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Global Soft Power Summit 2022

15 March 2022, 09:00–17:00 UK Time

Brand Finance's Global Soft Power Summit 2022, was hosted at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, where practitioners and researchers of soft power came together to officially inaugurate the next iteration of the Global Soft Power Index, and to explore and debate the role of soft power at a time when hard power is looming large.

The event followed the success of the previous Global Soft Power Summits, featuring keynote speakers: Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Hosted in partnership with BBC Global News, the Summit included a presentation of the results of the Global Soft Power Index 2022 by Brand Finance - the world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of nation brands, surveying opinions of over 100,000 respondents worldwide on 120 nation brands.

The event featured a keynote speech and two panel discussions. This year, we focused on the role of innovation in driving soft power, and the importance of promotion for building the nation brand abroad, and how we foresee their significance evolving in future years.

We were delighted to be joined by Former Belgian Prime Minister, Member of the European Parliament & Co-Chair of The Conference on the Future of Europe, Guy Verhofstadt, as our keynote speaker.

The event provided plenty of opportunity for networking with our selected audience of diplomats, politicians, academics, nation brand managers, and representatives of companies relying on geographic branding. The main conference was followed by workshops.

Please email [email protected] for further enquiries.

Agenda

08:00-09:00
Registration, Networking Breakfast & Workshop (details below)
09:00-09:30




Welcome & Introduction
by David Haigh, Chairman & CEO, Brand Finance
& Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, British Council
Global Soft Power Index Results Presentation
by David Haigh, Chairman & CEO, Brand Finance
Guest Speaker Presentation
by Daren Tang, Director-General, World Intellectual Property Organisation
09:30-10:30











Panel Session 1:
The Role of Innovation in Developing Soft Power
Moderated by: Zeinab Badawi, Journalist & Broadcaster, BBC World News
- HE Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chair of the UAE Space Agency
- Professor Alexander Stubb, Former Prime Minister of Finland, Former Vice President, European Investment Bank,
Director of the School of Transnational Governance
- Max Kantelia, Chairman & Co-Founder at Metapolis
10:30-11:00
Networking Coffee Break and Interactive Dashboard Presentation
11:00-12:00






Panel Session 2:
The Role of Promotion in Developing Soft Power

Moderated by: Zeinab Badawi, Journalist & Broadcaster, BBC World News
- Alastair Campbell, Writer, Strategist, Former Head of Communications for Tony Blair
- Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Former Prime Minister of Denmark
- Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder & Executive Chairman, S4 Capital plc
12:00-13:00

Keynote Speech, followed by Moderated Q&A
by Guy Verhofstadt, Former Belgian Prime Minister, MEP and Co-Chair of The Conference on the Future of Europe
13:00-13:15
Conclusion & Closing Remarks
by David Haigh, Chairman & CEO, Brand Finance
Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Member of Parliament
Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General, Ukrainian Institute
13:15-16:15Networking Lunch & Workshops
16:15-17:00Reception Drinks

Workshop Schedule

08:15 - 08:45Using the Global Soft Power Index - Understanding the Methodology
Delve deeper into the methodology behind the research with our experts at Brand Finance.

- Parul Soni, Associate Director, Brand Finance
- Steve Thomson, Insight Director, Brand Finance
13:15-14:15Using the Global Soft Power Index - Case Study of South Africa
Explore possible applications of nation brand perceptions research with our experts at Brand Finance and marketing practitioners at Brand South Africa.

- Jeremy Sampson, Managing Director - Africa, Brand Finance
- Parul Soni, Associate Director, Brand Finance
- Pumela Salela, Country Head - United Kingdom, Brand South Africa
14:15-15:15Understanding the Importance of Sport to Soft Power
Discuss with our experts and guest speakers how a sports culture and sporting events can contribute to a nation's soft power.

- Hugo Hensley, Head of Sports Services, Brand Finance
- Professor John Davis, Chair of BrandNewView, Academic, Former Dean and Professor of Marketing at SP Jain School of Global Management
- Professor Simon Chadwick, Global Professor of Sport and Director, Centre for Eurasian Sport
- Nick Bitel, Chief Executive, London Marathon
15:15-16:15Understanding the Importance of Sustainability to Soft Power
With climate change continuing to be a hot-topic globally, a nation's commitment to environmental causes can pose a soft power opportunity.

