Everyone needs a sounding board and the ability to discuss trends, thoughts and new developments. With this in mind we brought together thought leaders from politics, academia and business. Passionate people from across the globe with different specialisations, backgrounds and views of the world.
What they all share is energy and knowledge, as well as a belief that a mix of ideas and inspiration can lead to positive change.
Executive Director of leading Geneva and New York-based Human Rights organisation Universal Rights Group (URG). Author, Commentator and Former Diplomat.
Prior to founding the URG in 2013, Marc worked as a diplomat at the UN Human Rights Council from the body’s establishment in 2006 until the end of 2012.
Outside the Human Rights Council, Marc also negotiated agreements and resolutions in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
Marc has written extensively on the international human rights system. He has published articles in various journals including, inter alia, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (RECIEL), and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law; and chapters for books on, inter alia, Special Procedures and freedom of religion or belief.
Marc holds Master's degrees from the University of Cambridge (UK), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and the Libre Université de Bruxelles (Belgium).
Lawyer, Consultant and Harvard Law School graduate. Luana has worked for the European Commission as well as in the private sector.
Luana is a foreign affairs expert, legal counselor and project manager with extensive experience working in the law field and with European institutions. Luana is currently a consultant on European funding and grants. She is also a member of the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School and the Young Scholars Initiative at the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
Luana is a business developer for Young Women Network (a pink hub that enhances female professional growth), Lean In Milan (the global community established by Sheryl Sandberg dedicated to helping women achieve their ambitions) and Soroptimist International.
Luana holds an LL.M (Master of Laws) from Harvard University, and her studies on both sides of the Atlantic bring to the mix a truly diverse perspective.
Economist, Professor and Author who has worked for the Confederation of Swedish Industries (Svenskt Näringsliv) as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Göran is Associate Professor of Economics (docent) at the University of Lund, Sweden. His specialisations include the Economics of Taxation, Social Security issues, Pension systems, Regulatory management and Regional development.
Göran has written a number of reports and studies including "Principles for a Sustainable System of Social Insurance", "New Principles for Future Taxation", " The Swedish Pension System for Men and Women – from 20 to 120 years of age", " A Complete Flat Tax – A beacon for Swedish tax policy?" and "Can we afford to grow older?"
Economist, Author and Influencer who founded and leads the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE).
Fredrik is a Swedish economist and writer. He is the Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a world-economy think tank based in Brussels he co-founded in 2006 together with Professor Razeen Sally. Since then Fredrik has led the development of ECIPE to become one of the leading research-based institutes in Brussels. ECIPE has been awarded with several prizes. In 2010 the Financial Times ranked Fredrik as one of the 30 most influential people in Brussels.
Fredrik is the author of several books and studies in the fields of international economics, economic policy, and regulatory affairs (covering inter alia welfare reforms, healthcare competition policy). He has also advised several governments in Europe and the rest of the world, and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Prior to starting ECIPE, Fredrik was an Adviser to the British government and the Chief Economist of Timbro, a Swedish think tank. He started his career as an economist in the Prime Minister's Office in Sweden and has later worked as an economist at the World Bank and for JP Morgan as an emerging market analyst. Fredrik was educated at the University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Uppsala University (Sweden).
Experienced advisor, Technology expert and business leader.
Sally currently leads global stakeholder engagement for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Engagement is critical to ICANN’s mission - to preserve a Multi-stakeholder model for an open, singular and secure Internet. With a wealth of experience in complex international Multi-stakeholder environments, Sally and her team cover the globe to engage all stakeholders in the internet ecosystem.
Before joining ICANN, Sally led one of Europe’s largest public relations firms, Hill & Knowlton, for over six years as EMEA CEO. In her career, Sally has worked with diverse international companies and Senior Leaders to maximize their resources and build strong relationships with their stakeholders.
As one of Europe’s leading communications experts she has been the Chairman and a Board member of the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association) since 2006.
