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Speaker Biographies

Full speaker biographies will appear here shortly, please check back regularly for updates.


Jyrki Katainen

Jyrki Katainen

Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission


Jyrki Katainen is currently Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. He joined the Commission in July 2014 as Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the euro. Before that he served as Prime Minister of Finland from 2011 to 2014 and Minister of Finance from 2007 to 2011. From 1999 to 2014, he was a Member of Finnish Parliament for the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus). Katainen was a Member of the Finnish Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from 2003 to 2007, a Member of the Administrative Council of the Finnish Broadcasting Company from 2003 to 2005, a Member of the Finnish Delegation to the Western European Union Parliamentary Assembly from 2004 to 2005 and a Deputy Member of the Finnish Delegation to the Nordic Council from 2001 to 2003. Jyrki Katainen has an M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Tampere, Finland and he did an Erasmus exchange year at the University of Leicester, UK.

Pierre Mirlesse

Pierre Mirlesse

Vice President, Health & Public Sector, Global Industries EMEA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Pierre Mirlesse leads Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Industries Health and Public Sector (H & PS) business in the EMEA region.

Pierre joined HP in 1993, advising industries and government organisations in their Digital experience transformation.

He has held a number of executive positions around the globe including Middle East Africa Regional VP, Worldwide SMB VP based in Palo Alto, Asia Pacific sales VP, distribution Director for Emerging markets. Pierre is a recognized industry keynote speaker. He lives in Switzerland with his family.

Carlos Zorrinho

Carlos Zorrinho

MEP, European Parliament


Carlos Zorrinho (born 28 May 1959) is graduated in Business Management at the University of Évora, which later awarded him a Doctorate Degree in Information Management. He pursued his academic career as a professor at the University of Évora, becoming Full Professor of its Department of Business Administration.

Member of the National Council of the Socialist Party since 1990, he was elected for the first time for the National Parliament in 1995, by the electoral circle of Évora. He was a member of Parliament until 2000, becoming Vice-President of the Socialist Party’s Parliamentary Group in 1999.

From 1997 to 1999, he coordinated the ProAlentejo - Programme for the Integrated Development of Alentejo. In 2000, he was elected Member of the National Council for Education. Later that year, he entered office as Secretary of State Deputy to the Minister for Home Office of the XIV Constitutional Government (2000/2002).

In 2002, Carlos Zorrinho resumed his academic career at the University of Évora. After the Socialist Party won the 2005 general elections, he was appointed National Coordinator of the Lisbon Strategy and the Technological Plan, reporting directly to the Prime Minister of the XVI Constitutional Government (2005/2009). Under that capacity, he led the development of the Portuguese Digital Agenda, known as “Plano Tecnológico”, which aimed at improving the country’s competitiveness through technology, innovation and knowledge.

From 2009 to 2011, he served as Secretary of State for Energy and Innovation, within the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development of the XVII Constitutional Government. Returning to the Parliament in 2011, Carlos Zorrinho was elected Leader of the Socialist Party’s Parliamentary Group from September 2011 to 2013.

Since June 2014 Carlos Zorrinho became Member of the European Parliament and Head of the Portuguese Delegation of the Socialists & Democrats at the European parliament.
Parliamentary functions:
• Vice-Chair, Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil
• Member, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
• Member, Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
• Member, Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly
• Substitute, Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
• Substitute, Delegation for relations with Mercosur

Laurent Hublet

Laurent Hublet

Member of Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Belgian Federal Government


LAURENT HUBLET is an entrepreneur in policy making, passionate about technology and education. Laurent is an advisor to Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Digital Agenda A. De Croo where he pushes Digital Belgium, the digital strategy of the Belgian Federal government. Prior to his role in the government, Laurent was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group.
Over the last 2 years, Laurent has initiated and coordinated projects in 3 priority areas:
- The digital transformation of the economy (including tax incentives for seed capital investments, a social and fiscal framework for sharing economy or smart mobility projects)
- The development of digital skills (among others the launch of BeCode, a network a free coding schools, and BeCentral, a digital campus)
- The digital transformation of the federal administration

Laurent is also an angel investor in 18 digital start-ups (mostly in the US and emerging markets) and the co-Academic Director of an executive education programme in “Management and Philosophy” (University of Brussels).

Laurent holds Master Degrees in Management Engineering and Philosophy from the University of Brussels, and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.

Väino Olev

Väino Olev

Director of Information Technology, City of Tallinn


Currently the IT director of Tallinn City, Mr Olev is also a member of the IT board of Estonian Local Cities and Rural Associations.