- Robert Haigh, Strategy and Insights Director, Brand Finance
- Jeff Turner, Vice-President Sustainability, Royal DSM
- Florian Kaefer, Founder & Editor, The Place Brand Observer
16.15 - 17.00Discover How Brands Can Best Support Ukraine
How can brands help support the people of Ukraine and contribute to the push for peace?

- Marcel Knobil, Founder of Superbrands; Cool BrandLeaders; Creative & Commercial; Best Ads Never Seen: Brand Solidarity
- Felix Henderson, Co-founder, Look After Group
- Marina Pesenti, Member, Ukrainian Institute’s Supervisory Board
- Neville Hobson: Social Strategist, Writer and Podcaster
- Sophie Devonshire: Author and CEO of The Marketing Society
15 March 2022, 09:00–17:00 UK Time
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In association with
BBC Global News

BBC Global News is the home of the BBC’s award-winning international news, sport and features content, which reaches 121 million people around the world on TV, online, apps and social media each week.

As the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster, they offer accurate, impartial news via our 24 hour news channel - BBC World News - and BBC.com, along with a broad range of insightful and in-depth features across BBC Worklife, BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC Reel and BBC Travel.

As a commercial arm of the BBC, they work with brands to create partnerships which connect them with our curious and globally-minded audience through bespoke branded content, sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

BBC Global News Website
International Advertising Association

The International Advertising Association is a global association that represents all areas of the marketing and communications industry.

The IAA has established itself as the "global compass" of the MARCOM industry. With our global influence, vast network, and grass roots operations, the IAA is the natural resource for the issues that confront today’s demanding and fast-changing business environment.

The IAA has established itself as the "global compass" of the MARCOM industry. With our global influence, vast network, and grass roots operations, the IAA is the natural resource for the issues that confront today’s demanding and fast-changing business environment.

International Advertising Association Website
Foreign Press Association

The FPA is a not-for-profit Friendly Society. As a member of the UK Press Card Authority, it provides official journalistic accreditation to more than 1,800 international correspondents every year. All media are represented: from print and news agencies to broadcast and digital. Freelancers are welcome in all categories. ​

The FPA is the only association that can provide foreign journalist with access to Parliament. Throughout the year, the FPA holds a wide-ranging programme of briefings, facilitating access to Government Ministers, Whitehall, the City's financial district and Royal events. We also organise book presentations, Brexit briefings, events with key politicians etc.

Foreign Press Association Website

Speakers

David Haigh
Chairman and CEO
Brand Finance

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).

Zeinab Badawi
Journalist and Broadcaster
BBC World News

Zeinab was born in the Sudan, but has lived in the UK since she was two. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and an MA in history at SOAS, London University. Zeinab has worked extensively in the British media and is now best known for her work in the BBC’s international division at BBC World News TV on programmes such as Hard Talk, Global Questions, The History of Africa and Take Me to the Opera.

Zeinab is the current President of SOAS, on the International Advisory Council of Afrobarometer and an advisory board member of MINDS, the Mandela Institute for National Development Strategies. She is also a member of the steering committee of the Africa Europe Foundation, a trustee of BBC Media Action and the Royal Opera House.

Website
Guy Verhofstadt
Former Belgian Prime Minister
Member of the European Parliament and Co-Chair of The Conference on the Future of Europe

Guy Verhofstadt quickly rose through the ranks of Belgian politics, becoming party president in 1982 at the age of 28. By 1985 he was Deputy Prime Minister. Between 1999 2008, he served as Prime Minister of Belgium.

His governments meant a breath of fresh air in Belgian politics. Verhofstadt made Belgium the second country in the world to introduce gay marriage, as well as legalising euthanasia. Additionally, in the economic field he reversed the trend, drastically cutting taxes for businesses and families. Economic growth in Belgium therefore rose beyond what was expected - under his leadership the Belgian public debt fell to 84% from 114% of GDP.

After he left office, he became a member of the 'Renew Europe' group in the European Parliament. He still serves in the European Parliament today, where he is a champion of more European integration to tackle the multiple crises the EU faces for the moment. His latest book is entitled "Europe's Last Chance".

Website
Scott McDonald
Chief Executive
British Council

Scott McDonald is the Chief Executive of the British Council.

