The International Symposium on Corporate Acceleration and Digital Transformation is a premiere annual event at Imperial College Business School targeted at corporate venturing, digital transformation and wicked acceleration practitioners from across industries, including some of the leading scholars in this burgeoning area.
This one-of-a-kind event will take place on 16 November 2023 at Imperial College London’s South Kensington Campus and at Scale Space in the White City campus.
This 4th Symposium will feature a combination of keynote speeches, panel discussions, case study presentations, and fireside chats to share ideas and best practices on different modalities of acceleration, and to explore ways to address the greatest challenges of our time.
8:30 am – 2 pmImperial Business School, South Kensington Campus
2:30 pm – 8 pmScale Space, White City
Free Shuttle to Scale Space White City at 2pm.
C-Level executives, Corporate Innovation managers, R&D Chiefs, Venture Builders, Accelerator Managers and Founders, Open Innovation Experts and Leading Academics
Dr. Inma Martinez & Dr. Peter Gloor
Uwe Kirschner, Susana Jurado, Tram Trinh, Francesca Dean & Prof. Markus Perkmann
Steve Blank & Dr. Cristobal Garcia-Herrera
Closing Remarks: What Did We Learn, Call for Action and Next Steps
Dr. Cristobal Garcia-Herrera, Dr. Myrna Flores & Prof. Markus Perkmann
How does the world look like for corporate innovation during the ongoing AI revolution, geopolitical tensions and unstable economic scenarios?
What are the lessons learned from recent experiments in corporate acceleration, venture building and digital transformation in both established and nascent industries?
How do we get corporate accelerators, open innovation, and moonshot initiatives to achieve impact beyond the “innovation theatre”?
In times of Grand Challenges (climate change, geopolitical tensions, inflation, plastic pollution, energy transition), How might innovators in corporations, universities and policy use wicked acceleration tools to address such Grand Challenges?
How do we ensure sustainable digital transformation at the firm, value chain, and ecosystem levels?
How might we leverage Generative AI to enable and sustain corporate, digital & wicked acceleration initiatives
Imperial College Business SchoolSouth Kensington Campus,London SW7 2AZ, UK
+44 (0)20 7594 5926
Dr. Cristobal Garcia is a Senior Teaching Fellow, Researcher and Co-Founder of the Wicked Acceleration Labs at Imperial College Business School’s Management and Entrepreneurship Department. Cristobal conducts research on different modalities of acceleration such as corporate innovation, start-up scaling, ecosystem building, moonshot, and wicked acceleration, including frameworks and tools to orient practice. He has advised companies across the globe on new strategies, practices and processes for corporate innovation, industrial acceleration, and entrepreneurial engagement.
Cristobal has published articles on Organizational Networks, Creative Spaces for Innovation and Corporate Acceleration as well as a Book on Lean Entrepreneurship Education. Cristobal has been the founder of three start-ups in the Smart City, EdTech and Data Analytics domains as well as of Jump Chile, one of the largest business model accelerators in Higher Education worldwide. Previously, he also advised Fortune 100 companies on change and innovation management as a Senior Consultant at PwC in New York City. Cristobal has held Faculty positions at Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile and Columbia University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Delft University of Technology, the Royal College of Art (RCA), at the MIT Media Lab and at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP). Cristobal is a social scientist with an MSc from MIT and a PhD in Design Engineering from Imperial College London. Cristobal is a frequent speaker, corporate advisor, start-up coach, investor and academic intrapreneur who looks across boundaries and network to connect the glocal dots.
Professor Markus Perkmann is Vice-Dean (Research & Faculty) of Imperial College Business School and academic director of the Imperial Enterprise Lab. He also curates the Entrepreneurial Journey, Imperial College Business School’s experiential start-up programme across all on-site MBA programmes.
He has published widely on subjects including the business of science, science-driven entrepreneurship and university-industry collaboration.
Previously, he was head of innovation and strategy at technology start-up company Greychip
Myrna Flores is the Executive Director of the Centre for Digital Transformation at Imperial College Business School and the co-founder and president of the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) which was launched in 2012 as a spin-off from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.
Myrna Flores has over 20 years of experience in driving process improvement and innovation initiatives, delivering training programs and organising hackathons, engaging and collaborating with key stakeholders and teams to solve strategic challenges.
