Keynote Speakers 2020
George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece
George Papandreou, born in the United States in 1952, is a Greek politician who served as Prime Minister of Greece from 2009 to 2011. After pursuing his studies in the United States, Canada, England and Sweden, Papandreou joined the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) when his father formed that party in 1974. Since the beginning of his political career, he has worked tirelessly in pursuing Democracy, Peace, Equality and Freedom through multifarious action in global and domestic politics. He is currently serving as a Member of Parliament for Movement for Change.
“We need to train youth for resilience, empower teachers as mentors and harness technology towards education disruption for a more sustainable world.”
Hafsat Abiola, President of Women in Africa
Hafsat Abiola is the President of Women in Africa. She served as a member of the Ogun State cabinet where she pioneered the use of mobile phones to deliver cash grants to poor pregnant women to ensure their access to health centres for antenatal to post-natal care. She also worked on programmes to ensure inclusive growth to address high youth unemployment. Through her non-profit, the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), she has promoted a groundswell of exemplary women leaders and build pathways to public service for them. Motivated by women’s strength, Hafsat believes that the challenges facing the continent of Africa offer opportunities for women’s leadership to emerge.
She is one of the global councillors of the World Future Council and a recipient of several international awards including: the Vital Voices’ Public Service Award, the Goi Peace Foundation Award, and the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leadership community. Her work is a tribute to her parents who lost their lives while leading the democracy movement that brought an end to military rule in Nigeria in the ‘90s.
“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.”
James Thuch Madhier, Founder of the Rainmaker Enterprise / Challenge Winner 2015
James Thuch is the Founder & CEO of the Rainmaker Enterprise, an innovative social enterprise organisation that implements solar-powered water infrastructure to build healthy, peaceful, regenerative and resilient communities in Africa, starting in South Sudan. He has been at the forefront of social change.
James has received several awards for his commitment to leading innovation, including Water Canada’s Water Steward of the Year, Regional Finalist of the UN Environment Programme’s Young Champions of the Earth Award, the Resolution Project Fellowship, and the European Commission’s Future Leader award.
“My experiences have instilled in me the belief that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. Regardless of our experiences, we are united by the right to human dignity. I strive to restore dignity to myself and to the millions who have lost it through extreme poverty and injustice.”
Jonathan Gosling, Emeritus Professor of Leadership at the University of Exeter
Jonathan Gosling is Professor of Leadership Studies at the business school of the University of Exeter. Professor Gosling’s research areas entail leadership and ethics in strategic changes, contemporary innovations in leadership development and fostering continuity in change through leadership.
Moreover, he collaborates with organizations and institutions throughout the world, such as the Renmin University of China, Singapore Civil Service College and the Leadership Trust Foundation.
“The solution to today’s real management problems cannot be found in business school courses. Business education is typically good at taking complex problems and chunking them down into bite-sized pieces. But this is only half the problem, and by far the least important: the real challenge is to ‘make management workable’. You can take a course and acquire a lot of knowledge, but how do you use it in practice?”
Domenico Dentoni, Associate Professor in Agribusiness Management and Organisational Change at Wageningen University
Domenico Dentoni grew up in Italy and lived in Africa, the US and Australia before becoming associate professor in Strategic Change Management and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies at Wageningen University & Research, where he leads the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation. This program builds coherence across multiple partnerships to address global issues of food security, poverty and climate change. His travels and work inspired him to participate in the Nudge Global Impact Challenge.
Rahmin Bender, Senior Lecturer & Researcher in Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Wageningen University & The Hague University of Applied Sciences/Founder of Creativo/Design Researcher and Facilitator
Rahmin Bender is an entrepreneur, lecturer, and researcher with an advisory firm specializing in applying design thinking to organisational change, innovation, learning, and emerging technology projects in international development. He has previously worked in management consulting, government, corporate marketing, and international development organisations such as UNDP and World Bank. His research is focused on applying design thinking methodologies to wicked problems with an emphasis on frame innovation, need-finding, and problem-setting. He enjoys taking projects working with multi-cultural and international teams exploring inclusion, learning, and structural justice in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He has a PhD and MA in human and organisational systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California.