In 2008 Tallinn City was elected to chair the Knowledge Society Forum (KSF). During the 2009–2010 period, Mr Olev was assigned to carry the responsibilities of Technical Chair of KSF. In 2012, he was then elected to chair EUROCITIES KSF Workgroup on Cyber Security.

Since 2011, Mr Olev has been an elected board member of The Intelligent Community Forum Foundation.

Amongst others, he is a part-time lector of the State Information Systems syllabus in the Estonian Business School and in the Estonian e-Government Academy.
Mr Olev received his M.Sc. Degree in Radio Systems Engineering from Tallinn University of Technology.

Andrea Servida

Andrea Servida

Head of Unit "eGovernment and Trust", DG CONNECT, European Commission


Andrea is the Head of the Unit "eGovernment and Trust" in Directorate General 'Communication networks, content and technology' (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission whose mission is to advance the quality and innovation of public administrations and accelerating the large-scale public sector and private sector use of trusted identification and trust services in the digital single market by leadership in the eGovernment agenda and in eIDAS.

From 2012 to June 2016, he led the eIDAS Task Force in charge of the adoption and implementation of the eIDAS Regulation (EU) N°910/2014. The purpose of the regulation is to deliver a predictable regulatory environment for electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market to boost user convenience, trust and confidence in the digital world.

From 2006 to 2012, he was Deputy Head of the Unit "Internet; Network and Information Security" in DG INFSO where he co-managed the Unit and was in charge of defining and implementing the strategies and policies on network and information security, critical information infrastructure protection, electronic signature and identification.

From 1993 to 2005, he worked in the European Commission ICT research programmes (ESPRIT, IT, IST and ICT) dealing with safety critical systems, software engineering, database technology, privacy enhancing technologies, biometrics, dependability and cyber security.

Before joining the European Commission in 1993, he worked in industry for nearly eight years as a project manager of international R&D projects on decision support systems for environmental, civil and industrial emergency and risk management.

He graduated with Laude in Nuclear Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and carried out PhD studies on fuzzy sets and artificial intelligence at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.

Nikita Stampa

Nikita Stampa

Head of Unit “Innovative and e-procurement”, DG GROW, European Commission


Since November 2013, Nikita Stampa has been head of the Innovative and e-Procurement Unit in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

He has been working in the Commission since 2001:

- in the field of international affairs to specific industrial sectors (textiles in particular),
- on economic analysis and impact assessment of EU single market policies
- in a unit in charge of the single market for services.

He holds a Master’s degree in economics from the Catholic University of Louvain and a Baccalaureate in Philosophy from the University of Saint Louis, Brussels. Before entering the Commission, he spent several years working in the field of international cooperation, mainly in Africa and South America.

Charlene Rohr

Charlene Rohr

Senior Research Leader, RAND Europe


Charlene Rohr is a senior research leader at RAND Europe. Her research interest is in understanding factors that influence mobility and travel choices, using choice modelling and qualitative methods.

Rohr has been involved in developing travel demand forecasting models in the UK, Scandinavia and Australia. She has also contributed to the design and analysis of stated preference surveys to explore consumer behaviour more broadly in the transport, health and communication sectors. She has led a number of rapid evidence reviews, including one for the UK Department for Transport to identify factors influencing the levelling off of car travel in Britain. Her work also explores the influence of technology on travel demand. In 2015-16 she led a study for Innovate UK to develop future scenarios for Britain for 2035 exploring the impact of emerging technologies, including autonomous vehicles, on travel.

Currently she is leading a study for the European Parliament to quantify the social and economic impacts of changes to the Product Liability Directive on roll out of fully autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles, which includes undertaking interviews with key stakeholders (automobile manufacturers, insurers, policy-makers) and quantifying societal costs and benefits of different legislative scenarios. She has undertaken policy studies to examine travel behaviour of concessionary pass holders and to quantify costs and benefits of concessionary schemes and to quantify the impact of migration on transport infrastructure.

Rohr received her B.Sc. in civil engineering and her M.Sc. in transportation engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Francesc Tarongí

Francesc Tarongí

Cofounder & CEO, Enertika


Francesc Tarongí is founder and CEO of ENERTIKA Group, a new concept of independent Energy Services Operator (ESCO) for public and private beneficiaries, which combines know-how from power generation, energy efficiency and energy digitalization with financial and legal structuring to create investment opportunities highly valued by major prestigious client. After nine years ENERTIKA is emerging as one of the companies ESCO leaders in Spain and with an incipient activity in Central America, Mexico and the north of Africa.

