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Helen ran The Economist’s information analysis unit before taking over as CEO, doubling circulation and leading expansion overseas. She was then appointed President of the CBI. Now back in publishing, Helen talks about industries in transition, a flexible labour market, governance and how to rebuild confidence. With many businesses in recovery mode, she warns against a ‘static’ response to external factors and argues for more focus on the core workforce.

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.

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.

Attali has served as Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and chaired a Sarkozy commission examining the obstacles to French growth. He advocates deregulation, major investment in education and greater communication. Attali’s latest book, A Brief History of the Future, argues that by 2100 individual countries will have disappeared. What we need, as present crises in finance and climate show, are functioning world institutions and a global rule of law.

As Virgin Galactic’s first full-time employee, Stephen laid the foundations to turn one of the world’s most ambitious projects into a profitable business in tune with the parent brand. Working alongside technical and engineering functions, he’s responsible for sales and marketing, licensing and partnerships. Showing awe-inspiring film clips, Stephen describes the dawn of a new space age, and how huge innovations will affect conventional air travel.

James concentrates on the relationship between emerging technologies and the way we live, work and do business. He considers the age of ‘big data,’ the ageing population and the rise of a billion-strong global middle class. He also assesses the consequences of the shift in the balance of economic power and its impact on the world’s financial centres.

The former banker was the first outsider brought in by the two founders of Skype. James has since built, advised and invested in a series of digital businesses. He also led the online transformation of Condé Nast brands like Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair. As the second generation of disruptors take aim, James reveals their thinking and positive paranoia. He also explains why the challenge for ‘legacy companies’ is not technical implementation, but shifting cultural attitudes.

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.

Dave specialises in electronic payment technology and digital money, including online and mobile. In presentations he weighs up perceptions and looks at the pitfalls of the death of money – especially digital security. With M2M transactions commonplace, Dave accepts that proof of identity is key to new payment systems, but what are the implications if identity itself becomes a commodity? What opportunities might a cashless society uncover?

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