Award winning CMO of one of the world's largest technology companies. Vast experience in dealing with the EU, WEF and National Governments on the role of digital technologies in our society.
Abhinav heads the communications, marketing and government affairs divisions for Global Markets (North America, South America, Europe, UK, MEA and APAC) at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a Global Digital and IT Services firm with revenues of US$19 billion and 417,000 employees based in 46 countries. The company’s brand was recognized as the fastest growing in its industry for the current decade in 2019 and valued at US$12.8 billion. TCS works with over 1,000 of the world's leading companies, helping them adopt digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Robotics, Analytics and Mobility; enabling them to stay ahead and compete successfully in the 4th Industrial revolution.
Abhinav manages the company's Strategic Partnership with the World Economic Forum and serves as the leadership representative for the company to the European Institutions in Brussels. In a distinguished career at the company, Abhinav has held several leadership positions in its European, Asian and Latin America operations. Abhinav is a Member of the Board of the Europe India Chamber of Commerce.
Abhinav holds an MBA in Marketing, a Honors degree in Economics and is based in Brussels, Belgium.
Thought-leader on cybersecurity, Professor and Author.
Jarno is Professor of Cybersecurity at Aalto University, Finland, and an adjunct professor in three other Finnish universities.
Jarno also works as CEO in a private company. He has been working with security issues for over 20 years, and has a deep understanding of the global threat landscape, combined with the courage to address the most complex issues.
Jarno has published a comprehensive list of works on security issues.
Technology, Start-Up and Employer Branding guru as well as an Entrepreneur.
Ylva is one of the co-founders of YM I RIGHT, a talent agency where the recruiter acts as an agent for carefully selected senior tech talents with a strong focus on women in the tech industry. As an active networker in Stockholm´s start-up scene, Ylva is also involved in supporting well-known brands with business development, focusing on company culture connected to co-worker engagement.
Ylva was at Spray (Lycos) between 1998 and 2000 as Digital Marketing Advisor for EMEA. Moving on to E-Commerce at Toga.com/YaTack.no in the 2000s Ylva became Nordic Marketing Director. Between 2005 and 2010 she was at Google where she headed up the Agency department as well as global accounts for Swedish brands such as Electrolux, H&M, Avito and IKEA (team split between Stockholm, Sweden and Dublin, Ireland). Moving on to Electrolux in 2010 Ylva was Global Digital Communications Manager (heading a local and a global team) for four years. She also acted as CPO at Hubbster (2017-2018).
Global Public Relations Expert, Entrepreneur, Author and Honorary Consul General of the Republic of the Seychelles.
Maxim is a leading global Public Relations expert who is Founder, Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of Directors of M3 Communications Group. Maxim was also President of the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO) - one of the largest and most influential global PR organisations (2015-17) and now is a Member of the Executive Committee.
In 2016 Maxim was appointed to the Advisory Board of the first Museum of Public Relations in New York and became the first Bulgarian ever included in the prominent annual PR Week Global Power Book. In 2016 the African Public Relations Association appointed Maxim as Ambassador for Europe and Honorary Fellow. Since 2017 Maxim also serves as International Senior Consultant to the Chinese International PR Association.
Maxim is also the former Chairman of the Board of the World Communications Forum in Switzerland, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the For Our Children Foundation and Vice-President of The Atlantic Club in Bulgaria.
Maxim's latest book “Generation F” reached #4 on the Amazon sales chart and his previous books “111 Rules on Facebook” and “Secondary Instinct” were also best sellers.
Maxim is a polyglot, fluent in Bulgarian, English, Czech, Polish and Russian. One of Maxim's favorite rules in life is: "If your dreams don't scare you, then they aren't big enough!" Maxim also plays the drums, golf and likes parachuting and rock music.
Communications, Government Relations and Marketing expert with a vast experience on both sides of the Atlantic.
George has spent his career at the intersection of commerce and public policy in North America and Europe. He has led marketing, communications and government relations at Coca-Cola Canada, Coca-Cola Europe, Bank of Montreal, Barclays Bank and Atomic Energy of Canada.