Previously Mr. Tarongí has over 20 years of experience as General Manager of the Research Center for Laser applications of Catalonia Region and Associate Professor of Applied Physics at Autonomous University of Barcelona, as well as General Manager of the Testing, Technology and Certification Division of Applus+ Company.
Executive Master in Corporate Finances & Law from ESADE Business School, PDD from IESE Business School, Industrial Engineer Degree from UPC, MSc Computer Science from American University, Corporate Finance Diploma at NY-Stern.

Marc-Elian Bégin

Marc-Elian Bégin

CEO, Co-founder, SixSq


Marc-Elian Bégin is CEO and one of the three original co-founders of SixSq. He holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, specialising in Aerospace, from Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal and has been working in the software industry since 1994. During this time, he has worked with the Canadian and European Space Agencies, as well as CERN, on distributed software systems, grid and cloud computing development projects. In 2007, inspired by a drive to evangelise cloud computing, he realised one of his dreams and founded SixSq with 2 other partners. His current focus is edge computing technologies, DevOps and hybrid cloud solutions. With SixSq software and an amazing team, he builds smart city solutions and open data access to deliver real and tangible benefits to society. He regularly talks at local, national and international events, such as CeBIT, Swiss Open Cloud Day and CloudStack Collaboration Conference. Marc-Elian enjoys living and working in Geneva, Switzerland, while trying to keep up with his two fast-growing sons.

Peter Stuckmann

Peter Stuckmann

Head of Unit Future Connectivity Systems, DG CONNECT, European Commission


Peter is managing the Commission's policy on 5G communication systems and the related research and innovation programme.

Before his appointment as Head of Unit he was managing the office of the Director General of DG CONNECT, Roberto Viola, coordinating the Commission's digital policy initiatives. The portfolio included Digital Single Market, Broadband Policy, Telecoms, Media and Online Policy, the Copyright Reform as well as the EU ICT Research and Innovation Programme.

Between 2010 and 2014 he had different roles in the Commission's telecoms policy Directorate. These included Head of Sector "Spectrum Policy", penholder of main elements of the Commission proposal on the Telecom Single Market and the Roaming regulation, and the implementation of the EU telecom rules in Germany and Austria.

Between 2005 and 2010 he coordinated the EU R&D programme leading to the 4G mobile communications standards.

Before joining the European Commission in 2004 he has occupied several engineering and management positions in industry, academia and start-ups. He holds engineering and doctoral degrees from RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

Tamas Erkelens

Tamas Erkelens

Programme Manager Data Innovation, City of Amsterdam


Tamas Erkelens is a Program Manager of Data Innovation at the Municipality of Amsterdam. He aims to add public value using data analytics. In Amsterdam, the European Capital of Innovation 2016-2017, digital social innovation is key. Connecting business, academia and local government to citizen demands local challenges are tackled . Previously, Tamas – graduated with honors as Research Master of Quantitative Social Sciences – has worked for ING as Product Owner. With a background in academia and the private sector, he aims to open Amsterdam to partners solving urban challenges. Tamas Erkelens is in his spare time a co-founder of Data Mission, a foundation connecting big data analysts to Mission driven organizations.

Marie Ranty

Marie Ranty

Policy Advisor - Public Services & Public Procurement, Eurocities


Marie Ranty works as a policy advisor on public services and public procurement at EUROCITIES, the network of major European cities, in Brussels:
She develops the strategy and coordinates the activities of EUROCITIES, on local economic development, cities’ support to entrepreneurs and SMEs, innovation policy, public services and public procurement. She advises EUROCITIES member cities on the impact of EU policies on the local economy especially on their transition to digital transformation, local innovation ecosystems, including public procurement of innovation, and the impact of EU policies such as internal market and competition.
For the last 15 years, she has worked as policy advisor for different networks, doing research and influencing work on EU policies on internal market, competition, research and innovation, and public procurement.

Lars Kølendorf

Lars Kølendorf

Director, Vertical Solutions, HPE Aruba EMEA


Lars Koelendorf is Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Director of Aruba Mobility Vertical Solutions in Europe, Middle East and Africa and is responsible for developing and driving Mobility Solutions sales and go-to-market strategy for that region. Lars’ responsibility includes solutions based on mobility networking, analytics and mobile engagement technology areas for the Hospitality, Large Public Venues, Retail, Healthcare and Education verticals.

Lars has been in the networking industry for more than 20 years and before the current role he was HP Networking’s EMEA Director of Wireless Business, and prior to that manager of the Technical Presales Group, responsible for coaching and managing HP Networking’s Technical Presales Consultants (TCs), as well as designing and deploying country TC engagement and support/escalation programs for end-users.