Myrna collaborates with an ecosystem of partners on innovation projects, designs and delivers ad-hoc training programs, and diffuses the latest trends and best practices to inspire organisations to accelerate their transformation journeys. She is a Design Thinker passionate about working with organisations to implement new ways of working and design user-centric solutions. She is also very interested in designing new business models which integrate digital technologies and sustainability best practices to automate business processes and move from a linear delivery approach to a circular economy model aligned with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
She has a PhD in Open Innovation from Politecnico di Milano (2006), a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Science (1999) and a Mechanical Engineering degree (1996) from Tecnológico de Monterrey. She also carried out a postgraduate course in IIT Madras, India in Technologies and Sustainable Development. Myrna has published more than 50 articles in journals and presented at multiple international conferences. She is co-author of four books: Digital Factory for Human Oriented Systems (2010), Lean Product Development Best Practices, Ten Industrial Success Stories (2017), and DARE to Gemba Walk, A Practical Approach for Leaders and Teams Towards Collaborative Problem Solving (2020) and Lean Thinking Evolution, Getting Prepared for the Digital Era (2022).
Dan Toma is an innovation thought leader and the co-author of the award winning book ‘The Corporate Startup’, awarded ‘Management Book of the Year for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ by Chartered Management Institute and The British Library in 2018. Puzzled by the questions ‘why are innovative products mainly launched by startups?’, he focuses on enterprise innovation strategy – specifically on the changes blue-chip organizations need to make to allow for new ventures to be built in a corporate setting. In this capacity he worked with companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Bayer, John Deere or Allianz. Dan was featured on the Thinkers50 2020 Radar list of management thinkers to watch and he’s also a member of World Economic Forum’s working group on accelerating digital transformation
CEO & Co-Founder GETKICKBOX powered by Swisscom
David brought the Kickbox intrapreneurship framework to Swisscom 5 years ago with the vision to build a bottom-up innovation culture. All employees get the chance to work on their business ideas and shape the future of the company. Before joining Swisscom, David worked in consulting and banking, founded two startups, worked for startups in Zurich and Berlin. He is also a well connected member of the Swiss startup and corporate innovation ecosystem and holds a M.A. in Business Administration from the University of St.Gallen (HSG) with focus on Entrepreneurship and Marketing and a Design Thinking degree from the University of Technology in Sydney. Beside his job, David is lecturing at universities, such as ETH Zurich, University of St Gallen or Imperial College London.
Senior Manager – R&T Disruptive Concepts, Airbus Defence and Space
Martin has over 30 years of experience in research, and its commercialisation into products, systems and services for commercial, governmental & military customers. His current responsibilities include leading the Disruptive Concepts activities in Airbus Defence & Space, setting up the Airbus office in the Imperial College Innovations Hub White City, and championing ‘ Open Innovations 2.0’. His expertise is mainly in telecommunications (RF & Optical), and, despite his senior management responsibilities, still designs & leads technology teams ideally spending one day per week in the lab!
Fazilat has over 15 years’ of experience leading major business transformation initiatives that help companies navigate exciting but demanding operational environments. Having worked at organizations of all sizes, she is highly experienced in strategic innovation that maximizes productivity, efficiency, and profitability. She spent a large part of her career working for NatWest to deliver its ‘Go Forward Strategy’ of becoming a focused, simpler, and purpose-led bank. In 2020 Fazilat switched gears in her career to focus on sustainability. She founded SULY – an eCommerce platform designed to help the everyday person buy clothing more sustainably online and in September 2022 she became Director of Portfolio and Programs at Design for Good. Fazilat is also the creator of the Female Founders Club where she provides coaching and mentorship for female startup founders.
Fazilat holds a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University, an MSc from the University of South Wales, and a BBA from Schulich School of Business.
Fazilat is based in London
Catalina Cernica is Head of Innovation UK for LEO Innovation Lab, an independent unit of LEO Pharma. She has experience delivering technology-enabled healthcare solutions spanning COPD, cardio-vascular diseases and, most recently, skin conditions. She is also the CEO of the Health & Happiness Foundation, a research non-profit focused on innovation in patient outcomes. Catalina is an MBA graduate from the University of Oxford – Said Business School, with a specialisation in innovation.
Chuck Eesley is an Associate Professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. As part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, his research focuses on the role of the institutional and university environment in high-growth, technology entrepreneurship. His research focuses on rethinking how the educational and policy environment shapes the economic and entrepreneurial impact of university alumni. His field research spans China, Japan, Chile, Bangladesh, Thailand and Silicon Valley and has received awards from the Schulze Foundation, the Technical University of Munich, and the Kauffman Foundation. He is a faculty affiliate at the Stanford Center for International Development, the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford King Center on Global Development. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the Strategic Management Journal. Before coming to Stanford, Prof. Eesley completed his Ph.D. at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management.
