Think 2020 Speakers
Leaders, inventors and change-makers
View this year's inspiring roster of Think speakers! From gamers and lawyers to artists and CEOs, our speaker sessions will spotlight the newest innovations across industries as well as showcase what's next -- and how you can get there.
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Chairman, President, and CEO
Since becoming CEO in January 2012, Ginni has led IBM through the most significant transformation in its history, reinventing the company to lead in the new era of AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and quantum technologies, all delivered on IBM’s enterprise-strength cloud platform. Today, IBM is the world leader in AI and cloud computing for business, underpinned with trust and security.
IBM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion also has advanced under Ginni’s leadership. This includes extending parental leave and making it easier for women to return to the workforce through a “returnships” program with hands-on work experience in emerging technologies. This pioneering work was recognized in 2018 by the prestigious Catalyst Award for advancing diversity and women’s initiatives. IBM is the only tech company to have earned this recognition in the last 20 years and the only company ever to be honored four times.
Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Amal Clooney is a barrister who specializes in international law and human rights. Through international courts, she frequently represents political prisoners, journalists and victims of mass atrocities.
Ms Clooney served as a Sr. Advisor to Kofi Annan. She was appointed to the UK’s panel of experts on combatting sexual violence and to a panel on public international law. She was also appointed as the UK’s Special Envoy for Media Freedom by the UK Foreign Secretary and she serves as vice-chair of a High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom.
Ms Clooney is a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, where she co-teaches the Human Rights course, and she is co-author of a forthcoming book titled ‘The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law’ to be published in 2020.
In 2016 she and her husband, George, established the Clooney Foundation for Justice to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities around the world.
President and chief executive officer
Jim Whitehurst is president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT software solutions and services. An avid advocate for open software as a catalyst for business innovation, Whitehurst has proven expertise in helping companies flourish—even in the most challenging economic and business environments.
Whitehurst has grown Red Hat and its influence by reaching key milestones—most notably in 2012, when Red Hat became the first US$1 billion open source software company. Company revenue reached almost US$3 billion in 2018.
In 2015, Whitehurst published The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance, a book that shows how open management principles can help organizations succeed in a fast-paced, connected era.
During six years at Delta Air Lines, Whitehurst led significant international expansion and, as chief operating officer, oversaw all aspects of airline operations.
Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Software
Arvind Krishna leads the IBM business unit that provides the cloud and data platforms on which the company’s clients build the future. His responsibilities include IBM Research, IBM Cloud, IBM Data and AI, and IBM’s Security and Cognitive Applications businesses. He also drove the company’s 2019 acquisition of Red Hat.
Arvind leads the unit’s strategy, product design, offering development, marketing, sales and service. He also guides IBM’s overall strategy in technologies including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, cloud platform services, data-driven solutions, and nanotechnology.
He has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from IITK and University of Illinois and the co-author of 15 patents.
Writer, Actress, Neuroscientist
Mayim Bialik is known for her role on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler, for which she has received two Critics Choice Awards, four Emmy Award nominations and a SAG Award nomination. Bialik has appeared in numerous beloved roles throughout her dynamic acting career.
An acclaimed author, Bialik has written two #1 New York Times bestsellers, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, and the recently released Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. She has also written a parenting book, Beyond the Sling, and a cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. Bialik has recently dedicated her skills as a writer, actress, neuroscientist and mother to driving the lifestyle website GrokNation.com, which she started.
Following the end of Blossom, Bialik left acting for twelve years to earn a BS in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2000 with a minor in Hebrew & Jewish Studies. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in Neuroscience, also at UCLA, and then completed her doctorate in the fall of 2007.
Musician, Producer, Founder, Mycelia For Music
Self-produced British composer and recording artist for over 20 years, Imogen Heap has released five solo albums, another as one half of Frou Frou and collaborated with countless and varied artists including Taylor Swift, Nitin Sawhney, Deadmau5, Jeff Beck and Jon Hopkins. Her compositions and songs pop up in blockbuster and indie films as well as countless TV shows, are featured in underground rap and dance music and covered by the likes of Ariana Grande. Heap, recognized as an artists’ artist, has won two Grammys and an Ivor Novello award. In recognition of her pioneering work at the intersection of music and tech, Heap has a hat trick of three honorary doctorates for the famed gestural music ware MI.MU gloves system and recently for ’the Creative Passport’, an integrated digital ID solution, empowering music makers to be the change toward a fair and flourishing music ecosystem.
Social Psychologist & Author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
Social psychologist Dr. Jennifer L. Eberhardt is fascinated by the ways ingrained stereotypes can affect our visual perception, attention, memory, and behavior. In her book, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Dr. Eberhardt offers a reasoned look into the effects of implicit racial bias, offers practical suggestions for reform, and takes the reader behind the scenes to police departments implementing her strategies.
Dr. Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur 'Genius' Grant. She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers. She also is co-founder and co-director of SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions), a Stanford Center that brings together researchers and practitioners to address significant social problems.
Sports Business Reporter
Eben Novy-Williams is a sports business reporter for Bloomberg News, and co-host of the "Bloomberg Business of Sports" podcast and radio show. His writing appears on the Bloomberg Terminal, Bloomberg.com and Businessweek Magazine, and has been published in newspapers around the country.
Novy-Williams has covered sports business for the past decade, with an eye towards technology, media and gambling. He's been writing about competitive video gaming, or esports, since 2015, chronicling the industry's dramatic rise into a billion-dollar business.