His career began with the Government of Canada at the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Commerce; Foreign Investment Review Agency; and Vice-Consul in Philadelphia. He has worked in Ottawa, Toronto, Philadelphia, Brussels and London.
Today, George is also a Member of the Board of Directors of Canada's Ballet Jörgen.
Law firm partner and EU Trade Law specialist.
Carolina is a partner with the law firm Mannheimer Swartling. She specializes in European trade law including, customs law , sanctions, export controls and trade remedies.
Prior to this, Carolina worked for the law firms Vinge, Sidley Austin and Vermulst, Wear & Verhauge. She has also worked for the European Commission and lived in Belgium as well as Sweden and France.
Carolina holds a Master's Degree (LL.M) from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and a Master's Degree in European and International law from the University of Toulouse (France).
Entrepreneur, Marketing & Communications Executive and Business Strategist.
Joe is an entrepreneurial, executive-level business strategist with more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience. He has category expertise in a dozen industry sectors, notably artificial intelligence, automotive and mobility, energy, sustainability, technology, and venture capital. Joe has advised high-profile startups to Fortune 100 companies around the world.
Joe is currently the Head of Marketing and Communications for One Concern where he leads the company’s overall marketing strategy, including its efforts to expand into new international markets.
Before joining One Concern, Joe founded his own consultancy, Heroes.Run, a brand-first venture firm, where he advised a number of socially-driven entrepreneurs and brands, including will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and his LA-based startup i.am+ and IKEA and its sustainability leadership team.
Earlier in his career, Joe was a founding team member for the world’s largest clean tech startup, Better Place. As CMO, he created a global movement behind a campaign addressing the challenge “How Do You Make the World a Better Place by 2020?” In 2011, Joe moved to Paris to establish the company’s European HQ before returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014.
As a consultant, Joe twice led the world’s largest technology practices for the world’s leading communications agencies. Joe’s point of view on innovation, global affairs, and culture has largely been shaped by the time he spent living in Silicon Valley, Washington, DC, and Paris, as well as having worked in more than 45 of the world’s top cities. He is adept at understanding cultural differences and norms, synthesizing complex business, technology and policy issues, and creating innovative new categories with his most recent effort being around benevolent intelligence and “Resilience Networks.” Joe continues to advise a handful of mission-driven startups.
Law firm partner and EU Competition law expert.
Pedro is a partner at Ramón y Cajal Abogados and leads the Firm's Competition and European Union Law practice area. Pedro frequently provides advice on merger control and practices restricting competition, and has represented numerous companies in administrative proceedings before the competition authorities.
Prior to joining Ramón y Cajal Abogados, Pedro practised law at international law firms Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, White & Case and Baker Mackenzie. Pedro's professional career has afforded him special expertise in payment systems, as well as in the postal, telecommunications, air and consumer goods distribution fields. Pedro is recognised as one of the leading competition law specialists in Spain by several international directories.
Pedro has a Certificate of Advanced Legal Studies from the College of Europe, as well as a Master of Laws Degree from Columbia University, New York.
Thought leader on Electric Transport, Smart Cities & Smart Homes and Global Communications expert.
At ABB, Amanda is responsible for global internal and external communications as well as marketing communications for the Electrification Products Division. Having recently been ranked the 8th most important company to "Change the World" by Fortune Magazine, the Electrification Products Division at ABB is leading the way to a more sustainable future by delivering products and solutions for electric transport, smart cities and smart homes.
Prior to this, Amanda was a General Manager responsible for Global Corporate Communications at Nissan, based out of Tokyo.
In 2015-2016 Amanda was Senior Director and Head of Communications EMEA with Paypal. In addition, Amanda has been Vice Chair of a leading International Communications agency where she also ran the Global Technology Practice and was EMEA Client Relationship Director for LG One.
Transport & Energy expert, Senior Advisor and former European Commission official.
