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Conference Details - Speakers

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2019 MIT-Imperial Innovation Journeys Conference in London

September 25, 2019
 
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Ajay Bhalla
President, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions, Mastercard
Responsible for identifying and deploying innovative technology solutions that ensure 70 billion transactions happen each year in a convenient, safe and secure manner. A passionate advocate for the way in which artificial intelligence, biometrics, cybersecurity and digital identity can have a positive impact on society, with a remit to enable these technologies for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

Provides leadership in M&A transactions and integrations, governance, risk and audit leadership as well as driving a major contribution to Mastercard’s revenue. Additionally, plays a pivotal role in promoting financial inclusion and Mastercard’s ambition to give 2.5 billion people access to financial services.

Committed to youth engagement in technology and international affairs. Working with leading bodies and academia to advance global understanding and future solutions in the new digital economies. Serves as a CEME Senior Fellow at The Fletcher School, Tufts University and as MIT Connection Science Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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Georgina Campbell Flatter
Director of Business Development, Emerging Markets at Climacell.co
Georgina is Director of Business Development for the global tech startup, Climacell.co. Georgina has been immersed in MIT’s rich innovation ecosystem and blessed with the opportunity to play a small part in the crazy journey of many incredible global change agents; most recently, through her role as Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship and, prior to that, as Director of MIT’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP). As a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, she developed several new MIT academic courses (including Impact Ventures, Hacking Poverty and the Energy XPRIZE Lab) and has co-wrote several cases on game-changing leaders and ventures in emerging markets. She has consulted for organizations such as the World Bank, USA Department of Energy, and Harvard and has led international workshops and keynoted talks in global innovation hubs including Nairobi, Lagos, Santiago, Reykjavik, Riyadh, and London. She is committed to inspiring the next generation of change agents at home and abroad. She is a board member of the Darwin Centre in Pembrokeshire and often volunteers to speak with local students about how to #bethechange as well as actively supporting student-led change organizations such as the MIT Global Startup Workshop and the MIT Clean Energy Prize.
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Simon Hepworth
Director, Enterprise
Imperial College London
Wrap Up
Day 1, 15:40
Simon joined Imperial in 2009 with 14 years' corporate experience in the automotive and electronic sectors, having worked for Ford Motor and Visteon. Simon holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford.
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Rachel Higham
Managing Director of IT, BT
BT Innovation
Day 1, 11:30
I am a technologist at heart and love to find practical applications for the latest innovations that have the potential to revolutionise a customer experience, simplify a business process or lead to brand new products and services.

I have spent the past 20 years in technology leadership roles within Financial Services and Telecoms working for great companies such as ABN Amro, Marks & Spencer, HSBC, ACE Group, Vodafone and now BT. I have been lucky enough to live and work on 4 of our 5 continents and through that have experienced an incredibly valuable and broad range of cultures and working environments.

I am committed to building more diverse and inclusive working environments and have led a number of initiatives to encourage more girls to choose technology subjects in education, guide graduates and talented young managers taking critical steps in their career, help mums return to the workplace and continue their careers, and mentor executives on how to build and embed a supportive and diverse culture. I am the Executive Sponsor for BT's TechWomen programme helping BT's female technologists achieve their full potential.

I am passionate about the transformative effect that both sports and the arts can have on all aspects of society and so I am chair of the board of FACT, a digital arts charity dedicated to presenting world-class visual art that embraces and explores creative media and digital technology.
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Mark Kennedy
Associate Professor, Business School
Imperial College London
Panel with Q&A
Day 1, 11:50
Dr. Kennedy's research focuses on the emergence of new markets and industries and the more basic building blocks of organising—categories, identities, forms, strategies, practices, reputation criteria and so on. Within this broad topic, he pays particular attention to meaning construction processes, often by using text-mining techniques to extract and analyze patterns of association among actors, ideas and objects as they appear in conventional and new social media. His publications have appeared in American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Managment Studies, and Research in the Sociology of Organizations.

Dr. Kennedy was educated at Northwestern University and Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. (Joint Program in Management and Organizations and Sociology) and MBA degrees from Northwestern and its Kellogg School of Management and his A.B. in Philosophy (Program in Formal Systems) from Stanford. Before coming to Imperial, Dr. Kennedy was at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business.

Dr. Kennedy also has substantial work experience in consulting and high technology. Before becoming an academic, he was a Principal in the management consulting unit of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and, before that, a software engineer and product manager for a Santa Clara, CA-based startup. As a consultant, Professor Kennedy has served clients in technology, healthcare and entertainment on difficult issues at the intersection of strategy, leadership, and organisational change.
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Expertise Link
617-253-0439

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Karl Koster
Executive Director
MIT Corporate Relations
Wrap Up
Day 1, 15:40
Karl Koster is the executive director of MIT Corporate Relations. MIT Corporate Relations includes the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, which celebrated 69 years of service to the Institute and its corporate partners in 2017, and MIT Startup Exchange.

