJI in early 2016 from RED Digital Cinema, where he was responsible for product management, business development and industry relations for the European film market. Prior to RED he ran his own film production company with clients such as BMW, Osram and Axel Springer Verlag. Besides his professional product & marketing experience, André is a producer, filmmaker, drone pilot and certified steadicam operator.
His academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in Digital Film Making from the Middlesex University in London
Angela Panayiotou is the Manager of IDEA, the largest incubator/accelerator for startups and an entrepreneurship hub in Cyprus which aims to strengthen the country’s focus on innovation. In her role, she works closely with the government and private sector, has lead workshops on youth and female entrepreneurship, and promotes volunteering and a culture of “giving back”. Thanks to her 23-year international banking career, Angela has pursued a range of intrapreneurial initiatives and is experienced working with people from a variety of backgrounds. She is currently a coach, mentor and advisor to several young, aspiring entrepreneurs throughout their journey from idea to scale up and investment. She’s also a frequent speaker and panelist and actively involved in elevating Cyprus’s international status as a destination for innovation. Angela holds a BSc in Financial Services from the University of Manchester, a BBA in Management Information Systems and an ΜΒΑ from the University of Birmingham. Angela is a Certified Islamic Finance ExecutiveTM (CIFETM) by the ETHICA Institute of Islamic Finance, AAOIFI and she also received extensive training through the US Department of State Leadership program on entrepreneurship in the small business sector.
head stemette & co-founder, stemettes / stage host
Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon is Head Stemette and co-founder of Stemettes, the award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) roles through a series of impactful events and opportunities.
Anne-Marie was a child prodigy, and one of the youngest people ever to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics & Computer Science by the University of Oxford at age 20. Since then, she’s received many awards and accolades, including an MBE in 2017. In 2018, she was listed among the top 50 women in tech in the world by Forbes, voted the 5th most influential woman in IT by Computer Weekly, and was the recipient of the prestigious Barclays UK Women of the Year award.
Not only a champion of getting women into STEM positions, Anne-Marie previously worked with Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers, and is a recognized thought-leader in the tech space.
filmmaker; creator of Emotive Audio-Visual Stories & Living Installations
There is one word that is in the center of everything that Ardalan Aram creates: Feeling. The Iranian-German conceptual artist, filmmaker and entrepreneur believes that true connection is possible through our raw human experiences, no matter if evoked by a film, an installation, a performance piece or simply by a new perspective on the ordinary.
"Anonymous cities create anonymous people, a separation between you and me, them and us. I believe that we need more spaces that allow strangers to show their vulnerability and connect through sharing a feeling with each other."
In collaboration with the composer and pianist Pedro Carneiro Silva he created the Free Seat Project and has been placing the living installation throughout cities like Berlin, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Ardalan also co-founded lifelessons.de, a berlin based start-up aiming to demystify and destigmatize psychotherapy by showing thoroughly how it's done by influential experts in the field of psychology and therapy. Through lifelessons.de he seeks to remove fear and shame that is still associated with the topic of mental health & counseling.
founder and ceo, SciFutures
Ari Popper is the Founder and CEO of SciFutures, a foresight and innovation agency that uses sci-fi prototyping to help their clients create meaningful change in the Exponential Age. SciFutures works with Fortune 500 clients in a wide variety of industries such as Visa, Hershey, Ford, Clorox, Lowe’s and VMWare. Ari has over 20 years' experience as a marketing, consumer research and innovation executive. He is a passionate sci-fi fan and amateur sci-fi writer who was inspired to start
SciFutures during a creative sci-fi writing class at UCLA. He believes that: “Science fiction is powerful tool because it helps businesses understand the human potential of emerging technologies in order to develop human-centered strategies that the whole organization can understand and be inspired to rally behind. This provides a significant competitive advantage.”
Ari specializes in making disruptive and visionary futures tangible and reachable. His passion is to change our beliefs about what's possible, helping to ensure a more beneficial future for all.
author and ageism activist, This Chair Rocks
Writer and activist Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. In 2016, she joined PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. Ashton has been recognized by the New York Times, the New Yorker, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks, has written for Harper’s, the Guardian and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? Ashton’s work is a call to wake up to the ageism in and around us, embrace a more nuanced and accurate view of growing older, and push back against the forces that frame it as decline alone. She is a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age.
managing partner, Biomyc
Atanas Enev is an architect, designer and entrepreneur that loves innovation and minimalist design.
Basically, a classic tech geek trying to look cool in black. Co-founder of Biomyc – an award-winning company that combines cutting edge technology, eco design and renewable feedstocks to revolutionize packaging. He strives to bring sustainable progress to market.
Since the startup was founded in 2018 it was named Best European Startup in Startup Europe Awards - category Green, awarded by European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, one of the EIT Top30 Cleantech Startups according to Climate KIC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and became a grand finalist at the clim@ competition in front of a panel of expert judges and over 250 international investors, financial institutions and climate action leaders, held by the Green for Growth Fund and Finance in Motion.
Biomyc has won the support of leading European institutions like the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), EIT Climate KIC, Green for Growth Fund, Finance in Motion and Cleantech Bulgaria that help bring sustainable innovation to market.
aubrey de grey
anti-aging pioneer / chief science officer & co-founder, SENS Research Foundation
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a biomedical research charity that performs and funds laboratory research dedicated to combating aging. He is also VP of New Technology Discovery at AgeX Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup developing new therapies in the field of biomedical gerontology. He received his BA in computer science and PhD in biology from the University of Cambridge. His research interests encompass the characterization of all the types of self-inflicted cellular and molecular damage that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or prevent that damage. Aubrey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.
ventures associate, Plug and Play
Ben is Ventures Associate at Plug and Play Tech Center and responsible for the scouting and investment activities at STARTUP AUTOBAHN. Ben joined the team 2 years ago, after graduating
with a M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Copenhagen. Besides Denmark, Ben studied in San Francisco and Boston, worked in Melbourne for a year and gained practical experience in the
automotive industry at Porsche.
CEO, Future of Sex
As the world’s leading authority on sextech, Bryony Cole is fascinated by the way technology permeates every corner of our lives, even the most intimate ones. Since launching the top-rated podcast Future of Sex, Bryony has been on stages across the world forecasting trends in the sextech industry for governments, tech titans and entertainment companies.
Her incredible body of research, global sextech hackathons and annual Future of Sex report are considered the pinnacle of industry insights and innovation. She is also part of the New York-based Women of Sextech, a fast growing community of entrepreneurs, developers and thought leaders.
Bryony has interviewed hundreds of technologists, scientists, researchers and therapists who share insights on everything from teledildonics, artificial intelligence and sex toys as well as fertility trackers, sex education and crime-watch apps for sexual assaults.
Bryony has been awarded places in the Google-Walkely Media Incubator for Innovation in Journalism and Australian Advance Queensland HotDesQ accelerator.
From the PEN World Voices Festival in the US, Skolkovo Foundation in Russia to the UK’s Founders Forum, she continues to attract international attention for her work on empowering women through media creation and organizing global hackathons.
Featured on Netflix, Viceland and Technopia, and features in Wired, TechCrunch, The New York Times, Playboy, Mashable, Motherboard, ABC, Financial Review, Forbes and other global media.
Recent stage engagements include Brainbar (Hungary), Emerge (Belarus) and Vivid (Australia) and Future Port (Prague).
Currently Bryony is producing her fourth sextech hackathon after a successful series of hackathons across the globe, including Australia’s first sextech hackathon (March 2018), Asia's first sextech hackathon (May 2018), the North American sextech hackathon August 2018) and the world’s first Sextech Ethics Summit in Denmark (September 2017).
Mashable praised the hackathons saying that they are critical in these tenuous times of inequality: “Encouraging women-led innovation in sex tech is critical at a time when it's such a challenge for female entrepreneurs to secure funding in a still-stigmatized industry. These women work to create better opportunities for themselves and their peers, the aim is also to encourage women-led tech in the industry's overlooked areas: education, pleasure and, improved communication.”
In a past life, Bryony designed Absolut Labs, a think tank on nightlife for Absolut and worked with companies like Microsoft to help them humanize technology.
group CEO, 360T group and global head of FX, Deutsche Börse Group
Carlo Koelzer is a founding partner and member of 360T’s Group Executive Board and Deutsche Börse Group Management Committee member. Furthermore he is Global Head of FX of Deutsche Börse Group. Carlo started his investment banking career as a
financial analyst for Hess & Co., New York, in the field of mergers & acquisitions and block trading. Later, he worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in Frankfurt and New York.
Carlo has extensive in-depth process knowledge of Capital Markets notably Global Markets, Global Equities, Trading, Sales, Risk Control and Financial Accounting.Prior to founding 360T, Carlo headed a task force within the Internal Audit Group of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.
molecular nanoscientist and visual artist, University of Colorado Boulder
A creator of color-changing tattoo inks and shape-shifting molecular machines, chemist/artist Carson Bruns uses nanoscience to invent new materials and technologies. He has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including the
celebrated book The Nature of the Mechanical Bond: From Molecules to Machines, with Nobel Laureate J. Fraser Stoddart. Carson, PhD, is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering with the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he directs the Emergent Nanomaterials Lab. His work on biomedical tattoos for human health has been featured in such outlets as his popular TEDx talk, Inked Magazine, Chemical and Engineering News, and Colorado Public Radio.
AI developer/ nanotech ninja/ cellular agriculture researcher, The Knowledge Society
Cassia Attard is a 17-year-old AI developer and solar nanotechnology researcher from Toronto. She is passionate about using nanotechnology to make solar energy technology more scalable using quantum dots, and has done many projects in the field. With the help of experts from the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and Amp Solar Group, Cassia has worked at several labs advancing quantum dot research with the goal of turning windows into solar panels. She is currently focused on cellular agriculture -- specifically altering hormonal growth factors to decrease the price of lab grown meat, an environmentally efficient alternative to farmed meat.
author, TV host & actress
Charlotte Roche has been working in the media industry since she was 18 years old. Today, she is an internationally known author, TV host, actress and podcaster. She wrote best-selling books like “Feuchtgebiete” (published in English as Wetlands), “Schoßgebete” and “Mädchen für alles” which sparked public debates about breaking social taboos, sexuality, female empowerment and societal norms.
After working as a TV host for VIVA, 3sat and ZDF, as well as being receiving the Grimme-Preis and the Bavarian TV Award, she is now hosting six episodes of the TV show “Love Rituals” on ARTE. Her latest project – and first audio production – is “Paardiologie”, a Spotify Original Podcast created together with her husband about their 15-year relationship.
Foto Copyright: Marina Weigl
co-founder, The Future Laboratory
Christopher Sanderson is co-founder of The Future Laboratory, where he is responsible for delivering the company’s extensive global roster of conferences, media events and LS:N Global Trend Briefings, which he co- presents with the team in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, and across the globe.
