Topic: Expanding Our Imagination & Our World
Dr Adriana Marais is a theoretical physicist and aspiring extra-terrestrial. She completed her MSc summa cum laude in quantum cryptography at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Research Group at UKZN, doing research in quantum biology, studying quantum effects in photosynthesis as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself. Since the beginning of 2017, she has left academia for the corporate world, in the role of Head of Innovation At SAP Africa, driving digitisation and innovation on the continent. Adriana is currently one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to Move to the red planet in the next decade. She hopes one day to continue her research on Mars.
Entrepreneur & Founder
Topic: Internet will Change the World in the Next Five Years
Alan Knott-Craig is a successful entrepreneur and best-selling author, chairman of HeroTel, a wireless broadband provider, and founder of Project Isizwe, an NGO rolling out free WiFi in poor communities. Originally from Pretoria, he studied at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly UPE) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2002 and has subsequently invested or funded 21 companies in the tech industry. Alan was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009. Forbes listed him as one of the top 10 young African millionaires to watch.He was also included in “100 Choiseul Africa", a list of top 100 young African business leaders in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and nominated as the 2015 ICT Personality of the Year by ITWeb.
Topic: Expanding Our Imagination & Our World
Bas Lansdorp is CEO and Co-founder of Mars One, a company with the goal of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars. Before founding Mars One, Bas was the Co-founder and General Manager of Ampyx Power, a wind energy company. He sold the majority of his shares in the company to start Mars One. Bas is still a (passive) shareholder in Ampyx. Bas is an entrepreneur with an engineering background, interested in kickstarting visionary technological companies and business cases. He has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Twente University. After his graduation, he started a PhD research at the Aerospace Faculty of Delft University of Technology, which he abandoned in 2008 to start his first company Ampyx Power.
Topic: Retailer + Motivational
As a teenager, Seattle native Billy Price suffered a spinal cord injury and became paralyzed from the chest down, losing the ability to move his fingers. Daily tasks became difficult, but using his creative mind and unyielding spirit, he never gave up. He continued on, facing life's challenges with tenacity and determination. BILLY Footwear was founded on the principle of inclusion and perseverance. Along with co-founder Darin Donaldson, Billy strives to add value to the lives of others and make a measurable difference in the world.
Topic: Barbie Dreamhouse: Filling Temporary Vacancies VS. Permanent Tenancy
Christoph Rahofer is a seasoned executive producing interactive attractions for museums, theme parks, tourism destinations and shopping malls. His companies, EMS Entertainment and VR Adventures have lately shifted their attention to malls as venues for ticketed and promotional location-based entertainment and currently operate on 4 continents. Chritoph has a degree in international marketing and is considered one of the leading entrepreneurs in developing recognized brands to become successful touring attractions. Brands such as Barbie, CSI:, Star Trek, Sound of Music and many more have been in his portfolio for the past decade.
Futurist & Keynote Speaker, Author, Future Strategist and CEO
The Futures Agency
Topic: Technology vs Humanity
There is no lack of visionary thinkers on the planet ready to paint the future in bright coloursfor organizations and enterprises in search of evolution. Gerd Leonhard is alone in bringing the humanist tradition of philosophical questioning to burning issues as they impact real life here and now. From digital obesity and technology mega shifts to the imperative need for a global ethics framework around digital transformation, Gerd plays Mentor to a host of creative enterprises making the successful shift to futurized thinking. His latest book Technology vs. Humanity is a working manual for remaining unique and inventive in the coming era of algorithmic tyranny. Gerd's boutique unit The Futures Agency delivers presentation performances, project advisory and futurized media content.
Gil Oved has been an entrepreneur since he left school, starting his business called Jewazi Productions, a TV production company he co-founded as a 19 year old. The Creative Counsel Group, co-founded in 2001 and managed as Group Co-CEO for 17 years, one of South Africa’s largest advertising agencies. Sold to Publicis Groupe (3rd largest communications group in the world) in 2015. Non-executive director and Investment Committee member for one of South Africa’s second largest 12J VC Tech Funds, Kalon Venture Capital Partners. Invested in many businesses through his association with the hit TV Shows Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank. Co-founded and operating LLH Capital, a private equity investment holding company making tech-focused investments on the African continent. Gil is a sought-after leader and global speaker on entrepreneurship and technology. Gil is passionate about entrepreneurship and incubating and inspiring young entrepreneurs on the continent. He has co-authored a best-selling book on entrepreneurship where all the proceeds have gone to funding an entrepreneurial charity.
Topic: The New Silk Road and the Future of Retail with Symbolism and Philosophy
Jean-Pierre HEIM is an internationally renowned architect with a diverse and engaging portfolio. He has worked within internationally renowned clients such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Revillon, Baccarat, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin ,Lancel, Puiforcat and Club Med, and has designed world-famous venues such as the Capitol Music Theater in Frankfurt Offenbach, the Luxor Palace in Dresden and the Brasserie La Lorraine in Paris ,Thalassa restaurant in New York, along with luxury resorts and entertainment centers. Among a wide variety of innovative projects, Mr. HEIM has created a variety of unique projects and brands restaurant and boutique brands around the World. His ability to renovate villages integrating artistic and agricultural concepts under the architect’s new label: “TRAVELLING IS AN ART”, with the perfect example being portrayed for an Eco-Village, a project based in Bishan, near Chongqing, China. In addition to his work as an architect, Mr. HEIM is also a French foreign trade advisor with in-depth knowledge of international markets, able to act as a liaison between American, Chinese and European businesses seeking to operate on both sides of the Atlantic, and China.
