Speakers

Yazeed Alabdulkarim

Research and Innovation Chief Scientist, the Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE)

Dr. Yazeed Alabdulkarim is a Research and Innovation Chief Scientist at the Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE), delving into emerging technologies with a specialization in blockchain, data analytics, and immersive technologies. He is an Assistant Professor at King Saud University with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. Yazeed is also an audit committee member for AZM Fintech company. He has published several papers and technical reports in prestigious academic forums as well as international organizations, including the World Economic Forum (WEF) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  His multifaceted roles underscore his academic prowess, technical acumen, and commitment to technological innovation.

Nevena Alexandrova

Agricultural Extension Officer, Policies and capacities for Innovation Unit leader, Office of Innovation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Dr. Nevena Alexandrova-Stefanova is a highly qualified FAO technical officer with a strong background in agricultural biotechnologies, biosafety, knowledge-sharing and risk-benefit analysis of frontier technologies. She holds a PhD in marker-assisted plant biotechnologies and has over 12 years of experience in research, project management, and science communication. For 10 years, Dr. Alexandrova-Stefanova worked at FAO’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, focusing on policy advice and knowledge sharing for sustainable and inclusive agrifood system transformation with a focus on digitalization and innovation systems.  Since 2018, she has been with FAO Headquarters, supporting countries in transforming their national agrifood systems pathways through innovation, and promoting access to knowledge and services for smallholder farmers and supporting national agricultural innovation systems, including research and advisory services. Dr. Alexandrova-Stefanova is a leading expert on foresight methodologies and their application in the agrifood systems, in particular in emerging agrifood technologies and innovations and innovation ecosystems. She serves as the FAO alternate focal point of the UN Future Labs community of practice and is leading global foresight studies on emerging technologies and innovations for agri-food systems. In her current role, Dr. Alexandrova-Stefanova assists countries in developing evidence-based and future-oriented policies in and building capacities for agricultural innovation.

H.E. Mr Younus Al Nasser

Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Data & Statistics Establishment, Digital Dubai

H.E. Younus Al Nasser is a globally recognized leader in planning and implementing city-wide digital transformation, and building holistic data ecosystems. Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, part of the Dubai Digital Authority, Al Nasser has played an instrumental role in Dubai’s digital transformation over the past 7 years.
As the CEO of the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, Al Nasser has overseen the creation of Data Governance models for the city creating policies and standards for data sharing, created a network of Data Champions across Dubai Government and Semi-Government entities, built the city’s first Open Data sharing platform (Dubai Pulse) and has also charted the future of the city’s data ecosystem by creating a Private-Sector Engagement Strategy.
Al Nasser is also a Member of the UAE AI Council leading the development of the UAE National Data Strategy, and is the Vice-Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Global Councils for SDG 11.

Manuel Barreiro

CEO & Founder, Aston Group

​Manuel Barreiro Castañeda is the founder and chairman of the Aston Group, a private equity firm with $1 billion in investments to date. The firm develops real estate projects and makes private equity investments with a focus on North America and Europe. Mr. Barreiro Castañeda is a strategic leader with over 20 years of high-level experience in international real estate, successfully advising public and private sector stakeholders on the intersection of technology, sustainability, mobility, and smart cities. Committed to sustainability, he works to ensure that his firm’s development projects benefit the local community by improving quality of life, reducing inequality gaps, and positively impacting the environment according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Actively involved in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), he serves as Vice Chairman of the ITU’s “Working Group 8 on the Metaverse – Sustainability, Accessibility & Inclusion,” addressing sustainability, accessibility, and inclusion. Complementing his industry experience, he completed the Oxford Real Estate Programme and the Oxford Programme on Valuation of Private Assets at the University of Oxford. He also holds an Executive Master of Science (MSc) in Cities from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he further developed his knowledge in sustainable urban development, mobility, and water management to enhance the quality of life in large cities and small urban areas. This degree also sparked his interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which will be at the center of his projects in the near future.
Mr. Barreiro Castañeda also holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and a Bachelor’s in International Business from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He completed academic exchange programs at higher learning institutions in Japan and Argentina, where he realized the importance of using technology for the benefit of vulnerable groups. This realization became his life’s mission — to create better cities for the future, starting in his native Mexico

Jonathan Birdwell

Global Head of Economist Impact’s Policy and Insights team

​Jonathan is Global Head of Economist Impact’s Policy and Insights team. Economist Impact is the commercial arm and in-house think tank of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist newspaper. Jonathan leads a global team of researchers, economists and subject matter experts to generate evidence-based insights for governments, international institutions, corporations, foundations, and NGOs around the world. Jonathan has over fifteen years of experience leading research and advising governments, international organisations and civil society on a wide range of topics including online safety and the social impact of new technologies. Prior to joining The Economist Group, Jonathan established and led the Strong Cities Network, was Deputy Director at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and Head of Programme at the London-based think tank Demos.

Auxane Boch

Cyberpsychologist and research associate, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

​Auxane Boch is a cyberpsychologist and research associate at the Technical University of Munich (TUM)’s Institute for Ethics in AI, and a doctoral candidate at the TUM School of Management. Auxane’s work involves human and societal-centric ethical evaluation of interactive technologies from a human-computer or human-robot interaction perspective while exploring the impact of technologies, from AI to video games and immersive realities, on humans’ general health, well-being, and behaviours. She also has expertise in cultural AI ethics and AI governance. She works closely with Women in AI and recently took the position of Munich city lead, in addition to her role as Women in Games Ambassador.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Secretary-General, ITU

​Doreen Bogdan-Martin took office as Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 1 January 2023.

