We were delighted to be joined by 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, as our keynote speaker at the Global Soft Power Summit in London.
The world is at a crossroads where power dynamics are shifting permanently. Soft power is now the driving force behind reputation and influence on the global stage. If nations do not act now to enhance and leverage their soft power, they will be left in the wake of their neighbours and counterparts.
Over 500 delegates joined us at the Brand Finance Global Soft Power Summit 2020 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, London, where practitioners and researchers explored and debated the role of soft power in international relations.
The Summit featured the unveiling of the Global Soft Power Index by Brand Finance - the world’s most comprehensive soft power study surveying opinions of over 55,000 people – general public and experts - in more than 100 countries.
Watch highlights of the event below:
David is the Chairman and CEO of Brand Finance Plc – the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. He has worked in the area of branded business, brand, and intangible asset valuation since 1991. He specialised entirely in the field after becoming the Director of Brand Valuation for Interbrand in 1995. He subsequently left Interbrand in 1996 to launch Brand Finance which is celebrating 25 years in business this year.
David represented the British Standards Institution in the working parties responsible for crafting international industry standards: ISO 10668 on Brand Valuation in 2010 and ISO 20671 on Brand Evaluation in 2019.
David is a passionate writer and has authored many articles on brand valuation, published in numerous marketing and finance newspapers and magazines, such as: Financial Times, Accountancy Age, and Marketing Week. He has also lectured on the topic of brand valuation for Harvard, Chicago, and London Business Schools.
David graduated from Bristol University with an English degree, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London, and obtained a postgraduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He is a Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has a practising certificate with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
Dr Temporal has over 20 years of experience in brand strategy, marketing consulting and training. He has extensive experience in Asia and his clients include Singapore Telecom, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Intel,Times Publishing Group and many others.
Internationally, Dr. Temporal has been a consultant to the public sector in the form of the GCC, World Bank, European Community, and several European, African and Asian Governments. He has been involved in helping several governments with branding issues, including Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the UK.
In the academic world Paul has held key positions and has taught at universities in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.K. He is an Advisor and Visiting Professor in Marketing at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and an Associate Fellow at Said Business School, University of Oxford. Dr Temporal has authored 16 best-selling books.
Omar Salha is a PhD Nohoudh Scholar at SOAS Uni of London, Lecturer in International Diplomacy and Soft Power, Research & Teaching Fellow at the Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy (SOAS), Fellow at The RSA (Royal Society of Arts) and Research Fellow at the Islamophobia Studies Centre, UC Berkeley, California. Omar is also the Founder & CEO of Ramadan Tent Project, a nonprofit organisation established in 2013 with its mission of bringing communities together to better understand each other. This is done through several of its key programmes and notably the UK’s largest community event in Ramadan and award-winning initiative, Open Iftar.
Omar is an MA graduate in International Studies and Diplomacy & was awarded the PhD Nohoudh Scholarship for the study of 'Integration of Muslims in British Society'. His first academic chapter was published by Routledge titled ‘Diplomacy and The Beautiful Game: Muslim footballers as ambassadors of faith’. He is currently writing on Islamic Public Diplomacy and the ‘Otherisation’ of Muslims in Popular Culture. Omar is a lecturer in International Diplomacy and his research interests include innovations of Soft Power, Re-Orientalism, Decoloniality, Integration/Identity Politics, Islamophobia, Sport Diplomacy, and the Geo-Politics of the Middle East. He has taught at SOAS University of London, in addition to the Foundation of International Education (FIE) and regularly delivers talks, workshops and lectures in leading academic, professional institutions and conferences across the globe; including headlining TEDxBradford in January 2019. He is a Research Fellow at the Islamophobia Studies Centre at UC Berkeley and presents at the annual International Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California and Paris, France.
In addition to his academic work, Omar founded the Ramadan Tent Project in 2013, a social enterprise and community institution dedicated to creating spaces of belonging, dialogue and empowerment through its flagship initiative Open Iftar. Ramadan Tent Project’s vision is a world where all people belong and live together in harmony. Open Iftar invites people of all faiths and none to the breaking of fast to explore the Islamic faith and to share the community spirit through food, inspirational talks and engaging discussions. To date, Open Iftar has hosted over 100,000 guests across 13 cities and 4 continents, including ground-breaking and unprecedented events at Westminster Abbey, Wembley Stadium, The British Library and Trafalgar Square.
