Fred Thiel
CEO, Thiel Advisors
Advisory Board Chairman, Post-Lean Institute 

Fred Thiel is a senior trusted advisor to management teams, boards of directors, private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies. He sits on a number private and public company boards, including Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ: MARA), OptConnect, GateKeeper Systems, Oden Technologies, NoCell Technologies, Sequent Software, and Dorner Manufacturing.

Fred has over 25 years operating experience leading companies in the technology, data communications, Internet, IoT, AI, automation, Big Data, digital media and software industries.  As a CEO, he has led companies through rapid growth to IPO, repositioned companies for high value exits to strategic and financial acquirers, led M&A and roll-up strategies, as well as successfully executed corporate turn-arounds and wind downs. Fred has repeatedly driven rapid growth and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder value.

Fred is a respected expert and frequent speaker on the digital transformation of companies and industries. He provides deep technology industry expertise, and strategic advice on transformational value creation – the process of generating exponential growth in  shareholder value.  Fred  is also frequent speaker and futurist in the areas of IoT, smart systems, collaborative and autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, digital humans, financial technology, blockchain, next-generation payment systems, predictive analytics and Big Data.

Fred is a 20 year member of Young President’s Organization (YPO), and the immediate past Chair of the YPO Technology Network. He attended classes at the Stockholm School of Economics and executive classes at Harvard Business School. Fred is fluent in English, Spanish, Swedish and French.

Stephen Ciesinski
Senior Advisor and Past President, SRI International
Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Steve Ciesinski is senior advisor and past president of SRI International, one of the world’s leading independent R&D organizations and an icon in Silicon Valley innovation history. He has held executive/board positions with Applied Materials, Octel Communications, Resumix, and Laszlo Systems. Steve started his career at Procter & Gamble, was a consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and served as a partner with Earlybird Ventures. He manages his own private venture capital fund, chairs the board of Ravenswood Solutions and is an investor/advisor to several international VC funds and private companies. His current interests include Enterprise application software, HealthTech, FinTech and EdTech.

Steve has been on the faculty at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business for 10 years, teaching on venture capital, entrepreneurship and innovation topics. He is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Union College as well as the President’s Cabinet at Cal Poly. He has also been a board member of public, private and not-for-profit organizations, and has served on many board and advisory committees.  Steve has a BSEE and AB from Union College, and an MBA from Stanford University. He and his family are involved in several organizations providing character-building experiences and scholarship assistance for disadvantaged youth.

David Allen
Chairman, David Allen Co.

David Allen is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and organizational productivity. His thirty-year pioneering research and coaching to corporate managers and CEOs of some of America’s most prestigious corporations and institutions has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the U.S. and Business 2.0 magazine’s inclusion in their 2006 list of the “50 Who Matter Now.” Time Magazine called his flagship book, Getting Things Done, “the definitive business self-help book of the decade.” Fast Company Magazine called David “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision, and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance.

David is the international best-selling author of Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity; Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life; and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life.

Mark Florman
Chairman & CEO, Time Partners, Ltd.

Mark was founder of the merchant banking group Maizels Westerberg and has since founded a number of businesses in the technology, advisory, financial services and investment sectors. He was Managing Director of the private equity firm Doughty Hanson, Chair of LM Glasfiber (the global renewable energy group) and started the African venture capital firm 8 Miles LLP with Bob Geldof. He has been active in policy ideas and campaigns related to social mobility and poverty fighting in the UK and across the world. He co-founded the Centre for Social Justice, the Early Intervention Foundation and B Labs (UK). In March 2015, he was appointed to the Board of the BBC Trust, and was the Trustee for England for two years. Mark was a member of the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force in 2014, and was appointed to the Triennial Review of the Big Lottery Fund by the UK Cabinet Office in the same year.

Mark is a leading authority on some of the world’s most entrenched socio-economic challenges, speaking widely on reforms that must be made to drive improved governance and productivity, and always championing the power and social impact of good business. He is the author of the External Rate of Return with the London School of Economics. He was appointed as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics & Political Science in November 2016 and a Visiting Professor at the Policy institute, Kings College London in January 2017.

Current roles include:

Hon President, B Corp (UK) Ltd
Life Ambassador, The Centre for Social Justice
Chairman, LPEQ (association of Listed Private Equity firms)
Chair of Patrons & Ambassadors, Build Africa
Trustee, The Commonwealth Education Trust
International Advisory Committee, The Paleo-Anthropology Scientific Trust Visiting Senior Fellow, LSE IGA
Visiting Professor, Policy Institute, King’s College London

Speaking on:

The next 25 years – changes coming from technology and artificial intelligence, demographics, migration and the ever growing role of business in solving society’s needs.

Dr. James (“Jim”) C. Spohrer
Director of Cognitive OpenTech, IBM Research

Jim is director of Cognitive Open Technologies, which include open source intelligence augmentation (IA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL). Previously, he was Director of IBM Global University Programs and IBM’s Cognitive Systems Institute Group.