In that capacity, Koster and his staff work with the leadership of MIT and senior corporate executives to design and implement strategies for fostering corporate partnerships with the Institute. Koster and his team have also worked to identify and design a number of major international programs for MIT, which have been characterized by the establishment of strong, programmatic linkages among universities, industry, and governments. Most recently these efforts have been extended to engage the surrounding innovation ecosystem, including its vibrant startup and small company community, into MIT's global corporate and university networks.

Koster also served as the Chairman of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), an organization that seeks to enhance the value of collaborative partnerships between universities and corporations.

Koster graduated from Brown University with a BA in geology and economics, and received an MS from MIT Sloan School of Management. At MIT Sloan he concentrated in international business management and the management of technological innovation. Prior to returning to MIT, Koster worked as a management consultant in Europe, Latin America, and the United States on projects for private and public sector organizations.
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Blade Kotelly
Senior Lecturer
MIT Gordon Engineering Leadership Program
Panel with Q&A
Day 1, 11:50
Blade is an innovation and user-experience expert, Sr. Lecturer at MIT on Design-Thinking and Innovation, and provides consulting service in Design-Thinking (www.bladekotelly.com), Blade’s consulting services helps top brands to innovate radically on their product and services, and teaches corporate teams how to create solutions that customers love.

Prior to that, Blade led the Advanced Concept Lab at Sonos where he defined the future experience that will fill your home with music. Prior to joining Sonos, Blade was the VP Design & Consumer Experience at Jibo, Inc. where he was in charge of the industrial-design, human-factors, user-interface, brand, packaging, web experience supporting Jibo, the world’s first social robot for the home. Blade has also designed a variety of technologies including ones at Rapid7, an enterprise security-software company, StorytellingMachines, a software firm enabling anyone to make high-impact movies, Endeca Technologies, a search and information access software technology company, Edify and SpeechWorks, companies that provided speech-recognition solutions to the Fortune 1000.

Blade wrote the book on speech-recognition interface design (Addison Wesley, 2003), The Art and Business of Speech Recognition: Creating the Noble Voice and his work and thoughts have been featured in publications including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and on media including TechTV, NPR, and the BBC.

Since 2003, Blade has taught courses on design-thinking. He's a frequent guest lecturer at Stanford University and Harvard University, and holds a Bachelors of Science in Human-Factors Engineering from Tufts University and a Master of Science in Engineering and Management from MIT.
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Witold Kowalczyk
Director European Business Development
Zapata Computing
Witold Kowalczyk is the Director of European Business Development for Zapata Computing where he’s responsible for implementing and managing the sales & partner activities across Europe.

He’s a Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni. Founder & CEO of multiple startups within the AI and quantum tech industry. Founded BOHR Technology, a company working on quantum machine learning algorithms and software for solving complex optimization problems. At BOHR he was in charge of the startup’s growth strategy, product management and international business development.
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Annika Monari
Co-Founder & Director, Aventus
Annika Monari is a Co-Founder of Aventus, a digital assets-focused blockchain-based protocol that transforms oversight, standardisation, trust and innovation across enterprises’ supply chains by acting as a secure and independent backbone of interoperability, communication and value exchange. Before developing an interest in blockchain and cryptography Annika was involved with experimental particle physics, investigating Higgs Boson Particle decays to dark matter using machine learning in partnership with CERN and gaining experience at the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, before completing a Master’s Degree in Physics at Imperial College London. Having co-founded Aventus in 2016, Annika and Co-Founder Alan Vey launched the alpha version of Aventus on the Ethereum test network, established the Aventus Protocol Foundation to develop and market the open-source Aventus protocol, and led the most successful public ticketing Token Generation Event (TGE) which attracted over 1,300 participants and generated over $15m at the time. The Aventus Protocol was made available on the Ethereum network in April 2018.

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Luis Perez-Breva
Director, MIT Innovation Teams
Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
Panel with Q&A
Day 1, 15:00
Luis Perez-Breva, PhD, is the author of Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong (The MIT Press, 2017). He is an expert in technology innovation, venture labs, taking deep tech to impact, and applying artificial intelligence to solve real-world problems. Dr. Perez-Breva is based in the MIT School of Engineering and is Faculty Director of Innovation Teams, its flagship joint enterprise with MIT Sloan to put the Institute’s deep tech advances to work to solve real-world problems. Through iTeams, he has helped 170+ MIT technologies find a path forward to impact.

Dr. Perez-Breva has taught innovating as a skill worldwide in academia and industry to professionals and students from all disciplines, and has propelled them to start innovating anywhere from a hunch to a market insight to research breakthroughs. He has collaborated with and helped lead MIT’s innovation initiatives in Portugal, Singapore, Russia, and Abu Dhabi.