With over three decades of leadership experience in global telecommunications policy, Ms. Bogdan-Martin has emphasized the need for digital transformation to achieve economic prosperity, job creation, skills development, gender equality, and socio-economic inclusion, as well as to build circular economies, reduce climate impact, and save lives. Her historic election by ITU Member States in September 2022 made her the first woman ever to head the nearly 160-year-old organization. Known for mobilizing innovative partnerships, she aims to promote meaningful connectivity, intensify cooperation to connect the unconnected, and strengthen the alignment of digital technologies with inclusive sustainable development.​​

Cristina Bueti

Counsellor, ITU

​Cristina Bueti is the ITU Focal Point on Smart Sustainable Cities. She is also the Counsellor of ITU-T Study Group 20 “Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C)” and the Counsellor of the Focus Group on metaverse at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She also serves as TSB/ITU focal point for Latin America. Cristina Bueti graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, Law and International Cooperation and Development of the University of Florence, where she completed postgraduate studies in International Cooperation and Telecommunications Law in Europe. She ​also holds a specialization in Environmental Law with a special focus on Telecommunications. In 2003, Ms. Bueti built on her academic credentials by completing a specialized course in peace keeping and international cooperation with special focus on telecommunications at the Faculty of Laws, University of Malta, before joining the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva in January 2004. As part of the International Women’s Day 2016, she was named as one of the twenty Geneva-based inspirational women working to protect the environment. She has authored over 40 reports on telecommunication issues. A native Italian speaker, Cristina is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Sameer Chauhan

Director, United Nations International Computing Centre, UNICC

Mr. Sameer Chauhan was appointed Director of the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) on 1 December 2019 by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

The Director has the responsibility to lead all aspects of UNICC’s strategy and operations to facilitate the provision of services to more than 90 Clients and Partner Organizations, to establish the UNICC strategy, to develop a biennial business plan and budget and to implement the approved plan. The Director is accountable to the UNICC Management Committee (MC) that governs the organization and represents the entire United Nations system.

With the advice and backing of the MC, Mr. Chauhan has effectively led a strategic transformation of UNICC since he assumed his post. This has enabled UNICC to become the preferred strategic digital partner for the whole UN system and has empowered the organization to successfully build capabilities in areas such as cybersecurity, data, AI and automation, as well as in key business areas like treasury, finance and HR. As Chief of Clients and Projects, he started his career at UNICC in August 2015 in New York.

Mr. Chauhan has over twenty years of experience in the public and private sectors and an educational background in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Before UNICC, Mr. Chauhan was the Head of Knowledge Management and Digital Marketing IT for Deutsche Bank (DB) Asset and Wealth Management. He played several roles at DB over eight years, including being the COO for an IT division of approximately 800 staff and the product manager responsible for a multi-billion dollar trading platform for DB Prime Brokerage. He also spent several years as a consultant for Deloitte, working across various industries including financial services, the public sector, telecom, manufacturing and software.

Karl-Filip Coenegrachts

Chair of the Board of Directors, Acting Executive Director, Open & Agile Smart Cities

Karl-Filip is Chair of the Board of Directors and acting Executive Director of Open & Agile Smart Cities, an international cities and communities network supporting its members in their digital transformation journey with a strong focus on interoperability.

He is also Head of the Data, Governance and Communities Unit at the imec research group SMIT of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (imec-SMIT, VUB). The main focus of the work of his unit is on governance and business aspects of urban digital transformation and urban innovation, including data spaces, local digital twins and personal data management. Currently, he also serves as Senior Policy Advisor Smart Cities, Data Spaces, Local Digital Twins and CitiVerse at FARI, the AI for the Common Good Institute in Brussels.

Before joining SMIT, he served in government for 24 years, working at the local level as Chief Strategy Officer of the City of Ghent and at the Belgian FPS Justice on digital policies and digital transformation programmes. He holds a master of laws degree, specialized in European and International Law.

Radia Funna

Futurist and creator of the xHuman theory and Chair of the 1st UN Virtual Worlds Day

​Radia Funna is an internationally recognized theorist whose xHuman theory explores the impact of frontier technology on people, institutions, and societal structures. She is the founder and principal at Build n Blaze, a 12-year-old consulting firm advising on strategy, policy, and transformation in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Radia holds leadership positions blending emerging technology and policy, most recently in metaverse related standardization at ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector’s Focus Group on metaverse, where she is Vice Chair of both the General Working Group and the Working Group on Security, Data & Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Protection; and Chair of the Task Groups on Implications for people in the metaverse; and Building confidence and security in the metaverse including PII protection. She is a member of Stimson Center’s Alfred Lee Loomis Innovation Council (a forum for technology leaders and policymakers in the United States to share expertise, build innovative solutions to 21st century problems, and consider the future of U.S. technology policy); and the Trust and Safety Teaching Consortium (launched by Stanford University’s Internet Observatory to share open access teaching material on online trust and safety). Radia is an informal advisor to the UN and an advocate of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Okan Geray

Strategic planning Advisor, Digital Dubai

Dr. Okan Geray has more than 25 years of experience in consulting and advisory roles across various industries. He has consulted for a number of organizations in Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Turkey and Dubai. He worked at A.T. Kearney global management consulting firm for 6 years and was a member of the Global Telecommunications and Higher Technology core team before he joined Dubai Government in 2002. He has worked as the Strategic Planning Advisor in Dubai eGovernment, Dubai Smart Government, Smart Dubai Office and recently Dubai Digital Authority. His responsibilities include Strategic Planning, Strategic Performance Management and Policy Making among others.

Dr. Geray is the U4SSC Chair (U4SSC is a UN initiative coordinated by ITU, UNECE and UN-Habitat and supported by other 16 UN bodies, that help support the development of institutional policies and strategies which encourage the use of digital technologies to facilitate digital transformation and ease the transition to smart sustainable cities). He is leading several thematic groups globally for U4SSC namely “Guidelines on Strategies for Circular Cities”, “City Science Application Framework”, “AI in Cities”, “Enabling People-Centered Cities through Digital Transformation”, and “Digital Wellbeing”.