Clients who have booked one of his inspirational keynotes include Kering, the European Travel Commission, Retail Week, Selfridges, QIC, Marks & Spencer, Chanel, Harrods, Aldo, H&M, General Motors, BBDO, Design Hotels, Condé Nast and Omnicom.
In 2012, Chris presented Channel 4’s five-part tv series, Home of the Future. In 2014, he and his team created Fragrance Lab for Selfridges, an exploration into the world of personalisation in scent, which won Retail Week’s Best Pop-up and Overall Winner of the 2014 Retail Week awards. Chris is a SuperBoard member of The British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust.
Clare is the CCO of what3words; prior to this, her background was in the development and growth of social enterprises, including in impact investing. She is interested in how innovative business models can tackle social and environmental challenges and is involved in social enterprises in the UK and abroad. Clare also volunteers with the Streetlink project, doing health outreach work with vulnerable women in South London.
what3words is the world's first addressing system designed for voice - every 3m x 3m square in the world has been assigned an address made of just three words from the dictionary. These 3 word addresses can be used to route cars or drones, used as an address when ordering online, or simply given as a meeting point for a picnic in the park. what3words is used in 170 countries and is being adopted by governments all around the world as an official addressing system. Its investors include Daimler, Intel Capital, Aramex and Deutsche Bahn.
founding partner, BankiFi / stage host
BankiFi’s Founding partner Conny Dorrestijn has worked in the international financial technology industry in a wide range of marketing and business development roles, most recently at Clear2Pay / FIS. She is an Advisory Board Member to Holland FinTech and AdviceRobo, Non-Executive Board Member at Arches Capital and Blanco Services and an Associate of the Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) and the Blockchain Innovation Conference (BIC2019) and a Global Innovation Awards Judge at BAI (US) and Jury Chair of the Dutch NRC FinTech Live Awards. She is a co-host of the regular Fintech Cappuccino podcast.
With inclusion across gender, age and culture high on her agenda, she is a keen supporter of and contributor to the EWPN – European Women in Payments Network. She is an Advisory Board Member and mentor for Money2020 Europe Rise Up programme. Her passion for generation Y and Z is translated in active student mentoring and her voluntary work for the Global Give Back Circle: www.globalgivebackcircle.org, where she is also active as a mentor for Kenyan students.
artist / innovator and founder, Studio Roosegaarde
Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde is a creative thinker who makes social designs that explore the relationship between people, technology and space. His fascination with nature and technology is reflected in his iconic designs such as Smart Highway (solar-powered roads that glow at night), Waterlicht (a virtual flood) and Smog Free Project (the world’s largest outdoor air purifier, which makes jewellery from smog). Daan graduated from The Berlage Institute with a Master’s in architecture. He founded
Studio Roosegaarde in 2007, where he works with a team of designers and engineers towards a better future. Together they develop smart sustainable prototypes for the cities of tomorrow. Daan is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and was named Artist of the Year 2016 in the Netherlands. His awards include the London Design Innovation Medal, the INDEX Design Award, the World Technology Award, two Dutch Design Awards, the Charlotte Köhler Award and China's Most Successful Design Award. He has exhibited at the Design Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Tate Modern, Tokyo National Museum, Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris and Victoria & Albert Museum.
danian darell jerry
writer, teacher & hip hop musician
Danian Darrell Jerry (aka “The Derelick”), a writer, teacher, and Hip Hop musician, holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Memphis. His stories engage the culture and music nourished by the Bluff City and the Mississippi Delta. He teaches English at University of Memphis and the Bowie Reading and Learning Center. He has performed with Hip Hop legends KRS-One, Kool Herc, neo-soul singer Bilal, and has taught fiction writing and performance reading at Memphis College of Art. Outside of class he works on his first novel, The Blueswoman and his first graphic novel, Son of the Iron Mic.
Through story Danian explores the intersections of myth and music, history and heart aching experience. As a child he read and drew comics, and as an adult he grew into an accomplished musician as a member of underground Memphis legends, Iron Mic Coalition. Look for his new stories forthcoming in Apex, Mojo: The Journal of Black Speculative Arts, and Trouble the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue (Rosarium, Spring 2020).
chief editor, ada
Daniel Rettig has been the Chief Editor of ada since May 2019. Prior to that, he worked in the Management & Success department of the WirtschaftsWoche, the last three years as head of department. He has also written several books, including "Ich denke, also spinn ich" (2011), "Die gute alten Zeiten" (2013) and "Warum Perfektion sinnlos ist" (2019) and moderated several events for the WirtschaftsWoche.
MIT researcher, entrepreneur & spatial computing expert
David Rose, an MIT researcher, author, and serial entrepreneur, offers a unique perspective on the next platform of spatial computing, what he calls SuperSight. David wrote the book on the Internet of Things, owns the seminal patent on photo-sharing, built an AI company focused on computer vision, and is VP of Vision Technology at Warby Parker. David is known for translating complex technologies into delightfully intuitive new products and consulting to businesses on how to thrive in digital disruption.
Five years ago, Deborah Carter founded NewTechKids, an education academy in Amsterdam which prepares kids in primary and high school for the future by teaching them about technological innovation.
Blending computer science, programming, design and critical thinking about the implications of technology, NewTechKids aims to engage the 'unusual suspects' who are under-represented in technology: girls, children of colour and kids who don't have a strong background in science and technology.
NewTechKids delivers programs during school, after school and during school vacations. It works with a variety of partners, including schools, libraries, after-school program providers and international organizations focused on education. NewTechKids also develops customized curriculum, lessons and teacher training materials.
Prior to NewTechKids, Deborah worked in adult training and education for THNK, the Amsterdam School for Creative Leadership, and PICNIC, a European platform for innovation and creativity. Before that, she worked for a variety of digital media companies, including Liberty Global and The New York Times. Deborah has a MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.
"I spent years working with entrepreneurs, technology developers, designers, artists and innovation specialists from around the world. Not that I’ve given up on adults, but I’m turning my attention to children and their transformation into innovation leaders who will solve the world’s challenges and discover new and unexpected opportunities."
SVP new business / technology and strategic alliances, Ubisoft
With a passion for creating bridges between different worlds, Deborah Papiernik is in charge of bringing into play Ubisoft’s brands and expertise beyond video games, including Live Entertainment and VR experiences. An appreciated deal-maker and inspiring leader, she also develops strategic and technology alliances with companies from other industries looking for Ubisoft’s broad range of expertise, ranging from automobile or architecture to health and cultural institutions.
A graduate from ESCP Business School (Paris) and Drexel LeBow MBA (Philadelphia), Deborah joined Ubisoft in 1997 as a Marketing Manager. She then headed up Emea Business Development for ten years and became Managing Director of Ubisoft Partners, supervising third parties game development, for five years. She created the New Business department in 2015 and has been leading its expansion since then.
head of snow, Game of Thrones
Del is a Special Effects Technician from Birmingham, UK. He started in the industry in 1999 as a freelance technician for Snow Business, Germany. His job entails creating artificial winter effects for films, TV, commercials and events. His most recent project was on HBO’s Game of Thrones, working for the Special Effects Department as Snow Crew Supervisor. He was recently featured in Director Jeannie Finlay’s documentary Game Of Thrones: The Last Watch, which highlights the day-to-day work of crew members creating the magic behind the scenes.
media theorist, author and host of Team Human
Named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT, Douglas Rushkoff is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. His twenty books include the just-published Team Human, based on his podcast, as well as the bestsellers Present Shock, Throwing Rocks and the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus. He also made the PBS Frontline documentaries Generation Like, The Persuaders, and Merchants of Cool. His book Coercion won the Marshall McLuhan Award, and the Media Ecology Association honored him with the first Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity. Douglas’s work explores how different technological environments change our relationship to narrative, money, power, and one another. He coined such concepts as “viral media,” “screenagers,” and “social currency,” and has been a leading voice for applying digital media toward social and economic justice. He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at CUNY/Queens, where he is a Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics. He is a columnist for Medium, and his novels and comics, Ecstasy Club, A.D.D, and Aleister & Adolf, are all being developed for the screen.
TV presenter & journalist
For well over a decade, Dunja Hayali has been making her mark on the German news scene. She began her career at Deutsche Welle, but moved on to ZDF in 2007, where she co-hosted the daily news programs “Heute” and “Heute Journal”. In 2010, she began working as the anchor of ZDF’s morning new show, “Morgenmagazin”. Recently, she started hosting her own talk show, entitled, fittingly, ‘Dunja Hayali”.
In addition to working as a news anchor, Dunja travels the world for her investigative reporting, going to places as varied as Africa, Sri Lanka and Iraq. Her recent documentary programs examine important contemporary issues like global religions and beliefs, as well as everyday sexism in our society.
Dunja is also known for her advocacy work, and supports a number of major charities, including Save the Children. In addition to receiving many awards for her journalism, in 2018, Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honored Dunja with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her work to fight xenophobia and racism.
head of sustainability, Vivobarefoot
Internationally esteemed sustainability expert Emma Hamilton-Foster is leading the charge with passion on the topical pursuit of our time: the ecological crisis. Having quickly built a recognized voice and industry following, Hamilton-Foster recently announced her newest partnership with Vivo Footwear where she excitedly joins one of the world leaders in being a positive force for business and planet. Having most recently worked with leading brands from luxury British fashion house Burberry to leading global retailer, Primark, in their pursuit of sustainability, Vivo Footwear is an exciting phase as they join forces to scale reconnecting people and nature.
An ASMR content creator of 6 years, author and sound healing practitioner. Emma WhispersRed is a Mum of two and wife living in London, England. As an ASMRtist Emma has worked tirelessly to bring awareness of ASMR and it's potential benefits for wellbeing to the public eye. Her innovation and imagination for new ASMR techniques both on screen, in person and audio have made her an expert in her field. Emma has curated and led live events in London, San Francisco, New York, Berlin and Birmingham all of them the first of their kind. After making over 400 ASMR videos on her YouTube channels she has made the first ever ASMR album of original songs for sleep and relaxation. The first ASMRtist led podcast intended to calm the commute and help people sleep as well as an ASMR YouTube channel made especially for children.
Through her social and youtube channels, regular appearances in the media, brand collaborations and consultations Emma has introduced ASMR to thousands of people all over the world and made so many aware of the name for something they have experienced throughout their lives.
As the author of Unwind your Mind: The life-changing power of ASMR. Emma intends to pass on her experience to others and explore how the feeling and concept of ASMR can bring calm and presence into our daily lives. Her longterm goal, through the support of further research, is for ASMR to become a recognised complimentary therapy, to teach others how to perform treatments and open a quiet retreat for the ASMR community to receive treatments, experience group sessions and meet each other in person.