Previously, he was the President & CEO of the Oliver Wyman Group and sat on the Executive Committee of Marsh & McLennan Companies, including more than 75,000 staff in over 100 countries. Before joining Oliver Wyman, Scott worked in investment banking, the editorial side of the magazine industry, and ran a small publishing company.

Scott is a member of the International Advisory Board and the Global Strategy & Leadership Expert Panel of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. He also sits on the European Advisory Board for The Nature Conservancy and the Advisory Group for Yodomo, a UK crafting platform. Scott has degrees in Finance & Economics from McGill University and International Relations from Cambridge University.

He is an avid hiker, runner and fisherman and lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Website
Daren Tang
Director General
WIPO

Daren Tang, of Singapore, assumed his functions as WIPO’s Director General on October 1, 2020.

In accepting his appointment on May 8, 2020, Mr. Tang pledged that he would be guided by the interests and needs of all Member States. He said that his work and that of the Secretariat will be conducted on the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability.

Outlining his priorities for the future of the Organization, Mr. Tang said that WIPO’s work will be channeled toward the construction of an inclusive, balanced, vibrant and forward-looking global IP ecosystem that serves the interests of all countries and their stakeholders.

Prior to his appointment as WIPO Director General, Mr. Tang served as Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). Mr. Tang also presided as Chair of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) from May 2017 until his appointment as Director General.

Mr. Tang is a graduate of the National University of Singapore (Bachelor of Law, Honors) and the Georgetown University Law Center (Master of Laws, Distinction).

Website
Stephen Kinnock
Labour MP
for Aberavon

Stephen Nathan Kinnock is a Welsh politician who has served as Member of Parliament for Aberavon since 2015. A member of the Labour Party, he has been Shadow Minister for Immigration since 2022.

Website
Volodymyr Sheiko
Director General
Ukrainian Institute

Specialist in culture management, marketing and communications. For 11 years he held senior positions in the Ukrainian mission of the British Council. Organizer of numerous cultural projects and events in the UK and 15 European countries: exhibitions, art residencies, film festivals, professional internships, concerts, literary programs, trainings, theater productions.

A graduate of the Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. In 2009 received a professional diploma in marketing, and in 2014 - a diploma in digital marketing from the The Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). In 2011 he graduated from the Summer School of Scottish Universities SUISS in the field of "Contemporary British and Irish Literature" (Edinburgh, Scotland). Member of the 2016 Summer School of Global Governance and member of the international network of Bucerius Summer School (ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg, Germany). Member of the IETM International Professional Performing Arts Network and the Total Theater Network.

Website
Her Excellency Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amiri
UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology
and Chair of the UAE Space Agency

Sarah Al Amiri is UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology. Her responsibilities include defining industrial and economic opportunities based on the development of advanced technologies in the Emirates and building the country’s technology and innovation ecosystem. She also serves as the chairperson of the UAE Space Agency, the regulator of the UAE’s space sector and the funding body behind the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) and other strategic space missions and initiatives.

Sarah joined the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in 2009 as a Software Engineer, working on the DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2 earth observation satellite projects. She established the Space Sciences Department at MBRSC and worked on developing several new functionalities and capabilities within the Centre including the Advanced Aerial Systems Program and the Research and Development Office, going on to head R&D at the Centre.

She served as the deputy project director and science lead of EMM before going on to be appointed UAE Minister for Science in October 2017 and then, in July 2020, take on her new ministerial portfolio and Chair the UAE Space Agency. She also serves as Chair of the Emirates Scientists Council and is the Secretary General of the Emirates Research and Development Council.

In 2015, Sarah was selected as one of 50 young scientists by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her contributions to the fields of science, technology and engineering and in 2020 was nominated as one of the BBC’s 100 Women 2020 and Time Magazine’s 100 Next in 2021.

She holds a Bachelor's and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the American University of Sharjah.

Website
Max Kantelia
Chairman & Co-Founder
Metapolis

Max is both a serial & parallel entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience in the start-up and rev-up of fast growth tech and financial services companies in London, New York and Singapore. Passionate about ‘alternatives’, Max is currently focused upon building tech ventures in the blockchain, NFT and metaverse spaces.

