Dr. Olumide Abimbola is a trade, political risk, and extractive industries specialist with over 12 years experience in policy-related social and economic research. Previously, he worked as Trade and Regional Integration Expert at the African Development Bank, and as Head of R&D at OpenOil, a financial analysis firm. He is a Lecturer at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin and holds a Masters in Development Studies from Uppsala University, as well as a Ph.D. in economic anthropology from the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.
Jessica Berlin is a strategy consultant and political economist with a knack for turning ideas into reality. She has worked for over 10 years in strategy, analysis, and program management with public, private, and nonprofit organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the US. Drawing on cross-cutting technical knowledge and broad international experience, Jessica designs agile, multidisciplinary programs to address complex challenges. She holds an M.Sc. in Political Economy of Emerging Markets from King's College London and a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.
With a foundation in the technology industry, Nitin Dahad works with industry and governments globally as an advisor, marketing and growth strategist, and thought leader. For over 30 years, he's evangelized new technologies that have become mainstream, advised on the impact of tech and entrepreneurship on economic development, and worked with governments on international trade and inward investment. He specializes on anything underpinned by technology – from chips, mobile, and IoT to smart cities, logistics, pharmaceuticals, and tech-based economic development.
Dr. Nicolas Friederici is an expert on digital entrepreneurship and innovation hubs in emerging markets. He specializes in research, analysis, monitoring, and evaluation, and has consulted for the Oxford Internet Institute and the World Bank, covering cities from Lagos through Yerevan to Dhaka. His doctoral dissertation explored technology 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.
Dr. Sean Lee's passion is crafting novel approaches to grand challenges. He focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and development finance. In applying his 20+ years experience as a manager, entrepreneur and consultant, Sean approaches every problem from first principles and non-stop data-binging. He has worked across the spectrum of tech innovation, from startups to corporates, universities, and finance institutions. Sean holds a Diplom Physik from the Universität Karlsruhe, a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Florida, and several patents.
Felix Haas is an industrial policy and private sector development specialist. Based in Myanmar, he works with the public, private, and nonprofit sector to build partnerships between entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors, and researchers that promote sustainable, commercially viable business innovation, with emphasis on industrial development. Felix holds an M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Technische Universität Berlin, studied management at Toulouse Business School.
Wadzi Motsi-Khatai is a management, policy, and development professional. She has broad experience working with policy makers, 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.
Thomas Kalunge is a business strategist with diverse experience and broad expertise. He has worked with multinationals, startups, and nonprofits in business modelling, product management, innovation, strategy, and research. A Hasso Plattner Institute-certified Design Thinking specialist, Thomas designs solutions that involve 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.
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.