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Think Forward: Accelerate Your Business

As businesses adopt a digital-first approach, the competitive landscape is changing. Now it's the companies with the cultural and technical agility to embrace change quickly that are setting an ever increasing pace.

So is your business clear on where it's going? What's your strategy for growth? Have you considered all the options? Join us at the Modern Business Experience to find the answers and ways of adapting to change in order to accelerate your business. Hear from thought leaders and innovators who will help you think forward and map out your journey to success.

Oracle Modern Business Experience will help you explore ways to accelerate your business through transformation and growth. Whether your role is in finance, supply chain, HR, marketing, sales, service or IT, you can gain ideas, insights and intelligence that you can put into action.

Featured Speakers

Safra A. Catz
Safra A. Catz
Chief Executive Officer,

Safra A. Catz

Safra A. Catz is chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation and a member of the company's board of directors. She previously served as president of Oracle and has also served as the company's chief financial officer. Catz first served as Oracle's chief financial officer from 2005 to 2008, as executive vice president from 1999 to 2004, and as senior vice president from April to October 1999. She served on the board of directors for HSBC Holdings, one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations, from 2008 through 2015.

Brian Cox
Professor Brian Cox OBE
CERN Physicist and Broadcaster

Professor Brian Cox OBE

Arguably the UK's best known physicist, Professor Brian Cox's books and TV programmes have been read and watched around the world and credited with making science engaging and accessible to millions. With his down-to-earth, likeable enthusiasm, Brian is frequently labelled a 'rock star scientist'. Once the keyboard player for D:Ream, he has come a long way to his position as Professor of Particle Physics at Manchester University and a key part of the ATLAS and the CERN Large Hadron Collider projects.

Brian's blockbuster TV shows include Wonders of the Universe, Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of Life, each looking at the fundamental science behind everything from stars and planets to atoms and microbiology. He has also presented Stargazing, Space Hoppers, The Big Bang and numerous editions of Horizon. His books accompanying the Wonders of... series have become huge bestsellers, as did his co-authored title Why Does E=mc2?

From speaking at TED in the US to World Economic Forums in Davos and China, Brian's presentations engage, inform and entertain featuring awe-inspiring images from the depths of the universe as well as his trademark infectious enthusiasm for his subject. Alongside the story of life, the universe and everything, Brian argues that science can unite the world in an attempt to discover our shared origins. He also explains the work of CERN and their attempts to use cutting-edge technology and engineering to recreate events fractions of a nanosecond after the Big Bang "in the hope of revealing the underlying simplicity of the universe."

An International Fellow of the Explorers Club Brian was awarded the prestigious Lord Kelvin Award for his work in promoting science to all. When not filming around the world, Brian writes for a range of newspapers and journals and co-hosts Radio 4's Infinite Monkey Cage, the comedy and science programme. He and his friend and co-host Robin Ince examine the big and not-so-big science questions alongside comedians, scientists and celebrities both on air and on tour. Brian also serves as the Royal Society's Professor for Public Engagement in Science.

Deborah Meaden
Dragons' Den Investor and Entrepreneur

Deborah Meaden

Destined to be a successful entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden launched her first business straight out of college, before setting up one of the first 'Stefanel' fashion franchises in the UK.With several businesses in the leisure and retail sector under her belt she became Managing Director of Westar Holidays, overseeing its expansion from one to five holiday parks and leading a management buyout. Deborah retained a 23% share of Westar Holidays when it was sold to Phoenix Equity Partners in 2005, before its eventual sale for £83 million in August 2007.

Perhaps best known for her appearances on the BBC2 series 'Dragons Den', Deborah joined the panel of investors for series three and has since invested in more than thirty businesses, ranging from market research to online antiques valuations and life saving equipment for hospitals.

Passionate about the environment in which we live, Deborah has judged the Observer Ethical Awards since 2008 and has invested in a number of 'sustainable' businesses and also supports a carefully selected group of environmental charities.Deborah is a Fellow of the WWF, the world's leading environmental organisation and also a Trustee for Tusk Trust, which since its formation in 1990 has raised over £30 million for a wide range of projects across Africa, with The Duke of Cambridge as its Royal Patron. Deborah is an Ambassador for Lend with Care,The Roundhouse, and a Fellow with the RSA.

Deborah has received honorary degrees from the University of Exeter Business School, Staffordshire University and Bath Spa University.

