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As a junior officer taking command of the ‘worst-performing ship in the Pacific Fleet’ Mike faced a daunting challenge and a test of his leadership. From his first day he looked at the ship from the crew’s point of view, empowering them, opening up lines of communication, and putting them at the core of the ship’s values. A year from him taking over the ship was rated as the best in the Navy. His lessons in culture, motivation and unity have spread beyond the military and into business, helping all organisations to be the best and prepare for the future.

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.

Having organised security for big national and royal events, Andrew was an obvious choice to take on the security of the London 2012 Olympics. Covering everything from on-site petty criminality to terrorism and large-scale cyber attacks, Andrew looks at the threats any organisation might now face and how they dealt with them during the ‘greatest show on Earth’.

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.

Sanjay lectures at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and the Tata Management Training Centre. He’s also consulted for start-ups and held senior retail roles across the region. Sanjay paints a picture of the emerging economic superpower, where you can now compare the malls in festive season with the crowds at Kumbh Mela. He looks at consumer trends and the challenge for brands in a country with 12 million outlets and a rapidly growing, media-savvy middle class.

Javier is an eminent cognitive psychologist, and an authority in leadership development. He challenges the conventions of talent management, arguing it’s not about hiring the right types or imposing change. Instead the focus must be on creating the culture to drive change. He also shows that the most successful leaders align their beliefs, promises and actions. We become so intent on short-term results that we start to forget there is purpose as well as profit.

After joining the board of ITV, setting up her own company and serving as SVP in charge of International Sales at media giant Viacom, Cally has also started a parallel career in comedy. She brings humour and energy to workplace insights ranging from how to foster a creative, positive environment to how to inspire and lead through change.

David holds non-Executive board positions in bus and airport operators. He also advises national and local government on roads and rail, and lectures on transport policy. David accepts that HS2 and airport expansion are huge challenges, and adds Highways Agency reform: “The way in which we run our roads is like the last remnant of a Stalinist state. We ration demand by queuing, just as the former Soviet Union used to ration bread.”

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