Martha has worked in data-driven business for over a decade and currently oversees deal flow and portfolio in Europe for Intel Ignite, Intel’s startup growth program. Before joining Intel, Martha was at Dell Technologies, where she worked on corporate aspects of the business, drove business development for the EMEA High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence team, and led business development for Dell Technologies Capital in Europe. Martha spent her early career in consulting and building a global financial intelligence product. She holds a Masters in Economics and International Relations from St Andrews University and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
As Head of Core Innovation at the LEGO Group’s Creative Play Lab, Jennifer Sheldon is working to create opportunities for children to reach their potential through play.
Prior to immigrating to London for her role at the LEGO Group, she spent nearly two decades in San Francisco’s Bay Area focused on building innovative products designed to educate, entertain and inform. She also cultivated her professional community by guest lecturing on Product Management & Innovation at the Product School and Product Events, launching a mentorship program for Sony Interactive Entertainment, and leading the San Francisco Chapter of Women@PlayStation.
Steven has spent the better part of his adult life working in “digital“: His journey started with a small startup in Silicon Valley in 2008 where he built and measured the effectiveness of overlay ads in casual computer games with partners such as Yahoo Games. In 2009, he moved back to his hometown Berlin to design and execute digital strategy for Bayer Pharmaceuticals‘ biggest brand globally and in China, before moving to the US again to lead global digital projects and getting his feet wet with some of Bayer’s early venture activities. In 2017, Steven moved back to Berlin to help get Bayer’s digital transformation efforts off the ground. In 2021, Steven took his current job in Bayer’s Consumer Health IT unit to follow his passion in corporate venture building and testing of new digital business models.
Steven holds a M.A. in Communication with Honors from Hawai’i Pacific University and a B.A. in International Business Administration from Berlin School of Economics.
Steven is based in Berlin.
As Technology & Innovation Advisor for Shell’s Energy Transition & Sustainability Strategy team, Freddie advises Shell’s Executive Committee on the innovation and technology strategies Shell should adopt to drive its success through the energy transition and support its ambition to become a net-zero emissions business. Freddie also sits on the Investment Committee for Shell Ventures’ X fund, focused on seed-stage hard-tech investments.
Prior to his current strategic role, Freddie led Shell’s Digital Commercialization business (that takes Shell’s in-house Digital solutions to market), building the commercial partnerships with Microsoft, Baker Hughes and C3.ai that support this objective. He helped develop Shell’s Data Science strategy and led Digital Product Teams serving the Renewable Energy and Downstream businesses in Shell.
Freddie is based in London.
Author, Former Serial Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor at Stanford, Berkeley & Columbia and Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School
Steve Blank has led one heck of an interesting life. He’s had three careers: First, in the U.S. Air Force for four years during the Vietnam War. Next, as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in 8 startups in two decades (with four IPOs). Currently as an academic teaching at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and NYU.
Steve is the father of Modern Entrepreneurship. He has changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught worldwide; how science is commercialised in the U.S.; and how companies and the government innovate.
Tanja is passionate about helping entrepreneurs establish, grow, and scale their startups and has been an active investor in over 80 Startups since 1998 across various stages.
After working for various Funds and Family Offices, she also co-founded and ran Wayra and Startupbootcamp Smart Transportation and Energy, where she helped clients such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Airbus, Cisco, here, Vinci, Kühne + Nagel, SBB, EnBW, Telefónica, Siemens Mobile, and DB on their innovation journeys.
Tanja is recognized annually, since 2016 and by EU-Startups, as one of the top 50 most influential women in VC and Startups in Europe and is also an expert advisor to the European Commission fund.Tanja joined the Nemetschek Group in 2021 and is responsible for Ventures and Startup Investments.
Founder Platform Zero
Mare Straetmans has been activite in the sectors of maritime, energy and ports for more than a decade and focuses on making impact with entrepreneurship, corporate innovation and venturing. He is currently founder of the Platform Zero Climate & Energy Campus in Rotterdam (www.platformzero.co), where acceleration of innovation with corporates, startups and research happens in the field of hydrogen, emissions reduction, energy storage and ocean health.