A serial innovator and entrepreneur himself, Dr. Perez-Breva is drawn to “impossible” projects and has enjoyed success with inventions in security, telecom, finance, and genetics. He has also developed several non-profit organizations, including helping to build a new university centered on innovation. He has numerous stories to share from his own trial-and-error adventures in conceiving AI technologies that tackle real-world problems and drive them to market.

Dr. Perez-Breva holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from MIT and degrees in chemical engineering, physics, and business from leading universities in Spain (Institut Quimic de Sarrià), France (Ecole Normale Supérieure), and the United States (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). In 2011, the Spanish government recognized his career achievements by awarding him the Order of Civil Merit of the Kingdom of Spain.


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John Polo
Chief Operations Officer & CoFounder
Top Flight Technologies
John Polo is responsible for the operational leadership of Top Flight. He has held senior management and IT leadership positions at $400m to $31b manufacturing, consumer products, and IT management consulting/product companies worldwide. John has 35 years of expertise leading companies such as Gartner Group, Kraft Foods North America and Perkin-Elmer (The Hubble Space Telescope). In addition, he has been instrumental leading 8 investor-led IT and high-tech global start-ups as President, COO, VP/Business Strategy and Founder.
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617-253-8737

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Michael Schrage
Research Fellow, MIT Center for Digital Business;
Visiting Fellow, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship;
Visiting Fellow, Imperial College Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Panel with Q&A
Day 1, 11:50
Panel with Q&A
Day 1, 15:00
Michael Schrage is a fellow with MIT Sloan School's Initiative on the Digital Economy and the author of ’The Innovator’s Hypothesis’ [MIT Press 2014], ‘Who Do You Want Your Customers To Become?’ [Harvard Business Review Press 2012], and ‘Serious Play’ [Harvard Business Review Press 2000], among others. His research, writing, and advisory work focuses on the ‘behavioral economics’ of models, prototypes, and experiments as collaborative media for managing ‘innovation risk’ and opportunity. His current research explores the interplay of ’network effects’ with innovation and human capital. Schrage’s pioneering work in ‘selvesware’ technologies was designed to augment aspects, attributes, and talents of productive individuals. Current research building on that theme, in collaboration with Google and the Sloan Management Review, addresses the ‘future of KPIs’ and digital dashboards. His particular interest is the future of ‘agency’ in algorithmically-rich networked environments.

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Chris Toumazou
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Imperial College London
Panel with Q&A
Day 1, 15:00
Chris is London’s and Imperials first Regius Professor of Engineering and Founder of Imperial’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering. At 33, he was the youngest ever professor to be appointed at the College.He is also co-founder and chairman of DNA Electronics and DnaNudge and a multi-award-winning inventor whose innovations have included implantable cochlear chips for born deaf children and an artificial pancreas for diabetics.

A serial entrepreneur, his co-invention of semiconductor DNA detection revolutionised genetic testing. In recognition, for this and other inventions he received the prestigious 2014 European Inventor Award and the Royal Society Gabor Medal as well as the Faraday Medal. He has numerous IEEE awards and Medals and more recently awarded the IEEE Medal for Biomedical Engineering.

Chris is a Trustee at the Royal Institution and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Fellow of both the IEEE and IET. He has published over 450 research papers and holds over 80 international patents in the field of semiconductors and healthcare.
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617-258-8104

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Marie-Teresa Vander Sande
Program Director
MIT Corporate Relations Industrial Liaison Program
Marie-Teresa manages the relationship between companies and other organizations headquartered in the US, UK and Iceland, and the senior administration and faculty of MIT. As Program Director for Corporate Relations, Marie-Teresa convenes teams of researchers and faculty members to provide ongoing emerging technology intelligence and strategic advice to the companies and government groups in her portfolio. She is noted for organizing networking activities across portfolios of ILP member companies.

Marie-Teresa has also worked at GE, Arthur D. Little, Millipore and as an independent consultant and writer. She earned two degrees in Materials Science & Engineering- a BS from Cornell University and an MS from Northwestern University.
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Alan Vey
Co-Founder & Director, Aventus
Alan Vey is a Co-Founder of Aventus, a digital assets-focused blockchain-based protocol that transforms oversight, standardisation, trust and innovation across enterprises’ supply chains by acting as a secure and independent backbone of interoperability, communication and value exchange. Prior to founding Aventus, Alan worked at the Deloitte Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, before going on to complete a Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence at Imperial College London. His thesis focused on film rights distribution, working with Bafta and the BBC. Fast-forward to September 2017 and Alan together with Co-Founder Annika Monari, had released the alpha version of Aventus to a test network, established the Aventus Protocol Foundation to develop and market the open-source Aventus protocol, and led the most successful public ticketing Token Generation Event (TGE) which attracted over 1,300 participants and generated over $15m at the time. The Aventus Protocol was made available on the Ethereum network in April 2018.
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