Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, keynote speaker and corporate consultant.
As a highly sought-after speaker, Cal has worked with Pixar, Facebook, Lululemon, Turner Broadcasting, Vans, General Motors and several other companies and has inspired them to take a new look at the fundamental aspects of their business.
As a writer for Esquire, Cal has interviewed some of the most influential individuals of the past half-century of world history, including: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Quincy Jones, Jeff Bezos, Jack Welch, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Muhammad Ali, and hundreds of others.
Erika Lust is a multi-award winning filmmaker, writer and owner & founder of Erika Lust Films where she offers an alternative to the mainstream porn industry. She is also the creator of XConfessions.com, the first crowdsourced series that brought adult film to cinema screens.
Erika’s philosophy for a new adult cinema is based on 4 main ideas: women’s pleasure matters, adult cinema can have cinematic values, we need more body types, different ages and diverse races and the production process has to be ethical.
As founder and CEO Markus has grown Babbel to the world’s most successful language learning app. Babbel employs a team of 450 in Berlin and New York and currently has more than 1 million paying subscribers. Babbel was named the world’s most innovative company in education by Fast Company Magazine.
Before Babbel, Markus worked at Native Instruments. He began his career as a lecturer at New York University, following two years as a lecturer at Humboldt University Berlin. His special interest is communication development and the future of learning. He started programming computers in 1984.
Vince Steckler is Chief Executive Officer and board member of Avast, a global leader in digital security products for consumers and businesses. Through Vince’s leadership, Avast has transformed into a dynamic, full service security provider that goes beyond traditional security solutions and detection methods to advance its mission of making the internet safe and accessible for everyone. Vince led Avast’s acquisition of AVG Technologies in 2016 and now oversees more than $700 million in revenue and all global operations for the combined company.
Prior to joining Avast in 2009, Vince was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Sales at Symantec Corporation. Vince joined Symantec in 2000 as Vice President of Public Sector Business and started Symantec’s business of serving U.S. local, state, and federal governments. He also held the position of Symantec’s Vice President for Asia/Pacific and Japan and was responsible for all enterprise and consumer business in that region. Prior to joining Symantec, Vince had 20 years experience in software development, systems analysis and engineering, project management, and business development.
Vince holds two B.S.’s from the University of California, Irvine, one in Mathematics and the other in Information and Computer Science.
Damian Bradfield is the President and CMO of WeTransfer, based in Los Angeles. His background combines experience with the some of the world’s leading creative companies (Stella McCartney, J Walter Thompson) with launching and mentoring a range of design and tech start-ups (Kuvva, Present Plus). He brings together the ambitious, international strategic thinking of the former with the quicker, nimbler energy of the start-up world. He first joined WeTransfer as Chief Strategic Officer in 2010 and played a pivotal part in building it into the leading, much-loved creative brand it is today. Nowadays the site has 40 million active users who transfer one billion files every month. In 2015, WeTransfer took its first round of investment (series-A of $25million by HCPE) and Damian moved to LA the following year to spearhead the company’s US operations.
In his dual role heading the American office and leading the brand’s marketing, growth and content departments, Damian personifies WeTransfer’s commitment to supporting and showcasing the best creative talent. To this end he has brought in Gilles Peterson and Troy Carter to work with the company and set up content partnerships with the likes of FKA twigs, Rankin, Sampha and Nelly Ben Hayoun, among many others.
Damian’s professional and cultural interests include moving beyond buzzwords to create genuinely human companies, the role of doubt as part of the creative and commercial processes, and how the ambivert personality type works in a collaborative professional world. He regularly blogs on these topics as well as consulting for a range of businesses, awards schemes and non-profit organizations. Damian has been interviewed and profiled by titles including Fast Company, Designweek, Mr Porter, 33Voices and LA Weekly.
