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About The Speakers

Prof. Cédric Villani

Director, Institut Henri Poincaré, Paris
Fields Medal 2010

A graduate from the prestigious Ecole normale superieure de Paris, Cedric Villani obtained his doctorate under the supervision of Pierre-Louis Lions at Paris-Dauphine University. He obtain the Fermat and Henri Poincaré prizes in 2009, and the Fields Medal in 2010. He is currently a professor at the Universite de Lyon, as well as the director of the Institut Henri Poincaré.

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Prof. Simon Donaldson FRS

President, Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Imperial College London
Fields Medal 1986

After obtaining a BA in mathematics from Pembroke College, Cambridge (1979), Simon Donaldson went on to obtain his DPhil at Worcester College, Oxford, under the supervision of Sir Michael Atiyah. There, he wrote one of his most important papers, Self-dual connections and the topology of smooth 4-manifolds in 1983. He was awarded various prizes throughout his career, notably the Fields Medal in 1986. He is currently a Royal Society Research Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, and the President of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

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Dr. Davide Sola

Associate Professor of Strategy, ESCP Europe

Dr. Davide Sola is an Associate Professor of Strategy and former Director of ESCP Europe London campus. His teaching is in the organisational and strategy area; in particular he teaches business strategy, change management and organisational design to both graduate and post-graduate courses.

Davide is a graduate of ESCP Europe and University of Turin (1998). Having earned his PhD in Enterprise Economics from the University of Turin, he became involved in several technology start-ups, first in Oxford through the Oxford Centre for Innovation, then in London under the umbrella of a number of venture capital and private equity firms.

Subsequently he moved to join the Hartley Investment Trust, where he worked as Head of New Ventures, and then McKinsey & Co. where he held the position of Engagement Manager.

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Mr. Clive Harris

Chief Innovation Officer, IBM - Chartered IT Professional, FBCS, FIET

IBM is a globally integrated enterprise operating in over 170 countries. Today IBM UK has around 20,000 employees, bringing innovative solutions to a diverse client base to help solve some of their toughest business challenges. In addition to being the world's largest IT and consulting services company, IBM is a global business and technology leader, innovating in research and development to shape the future of society at large. IBM's prized research, development and technical talent around the world partner with governments, corporations, thinkers and doers on ground breaking real world problems to help make the world work better and build a smarter planet.

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Mr. Zishan Khan

EMEA Technology & Operations Chief Operating Officer, Bank of America

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) footprint comprises of 32 cities across 23 countries on three continents. The company is a long-established participant in the European markets, with a presence since 1922. Currently over 14,000 associates are based in EMEA.

Globally, Bank of America Merrill Lynch serves clients and customers in more than 150 countries and has relationships with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500, nearly 96 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and 33 percent of the FTSE 100.

Today, the company offers an integrated and comprehensive set of products and services across all businesses, serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and government clients, by combining the best of local knowledge and international expertise. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a strategic and measured approach to its international development and is strengthening its business and infrastructure to create sustainable, long-term growth.

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Mr. Robert Welch and Mr. Oliver Knight

Founders of smallcarBIGCITY

Robert Welch and Oliver Knight are the founders of smallcarBIGCITY.

smallcarBIGCITY provide sightseeing trips of the capital in a fleet of classic Mini Coopers. The company was founded in December 2008 by three young and ambitious graduates – Robert Welch, Oliver Knight and Alastair Bruton.

Since then things have been moving thick and fast – buying Minis, setting up the website, obtaining the required licences, acquiring premises and staff etc. Despite the worsening economic climate, 2009 was the best possible time to launch a new business in the tourist industry; the appreciation of foreign currencies lead to higher than anticipated initial sales and the topical story of struggling graduates forced into an unconventional business model has made national press throughout the company’s inaugural year.

The tourist sector is predicted to experience continual growth during the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games of which smallcarBIGCITY plans to take full advantage.

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Mr. Daniel Choudhury

Head of Information & Marketing, e.quinox

e.quinox is a students' initiative started at Imperial College London that aims to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world, by bringing cost-effective renewable energy solutions to developing countries. The organisation is led by a team of Imperial College electrical engineering students, but also consists of several other academics and personnel within the University, Rwanda and around the world. All of its constituents believe it to be their responsibility to design and implement innovative systems, to run appliances benefiting schools, hospitals and social communities.

e.quinox has been awarded multiple awards in the past year - for different areas of the project. The high level of innovation involved, the concept of sustainability and the enormous effort put in the by the teams has earned e.quinox the JP Morgan Good Venture Award 2010, the Professor John Lever Award from Imperial College and the top prize in the highly prestigious IEEE Change the World President's Award 2010 - the Student Humanitarian Supreme.

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