In 2015 Max established Anquan Capital, a private investment company, with the mission of launching a set of innovative tech ventures based on scientific research. Between 2015 and 2020, Anquan has launched; Zilliqa, one of the world’s leading public Layer-1 blockchain platforms which has a market cap of over $1billion and is high throughput, environmentally friendly with ultr-low transaction fees; Aqilliz, a leader in blockchain-based digital advertising and Treasure-Cloud; a totally new concept in privacy-focused cloud storage.

Max successfully exited two ventures during COVID-19 in 2020, one in AI (untapt, NYC-based) and the other in voice tech (Speik, Oxford-based).

As a private family investor, Max is currently focused on investing in high-quality, scalable new ventures, built upon Zilliqa including XCAD; a hyper-growth social media venture which allows content creators to create NFTs to get better engagement with their followers and TokenIITraxx; a ground-breaking new music NFT venture.

Looking forward, Max is also building a metaverse, the Metapolis, that is focused on creating an immersive space for luxury brands to showcase their digital assets and who are seeking to develop new channels for hybrid digital and physical products; he is passionate about the use of blockchain technology as a weapon against illicit trade in the luxury goods marketplace.

Max is a highly experienced public speaker and has been a speaker at some of the world's most important blockchain events.  He regularly speaks about blockchain at private family office and fund management events.

Max is an engineer by background. He holds a degree in Engineering Science and was part of the London Business School Enterprise 100.

Max is an avid collector and enjoys fine wine, jazz, and all things automotive.

Professor Alexander Stubb
Former Prime Minister of Finland
Former Vice President, European Investment Bank Director of the School of Transnational Governance

Professor Alexander Stubb is the Director of the School of Transnational Governance as of 1 May 2020. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland (2008-2016).

He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008 and national parliament (2011-2017). He was the Chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) from 2014 to 2016 and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from 2017 to 2020.

Stubb worked as an advisor at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Helsinki and Brussels and in President Romano Prodi's team at the European Commission (1995-2004). He was involved in the negotiation of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.

Stubb’s background is in academia, civil service and politics. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics, a Master’s degree in EU administration from the College of Europe in Bruges, and a B.A. in political science from Furman University in South Carolina. He also studied French language, culture and civilisation at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Between 2000 and 2007, he was a visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. Stubb has written numerous books and academic articles on European affairs and publishes columns for several newspapers, including the Financial Times, on a regular basis.

Stubb is also a self-professed sports-nut and avid amateur triathlete.

Website
Sir Martin Sorrell
Founder & Executive Chairman
S4 Capital plc

Sir Martin Sorrell is Founder and Executive Chairman of S4 Capital plc, a new age/ new era, purely digital advertising and marketing services business for global, multinational and millennial-driven influencer brands.

S4 Capital plc merged with MediaMonks, its content practice, in July 2018 and MightyHive, its data and digital media practice, in December 2018. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange under SFOR.L and has over 7,000 people in 33 countries, with a market capitalization in excess of $4.0 billion.

Sir Martin was Founder and CEO of WPP for 33 years, building it from a £1 million “shell” company in 1985 into the world’s largest advertising and marketing services company. When Sir Martin left in April 2018, WPP had a market capitalisation of over £16 billion, revenues of over £15 billion, profits of approximately £2 billion and over 200,000 people in 113 countries. Prior to that, Sir Martin was Group Financial Director of Saatchi & Saatchi plc and worked for James Gulliver, Mark McCormack and Glendinning Associates before that.

Sir Martin supports a number of leading business schools and universities, including his alma maters, Harvard Business School, where he received the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award and Cambridge University, where he is an Honorary Fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He was ranked as the second-best CEO in the world by the Harvard Business Review in 2017 and was nominated as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People.

Sir Martin also supports a broad range of charities, including his family foundation.

Website
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Former Prime Minister of Denmark

Helle Thorning-Schmidt has an extensive background spanning politics, international relations and business. In 2017 she was named as one of the world’s greatest leaders by Fortune magazine.

As Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011-2015, Helle steered Denmark through a difficult financial crisis while reducing child poverty and increasing spending on education. She also served as leader of the country’s Social Democrat party for a decade, and was the first woman to hold both positions.

