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Speakers & Sessions

A selection of the world’s most authoritative speakers–from visionaries to leading industry and technology practitioners.

Eric Ries

Entrepreneur and author of New York Times bestsellers The Lean Startup and The Startup Way

Max Tegmark

Author, AI Researcher and MIT Professor of Physics

David Rowan

Founding editor-in-chief
WIRED’s UK Edition

Carl Frey

Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment
University of Oxford

Frederic “Fred” Fugen and Vincent Reffet

Extreme BASE jumpers and Skydivers

Maciej Kranz

Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Cisco Systems

Brian Humphries

Chief Executive Officer
Cognizant

Ezequiel Szafir

Chief Executive Officer, Openbank, Grupo Santander

Ben Pring

Vice President & Managing Director, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work

Malcolm Frank

President, Cognizant Digital Business

Sandrine Desbarbieux-Lloyd

European Vice President Digital
Samsung

Russell James

Director of Digital Engagement
The Football Association

Sara Erman El Sharkawy

Vice President D2C/E Commerce
Electrolux

Santosh Thomas

Executive Vice President and
President, Global Growth Markets
Cognizant

Karen McLoughlin

Chief Financial Officer, Cognizant

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Eric Ries

Entrepreneur and author of New York Times bestsellers The Lean Startup and The Startup Way

Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup, which has been translated into nearly thirty languages. He is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology, which has become a global movement in business, practiced by individuals and companies around the world.

 

He has founded a number of startups including IMVU, where he served as CTO, and he has advised on business and product strategy for startups, venture capital firms, and large companies, including GE, where he partnered with them on the FastWorks program. Eric served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School, IDEO, and Pivotal and he is the founder and CEO of the Long Term Stock Exchange. In 2015, he ran a Kickstarter campaign to produce The Leader’s Guide, which went on to become one of the top Kickstarter book campaigns of all time.

 

Eric lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Max Tegmark

Author, AI Researcher and MIT Professor of Physics

Max Tegmark is a professor doing physics and AI research at MIT, and advocates for positive use of technology as president of the Future of Life Institute. He is the author of over 250 publications as well as New York Times bestsellers Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Our Mathematical Universe.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
David Rowan

Founding editor-in-chief
WIRED’s UK Edition

David Rowan, founding Editor-in-chief of WIRED’s UK edition (2008-17), is the author of Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Transworld, 2019), a global quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption. He’s taken 130 flights in the past year to investigate the companies and entrepreneurs changing our world, and has spent time with the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. His keynote talks have included events for banks, governments and Fortune 100 companies, and stage interviews have ranged from will.i.am to James Murdoch and David Cameron. David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times. He's an early-stage investor in 50 tech companies and founder of a non-profit taking amazing people for weekend adventures in the world’s most extraordinary locations. And he is still searching for the future.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Carl Frey

Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment
University of Oxford

Carl is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at the Oxford Martin School, and Economics Associate of Nuffield College, both University of Oxford.

 

He is also a Senior Fellow of the Programme on Employment, Equity and Growth at the Institute for New Economic Thinking in Oxford, and the Department of Economic History at Lund University. His research focuses the transition of industrial nations to digital economies, and subsequent challenges for economic growth, labour markets and urban development.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Frederic “Fred” Fugen and Vincent Reffet

Extreme BASE jumpers and Skydivers

Meet the Soul Flyers, Frederic “Fred” Fugen and Vincent Reffet, a duo who have led the way in the world of aerial adventures for well over a decade, consistently achieving extraordinary, gravity-defying feats.

Fred and Vincent were introduced to the wild and wonderful world of skydiving at early ages, as both boys’ parents were seasoned parachutists. Fred accomplished his first-ever solo jump in 1996; Vince did so in 2000. Vince and then Fred joined the French national freefly team, freefly being parachuting’s most radical competitive discipline. They then joined the Skydive Empuria parachute club in Empuriabrava, Spain – the most prestigious skydiving school in Europe. It was at this school that Fred and Vince made their pact to take the skydiving world by storm together.


During the 2004 World Championships in Brazil, Fred and Vince became the Freefly World Champions and won a further two World Championships in 2006 and 2008. The two of them remained unbeaten between 2004 and 2009. Fred and Vince have also become experts in BASE jumping, canopy piloting, extreme landings, wind tunnel skydiving, wingsuit flying and speed riding. In addition to pushing the limits of freefall, the team have also set new European and world records, starred in a number of on-screen roles, and help teach other aspiring skydivers how to do what comes naturally to them!