Dr. Geray is the Co-Rapporteur of the ITU Study Group 20, Question 7 on “Evaluation and assessment of Smart Sustainable Cities and Communities”. He is a member of the IEC-ISO-ITU Joint Smart Cities Task Force (J-SCTF). He is Co-Chairing the Working Group “Economic, regulatory & competition aspects” in the ITU Focus Group on metaverse (FG-MV). He was also the Co-Chair of the “Data Economy Impact, Commercialization and Monetization” Working Group, part of the ITU Focus Group on Data Processing and Management.

Dr. Geray holds a double major B. Sc. degree in Industrial and Computer Engineering from Bosphorus University in Istanbul Turkey, an M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Systems and Control Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in the US. He has published several journal and conference papers and was an adjunct lecturer in management for 15 years.

Isabelle Hupont

Scientific Officer, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

​Isabelle Hupont Torres is a Scientific Officer at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, exploring Virtual Worlds and Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the policy perspective and contributing to set the path towards a trustworthy and ethical use of emerging technologies in the European Union. She holds a PhD diploma in AI applied to the affective interaction with virtual agents, and counts with more than 18 years of experience in the field. Throughout her career, Isabelle has worked in institutions of different nature: academic (University of Zaragoza; Sorbonne University, Paris), technological institutes (Instituto Tecnológico de Aragón, Zaragoza; Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique – CNRS, Paris), and private (Herta Security). Her research interests are AI, Affective Computing, Facial Analysis and Human-Machine (-Robot, -Computer, -Virtual Worlds) Interaction. She has published more than 80 scientific articles in highly-ranked journals and international conferences, and participated in more than 35 R&D projects with top institutions in all these diverse but connected areas.

Bilel Jamoussi

Deputy Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

​Tunisian born, Dr Bilel Jamoussi is Deputy Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU in Geneva Switzerland. Since 2010, he has been leading the bureau’s standards-making activities into a new era characterized by rapid convergence and the need for increased collaboration with vertical sectors and partnership between developed and developing countries. Prior to 2010, Jamoussi worked for a Telecommunication equipment and solutions provider for 15 years in Canada and then in the United States where he held several leadership positions and was granted 22 US patents in diverse areas including packet, optical, wireless, and quality of service. He holds a BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. He is fluent in Arabic, French, and English and speaks some Spanish and German.​

Shin-Gak Kang

Chair, ITU Focus Group on metaverse

​Shin-Gak KANG is the Assistant Vice President of ETRI, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Republic of Korea. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electronics engineering from Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea in 1984, 1987, and 1998, respectively. He joined ETRI in 1984 and is currently Head of the Standards and Opensource Research Division. He is also Adjunct Professor of ETRI School of University of Science and Technology in Korea. He has actively participated in many international standardization activities of many SDOs including ITU-T SG 7, SG 8, SG 17, SG 11, SG 13, SG 16, SG 20, GSC, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6, IETF and IEEE, as Rapporteur, Convenor, Editor, and major contributor since his first joining to ITU-T SG 8 meeting in 1988. He served as ITU-T SG11 Vice-Chairman and its WP Chairman from 2013 to 2021. Since 2004, he has been working as Convenor for ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6/WG 7 on Future Network. He is also currently serving as Vice-Chairman of ITU-T SG16, Co-chairman of WP1/16, and Co-Chairman of the CG-Metaverse in SG16. He has been appointed as the Chairman of ITU-T Focus Group on metaverse in December 2022 by TSAG.​

Hwirin Kim

Head Hydrological and Water Resources Services Division, WMO

Dr Hwirin Kim has been serving as the Head of Hydrological and Water Resources Service Division of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), since 2019. The HWR division supports the enhancement of Members’ hydrological and water resources services by coordinating diverse projects and programmes such as the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM, WMO/GWP), the Global Flash Flood Guidance System (GFFGS), the WMO Community of Practice (CoP) on Flood Forecasting (FF) and Early Warning Systems (EWS), and other activities related to hydrologic forecasting and water resources assessment and management.

​Before joining WMO, Dr Kim was with the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea (2005-2019), as leader of the Forecasting and Disaster Risk Reduction team of the Han River Flood Control Office, mainly working in the areas of flood forecasting and integrated water resources management. She was the first hydrologist in the Ministry and holds a Doctorate degree (PhD) in Water Resources Engineering and a Masters’ degree (M.Sc.) in Hydrology. As an expert in hydrology and water resources management, she has made significant contributions to multiple programmes such as, Member of the Advisory Working Group (AWG) of WMO Commission for Hydrology (2016-2019), Theme leader of WMO Regional Association II Working Group Hydrological Services (2012-2019) and Focal point for both the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (2011-2014) and the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee (2010-2014). She has also led the development of an assessment tool for managing of water resources, which has been made available to the public at WMO’s website.

Monique Kuglitsch

Innovation Manager, Fraunhofer HHI

Dr. Monique Kuglitsch is the Innovation Manager at Fraunhofer HHI and Chair of the newly established ITU/WMO Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management. She previously managed operations for the ITU/WHO Focus Group on AI for Health. In her past role at the American Meteorological Society, M. Kuglitsch was the Lead Technical Editor for several journals (including the Journal of Hydrometeorology and Journal of Physical Oceanography) and the Senior International Outreach/Communications Specialist. As a researcher, M. Kuglitsch has investigated past climate change, extreme weather events, and regional climate model projections. M. Kuglitsch has experience in fluvial and limnological field work, geochemical laboratory methods, applied mathematics and statistics, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate.

Paul Ladd

Director of UNRISD

Paul Ladd has been Director of UNRISD since October 2015. Prior to this role, he held various positions at UNDP, including Director of the team supporting consultations and technical inputs for the 2030 Development Agenda. He also led UNDP’s policy team on ‘inclusive globalization’ and provided support to the Office of the UN Secretary-General on the financial and economic crisis, and engagement with the G20. He has also held positions as policy adviser for the UK Treasury, Chief Economist with UK charity Christian Aid, economic adviser for the UK Department for International Development, and financial adviser for the Central Bank of Guyana. He received a BSc in Economics and MSc in Quantitative Development Economics from the University of Warwick, and an Honorary Doctorate in Law (LLD) in 2016. He is a member of various international committees and is committed to gender balance in UNRISD’s research and network of collaborators.

