Ovation 2017

Coworth Park

Ascot, England
July 13-14, 2017

Ovation is about future trends, digital technologies, innovation and how the business world will look in the years to come. It’s about challenging our thinking, disrupting our behaviours and influencing our strategies.

Below you can see the calibre of speakers that make Ovation the success it is.

Andy McAfee

Andrew McAfee (@amcafee), a principal research scientist at MIT, studies how digital technologies are changing business, the economy, and society. His 2014 book on these topics, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (co-authored with Erik Brynjolfsson) was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Financial Times / McKinsey business book of the year award.

Pamela Meyer

Pamela Meyer is founder and CEO of Calibrate, a leading deception detection training company, and of social networking company Simpatico Networks. She holds an MBA from Harvard, an MA in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate School, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner. She has extensive training in the use of visual clues and psychology to detect deception.

Charles Leadbeater

Charles Leadbeater is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy and drew on that experience in writing his latest book We-think: the power of mass creativity, which charts the rise of mass, participative approaches to innovation from science and open source software, to computer games and political campaigning.

Ulrich Weinberg

Under the directorship of Prof. Ulrich Weinberg, the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute, is a unique complementary program in Design Thinking (inventive development) and the first of its kind at a German university. Modelled on the famous d.school at Stanford University in California (US), the one-year program in Design Thinking will enable students to develop particularly user-friendly IT-based products and services in multidisciplinary teams.

Mischa Dohler

Mischa Dohler is full Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London, Head of the Centre for Telecommunications Research, co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the smart city pioneer Worldsensing, Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE, and Editor-in-Chief of the Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies and the EAI Transactions on the Internet of Things.

David McWilliams

David McWilliams is one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators and was the first economist to identify the Irish boom as nothing more than a credit bubble. He is a writer, journalist, lecturer, broadcaster and documentary maker and has written four bestsellers, presented award-winning documentaries and brought a sell-out, one-man economics stand-up show to the stage at Ireland’s renowned national theatre, the Abbey.

Chairman - John Paterson

The former CPO of IBM and Procurement Leaders Advisory Board chairman, John Paterson, is chairing Ovation for the third consecutive year, having presided over affairs in both Frankfurt and Dublin.

Alain Dehaze - Chief Executive Officer, Adecco

Alain Dehaze is the Chief Executive Officer of the Adecco Group since September 2015.

He trained as a commercial engineer at the ICHEC Brussels Management School, Belgium.

From 1987 until 2000, Alain Dehaze held senior positions in a number of European countries at Henkel and ISS. In 2000, he became Managing Director of Creyf’s Interim in Belgium (now Start People). From 2002 to 2005, he was Chief Executive Officer of Solvus. Following the acquisition of Solvus by USG People, the Netherlands, in 2005, he became the Chief Operating Officer of USG People, with overall responsibility for operations, including the integration of Solvus. From September 2007 until 2009, he was CEO of the staffing services company Humares, the Netherlands.

Alain Dehaze joined Adecco Group in September 2009 as Regional Head of Northern Europe. He was appointed Regional Head of France in July 2011 leading the Region until September 2015 when he took up the role of Adecco Group CEO.

Since January 2016, Alain Dehaze is Chair of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN). He was Vice President of the Board of the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett) and member of the Board of the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett) between December 2010 and December 2015.

David Gann - VP, Innovation, Imperial College London

David Gann is Imperial College’s Vice President, leading innovation and holding the Chair in Technology and Innovation Management. He has worked with many entrepreneurs, technology ventures and large engineering and technology firms, including as Group Innovation Executive at Laing O’Rourke plc from 2007 to 2011.


He advises government and firms on research, development and innovation strategies and in 2011, was a member of the UK government’s Independent Hargreave’s Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.

Tim Harford - economist, writer and broadcaster

Tim is the author of the million-selling “The Undercover Economist” and more recently of “Adapt”. Tim was the first Peter Martin Fellow at the Financial Times, and was a member of the Financial Times editorial board from 2006-2009. He previously worked for Shell and for the World Bank. He’s won awards both for his Financial Times columns and his BBC radio series, “More or Less”, which debunks dubious statistics wherever they may lurk.