Topic: Economy and Market Update
Jeremy is a regular voice in the media, at conferences and to the investment-related world at large, responsible for commenting on current affairs, economics and investment markets. In his position, Jeremy is inundated with information from the world’s top analysts, on everything from politics to petrol. Jeremy’s challenge is consolidating all this information and bringing it to you in an understandable format that you will find interesting and informative. With the company since 1992, Jeremy has been with the firm for 25 years, during which the business grew from a small Cape Town Asset Management firm to a significant global business managing clients assets in excess of R1.6 trillion.
Topic: The Shopper Rewired: The Players & The Game Have Changed
Ken Hughes is acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on consumer and shopper behaviour, internationally renowned for helping his largely blue-chip client base better understand the needs of the future consumer. With over 15 years’ experience as CEO of a consumer insight agency, Glacier Consulting, he blends his understanding of consumer psychology, shopper immersion, digital anthropology and retail futurology to explore the needs of the new consumer and predict the changes to come. Ken advises some of the biggest brands in the world on customer experience, omnichannel strategy, shopper marketing, retail trends, the millennial shopper and the peer-to-peer economy. As an accomplished author, TED speaker, university lecturer and actor, his performances are not only insightful and thought-provoking but are infamous for their sheer energy, entertainment and passion, not to mention his generous Irish wit.
Strategy Director | Global Retail Practice Leader
As Global Retail Practice Leader and Strategy Director at Gensler, Lara positions brands, builds communities, and impacts business performance. A trusted advisor to her clients, she brings insights that result in innovative and powerful strategies that generate engagement across various channels.
In an industry that’s constantly evolving, Lara has built a highly reputable position for herself as someone who understands the changing needs of her clients, navigating them to see beyond the “now” to the “next”. Leveraging a diverse education that spans psychology, advertising, marketing and cultural anthropology, she has honed her ability to translate complex global consumer trends into understandable, workable and profitable outcomes. These insights are applied to a variety of project typologies, including retail environments, hospitality and entertainment experiences, workplaces, and mixed-use developments.
Lara is an active voice in the retail industry and has been recognized by BBC News, RetailWeek, Glossy, Retail Focus, The Financial Times, The Atlantic, and The Business of Fashion for her industry-leading perspectives. In 2017, Lara was named as design:retail magazine’s “40 under 40,” acknowledging the future leaders of the retail industry.
Uber Sub Saharan Africa
Lead : Partnerships & Uber for Business
Topic: Retail Travel Reimagined with Uber
Shavaye Govender is the lead for Partnerships & Uber for Business, for Uber Sub Saharan Africa. In this role, Shavaye focuses on Strategic Partnerships and Uber for Business. Shavaye has been with the Uber since May 2016 and previously worked in proposition development at Barclays UK, SA and Tanzania. Growing up in South Africa he has a passion for transforming communities in a sustainable manner. He completed a Business Science from the University of KZN.
DNA Brand Architects
Topic: Stay Woke!
All Africa Young Business Leader of the Year 2017, Sylvester Chauke is an Entrepreneur and founder of DNA Brand Architects. After a lustrous career as the National Marketing Manager for Nando’s South Africa, Sylvester joined broadcasting giant MTV Networks Africa as its Director of Marketing and Communication. In 2012, Sylvester established DNA Brand Architects; a marketing and brand consultancy that works with some of the most revered brands on the continent. Sylvester is one the 22 young leaders from around the world to sit as the Advisory Council for the World Economic Forum Global Shapers. Sylvester’s business acumen has led him to be invited to sit amongst others, on the board of the South African State Theatre; Chair of the Artistic and Sponsorship Committee and is also in the Advisory Board for the University of Johannesburg.
Along with Elon Musk, South African-born Vinny Lingham is currently South Africa’s other major technology entrepreneur export to the famous Silicon Valley in San Francisco, and is always found ranked online in the top-5 lists of the most influential FinTech/ Blockchain/ Crypto Sphere insiders on the planet. He is a shark on “Shark Tank South Africa” and is a very well-known presence online and in news media.
His previous business Gyft, which sold electronic gift vouchers, shot to fame after it began accepting Bitcoins. After California-based First Data acquired Gyft in 2014, reportedly for over $50m, Vinny – a serial entrepreneur – has also become well known as the ‘Bitcoin Oracle’ for his accurate forecasts of movements in the cryptocurrency’s price. He is now known as one of the world’s top experts on Bitcoin and Blockchain.
After over a decade of experience in e-commerce, Vinny realized that no-one had a universal identity solution that balanced security and privacy with ease of use and ubiquity. Today, his company, Civic, is being built from the ground up to solve problems relating to identity theft, fraud, and ultimately, democracy.
Public Speaker & CEO
Vusi Thembekwayo has built an enviable track-record as a public speaker and strategy consultant to CEOs and business leaders all over the world. He has delivered strategy and turnaround interventions in 4 of the 7 continents. His sector experience spans technology, retail, banking, and insurance. Vusi is regarded by many a business leader as one of the foremost management thinkers and strategists of the modern day. He is Chief Executive Officer of Iconoclast, a leading knowledge bureau that represents the top 1% of global knowledge merchants. These are business leaders, social battalions and bureaucrats who lead societies, businesses or countries and whose thinking, ideas and writings are shifting and shaping the world.
Topic: The Power of Storytelling in the Digital Age
He has over 10 years’ experience in the Marketing, Fashion and Retail industry. Operating as a qualified Brand & Marketing Expert he provides rare insight into Brand Architecture, Content creation and Strategy within the digital world and how it inspires movements. His passion is Leadership, and Culture creation done through a process of reimagining, repurposing and repositioning brands and their teams to grow from the inside out. He lives to bring Brands to life!