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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.

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’.

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.

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.”

Whether in leading a team or negotiating, risk plays a role in all our lives. The former professional poker player (and advisor on Casino Royale) shows how to distinguish between a calculated risk and a reckless gamble. He believes there’s a long way between the edge of our comfort zone and the acceptable limits of risk in almost any organisation. Offering practical insights into the science of decision-making, Caspar helps combat the fear of short term failure. Poker School: Even if one or two guests start off not recognising a flush or a full house, the former actor and Las Vegas poker pro will soon acquaint them with all the whys and wherefores you need to outwit your opponents at T...

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.

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