First Minister of Scotland
Nicola was elected as First Minister and leader of the
Scottish National Party in November 2014, having played a key role in the
independence referendum, and is now one of the most important politicians in
Britain and in Europe. She is the first woman to hold the position and has
devoted much of her administration to ensuring equality across politics, delivering
the first gender-balanced Cabinet in the UK, described by the UN as a “role
model cabinet for others to emulate.” She has been a member of the Scottish
Parliament since 1999. Before that, she was a solicitor in Glasgow after
graduating in law from the University of Glasgow. Forbes magazine ranks her as
one of the most powerful women in the world, and second in the United Kingdom.
In light of the vote to leave the European Union, hear the First Minister set
out her stall for Scotland and for Europe in her first speech to a business
audience since the European Referendum.
Former CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi
Kevin Roberts has an international reputation for an uncompromisingly positive, inspirational leadership style, and an ability to generate ideas and emotional connections that accelerate extraordinary value. He has made presentations to business audiences in 60 countries, with a San Francisco technology reviewer noting, “Kevin Roberts was arguably more entertaining and more informative than any other speaker, speaking about any other subject, anywhere. That is saying a lot, but during the hour of his speech, there was nowhere else in the world that I would have rather been than in his audience, soaking up everything he was saying.”
Baroness Lane Fox, doteveryone.org.uk.
Founder and Executive Chair
Martha is founder and executive chair of doteveryone.org.uk. Martha co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman in 1998, they took it public in 2000 and sold it in 2005. She was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in March 2013 and in March 2014, she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University.
Martha co- founded and chairs LuckyVoice, revolutionising the karaoke industry. In 2015 Martha joined the board of the Creative Industries Federation, the Scale up institute and the Open Data Institute. In April 2016 she was appointed as a non-executive director of Twitter. She is also NED at the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Dame Kelly Holmes
Double Olympic gold champion
After a promising junior athletics career, Kelly served in the British Army for nearly ten years and was awarded an MBE for her services to the British Army in 1998. Having left the army, Kelly established herself as a professional sports woman – her career culminated in winning two Gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Kelly was the third woman in history to win the 800m and 1500m double and Britain's first double gold medallist at the same games since 1920.
Steve Hatch, Facebook
Regional Director of Northern Europe
Facebook has come a long way since it was created in Mark Zuckerberg’s college dorm room in 2004, hitting 1.59 billion users worldwide at the end of January. The company has reinvented the way people communicate, becoming a major source of news for its users and a vital marketing tool for businesses in the process.
In March 2014, Steve Hatch became Facebook’s first UK and Ireland Director. His appointment ended a 15-month search by the social networking site that is currently used by over 50% of the British population. Steve was previously chief executive for media agency MEC and last year he joined the board of directors at Trinity Mirror. Under Steve’s management, MEC doubled in size and won many awards for its client work as well as Media Week, Campaign and Marketing Agency of the Year. A passionate advocate of creativity and ideas, Steve’s co-authored ‘Rigorous Magic’ in 2007.
Brad Smith, Microsoft
Microsoft is famous for transforming the way the world uses technology. It continues to perform strongly, with revenues of $90bn last year, but faces key strategic challenges in the ensuring they match their rivals when it comes to product innovation.
Brad Smith joined the US tech giant Microsoft back in 1993. At that time the company was working a project codenamed ‘Chicago’. It would later become Windows 95 and was described by one tech analyst as ‘a quantum leap in difference in technological capability and stability.’ In 2014, he became Microsoft’s first company-wide president for 12 years.
Brad now leads a team of more than 1,300 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 55 countries. He also plays a key role in representing the company on issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion. Brad has been robust in his defence of rivals Apple in the recent encryption row with FBI, stating that “there is no technology as important as encryption…the path to hell starts at the backdoor."
Vivian Hunt, McKinsey UK and Ireland
Director and Managing Partner
Vivian Hunt is a Director of McKinsey & Company and the Managing Partner for the Firm’s United Kingdom and Ireland Office, a workplace with approximately 1,100 colleagues representing over 50 nationalities.
Vivian serves leading pharmaceutical and medical products companies on a broad range of strategy topics, with a particular focus on performance transformation and organisational development. As the Managing Partner in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Vivian has also contributed strategic advice to leading British firms in the private, public, and third sectors.