Knight Center for Environmental Journalism chair & professor
Pulitzer Prize-winner Eric Freedman is Knight Chair, director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and a journalism professor at Michigan State University. He joined the faculty after a 20-year newspaper career. His research and journalism interests include international press rights, environmental reporting and challenges facing journalists, and he’s been a Fulbright Scholar in Uzbekistan, Lithuania and the Republic of Georgia. His books include “Biodiversity, Conservation and Environmental Management in the Great Lakes Basin, and “Critical Perspectives on Journalistic Beliefs and Actions: Global Experiences.”
co-founder and executive editor, COOL HUNTING / stage host
Evan Orensten is an entrepreneur, brand strategist, product developer, writer, co-founder and Executive Editor of COOL HUNTING—a sixteen year old digital publication highlighting innovations in culture, design and technology for a global audience of creative professionals. The Webby Award‑winning online magazine also operates an original content studio, strategic consultancy, hosted travel experiences and an experiential retail program called COOL HUNTING Omakase.
Felipe Villela is co-founder of reNature, a Dutch foundation with the goal of regenerating 1 million hectares of degraded land worldwide by 2030 through agroforestry. Felipe sees himself as a young leader within the agricultural sustainability movement, and has deep roots in this sector, thanks to his family’s background in large-scale organic citrus farming in Brazil.
Felipe’s goal is to inspire and educate businesses and industries to produce food and raw materials in a regenerative way. Together with local farmers, communities, government authorities, companies and organizations, reNature designs and implements economically viable model farms. His ideas extend beyond the food industry, providing interesting solutions for fashion, aromatics, medicine, cellulose, timber, rubber and many other sectors. Felipe has shared his insights on this agroforestry at the UN Environment Programme’s Global Landscape Forum and COP24. He believes that “only action leads to change”.
founder & ceo, FSBV
Florian is an entrepreneur, event manager and pitch coach. With his company FSBV GmbH, founded in 2013, he provides consulting and services for founders, startups and stakeholder in startup ecosystems. As a pitch coach he has supported 500+ founders, startups and innovation teams to prepare their pitches and presentations.
skip tracer, expert in locating and making people disappear
Frank M. Ahearn began his career working undercover in retail stores catching employees stealing. There, he began skip tracing (finding people) and developed excellent social engineering skills (convincingly telling lies). The two combined made him quite a proficient hunter of people.
Times changed, and he stumbled into the business of teaching people how to disappear -- both erasing their presence online, as well as physically vanishing those who needed to go. Be it victims of stalkers, celebrities, or high-net-worth individuals, Frank gets them from A to B without a trace. Disappearing is not limited to people, but also information.
Frank is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, And Vanish Without A Trace (Lyons Press) & Spurlos verschwinden: Wie Menschen im digitalen Zeitalter abtauchen - Geheimnisse eines Zielfahnders (Piper)
founder & creative director, WondARlands
Galit is a TechnoFuturist and an immersive space explorer. She is passionate about a
future that will integrate technology into our everyday lives, but not control it. As a
TED speaker and a thought leader in Augmented Reality, she explores the wild and
imaginative side of immersive technologies, but also their impact on our cultures,
behaviors and ethical issues related to them. Her book ‘Augmenting Alice–The Future
of Identity, Experience and Reality’ offers a context and futurescape to Augmented
Reality applications, considering its impact on our public, personal and intimate
space, that ultimately alters the way we experience reality and our sense of self.
Galit’s goal is to bridge the gap between digital, physical, and mental spaces to
create tools & platforms that help people experience these worlds in new ways.
journalist, copywriter and event curator
Multi-lingual (French/Spanish/Dutch) journalist, translator, copy writer. Daytime conference programmer/curator and panel moderator at the Amsterdam Dance Event and the Brazil Music Conference (BRMC). Regular writer for the Cannes Lions Daily News, Location International Magazine, Location California, MIDEM News, MIPTV & MIPCOM News, and Sportel. Specialist subjects include TV, music, smart technology, tactical social networking, advertising, online media, sport and business strategy.
Panel Curation at the Amsterdam Dance Event and the Brazil Music Conference/Panel moderator
Content manager of the Pioneer DJ Blog
LIONS Daily Magazine
MIDEM News and MIDEM Blog
Gemma Milne is a Science & Technology Writer covering all things deep tech, including biotech, advanced computing, space, energy and innovation in academia, for titles such as Forbes, the BBC, CNBC, the Guardian, and Quartz. She is also Co-Host of Science: Disrupt – a podcast interviewing the innovators, iconoclasts and entrepreneurs creating change in science.
As a deep tech consultant, Gemma is an Expert Advisor for the European Commission and Innovate UK, and a Scout for Backed VC. Gemma is also an Innovation Jury Member for SXSW and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and she is currently writing her first book on hype and idealism in science and tech.
Psychology Researcher, The University of Essex UK
Giulia Poerio holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Sheffield UK. Much of her work seeks to understand the interplay between cognition and emotion with a view to improving well-being. As well as working on the experience of ASMR, Giulia is interested in mind-wandering/daydreaming, sleep, and imagination. She has employed diverse psychological approaches and methods, often working at the intersection of psychological disciplines including cognitive psychology, affective science, neuroscience, clinical, and social psychology.
executive editor, IEEE spectrum magazine
Glenn Zorpette is executive editor of IEEE Spectrum Magazine. Under his supervision, since 2002, IEEE Spectrum has won 115 significant journalism awards. These included, in 2012, a National Magazine Award for General Excellence, the most prestigious award in U.S. magazine publishing.
He has moderated panels at two South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conferences and at the first two me Conventions. He appears in the 2012 motion picture documentary The Singularity, directed and produced by Doug Wolens, and in the 2019 documentary Hi A.I., directed by Isa Willinger and produced by Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH. Glenn holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Brown University and is a fellow of the IEEE.
senior director, Ecosystem Expansion
Grant Wainscott is the Sr Director of Ecosystems for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, in Atlanta, Georgia USA. He leads a team of technology cluster experts to retain, expand and attract jobs and investment to the metro Atlanta region, while shining the light globally on the assets and brands that have made metro Atlanta an international hub. He specifically works with the clusters of FinTech, Cyber Security and Creative Industries (Film/TV/Esports/Music/VR/Animation) to support and grow the ecosystem. Grant has also been a regional film commissioner, started several small tech companies, ran a tech incubator, and owned a rare book shop. He has led or participated in dozens of business and cultural missions throughout the world, visiting more than 50 countries. He holds a B.A. in International Business from Florida Southern College, and attended university in
Quebec, Canada and Augsburg, Germany. Originally from Seattle, he has studied and lived in five countries, and speaks French and German.
award-winning international film maker, holistic specialist
Gulrukh Khan is an award-winning international filmmaker, writer, holistic specialist, gender and animal rights activist, public speaker and conference organizer.
Her film career spans 25 years. Among her 15 awards, she has been awarded Best Documentary Feature twice – at the Moondance Film Festival in New York in 2012, and in Cannes in 2019. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Cannes 2019.
Her documentary, Mantra for the New Millennium, was shown at the UN Peace Summit in the presence of Kofi Annan, and in London in the presence of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and 2000 business leaders.
She is a regular speaker at the House of Lords and global events. She is co-founder of Inclusion Convention CIC, an interdisciplinary think tank, and is former chair of ALL Ladies League UK and London.
Gulrukh is also a fully qualified and practicing Holistic Specialist with 20+ years of experience.
senior program & community manager, plug and play / stage host
Hannah leverages her experience from both, the startup and corporate world, combined with her research on Corporate Entrepreneurship in her current position as Program Manager of STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug and Play. Hereby, with her team and partners, they are connecting the dots between both worlds and creating a community around Germany’s biggest innovation platform.
genetics genius / machine learning maven, The Knowledge Society
Hannah Lee is a genetic engineering researcher and machine learning developer passionate about increasing human lifespan and healthspan. She moved from Vietnam to Canada at the age of 16 to join St. Michael's Hospital and work on engineering artificial ear cartilage. After joining The Knowledge Society, a human accelerator that takes ambitious students from 13 to 17 years old and gives them the skills and mindset to solve the world's most important problems, she has worked on various projects, such as using CRISPR to reverse aging in fruit flies, and developing algorithms to evolve a soft robot to walk on Mars. She is working with Princess Margaret Hospital to help create software that can automate the treatment planning process for cancer patients.
founder, Vita Motus Design Studio
Heather Shaw, founder of Vita Motus Design Studio, boasts a multi-dimensional career in environmental, industrial, transportation and production design with a conscious emphasis on functional purpose and designing the future. With a BS in Industrial / Transportation Design, she began her career designing cars for Audi, specializing in futuristic concept vehicles. As a passion, Heather used her design experience to also create festival stages. In 2006, she founded Vita Motus, an innovative multidisciplinary design firm driven by artistic passion and grounded in industrial expertise. It was Vita Motus’ work with Amon Tobin for his 2011 ISAM Tour that established the studio as an industry force. Vita Motus prides itself on the creation of ground-breaking concepts, high-tech productions, main stage spectacles and inspirational sculptural installations for today’s most influential artists, festivals, and brands such as Pharrell Williams, EDC, Kaskade, and Red Bull.
writer, producer, podcatster
Heben Nigatu is a writer, producer, and podcaster based in NYC. She is currently a staff writer for Showtime's Desus & Mero and has previously worked at the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She is the co-host of Another Round, which Elle Magazine described as, "one of the Internet’s most beloved podcasts." The critically-acclaimed show has featured such high-profile guests as Hillary Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janet Mock, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. It was named one of the best podcasts of 2015 by Apple; the Guardian; The Atlantic; New York Magazine; Slate ; and many more. The Guardian called Heben and her co-host Tracy "the smartest and funniest women in the room and everyone wants to sit at their table."
Heben has been named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in media, Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, Brooklyn Magazine's 50 Funniest People, Marie Clare's 50 Most Influential Women, and The Root's 100 Most Influential African-Americans.
urban agriculturalist / founder and managing director, Agritecture
Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues and emerging technologies. Henry was born in Hong Kong and has lived in Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Canada, Spain, Austria and the United States. He earned his BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, a certificate in Food Security and Urban Agriculture from Ryerson University in Toronto, and an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. Henry founded the popular blog Agritecture.com in 2011. He was also co-founder of the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) and served on the board from 2013 - 2017. In 2014, Henry launched NYC-based Agritecture Consulting, a boutique urban agriculture advisory firm where he helps entrepreneurs with vertical farming feasibility studies, recruiting and systems design. To date, Henry and his team have consulted on 76 diverse urban agriculture projects in 20 countries. He also serves as a board member for several for-profit and non-profit agtech organizations.