Originally a particle physicist who pursued research at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland for 6 years, Elina was one of the leading researchers that discovered the Higgs boson, which lead to a Nobel Prize in physics 2013. After discovering the Higgs, Elina quit her science job to focus on women’s reproductive health. She then developed the algorithm behind Natural Cycles an effective and user friendly natural birth control method. Through analysing women’s body temperature the Natural Cycles mobile app identifies women’s fertile days for the purpose of both preventing and planning a pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women monitor their temperature in the app to early detect sinking hormonal levels to be able to prevent a possible miscarriage. Elina continues to pursue research through Natural Cycles, and has now published two clinical studies concerning women’s reproductive health in a peer review journal. In January 2017 Natural Cycles became the first approved contraceptive app.
Hector was born in Mexico City, and has always been fascinated by the tension between technology, art, and design. His major focus is attempting to harness that tension to create products and experiences that make our lives more productive, enjoyable, and inspiring. Uncertain of his direction he graduated with a BS in Computer Science from the UDLAP, and a MA in Interaction Design from the Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea in Italy.
Between obtaining his degrees he took on real jobs doing interface design for HP, among others. Next, he joined the MIT Mobile Experience Lab and later found his way to Google, where he’s worked on multiple products (Android, Android TV, Sky Map, Docs, Maps, etc) and led teams on multiple continents. Presently he leads Design for all Google Search and Assist related products. He now resides in California with his wife and daughter, bikes to work every day, and is still trying to answer that fundamental question: How can we make tech + art + design = happiness?
(Picture credits to Toby Peet.)
Former German Vice-Chancellor Philipp Rösler commands an impressive CV. His career in politics has seen him serve as Minister for Economics and Technology, Minister of Health, and as Federal Chairman of the Free Democratic Party. He currently serves as a Member of the Managing Board, and Head of Regional and Government Engagement at the World Economic Forum.
Based in Washington D.C. Rebecca is a photographer, photo editor and social media specialist, currently working as the Image Coordinator and Social Media Specialist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Rebecca has worked at NASA for nearly 8 years and is charged with sharing images of our universe with the media and public through channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Prior to working at NASA, Rebecca worked as a photojournalist and photo editor for outlets including National Geographic Television & Film, Roll Call Newspaper, and USA Weekend Magazine.
Cortney Harding is a professor, author, and consultant working at the intersection of music and virtual reality. Harding works with technology companies to partner with music artists and labels to create immersive, groundbreaking virtual reality content. Her knowledge of both the music and technology industries position her to uniquely create experiences that move both industries forward.
Harding is the author of , “How We Listen Now: Essays and Conversations About Music and Technology”, published in January 2016. She is a professor at the Clive Davis School of Music at NYU, and has been a frequent speaker at conferences like SXSW, Further Future, Canadian Music Week, SF Music Tech, and the Right Tech Summit. Harding received an MPA from New York University, and her BA from Wellesley College. She lives in New York City, and is at thirty-two time marathoner and ultra-marathoner!
Nicole Shanahan is an attorney in California and a research fellow at CodeX, the Stanford Center of Legal Informatics, a joint center between Stanford Law School and Computer Science. She is the founder and CEO of ClearAccessIP an integrated patent management technology, and a legal technologist who specializes in the utilization of structured databases, APIs, UI/UX, automation and SaaS.
Her research at Stanford is entitled “Smart Prosecution,” an ongoing, multi-disciplinary project applying data science to the prosecutorial process and involving partnerships with district attorneys and police departments. Apart from the practical applications of legal technology, she is formulating an economic theory, entitled “Coasean Mapping” to predict the pace and nature of society’s adoption of legal artificial intelligence.
Alessio studied Business/Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen and San Diego State University. After studying in the US, he dropped out of university to start tellM, an app that provided an anonymous newsfeed for friends. With two fellow students and one lecturer they founded a company and launched the app at various Universities in California. After tellM failed to gain sustainable traction and a following split of the founding team, Alessio eventually hired a new team and iterated tellM into the now known Jodel.
Alessio, now as a single-founder, was responsible for product/tech, marketing, community, financing, and HR in the early days of the company. Being a product guy, he nowadays keeps his focus on product, strategy&vision and HR.