Rita McGrath
Expert on strategy in uncertain and volatile business environments
Author of The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business

Rita McGrath is a globally recognized management thinker, a leading expert on strategy and growth in uncertain and volatile business environments, and an acclaimed business author. She believes the new path to winning means capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively and then moving on quickly once they are exhausted.

McGrath was recognized as one of the top 10 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50 in 2013, and was named one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. She is also an Associate Professor of Management at Columbia Business School and a fellow of the Strategic Management Society. A regular on television and radio, she authors a column, “The Entrepreneurial Strategist,” for Inc. magazine.

Follow her on Twitter: @rgmcgrath

Frank Forster, Allianz

Frank Forster
Head of Global Analytics Platform, Allianz Managed Operations & Services SE

With a dual Master degree, Frank Forster's career started at the Boston Consulting Group where he focused early on on IT and Operations topics in Financial Services. After 10 years with BCG, Frank joined the Silicon Valley based high tech company Intuit as Vice President and Head of Strategy for Financial Services business. There he was instrumental in driving new business models for banking building on Data as an Asset.

Back in Munich, Frank is now the head of Global Analytics Platforms at Allianz responsible for the development and global delivery of shared BI solutions spanning the traditional SQL and the new No-SQL world. His latest endeavor is the provisioning of Hadoop as a Service Services.

Jim Goodnight

Jim Goodnight

Since he co-founded SAS in 1976, Jim Goodnight has served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. The worldwide leader in business analytics, SAS has more than 13,800 employees who support customers at more than 65,000 sites in 140 countries. The company’s 2013 revenue was $3.02 billion, its 38th consecutive year of growth and profitability. He considers his employees to be his most valuable asset and has created a world-renowned workplace model. In 2012, SAS ranked No. 1 on the elite World's Best Multinational Workplaces list from Great Place to Work. Goodnight has a PhD in statistics and speaks internationally on leadership, education and innovation.


Jim Davis

Jim Davis
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, SAS

As Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Davis provides strategic direction for SAS products, solutions and services, and presenting the SAS brand worldwide. He helped transform SAS from a tools provider to a software solutions provider.

A respected thought leader, Davis co-authored the book Information Revolution: Using the Information Evolution Model to Grow Your Business.

Since joining SAS in 1994, Davis has pioneered many key initiatives, including global projects that incorporate customer feedback in the development process. Today, he continues to refine the model for continuous collaboration and innovation, enabling SAS to meet the global demand for business analytics.

Read his blog.
Follow him on Twitter: @davis_jim


Mikael Hagstrom

Mikael Hagstrom
Executive Vice President of SAS Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific

Mikael Hagstrom leads SAS’ Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions, which represent more than half of SAS’ revenue. Hagstrom oversees an expanding global team of 5,000 professionals in 48 countries and is responsible for capturing current market potential while preparing the organization for the future. He is Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union Executive Council, a member of the Executive Committee of the US Council for International Business, a member of the board of directors on the Atlantic Council, and frequently speaks on the multinational business climate at the World Economic Forum and OECD.

Read his blog
Follow him on Twitter: @mikaelhagstrom


Gery Pollet, Founder and CEO, ZapFi

Gery Pollet
Founder and CEO of ZapFi

Gery Pollet founded ZapFi in 2010. As Chief Executive Officer, Pollet is responsible for the execution of ZapFi’s corporate strategy, market direction and day-to-day management. His prior experience spans numerous roles, including managing director, founder and corporate executive. Pollet has a successful track record for bringing advanced technology ideas to market. His latest business success was Aquanta, which specialises in the development of internet telephony applications. Previously, Pollet founded ITinera Services, an ISP with a focus on the SME market and the first ISP in Belgium to use broadband technology. He also founded Planet & Partners, his first start-up and the first consumer ISP in Belgium.


Prof. Dr. Norbert Gronau
University of Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Norbert Gronau, PhD, has been the Chair of Business Information Systems and Electronic Government at the University of Potsdam for nearly ten years. His main research activities concentrate on the areas of knowledge management and process management in private and public organisations. Together with Potsdam Consulting Group, Gronau has advised a variety of small and large companies. He is the editor of the scientific journal Industrie Management, and the author of many research papers and books on enterprise systems, knowledge management and business process management. Gronau studied engineering and business administration at Berlin University of Technology.


Dr. Bernhard Rohleder

Dr. Rohleder is co-founder and CEO of BITKOM, the leading association of the digital industry in Germany, which represents more than 2,100 companies with 700,000 employees that generate an annual turnover of 140 billion euros.

His career began with positions at ZF Friedrichshafen, the Presseverlag Ploetz, the Ministry of Economics of Brandenburg, and the German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers' Association (VDMA).

Rohleder was a member of the former Enquête Commission “Internet and Digital Society” of the German Parliament. He represents the digital industry as a member of the advisory board of the leading IT trade show CeBIT, as well as in the Federation of German Industries (BDI).


Wolf Lichtenstein
Vice President, DACH Region, SAS

Wolf Lichtenstein has been the General Manager at SAS Germany since January 1, 2008. He also serves as Vice President of the DACH region, and is a member of the SAS EMEA and AP board. Lichtenstein is responsible for the corporate strategic management and economic success of SAS Germany and the SAS subsidiaries in Austria and Switzerland.

He is a member of numerous trade associations and committees, including the BITKOM Central Board, the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, the Academic Advisory Council of Heidelberg University and the Heidelberger Club International.

His career achievements include heading the European operations of campaign management provider Prime Response as well as key management positions for a McKinsey joint venture company and the management consultancy People at Work.


Jon Briggs

Jon Briggs (conference moderator)
Broadcast journalist

Jon Briggs has been a broadcast journalist for the BBC and ITN for 30 years. His credits include anchoring BBC Radio 5’s Breakfast News show, reporting for BBC Radio 4’s current affairs programmes, and chairing London’s top weekly political discussion programme for LBC.

A highly experienced conference moderator, Briggs has hosted more than 300 international events for many of the world’s largest companies, from Rolls Royce and Jaguar Land Rover, to Pernod Ricard and Ericsson.

He is also one of the best-known commercial voices in the UK. Recognised as the voice of the BBC’s Weakest Link quiz show and as the English voice of Apple’s Siri iPhone® assistant. Briggs also owns Excellent Talent, which represents 200 of the UK’s top artists.

Read his blog.
Follow him on Twitter: @jon_briggs


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