Lars also served as country solutions lead in Denmark for HP Networking, responsible for overseeing sales and organisational structure in that country. Prior to this role, he held the position of TC for HP Networking in Denmark.

Before Lars joined HP in 2003, he held a number of positions with industry distributor Ingram-Micro, including responsibilities for the network and storage business unit, and technical support group. He preceded that role with a position at reseller Polyteknisk Data, where he worked as a sales rep and systems engineer.

Lars holds an Executive MBA from the International University of Monaco, as well as a Certificate in Business Administration from AVT Copenhagen, in cooperation with Harvard Business School in Boston, MA.

Rui Manuel Gaspar

Rui Manuel Gaspar

Chief Technology Officer, Cloud28+


Rui is the Chief Technology Officer for Cloud28+. In his role he is responsible for supporting Cloud28+ platform, development and new solutions to address the business requirements of Cloud28+ working very closely with Xavier Poisson Indirect Digital Services team.

One of the main challenges of Cloud solutions today is the amount of things to consider when a customer or partner wants to adopt Cloud solutions. From application, to platform, localization, networking, security etc. the myriad of pieces that we need to account for are huge. This, in Rui’s vision, makes customers go back to standard solutions that they know exactly how to build.

To increase partners’ and customers’ capacities to succeed in today’s digital world, Rui initiated and continues to drive an Application catalog within Cloud28+ and is responsible for developing the Cloud28+ reference architecture that allows any customer or partner to automatically deploy any given application on premises or off premises respecting all the legal, data sovereignty, data privacy, compliance and security requirements.

Born in Portugal he is married, father of three and passionate about the sea. He maintains a 1.500l reef aquarium at home where he tries to teach his children and the local community about good husbandry, respect and sustainability for the environment.

Dirk van Brederode

Dirk van Brederode

Programme Manager, Realising Smart Cities, Municipality of the Hague


Dirk van Brederode started his career working as a lawyer specializing in large scale public infrastructure projects, for example to create agricultural ‘buffer-zones’ around rivers to absorb high water. Inspired by the rapid technological developments he has since switched to the world of IT, focusing on the realization of innovative and high-tech projects in the public sector. As such he works as programme manager for the Smart City Initiative of the municipality of The Hague. Projects Dirk now works on relate to data analytics to predict (economic) developments in the city, eHealth solutions to prepare the city for an older population and Smart Infrastructure (such as lighting) as a basis for high tech connectivity and IoT solutions.

Munir Ismet

Munir Ismet

Global Head Digital Government, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Munir Ismet is HPE’s Global Head of Digital Government and Strategic Partnerships covering Central Government, Local Government, Justice & Public Safety, Education, Defence, Healthcare and Future Cities. Munir and his team work very closely with our customers and partners (Systems Integrators and Application Software vendors) in order to help our customers achieve their objectives in Public Sector, in these very challenging times, where issues such as security, immigration and increased citizen expectations are having to be dealt with whilst facing budgetary constraints and skills shortages.

HPE has decided to focus on 4 areas in the current period, looking at Digital Transformation (move from legacy systems to the new digitial solutions), Integrated solutions (sharing of citizen data between departments), Security and Privacy (cybersecurity and data location) and the use of Big Data (data to information) for Government and Cities. HPE has extensive experience in these areas and numerous government organisations, have already benefitted from HPE’s programmatic approach to transformation and multi-cloud solutions in their quest to improve citizen services whilst reducing cost of delivery and bringing greater flexibility to their operation.

Government, Healthcare and Education sectors are key markets for HPE, wherein HPE has invested substantially in the past years and continues to do so. HPE’s innovative hardware, software, technology and services products, are created and engineered to deliver the optimum solution for these sectors and currently underpin many of the key projects across EMEA and globally, in the areas of Hybrid IT, IoT and Data Analysis.

In his 30 years in the IT industry, Munir held a number of management positions in some of the leading IT companies in the industry, focusing in Public Sector, Education, Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries. During this time, Munir has been involved in some of the leading national and regional IT projects across the globe.

Henriette van Eijl

Henriette van Eijl

Innovation and Research, DG MOVE, European Commission


Dr. Henriette van Eijl works for the European Commission, DG's MOVE in the innovation unit. She is an EC official with 15 years' experience in 3 EC Directorates-General and in a national administration, industry and academia in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. In DG MOVE, she is responsible for smart cities, the EU-USA urban freight R&D twinning programme, Horizon2020 funding for urban mobility and the ELENA urban transport technical assistance facility. Henriette has a PhD from Oxford University. In her spare time, she is a member of the Board of directors of the Klara Festival, which is the biggest classical music festival in Belgium.