In 2012, Deborah launched Friends of the Earth's Clean British Energy campaign which calls on the Government to develop clean British power from our wind, sun and water and in the same year, acted as a Sustainability Ambassador for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Deborah acquired Fox Brothers in 2009, a historic textile firm based in the South West which was on the verge of closure and in 2011 'The Merchant Fox' was launched, an on line venture selling an exquisite collection of British-made goods with provenance.

In 2013, Deborah appeared in series 11 of Strictly Come Dancing, the popular BBC One show that pairs celebrities with professional dancers to compete in a ballroom dancing competition.

Richard Noble
Richard Noble OBE
Challenger, Entrepreneur, and Record Breaker

Richard Noble OBE

Against a background of today's low risk culture, Richard Noble specialises in developing high risk ventures. Obviously not all of them can be successful, but the Thrust2 programme which brought the World Land Speed Record back to Britain in 1983 and the Thrust SSC first ever supersonic land speed record programme are the best known.

Richard Noble's other projects include the ARV Super2 light aircraft, the Atlantic Sprinter Blue Riband contender, Programme Funding, an original television funding company, Farnborough Aircraft, the first distributed travel air taxi aircraft and currently the Mach 1.4 Bloodhound SSC project the latest in the long line of Land Speed Record cars now being run through 3600UK schools.

These projects all started very small and being original in concept attract only very limited resource. So they have to obey the rules of small company survival:

  • 1. Keep it very simple
  • 2. Build a highly-motivated, small team
  • 3. Move decisively and quickly
  • 4. Make up for the financial deficiencies with a very high level of team motivation and productivity

Working in this high risk environment can never been seen as secure or comfortable, for the financial horizon is often just days away and the company depends on its wits to survive. The upside is that we try to use flat structures wherever possible, delegating both responsibility and authority - which can result in a team which drives the project fast and across a wide front, activities which would be seriously expensive for traditionally micro-managed companies.

As an example The ThrustSSC team found itself head to head with both well funded American and Formula 1 teams. McLaren were building the Maverick supersonic car and had budgetted £25m. The Spirit of America team were reputed to have a $14m budget. The ThrustSSC team carried out the entire programme on a cash spend of £2.85m - 14% of the McLaren budget.

The projects have always tended to be innovative - and that puts them against the odds and against the system which will always favour the conventional. Whilst support in terms of people and resource tends to be forthcoming, the financial support has always been the most difficult to achieve - whether sponsorship or investment - and often because of the financial community's real doubts about the teams ability to achieve. Oddly it does seem that the higher the perceived risk by the financial people, the greater the chance of the team achieving!

As a conference and after-dinner speaker, Richard Noble illustrates the presentations with unique video and explains the huge problems in trying to persuade the old British establishment to consider and implement change and listen to original thinking - but despite the track record the British centralised funding machinery always seems to disappoint. So if the central funding machinery won't deliver then, thanks to the internet, it becomes possible to spread the risk and fund with a distributed funding system - which were key original features of SSC Programme Ltd. and Ltd.

But above all, these projects are difficult, and giving up is NEVER an option.

Sahar Hashemi
Sahar Hashemi OBE
Coffee Republic

Sahar Hashemi OBE

Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK's first US style coffee bar chain with her brother Bobby and built it into one of the UK's most recognised high street brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m. Giving up professional careers (she as a lawyer in London and Bobby as an investment banker in New York) they staked everything on a dream and made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the coffee revolution that transformed the UK high street.

Sahar left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and published a bestselling book Anyone Can Do It –Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table, which has been translated into 6 languages and is 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson.

In 2005 she founded Skinny Candy, a brand of sugar free sweets, labelled hip by Vogue magazine. Skinny Candy was sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten PLC in 2007.

Her most recent book, Switched On, published in 2010, focuses on 8 habits that foster a more entrepreneurial mindset for employees. It is based on her experience of the transformation in culture when a small entrepreneurial company becomes big and successful, when the obvious and easy entrepreneurial habits are often forgotten as bureaucracy take over.

In 2011 Sahar was nominated by Director Magazine as one of its Top 10 Original Thinkers, alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Jonathan Ive. The magazine praised her view that entrepreneurially minded talent shouldn't have to leave large corporations in order to achieve fulfilment. Entrepreneurial behaviour, including ideas like bootstrapping, prototyping and celebrating failure, can help turn stuffy corporations into creative environments. They can also transform automatons into valued, engaged employees.

In 2011 she was invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to give informal personal advice to the government on enterprise policies.

In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity.

Anita Anand
Anita Anand
Journalist and Broadcaster

Anita Anand

Anita Anand is a BBC news and politics broadcaster. She took over from Jonathan Dimbleby as host of Radio 4's debate programme Any Answers. She previously co-presented The Daily Politics with Andrew Neil and also Double Take, 5Live's Sunday morning show exploring the stories behind the headlines.