Bertrand Levy

Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships, The Sandbox

Bertrand Levy is a Digital Pioneer Who has been working in the Music Industry for over 15 years (Over 10 years @ Universal Music Group – Ended Global Vice President @ UMGB ) Since 2020 VICE PRESIDENT @ THE SANDBOX, One of the leading Metaverse In The World . ​​

Igor Litvinyuk

Programme Officer for Energy Efficiency area of work of the Sustainable Energy Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Igor Litvinyuk is Programme Officer for Energy Efficiency area of work of the Sustainable Energy Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva. Igor Litvinyuk manages substantive work of the respective Group of Experts and its thematic Task Forces, which support intergovernmental process of the Committee on Sustainable Energy by advancing the agenda on industry, buildings, digitalization, e-mobility, and cross-cutting themes.
Mr. Litvinyuk holds a PhD in Economics.

Ian Lisk

President, WMO Services Commission

Ian Lisk is the first president of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Commission for Weather, Climate, Hydrological, Marine and Related Environmental Services and Applications (SERCOM). Since SERCOM was established in July 2019, Ian has led the development of new structures and partnerships to better coordinate and oversee the delivery of ‘useful, usable and used’ services to better protect and save lives and livelihoods around the world. Ian has worked for the UK Met Office in a variety of forecasting, training and senior management roles for over 35-years and has been involved in the work of WMO since 2003, primarily through the former Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) where he served as vice-president from 2010-18 and as the last CAeM president from 2018-19. Ian is based in Exeter in the south-west of England and is married with three children.

Paula Llobet Vilarrasa

Delegate Councilor, Tourism, Innovation, Technology, Digital Agenda and Investment Capture of the Most Excellent Valencia City Council

Paula Llobet was born in Valencia on December 27, 1977, and she studied at Colegio Domus and Colegio Esclavas de Valencia.
From a very young age Paula Llobet has had a great vocation for public service and a special concern for helping those most in need. That has led me to be a cooperator in Africa and Latin America for several years.
Studying is another of her great passions. Paula Llobet has a degree in Business Administration and Management, a degree in Law from the University of Valencia and a degree in Political Sciences and Administration from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche and a Postgraduate Degree in International Cooperation.
Paula Llobet has 17 years of professional experience in the design and management of public policies. Expert in community financing and coordination of local and transnational networks.
The areas in which Paula Llobet has developed her professional career are several, from social welfare, citizen participation, development cooperation, environmental sustainability, R&D&I, health, to urban development and smart cities, strategic planning and management of local, national and European projects.

Fabio Maggiore

Head, Cyber Security Governance, UNICC

Mr. Fabio Maggiore has been with the United Nations International Computing Centre for over 15 years ago, where he currently heads the Cybersecurity Governance section.

As a member of UNICC’s Cybersecurity Division, he works together a large team of over 100 skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Mr. Maggiore has the responsibility to maintain UNICC’s cybersecurity programme by ensuring that it aligns with the overall organizational objectives of providing secure and robust digital business solutions for UNICC partners. His team also provides cybersecurity and data protection advisory and support services to the UNICC’s Partners. Together with his team, Mr. Maggiore has developed Cybersecurity services that not only leverage the experience acquired by supporting multiple agencies but also benefit from the economies of scale.

In addition to his current role, Mr. Maggiore has served as CISO for key UN agencies such as WMO and UNESCO and provided strategic cybersecurity advisory services to other UNICC partners as well. He holds certifications including CISSP, CRISC, CISM, CDPSE and C|CISO. He is flexible and goal-oriented allowing him to be particularly suited to the dynamic environment of the UN system as well as effectively understand and help mitigate UN system complex cybersecurity challenges.

Jouni Markkanen

Tampere City Board, Finland

Jouni Markkanen is a member of the Tampere City Board and has been instrumental in developing Tampere’s digitalization from a political standpoint for over ten years. In a professional capacity, Jouni works for the National Coalition Party (Kansallinen Kokoomus) and has been responsible for digitalization since 2017. In this role, Jouni has served as the lead writer for two sector-specific parliamentary election programs.
Additionally, Jouni is part of a unique Finnish parliamentary data policy cooperation group, where all parliamentary parties seek common stances on digitalization issues. The current Finnish government’s digital policies are based on the work done by this group. Currently, Jouni is the lead writer in the parliamentary group exploring the potential of artificial intelligence for Finland.
Throughout Jouni’s career, there has been a strong focus on fostering collaboration between politicians and civil servants at both regional and national levels, aiming to enhance the understanding of digitalization opportunities, particularly within the political sphere. In Jouni’s earlier career, he was part of the product development team at the mobile operator Telia.
Jouni holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Tampere University.

Dmitry Mariyasin

Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECE

Dmitry Mariyasin was appointed Deputy Executive Secretary (No2) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 1 March 2021. UNECE, as one of the five UN regional commissions, covers 56 member States, promotes regional cooperation and facilitates the development of regulation and policy in areas such as energy, environment, trade, transport, housing, forestry and statistics.

Prior to joining UNECE, Mr. Mariyasin was heading the Country Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia (2017-2021). He also served as the Team Leader, Partnerships in UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS region (2011-2016) and in other positions with UNDP at global, regional and country level.
Mr. Mariyasin holds a PHD in Economics from the Moscow State University, and a MA in Public Administration from the New York University. He is married, and is a proud father of three children.

Vincent Martin

Director of the FAO Office of Innovation (OIN)

Dr. Vincent Martin is the Director of the FAO Office of Innovation (OIN), where he is charged with leading the organization’s innovation agenda as part of the Science and Innovation strategy.