National Sun Yat-sen University, Department of Materials and Optoelectronic Science, PhD
National Cheng Kung University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MA
National Tsing Hua University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, BA
Everstrong Iron & Steel FDRY & MFG Corp., Chairman
Metal Industries Research & Development Center, President
National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Department of Mold and Die Engineering, Professor
head of marketing, Tech Quartier
Hugo is Head of Marketing for TechQuartier, Frankfurt’s largest innovation hub. His main focus is on growing its community and creating an impactful, collaboration-based innovation experience. Originally from Montreal, Hugo has travelled far and wide and lived in India, Istanbul and Prague. Now established in Frankfurt, he’s hard at work building up the local startup ecosystem and connecting it internationally to innovators and change-makers.
science fiction writer
Ian McDonald is a science-fiction writer living in Holywood in Northern Ireland. He was born in 1960 and his first novel Desolation Road was published in 1988. Since then he's written twenty-five novels and been nominated for every major international award in science fiction; winning the Hugo, John W Campbell Memorial, Philip K Dick and Locus awards. His most recent book, Luna: Moon Rising is the conclusion to a trilogy set in the early stages of lunar industrialization, in a society very different from our own. Bold, colorful and exciting, they've been optioned for television.
partner and operations director, BrandBase
Inge Overtoom has 15 years experience in project and account management across every aspect of experiential advertising. She is currently the partner and operations director of BrandBase, a creative production company based in Amsterdam renowned for big and bold brand experiences. With clients including the likes of Shell, ABN AMRO, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, ING Bank - Inge is responsible for all operations of the BrandBase team.
particle physicist, CERN
Dr. James Beacham is a particle physicist at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where he hunts for
evidence of dark matter, gravitons, quantum black holes, and dark photons as a member of the
ATLAS collaboration, one of the teams that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012. In addition to his
research, he is a frequent speaker at popular sci/tech/art events around the world, and regularly
appears on radio shows, podcasts, and in documentaries. His talk, “How we explore unanswered
questions in physics”, was featured on TED.com and has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.
Beacham trained as a filmmaker before becoming a physicist and regularly collaborates with artists.
filmmaker / director and producer - Game of Thrones: The Last Watch
Jeanie Finlay is one of Britain’s most distinctive documentary makers. Her acclaimed films tell intimate stories to international audiences, whether inviting them behind the scenes of Teesside’s last record shop (SOUND IT OUT), sharing the extraordinary journey of a British transgender man, pregnant with his child (Seahorse) or taking them onto the set of the world’s biggest television show ("Game Of Thrones": The Last Watch).
Her films, although varied in subject matter, are all made with steel and heart, sharing an empathetic approach to bringing overlooked and untold stories to the screen. She describes her approach as being interested in "Shy people, telling small stories, quietly".
"Game Of Thrones": The Last Watch is her eighth feature film.
founder and managing editor of Eco-Business
Jessica is the founder and Managing Editor of Eco-Business; an award-winning journalist, TV presenter, director, producer, and a social entrepreneur. She has more than a decade of experience in media, journalism and sustainable development and is a columnist for national newspapers.
She is on the Board of Directors for Singapore-listed ComfortDelGro, one of the world's largest land transport companies; serves as Strategic Advisor to Blue Planet Environmental Solutions, and is founding Director of Embodhi (Singapore), a non-profit for women empowerment in Asia as well as founding Director of EB Impact, a non-profit dedicated to positive sustainable development impact in Asia.
She is also a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors, and currently chairs the Climate Action SG Alliance – an initiative supported by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources to advocate climate action and raise public awareness on climate issues.
A Singapore Press Holdings scholar, she has won many journalism awards. In March 2018, she was announced the winner of the Women of the Future Southeast Asia Awards for the media and communications category. She was also named as one of LinkedIn's Power Profiles for Singapore for 2018.
Native of Denmark. Mother, wife, hobby artist, financial controller. Moved to The United States in 1995. Took up psychology studies. Part-time volunteer in family crisis center. Back in Denmark in 2008. Headed a two-year project for people on sick leave (depression, anxiety and stress). Love my fellow humans. Trained and certified facilitator in the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method – 2006. Motivational coach and speaker. Experienced project manager. Co-founder and partner in Rasmussen Consulting. Facilitate workshops within all areas of (business) life.
assistant professor, information school, university washington
Jevin West is now an Associate Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He is the co-founder of the DataLab and the Director of the new Center for an Informed Public at UW. He holds an Adjunct Faculty position in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. He is also a Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute and Affiliate Faculty for the Center for Statistics & Social Sciences. His research and teaching focus on misinformation in and about science. He develops methods for mining the scientific literature in order to study the origins of disciplines, the social and economic biases that drive these disciplines, and the impact the current publication system has on the health of science. He co-developed a course, Calling BS, that teaches students how to combat misinformation wrapped in data, figures, and statistics. The course is now being taught at universities around the globe.
global head of design
Johannes has 10 years of design experience with brands such as Porsche, Daimler, Audi, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, eBay, ThyssenKrupp, Hugo Boss, and Vodafone. Johannes uses design as a business tool to help organisations bridge the gap between strategy and execution. He combines methods from design and systems thinking with appreciative consultancy and organisational design to achieve results. In his role as principal designer, Johannes helps to shape and foster the design culture within Futurice. Bringing positive change to internal teams and clients alike.
co-founder Chinese Zero to Hero
Jon is the main instructor and course designer.
licensed marriage/ family therapist
Jonathan Shippey has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice since 1999. Among his many degrees and credentials, he is a Senior Certified Gottman Couples Therapist and a Master Trainer with the Gottman Institute, and was personally trained by Drs. John and Julie Gottman.
Prior to becoming a therapist, Jonathan was an army officer in Schweinfurt, Germany, where he served as a platoon leader of combat medics, followed by service as the company commander of the 130th Station Hospital in Heidelberg. His military experience, paired with his specialty in the field of couples therapy, has led him to create several workshops specifically for members of the military and their spouses.
As a therapist, Jonathan is dedicated to integrating the Gottman method with Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and applying these research-based models to help couples create relationships that become healing experiences for both partners.
climate change professor, futurist, advocate of collective action
Jorgen is one of the most influential futurologists of our time. In addition to his contribu-tions in the field of future studies, Jorgen is also world-renowned expert on the climate problem, energy policy, and system dynamics. For many decades, he has been devoted to the area of future studies: After co-authoring the pioneering report The Limits to Growth in 1972, Jorgen was also President of BI Norwegian Business School (Oslo) and Deputy Director General of WWF - World Wildlife Fund for Nature. He is a trusted advi-sor and board member, i.a. for the Norwegian state owned Postal Service. His latest efforts include the Green Transition 2030 to 2050 with the Chinese Government and helping the cities of Shanghai and Seoul with their long term plans. In 2016 Jorgen pub-lished the book REINVENTING PROSPERITY, which describes a politically feasible solution to the challenges of unemployment, inequity and climate change in the rich world. In 2018 his most recent book Transformation is feasible! describes the five ex-traordinary measures needed to achieve the UN sustainable development goals.
artist & thinker
Part of a family of famed futurologists, Julian Horx is an artist and thinker, and student of University College London, where he explores the science of game theory, complexity and cultural theory, as well as the relationships between art and science. A skilled illustrator, Julian creates mesmerizing visualizations of future topics.
co-founder Chinese Zero to Hero
Ken is the co-instructor and sales manager.
founding partner and president, futurefactor
Prior to founding futurefactor (formerly FinchFactor) in 2009, Kerrie Finch was PR Director at Wieden+Kennedy. There she wrangled brands such as Nike and Heineken, Coca-Cola and Electronic Arts. Kerrie has been voted into Adformatie magazine’s top ten industry influencers for the past three years. As Founding Partner & President of futurefactor, Kerrie continues to drive change in the industry, while advancing her work as the Netherland's representative for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, board member of the ADCN, advisory board member of IncludeNow, and the founder of SheSays Amsterdam.
vice president corporate development, EMOTIV
Kim Old is Vice President of Corporate Development at EMOTIV. She is a proven leader with hands-on experience building and growing a global cutting-edge neuroscience technology business. As part of the founding team, Kim leads marketing, communications and strategic partnerships. She has been the creative force and Producer of BCI powered activations for Fortune 500 companies at major events including TED, CES, Sundance and the World Economic Forum. Kim's interests include start ups, healthcare, social good, and biotech.
Kyle Wiens is the CEO of iFixit, the free repair manual. He has dedicated his life to defeating the second law of thermodynamics, a battle fought in the courtroom as often as in the workshop. The Right to Repair campaign has, so far, successfully legalized cell phone unlocking and tractor repair.
the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe
Born into the world of sailing, Laura Dekker began racing at the age of six. Just a few years later, at the age of 14, she made waves with her campaign to be allowed to circumnavigate the globe all alone. She succeeded, and became the youngest person in the world to do so. Drawing on the ancient wisdom from the ocean and her extreme experiences, Laura is now an inspiring author, world traveler and professional skipper. She’s sailed more than 50,000 nautical miles on her adventures, and is still chasing her dreams.
chief energizer, hack belgium
Leo Exter has been active in the startup ecosystem in Belgium since 2009. He created the Startup Weekend movement in Belgium, and built an online community of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. He has also led an acceleration program and a series of investment events.
Leo is one of the creators of Hack Belgium, a massive Open Innovation Festival. The most ambitious event of its kind, Hack Belgium is a unique part-conference, part-hackathon experience for over 1000 people that helps its participants transform their existing companies or create new sustainable businesses with a positive impact.
In addition, Hack Belgium works with both the public and private sectors to help enterprise HR and innovation managers to energize their employees, change their corporate culture and create outstanding new products through professional hackathon experiences.
innovation expert, cosnova
Leonie Schüssler began her advertising career at some of the world’s biggest agencies, working at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett. While there, she worked on brand strategy and international campaign development for a variety of global brands. She later took her expertise in brand strategy to cosmetics brand ZOEVA, where she worked as Head of International Sales and Business Development, helping to expand the young brand into international markets. When she joined cosnova in 2016, Leonie took over responsibility for innovation and disruptive business concepts based on the trend expertise from the company’s Think Tank and recently founded Innovation Lab.
Leonie is a vibrant innovation and future trends expert with boundless passion for inventing new and disruptive ideas and solutions to global cultural shifts, changing environments and consumer behavior. She translates her thought-provoking impulses and trend expertise into innovative projects, brands and experiences.
