Rolf Schrömgens is an innovative German entrepreneur, who is best known for his role as Founder and Managing Director for trivago GmbH. Pushing the boundaries of data-driven product development and rethinking the way that tech companies nurture and develop their talents are among his expertise. Parallel to spending his time at trivago, he is also President of the Entrepreneur’s Organization in Germany. Previously, Rolf was head of VP Product & Strategy at Ciao.com. Born and raised in Mönchengladbach, Rolf attended HHL (Leipzig Graduate School of Management).
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.
We are over the moon to welcome Alex to the TOA Festival stage this year. As the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at SoundCloud, Alex is an integral part of the Berlin startup ecosystem, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join us this year. With the recent launch of SoundCloud’s mid-priced subscription plan, SoundCloud Go, and with his finger on the pulse of the music streaming category, Alex is sure to share some serious insights into the startup scene plus give the lowdown on the future of the industry. Welcome to TOA, Alex!
Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman is an iconic DJ, recording artist and technology pioneer. He is regarded as one of the leading protagonists of future thinking in electronic music and continues to push the frontiers of music, art and technology forwards in 2017. Hawtin uses his passion and influence to introduce new audiences to wider cross-cultural experiences and has collaborated with a number of artistic visionaries including Anish Kapoor, Andreas Gursky and Raf Simons, and recently performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim (New York), and the Grand Palais (Paris). In 2016, he launched his own technology company, PLAYdifferently, and the tech-fund Plus 8 Equities, investing into innovative companies who use technology to drive music forwards.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) biomedical research charity that performs and funds laboratory research dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA in computer science and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Cambridge. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the types of self-inflicted cellular and molecular damage that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.
Yaël is a former CIA analyst, national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, diplomat, CSR strategist for a Fortune 5 company, and head of a global political risk firm. She speaks, writes and consults on topics at the intersection of security, political and humanitarian issues. She has been published in the New York Times, TIME and The Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, CBS News and C-SPAN. She is the founder of Kilele Global, providing intelligence-based advice to help companies operating in emerging markets do so smartly and with purpose.
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.)
Hayat Sindi is a leading biotechnologist and a champion of science and technology in the Middle East. At a young age, inspired by great scientists and thinkers, Hayat convinced her family to allow her to travel alone to England to pursue her higher education, a rare permission for a young Saudi woman. She went on to earn a degree in pharmacology with honors from King’s College London in 1995 and five years later became the first woman from the Gulf to obtain a PhD in biotechnology from Cambridge. Driven by her desire to more closely link science and social impact she co-founded a non-profit organization with a team at Harvard called Diagnostics For All which creates innovative, inexpensive, point-of-care diagnostic devices for people in impoverished regions. These devices require no power, water or trained doctors and have the ability to provide potentially life-saving medical results in minutes. She has invented a machine combining the effects of light and ultra-sound for use in biotechnology. Along with her scientific activities, she participated in numerous events aimed at raising the awareness of science amongst women, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim World. She is also interested in the problem of brain drain.Further, at the heart of Sindi’s innovations was a passion to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Middle East that would transcend existing gaps between education and opportunity. In 2011 she launched i2, the Institute for imagination and Ingenuity, to encourage innovation among young people specifically male and female scientists, technologists and engineers.
In 2013 Sindi was one of the first 30 women to be appointed to the Saudi Arabia’s highest consultative body, the Shura Council, and is one of 25 global experts selected by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to be a member of the newly constituted UN Scientific Advisory Board which will provide advice to the UN’s leadership on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. Sindi is also a Goodwill Ambassador for Sciences at UNESCO. In 2012, she was chosen by National Geographic as Explorer. Also she was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World”. Hayat was named by Forbes number 2 the most powerful Arab women in kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sept 2014 Hayat Sindi received Clinton Global Citizen Awards “leadership in Civil Society” for her work to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East. 2015 Sindi was invited by UN Environment programme to be an Honorary Advisor for the Eye on Earth Summit.
She was selected for 2014 and 2015 by educational institution in cooperation with national geographic to portray her life story and present it in five courses for all the world to stimulate children to science.
Early last year 2016 she was appointed by the UN secretary Ban Ki-moon in the Ten Members group to support the technological facilitation mechanism (TFM) for Sustainable Development Goals.
Recently, Dr Sindi was asked by Prime Minister of Malaysia to join his Science and Innovation advisory council to support the country vision 2020″.
Scott Heiferman is on a mission to spark real community everywhere. He is the co-founder and CEO of Meetup, helping 30 million members use the internet to get off the internet. He started Meetup after seeing the potential for community renewal around the terrorism of 9/11. Today, Meetups bring people together around technology, fitness, career, health, parenting, creative passions, and other self-organized topics in 100+ countries every day. Meetup employs over 180 people at its New York City headquarters
Tom is a general partner at GV. Prior to GV, Tom was a design director at IDEO Europe. He founded OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform where 100,000 users from more than 170 countries solve challenges for social good. Tom also launched OIEngine, a SaaS platform with clients including Harvard Business School and the Knight Foundation.
Prior to IDEO, Tom was managing director of Marcos, a British sports car manufacturer and founded Magnom, a magnetic filter startup. Tom’s filter designs have been widely used in Formula One, superbikes, agricultural equipment, and central heating systems. He has also angel-invested in more than 20 companies, including as the founding investor in Mile IQ (sold to Microsoft).
Tom has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has been featured in WIRED UK’s Top 100 Digital Power Brokers list every year since the list was established. He has also been included in the Evening Standard list of London’s 1000 Most Influential People.
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.
Born in 1977 in Sweden, Erika Lust is a filmmaker, mother, writer and entrepreneur; plus the owner and founder of Erika Lust Films, where she offers an alternative to the mainstream porn industry.
She is the creator of award-winning crowdsourced erotic project XConfessions.com where people share their sexual stories and fantasies. Each month Erika chooses two and turns them into captivating, arousing, cinematic explicit short films driven by sexually intelligent and sex-positive narratives, that reflect her views on sex as a healthy and a natural part of life that we should celebrate.
She has recently launched the online cinema www.EroticFilms.com to keep campaigning for a more ethical porn consumption. Erika and her team license films from a growing movement of directors that is trying to change the industry from within. Films that are done under the same ethical production values Erika has at Erika Lust Films.
Come and listen to what the founder & CEO of Bitbond, Radoslav Albrecht has to say about blockchain smart contracts.
CAN WE CRACK THE BLACKBOX OF AI OPEN? The most brilliant minds in the field will deep dive into Deep Learning and Machine Intelligence. This exchange will be followed by an open forum on the social and business applications of AI that goes way beyond the buzzwords.