Sami Benchekroun

Sami Benchekroun is the cofounder and CEO of Morressier, the company that aims to accelerate scientific breakthroughs by building the home for early-stage research. His vision is to create a single place for pre-published research to be discussed, shared, analyzed, and discovered by the entire scientific ecosystem. Sami has over ten years of experience in academic conferences, scholarly publishing, and entrepreneurship, and a background studying business at ESCP in London, Paris and Berlin.

Oscar Cerezales

MCI Group
Oscar Cerezales, born in Barcelona (Spain), has been working in the meetings industry for more than 25 years. Currently, he is chair of the PCMA APAC Regional Advisory Board as well as Member of the Scientific Board for the Latin American Association of Convention Bureaus. Oscar has also been a member of the Board of Directors for PCMA, chapters of MPI International as well as a Board Member for SITE Latin America. Oscar currently works at MCI Group, a company with 61 offices in 31 counties and 1,900 talents. MCI Group is dedicated to the organization of congresses and corporate events, consulting and strategic management for companies and associations. After managing MCI Spain, Oscar moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil to manage MCI throughout the Americas region. Oscar currently resides in Singapore and manages the Asia-Pacific region. Oscar has been a professor at universities in Barcelona, London, and Milan. In addition to collaborating with various industry publications. Oscar is the father of three children and loves endurance sports like ultra marathons and triathlons.

Amy Funderburk

Amy Funderburk is a brand communications and marketing expert with more than 25 years’ experience in global corporate functions in the United States and Germany. A U.S. native fluent in German, she has worked at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, for 21 years. Amy currently leads the Brand Voice/Naming function at SAP, part of the wider Global Brand team in the SAP Marketing organization. As head of Brand Voice/Naming for the past nine years, Amy is responsible for aligning SAP's marketing and branding strategy into a consistent and engaging communication strategy. Her team leads efforts for overall naming and top-level positioning for SAP products, services, programs, and major events. Amy helped create the SAP writing style, which works together with corporate brand design to promote a clear, insightful, approachable, and optimistic (CIAO) tone of voice for SAP. Amy has a dual B.A. degree in English and German languages from Drew University, NJ, USA, and is a happy expat who has made Germany her home.

Fredrik Härén

Fredrik Härén has quickly become one of the most talked-about names in the field of creativity, innovation and ideas generation. He is an accomplished author and speaker who deliver presentations, lectures and workshops across the world focused on creativity, idea generation and entrepreneurship. Fredrik has written 10 books now, including The Idea Book, a book-cum-notebook designed to awaken creativity, has been translated into 17 languages and has sold over 200,000 copies across 40 different countries all over the world. It was also included in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You. Fredrik has given over 2000 lectures in 67 countries over 6 continents -- and spoke in 18 countries in 2018 alone.

Maria Ireland

Valkiria Hub Space
Maria Ireland, Executive MBA'92 Oslo, worked in corporations for the last 30 years in Managerial positions and Executive boards, such as Armstrong Insulation, Volkswagen, ABB, PPG, Norsk Hydro, among others. Last year she embraced entrepreneurship and started her own consultancy firm with one Mission for my clients: Challenge status Quo, revisit the basics, learn from the past, and design the future. She also joined Valkiria Hubspace Spain an advanced developer of motivation, transformation and innovation programmes in companies, as a moderator and Innovation Business Developer.

David Meade

David Meade Ltd
David Meade is a first-class honours graduate from Ulster Business School and his work as a lecturer and researcher in International Business and Strategy with the University of Ulster has built his reputation as one of Europe’s most sought after motivational and organisational speakers, trainers, and facilitators. Over 85% percent of David’s diary is spent working at the executive level, motivating and inspiring some of the largest and most diverse organisations. He’s worked with organisations such as: Apple, PwC, BT, Saba, Harvard in Boston, the Cabinet Office in Westminster, Bombardier and the Bank of America.

Kandarp Mehta, PhD

Kandarp Mehta is a PhD from IESE Business School, Barcelona. He has been with the Entrepreneurship Department at IESE since October 2009. His research has focused on creativity in organizations and negotiations. He frequently works as consultant with startups on issues related to Innovation and Creativity. His doctoral thesis was about the process of creativity in the context of motion picture industry. He has conducted several Negotiation and Creativity Workshops for corporate executives and management students in Europe, USA and India. Before coming to Spain, he was at ICFAI Business School in India where he taught Corporate Finance. He is also actively involved with Creative Industries. He has been actively involved with theatre, as a director, script writer as well as a performer. Several movies and short films where he participated during his PhD dissertation have been exhibited at prestigious film festivals.

Adrian Ott

Adrian is Chief Executive Officer of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT). He has more than 15 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. In his current position his focus is the strategic alignment of EFORT activities towards its mission & vision: strengthen the European Orthopaedic and Traumatology Educational Platform, raising the organisation’s profile in priority within the European health agenda in the area of musculoskeletal health, but also globally. Operationally his priorities are change management, developing creative business relationships and stimulating effective governance aimed at committee work and profiling HCO stakeholders. Prior to EFORT he worked in the convention business and later at the World Heart Federation, a non-governmental healthcare association fostering the control and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and stroke worldwide. In his capacity of Director of the Congress Division he led the operations of the biennial World Congress of Cardiology. Re-assessments of congress strategy and new business ventures were part of his mandate. He is currently President of AC Forum with a term of office is of two years. AC Forum, The Association & Conference Forum is Led by Association staff for Associations and comprises more than 30 member organisations with a focus in healthcare, but not exclusively. Networking, sharing and educating to promote excellence in association and congress management in a trusting and confidential environment encapsulates the vision of the Association’s mission. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Science HES-SO in Tourism Management of the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland.