Olivier Grémillon, Airbnb
Managing Director EMEA
Olivier Grémillon is in charge of Airbnb in EMEA, responsible for the development of the activity across the region. Olivier joined Airbnb in January 2012 to open the French office. In late 2013, he took over the coordination of the 8 European offices. Olivier has over 10 years of international experience, working on marketing and strategy for a range of companies.
Before joining Airbnb, Olivier was Associate Principal at McKinsey in Paris and San Francisco and also worked as Project Manager at Deloitte. He was also involved in the launch of several start-ups in Europe and in the US. Olivier holds a M.Sc. in management from ESSEC and a MBA from Harvard.
Sarah Wood, Unruly
Co-founder and Co-CEO
Sarah Wood is co-founder and co-CEO of video ad tech company Unruly, where she ensures the company delivers the most awesome social video campaigns on the planet. 91% of Ad Age 100 brands have trusted Unruly to connect with audiences at speed and scale across the open web. Unruly has 20 offices, employs 300 people and was acquired by News Corp in September 2015.
Sarah has been voted Business Insider's #3 Coolest Woman in Tech, Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year, Best CEO of the Year at The 2016 Europas Awards, City AM Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, and one of Ad Age's 20 Women to Watch in Europe. She is a member of Tech City’s Entrepreneur Advisory Panel, a Technology Ambassador for London and was awarded an OBE in June 2016. Sarah is also an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches a course in Mash-Ups, Memes and LOLitics: Online Video Culture and the Screen Media Revolution.
Dr. Dambisa Moyo
Dr. Dambisa Moyo's controversial bestseller, Dead Aid, caused a storm when it was it first published in 2009. She argued that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has failed to reduce poverty and lined the pockets of corrupt politicians. The book prompted former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to say, "Dambisa Moyo makes a compelling case for a new approach in Africa."
In the same year, she was named by TIME Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”. Born in Zambia, and educated at both Harvard and Oxford, Dambisa went on to work for Goldman Sachs and the World Bank. In 2013, Dambisa received the prestigious Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award for and has earned a reputation worldwide as a renowned speaker.
Amee Chande, Alibaba Group
Managing Director for UK, Ireland & Nordics
Amee Chande was appointed UK, Ireland & Nordics Managing Director of Alibaba Group in September 2015. In this role, Ms. Chande will leverage her global leadership experience with large retailers and established brands to build the UK office as the hub for Alibaba Group in Europe and bring the best of the Alibaba ecosystem to UK businesses and consumers.
Ms. Chande is active in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, where she serves as a global Board member and chairs the Fund Development Committee. She also serves on the London Board of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Ms. Chande earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, a master’s degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Tony Hayward, Glencore/Genel Energy
Tony Hayward is Chairman of Glencore plc and Chairman of Genel Energy plc. He was Group Chief Executive of BP from 2007 -2010 having previously served as Group Treasurer and Chief Executive of Exploration and Production. He studied geology at Aston University in Birmingham and completed a PhD at Edinburgh University.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, Aston University, the University of Birmingham and Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.
He is a member of the British Museum Chairman’s Advisory Board and a member of the Development Advisory Board of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is Chairman of Aston University's Development Board and a visiting professor at the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh.
Leo Johnson is a Partner in PwC’s Sustainability & Climate Change team, and the co-Founder of the sustainability advisory firm Sustainable Finance, now part of the PwC group. He is the co-author of “Turnaround Challenge: Business and the City of the Future” (Oxford University Press, 2013) and the lead author of PwC’s “Low Carbon Economy Index”. Leo is Co-Presenter for the Radio 4 series: “Future Proofing” and the Presenter of the BBC World News programme “One Square Mile”.
Leo is a Visiting Business Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise & Environment at Oxford University, Formerly with the Technical and Environment Department of the World Bank’s IFC, he is a Judge for the FT Boldness in Business Awards, and a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation and Green Alliance. Alongside speeches ranging from Campus Party to TEDx, he has commented and written guest columns for the Wall Street Journal, Evening Standard, FT and Huffington Post. He is the co-Founder of the Prix Pictet—a Prize for Photography around sustainability issues for which Kofi Annan is the Patron.
Journalist and commentator
James Ashton is an experienced journalist, commentator
and media consultant. He was formerly Executive Editor and City Editor of the
London Evening Standard and Independent newspapers and has also written for the
Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Scotsman. He was educated at the University of St
Andrews and City University.