Formula 1 Race Driver
Lewis Hamilton was born to be a racing car driver. From the moment he sat in a kart for the first time at the age of eight, he was immediately bitten by the racing bug. Mercedes-Benz soon recognized his enormous talent, and began sponsoring him at the very start of his career. Lewis not only showed incredible pace on the track but also climbed the career ladder at an impressive rate. After blowing the competition out of the water in various junior races, made his Formula One debut on March 18 2007 at the age of 22. After a record-setting rookie season, he took home his first FIA Formula One World Championship crown in 2008. His success on the
track continued year after year, and in 2018 he earned his fifth World Championship with Mercedes-Benz, making him part of a very elite club of five-time winners, along with Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio.
sustainability provocateur and cultural protagonist
Sustainability provocateur, designer, and sociologist, Dr. Leyla Acaroglu challenges people to think differently about how the world works. As an award-winning designer, UNEP Champion of the Earth, and serial social entrepreneur, she is internationally known for her creative approaches to addressing complex problems, as she leads presentations around the world on activating positive social change through creative interventions and systems thinking. She is the founder of The UnSchool, an experimental knowledge lab for adults, the developer of the Disruptive Design Method, and most recently founded the CO Project Farm Brain Spa. Through her creative works, she designs cerebrally-activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help people make the status quo obsolete.
creative strategy lead, snap
Liane Siebenhaar is responsible for Creative Strategy at Snapchat DACH. In collaboration with an international team and product specialists, she helps brands develop creative and effective Snapchat campaigns. Prior to joining Snapchat, she worked for Mother London, Code + Theory and Jung von Matt.
CEO & founder, Tink Tank
Lone Aggersbjerg is CEO & founder of Tink Tank GmbH, a premium Coworking Space located in Heidelberg.
Lone has previously been 15 years with SAP and has held strategic roles within SAP ́s partner ecosystem, industries and Mobile. Her last role as VP Operations in Development where she was driving strategic projects to free up potential for innovations for engineers, designers and architects.
Lone founded the Women in Technology Program@SAP which aimed at driving impact of Women in Technology through visibility internal and external of SAP. She build the Technically Speaking roster which she holds a patent for to help promote great female talents by supporting them to become speakers.
Lone led the SAP Development Excellence, a continuous learning & knowledge sharing program for all 40,000 developers to ensure that SAP development stays agile, curious and equipped within new technologies, leading a global team across all locations to deliver on the commitments made to the SAP board.
Lone is base in Heidelberg. She is Danish nationality. She holds a Master ́s degrees in International Market communication & management from the Aalborg University, Denmark.
surfer and ocean adventurer
Léa Brassy is a surfer, free-diver, spear-fisherwoman and advocate for the Environment. The French ocean adventurer has been driving her van and sailing the world in search of ultimate waves and life-teaching experiences within local communities with the intention to learn how to best live in harmony with Nature. Addressing the climate crisis, her idea is that empowering self-sustained tight-knit communities is a key solution. Working as a qualified nurse for eight years, she is now dedicated to use her voice towards environmental advocacy and activism. She lives a minimalist lifestyle, eats according to the Locavore diet and selectively consumes from sustainable sources. Her home is part time in Biarritz and part time in French Polynesia, where her heart resonates best with the Ocean. She is an ambassador of the brand Patagonia.
project manager innovation, City of Rotterdam
Maarten Keesman has been working on developing the innovation and startup ecosystem of Rotterdam for four years. After researching the critical success factors of attracting and retaining startups and scaleups to a city, Maarten has been working on building partnerships and relations with startups, scaleups, incubators, accelerators and other relevant organisations in the city. Behind this lies the goal to further strengthen the economy of the city and tackle societal, environmental and digital challenges by empowering innovative companies.
futurist and science fiction writer
Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and scenario builder living in Toronto. Her most recent novel, Company Town, was a finalist in the CBC Canada Reads competition and a winner of the Copper Cylinder Award. Her short fiction has been published in Slate, MIT Technology Review, Spacing, BoingBoing, Clarkesworld and multiple anthologies. A graduate of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCAD University, she has a Master’s of Design and has done scenario planning and narrative prototyping for Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, the Atlantic Council, XPRIZE and others.
director, 500 Startups
Pahrada "Mameaw" Sapprasert: Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree 2018 — recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential Venture Capitalists of age under 30 in Asia Pacific. Mameaw is the Director of 500 Startups Thailand (500 TukTuks) - a fund focused on promising Thai and CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) startups in seed to Series A stage. 500 TukTuks has invested in over 60 companies in the past 44 months and is also the most active investor in Thailand. Other than making investments, 500 TukTuks also empowers startups with best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent to provide unfair advantage in the local market. Mameaw also plays an important role in building the ecosystem in Thailand and CLMV by being an advisor to Alibaba e-founder Fellowship, dtac Accelerate A Academy, mentor and judge to SeedStars, and regular guest speaker for events and universities. Previous to joining 500 TukTuks, Mameaw was a Money-Market Dealer at Bangkok Bank and graduated from Imperial College London with MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management.
maria gracia ogliastri
Maria Gracia Ogliastri is a visual artist of Colombian, Ecuadorian and Dutch nationality, currently living and working in Amsterdam. She holds a Masters Degree in Direction of Photography in Film from TAI Madrid, where she graduated with honours. She also holds a Degree in Photography from The Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam where her graduation project awarded her a prestigious nomination by the FOAM Museum for the Amsterdam Fund for Visual Arts and was consequently described by FOAM as an artist to follow. Her work deals with remembrance, identity, melancholia and grief, and unites photography, film, language and performance.
strategic adviser, Invest Bristol + Bath
Mark Leaver works on behalf of Invest Bristol + Bath as a specialist adviser on the creative and digital media industries, assisting and advising businesses on strategic investment and expansion opportunities in the West of England region.
Over his 25 years’ experience across the media industries, two key themes have defined Mark’s career, whether working on startups or for national broadcasters: the combination of content and emerging digital technologies, and the connection of creative business to international markets.
In addition to his role for IBB, Mark is a strategic adviser to the Department for International Trade at a national level. His other recent projects in the digital innovation space include the development of a culture-led smart cities project and research on the current immersive technology marketplace and global trends in broadcast media and the impacts of personalization.
pioneering filmmaker and AI collaborator
Martha Fiennes is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and artist. Her multi-layered work is increasingly informed by technological developments and ideas in contemporary art, while maintaining the creative expression of a highly gifted filmmaker. Martha has directed two high-profile feature films including the Russian period piece Onegin, which won the best director award at Tokyo Film Festival, and the London Critics Award for Best Newcomer. Her second feature, Chromophobia, was applauded for its powerful contemporary style and closed the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. More recently, Martha has been using a pioneering form of generative AI to create large-scale moving image artworks. Her first moving image artwork, Nativity (2011), incorporates continuously generative elements which result in a spellbinding experience that is different for every audience. Nativity has been exhibited worldwide, including at The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia, in December 2018. Martha’s latest AI-driven, generative moving artwork “Yugen (2018)”, features actor Salma Hayek Pinault and premiered to wide acclaim at the Venice Film Festival in 2018. It has also been screened at The Serpentine Gallery during Frieze London, at LACMA during Frieze LA and at Christie’s New York where the work opened the 2019 Art & Tech Summit.
chief scientific officer, thingsTHINKING
Mathias Landhäußer is the CSO and founder of thingsTHINKING (tT), an AI startup that helps computers understand the meaning of text. tT works with clients, partners and suppliers in the automotive industry, the mechanical engineering field, and the insurance sector, as well as with the “Big Four” in the tax and auditing sector to speed up document-driven processes.
Mathias also spearheads tT’s research advancements and prototypes to apply the latest developments to real-world problems. In his role, he works closely with a team of software architects and customers alike to employ AI technology in the wild. With a strong focus on generating value for his customers, he emphasizes benchmarking solutions while building new products.
Mathias earned a PhD with highest honors in Computer Science in 2016 from the
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He applies computer linguistics and knowledge
engineering to a variety of creative tasks.
founder and CEO, Black Euphoria / vice president, Creative Industries Aix Marseille French Tech
Mathieu Rozières is the founder and CEO of media creation agency Black Euphoria. He has cowritten and co-produced documentaries and multimedia projects (Ma vie à deux balles) and produced visual arts exhibitions (Cyril Carret’s solo show Cellules).
Above all, Mathieu sees himself as a prototypist, driven by curiosity, innovation and fun. In 2016, he collaborated with film production agency Bachibouzouk to develop a VR app, Histoires d’Espaces, which was distributed by France Télévision. A year later, Histoires d’Espaces 2 followed, which brought together acclaimed French choreographers, visual artists and theatre directors to create original VR pieces.
In early 2017, the agencies collaborated again to produce an interactive digital experience based on Kandinsky’s painting Continuous Line. They created the Cube: a mobile, interactive screening space offering immersive experiences in a collective setting.
Since then, Mathieu has focused on developing next-generation arts and museum projects, as well as creative communications campaigns, mixing new technologies, interactive scenography and storytelling. Mathieu is the Vice-President of the French Tech Aix-Marseille agency responsible for innovation in the creative industries, and the Vice-President of Mediterranean cross-media cluster Primi.
architect and principal, Hollwich Kushner
Matthias Hollwich, Principal of Hollwich Kushner and Co-founder of Architizer.com, has established himself at the forefront of a new generation of groundbreaking international architects. He believes the key to successful architecture lies in finding new and exciting ways to create dialogues and relationships between people and buildings. He was recently honored in Fast Company’s ranking of the world’s top 10 most innovative architects and in Business Insider’s list of top business visionaries.
Matthias has taught architecture as a visiting Professor at PennDesign, and his work has been published in leading media outlets such as The New York Times, Wallpaper* and The Wall Street Journal. His latest book, Architecture Can!, was co-authored by Marc Kushner and published by Images Publishing in the 2018.
digital innovation manager, BASF
Matthias Poguntke is Digital Innovation Manager at BASF. Before joining BASF in 2018, he served in different expert- and leadership roles of the electronics-, machinery- and robotics-industries. Today he’s helping his clients to explore digital innovation. Matthias connects them to ecosystems, startups and institutions and facilitates experiments with those making the future. When doing so, his long shop floor experience helps him to advocate exponential technologies in a result driven, business oriented way. Matthias is 41, married and a father of two.
innovation expert, cosnova
Maximilian Seidel is a visionary, purpose-driven futurist and strategist at the cosnova Innovation Lab. After creating integrated communication campaigns at Jürg W. Leipziger’s communications and PR agency (Leipziger & Partner), he joined cosnova as Trade Marketing Manager for essence and CATRICE in 2008. Three years later, he became responsible for all film media as well as sponsorships for these brands essence. He created and managed marketing campaigns related to sponsorships like the Justin Bieber Believe World Tour in Europe and the US, the Global Fashion Awards, various Fashion Weeks as well three MTV EMAs from 2013 to 2016. In 2016 he joined the newly founded cosnova Think Tank, which recently developed into the Innovation Lab. He consults and challenges the company and cosnova brands on their response to trends, cultural changes and technology, and furthers their consumer-centric focus and innovative mindset.
artist and technologist building experiments at Google Creative Lab
Maya Man is an artist and technologist based in New York City. Currently, she's building experiments at the Google Creative Lab. She spends most of her time making weird web things, dancing in studios and public spaces, and maintaining her love/hate relationship with the internet (mostly love though).
sports psychologist, SK Gaming
Mia Stellberg is from Finland. She is specialized in sport psychology and has a degree in psychotherapy. She is a licensed psychologist with a long history of working with athletes in the Olympics as well as eSports. Her mission is to improve her clients’ general well-being and ability to perform successfully under pressure.