In the past he has been responsible for setting up both the Ocean Health business unit (https://www.linkedin.com/company/oceanhealth/) and the Digital Transformation at Van Oord (maritime, offshore wind corporate: www.vanoord.com), setting up innovation at the Port of Rotterdam Authority (www.portofrotterdam.com) setting up a maritime Venture Capital fund. Mare also was the founder and managing director of PortXL (www.portxl.org), the first maritime startup accelerator worldwide, building the company in Rotterdam, Singapore and Antwerp
Erkko Autio, FBA, is Chair in Technology Venturing at Imperial College Business School and one of the co-founders of Wicked Acceleration Labs. He is a globally leading authority on digital entrepreneurial ecosystems, digital innovation ecosystems, and comparative entrepreneurship.
He has been cited in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, MSNBC, and in some 400-500 news media globally and close to 50 000 academic publications. He has worked widely with industry and government in Europe, Asia and South America. He has been recognised as one of the top 50 most impactful management scholars globally (Aguinis et al, 2012).
Rebolledo is a service and strategic designer based in London. His academic and professional practice is concerned with the development and implementation of design-led service innovation processes. An architect from the Catholic University of Chile, he holds an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London (UCL) and a PhD in Service Design from the Royal College of Art, Nicolas is one of the co-founders of Wicked Acceleration Labs, a joint initiative between Imperial and RCA.
He is the co-founder of UNIT, the strategic and service design unit behind the inception and first innovation strategy of the Laboratorio de Gobierno de Chile. He is Tutor in Service Design, Policy Platform Leader and Deputy Director of the AlphaRCA Studio-Lab at the Royal College of Art, a research partnership with Telefonica Alpha Health, looking at the use of AI and digital service platforms in the fields of happiness, mental health and wellbeing.
He has been teaching fellow at UCL School of Management and visiting lecturer for executive education at Imperial College Business School. He also works as an independent consultant for a diverse range of start-ups, private companies, charities, public institutions and international organisations such as IDB, OECD, British Council, VISA and Amazon.
Director of Corporate Ventures at Mann + HummelMichael Nichols joined Mann + Hummel in 2022 where he is responsible for investing in and developing partnerships with external startups who can help drive the next generation of business models at Mann + Hummel. Additionally, he coaches internal ventures and technical projects as they validate their business ideas. Before Mann + Hummel, Michael worked at Bosch from 2014 – 2022, specializing in the field of business model innovation. At Bosch, Michael was responsible for the Bosch Accelerator Program and for the implementation of a Bosch-wide innovation process with a clear focus on developing an ambidextrous organization to bring more innovation ideas beyond the core business to scale. The Bosch Accelerator Program has systematically (in)validated over 300 innovation projects in its first 5 years.
Co-Founder Wicked Acceleration Labs
Mike Pinder is an expert on innovation who leads Explorer Labs. He is also one of the co-founders of Wicked Acceleration Labs. As former Expertise Lead at Board of Innovation, he consults cross-industry in B2B & B2C helping Fortune 500’s to innovate like start-ups. He applies a multi-disciplinary background spanning design, business & innovation management through hands-on consulting, training & facilitation of tailored innovation programmes. He regularly authors thought leadership pieces and gives international keynotes and lectures on innovation. Mike guides innovation strategy, designs and runs corporate accelerator’s, builds long-term cultural transformation programs and grows strategic innovation partnerships with corporates like: GE, World Economic Forum, AstraZeneca, Logitech, ING Bank, Fazer, ABInBev, Atos, Zeppelin Foundation and many others.
For more info visit: https://www.mikepinder.co.uk.
Professor of Innovation Management and Head of the Management and Entrepreneurship Department, Imperial College Business School.
Professor Criscuolo’s research focuses on the transfer of knowledge across both individuals and firms, on open innovation and on the strategic use of patents. Her research has been published in international academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Research Policy, and in practitioner journals such as California Management Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. She teaches innovation management and advises companies in these areas.
Founding Chair of Vitanlink, Independent Non-Executive Director & Advisor to boards
Tram has been the founding chair of her acceleration holding, Vitanlink that has co-created, co-invested, and co-developed SaaS and AI technology start-ups from pre to scale-up stages.. Vitanlink’s ecosystem and partners from North America, Europe, South East Asia and China count Academic Research centers, Corporate accelerators, single family offices, Venture Capital and Private Equity firms. Her focus has been increasingly health prevention, food transition and sustainability innovations.