Following her term as PM, Helle was the Chief Executive of Save the Children, overseeing the work of 17,000 staff in 120 countries to reach around 50 million children every year in some of the most difficult and challenging contexts. She was deeply engaged in highlighting the humanitarian crises in Yemen and Syria, and the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt remains deeply engaged in these geopolitical issues as a member of several foreign policy think tanks, including the US Council on Foreign Relations, the European Council for Foreign Relations, the International Crisis Group and the Atlantic Council International Advisory Board. Helle is also a member of the Berggruen 21st Century Council.

In 2017, Helle was a co-chair of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, and is on the board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Today Helle uses her deep political and international expertise to advise a range of businesses and not-for-profit groups.

Helle is non–Executive Director for a number of Boards - Vestas, one of the world’s leaders in sustainable energy; DJE Holdings, a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organisations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations; Safelane, a global leader in clearing landmines and the explosive remnants of war; Carsøe, a leading manufacturer of retail, customised, and OEM solutions for key suppliers of food processing equipment across the world; and VISTA Equity Partners, an American investment firm focused on financing and forwarding software, data and technology-enabled startup businesses. In 2020 Helle was appointed Co-Chair of The Oversight Board created to help Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online; as well as Chairman for the Danish Football Union’s Governance Committee.

Also in 2020, Thorning-Schmidt was appointed by the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Europe to serve as a member of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development.

Helle devotes much of her time to defending and renewing progress, social justice, and democracy. As a strong champion of women and girls’ rights throughout her time in government and at Save the Children, she continues to remain passionate about women’s empowerment.

Helle was previously a member of the European Parliament. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and a Master’s Degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges.

Website
Alastair Campbell
Writer, Strategist
Former Head of Communications for Tony Blair

Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in politics and campaigns in Britain and overseas, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, broadcasting, charities and consultancy.

He has written seventeen books in the past fourteen years, including ten volumes of diaries, four novels, a Number 1 best-selling analysis of what it takes to win in politics, business and sport, Winners and How They Succeed, and two personal memoirs on depression and the pursuit of happiness. His latest, Living Better: How I learned to survive depression, was also a Sunday Times best-seller.

He was for many years chairman of fund-raising of Bloodwise, Britain’s main blood cancer charity, but in recent years has become increasingly involved with mental health charities and causes, speaking about his own experience of depression, psychosis and addiction, and of his brother Donald’s lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. A former ‘Mind Champion of the Year’, he is an ambassador for several charities, including Mind, Rethink and Alcohol Concern. He is patron of Maytree, the country’s only charity for the suicidal, and of Kidstime, which supports the children of mentally ill parents. He is a Global Ambassador for Australians for Mental Health.

He co-founded the all-party campaign, Equality4MentalHealth, which was credited in Parliament by then Chancellor George Osborne with securing an extra £600million for mental health services. He is an active supporter of the Heads Together campaign headed by Prince William. In November 2017 Campbell was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in recognition of his leadership role in breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness, and in fighting for better services.

In 2021, following the departure of Piers Morgan from ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he was asked to be one of a pool of new presenters. He does a regular podcast with his daughter Grace, Football, Feminism and Everything in Between, in which they interview prominent figures from culture, sport, business and politics. He is active in social media where he does regular ‘Campbell’s Rambles’ live on Instagram, and his daily ‘Tree of the Day’ posts attract a widespread following around the world.

In his time in Downing Street he was involved in all the major policy issues and international crises. He has said that in ten years in the media, and a decade in politics, he saw his respect for the media fall and his respect for politics rise. He was called to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards twice, first for his insights into modern journalism, second to give his views on the changed relationship between politics and media. He is a sought after speaker at events around the world, specialising in strategic communications, leadership, team building and crisis management. Since publishing Winners, he has been asked to support a number of leading sports organisations.

Website
Professor John Davis
Chair of BrandNewView
Academic, Former Dean and Professor of Marketing at SP Jain School of Global Management.

John is Chair of BrandNewView (https://brandnewview.com/), a leadership firm focused on helping organizations become a force for social and economic good. Previously, he led regions for Duke CE in Asia and North America. Other academic and consulting roles include: Dean and Professor of Marketing at SP Jain School of Global Management; interim Department Head at the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon; Professor of Marketing and Chair of Marketing Communication at Emerson College; Professor of Marketing Practice and Director of the Centre for Marketing Excellence at Singapore Management University (SMU). He has also been a visiting Professor at the International Olympic Academy.