Some of Mia´s best-known clients include Astralis and Ence, two professional Counter-Strike teams.
Mia is now working with SK Gaming and Dota 2 team OG (the current world champions).
chief marketing officer
Michal Veselý is an enterpreneur, visionary, marketing professional and a nature lover from the Czech Republic. He works as a Chief Marketing Officer for JIC (Southmoravian Innovation Center), the most significant organization of its kind in the Czech Republic. JIC empowers entrepreneurs to contribute to a positive change of society and to address global challenges and it supports doing “business with purpose”. Michal is responsible for marketing, brandmanagement and communication and he is now highly focused on rebranding of the whole organization.
He is also well-known for his 20-year-long work for environmental NGOs – longtime director of Environmental Partnership Association, former member of European Green Belt, European Foundation Centre and Business Leaders forum board, founder of the Tree of the Year brand, former co-leader of EKOFILM festival, and as organizer of high level events in the Czech Republic and Brussels.
michel van pelt
CleanSpace engineer, ESA ESTEC
I support ESA's Clean Space office with cost estimates, involvement in several studies and various outreach activities.
I am the author of a number of popular science books published through Springer/Praxis in New York, of which ‘Dream Missions: Space Colonies, Nuclear Spacecraft and Other Possibilities’ of 2017 is the most recent. Editor and writer for the Dutch space magazine 'Ruimtevaart'. Articles of mine have also appeared in 'Aeroplane', 'Spaceflight' and 'Mars Exploration Magazine'.
I regularly present talks on space related topics (Nationaal Ruimtevaart Museum, SpaceUp, ESTEC Open Day) and co-organised the Living off Earth Lab for Border Sessions Tech Culture Festival.
market research executive and gender bias thought leader
Michele Madansky runs a media and market research consultancy specializing in online media and advertising. Her clients have included BuzzFeed, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Postmates, Chegg and BabyCenter. She is also the co-author of Elephant In the Valley, a widely cited study on gender bias in Silicon Valley, and moderated a keynote at SXSW on the topic in 2016. She is also on the board of Wogrammer, a non-profit focused on inspiring women and girls to pursue careers in STEM. In the early 1990s, Michele was the first interactive specialist at BBDO (pre-Netscape). She also authored the first PhD dissertation focused on online advertising. From 2003 to 2007, Michele was Vice President of Global Market Research for Yahoo! Prior to joining Yahoo!, she was managing partner at Grey Insight Partners, an analytics consultancy. Michele holds a ScB from Brown University, and an MBA and PhD from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. She is on the Advertising Research Foundation’s Women in Analytics Advisory Board and on the program board for i-com (Global Forum for Marketing Data and Measurement). She has also been a lecturer at Haas Graduate School of Business. Michele lives in Menlo Park, CA with her husband and two sons.
CEO & founder, Acitoflux
Mika is the Founder and CEO of acitoflux. He translates technology and creativity though open innovation into real-world applications that improve people's everyday life. He served 13 years as adviser and coach to a variety of iconic brands, organizations and individuals. Today He is focused on enabling technologies for future mobility, intelligent transport, Society 5.0 and smart cities.
founder, managing director, RatePAY
As founder and Managing Director of the German payment provider RatePAY, Miriam Wohlfarth is one of the few female fintech founders and has almost 20 years of experience in the payment tech industry. At RatePAY, she is actively shaping the evolution of the online payment industry. The company is also developing an AI-based, state-of-the-art risk management software. As a result Miriam has acquired a vast amount of knowledge on fraud and risk. She has worked for some of the most successful major global companies (Worldpay, Royal Bank of Scotland) and can be regarded as an angel investor for start-ups. Miriam is member of the Fintech Council at the German Ministry of Finance, of the Bitkom presidium and at the MRC European Advisory Board. She is also mentor for Accelerator Axel Springer Plug and Play, a FinCompare board member and a partner of PAYMENTANDBANKING, the leading fintech blog in Germany. They organize a series of events, including Payment Exchange and Banking Exchange. In addition to her work, she also writes columns and produces fintech podcasts, such as Digital Kompakt. In 2009 she founded the Berlin based payment provider RatePAY, which has more than 240 employees.
socio-ecological architect / urban designer / professor nyu / co-founder, Terreform ONE
Mitchell Joachim is the Co-founder of Terreform ONE and an Associate Professor at NYU. He was formerly an architect at the offices of Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and fellowships with TED, Moshe Safdie, and the Martin Society for Sustainability, MIT. He was chosen by Wired magazine for "The Smart List” and selected by Rolling Stone for “The 100 People Who Are Changing America”, and featured as “The NOW 99” in Dwell magazine and “50 Under 50 Innovators of the 21st Century" by Images Publishers. He has also co-authored three books, and his design work has been exhibited at MoMA and the Venice Biennale. Mitchell has received many honors, including the ARCHITECT R+D Award, AIA New York Urban Design Merit Award, 1st Place International Architecture Award, Victor Papanek Social Design Award, Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability, History Channel Infiniti Award for City of the Future, and Time magazine’s Best Invention with the MIT Smart Cities Car.
founder, hot takes
Morgan Catalina creates experiences that build community around art, science and technology.
She is Co-Founder of Hot Takes, which was born from a personal interest in creating safe spaces for sex positivity and the desire to explore how technology shapes our relationships.
As founder of Out-Of-Office, she works with visual artists, designers and scientists to research how society is evolving and creates compelling platforms to present pioneering experiments in arts and culture. Before moving to Amsterdam, Morgan served as Executive Producer of SXSW Eco and co-founded the SXSW Art Program. She earned a degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Georgia.
director, Fukuoka Global Startup Centre
Mumu Makinose is responsible for the Fukuoka Global Startup Center (GSC), an organization that supports foreign startups who want to come to Fukuoka. The GSC’s staff members use their experience working and traveling abroad to help companies navigate the process of setting up their businesses, and connect them to local mentors who can answer their questions and provide support along the way. Over the course of his career working in the international banking sector and at Sony, Mumu has lived in multiple countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America, giving him insight into the challenges and benefits of building a new life and business abroad. He’s also the founder of Fukuoka startup lainen LLC, where he works with international companies in countries like Estonia, Switzerland, Tunisia, and China. His extensive experience and network give him the unique ability to understand startup development from both a Japanese and international perspective.
chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars
Ola Källenius has been a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since January 2015, and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since May 22, 2019. He is also Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division.
Ola was born in Västervik, Sweden in 1969. After attending school and obtaining his Abitur (university entrance examination) at Danderyd Grammar School (Sweden), he completed his military service with the Swedish army from 1988 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993, he studied at the Stockholm School of Economics (where he earned his Master's in Finance and Accounting) and the CEMS Program at the University of St. Gallen (where he earned a Master's in International Management). He first started working at Daimler-Benz AG In 1993 as a Trainee with the International Management Associate Program.
deputy director, technopark of ITMO university
Olesya Baraniuc is responsible for the development of the entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem at ITMO University -- one of the leading universities in Russia and the only university in St. Petersburg on Forbes’ list of the top 10 universities in Russia.
Prior to ITMO University, Olesya worked as an International Program Manager at the Aalto University High School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland, and a legal adviser at the law firm Costas Indianos & Co. in Nicosia, Cyprus, providing a full range of services for the incorporation and administration of companies in various jurisdictions. She’s also worked on numerous international projects and lived in Romania, Belgium and Italy, giving her a broad understanding of the different ways of life and doing business abroad.
pedro carneiro silva
pianist, composer and performer
Pedro Carneiro Silva is a pianist, composer and performer from Rio de Janeiro. His creative musical process stands out for an innovative approach that explores the interaction between experiences, feelings and music. In the “Free Seat” project, in partnership with Ardalan Aram, Pedro creates music for people during random encounters in the city and in “O Trampolim de Oiticica” project, his music is created through performances that explore social and personal issues. Pedro also collaborates with artists from around the world and has conducted concerts and workshops throughout Europe, Asia and Brazil. He holds a degree in Brazilian Music from UNIRIO (Rio de Janeiro) and a Masters in Jazz Piano from Escola Superior de Musica (Lisbon). Pedro was a guest piano and composition faculty in two of the main music institutes in India - Global Music Institute (Delhi) and SAM (Chennai).
cyber security consultant, PwC
Philipp made his first steps on the Internet with a 56k modem, the dial-in melody of which he can no longer get out of his head. Born as a Digital Native, he started his career as an IT specialist with an Internet provider. He then worked as an IT project manager for market leaders in special and niche markets until he joined PwC as an IT auditor in finance. There he is now part of the cross-industry Cyber Security & Privacy unit. Philipp has seen many bugs and vulnerabilities. It is always interesting to see how even small and initially insignificant gaps can be exploited. To demonstrate such a Cyber Kill Chain, Philipp and Thomas developed the Cyber Escape Room, an authentic Cyber Security Awareness Simulation.
head of open innovation, Startup Autobahn
Dr. Philipp Gneiting, 1981, started working for Daimler AG in the body, materials & exterior department during his PhD. He moved to the company’s group research department and launched the team “Open Innovation” there in 2016, which is looking for competent research partners on Daimler's future research topics. 2016 Philipp’s team together with the University of Stuttgart and Plug & Play founded STARTUP AUTOBAHN, an innovation platform to foster cooperation between startups and corporates in the Stuttgart area.
founder and cedo, Seedlab
Regine is one of the passionate leading experts in the field of digital itransformation and disruptive technologies. With more than 25 years experience she is consulting & building outstanding digital innovation tech projects.
She connects innovators and corporates to bring disruptive technologies to life and create value for both sides. Regine is working together with Corporates and Tech Companies on DLT/Blockchain based industry solutions for Smart Mobility, Smart Cities, Finance and IoT.
Regine is Founder of Seedlab based in Berlin, Co-founder of Seedlab Cape Town and former CEO of I-D Media AG.
Regine is advisor to the IOTA foundation, an innovative open source decentralized ledger technology for machine to machine transactions and IoT.
She is also mentor and advisor to various Startups in the field of data ownership, cybersecurity & economic modeling.
award-winning documentary filmmaker 'Normal is Over' & investigative journalist
Renée Scheltema is an independent award-winning documentary Filmmaker and Producer and Photographer.
Her latest film NORMAL IS OVER 1.1 is an award-winning feature documentary about humanity's wisest response to climate change, species extinction, resource depletion, income inequality and the connection between these issues. This film connects the dots: A look at the financial and economical paradigm underlying our planetary problems, while offering various SOLUTIONS to reverse the path of global decline.