Tram has been mentoring the Endeavor Global scale-up CEOs in the health and fintech sectors for over 6 years and has consistently obtained a mentor rating of 9+ out of 10. As an inclusive leader, she has been interviewed and featured in four chapters of “The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leaders: Unleashing the Power of All of Us,” a book released by Korn Ferry in 2020.
Through her 28+ year journey of leadership across five continents, she has been serving as a non-executive and C-suite executive of large Fortune 500 (EY, Johnson & Johnson) to family-owned mid-sized (Welch Allyn now Baxter) and small-cap boards. She holds a US CPA, an MBA from McGill, an Executive Education in Strategy with Columbia Business School, the Financial Times NED Diploma and is completing an LLM in International Financial and Commercial Law with King’s College London.
Uwe Kirschner has been Vice President of Bosch Management Consulting and Partner of Business Model Innovation at Robert Bosch GmbH since January 2019. Immediately before taking on these responsibilities, he was Vice President of Business Model Innovation in Bosch Corporate. Other past roles include leading the International Key Account Management and OEM / Private Label business in Bosch’s Thermotechnology division and acting as General Manager for Robert Bosch in Chile. He studied Business Administration and Marketing in Trier and Oxford and received his PhD from Trier University.
Director for Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship at Basque Government
Leyre Madariaga is Bachelor of Economics and Business Sciences in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration – Deusto Business School (Spain), and Master in European Studies in the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). A great part of her professional experience has been directed towards International Relations and Foreign Trade, and especially those with high technological components. She started working for IDOM, an engineering and consultancy Basque company, as Responsible for Multilateral Projects and Director of the Office in Romania. From 2005 to 2009 she was the Deputy Chairman of SPRI, the Development Regional Agency of the Basque Country, belonging to the Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Basque Government.Since 2010, she was the International Development Director in Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Tecnalia for short), the biggest private technology centre of Spain and the fifth in Europe. This technology centre is a Spanish and European reference in scientific and technological research, through the generation of more efficient, profitable and competitive solutions that improves business opportunities for its customers.In January 2013 she was appointed Director for Foreign Affairs at the Basque Government President’s Office. Since October 2020 she is the Director for Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship at the Basque Government and head of BIND 4.0 Open Innovation Platform.
Jeremy has built his career by helping large corporates define and build their future organisation. Through CO:CUBED, he works with some of the worlds largest businesses to re-think their organisational approach to innovation and helping them build and execute their collaborative innovation capabilities. Prior to launching CO:CUBED, Jeremy spent 13 years at Unilever where he was responsible for launching and then leading the Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s platform to engage with startups and innovative companies who can help Unilever pioneer the future. Through the Foundry, over 1500 of Unilever marketers have worked with over 150 startups, bringing innovative technology and an entrepreneurial culture to Unilever.
Originally Australian, Jeremy’s career has taken him from Australia to New Zealand, Singapore he now resides in the UK. Jeremy has a marketing and commercial background, with a degree in Accounting & Marketing, he’s CPA qualified and has an MBA from London Business School.
Sylvia is Managing Partner at TechFounders by UnternehmerTUM responsible for global corporate startup collaboration activities. She has over 15 years of experience in corporate innovation, venture building and venture capital having worked with startups in Europe, Silicon Valley, and Israel and supported clients such as HP Tech Ventures, Siemens Next47, Volvo, Safran and SAP.io in building their corporate innovation activities.In 2018, she co-founded the European Hub for Alchemist Accelerator, the leading enterprise accelerator in Silicon Valley, where she led over 30 European deeptech investments and supported startups to enter the US market and scale globally. Sylvia holds a Master in International Business from the ESCP Business School in Berlin and Paris.
Sylvia is based in Munich.
Adam is a co-founder of Net Positive Labs, a venture studio and think tank with the mission to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy. Net Positive Labs collaborates with entrepreneurs, corporations, and governments to build new high growth businesses that can fix the dysfunctions of current business models and address societal and planetary needs. Net Positive Labs work particularly with corporates to design and execute purpose driven venture building programmes. This includes designing the strategic and operational models of the programme, and the ideation, development, and launch of new ventures.