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Maciej Kranz

Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Cisco Systems

Maciej Kranz brings 30 years of networking industry experience to his position as Cisco’s Vice President of Cisco’s Strategic Innovation. In this role, he leads efforts to incubate new businesses and accelerate innovation internally and externally with customer and partner ecosystems through a global network of Co-Innovation Centers. Previously, he built Cisco’s $250-million Connected Industries group focused on the Internet of Things from the ground up.  He also pioneered dozens of IoT projects across multiple industries, wrote the New York Times Best Seller, Building the Internet of Things, serves on the faculty of Singularity University, publishes an IoT newsletter, and spearheads an industry leadership community.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Brian Humphries

Chief Executive Officer
Cognizant

Brian Humphries is the Chief Executive Officer of Cognizant and a member of its Board of Directors. Brian joined Cognizant from Vodafone Group, where he served as the CEO of Vodafone Business and a member of Vodafone Group’s Executive Committee, leading the delivery of digital solutions to customers of all sizes across mobility, wide area networks, and unified communications, leveraging cloud and security. Brian previously held senior leadership positions at Dell Technologies and Hewlett-Packard.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Ezequiel Szafir

Chief Executive Officer, Openbank, Grupo Santander

Ezequiel Szafir Holcman is the CEO of Openbank, the digital bank of Santander Group. He joined Santander from Amazon where he was VP in Europe, based in Luxembourg. His experience in digital goes back to 1998 when he joined Liberty Global as Vice President EMEA for their internet access division. Ezequiel was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. at the Amsterdam office and Strategy and Operations Director for Nike Europe, based in The Netherlands. For Deloitte, he was Partner of the Financial Advisory Services practice. He also served as Managing Director of Grupo Cortefiel. Ezequiel started his career as a journalist, and has authored two novels: Marina de Buenos Aires and París 2041 (Penguin‐Random House).

 

Ezequiel is a Doctor in Psychology (PhD) from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, Master of Science in Business Administration at the ADL School of Management at Boston College, Research Fellow at the Center for Technology and Industrial Policy Development of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Bachelor of Science from the Engineering School of UADE University.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Ben Pring

Vice President & Managing Director, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work

Ben Pring co-founded and leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. Ben is a co-author of the best-selling and award-winning books, What To Do When Machines Do Everything (2017) and Code Halos; How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business (2014). Ben’s expertise in helping clients see around corners, think the unthinkable, and calculate the compound annual growth rate of unintended consequences has made him an internationally recognized expert on leading edge technology and its intersection with business and society. 

 

Ben sits on the advisory board of the Labor and Work Life program at Harvard Law School. In 2018 Ben was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. Based near Boston since 2000, Ben graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Manchester University in the UK where he grew up.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Malcolm Frank

President, Cognizant Digital Business
Cognizant

Malcolm Frank is President of Cognizant Digital Business. In this role, Malcolm oversees Cognizant’s broad digital services portfolio. This includes Digital Strategy, Artificial Intelligence & Analytics, Interactive, Digital Engineering, IoT, Digital Content Platform, and Cognizant’s Accelerator Program which incubates new industry-specific digital ventures. Prior to this role, Malcolm was Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.
 

Malcolm’s influence is wide ranging and evident across media. He has co-authored two best-selling books, “What to Do When Machines Do Everything” (2017) and “Code Halos” (2014), both of which received multiple international book awards. He has also authored numerous white papers focusing on the Future of Work and created the term “SMAC Stack,” now an industry standard. A highly sought-after speaker, Malcolm has presented at various conclaves, including the World Economic Forum and the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals. He is frequently quoted, is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study and was named “one of the most influential people in finance” by Risk Management magazine.
 

Beyond his practical vision on artificial intelligence (AI) and experience as a founder of three business ventures—and having served as the CEO of two of them—Malcolm works closely with Cognizant clients to gain business advantage from large-scale digital transformation programs. He serves on the Board of Directors of FactSet Research Systems Inc. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). Malcolm holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Yale University.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Sandrine Desbarbieux-Lloyd

European Vice President Digital
Samsung

Sandrine Desbarbieux-Lloyd is a senior digital expert, with over 25 years international experience leading organisations in the implementation of strategic change and digital transformation. She is currently European Vice President of Digital at Samsung, where she oversees digital sales and marketing, a multi-billion pounds business across 31 countries. In this role, she is driving major innovation including machine learning and blockchain applications.