A former Fortune 500 executive, John led marketing teams for Nike, was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development within the Transamerica group of companies, and Vice of Marketing and Business Development at Informix. He has also started two award winning companies: Northwest Resorts, a boutique resort firm; and BrandNewView.

He is a best-selling author. His forthcoming book, Radical Business (coming April 2022), is about what businesses must do to become a force for social and economic good. His previous books focused on strategy, branding/marketing, higher education, and the global sports business. He has also published articles in leading journals, including: Harvard Business Review, Dialogue Review, and the International Journal of Advertising, among others. He has spoken at major global conferences, including: TEDx, World Knowledge Forum, YPOs, American Marketing Association, BrandFinance, Global Brand Forum, and Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). His media interviews include: BBC, MSNBC, CNBC, ESPN, Fortune Magazine, Bloomberg, WWD.com, The New York Times, NPR, and ChannelNewsAsia.

John and his family travel whenever possible. He has worked with leaders and organizations in 40+ countries (so far). An avid runner, he has logged more than 60,000 miles, running everywhere he has travelled. The hottest? Dubai when it was 48 degrees Celsius. The coldest? -11 degrees Celsius in Stowe, Vermont. His favorite? A place called Duck Cove, a family-owned retreat.

John and his family travel whenever possible. Their animal menagerie once included a horse, 2 ponies, 3 dogs, 4 cats, several birds, and fish, but no kangaroos or honey badgers. He and his wife now have two dogs, a labradoodle named Milo, and a cavoodle named Ninja. Milo enjoys napping when he’s not busy resting, and Ninja enjoys interfering with Milo’s sleep. Their kids are grown and have added to this zoo: another labradoodle named Frankie (with the world’s longest eyebrows) and 5 cats: Dr. Potato Spaceman (don’t ask), Shikari, Meatball, Captain Insano, and Banana. John earned his degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University.

He earned his degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University.

Steve Thomson
Insight Director
Brand Finance

Steve Thomson leads the survey component of the Global Soft Power Index programme. He has a wealth of experience gained across a 30+ year career focussing on understanding consumer values, attitudes and behaviour around the world. Steve leads the market research practice at Brand Finance including management of our proprietary research programme in over 30 markets. He has widespread expertise in consumer values and trends, brand positioning and strategy, public opinion, nation branding, and advertising effectiveness. He has direct research experience in 60 markets across a diverse range of cultures, from single-market deep-dives through to the management of large global insight programmes. He is an acknowledged expert on the impact of social forces (online social media and offline word-of-mouth) on brand choices, and how these drive commercial outcomes for brand owners. As such he is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

Parul Soni
Associate Director
Brand Finance

Parul leads the team of analysts and consultants behind Brand Finance’s annual Global 500, Nation Brands, and Global Soft Power Index studies. She has a wealth of experience in Business and Brand Valuation working across sectors, specialising in Nation Branding, Food & Drinks, and Utilities. She is an experienced research and data analyst with survey experience across a range of evaluation and research issues.

Parul has worked with a variety of clients such as GREAT Campaign and PromPeru. She has a BSc in Economics and Economic History from the London School of Economics and is a chartered global management accountant, CIMA.

Pumela Salela
Country Head for the United Kingdom
Brand South Africa

Pumela Salela is the Country Head for the United Kingdom (UK) under Brand South Africa, the custodian of the South Africa Country Brand.

Her role is to market South Africa in the UK, attract foreign direct investment (fdi) into South Africa, mobilize Global South Africans (GSA) abroad and to manage the brand reputation of South Africa.

In 2018, Pumela was featured as a POWERHOUSE in DESTINY magazine. She is the 2018 recipient of the African Achiever Award. In 2019 she received the BRITISH Award for African Development. Prior to serving in this role Pumela was the Chief Director for Economic Policy Development and Planning at the Department of Economic Development in South Africa.

The Rockefeller Foundation acknowledged her contribution and innovation in formulating systems which address poverty by selecting Salela to be one the 18 global recipients of the foundation’s inaugural Global Fellowship on Social Innovation–an only South African to receive the honour. Pumela has also worked as a Consultant for the World Bank, based at the organisation’s headquarters in United States, Washington D.C. and a Director: BPO at the dti, South Africa, The Director role was preceded by her position as Deputy Director for Investment Promotion at Trade and Investment South Africa. She has also been a lecturer in Strategic Brand Management at VEGA, The School of Branding.