Net Positive Labs, and Adam, have conceived and built ventures with corporate partners in a number of industries including the Built Environment, Energy, FMCG, Consumer Goods, Logistics, Financial Sector, and the Waste & Resources sectors. Adam is based in London and Madrid, but their ventures and clients are global (Europe, Africa, Middle East)
Head of Telefónica Venture Builder
Susana’s professional career has been focused for more than 20 years on innovation. She is currently Head of Telefónica Venture Builder, the vehicle to create startups around new innovative ideas with a high potential market and to invest in them. Previously, she was Head of Telefónica Open Innovation Campus, which aims to explore and implement collaboration models that allow generating impactful innovation together with the academic world. Before this role, for more than seven years, she was Head of Innovation Portfolio within the Core Innovation area at Telefónica, where her role consisted of executing and evolving Telefónica’s intrapreneurship program, Lean Elephants, as well as managing the internal ventures portfolio.
She is co-author of the Harvard Business Review case study “Telefonica: A Lean Elephant” and two books (both in Spanish) “The agile company” and “Lean Startup: application for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs”.
She holds an MSc in Telecommunications Engineering, an MBA from IE Business School and a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University. Susana is based in Madrid, Spain.
Dan is a Corporate Venture expert, helping the world’s biggest brands tackle disruptive innovation in consultancy, venture studio and client-side settings. He has created ventures with the likes of L’Oreal, IKEA, Bayer and DHL, to name but a few. Prior to that he worked in either start-up studios or on his own start-ups, being an active member of the London tech scene. He was a regular lecturer on technology strategy, digital marketing and technology adoption, whilst mentoring corporate venture and start-up teams in some of the most well known incubator and accelerator programs in the world.
A former electronic engineering professional, working on robotics and IoT, Dan is also a regular speaker on innovation topics in academic and practitioner settings.
Dan is now Principal at Change Logic, responsible for the EMEA region. Change Logic is a strategic innovation consultancy founded by global innovation experts Andy Binns, Professor Charles O’Reilly and Professor Michael Tushman. They advise and consult with C-Suite executives, helping them diversify revenue streams, and disrupt their respective industries. Change Logic has recently worked with senior executives at Siemens, General Motors and Panasonic.
Executive Education and Knowldge Exchange Lead, School of Design, Royal College of Art (RCA)Co-Founder Wicked Acceleration Labs
Nick is Executive Education and Knowledge Exchange Lead in the School of Design, where he leads the development of the School’s research and knowledge exchange relations.Nick received his PhD from Imperial College Business School, where his research addressed the impact of information and communication technologies on the social and economic vitality of cities. Nick has an engineering degree from Imperial College and a Master’s degree in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art.He began his career as an industrial designer at IBM, moving from designing products then services, through to developing entire new businesses in his role as Business Development Director for IBM’s Global Services division in Europe. He led the NESTA-funded joint venture between the RCA and Imperial College London, Design London, as director from 2007 to 2011.
Research & Design Consultant for the Circular Economy
Anouk is a research and design consultant for the circular economy. She works with academia and companies to design and implement new business models and behaviour interventions to achieve a circular economy. Anouk positions resource flows at the centre of design and uses systems thinking to collaboratively design socio-technical systems for a circular economy. Her consultancy work focuses on the real-world implementation of solutions such as rental, reuse and recycling. Together with her clients, she realises circular business models, material innovation and human behaviour interventions.
Anouk is a design engineer with a background in material-driven design and the FMCG sector. In her PhD she worked closely with Procter & Gamble to develop methods and frameworks that support the holistic design of reuse and recycling systems for a circular economy. Before starting her independent consultancy practice, Anouk was the Head of Circular Economy at Common Seas. Besides her consultancy work, Anouk teaches at Imperial College London and University of the Arts London; and is developing a tool called the Flow Mapper.
Christopher L. Tucci is Professor of Digital Strategy & Innovation at Imperial College Business School and Co-Director (Education) for I-X, Imperial’s new campus concept centered on AI/ML, data, and digital. Professor Tucci is Academic Director of the Centre for Digital Transformation at Imperial College Business School as well. He was Professor of Management of Technology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where he held the Chair in Corporate Strategy & Innovation. From 2013-2018, he was Dean of the College of Management at EPFL. In 2018, he was Visiting Thought Leader at CEIBS in Shanghai, China. He received the degrees of Ph.D. in Management from the Sloan School of Management, MIT; SM (Technology & Policy) from MIT; and BS (Mathematical Sciences), AB (Music), and MS (Computer Science) from Stanford University. He was an industrial computer scientist involved in developing Internet protocols and applying artificial intelligence tools. Professor Tucci teaches courses in Deep Tech Acceleration, Co-Creation in AI & Robotics, AI Ventures, Design Thinking, Digital Strategy, and Innovation Management.