Dr Garrick Hileman - Economic Historian, University of Cambridge & London School of Economics, Founder of MacroDigest

Dr Garrick Hileman is an economic historian at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and London School of Economics Centre for Macroeconomics. He was recently ranked as one of the 100 most influential economists in the UK and Ireland and he is regularly asked to share his research and perspective with the FT, BBC, CNBC, WSJ, Sky News, and other media. Garrick has been invited to present his research on monetary and financial innovation to government organisations, including central banks and war colleges, as well as private firms such as Visa, Black Rock, and UBS. Garrick has 20 years’ private sector experience with both startups and established companies such as Visa, Lloyd’s of London, Bank of America, The Home Depot, and Allianz. Garrick’s technology experience includes co-founding a San Francisco-based tech incubator, IT strategy consulting for multinationals, and founding MacroDigest, which employs a proprietary algorithm to cluster trending economic analysis and perspective.

Barbara Kux - Member of the Board of Directors at Firmenich, Henkel, Total and Umicore

Barbara Kux is a member of the board of directors at Firmenich, GDF Suez, Henkel, Total and Umicore. As a board member she contributes her experience in sustainable leadership, as she does as a guest lecturer in management at St. Gallen University. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Max Schmidheiny Foundation at the same university as well as of the Advisory Council of INSEAD. Since 2012 she has been one of the jurors of the Georg von Holtzbrinck Prize for Business Journalism.


From 2008 until 2013 Barbara Kux was a member of the managing board of Siemens, the first woman in the 160 year history of the company. During her five year mandate she increased results from supply chain management and green technology by several billions of euros, just as she had done previously as a member of the group management committee at Royal Philips. Under her leadership, both industrial companies reached top positions in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index; in 2012 and 2013 Siemens was distinguished in this index as the most sustainable industrial company of the world.

Eva Milko, Managing Director, Americas, Procurement Leaders

As the Managing Director, Eva is responsible for the rapid expansion of the Americas markets at Procurement Leaders. She joined Procurement Leaders in 2014 as the Vice President of Product Development.


Eva is a tenured procurement, supply chain and change management professional, her career spanning two decades of contributions to procurement progress at Motorola, 3Com Corporation, Coors Brewing Company, Molson Coors and SABMiller. Eva is an advisor on change management and transformation programs, a published author and a regular contributor to Procurement Leaders magazine.

Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta

Geoff Mulgan has been Chief Executive of Nesta since June 2011.


Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation (established as the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). It runs a wide range of activities in investment, practical innovation programmes and research. It works both across the UK, and globally. From 2004-2011 Geoff was the first Chief Executive of the Young Foundation.


Between 1997 and 2004 Geoff had various roles in the UK government including director of the Government’s Strategy Unit and head of policy in the Prime Minister’s office. Before that he was the founder and director of the think-tank Demos. He has also been Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown MP; a lecturer in telecommunications; an investment executive; and a reporter on BBC TV and radio.


His recent books include The Locust and the Bee, The Art of Public Strategy - Mobilising Power and Knowledge for the Public Good, Good and Bad Power: the ideals and betrayals of government and Connexity (Harvard Business Press and Jonathon Cape, 1998). His next book, for Princeton University Press, focuses on the theory and practice of collective intelligence.

David Rae - Content & Community Director, Procurement Leaders

David Rae is Content & Community Director for Procurement Leaders, responsible for content strategy and member engagement. He joined Procurement Leaders in January 2008 as Editorial Director following a successful career in business, financial and technology publishing. Since joining Procurement Leaders, David has played a key role in the growth of the business, helping to steer the organisation to multiple awards and accolades; including IPAC Business Magazine of the Year three years in a row. He is in constant communication with members and spends a large amount of time trying to understand their challenges and priorities and adapting the content strategy of the business to meet their needs.

Carlo Ratti - Director, MIT Senseable City Lab

An architect and engineer by training, Carlo Ratti practices in Italy and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he directs the Senseable City Lab. He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK.


Carlo holds several patents and has co-authored over 250 publications. As well as being a regular contributor to Project Syndicate, he has written for the Le Monde, Scientific American and The New York Times. He has been featured in Esquire Magazine’s ‘Best & Brightest’ list and in Thames & Hudson’s selection of ‘60 innovators’ shaping our creative future. Blueprint Magazine included him as one of the ‘25 People Who Will Change the World of Design’, Forbes listed him as one of the ‘Names You Need To Know’ and Fast Company named him as one of the ’50 Most Influential Designers in America’.


Carlo has been a presenter at TED and is currently serving as Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Future Cities, and he has been selected as Special Adviser to the President and Commissioners of the European Commission, to advise on urban innovation.

Jonathan Webb - Head of Strategy Research, Procurement Leaders

Jon has worked in both the public and private sector, with a background in risk and economic research. He joined Procurement Leaders in May 2010 after working for the UK government and oversees strategy research. Jonathan has worked for PwC and international think-tank Transparency International, as well as other commercial and research ventures across Europe and Africa. Jonathan is a PhD candidate at the University of London.

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