Salela studied to complete her MBA with distinction (cum laude) in England through a Nelson Mandela Scholarship where she received the Council Award for being the Best MBA student. Pumela is the Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Scholarship Alumni Association and a Mentor to Graca Machel Scholars. She is featured in the 2013 issue of the book: South Africa’s Most Inspirational Women. She has also been featured in the 2012 issue of DESTINY magazine as one of South Africa’s Young and Powerful Achievers. In 2013 the DESTINY magazine showcased her as one of the Top 40 young leaders, innovators and job creators in South Africa. Ms Salela has served as an On-air Advisor to investors on an Entrepreneurship Television Show called Rize Mzansi (Rise South Africa).

Website
Jeremy Sampson
Managing Director
Africa

Jeremy is the managing director of Brand Finance Africa and has almost 50 years’ experience working in between London and Johannesburg in marketing, advertising, graphic design, public relations, reputation management and branding. He founded and was the Executive Chairman of the Africa operations of the international branding group, Interbrand until he stepped down in October 2014.

Jeremy himself was awarded the prestigious Financial Mail AdFocus Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2010 and holds over 100 design awards.

Today Jeremy consults/mentors/advises, sits on boards/advisory panels, writes and speaks and is very active in the media, including hosting programmes for Classic FM.

Website
Hugo Hensley
Head of Sports Services
Brand Finance
Hugo Hensley is Head of Sports Services at Brand Finance. He specialises in value-based brand strategy, technical valuations, and sports & sponsorship consulting. He has more than four years of international experience within Brand Finance in London and Sydney. He has worked for clients such as Chevron, S&P Global, Liverpool FC, and SABIC, among others. Hugo is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA) and has lectured in Brand Valuation at UNSW and Emlyon Business School. He holds a Masters in Engineering from Oxford University.
Professor Simon Chadwick
Global Professor of Sport and Director
Centre for Eurasian Sport

Simon Chadwick is Global Professor of Sport and Director of the Centre for Eurasian Sport at Emlyon Business School in Paris. His work focuses on the geopolitical economy of sport, which includes research in areas such as the role sport sponsorship plays in projecting soft power, and how soft power in sport contributes to building national competitive advantage. In addition to his academic portfolio, Chadwick has served as a consultant for sport clubs, governing bodies, mega-events, sponsors and for governments.

Website
Nick Bitel
Chief Executive
London Marathon

Nick Bitel is the Chief Executive of the London Marathon, the world’s most successful marathon, and has held that position since 1995.

Nick was the longest ever serving Chair of Sport England and Board Member of UK Sport.  Nick is also a qualified solicitor and consultant at Armstrong Teasdale. He specialises in Sports Law and numbers many major events as clients including Wimbledon and UEFA.  He is a trustee of the Wimbledon Foundation.

In 2021, the Government appointed Nick as the Non-executive Chair of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Previously, Nick was a board member of the London Legacy Development Corporation (Olympic Park) and a trustee of Wembley National Stadium Trust.

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Robert Haigh
Strategy and Insights Director
Brand Finance

Robert is Strategy and Insights Director at Brand Finance. He has a longstanding interest in sustainability and the role of brands in delivering better environmental and social outcomes. He holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Oxford, and more recently completed a course with Cambridge Judge Business School on the Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies.

Robert started his career at Brand Finance in 2009, focusing on marketing communications. He led the communications team from 2014 to 2017, increasing coverage by 2.5 times. Following a two-year MBA at London Business School, Robert worked as a strategy consultant at OC&C, conducting over a dozen projects across the CPG, retail, leisure, tech and construction sectors.

Jeff Turner
Vice-President Sustainability
Royal DSM

Jeff, a British national, joined DSM in 2008 and served in several business and strategy roles in the company before being appointed head of corporate sustainability in July 2016. In this capacity he leads DSM’s engagement across its broad ESG agenda with focus on food systems transformation within planetary boundaries and societal thresholds. He oversees DSM’s internal improvement, customer value creation and external advocacy programs in these domains. Under Jeff’s leadership, DSM was an early leader in setting an approved Science-Based Target (and delivering on-track performance towards NetZero). DSM’s sustainability performance is consistently highly rated by key ESG indices (CDP, Sustainalytics, MSCI, DJSI and FTSE4Good) Jeff is a member of the Corporate Advisory Group of the Global Environment Facility and of the Corporate Advisory Board of the We Mean Business Coalition

Prior to joining DSM, Jeff co-founded and ran a materials business development consultancy headquartered in Switzerland and was Managing Director of Brand Finance Switzerland.

