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As Zopa co-Founder and CEO, James was a pioneer in peer-to-peer lending. Putting those with a small amount to invest in front of reliable borrowers has proved a successful business model, creating what is now globally £100bn sector. James is now helping organisation make more informed strategic choices as part of FutureAgenda.org, the world’s largest open foresight programme. In presentations he examines disruption across a range of industries and considers how long-established organisations can drive innovation and be better prepared for the future.

A career ad man, Kevin Allen was notable for leading the pitch on the famous Mastercard ‘Priceless’ campaign. His account skills have been applied as Director of Global Accounts and Chief Growth Officer for some of the world’s biggest ad agencies. He now looks at how companies can grow, where the opportunities lie, and how great leadership inspires the greatest asset - the workforce.

Kate provides trend forecasts for retailers, products and brands. She analyses the key shifts in consumer expectations, retail and technology – tapping into a vast network of designers, architects, technologists, academics and strategists. Her findings show where to adapt, innovate and invest resources. In speeches Kate explores the behaviour of online shoppers, the use of café culture, the latest developments in GPS and the rise of ‘on-demand’ operators.

Simon has developed software that connects print buyers to expensive presses across the country that are sitting idle at their time of need. Seeing himself as an ‘open and honest rule-breaker’, he has already grown the start-up into a £30m turnover enterprise. Simon puts their success down to recruiting the best talent they can find and sharing the rewards. Each ‘webmarteer’ then receives as much training and mentoring as they want – and the chance to teach at the firm’s school in Ethiopia.

Blanchard’s seminal management guide has sold over ten million copies worldwide. It demonstrates his gift for unravelling complexities, providing crucial insights and advice on how to act on them. A compelling and humorous speaker, he is dedicated to helping leaders merge human values with strong business practices.

Training often involves case studies, but rarely are they enacted right in front of you and based on the actual issues confronting your organisation. A group of actor-trainers, schooled in HRD, show participants some of the behaviours that impede progress. After witnessing distinctly imperfect (sometimes comical) scenarios on anything from customer service skills to the way we react to change, they’re invited to direct the action themselves.

When he isn’t pursuing his second career as a club comedian, the former MD of bmibaby uncovers the truth about airport check-ins, customer relations, in- flight communication and other joys of 21st century travel. In conferences he looks at the valuable lessons for any business dealing with the public. After dinner, audiences are also invited to practise safety procedure, but not quite as we know it.

In his early career Geoff was often thought of as a disruptive influence; today they say ‘change agent’. In Self Made Me he considers how virtually any SME can be successful – even in troubled times. Slaying a sacred cow or two in a very entertaining speech, he believes we’ve had enough of ‘soaring with eagles’. Geoff provides empirical data, hard facts to convert into improving the business: “Finding and keeping customers is the only activity that matters.”

Brimful of passion for engineering, Will is helping to revive UK manufacturing prowess. Brompton design, produce and distribute 50,000+ folding bicycles each year from their London factory – with half the 1200 parts made onsite. Exports account for 80% of sales. With cycle hire stations, Brompton Junction stores and retailers in 44 world markets, they continue to explore new markets and innovations from the addition of electric motors to the connected bike. Riding onto the stage, Will explains his belief in ‘built-out’ obsolescence.

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