Cecil H. Green Professor of EECS
Muriel Médard is the Cecil H. Green Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at MIT and leads the Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group at the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT. She has served as editor for many publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), of which she was elected Fellow and she has served as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. She was President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2012, and served on its board of governors for eleven years. Among the most highly cited researchers in her field, Médard has received numerous distinguished awards; most recently the 2019 Best Paper for IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, She serves on the Global Future Council on New Network Technologies for the World Economic Forum and is a member of the US National Academy of Inventors.
Director of Game Research and Development
Institute for the Future
Jane McGonigal, who was recently described by Success Magazine as “One of 25 successful people who’ll help you change your life”, is today’s leading speaker on the engagement economy and the application of game-design to the real world. Jane is notable for bringing gaming to the healthcare space, including SuperBetter, a mobile app and web-based game that helps more than one million players challenge personal health challenges, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain and stress reduction, and get support from their “allies” - real-life friends and family. Her current bestselling book, SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient, reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. Jane serves as the Director of Game Research & Development with the Institute For The Future in Palo Alto, California.
President and CEO
Ralph A. Clark brings 30 years of corporate, financial and organizational leadership as ShotSpotter’s President and CEO. Prior to that, Clark was CEO of GuardianEdge Technologies Inc., a leader in endpoint data protection, and was instrumental in its acquisition by Symantec. Clark has held executive positions with Adaptec, Snap Appliance and IBM, and began his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Clark received the 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award for Northern California. He is a former board member and chair of Pacific Community Ventures, former board member and chair of the Oakland Boys and Girls Club, former trustee and Vice-Chair of the Oakland Museum of California, is a member of Harvard Business School’s California Advisory Board and is a trustee of the American Conservatory Theater. He holds a B.S. in economics from the University of the Pacific and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Robin Hauser is the director and producer of award-winning documentaries made to illuminate causes she is passionate about - from the gender gap in tech, to unconscious bias, and financial literacy. Her combined talents as a storyteller, professional photographer and business woman produce films that transform fields and open minds. Her work has carried her around the world, from the TED stage to the White House, to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and to conferences worldwide, talking to audiences about mitigating bias in AI; diversity, inclusion and gender equality. A disruptor, Robin is described as “engaging, insightful, and thought-provoking in addressing the most important socio-economic issues we face today.” Robin is a diplomat for the American Film Showcase and has been featured internationally in Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic, Fast Company, USA Today, Wired, San Francisco Business Times, Bloomberg TV, CNN, NPR, CNBC, and others.
Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and co-director of the MIT Center for Extreme Bionics
Hugh Herr is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. TIME Magazine coined Herr the "Leader of the Bionic Age" because of his revolutionary work in Biomechatronics - technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics. A double amputee himself, he is responsible for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs that provide greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities. He is currently a professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab, and co-director of the MIT Center for Extreme Bionics.
Herr is the author and co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts and patents. He is the founder of BionX Inc., a company that commercializes the EmPower Ankle-Foot Prosthesis. Herr has received many accolades for his groundbreaking innovations, and his story has been told in a National Geographic film and featured in CNN, The Economist, Discover and Nature.
Caterina Fake is an investor at Yes VC, a pre-seed and seed stage venture capital fund focused on scalable social systems, brands that embody cultural movements, and founders who recognize the opportunity in the rising power and affluence of women. As an early creator of online communities and the host of the #1 Tech Podcast “Should This Exist?”, Caterina addresses the question of our times: how is technology impacting our humanity?
Previously, she worked at Founder Collective as a Founder Partner, served as Chairman of Etsy and was the co-founder of Flickr. Caterina sits on the boards of Public Goods, the Sundance Institute and McSweeneys.
Ms. Fake has received Honorary Doctorates from the Rhode Island School of Design and The New School. Time Magazine named her one of the Most Influential People in the world, and she was given the Silicon Valley Visionaries award in 2018.
IBM Fellow, Head of Trustworthy AI and Co-Director of Science for Social Good
Aleksandra (Saška) Mojsilović is an IBM Fellow, the Head of Trustworthy AI and Co-Director of Science for Social Good for IBM Research. She is a Fellow of IEEE and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Previously she was at Bell Laboratories. Saška received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her main research interests include multidimensional signal processing, data science, machine learning and AI and she has applied her skills to problems in computer vision, healthcare, multimedia, finance, HR, economics, social good, and AI ethics.
Saška has authored over 100 publications, holds 16 patents, and has received numerous awards, including the IEEE Young Author Best Paper Award, European Conference on Computer Vision Best Paper Award, INFORMS Wagner Prize, IEEE SOLI Best paper Award, IBM Gerstner Award, IBM Market Intelligence Award and several IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards.
Planting vegetables with her grandmother led Riana Lynn to the White House South Lawn - and to the forefront of food+health technology. While getting her hands dirty in the White House Kitchen Garden, her work included major policy initiatives such as Small Business and Jobs, STEM, and Public Health.Her passion for the value of fresh food, farms, entrepreneurship, and technology inspired her to develop innovative supply chain management tools and create FoodTrace, a next level technology platform designed to help businesses with growth and supply chain mapping management. A Chicago area native, Riana has been featured in Inc.com, Wired Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, TheGrio 100, Crain's Chicago "20 in their 20's" and other local and national publications. Now on a mission to build revenue streams and improve health outcomes, she considers entrepreneurship and public-private partnerships our vehicles for change across the world.
William S Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering
Ken Goldberg is an artist, inventor, and roboticist. He is William S. Floyd Jr Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley and Chief Scientist at Ambidextrous Robotics. Ken is on the Editorial Board of the journal Science Robotics, served as Chair of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department, and co-founded the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. Short documentary films he co-wrote were selected for Sundance and one was nominated for an Emmy Award. Ken and his students have published 300 peer-reviewed papers, 9 US patents, and created award-winning artworks featured in 70 exhibits worldwide.
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