Luc is a Dutch civil engineer who has 23 years of experience in the European Commission working in the fields of transport and energy. Luc has several other advisory functions and has worked for several public affairs consultancies as a Senior Advisor over the past 10 years.
From 1984 to 2007 Luc worked in the European Commission in the field of transport and energy. He was appointed Head of Unit in 1991 for matters relating to Safety, Technology and Environmental aspects of Land Transport in the Directorate General for Transport.
In 2000, he took over the Unit in DG Transport and Energy dealing with “Regulatory Policy and Promotion of New Energies and of Demand Management".
In 2005, he became the Principal Advisor (Director level) to the Director General of DG Transport and Energy. In his years at the European Commission, Luc was responsible for the preparation and adoption of numerous Directives and legal acts covering technology in transport, road safety, transit rights, IT equipment in transport, renewable electricity, energy performance of buildings, biofuels and co-generation.
Storyteller, leadership coach and award-winning Silicon Valley insider.
Joshua Reynolds is founder and CEO of Rob Roy Consulting, an independent consulting firm focused on helping individuals, teams and brands become as persuasive and authentic as they can be. He and his team of hand-picked advisors offer services and training in persuasive storytelling, market positioning, leadership training, executive coaching as well as rhetoric and advocacy.
Over his career, Josh has served as a market research analyst, the CEO of a communications agency, the CMO of a data science company and an independent leadership coach. He was originally trained as a criminal prosecutor and won an American Jurisprudence Award for his work in evidence and advocacy. He was the first to transpose Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” into what is now a widely used five-chapter corporate storytelling model. This and other advances in influencer relations and innovations analysis earned him a Top 25 Innovator award from The Holmes Report in 2014.
Josh has personally coached executives such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, former eBay and HP CEO Meg Whitman, as well as senior executives from around the world across multiple sectors, including technology, financial services, health care, manufacturing, automotive, energy and education. He is a frequent guest lecturer for the Stockholm University School of Economics and has worked closely with several European companies on brand strategy, market positioning, public policy thought leadership. He currently sits on the advisory board of several tech companies and personally counsels multiple venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.
Josh holds undergraduate degrees in English and History from UCLA, a minor in theology from Oxford, and a law degree from UC Hastings. He’s a frequent author and speaker on the topics of marketing innovation, human intuition and persuasive storytelling. He is also a Certified Toastmaster and received his training in executive coaching from CTI, an internationally accredited executive coaching firm.
Strategic Engagement and Communications expert.
Linda Weisert is Manager for Strategic Engagement & Communications at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in London. She leads CIFF’s portfolio for adolescent sexual and reproductive health advocacy and meaningful youth engagement, and manages the Foundation’s external engagement in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Family Planning 2020.
Linda has worked on global health, trade and development issues for more than 14 years, including at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York and as an EU public affairs and communications consultant in Brussels.
Linda has a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s Degree in European and French politics from King’s College London and Sciences Po Paris.
Linda holds both German and Algerian nationality and is fluent in German, French, English and Spanish.
Former Diplomat, Army Officer and Lecturer.
Jeremy has a background in international, military and security affairs. Following his training at Sandhurst, Jeremy joined the British Army where he served across the world. Jeremy then entered the UK Foreign Office and served as a diplomat in several postings including Nigeria and Cyprus.
Jeremy also worked for several years with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (2000-2009) in media development, refugee returns and security sector reform.
Jeremy is also a talented artist and exhibits his work internationally.
Jeremy holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
European Policy and Communications expert.
Sarah has over 15 years experience in European Public Affairs. Working for Google, Symantec, IBM and most recently as Director for Government and Industry Relations at Ericsson, Sarah has developed strong expertise in Information Technology and Communications public policy.
Sarah is currently based in Hamburg, Germany.
Sarah holds a Master's degree from the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and has studied at the University of Reading (UK), in Sciences-Po Toulouse (France) and Universidad de Deusto (Spain).