Speakers 2016

  • Eva Appelbaum

    Partner at Digital Talent @Work, co-founder of NINE and the Future Strategy Club

    Eva Appelbaum got to grips with the digital future in the 1990s. She was Amnesty International’s first digital communications director and then Group M’s Asia-Pacific social media director. The former head of digital marketing transformation at the BBC and digital director of BBC Earth is now a partner at transformation consultancy Digital Talent @Work and co-founder of NINE and the Future Strategy Club. In her previous role she set up the BBC’s Digital Marketing Lab, working with brands such as EastEnders and hosting a hack day for Radio 4. 

  • James Whatley

    Planning partner, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising London

    With ten years working in mobile, digital, and social, and multiple awards to his name, James looks after innovation for multiple Ogilvy & Mather Advertising clients. James is also the co-author the the annual Ogilvy Digital Trends report and as a result, is a widely respected leader in his field. 

    In his spare time James enjoys healthy obsessions with mobile technology, amazing cinema, and the occasional game of frisbee. You can find him on Twitter @whatleydude or read what he gets up to in his spare time at whatleydude.com.

  • Jan Reichelt

    Co-founder & managing director, Mendeley

    Jan is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Mendeley, one of the world’s largest research collaboration platforms. Mendeley helps people to organize and collaborate on research projects and makes academic research fascinatingly more accessible and transparent. In April 2013, Mendeley was acquired by leading scientific, technical and medical publisher Elsevier, and Jan continues to lead the company and its growth as it is integrated into the Reed Elsevier group while maintaining its distinctive identity, brand and highly engaged community. 

    Jan started a Ph.D. in Information Management and was a lecturer in Electronic Business at the University of Cologne. Before that, he graduated as MBA with a focus on Electronic Business, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship, having studied at the WHU, the LUISS Rome, and the University of Bath School of Management. For several years throughout his Ph.D. studies he served as an advisor to a member of SAP’s supervisory board, unsuccessfully tried to start a travel company, and got totally fascinated with Latin-American dances such as Salsa, regularly attending (very non-academic) dance congresses.

  • Jonas Tellander

    Chief executive, Storytel

    Jonas Tellander is founder and chief executive of Storytel, an audiobook and e-book service first launched in 2005. In May it acquired Denmark’s e-book subscription service Mofibo, and in June bought  Sweden’s oldest publisher, Norstedts for £12.5m. 

  • Oli Christie

    CEO, Neon Play

    Oli Christie set up Neon Play in June 2010. Since then, Neon Play (www.neonplay.com) has had over 60 million mobile game downloads and ten number one games in 160 countries. Neon Play’s hits include Paper Glider, Flick Football and Traffic Panic.

    Oli has won over 25 games awards in his career and Neon Play has won 20 business awards, including the UK’s Best Start-up in the Nectar Business Awards and two Gloucestershire Business Awards. Oli was voted as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Chamber of Commerce Awards and The Sun called him a ‘Small Business Hero’.

    Neon Play became the UK’s first mobile games studio to win a prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation and welcomed the Duke of Kent on a studio visit. Oli is on the board of the Cheltenham Festivals.

    In June this year, Neon Play was acquired by Hachette UK. They are working on their own IP and games, but will also be looking to create mobile games and interactive apps with Hachette.

  • Rachel Williams

    Writer & Publisher

    Writer and Publisher Rachel Williams was born in Australia, and begun her book career at Lonely Planet, commissioning and co-authoring illustrated titles like The Travel Book. Having spent much of her childhood in London, she moved back in her mid-twenties, and has since commissioned children's books for Phaidon Press and Templar Publishing. She was the founding Publisher of Big Picture Press in 2013 (www.bigpicturepress.net) and more recently, Wide Eyed Editions, and was nominated for Young Publisher of the Year in 2016. She has written more than 20 books for children, including the best-selling Atlas of Adventures.

  • Anki Ahrnell

    Chief Digital & Technical Officer, Bonnier AB

    Anki is a business executive with more than 40 years of experience from various management positions within business development & technology.