For the past 15 years, Omar has worked with and consulted several community projects, NGOs, civic organisations and international governments on interfaith-dialogue, community cohesion, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power and Sports Diplomacy. He was one of the first respondents to the Grenfell Tower Fire and coordinated the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit (GMRU). GMRU was awarded the Pride of Britain Special Recognition Award by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Omar was appointed as a Fellow at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), upon outstanding recommendation for his commendable work in community engagement, social innovation and academic excellence. Omar is passionate about servant leadership & social entrepreneurship. He is also a keen sports enthusiast and his greatest achievement to date is scoring a penalty against one of the most successful professional football coaches in the world, Jose Mourinho!
He is also a former member of Football Beyond Borders & featured in a documentary titled ‘Over the Wall’, a film about a London-based football team and their journey to play in Palestine. He is a regular contributor to international & national print and digital media and has featured in Al Jazeera English, TRT World, CNN International, BBC London, BuzzFeed News, Huffington Post, ITV News, Time Out Magazine, Channel 4 News, The Guardian, New York Times, Evening Standard & LBC Radio. Omar speaks fluently in Arabic, Turkish and English.
Ban Ki-moon was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving two consecutive terms, from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2016.
As Secretary-General, he focused on mobilizing world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water. He also galvanized partners from non-governmental organizations, faith groups, the business community and others active on the international stage, endeavouring to build bridges, give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and strengthen the United Nations.
Born in the Republic of Korea, Mr. Ban’s childhood was scarred by war. Fighting forced his family to flee to the mountains. When they returned, Mr. Ban learned, first-hand, the value of the UN’s life-saving relief aid. “That experience was a big part of what led me to pursue a career in public service,” he once said, pledging to enable the United Nations to provide tangible, meaningful results that advance peace, development and human rights.
One of the Secretary-General’s first major initiatives was the 2007 Climate Change Summit, followed by extensive diplomatic efforts that have helped put the issue at the forefront of the global agenda. His visits to hard-hit areas around the world, persistent advocacy on the issue and even a march through the streets of New York for climate action helped to push the world to act. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, adopted in December, 2015, was signed by a record number of leaders the following April 22nd – Mother Earth Day – and entered into force on 4 November.
He also worked to advance the world’s main anti-poverty targets, the Millennium Development Goals, with a special emphasis on Africa and women’s and children’s health. At the height of the food, energy and economic crises in 2008, the Secretary-General successfully appealed to the G20 for a $1 trillion financing package for developing countries and took other steps to guide the international response and protect the vulnerable and poor.
Mr. Ban oversaw the widest global consultation in history as the United Nations canvassed governments, partners and individuals in drafting a successor agenda to the Millennium Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September, 2015, is a bold and universal plan with 17 Sustainable Development Goals for people, peace, prosperity and the planet through partnerships.
Mr. Ban pressed successfully for the creation of UN Women, a major new agency that consolidates the UN’s work in this area. His advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality has also included the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, the "Stop Rape Now" initiative, the creation of a Network of Men Leaders and the establishment of a new Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Within the UN itself, he increased the number of women in senior management positions to their highest level in the Organization’s history.
Ban Ki-moon has sought to strengthen UN peace efforts, including through the New Horizons peacekeeping initiative, the Global Field Support Strategy and the Civilian Capacity Review, a package of steps to improve the impact of the 120,000 United Nations "blue helmets" operating in the world’s conflict zones. A mediation support unit, along with new capacity to carry out the Secretary-General’s good offices, have been set up to help prevent, manage and resolve tensions, conflicts and crises. Accountability for violations of human rights has received high-level attention through inquiries related to Gaza, Guinea, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, legal processes in Lebanon and Cambodia, and advocacy for the "responsibility to protect," the new United Nations norm aimed at prevent and halt genocide and other grave crimes. A critical self-examination of United Nations failures led to the creation of the Human Rights Up Front initiative. It aims seeks to bring the UN System together in a way that is mutually supportive, helps prevention, and prioritizes human rights. He has also sought to strengthen humanitarian response in the aftermath of mega-disasters.
Mr. Ban has sought to rejuvenate the disarmament agenda through a five-point plan, efforts to break the deadlock at the Conference on Disarmament and renewed attention to nuclear safety and security in the aftermath of the tragedy at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. He also joined others in a successful push for the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, regulating the international trade in conventional arms – from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.
The Secretary-General has introduced new measures aimed at making the United Nations more transparent, effective and efficient. These include heightened financial disclosure requirements, compacts with senior managers, harmonization of business practices and conditions of service, the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards, and continued investments in information technology and staff development.