Dr. Martin brings 28 years of experience in science, research, and policy as they relate to issues surrounding agrifood systems. Prior to serving as Director of OIN, Dr. Martin served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Guinea. There, he oversaw 24 UN agencies, driving efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals, leading humanitarian initiatives, and tackling critical matters in development, politics, peace, and security, always bringing innovation into UN programmatic interventions.

He also served as FAO’s representative to China and DPR Korea, where he played a key role by leveraging his knowledge of food security, global health and nutrition issues in shaping strategies for preventing epidemic diseases and foster agricultural policies for innovation. His work extended to spearheading innovative approaches at country and regional levels, developing new tools and approaches to address complex development issues, and strived to fulfill FAO’s regional goals.

Before his work in China, Dr. Martin earned recognition as “Knight of the Order of the Lion” in Senegal for his notable contributions in the same fields. Dr. Martin started his career with CIRAD in Zimbabwe and then in the French Government. He first joined FAO in 1998, contributing to development and emergency programs across Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia.

Dr. Martin’s educational qualifications include a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, a Diploma in Medical Epidemiology and Statistics, an MSc in livestock production and a Ph.D. in Agronomic Sciences and Biological Engineering. His career at FAO’s Rome office began in the Animal Production and Health Division, evolving into roles such as Animal Health Emergency Officer, Senior Technical Advisor in China, Head of EMPRES program, and leader of the Regional Resilience Team for West Africa and the Sahel.

Anamaria Meshkurti

Tech Investor and Strategic Board Member, AMVS Capital

AnaMaria Meshkurti is a Tech investor, Strategic Board Member at AMVS Capital, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Moneys Magazine. Previously, she led Marketing, Communications, and Engagement at FONGIT, Switzerland’s premier technology startup platform. She mentors startups in AI, IoT, Blockchain, XR, and the Metaverse.

Meshkurti also served as a Programme Officer at the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), focusing on digital inclusion and innovation. She managed the ITU Smart Incubator programme for tech startups in developing countries and organized the European Impact Summit 2020.

With diplomas in Business Administration, Marketing and Communications, and International Relations, Meshkurti holds leadership roles, including as Curator for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shapers Geneva Hub and Chapter Leader for the HULT International Business School Alumni Association of Geneva. She’s an angel investor, board member at Swiss Virtual Reality Startup VR4Business.ch, and a speaker at international events on innovation. Meshkurti received the UN ITU Innovation award and was named one of the top 100 Swiss Digital Shapers in 2022 and 2023.

Brent Milliken

CEO, IMVERSE

He is an experienced Tech and Sales Leader for nearly three decades. As CEO of Imverse, his recent focus has been on the integration of 3D data, specializing in real-time capturing, processing, distributing, and viewing of holographic experiences. He was previously the Head of Business Development for Chainlink Labs (Blockchain) and Finastra (Fintech). He also spent a decade at Microsoft, where he was the Director of Channel Sales in Western Europe. He is the Co-Founder of two successful start-ups. He holds a post-grad degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam and Management Certificates from INSEAD.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Stela Mocan

Manager, Technology & Innovation Lab, World Bank

​Stela Mocan- is managing the Technology & Innovation Unit/Lab at the WBG CIO Office/Information Technology Solutions VPU, which serves as an internal experimentation sandbox, knowledge and advisory hub around emerging technologies. The Lab partners with WBG staff to explore with and learn about the potential of emerging technologies to support WBG internal innovation and its development agenda efforts. During 2010-2015, she served as Moldova Government 1st Chief Information Officer and led the government digital transformation efforts. Stela holds a Master degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Master in Political Sciences from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rebecca Mukite

Head of Public and International Relations, Uganda Communications Commission

​Rebecca Mukite is the Head of Public and International Relations at the Uganda Communications Commission. With over 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, she has specialized in radio frequency spectrum planning and monitoring, telecommunications licensing, communications, public relations, and international relations.
Rebecca began her telecommunications engineering career in regulatory-level RF spectrum planning, utilization and monitoring, where she developed expertise in managing and evaluating RF systems, processes, and technical data. She then progressed into telecommunications licensing and standards development, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and contributing to the establishment of industry standards and best practices through the development of regulatory frameworks and guidelines. This experience honed her skills in strategic decision-making, translating technical aspects into socio-economic solutions for national development, regulatory compliance, and policy development.
Her career further expanded into public and international relations within the telecommunications industry. She has developed and implemented communication strategies, managed media relations, and built consensus on complex issues related to ICT public policy and regulation. This experience has provided her with a deep understanding of the vital role technology plays in enabling economic growth and development.
Throughout her career, Rebecca has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence and a passion for advancing the telecommunications industry. She holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Kyambogo University and a master’s degree in communications management from Bucks New university, as well as specialized training in various thematic areas related to global communications.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​H.E. Mr Nape Nnauye

Minister, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Tanzania​

Hon. Nape Moses Nnauye is the United Republic of Tanzania’s Minister for Information,Communication, and Information Technology and Member of Parliament for Mtama Constituency in Lindi Region. He is a natural communicator who can energize and inspire people towards common goals. Nape has a successful track record in public programs, contributing to important roles and positions. Born and raised in Tanzania, Nape earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Language, and Journalism with Honors from Bangalore University in India, and a Master’s in Public

Administration from Mzumbe University, Tanzania. Nape is a diligent student with Diplomas in Diplomacy and Foreign Relations and Social Sciences from the Centre for Foreign Relations and Kivukoni Academy of Social Sciences, respectively. Currently, he is a student of first degree in Law (LLB) at Open University of Tanzania.

Nape has actively served with Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), the current ruling party in Tanzania, since his primary school days. Nape played various roles within CCM and the government, contributing to their political and economic growth. Nape is a member of the National Congress, National Executive Committee, and former National Secretary for Ideology and Publicity of CCM. Nape remains passionate about Africa’s and Tanzania’s development and actively shares his unique treasure of practical knowledge and purposeful emphasis with youth. Nape is a mentor to the future development agents of Africa.