 

Sandrine holds double diplomas from the UK and France, including a Masters from Reims Management Business School in France.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Russell James

Director of Digital Engagement
The Football Association

Russell James is a Senior Marketing Professional with 18 years of experience developing large & fast-growing brands across a Global, Regional & UK landscape, across a variety of sectors including FMCG (Procter & Gamble), Hospitality (Hilton Hotels) and currently in Sport (Football).

 

Russell is currently leading the digital transformation of The FA, a multi-million pound investment to modernise the FA’s engagement with the game, both for fans and those involved in the grassroots game.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Sara Erman El Sharkawy

Vice President D2C/E Commerce
Electrolux

As VP of Ecommerce D2C Sales Electrolux EMA Sara Erman El Sharkawy goes beyond simply chasing conversion. She is a driving force behind turning Electrolux’s digital transformation within white goods from strategy to reality. 

 

With a background from FMCG powerhouses P&G, Reckitt Benckiser and BAT across Asia, Africa and Europe, Sara brings the detail of retail to digital. She excels at getting things done by building the right team for the task–lifting both individuals and companies through her energetic leadership style.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Santosh Thomas

Executive Vice President and
President, Global Growth Markets
Cognizant

Santosh Thomas is Cognizant’s Executive Vice President and President, Global Growth Markets, which comprise Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin America. He has held this position since August 2016. In this role, Santosh runs the company’s market strategies and day-to-day operations, which includes managing client relationships, sales, profit and loss, and nearshore delivery, among other responsibilities.

Santosh served as Head, Growth Markets for Cognizant from 2011 to July 2016. Prior thereto, from 1999 to 2011, he held various senior positions at Cognizant, including leading Continental European operations and various roles in client relationships and market development in North America.


Before joining Cognizant in 1999, Santosh worked with Informix and HCL-Hewlett Packard Ltd.


Santosh holds a Bachelor’s in Engineering degree from R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore, India and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management from Xavier (XLRI) School of Management, India.

SPEAKER INFORMATION
Karen McLoughlin

Chief Financial Officer, Cognizant

Karen McLoughlin is Cognizant’s Chief Financial Officer. She oversees the company’s worldwide financial planning and analysis, accounting and controllership, tax, treasury and internal audit functions. Other areas under her purview include corporate development, investor relations, enterprise risk management, procurement and real estate functions.

 

Prior to her current position Karen was Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation and Financial Planning & Analysis, leading teams that she architected during her time at Cognizant. In that role, she was responsible for our worldwide financial planning and analysis, enterprise risk management and enterprise transformation functions. This included facilitating and executing various internal transformational initiatives designed to enable our strategic vision.

 

During her tenure Karen has developed a deep understanding of Cognizant from both a financial and a business operations perspective. Outside of Cognizant she serves on the Board of Directors of Best Buy Co. Inc.

 

Prior to joining Cognizant in 2003 Karen spent six years at Spherion Corp. and three years at Ryder System Inc., where she held key financial management positions. Before joining Ryder, she spent six years in the South Florida Practice of Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

 

Karen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wellesley College and an MBA degree from Columbia University.

Breakout Sessions

Guests exchanged immediately applicable real-world lessons during our small-group interactive breakout sessions.

INDUSTRY SESSIONS

  • Sink or Swim: A Fresh Look at Digital Approaches in Financial Services

  • Building Customer Connections as Telecoms, Media, and Technologies Converge

  • Rethinking the Patient Journey in the Digital Era

  • Industry 4.0: Rewiring Business Operations

  • Under Pressure: How to Craft an Insurance Ecosystem Strategy and Thrive Amid Disruption

TECHNOLOGY SESSIONS

  • Getting Strategic with RPA: The Smart Way Toward Intelligent Automation

  • From Core Modernisation to Value Creation: A Leading Role for the CIO

  • Delivering Meaningful Customer Experiences: It Takes More Than Marketing

  • Transforming while Performing: Designing Experiences, Engineering Outcomes

  • Priming a Work-Culture Fit for the Digital Era