The Secretary-General was born in the Republic of Korea on 13 June 1944. He received a bachelor's degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In 1985, he earned a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His 37 years of service with the Ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs.
Mr. Ban’s ties to the United Nations date back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry's United Nations Division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments that included service as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization and Chef de Cabinet during the Republic of Korea's 2001-2002 presidency of the UN General Assembly. Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations.
Ban Ki-moon and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, whom he met in high school in 1962, have one son, two daughters and three grandchildren.
Since 2007, Mrs. Ban has devoted her attention to women’s and children’s health, including autism, the elimination of violence against women, and the campaign to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Sebastian Coe is the UK’s most prolific world record setter and arguably the greatest runner to compete for his country.
Born in London in 1956, Coe began his athletics career age 12, at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Harriers squad, where his father was his running coach. In 1977 he made his first mark as a professional athlete, winning the 800m at the European Indoor Championship. After a string of world records, Coe won his first Olympic medal in 1980 at the Moscow games, taking gold in the 1,500m. His second gold came in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics. His famous rivalry with fellow runner Steve Ovett dominated athletics through much of those years, and he quickly became the UK’s best known and most cherished athlete - setting 12 middle-distance world records.
Coe retired from athletics in 1990 and moved into politics. In 1992, he was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Falmouth and Camborne, a seat he held for 5 years, when he became Private Secretary to William Hague, the Leader of the Opposition. In 2000 he was appointed a life peer, becoming Lord Coe of Ranmore.
With his sporting and political nous, Coe was asked to head London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He led London to victory over Paris, with many pointing to his rousing speech at the 2005 vote in Singapore as the decisive moment. Despite early public cynicism, Coe helped win over the media and London went on to host a phenomenally successful Olympic Games, with Coe at the helm.
Following the games, Coe was elected Chairman of the British Olympic Association - a post he held until 2016. He is also Executive Chairman of CSM Sport & Entertainment marketing agency. In 2015, he was elected President of the world governing body for athletics, World Athletics (formerly the IAAF), having been a Vice President since 2007.
Packing his speeches with anecdotes from his time as an Olympic athlete, an MP, his chairmanship of London 2012, his turnaround of the British Olympic Association and his presidency World Athletics troubled times, Lord Coe demonstrates to audiences his political and strategic expertise in guiding large organisations on the global stage.
His themes include leadership, collaboration, crisis management, building resilience, handling change and challenging the status quo. Lord Coe believes in creating a clear, strong vision for an organisation - a simple, transferable set of values which are adhered to at every moment and by every employee whatever their role. This vision, he contends, is key in times of change and turbulence.
Throughout his career Lord Coe has found success by leading from the front to make vision a reality. He turned London 2012 into one of the UK’s most successful missions of all time. Lord Coe brings energy, passion and innovation to all his work - qualities which captivate his audiences the world over.
Coe, who is married with four children, has received numerous honours throughout his life. He was the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in 1979 and in 1982 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Eight years later he was made OBE. Following his appointment to the House of Lords, Coe was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his services to sport and in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List he was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH).
He relaxes by walking in the Peak District, supporting Chelsea FC and listening to jazz.
Lord Coe’s example keynote speaking topics include, but are not limited to:
• Change, risk & handling uncertainty
• Teamwork and collaboration & breaking down silos
• Leadership & resilience
• Innovation & challenging the status quo
Professor Richard Sambrook is Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University - the UK’s largest and oldest journalism school. Previously he worked for BBC News for 30 years as a producer, editor and manager.
He spent ten years on the BBC’s Board of Management as, successively, Director of Sport, Director of News and Director of Global News and the World Service. He was involved in the launch for 4 news channels and digital services and in developing the BBC’s global newsgathering operations. He writes and teaches on international news, media ethics and disinformation.
Amish is an author, columnist and diplomat.
He is a graduate of IIM-Calcutta and worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to full-time writing. His unique combination of crackling story-telling, religious symbolism, and profound philosophies have turned him into an Indian publishing phenomenon, with BBC calling him “India’s Tolkien”.
His Shiva Trilogy is the fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history while his Ram Chandra Series is the second fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history.
Amish's books have been translated & published worldwide into 19 Indian and International languages & have sold more than 5 million copies, making him the most influential author in India.
In 2019 he was appointed to a diplomatic role as Director, The Nehru Centre in London, India’s premier cultural centre abroad.