Madan M. Oberoi

Executive Director of Technology and Innovation, INTERPOL

Dr Madan M. Oberoi, a Fulbright Scholar in Cybersecurity from the University of Washington, began his policing career as an Indian Police Service officer of the 1992 batch. He holds a PhD in Cybercrime, a Master’s degree in Management and Systems from IIT Delhi, and degrees in Police Management and Technology.

Dr Oberoi is the Executive Director of Technology and Innovation at INTERPOL, overseeing INTERPOL’s Information Systems and Technology Directorate, Innovation Centre, and Capacity Building and Training Directorate. Until May 2019, he led the Delhi Police’s Special Cell responsible for conducting anti-terror operations, combating cybercrime and organized crime. Additionally, he was an Adviser for ICT at the Ministry of Home Affairs, India and the first Director General of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).

From 2014-2017, he served as INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime and as Inspector General of Police with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India. Previously, as a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dr Oberoi led the police force in three districts, including the Central District of New Delhi.

Internationally, he led the Management Information Unit of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and served as Head of Data Centre in UN Mission in Kosovo.”

Seizo Onoe

Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

Seizo Onoe took office as Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 1 January 2023. Known in the industry as “the father of LTE” (Long-Term Evolution mobile broadband), he now aims for global outreach to bridge standardization gaps, deliver the benefits of technology widely and speedily, and ensure meaningful and affordable broadband access for everyone. Before his election as TSB Director by ITU Member States, he completed an over 30-year career with Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO. In 2021, he became Executive Vice President and Chief Standardization Strategy Officer for NTT Corporation and a Fellow of NTT DOCOMO. From 2017, he served as NTT DOCOMO’s Chief Technology Architect and President of its subsidiary DOCOMO Technology. From 2012 to 2017, he served as NTT DOCOMO’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, a Member of the Board of Directors, and Managing Director of R&D Innovation Division. Earlier, he served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NTT DOCOMO’s R&D Strategy Department and Managing Director of the company’s Radio Network Development Department. Mr Onoe holds a Master’s degree in electronics from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Engineering.

H.E. Mr Eliud Owalo

Minister, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, Kenya

Mr. Eliud Owalo is Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy since October, 2022. Prior to this appointment he was the Managing Consultant at Eliud &Associates (E&A) Management Consultants.
Eliud has 23 years’ experience as an Economist, Management Consultant and Strategy Expert with Core-Competency in Macro and Micro-Economics; Strategic Planning; Business Planning; Organizational Re-structuring; Job Evaluation and Pay Structure Architecture; Performance Management; Management of Strategic Change; Training Needs Assessment (T.N.A.);Organizational Design/Development; Executive Search, Selection and Placement (Recruitment);Human Resource Audit; Market Research/Surveys; and Feasibility Studies.

As Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Owalo has championed and rapidly achieved remarkable digital transformation initiatives in Kenya such as digitalization over 15,000 public services through the E-Citizen platform, providing broadband access through last mile fiber connectivity, spearheading mobile connectivity to unserved and underserved areas, skilling nearly half a million youths with digital skills, deployment of public wifi hotspots and establishing ICT hubs, all aimed at boosting Kenya’s digital economy.
In February 2024, he was appointed to serve on the Global Innovation Board by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for ICTs.
Mr. Owalo is a Fellow of the Institute of Human Resource Management (FIHRM) in Kenya, a member of Professional Trainers’ Association of Kenya (PTAK), and former Director/Council Member of the Kenyan School of Government (KSG).
For his distinguished service to the Nation Mr. Owalo was awarded Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) by H.E. President Dr William Ruto, CGH in December 2023.
Mr. Owalo holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Economics and Business Studies from the Kenyatta University, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing a PhD in Strategic Management at the University of Nairobi.
His exposure to cutting edge technology, coupled with a keen interest in advancing the application of AI, IoT and machine learning in Kenya and the continent drives his mission for a technological revolution. He has a vision of an Empowered and Digitalized African Economy.

Dylan Reim

Lead for Metaverse Governance, World Economic Forum

Dylan Reim serves as Lead of the World Economic Forum’s Defining and Building the Metaverse Initiative. This body of work brings together leading voices from the private sector, civil society, academia, and policy to define the parameters of an economically viable, interoperable, safe, and inclusive future internet. The Metaverse Initiative has produced outputs including white papers, briefing papers, blogs, and live events to galvanize collaboration on immersive technology development and governance. Looking forward, Dylan hopes to continue engaging with global stakeholders to examine how the convergence of frontier technologies will revolutionize both the value potential and governance needs of the future internet. Prior to his work at the Forum, Dylan held roles on the Legal and Trust & Safety teams at Google, as well as the Wharton School’s San Francisco campus. He holds a degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

H.E. Mr Febrian A. Ruddyard

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN, WTO and other International Organizations in Geneva

Ambassador Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard has been serving as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and other international organizations in Geneva since December 2021.

Before his appointment in Geneva, Mr. Ruddyard served as Deputy Minister for Multilateral Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta from 2017 to 2021. During this period, he was appointed as the Governor of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), the Co-Chair of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) Countering Violent Extremism Working Group (CVE WG), and Co-Chair of the Senior Official Meeting (SOM) of the Bali Process.

Ambassador Ruddyard joined the Indonesian diplomatic corps in 1990 and has a long record of working in various areas of issues and positions. Among others are Director for Middle East Affairs (2013-2014) and Director for International Security and Disarmament Affairs (2010-2013).

From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Ruddyard served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indonesian Embassy in Vienna. His diplomatic assignment includes the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, and Riyadh. Mr. Ruddyard also served as the Coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Disarmament Affairs in New York from 2007 to 2010.

Ambassador Ruddyard holds a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Birmingham. He is married with three sons.