His primary area of interest is in how firms make transitions to new business models, technologies, and organizational forms. He also studies crowdsourcing, Internetworking, and digital innovations. He has published articles in, among others, Academy of Management Review (AMR), Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Research Policy, Communications of the ACM, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Annals, and Journal of Product Innovation Management. His article with Allan Afuah, “Crowdsourcing as solution to distant search,” won the Best Paper of 2012 for AMR. He has served in leadership positions in the Academy of Management (AOM) and the Strategic Management Society and was elected in 2023 to the leadership track of the Academy of Management’s Board of Governors.
Peter A. Gloor is a Research Scientist at the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he leads a twenty-year project exploring Collaborative Innovation Networks, wellbeing and happiness. He is also Founder and Chief Creative Officer of software company galaxyadvisors, and Honorary Professor at University of Cologne, and at Jilin University, Changchun, China. He also taught at Universidad Cattolica in Santiago de Chile, Aalto University Helsinki, University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and University of Applied Sciences Lucerne (HSLU). Earlier he was a partner with PwC and Deloitte, where he was head of eBusiness Europe, and the section leader for software engineering at UBS. He got his Ph.D in computer science from the University of Zurich and was a Post-Doc at the MIT Lab for Computer Science. His newest book “Happimetrics – Leveraging AI to Untangle the Surprising Link Between Ethics, Happiness and Business Success” appeared fall 2022 at Edward Elgar Publishing
Head of Brand Experience and Design for Sustainability, PepsiCo Europe
Emil has been leading design thinking and innovation for almost 20 years. He is currently Head of Brand Experience and Design for Sustainability at PepsiCo Europe. He and his team envision design thinking led solutions across desirability (human centricity) feasibility (technology platforms) and viability (business models) in the context of sustainability. His remit covers both food/ snacks and beverage categories, and reflects on many aspects: from addressing shopping behaviors enabling reuse in store to reduce packaging waste, to envisioning new business models and experiences for reuse in beverages, or transitioning packaging to new material formats which are biodegradable, or envisioning new products and brands which leverage sustainable practices of agricultural diversity and regeneration. His expertise is to build teams for innovation and design thinking, identifying strategic opportunities for transformation. He is regularly involved in external partnerships with Ellen MacArthur Foundation, or startups pushing the front edge of sustainability, piloting and prototyping new models, systems or experiences. Emil is based in London, and holds an Executive MBA from Imperial Business School, completed with distinction on Circular Economy, and an MA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in New York, NY as a Fulbright Scholar.
With more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry, Ahmed brings a multifaceted skill set that spans engineering, product management, management consulting, and business development. Throughout his professional journey, he has made significant contributions to a wide array of organisations, from startups to prominent corporations like Huawei and HCL Technologies. Ahmed’s expertise has consistently driven technological innovation and digital transformation across various industries. He has worked with clients worldwide, specifically in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. At present, he spearheads the TMT vertical in Europe for Intellias. Ahmed holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering and an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School.
Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)
Inma Martinez is recognised worldwide as one of the leading entrepreneurs who pioneered digital technologies. She has led projects in both the private and public sector and has been appointed to government advisory roles in the U.K. and in Spain. She is part of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) and is also committed to education, lecturing in different Universities and mentoring innovation initiatives at a variety of venture-focused acceleration programmes.
Chief Technology Officer, UK and Ireland TATA Consultancy Services
As CTO (UK and Ireland), Subramanian (Subbu) leads the TCS’ Research and Innovation agenda in the region – building capabilities, driving outcomes through effective implementation of innovative services and solutions, partnering with the local ecosystem including academia, emerging technology players and decision makers.
Since joining TCS in 1996, Subbu has worked in India, Japan, USA, Brussels and UK managing client engagements. This includes re-architecting the credit risk monitoring systems for a leading rating organization, starting and nurturing business relationship for a North America based diversified financial and media services firm, incubating a new service line for TCS and supporting business development for a new service line in APAC and Europe.
Subbu is a Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Electronics from University of Pune, India and holds a postgraduate diploma in Software technology from National Center for Software Technology, Mumbai.
Gaelle is a design lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. With her team, she focuses her work on fostering Circular Economy innovation; working with startups and global businesses to remove the barriers to scale for circular products, services and systems.
