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Keynote Speakers

Professor Chris Baker is William Temple Professor of Religion and Public life at Goldsmiths, University of London He is also Director of Research at the William Temple Foundation. He is a leading authority on the interaction between religion, belief and public life and has researched and published extensively in the field in the UK, Europe Australia and the US. His work has focussed on civic and political engagement and urban development, as well as issues relating to human happiness and wellbeing, and is increasingly engaging with leadership and change management. Central to his work are ideas of spiritual capital and the postsecular pubic sphere. He engages with audiences across academia, the public and private sector, faith groups, charity and voluntary sectors, as well as policy.

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Professor Stuart Hart is the Steven Grossman Endowed Chair in Sustainable Business at the University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business and Co-Director of the School’s new Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA (SEMBA) Program.  Bloomberg Businessweek has described him as “one of the founding fathers of the ‘base of the pyramid’ economic theory.”  Previously, he was the S. C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management.  Founder and President of Enterprise for a Sustainable World and the BoP Global Network, his over 70 articles and eight books have received more than 30,000 Google Scholar citations.  His article “Beyond Greening: Strategies for a Sustainable World” won the McKinsey Award for Best Article in the Harvard Business Review for 1997 and helped launch the movement for corporate sustainability.  Hart’s best-selling book, Capitalism at the Crossroads, is amongst Cambridge University’s top 50 books on sustainability of all-time.

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Professor Irene Ng is the Director of the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation and the Professor of Marketing and Service Systems at WMG, University of Warwick. She is also the Chairman of the Hub-of-all-Things (HAT) Foundation Group. A market design economist, Professor Ng is an advisor to large organisations, startups and governments on design of markets, economic and business models in the digital economy.

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Dr. D. Michael Shafer, Founder, Warm Heart Worldwide, Professor (Emeritus) International Political Economy, Rutgers University (BA Yale, PhD Harvard, Council on Foreign Relations, 21st Century Trust Fellow), manages the Warm Heart Foundation, a grassroots community development organization serving northern Thailand. Dr. Shafer is an award-winning teacher who has published widely and consults globally. Dr. Shafer’s articles have appeared in such journals as Comparative Politics, Foreign Policy, and International Organization and his books have been published by Cornell, Princeton and Beacon. Prior to retiring from Rutgers in 2008 to found Warm Heart, Dr. Shafer worked to transform universities throughout the newly democratic world with funds from foundations, the European Union, USAID, and the US State Department. He also created Global PACT, a citizenship, civic engagement and democratic capacity building program run in both post-war reconciliation (in the Balkans) and poverty-redreduction trainings (Brazil, Cambodia, Mongolia, South Africa and Thailand). Today Dr. Shafer focuses on Warm Heart, climate change mitigation and poverty reduction through education and entrepreneurship. The Government of Canada and the United States Department of State have supported his most recent climate change work in Thailand, while both private and government funders have supported his work in China. Recent publications have appeared in the Council on Foreign Relations Development Channel, in Eco-Business (Singapore) and in The Nation (Thailand), and under the impress of the International Biochar Initiative.

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Professor Peter Shaw was a Director General in the UK Government and worked in five different UK Government Departments. In his second career as an Executive Coach he has worked with senior leaders and teams across 6 continents enabling them to step up to address major new challenges.  He has written 25 influential books on aspects of leadership with the latest ones being '100 Great Leading Well Ideas' and 'The Reluctant Leader: coming out of the shadows'.  He is a Visiting Professor of Leadership Development at Newcastle and Chester Universities and is a Professorial Fellow at St John's College Durham. 

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Professor Steven Vargo is a Shidler Distinguished Professor and Professor of Marketing at the University of Hawai’i and has held visiting positions at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, the University of Warwick, Karlstad University, the University of Maryland, Collage Park, the University of Auckland, and a number of other major universities, as well as VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. Prior to entering academics, he had a career in entrepreneurial business and has consulted for a variety of major national, regional, and local corporations and governmental agencies.

Professor Vargo’s primary areas of research are marketing theory and thought and marketing strategy. He has had articles published in the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Service Research, the Journal of Retailing, and other major marketing journal sand books. He also serves on editorial review/advisory boards of 14 journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and the Journal of Service Research, and has served as editor or co-editor of 17 special issue/sections of various journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and MIS Quarterly. Together with Robert Lusch, he has published two books, including one recently released by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Vargo has received the Harold H. Maynard Award by the American Marketing Association for “significant contribution to marketing theory and thought,” the AMA/Sheth Foundation Award for “long term contributions to the field of marketing” and the Evert Gummesson Award for outstanding research, among other awards. Thomson-Reuters has identified him as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds/Highly Cited Researchers (top 1%) in economics and business for three consecutive years (2014 – 2016)

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Ann Francke

CEO, Chartered Management Institute

Ann is a transformational leader with vision, pace and proven ability in increasing impact of management and leadership excellence.  She is an expert on gender balance in the workplace and on the gender pay gap.

Ann has authored ‘Financial Times Guide to Management’, holds advisory board positions at Grant Thornton International, and has been named in the top 100 women to watch in the 2015 Female FTSE Cranfield report. Ann was awarded the MemCom ‘Louis Armstrong award for outstanding leadership of a UK professional body’ in 2016.

Ann previously held Senior Executive positions at: Procter and Gamble, Mars, Boots, Yell and BSI.

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Christian Grönroos is professor emeritus of service and relationship marketing at Hanken School of Economics, Finland and founder of its research and knowledge centre CERS Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management. He is one of the early researchers pioneering the fields of service marketing and relationship marketing. He has written extensively about value creation and other aspects of the service perspective on marketing and business. In 2013 he was selected Legend in Marketing by the Sheth Foundation. His most recent book is Service Management and Marketing: Managing the Service Profit Logic, 4th edition, published in 2015 by John Wiley.

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