Johan Stander

Director Services Department, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Dr Johan Stander, the Director of Services since August 2020, brings strong leadership and management skills as well as extensive international experience to WMO.

Dr Johan Stander was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He studied meteorology, then obtained a PhD in oceanography. Dr Stander worked for the South African Weather Service before joining WMO. He often speaks about the great opportunities his country provided him first as a forecaster from 1989 then promoting him to positions of greater prominence that permitted him to gain extensive national and international experience. He brings experience in observations, data, research, services and stakeholder relations as well as 15 years of promoting collaboration at the international and national level to WMO.

Dr Stander first served WMO in 2005 when he was elected to the Executive Council Working Group for Antarctic Meteorology. In 2009, he was elected to serve on the Joint Tariff Agreement executive board and in 2010 elected as vice-chair to the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel. In 2012, he was elected as Co-President of the WMO-IOC/UNESCO Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), the only joint commission under the UN system, a position he held until 2019 when Congress approved the reform of the technical commission.

Jaimee Stuart

Senior Researcher, United Nations University (UNU)

Dr. Jaimee Stuart is a Senior Researcher and Team Lead at the United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU Macau). She is an applied cultural and developmental psychologist specialising in digital health and well-being. Her work focuses on computer-human interaction, examining a broad range of issues related to social justice, peace, and development in the context of digital transformation. Jaimee’s research has explored topics such as gendered influences on cybersecurity and AI, cyberbullying, social media literacies, digital competencies, parenting and technology, online disinhibition, and the impact of emerging technologies on mental health. Her work aims to support the creation of safe and secure online spaces for everyone, although her specific focus concerns empowerment for minorities (cultural, religious, gender, and sexual orientation) as well as those who experience inflated risk factors (e.g., exposure to violence, low socio-economic status, displacement). Before joining UNU Macau, Dr. Stuart worked as the Research and Evidence Lead at Pathways in Place, Griffith University, Australia and is an Adjunct at the Schools of Psychology at Griffith University, Australia as well as Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand as well as the Chair of the EQUALS consortium Steering Committee for gender equality in STEM.

Mounir Tabet

Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

Mr. Mounir Tabet (Canada) took up his official functions as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the 7th of September 2018.

Prior to this, Mr. Tabet served as the UNDP Country Director for Iraq (2016-2018) where he oversaw the program on stabilization and transition. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Tabet served as the UN & UNDP Resident Coordinator in Tunisia, providing support to the transition including on electoral support, constitution making, parliamentary effectiveness and anti-corruption. Previously, Mr. Tabet was the Country Director of UNDP Egypt (2007-2013) where he led support to development efforts. From 2004-2007 he was the Senior Program Advisor in the Regional Bureau for Arab States in UNDP HQ in New York. Previously, Mr. Tabet was Edward S. Mason fellow at Harvard University – the Kennedy School of Government. There, he completed a Masters degree in Public Administration. He holds a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa. Between 1989 and 2003, Mr Tabet served in a variety of country and HQ positions with UNDP. Prior to joining UNDP, Mr. Tabet worked with the North South Institute and the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa and the University of Ottawa.

Nevine Tewfik

Senior International Relations Expert, Egypt 

Nevine Tewfik holds a BA and MA degrees in Political Science from the American University in Cairo where she worked for several years as Instructor of Political Science. Nevine has also been working for the past 30 years in the field of International Relations, Research, Policies, Studies and strategic thinking. She is currently The General Manager of the General Department of International Organizations, conferences and external relations, as well as senior IR Expert at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, focusing on conceptualization, positioning and research. Prior to that she held several positions including Head of Research, Studies and Policies, Deputy Director and Head of The European Cooperation Department. Her current work cuts across the different portfolios of the International relations division on the bilateral and multilateral levels, where she is member of the Management Team. One of the founders of the IR Division at MCIT, Nevine has represented the ministry in numerous international platforms and organizations since then. Nevine is vice chair of SG5 on “The Environment, climate change and circular economy”, vice chair of WP2, vice chair of the African and Arab Regional groups and co- rapporteur of question 7 on Circular economy including e-waste. Nevine was actively involved in the Green ICT program at MCIT and the Sustainable Recycling Industries project implemented in Egypt in cooperation with the Swiss government. Nevine has also been recently appointed as co chair of Working Group 8 on sustainability, accessibility and inclusion of the ITU Focus Group on Metaverse and member of the extended management team of the focus group. Nevine has recently earned a Certificate in Strategic Management and Innovation from the Copenhagen Business school within the Next Technology Leaders Initiative and The UNCTAD 45th regional course on key issues on the international economic agenda for countries in the middle east and north Africa. She has been recognized by the ITU for her outstanding contribution to ITU- T standards work in terms of Impact during WTSA-20. Nevine is active in counselling among other things.

Neil Trevett

Chair, Metaverse Standards Forum

Neil is VP Developer Ecosystems at NVIDIA, where he helps developers harness GPU acceleration. Neil has been the elected President of the Khronos Group for over twenty years, where he helped initiate many metaverse-relevant standards including Vulkan, OpenXR, WebGL and the glTF run-time 3D asset format. Most recently Neil initiated and is now President of the Metaverse Standards Forum with over 2,500 member organizations.

Stefan Uhlenbrook

Director, Hydrology, Water and Cryosphere Branch, WMO

Dr Stefan Uhlenbrook’ s main expertise includes water management, hydrological processes and modelling across scales (i.e., floods and droughts), and the water-energy-food-ecosystems nexus. He is a renown academic and has led/contributed to many projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and MENA that have demonstrated the impact of global changes on water, and they provided effective solutions to address these challenges through integrated approaches. He is experienced on translating science-based knowledge to effective policies, strategies and services that contribute to environmental, economic and societal sustainability.