Renée has worked for Dutch television as a director, producer and camera person for over thirty years.
Some of her documentaries, like 'Something Unknown Is Doing We Don’t Know What’, ‘ Hush, a Portrait of Tracy Payne (about #metoo), ’Seven Days in Burma’, ’The Death Penalty’, and “The Bus”, were selected at International Film Festivals.
She co-produced films with UNDP, UNESCO, Amnesty International and various NGO’s.
As a professional photographer, Renée has worked for Magazines and Newspapers in Holland, the USA, and South Africa.
She was a member of Gamma Liaison in New York, now called Getty Images.
Renée is also the founder of The New Normal Foundation. Its mission is to create meaningful change for a regenerative planet; to connect “money to nature” by inspiring people to build a “new normal” for the health of our planet, and its inhabitants.
Renée holds a Drs. in Criminology, University Leiden, Netherlands, & a Master’s degree in Television Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.
chief personal scientist, personalscience.com
Richard Sprague is an avid self-experimenter and long-time Quantified Self contributor who has been building and marketing consumer software internationally for decades at numerous technology companies including Apple, Microsoft, and several Silicon Valley startups, including microbial genomics leader uBiome. Having sequenced his microbiome more than 600 times near-daily since 2014, he builds analysis software to study the interaction between his microbiome, the food he eats, and new tracking self-tracking technologies including continuous glucose monitoring. Educated at Stanford and University of Pennsylvania, he worked in Tokyo and Beijing for more than 10 years and currently lives in Seattle, where he enjoys discussing health and comparing wellness discoveries with others at www.personalscience.com
chairman of Germany’s Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen
Robert Habeck was elected Party Leader of the German Green Party, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, in January 2018. He was born in Lübeck on September 2, 1969. After studying Philosophy, he became a successful author. Later in his career, he became actively involved in politics. From 2012 to 2018 he was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Energy Transition in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. He recently gave up his political office in Schleswig-Holstein to head up the Green Party, together with Co-Party Leader Annalena Baerbock, with the aim making the party a powerful alliance for the future.
founder & co-creator, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
Master trainer in the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method and delivers both facilitator training programs as well as end-user workshops through his company Rasmussen Consulting represented in Europe, Asia and USA. Together with Per Kristiansen, he is the author of the book “Building a Better Business with the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method”. Robert Rasmussen is the main architect of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method. During 1999 - 2007 he and his team developed the concept into the robust methodology we know today. He worked for the LEGO Group from 1988 to 2001 as head of R&D for LEGO Education. From 2001 to 2004 Robert managed Executive Discovery Ltd., which was responsible for launching the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY program. Robert is a native of Denmark. He has spent his career applying experiences and theories about play, learning, creativity and teaching to organizational development. Over a 15-year period he worked extensively with designers and researchers at Tufts University and the MIT Media Lab in Boston, Massachusetts to develop and apply hands-on learning tools.
entrepreneur, inventor and skateboarding legend
Often called the “Godfather of Modern Skateboarding,” Rodney Mullen is known for being the most dominant world champion in the history of this sport, and creating most of its modern tricks. He also studied chemical engineering, that is, until a friend borrowed money from a loan shark. They used this new-found capital to start a skate company which went on to become the largest of its era, earning him two patents along the way.
After selling his company, Rodney turned to Linux, finding parallels between skate and hacker cultures that foster innovation. His insights on these two worlds led him to become a public speaker for major events and brands. Besides on his skateboard and on stage, Rodney has also appeared in ten video games, acclaimed documentaries and multiple books, as well as in Wired, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vogue, and the Wall Street Journal. After putting his board on display, the Smithsonian offered Rodney a Fellowship. Today, he’s a Director’s Fellow at MIT’s Media Lab.
co-founder & venture architect, Acitoflux
Ronja is one of the Co-Founders of the company builder acitoflux. In her daily business she is working as a Venture Architect to bring an idea from [0 – 1] thus market ready. Acitoflux believe in ecosystems and currently building companies in the following: future mobility, intelligent transportation, healthcare and smart city. Based on her academic and personal background it was only a matter of time until she would follows her roots and uses her entrepreneurial mindset to challenge, support and enable others to help realize their business ideas. Until today, she lived in six foreign countries, was taught by inspiring professors and worked with brilliant minds as a professional. She learned various working methods and experienced contrasting cultures and beliefs. Yet, she cannot wait to shape the future together with other driven minds. She is strongly convinced of two things: having team players on board is key and going the extra mile pays off.
CEO & founder, Plug and Play Tech Center
Besides his role as the CEO and Founder of Plug and Play Tech Center Saeed also holds the position of General Partner in Amidzad. The fund has been investing in technology companies for over 15 years and holds successful investments in over 1,000 technology companies, some of which are: PayPal, Powerset, Danger, Bix, Powerset, DropBox, Lending Club, Zoosk, etc. A serial entrepreneur and a seasoned executive with over 28 years of experience in founding, operating, and growing successful companies. He has successfully started and grown businesses nationally and internationally, in countries like: Spain, Germany, France, and Austria. Saeed’s current passion is inspiring and helping entrepreneurs out of universities.
data detox mentor and project lead, Tactical Tech
Safa Ghnaim leads Tactical Tech’s successful Data Detox Kit project, building partnerships and leading workshops around the world. The Data Detox Kit’s friendly, non-technical tone and flexible approach gives people the space to choose their own Data Detox adventure. Before joining Tactical Tech, she worked as an educator and editor, most notably editing and formatting the book Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which told the story of her family.
executive vice president and member of the board, Mercedes-Benz Cars / CASE
Sajjad Khan has been a member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars since October 2018. In this function, he is responsible for all divisions of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, Electric).
Sajjad Khan was born on October 30th, 1973, in Karachi, Pakistan. Having completed a master’s degree in Information & Communication Technology, specializing in product engineering and following first international projects in the industry, Sajjad Khan joined DaimlerChrysler AG in 2001. There he worked on various projects in the field of infotainment before transferring to the materials purchasing department in 2004, where he procured electronic components for cars.
Sajjad Khan moved to MAGNA in 2007, where he gained experience as director of the e-car and electronics unit and also worked in global procurement.
From 2011 to 2015 he worked for BMW Group AG, where he ultimately became Vice President, responsible for the Connected Drive system worldwide.
Sajjad Khan took over the responsibility for Digital Vehicle & Mobility as Vice President at Daimler AG in spring 2015. Since June 2017 he has also been working as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CASE.
In October 2018 Sajjad Khan was appointed as divisional board member of Mercedes-Benz Cars to lead the whole CASE organization.
Previous positions held:
- Divisional Board Member & Executive Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Cars, 2018
- Chief Technical Officer, CASE, 2017
- Vice President - Digital Vehicle & Mobility, Daimler AG, 2015
- Vice President - Connected Drive, BMW Group, 2011
- Managing Director, Magna E-Car Systems, 2007
- Technical Development and Purchasing, DaimlerChrysler AG, 2001
founder, Chinwag / stage host
Sam Michel founded Chinwag in 1996, the organization supports fast-growing technical businesses expand globally, working with over 300 companies and government trade support and innovation agencies. His work at Chinwag includes overseeing the organisation’s live event design and production, marketing consultancy and outreach & partnership development projects. Most recently, Sam has led the outreach & partnership development and international programmes for the UK government’s £110m Industrial Strategy investments into the creative industries through the Creative Clusters and Audience of the Future challenges. Sam has led over 20 trade delegations showcasing industry verticals including Immersive Technology, Fintech, AdTech, Creative and Digital Agencies, Robotics to the US, Europe and China, including six large-scale programmes at US tech festival, SXSW. He led the team that grew Social Media Week London, a collaborative festival to 280 events across London with 1500 delegates attending as well as launching Chinwag Psych, the world’s first behavioral economics for business conference. In 2014, he launched Pitch NYC a new event to help later-stage tech firms raise US investment to expand internationally. He is an independent grant assessor for the Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation funding agency and aregular mentor at startup programmes including MassChallenge and a judge for the Big Chip Awards and TechNation’s Rising Stars programme.
happiness consultant, founder of Growth & Happiness School
Samantha Clarke is a happiness consultant and founder of Growth & Happiness School. It’s the first online school with training to help individuals find work happiness or create it for others at work. She is on a mission to liberate tired company cultures from unhappy work environments through coaching and consulting on wellbeing strategies. Through her work, she has achieved big results with clients like Dishoom, Shopify, Innocent, Mediacom, Deutsche Telekom and more. Samantha is also a faculty lecturer at the School of Life and The Guardian, where she facilitates workshops on career potential, building a portfolio career, leadership and stress. In addition, she hosts a podcast, "Conversations with Samantha&", where she talks with philosophers, technologists and more on the impact of technology on our happiness in work, life and cities. Samantha has been featured in Monocle's Forecast happiness edition, BBC Global News, Momondo’s latest project, Psychologies, Forbes and The Times. Her first book "Love it or Leave it - How to be happy at work" is due out spring 2020.
project manager, Business Tampere
Sami Puttonen is focused on entrepreneurship and the startup scene in Finland. He’s currently using his background in this field as a project manager at Business Tampere, where he’s overseeing a new initiative to develop a regional startup ecosystem. Prior to getting involved in the world of startups, Sami worked in the education sector in Finland and Ireland. Sami believes that successful startups require a specific mindset and way of working. This includes a diverse community, an open, collaborative working environment, and a mentorship approach where people are encouraged to ask for help and share their expertise with others. All of these elements are present in Tampere, which is what makes it a great startup city.
biochemist and crispr expert, Columbia University
Samuel Sternberg, PhD, runs a research laboratory at Columbia University, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. He received his B.A. from Columbia University in 2007, graduating summa cum laude, and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned graduate student fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. Sam's research focuses on RNA-guided bacterial immune systems (CRISPR-Cas) and on the development of these systems for genome engineering. In addition to publishing his work in leading scientific journals, he recently co-authored a popular science trade book together with Jennifer Doudna, a leading figure in the "CRISPR revolution". Entitled A Crack in Creation, their book is about the discovery, development, and applications of gene-editing technology. It has been published in over a dozen foreign languages, including German (Eingriff in die Evolution), and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
critical futurist and managing partner, Changeist
As a futurist, founder and managing partner of Changeist, Scott Smith’s work focuses on guiding organizations toward better futures through foresight, narrative design and strategic design. Scott has worked with some of the largest and most respected global financial, retail, telecoms, property, technology, fashion and media brands, such as the BBC, The New York Times, ASOS, VF and Comcast. He has delivered futures projects, talks and workshops, and led teams in over a dozen countries and in multiple languages. Scott heads the futures program for Dubai Future Academy, and lectures at IED Barcelona. He has written for The Atlantic, Quartz, The Next Web, WIRED UK, and How We Get to Next. He is based in Amsterdam, where he is also developing several fiction and documentary projects, and writes and co-hosts the Underfutures podcast.