Starting her career at Zee TV, Anita was one of the youngest news editors in the country. She went on to become the channel's political correspondent and made a series of documentary films about the political aspirations of Asian communities in marginal constituencies before the 1997 election. She then became co-host of Radio 5 live's Drive.

Combining wit and insight, Anita's breadth of knowledge and skill at thinking on her feet make her a popular live host for a wide variety of audiences. Anita has also presented Beyond Westminster, the Westminster Hour, Midweek and Saturday Live for Radio 4, and Have Your Say on the BBC World Service. She has written for The Independent, Guardian, Asian Age and India Today, and is the author of the acclaimed Sophia - Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, a biography of an Indian princess who was a key figure during one of the most fascinating periods of her country's, and the British Empire's, history.

James Woudhuysen
Professor James Woudhuysen
Innovation Forecaster,
South Bank University

James Woudhuysen

Aside from his many other roles, James Woudhuysen was for 19 years Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University. His ability to spot trends before many of his peers, and his habit of delivering often surprising conclusions and advice based on them, has marked him out as an iconoclast in the world of futurism and innovation.

From the early days of IT when, in 1981, James stated that the main issue IT had to tackle was that of the user interface, he has consistently warned and predicted correctly. He foresaw the dot com crash, the success of 3G, and the need for mass produced housing whilst many in their respective industries still held contrary views. With an understanding of every sector from telecoms to transport, energy to economics, retail to construction, the only areas immune from his insight are the weather, the stock market, and personal predictions of health, wealth and happiness.

Starting his career in journalism, James then joined innovation and design consultancy Fitch as their head of research before leading global market intelligence for electronics company Philips. He also served as IT consultant at The Henley Centre for Forecasting and Director of the acclaimed product design practice, Seymour Powell. Today, he writes and broadcasts on design and innovation in the fields of work, IT, consumers, the environment, cities, education and business.

In speeches James shows how future trends can inform decisions on strategy, research and development, innovation, marketing and design. With specialist international knowledge across business and domestic use of IT, energy and retail his themes extend from product development and regulation to the need for organisations to take risks.

With humour and insight, James frequently challenges faddish, politically correct ideas and contrasts the creative potential we all have with the deadening effect of conventional wisdom. He also offers a witty but serious undermining of myths in almost every field.

Noreena Hertz
Professor Noreena Hertz
ITV Economics Editor, Economist, Writer and Campaigner

Professor Noreena Hertz

Noreena Hertz is an acclaimed economist, writer and campaigner. ITV's Economics Editor, she is responsible for breaking stories and delivering the latest news from business and the markets. Her writing and other work encompasses decision-making, strategy, markets, and globalisation. A best-selling author, she has advised some of the world's top CEOs and national leaders on economic, geopolitical and business decisions.

After graduating from university at just 19 and finishing her MBA at Wharton two years later, by the age of 23 she was advising the Russian government on its post-Communist economic reforms at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). She moved to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and studied for her PhD in economics and business (specialising in Russian business and reform) before working with the governments of Israel, Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan on the Middle East Peace Process. She has been cited as a leading voice on global economics and sustainability, a source of new ideas in these areas, and as an inspiring figure.

Noreena's books have been translated into 18 languages. Her first, IOU: The Debt Threat and Why We Must Defuse It looked at development economics and politics in developing countries whilst also pre-empting the 2008 financial crisis. In The Silent Takeover, she anticipated that unregulated markets and massive financial institutions would have serious global repercussions. Her latest book Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World examines decision making in a maelstrom of data and information competing for our attention, addressing how to filter and focus on the valuable elements.

Before joining ITV Noreena regularly contributed to media from the BBC and CNN to the FT and WSJ and from Nature to Wired. She has spoken for both TED and the World Economic Forum, worked on the RED campaign and Make Poverty History, led the Mayday for Nurses campaign, was a Trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research and on the board of Warner Music Group.

