Our Guests






Jens Hansen
Jens Hansen

Jens Hansen is an executive and non-executive leadership advisor. He inspires and advises on leadership, culture and business transformation and futurizing to the digitalized and socialized 21st century.

Jens is intensively working with leadership values and cultures, strategy, business model innovation and customer centricity under digital disruption. Many of his consulting engagements are industry disruption or post-merger leadership guidance for fast adaptation and building resilience to constant change, while maintaining the required market initiative.

Currently, Jens holds active advisory and leadership positions with The Futures Agency, Future Associates and Cimbria Capital.

Adriana Marais
Adriana Marais

Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist and aspiring extraterrestrial, believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth. Developments in science and technology are taking place at an unprecedented rate, and the expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach. In her presentation she talks about her research in quantum biology and the origins of life, the technology required to sustain terrestrial life on Mars and the various projects aiming to send crewed missions there. She describes how the establishment, and potential discovery of evidence of, life on Mars, would be one of the most profound possible contributions of science to humanity.

 

Adriana studied theoretical physics and philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (SA). She completed her MSc summa cum laude in quantum cryptography at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and was awarded her PhD in quantum biology at the same institute in 2015. She continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Research Group established by Prof Francesco Petruccione at UKZN, doing research in quantum biology, studying quantum effects in photosynthesis as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself. Since the beginning of 2017, she has left academia for the corporate world, in the role of Head of Innovation at SAP Africa, driving digitisation and innovation on the continent.

 

Adriana has been recognised by the Mail & Guardian as one of 200 Young SA achievers (2014), she was one of 15 recipients worldwide of a L’Oreal-UNESCO International Rising Talent Grant for Women in Science (2015) and she is the 2016 Royal Society of SA Meiring Naude Medal awardee for a young researcher. Also during 2016 she attended the prestigious 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting as one of 400 most qualified young physicists selected worldwide, as well as the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, to present her research on quantum astrobiology, and hear Elon Musk’s keynote “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species”.

 

Since childhood, Adriana has dreamed of living on another planet, and is currently one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to move to the red planet in the next decade. She hopes one day to continue her research on Mars. She believes that education comes with the responsibility to share knowledge, and while still on Earth, is actively involved in the promotion of science and space exploration as Special Project Coordinator for the Foundation for Space Development SA, an exciting initiative of which is the Africa2Moon project. She is grateful for the platform she has as a Mars One candidate to inspire school children, teenagers and adults around South Africa and abroad to get excited about science, believe in their dreams and remember Nelson Mandela’s words “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

Gerd Leonard
Gerd Leonard

Futurist, Humanist, Author of ‘Technology vs. Humanity’, CEO The Futures Agency

Gerd Leonhard is a hunter and gatherer of human values from the future. From culture and society to commerce and technology, Gerd brings back the news from the future so business and society leaders can make better choices right now. In his latest book, Technology vs. Humanity, Gerd explores the key ethical and social questions which urgently require an answer before we increasingly abdicate our very humanity. For organizations in the grip of disruption, Gerd supplies visionary insights and concentrated wisdom that inform key decisions makers today. A musician by origin, Gerd Leonhard has now redefined the vocation of futurist as a new humanist.

Gerd was listed as one of the top 100 influencers in technology by Wired magazine (2015). His clients include over 200 companies and organizations in 50+ countries, including Google, IPG, UBS, Roche, WWF, Cisco, KPMG, Accenture, Nestlé, Unilever, US Social Security Agency, the BBC, Universal Studios, the EU Commission and many more.

For more information. please visit his website on www.futuristgerd.com

Dave Bullock
Dave Bullock

DAVE BULLOCK – Managing Director, Rapid 3D JV (PTY) LTD BScEng (Mechanical, UKZN – 1992)

Dave started his engineering career in the printing and packaging industry. In 1999 he joined Systems Automation and Management where he was a project manager and technical lead for industrial automation and systems integration projects – gaining experience is all aspects of PLC’s, variable speed drives, SCADA systems and industrial databases.

In 2002 he returned to his mechanical engineering roots – joining Clifford Welding Systems to head their design team. Rapid 3D founded by Pauline, Bryan and Dave Bullock in 2004.

Dave joined Rapid 3D full time in 2010, and has more than 15 years of experience in 3D technologies, including 3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, 3D Scanning and associated software tools. Areas of application ranging from Medical and Dental through to Aerospace, automotive and Industrial manufacture.

Gavin Marshall
Gavin Marshall
Gavin Marshall is the founder of Sharebit, a platform for the sharing economy, built on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. He is also a speaker, trainer and consultant focusing on Blockchain and related technologies. Gavin has over 17 years experience as a technologist, and was one of the founders of Mxit, one of the first mobile messengers in the world.