Former Greek Finance Minister
During his time in office, Yanis Varoufakis was described as ‘one of the most recognised politicians on the planet’ and ‘the rock-star of Europe’s anti-austerity uprising’. He made headlines around the world with his forthright views on the global economy. Varoufakis spent six years studying in the UK during the 1980s where he gained a PhD in Economics.
He was appointed finance minister after the left-wing Syriza Party swept into power back in January 2015 but famously quit the role despite successfully campaigning for Greeks to vote against a bailout from the nation’s creditors. His colourful career has seen him work as an economist for a video games company, and more recently he appeared at an economics seminar held by the Labour Party.
Lord Lamont of Lerwick
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer
From 1991 to 1993, Normon Lamont was Chancellor of the Exchequer. During that period he successfully led a campaign for Britain to opt out of a single European currency. But on 16 September 1992, his efforts to defend the pound against currency speculators failed. That day became etched in history as Black Wednesday.
He later said: "All three achieved the objectives that I set for them. The first  drew the sting of the poll tax; the second, by introducing the 20p income tax band, helped us to win the election; the third, unpopular though it undoubtedly was, made a significant step toward reducing our budget deficit."
However, he was unable to survive the fallout from Black Wednesday and resigned as Chancellor in 1993. He remained a Conservative MP until 1997 and, in the following year, joined the House of Lords. Since 2008, Norman has been President of the Economic Research Council, the UK’s oldest economic think tank, and remains a staunch euro-sceptic.
First Minister of Wales
Carwyn became first minister of Wales in 2009 having been an
assembly member for his hometown of Bridgend since 1999. A Welsh speaker and
the leader of Welsh Labour, he’s also a member of Amnesty International and the
Fabian Society. Since the resignation of Gordon Brown as prime minister in 2010
following defeat in the general election, Jones has been the most senior Labour
elected representative and government minister in the UK
The first minister’s responsibilities include, among other things, managing relationships with the rest of the UK and internationally, as well as representing the people of Wales on official business.
He graduated in law from Aberystwyth University in 1998, and went to the London’s Inns of Court School of Law to train as a barrister. He went on to spend 10 years in practice in Swansea, specialising in family, criminal and personal injury law.
Robert Gordon, Hitachi Capital
Chief Executive Officer
With over 30 years’ experience within the finance industry, Robert was appointed as CEO for Hitachi Capital in April 2015, bringing with him an established record of leadership, profit growth and progression.
Since joining Hitachi Capital as the Business Finance Managing Director in 2006, Group Finance Director in September 2006 and Chief Operating Officer in June 2011, Robert has steered the group’s direction with his expertise and commitment to the business. Robert is also the Corporate Officer for Hitachi Capital Corporation Japan, the parent company of Hitachi Capital UK.
Rob Cotton, NCC Group
Rob Cotton is the Chief Executive of NCC Group, a FTSE 250 global cyber security and risk mitigation specialist headquartered in Manchester. He joined the Group in 2000 and turned around the fortunes of what was then a small general IT provider. With an entrepreneurial vision, he has steered the Group through a management buy-out in 2003, its admission to AIM in 2004 and the move to the London Stock Exchange's main market in July 2007. NCC Group has revenues in excess of £130 million, a market cap of around £800 million and more than 1,800 employees across its 32 global locations.
As well as delivering consistent organic growth in revenue and profits, Rob has instigated and driven the Group’s strategic global expansion including the acquisition of over 20 complementary businesses worldwide. Rob is passionate about leading NCC Group in the drive to make the Internet safer. He is also a regular media commentator and covers a range of topics including cyber security and business issues.
Wilfrid Petrie, Engie
UK & Ireland CEO
Wilfrid Petrie is UK & Ireland CEO of ENGIE, a leading global energy & services Group, employing 20,000 people in the UK across three main activities: services, energy solutions and energy infrastructure. The business has well-established and diverse operations generating power as one of the UK’s largest independent power producers; providing power and gas to thousands of businesses; and delivering services to more than 14,000 customer sites across the public and private sector.
A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, Wilfrid has over 20 years of senior level experience in the Energy and Services industry including management of district energy and service businesses in the United States, South East Asia and across Europe prior to his current role. He joined the Group in 1999.