Ray Hammond
Ray Hammond
Futurist and Author

Ray Hammond

For over 30 years Ray Hammond has researched, written, spoken and broadcast about how major trends will affect society and business in the future. He is also a successful and proven business leader and serial entrepreneur with hands-on experience of creating, building and leading thriving businesses. In 2010 he was honored with a UN gold medal for services to futurology by Mikhail Gorbachev. In the accompanying citation President Gorbachev said "We are delighted to honor Ray Hammond for his constant commitment to research and for his stunning speculations about the future enlightened by scientific knowledge and an evident concern for humankind." Hammond is the author of 17 books about the future, a body of work which he began in 1980 and which stands as testament to the long-term accuracy and reliability of his foresight. He is now living in the future he first described over three decades ago. The On-Line Handbook (1984) was the world's first book to identify the importance of the Internet and to identify 'search' as the driving force behind on-line advertising and e-commerce. His ground-breaking publication The Modern Frankenstein (1986) became the first book to predict the importance of DNA analysis, genetic engineering, cloning and the emergence of super-intelligent machines that may become rivals to the human species later in the 21st Century. In 1996 his international best-seller Digital Business provided a blueprint for Web commerce and provided a business plan for online retail enterprises. He is also the author of four futuristic novels and his books have been best-sellers in the USA, UK, France, Spain, Poland, Japan and China. In addition, the Intel Corporation commissioned Ray to write a short story based on Intel's research for The Morrow Project. As a gifted and inspirational keynote speaker, Hammond is in world-wide demand by business, governments and non-government organizations. His speaking topics include the impact of technology and innovation on business growth, the importance of sustainable business models and the continuing significance of globalization. He also provides many academic lectures around the world, and is a contributor to the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, U.S.A. and he is an elected Fellow of the U.K.'s Royal Society of Arts (F.R.S.A.) and an elected Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (F.W.I.F.), a Swiss-registered charity which counts 91 Nobel-laureate scientists among its 3,000 strong fellowship. Currently, Ray Hammond is working on a book called "Smart bodies: How digital technology will transform your health".

Costas Markides
Professor Costas Markides
Innovation Expert, and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship,
London Business School

Costas Markides

Costas Markides is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and holds the Robert P. Bauman Chair of Strategic Leadership at the London Business School (University of London). A native of Cyprus, he received his BA (Distinction) and MA in Economics from Boston University, and his MBA and DBA from the Harvard Business School.

He serves on the Editorial Boards of several academic journals including the Strategic Management Journal, the Academy of Management Journal, the Sloan Management Review and the European Management Journal. He is a member of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society and was a presenter at the World Economic Forum in Davos during 1999-2003 and in 2012.

He has done research and published on the topics of strategic innovation, business-model innovation, diversification and international acquisitions. His book: All the Right Moves: A Guide to Crafting Breakthrough Strategy was published by Harvard Business School Press in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Igor Ansoff Strategic Management Award in 2000 as the best strategy book of the past two years. His next book (with Paul Geroski), entitled Fast Second: How Smart Companies Bypass Radical Innovation to Enter and Dominate New Markets was published in January 2005 and was on the Short List of the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs Management Book of the Year in 2005. His latest book was entitled: Game-Changing Strategies: How to Create new Market Space in Established Industries by Breaking the Rules and was published by Jossey-Bass in June 2008. He is currently working on his new book (with Anita McGahan), provisionally entitled: Architects of Change: How ordinary people bring about social change.

His current research interests include the management of diversified firms and the use of innovation and creativity to achieve strategic breakthroughs.

David MacLeod
David MacLeod OBE
Employee Engagement Task Force

David MacLeod OBE

David MacLeod joined the Dulux paint marketing team after university. He rose to the position of Head of Marketing where under his leadership company significantly strengthened the brand innovated in the difficult, competitive sector.

After being appointed MD of a European branch of the Dulux business David then became a Divisional CEO in ICI which was formed by bringing together five separate businesses to form a global organisation of 3,500 people with sales of over €1billion. Profits were significantly enhanced through the merger process. He has since managed businesses in each of the five largest countries in Europe and served on the boards of companies in Europe, North America, Korea and Russia. He has also worked as a senior advisor on change and performance at the Cabinet Office and also at Towers Perrin.

David co-authored The Extra Mile: How to engage your people to win. With his colleague Nita Clarke he was invited to write the Engagement in the UK report, resulting in the publication of Engaging For Success (also known as the MacLeod Report) and the setting up of the Engage for Success Movement. David is co-chair of the government sponsored, employer led Employee Engagement Task Force.

David is now a visiting professor at the Cass business school and a fellow of the Ashridge business school. He is an associate of the Institute for Government, and a fellow of the Institute of Marketing.

Roberto Verganti
Roberto Verganti
Professor of Leadership and Innovation, Politecnico di Milano

Roberto Verganti

Roberto Verganti is Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, where he directs Leadin'Lab, the laboratory on the LEAdership, Design and INnovation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School twice. Roberto serves on the European Design Leadership Board of the European Commission, where he is also an advisor to Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

Roberto's research focuses on how leaders and organizations create innovations that people love. He explores how to generate radically new visions, and make those visions come real. His studies lie at the intersection between leadership, design and technology management. In his research Roberto combines methodologies of in-depth analysis of cases with experimentations with pioneering firms, in a variety of industries and contexts.