He has been listed by Forbes amongst the 100 most influential celebrities in India (in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018) and has also been listed among 50 Most Powerful Indians by India Today 2019. Along with this, Amish has received various awards such as Ustad Bismillah Khan Award for contributing to Indian Culture, Eminent Alumni of IIM-Calcutta etc.
Mishal Husain presents the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC News at Ten on Sunday nights on BBC1. In two decades in journalism her work has taken her from refugee camps to international summits and from interviewing prime ministers to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Before joining Radio 4 in 2013 she was one of the main presenters on the international channel BBC World News and her work on location included the London & Beijing Olympics and broadcasting from Pakistan after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011.
She has made four critically acclaimed BBC documentaries: on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, on social media and the Arab uprisings, on Malala Yousafzai and on EU immigration to the UK.
In 2017 she also hosted a pre-election live debate with 7 parties for BBC1.
She has won awards including the London Press Club’s Broadcaster of the Year and Women in Film and TV’s Presenter of the Year. Her book ’The Skills: From First Job to Dream Job, What Every Woman Needs to Know’ was published in the UK in September 2018.
Peter Fisk is a best-selling author and inspirational speaker, and advisor to leading companies around the world and an experienced business leader. He was recently described by Business Strategy Review as “one of the best new business thinkers.”
His new book ‘People Planet Profit ‘describes how to drive innovation and growth by addressing social and environmental issues in more relevant ways – to grow and do good at the same time. It explores how to engage the “green” consumer, to embrace sustainability in more creative ways, to be compliant and responsible, but also find new source s of competitive advantage. It includes major contributions from the likes of Nike and Unilever, M&S and Arup, WWF and Generation Investment Management.
Peter is founder of the Genius Works, helping companies to “see things differently” – to develop and implement more inspired strategies for customers, innovation and marketing. Most recently he has collaborated with Brand Finance to develop Brand Genius a process of accelerated innovation, rethinking the ideas and impact of brands in today’s world.
Dr Maleeha Lodhi is Pakistan’s Former Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the UN
She twice served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US (1993 – 1996, 1999 – 2002) and as High Commissioner to Britain (2003 – 2008). Until recently she was the special adviser for international affairs to Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate, the Jang/Geo Group. She also served as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs from 2001 to 2005. She was the first woman in all of Asia to become the editor of a national daily newspaper. In 1994 Time magazine nominated her as one of a hundred people in the world who will help shape the 21st century, the only one from Pakistan.
Dr Lodhi is a member of the Council of the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies. She is a member of the Senate of Pakistan’s National Defence University. She also serves on the advisory board of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum.
Dr Yu Jie is senior research fellow on China at Chatham House, focusing on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy.
She speaks and writes frequently in major media outlets such as the BBC and Financial Times; and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the G7 member governments, advises the Silk Road Fund in Beijing, as well as major FTSE 100 companies. Yu Jie has testified at the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and the International Trade Committee. She was head of China Foresight at LSE IDEAS.
Prior to LSE, she was a management consultant, specializing in Chinese state-owned enterprise investments in Europe and Chinese market entry strategies for European conglomerates at the London Office of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
She has been recognized as a ‘Leading Woman’ of the London School of Economics for her contribution to teaching and engaging in public debates on China’s foreign affairs. She remains an associate fellow at LSE IDEAS.
The British Council was established over eighty years ago to create a basis of 'friendly knowledge and understanding' of Britain by making the most of the cultural resources of the country to create opportunities, to build connections and to engender trust.
Sir Ciarán Devane took up the role of Chief Executive in January 2015. Ciarán has focused on ensuring that all stakeholders understand and value the contribution that soft power, cultural relations and the British Council makes to security, prosperity and influence, and that the organisation and staff are aligned behind that vision.
Prior to this, Ciarán was Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support from 2007 to 2014. He transformed the scale and impact of the charity, both on its own and in collaboration with other organisations and has raised its profile as an authoritative voice on cancer and on health matters, leading to Macmillan being the UK's 'Brand of the Year' in 2014.
Ciarán was educated at University College, Dublin where he gained first-class honours in biochemical engineering. He then started his career as an engineer and manager for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) before becoming a management consultant, mostly with Gemini Consulting. He specialised in complex change programmes with companies such as AstraZeneca and RollsRoyce.
He holds a Masters degree in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University, Washington DC and the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa from University College Dublin. Ciarán has also held non-executive roles on the board of organisations ranging from small local charities to NHS England.
Ciarán was awarded a knighthood in 2015 for his services to cancer patients.