Jim co-founded IBM’s first Service Research group, ISSIP Service Science community, and was founding CTO of IBM’s Venture Capital Relations Group in Silicon Valley. In the 1990’s, he was awarded Apple Computers’ Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technology title for his work on next generation learning platforms.

Early in his career, Jim was a senior scientist at Verbex, an Exxon company, working on speech recognition and machine learning. He has a Yale PhD in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence and MIT BS in Physics. Jim’s current team and system building focus is T-shaped innovators working to rebuild rapidly from scratch digital cognitive systems for smarter/wiser service systems. With over ninety publications and nine patents, he is also a PICMET Fellow and a winner of the Evert Gummesson Service Research award as well as the S-D Logic award.

Silvija Seres
Managing Director, TechnoRocks

Dr. Silvija Seres is an academic techie with a past in corporate leadership, a present in entrepreneurial investment, and a future in large-scale digital transformation processes in public and private sector. She currently works an independent advisor, investor and board member.

Silvija now serves as a Board Director of Nordea Bank AB, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), Synchrony International AB, Academedia AB and Enoro Holding AS. She also serves as a Member of the Corporate Assembly and Election Committee at Telenor ASA.

Previous board directorships include Statkraft, Norwegian Lottery, Aschehoug, Opera Software, Dagbladet Medialab, Making Waves, Data Respons, ProfDoc, NetConnect, GeoKnowledge, Integrasco, Norman, Camo, Kezzler, Buypass, Eidsiva Vekst, Electronic Chart Centre, The North Alliance, The Performance Group and Norwegian Technology Council.

In terms of operational roles, Silvija has previously worked as the Director of Business Management at Microsoft, and as Vice President of Product Marketing at Fast Search & Transfer ASA. She now works as a managing director in a private investment company TechnoRocks, focusing on active ownership in technology, media and telecommunications companies.

Silvija holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from Oxford University, MSc in Information Technology from University of Oslo and an M.B.A. from INSEAD. She has worked as a Professor in Saudi Arabia at Dar al Hema University and as a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and at DEC SRC in Silicon Valley.

Silvija is married, and has four children. She resides in Oslo, Norway.

Edwin A. Locke, Ph.D.
Dean’s Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation, University of Maryland

Edwin A. Locke

Edwin Locke is Dean’s Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his BA from Harvard in 1960 and his Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Cornell University in 1964. Dr. Locke has published over 260 chapters, notes and articles in professional journals, on such subjects as work motivation, job satisfaction, incentives, and the philosophy of science.

He is also the author or editor of more than ten books, including Study Methods and Study Motivation (Second Renaissance Books, 1998), Goal Setting: A Motivational Technique That Works (Prentice Hall, 1984, with G. Latham) and A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance (Prentice Hall, 1990, with G. Latham), Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior (Blackwell, 2000), The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators (AMACOM, 2000) and Postmodernism and Management: Pros, Cons and the Alternative (JAI: Elsevier, 2003).

Dr. Locke is internationally known for his research on goal setting. A recent survey found that his goal setting theory (developed with G. Latham) was ranked #1 in importance among 73 management theories.

Dr. Locke has been elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Management, and has been a consulting editor for leading journals. He was a winner of the Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award at the University of Maryland, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Career Contribution Award from the Academy of Management (Human Resource Division), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (Organizational Behavior Division), and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. He is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute and is interested in the application of the philosophy of Objectivism to behavioral sciences.

Kenneth Winther
CEO and Founder,  Moonwalk

Kenneth Winther is the the creator of the award-winning Moonwalk Innovation System. He has contributed to disruption in several industries, including Media, Banking, Retail, Internet, Management Consulting and Content Services. He has also trained 1,400 executives in innovation and launched several Norwegian government programs for innovation and commercialization.

Kenneth’s tools and ideas have been used by industry leaders such as British Telecom, Red Cross, Telenor, Linde-Gas, Alimentation, Couche-Tard, DNB, and Statoil. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Google Most Innovative Person award. Kenneth also acts as trusted advisor to Innovation Norway, NTNU and is a Top Management Council member. Today he is reinventing how the world innovates by creating crowdfunded, crowdsourced, shared-ownership innovation programs.

Keith Weiner
CEO,  Monetary Metals

Keith Weiner is President of the Gold Standard Institute USA in Phoenix, Arizona, and the founder of precious metals fund manager Monetary Metals. In 1994 Keith founded DiamondWare, a technology company that he sold to Nortel Networks in 2008. He speaks and writes about free markets, money, credit, and gold. Keith’s work is published in Forbes, the American Spectator, Zero Hedge, and many other sites in the US and abroad, in English and seven other languages.  He is in demand as a speaker and interviewee on the topics of gold, the dollar, interest, and economics.

Keith attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and earned his doctorate in economics from non-accredited New Austrian School of Economics. His thesis showed how government interference in the economy always reduces coordination and in particular focused on monetary discoordination due to central banking and irredeemable currency.