Roberto is the author of "Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas", published by MIT Press in 2017, where he provides processes and methods to create breakthrough visions. He is also the author of "Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean", published by Harvard Business Press in 2009, selected by the Academy of Management as one of the best 6 management books published in 2008 and 2009.

Roberto has issued more than 150 articles, including "Developing Products on Internet Time" published on Management Science, and "Innovating Through Design", "Which Kind of Collaboration is Right for You", "Designing Breakthrough Products", and "The Innovative Power of Criticism" all published on the Harvard Business Review. He has been featured on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, BusinessWeek and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online magazine.

Roberto, together with his team of likeminded researchers-consultants, has served as advisor to executives and senior managers at a wide variety of manufacturing and service firms including Ferrari, Ducati, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Gucci, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Zappos, Microsoft, IBM, Vodafone, Whirlpool, Nestlè, L'Oréal, ABB, Bausch&Lomb, Prysmian, Tetrapak, ARUP, SKY NewsCorp., Deloitte. He has also helped national and regional governments around the world to conceive design and innovation policies.

Steve Daheb
Steve Daheb
Senior Vice President, Oracle Cloud,

Steve Daheb

Steve Daheb is senior vice president for Oracle Cloud; he joined the company in 2015. He brings to Oracle a strong record of building businesses, creating new categories, and driving integrated sales and marketing execution to achieve revenue growth.

Daheb is responsible for driving the global transformation and growth of key Oracle Cloud portfolio offerings including all PaaS and IaaS. His responsibilities include full go-to-market strategy and execution to achieve top-line growth of Oracle's cloud business.

Prior to joining Oracle, Daheb was chief marketing officer at Citrix. There he had global responsibilities for all corporate, solutions, product, and partner marketing. Prior to joining Citrix, Daheb served as the chief marketing officer at Blue Coat, a leading provider of web security and WAN optimization solutions. He helped lead the $1.3B sale of Blue Coat to a private equity firm. Previous to Blue Coat, he was chief marketing officer and senior vice president of business development at Emulex Corporation. Before that, Daheb held marketing, sales, and business development leadership roles at BlueArc Corporation (acquired by Hitachi Data Systems), Tasman Networks (acquired by Nortel), Brocade, and Lucent.

In 2010, Daheb was named a top 10 CMO by the CMO Institute and the American Business Awards named him one of the top 10 Marketing Executives in the United States. In 2012, the American Business Awards named Daheb as one of the Top Technology Executives of the Year.

Daheb holds a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a BA from the University of California at Davis.

Joanna Fielding
Joanna Fielding
Chief Financial Officer,
HSBC Global Service Companies

Joanna Fielding

In her newly created role, Joanna is responsible for operationalising the global services company structure for HSBC. A passionate change agent, Joanna initiated and is responsible for the Oracle Fusion Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Performance Management program across HSBC, providing an integrated financial management platform for HSBC Global Services and a cost subledger for the HSBC Group. She is a member of the global chief operating officer and finance leadership teams. Joanna was with Standard Chartered Bank for 17 years and held numerous financial positions in London, New York, Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai, latterly as CFO, EMEA & the Americas.

Matthew Guest
Matthew Guest
Founder and Head of Deloitte's Digital Strategy Practice, Europe,

Matthew Guest

Matthew Guest is the founder and Head of Deloitte's Digital Strategy Practice in Europe. He began his career by launching two successful technology startups and after selling these businesses became an advisor to major corporates, helping them to launch radically more productive digital businesses by incorporating the innovative practices of startups into their business practices. In this capacity he has helped businesses in Europe, the US, Asia and Africa launch fast growing products and services in the media, insurance, telecoms, consumer goods and high technology sectors. He has also worked to transform a number of public sector organisations to adapt and thrive in the face of demand increases and budget cuts by using the cultures and working practices of the digital economy.

Aside from his client work, Matthew is a thought leader in digital and a prolific commentator on the sector. His publications include the five part series Digital Leadership, the annual Media Consumer Survey study into the habits of today's audience and the three part Future of News series in collaboration with the Associated Press.

Discover Practical Ways To Accelerate Your Business

Modern Business Experience will help you explore ways to accelerate your business through transformation and growth. Whether your role is in finance, supply chain, HR, marketing, sales, service or IT, you can gain ideas, insights and intelligence to put into action.

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