Francesca is a business and technology professional with 20+ years experience, across programme management, corporate innovation, community building and partnerships.Part of the founding team of Google for startups, launching Campus London in 2013 and subsequently scaling to 5 other cities (Madrid, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Seoul and São Paulo); Francesca’s priority was to pave the way for companies at an early stage to become successful long-term, supported by a community. Francesca is currently R&D Director at NTT DATA UK working on various innovation programmes including commercial partnership programmes as well as supporting early stage companies in collaboration with the companies philanthropic arm. As an active member of the London tech scene, Francesca enjoys discussing company culture and building companies that improve people’s lives.
Associate Director of Engagement services, Enterprise division, Imperial College London
Julia currently leads the College flagship cross faculty corporate membership programme, Imperial Business Partners, engaging global companies with the College innovation ecosystem, with specialised tracks focussed on sustainability and AI as well as foresight services. Prior to this, she developed experience in business/university collaboration overseeing partnerships in tech transfer in Italy as well as social sciences at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.
Dr. Milan Kumar has a wealth of experience as a Global Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) and a distinguished figure in the field of global technology, renowned as a TEDx speaker, educator, international author, startups mentor. He currently serves as the CIO of ZF Commercial Vehicles (CVS) based in Switzerland.
Dr. Kumar is a former Global Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) with WABCO (NYSE: WBC). Before this, he has held several Senior Global IT leadership positions within the VOLKSWAGEN Group, including as Director and Board Member of VOLKSWAGEN IT Services IPL. Throughout his career, Dr. Kumar had supported Fortune 500 companies, such as BMW Group, General Motors, British Airways to name a few. He is also a winner of several Global “CIO Awards”.
Dr Asleena Helmi joined Sarawak Energy in 2023, following her tenure as CEO of the Sarawak Centre of Performance Excellence (SCOPE) for 7 years which focused on talent development for the state in the areas of digital skills and design thinking. Asleena now heads Sarawak Energy’s Corporate Communication, which comprises teams responsible for Corporate Brand & Creative Production; Editorial, Content & Internal Communication; Campaign & Sponsorship Management; Media & Issues Management; and Stakeholder Relations & Major Projects Communication. With a Doctorate in Knowledge Management & Innovation Strategies and a background in political science, Asleena has over 25 years of experience as a certified trainer, researcher, and consultant in the areas of digital transformation, strategic thinking and talent development.
Arnie Sriskandarajah is a multifaceted leader with a diverse range of experiences in the real estate and technology sectors. Arnie is the founding MD at Round Hill Ventures (RHV), an ealry stage VC fund focussed on the Built Environment; where he is responsible investment strategy and portfolio growth.
With an impressive background, Arnie has established himself as a prominent figure in the tech and real estate industries. He has built corporate venture arms for major FTSE-listed companies like Capital & Counties (now Shaftesbury Capital) and has held senior executive positions at Bloomsbury AI (acq. Meta Inc) and Rocket Internet’s HelloFresh (IPO/DAX 40). He was also a key player in the success of The Collective, which raised over $400m in debt and equity financing.
Arnie’s achievements have not gone unnoticed. He was recognized in Forbes 30Under30 in 2016 and was named one of Wired’s 100 Most Influential People in Technology. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he is an active angel investor in US & European startups (Cera Care, Lapse, Minimum Eco, Malloc Inc etc) and has advised the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative.
Arnie is a graduate of Imperial College London, where he developed a passion for deep science, technology, and human behavior. With a keen interest in the intersection of these fields, Arnie remains committed to driving innovation and change in the industry.
Lead, Resource Circularity, World Economic Forum
Anis Nassar is a seasoned sustainability and international affairs economist with experience in the private, academic, and international organizations sectors. Anis started his career in brand management in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. At Procter & Gamble he led the global design of marketing strategies for Gillette Mach3 a multi-billion-dollar brand. He also managed 50 markets for Braun, spanning from Latin America to Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and ASEAN. Anis then pursued a PhD in Economics at the University of Fribourg, publishing peer-reviewed research on private innovation and public policies designed to safeguard our environment. Anis is now bringing this academic and private perspective to lead the Circular Economy activities of the World Economic Forum.
Tom Thompson is a Venture Business Lead at Ford Next, the inhouse venture arm of Ford Motor Company. After a career in product development, a passion for innovation led Tom into the mobility and last mile space. Tom has led the development of multiple ventures in the last-mile delivery and mobility sectors and is currently working on his third venture at Ford, leveraging his expertise in commercial vehicles to create an exciting new business for Ford. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences, sharing his insights and experiences on intrapreneurship and venture building. Tom holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College and is presently completing a Master’s Degree in Technology Business Management at Warwick University.