Eric Gourrier

Eric Gourrier

Digital Solutions Strategist, VMware


Eric Gourrier, as Digital Solutions Strategist, has the job of developing sales strategies for major accounts and supporting VMware clients in transforming their businesses.

His target sectors include public sector, banking and industry in particular. He aims to offer high added-value benefits and encourage transformation in businesses through an understanding of new trends such as the IoT, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

In a career encompassing several senior positions in management of large companies, Eric brings over 15 years’ experience in the sales and consultancy sector. Before joining VMware in 2015, he was senior key account manager at Atos Worldline, after spending over 10 years with EMC as client solution lead then director.

Eric is a graduate of the École Centrale de Marseille and the École Polytechnique de Montréal. He holds a Franco-German executive MBA, from Essec Business School - Mannheim (2015).

Irena Bednarich

Irena Bednarich

Director Corporate Affairs, Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Irena Bednarich is Director of Corporate Affairs for Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this role, she is driving HPE’s corporate affairs strategy in the region and is supporting strategic public sector pursuits.

Irena has wide-ranging experience in representing the tech sector at European level.

She is a Board member of DIGITALEUROPE, the advocacy group acting on behalf of the information technology, consumer electronics and telecommunications sectors.

She has chaired the Digital Enterprise Group in DIGITALEUROPE for two terms and, for almost a decade, led the organisation’s Copyright Working Group. Irena has also served as President of EURIMAG, the voice of the European printing industry, based in Brussels.

Copyright policies were always at the center of her expertise. For her work and efforts on copyright levies, both in Brussels and internationally, she has been awarded the European Counsel Award for Intellectual Property 2009, granted by the International Law Office, in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Irena is fluent in Italian, Slovenian, French, English and German and has working knowledge of Spanish.
She has been awarded the title of “Alfiere del Lavoro” by the President of the Italian Republic.


Alea Fairchild

Alea Fairchild

Research Fellow, The Constantia Institute


Dr. Alea Fairchild is a Research Fellow at The Constantia Institute, which is a Brussels-based technology policy think-tank, focusing on innovation and technological advances and their impact on industry and society. As a technology commentator she has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Alea covers the convergence of technology in the cloud, mobile and social spaces and she helps global enterprises understand the competitive marketplace and to profit from digital process redesign.

Alea is passionate about commercial marketing and innovation, and as an entrepreneur, has started several companies of her own. She loves working with start-ups and actively supports VCs in due diligence work. She also assists governmental institutions on technology policy issues.

Wim Heuninck

Wim Heuninck

Smart Cities Energy Expert


Wim Heuninck is an independent advisor focused on delivery of concrete business value through technology solutions. Over the last decade, he has specialized in the Energy and Smart Cities domain, acknowledging the cities´ challenges driven by global population growth and urbanization. Wim Heuninck has developed a private marketplace which allows both private and public companies to leverage an eco-system of companies and people who can be very meaningful and valuable to the challenges on hand, ranging from the Energy to the Social domain. Currently Wim Heuninck acts as senior advisor to Accenture in the Europe, Africa and Latin America region.

Previously Mr. Wim Heuninck accumulated over 20 years of experience in senior global management roles in various Technology and Energy companies. He is an entrepreneur and active investor in start-up companies driving value to businesses and consumers.
Executive Master in Business Administration at Stanford University, Master in Applied Economics and International Law, M. Heuninck masters 6 languages and commutes between Brussels, San Francisco and Barcelona.

Paul Adamson

Paul Adamson

Chairman, Forum Europe


Paul Adamson is chairman of Forum Europe and founder and editor of E!Sharp, an online magazine dedicated to covering the European Union and Europe's place in the world.

He is a member of the Centre for European Reform’s advisory board, Rand Europe's Council of Advisors and the external advisory board of YouGov-Cambridge, a polling think-tank. He is a member of the board of advisors of the European Institute in Washington DC, the advisory board of the Washington European Society and the advisory committee of the EU chapter of Women in International Security (WiiS).

Paul is a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College London, a patron of the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES) and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.

He founded the consulting firm Adamson Associates, which was sold to Weber Shandwick and The Centre, which was later sold to Edelman.

In 2012, Paul was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to promoting understanding of the European Union”, a part of the Queen's 2012 New Year Honours Diplomatic Service and Overseas List. In 2016 he was made a Chevalier in the Ordre national du Mérite by the French government.

Brian Maguire

Brian Maguire

Journalist / Producer, EBX MEDiA


Biography to appear shortly...



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