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Raymond Kurzweil is an American inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements and gives public talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.
As the CEO of SAS, the world’s leading business analytics software vendor, Jim Goodnight has led the company since its inception in 1976, overseeing an unbroken chain of revenue growth and profitability that is unprecedented in the industry. He is recognized globally for being a trailblazer among companies that top great workplace rankings.
As COO and CTO, Oliver Schabenberger sets the technology direction for SAS and executes the company’s strategic direction and business priorities. He oversees multiple divisions within SAS, including R&D, Sales, Marketing, Information Technology and Customer Support, as well as divisions focused on solutions for IoT, financial risk management and cloud. Schabenberger joined the SAS R&D Division in 2002 and was named CTO in 2016. Prior to SAS, he served as Associate Professor of Statistics at Virginia Tech, where he earned his PhD in 1995. He frequently writes on emerging technology and holds several patents on software design and algorithms.
Having gathered over 25 years of C-level experience in sales, marketing and general management, Rik Vera has always built his businesses on innovation, new business models, customer centricity and technology as a powerful enabler. He now uses that experience to inspire companies to develop their own strategy fit for a digital and connected world.
Rik is the author of the business bestseller "Managers The Day After Tomorrow". He’s a trusted advisor on the topics of extreme customer centricity, innovation in the digital era, business model change, sales and marketing.
Richard is a trendwatcher and futurist who offers inspiring lectures on how technology impacts the way we live, work and do business. With his international research team of 15 specialists, he investigates tech trends like robotics, drone technology, autonomous transport systems, Internet of Things, virtual reality, etc.
Shukri Dabaghi, Regional VP Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), is responsible for leading the company’s rapid growth in the CEMEA region, including Russia, Turkey, CIS countries, and Egypt, to capitalize on the opportunities created by analytics and to continue delivering seamless customer experience and strengthen innovative mind-set.
As Regional Vice President, CEMEA Dabaghi focuses on facilitating the company’s continued evolution within the new and emerging markets across the CEMEA region and further strengthening partner relationships to advance the company’s development.