    In January 2015 she was appointed Chief Digital Officer and in March the same year she also took on the Chief Technical Officer role at Bonnier AB, a privately owned media group in TV, daily newspapers, business and trade press, magazines, film, books, radio and digital media. With the mission to help strengthen the digital transition and product development from a Bonnier-wide perspective. She also serves on the boards of Bonniers Magazines Sweden and BookBeat.

    Most recently, she was Head of Digital Development at Swedbank, where she previously also served as Head of Marketing and Online sales. Prior to that, she has held executive positions at Lowe Brindfors, Cambridge Technology Partners and IBM and she has also run a small design business of her own. She spent 17 years at IBM where she started her career and held various executive positions such as Head of Small Business, Head of  Marketing, Head of Bus Dev & Strategies. At IBM she was the first female director and the first woman on the executive team in Sweden. She has also served as board member at Avanza and If.

    Anki has a proven track record of developing businesses and delivering transformation projects with a focus on customers needs and bridging the gap between business and technology.  Customer understanding, a holistic perspective, finding the right people and execution are key strengths.

    She is passionate about ”information architecture” and inspired by Richard Saul Wurman, creator of the TED conferences and author and designer of more than 90 books on divergent topics.

    She is an external speaker on digital development and how to use technology as a transformation enabler.

    She was appointed intrapreneur of the year  in Sweden 2013  and this year named one of the fifty most inspirational women in the technology sector across the Nordics 2016.

  • Andrea Carr

    Founder and managing director, Rising Stars

    Andrea Carr is founder and managing director of educational publishing company Rising Stars, now part of the Hodder Education Group. Rising Stars began publishing in 2002, and took its first steps into developing digital resources in 2004. Since then the company has grown to be one of the largest creators of books, software and online services for schools with over 30,000 school customers around the world.  

    Andrea will be sharing her experiences, the thrills and the challenges she has faced as leader of a business that has gone from start up, to a lead player during a time where schools have been transformed by technology.  She will offer her insights into the opportunities in edtech and how we might capitalise on these as an industry.

    Rising Stars is proud to have won several high profile education awards for its work (ERA, BETT). Andrea Carr herself has nearly 30 years publishing experience having previously been Marketing Director for Reed Consumer Publishing and Sales and Marketing Director at Octopus Books.  She was Chairman of the British Educational Suppliers Association for 3 years and still remains as a board director. She has specific expertise in the area of computing and technology in education and sits on the steering group for Computing at School and was adviser to the DfE’s Education Technology Action Group.  In 2014 she was awarded the NAACE Digital Education Impact award for her work on curriculum development.  Andrea is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is governor of a large comprehensive school in South London.

  • Kate Worlock

    VP & lead analyst, Outsell UK

    As VP & Lead Analyst, Kate leads Outsell's coverage and research of education information solutions in all areas of the education marketplace, including K-12, higher education, professional training, and human capital management. Kate’s reports have delivered market sizing data on a range of sub-segment topics, such as digital textbooks, English Language Teaching (ELT) resources, and big data solutions in education. She has investigated the value chain for the provision of information-related solutions into education markets and analysed the impact of phenomena such as Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), gamification, and open educational resources (OERs). Kate serves as an executive-level advisor and consultant to Outsell's education-focused clients on issues such as new market entry, product development, and digital growth strategies. In addition, she covers the education and training information segment's financial performance and benchmarks. Kate has served on the Content Division Board of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and on the board of the Data Committee of the PPA's Business Media Group (formerly the UK Data Publishers Association, or DPA).

  • Louisa Livingston

    ‎Group Insight & Innovation Development Director, Hachette UK

    Louisa Livingston believes that sheer nosiness and an innate curiosity about other people's business drove her into an Insight career.
    Louisa has worked at United Business Media, run her own Media Research agency and spent many years in the music industry. She combines a passion for good research and a compulsion to help everyone use data to inspire them and make evidence based decisions.

    She has supported the launch of new magazines, helped to determine radio playlists for Capital Radio and the BBC, provided award-winning research for Channel 4 and helped build, then lead, an international, multi-faceted research team at EMI Music. She believes in the democratisation of data so that it can be used and understood by everyone in a business in a way that brings it to life and lifts it beyond an excel spreadsheet.
    Louisa now works for Hachette UK where she is relishing her role in bringing Insight to the forefront in another traditionally instinct led industry.