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Florian Kaefer
Founder & Editor
The Place Brand Observer

Florian Kaefer, PhD is the founder and editor of The Place Brand Observer, the leading knowledge hub on place brand management and location reputation development, with a particular focus on countries. Over the last six years he has interviewed more than 240 leading place brand thinkers and practitioners, many of whom are now part of a bi-monthly expert panel hosted by TPBO, with insights published on PlaceBrandObserver.com.

Dr Kaefer obtained his PhD from the Waikato University Management School in New Zealand, for which he researched the country's national image and its perceived brand credibility as a "clean, green" country-of-origin and tourist destination. He holds a masters degree in sustainable development (Exeter University, UK) and a bachelor in tourism management (Brighton University, UK). He is the author of the book An Insider's Guide to Place Branding - Shaping the Identity and Reputation of Cities, Regions and Countries (Springer, 2021). His second book, Sustainability Leadership in Tourism, will be published this summer.

Currently based near Zurich, Switzerland, Florian is also the founder of the Sustainability Leaders Project (Sutainability-Leaders.com) and proud father of his 10 month old son.

Website
Marcel Knobil
Superbrands
Cool BrandLeaders; Creative & Commercial; Best Ads Never Seen: Brand Solidarity

Anointed the ‘Brand Guru’ by both the Times and BBC, Marcel is adept at helping build brands as well as commenting on them throughout the media. Marcel has presented various series on BBC and commercial radio and is consistently called upon by the media (including BBC TV; ITV; CNN; the Times, Telegraph, etc) to comment on branding issues. He is currently featuring in various Channel 5 programmes dedicated to telling brand stories.

Marcel is engaged to speak around the world and is responsible for twelve books on the topic including: various ‘Superbrands’ books (known as ‘brand bibles’); ‘Business Superbrands’; ‘ebrandLeaders’; ‘Cool BrandLeaders’; and  ‘Best Ads Never Seen’.

He has worked with some of the world’s strongest brands including: Apple; Chanel, Coca-Cola; Marks & Spencer; Virgin; as well as film brands including Buena Vista.

Working life began with a number of marketing companies and ad agencies, predominantly as an account director within WPP - this followed a degree in Theology and a postgraduate in Advertising (his thesis was ‘Ethical Issues in Advertising’).

Marcel has just launched Brand Solidarity uniting brands to show support for Ukraine and press for peace.

Website

In association with

BBC Global News

BBC Global News is the home of the BBC’s award-winning international news, sport and features content, which reaches 121 million people around the world on TV, online, apps and social media each week.

As the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster, they offer accurate, impartial news via our 24 hour news channel - BBC World News - and BBC.com, along with a broad range of insightful and in-depth features across BBC Worklife, BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC Reel and BBC Travel.

As a commercial arm of the BBC, they work with brands to create partnerships which connect them with our curious and globally-minded audience through bespoke branded content, sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

BBC Global News Website
International Advertising Association

The International Advertising Association is a global association that represents all areas of the marketing and communications industry.

The IAA has established itself as the "global compass" of the MARCOM industry. With our global influence, vast network, and grass roots operations, the IAA is the natural resource for the issues that confront today’s demanding and fast-changing business environment.

The IAA has established itself as the "global compass" of the MARCOM industry. With our global influence, vast network, and grass roots operations, the IAA is the natural resource for the issues that confront today’s demanding and fast-changing business environment.

International Advertising Association Website
Foreign Press Association

The FPA is a not-for-profit Friendly Society. As a member of the UK Press Card Authority, it provides official journalistic accreditation to more than 1,800 international correspondents every year. All media are represented: from print and news agencies to broadcast and digital. Freelancers are welcome in all categories. ​

The FPA is the only association that can provide foreign journalist with access to Parliament. Throughout the year, the FPA holds a wide-ranging programme of briefings, facilitating access to Government Ministers, Whitehall, the City's financial district and Royal events. We also organise book presentations, Brexit briefings, events with key politicians etc.

Foreign Press Association Website

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