managing director, TechQuartier
Sebastian is a Cambridge-born behavioral economist and innovation enthusiast. As entrepreneur and lecturer, he has been engaged in building a dynamic startup scene in the Metropolitan region for many years. Prior to founding TechQuartier, Sebastian was head of Goethe University’s business incubator and research fellow at the management and microeconomics department. He lectures at Goethe Business School and is associated with the Center for Leadership and Behavior in Organizations and the Frankfurt Laboratory of Experimental Economics at Goethe University.
founder / president / executive chairman, Udacity
Sebastian Thrun is a scientist, educator, inventor, and entrepreneur. As the founder, president and executive chairman of Udacity, Sebastian’s mission is to power careers through tech education. Today, the company has over ten million students worldwide and more than 200 global industry partners including Bosch, Google, and Mercedes-Benz to close talent gaps. Sebastian is a former Google Fellow and a research professor at Stanford University. At Google he founded Google X, where he built the self-driving car team now known as Waymo. As a professor at Stanford University, he led the Stanford Racing Team, whose robot “Stanley” won the DARPA Grand Challenge. Stanley is now on display at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
AI researcher & entrepreneur
16 years old, Canadian, and striving to develop the future of technology: Shalev Lifshitz is one of the world’s youngest AI researchers and entrepreneurs. Through his work, he inspires others to explore the future of AI, as well as think about the questions we need to ask to be prepared for human-level artificial intelligence. Shalev is conducting research at the University of Waterloo to further the community's efforts toward reaching Artificial General Intelligence and is developing new Artificial Neural Networks to behave more like the human brain. In addition, Shalev is working on solutions for some of Canada’s top hospitals. At SickKids Hospital in Toronto, he’s creating a computer vision system to expedite diagnostic and drug discovery processes. He’s also working with St. Joeseph’s Hospital, where he created a remote system that will assist stay-at-home patients and caregivers while gathering metrics that allow for better care. His goal is to spark the next wave of human innovation and help humanity reach a new evolutionary level.
sheree renée thomas
award-winning science fiction writer & editor
Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor. Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and conjure, her roots in Memphis, and in the genius culture created in the Mississippi Delta. She is the author of Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press), longlisted for the 2016 James Tiptree, Jr. Award and honored with a Publishers Weekly Starred Review and Shotgun Lullabies, described as a “revelatory work like Jean Toomer’s Cane.” With fellowships from Bread Loaf Environmental, Cave Canem Foundation, Ledig House, and the Millay Colony for the Arts, her work is widely anthologized and her essays have appeared in the New York Times. She edited the World Fantasy Award-winning speculative fiction volumes, Dark Matter, and serves as the Associate Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora (Illinois State University, Normal). She is a co-editor of Trouble the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue (Rosarium 2020), founding editor of Mojo: Journal of Black Speculative Arts, and is a 2019 Guest of Honor of the World Fantasy Conference in Los Angeles. Enjoy her new fiction collection, Nine Bar Blues (Third Man Books 2020).
LUB GmbH - Linguistische Unternehmensberatung (LUB) is the first linguistic management consultancy in Germany which analyses numbers and language the same way, because, contrary to popular belief, business data consist to 80% of words. On the basis of these data, LUB develops another way of thinking which leads to authentic working strategies and implementation measures.
LUB specializes on output-oriented knowledge transfer. We counsel DAX-companies, cities and educational organizations when it comes to questions related to corporate social responsibility, human resources/gender and communication, i.e. situations in which language and numbers meet. This holistic approach supports companies in developing authentic, conscious and successful systems.
LUB was founded by Dr. Simone Burel in 2015 on the basis of her dissertation about language in DAX-30 companies and has evolved to a six-person expert-team now.
LUB has been awarded with the MEXI - Mannheimer Existenzgründungspreis (Mannheim Startup Award) in 2018. Dr. Burel's dissertation has been awarded with the prize for professional communication in 2017 by the GAL (Society for Applied Linguistics) and she has also been awarded as academic junior researcher by the career platform academics.de in the same year.
LUB is partner of the Mannheim Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MCEI) of the University of Mannheim as well as the ifsn (Institute of Social Sustainability) of the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Management.
director innovation & marketing, BP plc
One of Sophia’s key jobs is to find those talented startups and bring them into BP’s Advanced Mobility Unit (AMU) to evaluate if we want to partner with and/or invest in their development. Our tech discovery is helped by our involvement in Startup Autobahn, a global mobility innovation collaborative, and via direct engagements with mobility tech start-up ecosystems located in Silicon Valley, Israel, China, and in select European cities. Her other key job is to build/refine consumer insights to guide the team on creating and executing relevant mobility products and services. Sophia sits on the AMU Leadership Team. Before BP, she worked for 25+ years as a global marketer & innovator in the consumer goods & services industry before taking time out to qualify as a lawyer (a mid-life crisis). She also ran her own award-winning startup. She holds a Warwick MBA as well as degrees in science (McGill) and law (London).
co-founder & CEO, Numina
Tara is founder and CEO of Numina, which takes a privacy-first approach to measure all forms of street-level activity for cities and, by making this real-time intelligence queryable via API, turns streets into a developer platform for the urban planning, mobility, and real estate sectors. Individually and with Numina, Tara has led city-scale data projects with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Code for America, Living Cities, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Clinton Foundation, and others. Prior to civic tech, Tara had worked in public health/urban design research, radio and print media, and arts administration. She is also a former Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, Mercedes Benz EQ Fellow, Next City Vanguard, 1776vc Fellow, alumna of URBAN-X and 500 Startups, and winner of the $50,000 Globalhack hackathon. Tara currently co-hosts Women Who Hardware, which brings together the female and gender-nonconforming doers of the NYC hardware ecosystem.
Thin King is a musical project based in Turin, composed by Andrea Mariatti, upcoming producer graduated in Creative Media Industry and Audio Production at Sae Institute in Milan, and Riccardo Dezzani, musician and photographer graduated in Product Design at IAAD.
cyber security consultant, PwC
How easy is hacking? Thomas Klir deal with this question. He provides assistance in the area of cyber security. Thomas is Cyber Security Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH WPG in Germany's inancial metropolis Frankfurt am Main. He supports customers by analysing threats, building concepts for cryptography and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Systems. Together with Philipp Fath he initiated he Cyber Security Awareness Simulation “Cyber Escape Room”. The cyber security simulation illustrates how insider knowledge, criminal energy and opportunity combined with various attack techniques and existing security vulnerabilities can used by an individuum to execute a cyber attack. Thomas laid the foundation for his expertise with his education: He studied Computer Science and IT-Security at the University of Technology in Darmstadt, Germany, and passed different Cyber Security exams like CISA and CISM.
ventures associate, Plug and Play
Timo is a Ventures Associate at Plug and Play Techcenter working in startup and technology
scouting. Before finding relevant technologies for Startup Autobahn’s corporate partner network and potential investment opportunities for Plug and Play, he studied Business Law and International Management in Pforzheim and Reutlingen. During his studies, he gained professional experience in
the automotive industry and spent time in Mexico, South Korea and the UK.
neuroscientist and co-founder, Backyard Brains
Timothy Marzullo is a professional neuroscientist dedicated to improving public understanding of how the brain works. In early 2009, he co-founded Backyard Brains. Their aim is to make "Neuroscience for Everyone" by designing and creating inexpensive equipment and experiments that allows scientists of all ages to study and comprehend the electrical activity of the brain, muscles and heart. The idea began as a self-imposed engineering challenge between his friend Gregory Gage and him to improve neuroscience outreach at local schools. With the generous sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health, the Kauffman Foundation and the Start-Up Chile Program, Timothy works on rapidly bringing prototypes to market and designing intuitive experiments that teach students about physiology and electronics. To date, the equipment of Backyard Brains is in all 50 States in the USA and 82 countries around the world. Timothy also works extensively in Latin America, teaching classes on neuroscience, invention and creativity in the scientific progress.
Tiziana Alocci is a multi-disciplinary information designer passionate about converting diverse and complex topics into visually engaging graphics. She works for globally recognised companies across a wide range of sectors. From 2017, Tiziana is the co-founder of Market Cafe Magazine, the world’s first magazine focused on data visualisation.
head of content and technical writer, iFixit Europe
Tobias Isakeit is Head of Content and a technical writer at iFixit Europe. Since he was a kid, Tobias has been taking things apart to get a closer look at their inner workings, especially mechanical and electronic devices.
Tobias is based in Stuttgart, Germany, where he has a background in media design and a Bachelor of Engineering in Audio-Visual Media. He joined iFixit Europe in 2014 as a customer service representative, and he's supported their event management by planning and attending several maker fairs and repair cafés. Since starting the local content team in 2016, Tobias is once again focusing on taking things apart by documenting device disassemblies for iFixit's teardowns and repair guides.
head of conference programming, SXSW
Todd Hansen has spent his career chasing what interests him. He is the Head of Conference Programming at SXSW, and leads a team of content curators across twenty-two tracks of programming. He's always fascinated by culture, tech and the human condition, and ever-inspired by those creating and collaborating in the arts and sciences: the framework builders of our future. Todd Hansen is a history nut, who asks, "What's next?' The chase continues.
architect and urbanist, Harvard Graduate School of Design - Loeb Fellow
As president of the Rio World Heritage Institute and the Mayor’s Special Advisor for Urban Issues from 2009 to 2016, Washington Fajardo created policies and finance solutions to preserve heritage, regenerate buildings and places, and improve public services in Rio de Janeiro. His innovative initiatives revived cultural heritage in the city’s waterfront renewal and supported private owners to rehabilitate historic buildings. Now, as he pursues architectural and urban design activities in his studio DBR, he is developing a new “urban agency,” a mix of “do-tank” and investigation and problem solving lab at the intersection of academia, city government, and community. Fajardo created the Carioca Design Center and the African Heritage Historical and Archaeological Trail. He has won awards for Ver-O-Peso urban renewal in Belém in the Amazon Region, Pavuna Carioca Arena, and the New Imperator, an old movie theater converted to a multipurpose cultural center. His weekly column about urban issues appears in O Globo newspaper.
communication expert and moderator / stage host
Zackes, also known as The StartupMC, is passionate about introducing people to pioneers and new technologies, and igniting their own potential for innovation. He explores relevant topics and technologies beyond the usual buzzwords and always seeks to challenge his stage guests to provide true insights to the audience.
You’ll find him working as an MC on the stages of Europe’s biggest tech conferences, moderating of expert panels, refereeing startup battles, or hosting hackathons and innovation challenges. He also uses his expertise to engage people, companies and organizations seeking to improve cross-silo synergies and align internal stakeholders.
Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either Mercedes-Benz and/or SXSW.