Since September 2022, Stefan leads the Hydrology, Water and Cryosphere program of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the UN Specialized Agency for Weather, Climate and Water. He is very exciting to contribute to the Organisation’s program and, among other things, strengthen the early warning systems for floods and droughts as well as water resources assessment and management worldwide. During 2019-2022, he has focused his interest to water and food system transformations to provide healthy and nutritious food for all while considering the vital role of water and ecosystems. Previously, he served as the director of water, food and ecosystems at IWMI (2019-2022, Sri Lanka), Coordinator of UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP, 2015-2019, Italy), and the Deputy Director and acting Director of UNESCO-IHE (now IHE-Delft, Netherlands, 2005-2015). He has been a professor at IHE-Delft (2005 onwards) and Delft University of Technology (2009-2020), The Netherlands. He did his PhD (1999) and habilitation (2003) at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

Franca Vinci

Head of Learning Services, UNICC

Franca Vinci is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in learning services tailored for the unique environment of the United Nations. Having joined the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) in 2002, Franca has been instrumental in shaping the organization’s IT learning strategy and implementing dedicated learning programs, particularly focused on supporting peacekeeping missions.

In her current role as the Head of Learning Services Unit at UNICC, Franca oversees the development and delivery of comprehensive learning solutions, including the expansion of learning services to all UNICC customers and the introduction of new services such as eLearning content development and Moodle-based Learning Management Systems.

Franca’s commitment to excellence extends beyond learning services, as evidenced by her involvement in change management initiatives, ensuring that learning strategies seamlessly align with broader organizational objectives, and by her proactive, self-directed leadership style complemented by a keen eye for detail.

Tom Wambeke

Chief Learning Innovation, International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO)

A United Nations Senior Executive with 20 years of work experience in managing capacity development programmes with focus on learning innovation and digital transformation. Worked with cross-functional teams on innovation projects across more than 50 countries. Diplomas from the University of Leuven and University of Antwerp (Belgium) and executive certificates from the University of Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Public speaker on Innovation, Strategic Foresight and digital transformation. Author of different toolkits, publications. Chief Learning Innovation of the Training Centre of the International Labour Organization since 2015. Specialized in providing sustainable learning solutions with the objective to generate impact and organizational change.

As a certified international facilitator (IAF) actively involved in strategy facilitation, participatory knowledge sharing, networked learning and ICT4Development. Passion for complexity adaptive thinking, intentional serendipity, foresight analysis and futures exploration.

The Programme he is leading has a double mandate: to strengthen the Centre’s in-house capacity to apply state-of-the art learning, communication and knowledge sharing methods and technology, and to provide learning, innovation and communication services to outside partners on a global scale. In this context he works closely together with UN agencies, development banks, international organisations, governments and NGO’s.

Seong Deok Yun

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva

Ambassador Seong deok Yun is the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, since 20 December 2022.

Prior to his appointment to Geneva, Mr. Yun had been serving as Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs at the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since February 2022. He served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister from June 2021 to February 2022. He served as the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Morocco from July 2018 to June 2021. He was also Director-General for Bilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from February 2017 to July 2018.

A career diplomat, Mr. Yun joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989. Among others, he has served as Minister at the Korean Embassy in Belgium and the Korean Mission to the European Union from November 2013 to July 2018, and First Secretary there from December 1998 to January 2002; Deputy Consul-General at the Korean Consulate General in Guangzhou, China from July 2011 to November 2013; Minister-Counsellor at the Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva from December 2008 to July 2011; and First Secretary at the Korean Embassy to Lebanon from January 2002 to June 2005.

Mr. Yun was born on 7 March 1967. He has a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Seoul National University in Seoul, Republic of Korea (1989).

Christina Yan Zhang

CEO, The Metaverse Institute

Christina is a metaverse pioneer. She started her master research on the topic in 2006 and completed a PhD using digital twin for the construction industry.

Christina is an award-winning business leader with 18 years experience. She was China Director for QS, the world university ranking agency 2013-2020.

She has sat on 20+ committees for UNESCO, World Bank, Commonwealth, EU, and UK Governments on innovations. She is Vice Chair of the ITU Metaverse Working Group on Sustainability, Accessibility & Inclusion and Co-chair on Pre-standardisation for the CitiVerse Task Group to set up the UN definition and roadmap using frontier technologies for citizen-centred cities.

She sits on Advisory Council of Centre for Science Futures at International Science Council, with a UN mandate on science. She advises on how AI impacts on the global innovation ecosystem.
The Metaverse Institute advise the UN, governments, investors, corporates using frontier technologies for impact.

She is Top 100 Women of the Future, Metaverse Influencer of the Year, Intellectual Leader of the Year 2023 etc. She regularly meets with top leaders, is a keynote speaker at high level events, interviewed by top media. She spoke at UN HLPF, STI Forum, summits of WIPO, UNESCO, and ICAO.

Michele Zilli

Principal of Immersive Technologies, TUI Group

Michele Zilli began his current role as Principal Engineer for Immersive Technologies at TUI in January 2022, focusing on harnessing cutting-edge technologies to enhance user experiences globally. With a strategic outlook, he spearheads initiatives to integrate advanced digital solutions across the travel and tourism industry. Prior to this, Michele served as Head of Big Data Transformation at TUI from December 2017, where he led significant data-driven projects that improved operational efficiencies and business insights, setting new standards in data utilization.
Earlier, Michele accumulated a wealth of experience at Vodafone, advancing from roles such as Big Data Analytics Senior Enterprise Architect to Operational Intelligence Lead. His tenure at Vodafone was marked by pioneering analytics solutions that bolstered enterprise capabilities. Michele’s career also includes significant leadership stints at prominent organizations like Barclays and Unisys, where he managed large-scale IT operations and strategic partnerships, respectively. Notably, he co-founded Windward Secrets Management Ltd, steering the company as Director.

Michele holds a strong background in technology, further anchoring his professional achievements. His extensive experience across different sectors and his ability to merge technological innovation with strategic business needs distinctly positions him as a leader in the digital transformation sphere.