Geir Ove Pederson

Geir Ove Pedersen a former Graphic Designer from Norway almost discovered Snapchat by a coincidence. Five years later Geir Ove is known as one of the most creative people you can find in the app. With his creator name Geeohsnap he has built himself an impressive portfolio working for many of the top brands in the world. Today Geeohsnap works fulltime as a Content Creator, Social Speaker, Illustrator Artist and runs two popular Snapchat Shows recieving millions of views.

Marcos Picallo Aguilar

Lawyer, entrepreneur and a professional in the Sports Industry, nowadays Marcos Picallo Aguilar is managing Barça Innovation Hub Universitas as well as the academic and institutional relations of the Barça Innovation Hub. Before joining FC Barcelona he worked in business development for Formula E and Indy Car Series in the US. He also worked in Marketing & PR in the Orange County SC of the USL in California. As well as collaborating in the formation of FEVeS, the Spanish Federation of Videogames & eSports in collaboration with Chapman Group, a Sports Marketing Agency. He is also Co-Director of the master’s degree in Sports Management in Legal Skills of ISDE and the Global Executive Master in Sports Management with ESADE Business School, both programs are part of the BIHUB Universitas project. He received his bachelor’s in law per the Complutense University of Madrid, diplomate in Marketing per the University Centre Villanueva, master’s in business & Sports Management per the University of California and MBA in Sports Management in the Real Madrid Business School (European University Laureate).

Annalisa Ponchia

AIM Group International
Ponchia Baccara, a member of PCMA’s EMEA Advisory Board, has 30 years of international experience in events management and deep roots in the industry, having organized conferences and events around the globe for the corporate sector, government and associations. She spent nearly 12 years as ESOT CEO during which she gained substantial knowledge of the association environment and processes. Recently appointed Director of Innovation and Customer Experience, at AIM Group International, a new strategic position within the Company, with the task to drive the innovation across all the company’s functions and stakeholders and raise the added value offered to clients. Her career includes previous 10 years of experience as entrepreneur running her own PCO company (with a staff of 20 people and several outsourced consultants, sales and assistance staff) specialised in medical meetings. Ponchia is a certified meeting professional, with CMP and CMM designations, and is active as speaker at numerous association and industry events.

Felix Rundel

Falling Walls Foundation
Felix curates the annual Falling Walls Conference in Berlin, an international platform gathering cutting-edge scientists and the world’s most influential thinkers and decision makers to discuss the question: Which are the next walls to fall? In addition to expanding a truly international network, Felix develops programs and events in order to drive forward the Falling Walls mission of connecting communities for global change. He is a lecturer at Technical University Berlin and gives talks and workshops on purpose-driven meeting design and the future of impact-oriented events and communities.

Miquel Santasusana

Domestic Data Streamers
Miquel is a Barcelona born Engineer; he holds a PhD in Engineering and is currently lecturing Mechanics at the Elisava School of Design and Engineering. He is also COO at Domestic Data Streamers (DDS), a company that empowers companies such as Nike, Beefeater or Western Digital and organisations such as Berkley, Qatar Foundation or UNICEF to use data at strategies, communication campaigns and to make a better world out of this one. Miquel joined DDS three years ago and started working as a Project Manager with a special focus on event communication strategies for tech companies such as Western Digital, Telefónica, Cisco, SEAT, etc. Since 2019, he is the Operations Manager of DDS, working directly on the Domestic Data Streamers strategy. His current area of research is the integration of AI techniques in data-storytelling and experience design for events.

Bonny Shapira

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Bonny is the Cisco Live Europe leader. He joined the Cisco Live team just after the conclusion of Cisco Live 2012, making the 2019 event his seventh Cisco Live. Bonny’s responsibilities lie in the overall vision, strategy and program management. It is his job to make it all happen and connect with Cisco’s overall vision and strategy. He is also responsible for the content program, leading a team of Cisco professionals responsible for the selection and creation of the educational sessions (breakouts, techtorials, panels, case studies). Bonny is passionate about swimming, Spanish, Negronis and his wife and three kids.

Katrina Sichel

Katrina is a London-born, now Brussels-based moderator and communications specialist with a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University. As part of an eclectic career path spanning steel-trading in Africa to business development in the former Soviet States, she spent four years as co-Director of a broadcast PR company. Here she produced news packages for the BBC, Sky News, Channel 4, AP and Reuters, interviewing well-known figures from the arts, sport and political arenas. Since 2007, Katrina has been moderating events covering diverse topics and policy areas, from R&I, social affairs, development, finance and digitisation, to agriculture, environment, energy, fisheries and health. Alongside, until 2017, she managed the creation and roll-out across Europe of multimedia, multi-lingual communications campaigns targeting the public, and EU and national stakeholders from diverse sectors. Katrina speaks fluent French, rusty Russian and a dash of German alongside her native tongue.

Rik Vera

Keep experimenting. That’s part of the message Rik Vera, a change management thought leader and author, delivers when telling business leaders how to survive the day after tomorrow. Rik and his nexxworks business partners, Peter Hinssen and Steven Van Belleghem, inspire companies to lead in the New Digital World, take groups to innovation hubs like Silicon Valley and China, excite frustrated enthusiasts with innovative bootcamps, and — above all — encourage people to get ready for the future. He is the author of “Managers the Day After Tomorrow: Connect to Many, Engage Individuals.”


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