Dr. Abimbola is a trade, regional integration, political risk, and extractive industries specialist with over 12 years experience in the coordination and implementation of policy-related social and economic research. He previously worked as Trade and Regional Integration Expert at the African Development Bank, and as Head of R&D at OpenOil, a Berlin-based financial analysis firm. He also lectures at Humboldt University and holds a Masters in Development Studies from Uppsala University as well as a Ph.D. in economic anthropology from the Max Planck Institute.
Jessica Berlin is a public-private sector strategist with a knack for turning ideas into reality. She has worked over 12 years in foreign policy, economic development, and entrepreneurship in Asia, EMEA, and the US. Drawing on this cross-cutting expertise, Jessica specializes in designing innovative programs and partnerships that create both business growth and development impact. She holds an M.Sc. in Political Economy of Emerging Markets from King's College London, a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University, and speaks five languages.
Chris creates development impact in emerging markets at the intersections of entrepreneurship, technology, and financial inclusion. Following a decade-long career in management consulting in Africa, Asia, and Latin America at Deloitte, Chris spent five years working for entrepreneurship, banking sector reform, and sustainable development initiatives in West Africa focused on fintech, edtech, capacity building, regulatory supervision, social business promotion, and impact investing. He holds a B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota.
Dr. Friederici is a leading expert on digital entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in emerging markets. He specializes in research, analysis, and M&E, and has consulted and led programs for the Oxford Internet Institute, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, and the World Bank. His doctoral dissertation explored tech innovation hubs in Africa. Nicolas holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University, an M.A. from Michigan State, and a Diplom from the University of Cologne. He is a Clarendon and Fulbright Scholar.
Sainabou Jallow is an international development and social enterprise professional with 3+ years experience coordinating projects on education, entrepreneurship, civil society, and youth empowerment for the African Development Bank and German organizations active in Africa. She holds an M.Sc. in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, a B.A. in Economics and International Affairs from University of Georgia, and speaks four languages.
Thomas Kalunge is a design thinking trainer and business analyst. He has worked with multinationals, startups, and nonprofits in business modelling, product management, strategy, and research. A Hasso Plattner Institute-certified Design Thinking specialist, Thomas helps clients build solutions involving the end user from start to finish. He holds an M.Sc. in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from the Technische Universität Berlin and a B.A. in International Business from the HTW Berlin.
Muhammad Khan is a financial services expert specializing in BOP customer engagement, fintech, and program management. From founding a renewable energy company to managing sales for an international retailer, to advising banks on corporate innovation strategy, his 12+ year career has spanned a broad spectrum of business and finance. A Fulbright Scholar and Acumen Fellow, Muhammad holds an M.B.A and Post-Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Enterprise from Syracuse University, and a B.Sc. in Economics from the Lahore School Of Economics.
Dr. Sean Lee's passion is crafting novel approaches to grand challenges. He focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and development finance. Grounded in 20+ years experience as a manager, entrepreneur and consultant with companies ranging from startups to corporates and institutions from the European Investment Bank to Boston University, Sean approaches every problem from first principles and non-stop data-binging. He holds a Diplom Physik from the Universität Karlsruhe, a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Florida, and several patents.
Wadzi Motsi-Khatai is a management, policy, and development professional. She has broad experience working with policy makers and international public and nonprofit institutions, having managed a public health programs portfolio in Southern Africa. As a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, she also supported governance and civil society organizations in Asia, Europe, North Africa, and West Africa on program development. Wadzi has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Grinnell College.
Babajide is an engineer, design thinking expert, and entrepreneur. He has worked in research positions at Wuppertal Institute and ESA BIC, as a product engineer at Faunder Energy in Berlin, and is completing a PhD at the Hasso-Plattner Institut. Babajide holds a M.Sc. in Global Production Engineering from the Technische Universität Berlin, a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from Covenant University, Ota in Nigeria, and a Climate Knowledge and Systemic Innovation certification from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
Andrew Sekandi has helped investors, entrepreneurs, and companies succeed in emerging markets for over 10 years. He advises senior executives on market expansion, business development, due diligence, and risk mitigation across Africa. Previously, Andrew practiced law in Namibia before working in senior roles at Control Risks, Kroll, and KPMG in London. He has advised projects in 15+ African markets, ranging from multi-million dollar deals for FTSE companies to supporting startups and NGOs. Andrew holds a B.A. LLB from the University of Cape Town.
Cheng Yu builds bridges between European and Chinese technology companies, and is a social enterprise expert with ten years' experience. As German Chancellor Fellow, she was a visiting scholar at Social Impact GmbH in Berlin. Previously, Cheng helped shape the nascent social entrepreneurship ecosystem in China through her work with major foundations in Beijing. Cheng is a registered social worker and holds a Masters of Social Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.