  • Matthew Rubery

    Professor of Modern Literature, Queen Mary University of London

    Matthew Rubery is Professor of Modern Literature at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of The Novelty of Newspapers: Victorian Fiction after the Invention of the News (2009), editor of Audiobooks, Literature, and Sound Studies (2011), and co-editor of Secret Commissions: An Anthology of Victorian Investigative Journalism (2012). His latest book is titled The Untold Story of the Talking Book.

  • Andrew Keen


    Andrew Keen is one of the world’s best known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution.

    He is the author of three books: Cult of the Amateur, Digital Vertigo and his current international hit The Internet Is Not The Answer which the London Sunday Times acclaimed as a "powerful, frightening read" and the Washington Post called "an enormously useful primer for those of us concerned that online life isn't as shiny as our digital avatars would like us to believe". 

    He is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salonFutureCast, the host of the popular Internet chat show "Keen On", a Senior Fellow at CALinnovates,a columnist for CNN and a much acclaimed public speaker around the world. 

    In 2015, he was named by GQ magazine in their list of the "100 Most Connected Men”.

  • Laurence Howell

    Senior director of content, Audible

    Laurence Howell is Senior Director of Content at Audible since July 2011. He has been passionately involved in all areas of the audio and book industry for over 20 years, which has taken in key positions at Waterstone’s, WHSmith, BCA and Amazon.

  • Steve Carsey

    Director of original programming (UK), Audible

    Steve started his media career on Channel 4's seminal GamesMaster in 1990. And is still a bit of a geek.

    Today, Steve is the Director of Original Programming (UK) for Audible (an Amazon company).

    In this role he commissions content across all genres for Amazon’s spoken word and audio entertainment division, oversees their recently established English language original programming strategy and works closely with Amazon Studios identifying properties for cross department development.

    Steve has at one time or another been the Chief Creative Officer of ITN Productions, Director of Programmes for Endemol owned Initial and the Head of Entertainment of Mentorn.

    In a career spanning more than twenty five years, he has been responsible for many successful formats, as well as managing the creative strategy and development process for some of the UK's largest independent television production companies.

    Most notably he led the creation and production of three of the UK's most successful and highest rated shows of all time on their respective channels, Robot Wars (BBC), Britain's Worst Driver (Channel 5) and The Match (Sky One). He also oversaw the development of the reality hit Paradise Hotel (Fox), which remains one of the most valuable US network commissions ever for a UK producer.

    He more recently closed a multi-million pound deal with the BBC for one of the most innovative formats of all time featuring drones in competition with each other - and continues to develop extensively across the television industry.

    In his spare time he is an executive consultant to Viral Spiral (the world’s leading viral content agency), Adverprize (pioneers of the gamification of advertising) and Mars One (the commercial initiative to establish a human colony on Mars before 2030). 

  • Colin Hughes

    Managing director, Collins Learning, Harper Collins UK

    Colin joined HarperCollins in April 2012 as MD of the Collins Education division. In October 2012 he was promoted to MD, Collins Learning - bringing together the Education, Language and Geo divisions. In 2013 he launched Collins India, and he has been Chair of the Education Publishers Council in the UK since 2014. Colin has been a member of the Board of the Governors of Middlesex University since June 2006 and its Chair since June 2010.

    Colin worked at the Press Association and The Times before joining the Independent in 1986 as Political Correspondent. He went on to become Policy Editor, Education Editor, and US Correspondent, and spent his final five years at the Independent as Managing Editor of the Independent and Independent on Sunday, and Deputy Editor of the Independent. He joined the Guardian in 1998, and founded Learnthings Ltd, the Guardian's digital learning business, in 2000. Colin was appointed Managing Director of Guardian Professional in 2006, and Director, Business and Professional, in 2009. 

  • Naimish Gohil

    CEO & founder, Show My Homework

    Naimish Gohil is CEO and founder of Show My Homework. Established in 2011 the fast growing edtech company work with schools in 23 countries around the world. Their market leading software is re-inventing the century old problem of homework for education systems and is trusted by over 4 million users. Prior to Show My Homework, Naimish was working as an Assistant Headteacher in an inner-city London secondary school where he was tasked with managing both homework and technology, it was here he came up with the idea for Show My Homework.

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