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With entrepreneurship running in her blood, Caroline has always been seeking the next big innovative challenge. As a young Canadian lawyer fresh out of McGill Law School, Caroline took the leap in moving to Asia in 1998 and has spent her life becoming an expert in Asian law with the goal to demystify Asia to SMEs and PE firms from the Western part of the world and contribute to their expansion in Asia.
It wasn’t long before she became the go-to source for people and SMEs and PE firms who want to understand how to grow the Asian market and navigate the Asian legal landscape successfully.
Today, she has an established reputation in the international business community as an entrepreneur of 5 start up over the last 2 decades and an expert advisor on M&A cross-border transactions, commercial law, technology transfer and intellectual property matters and has been the managing director of HJM Asia Law for the past 16 years.
In Caroline’s life, the only constant is growth.
She convinced her younger brother, Maxime, a trained industrial engineer, to join her in China in 2005 when they founded their first business, Jade & Co, a consulting firm for SMEs expanding in Asia offering engineering, legal, marketing and accounting services.
Later, in 2007, Caroline and Maxime founded AsiaTech QC, an automated quality control platform for engineering products manufactured in China, and significantly grew the value of the company, leading to its acquisition in 2013.
In 2010, the duo started Komaspec who is now a leading manufacturer of high-end metal and plastic industrial products based in Guangzhou, China. Today, the company boasts three state-of-the-art smart manufacturing facilities, employs 200+ workers, and serves more than 100 customers in more than 25 countries worldwide, recording 30% YoY growth with a turnover of more than USD 17 millions in 2022. At present, Caroline acts as board member of Komaspec.
A few years later, in 2016, she combined her entrepreneurial background with legal expertise, to bring to market ProsocecAsia, an innovative company providing secretarial, accounting, and compliance services for SMEs companies alongside an automated platform for compliance.
In 2015, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and became a member of YPO in 2021.
Understanding the role of not just mentorship, but sponsors in achieving entrepreneurial success, Caroline set up her own non profit organisation in 2016. The Young E3 Entrepreneur Fund inspires and supports a new generation of young entrepreneurs between 16 and 25 years old, by connecting them with industry experts and sponsors who can help them build a strong foundation for business success. She raises funds to finance these projects through her runs and many other initiatives.
Viewing growth and knowledge sharing as two parts of the same equation, Caroline is a regular speaker at international conferences and has been a visiting professor at Université Laval (Canada), Bocconi University, and the Sorbonne Assas Law School. She has authored the practical book "Doing Business in China" published in French and English, and has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Bloomberg, the Straits Times, the Business Times, Les Affaires, and La Presse.
She remains an active member of the international business community, sitting on multiple boards of listed and private companies, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (President), the South Africa Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, the China Working Group of the International Bar Association, and is the appointed legal adviser of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. She is an independent director of Savaria (sis.to), a listed Canadian company in the mobility industry.
Dr. Katharina Beumelburg is SLB’s chief strategy and sustainability officer, a role she has held since May 2021. Since joining, Katharina has led SLB to be the first company in the energy services industry to announce a 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target inclusive of scope 3 and has been instrumental in building and executing the corporate strategy for the energy transition.
Before joining SLB, Katharina spent more than 15 years in global leadership positions focused on business strategy and excellence, energy systems, especially power generation, hydrogen, and transmission, and consulting.
Katharina holds a degree in industrial engineering from Universität Siegen, a degree in mechanical engineering from Universität Stuttgart, and a Ph.D. in robotics and automation from Universität Stuttgart. In addition to her formal education, she has received executive education from Stanford University, Princeton University, and Harvard Kennedy School. Katharina has been a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum since 2015, serves on the advisory board for the Technical University of Munich’s School of Management, and is a member of the Accenture Executive Circle for Industrial Equipment.
Danae Bezantakou holds the positions of CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants and shareholder of KEFI S.A. & MATILDA HOTEL in Zakynthos Island. One of her biggest accomplishments is the organization of NAVIGATOR – THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS FORUM which is the oldest Greek Shipping Forum, enhancing the open dialogue among the stakeholders of the Greek and International Maritime Clusters annually since 2001. She is the Concept Founder of Young Executives Shipping (YES) FORUM - the platform of open dialogue among principals, executives and university students, recent graduates and young executives in Shipping and Sea Tourism Sectors. She also serves as Secretary General of International Propeller Club (Port of Piraeus) and President of iforU-Greek Mentoring Network, which empowers small and medium women entrepreneurs through mentoring & networking & chairs the education committee of ICC Women in Greece. Danae was appointed as European Young Leader in 2013 and as Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum in 2015.
Danae represented Greece twice in International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of State Dpt. in 2011 and in 2017. She is founding member and President of the Hellenic U.S. Alumni Association of State Department Programs. Her dedication to the growth of Entrepreneurship made her to be named as a Role Model in the campaign #Makingithappen organized by the U.S. Embassy to Greece. Recently she was chosen among 225,000 alumni of State Dept. As one of the 80 #FacesofExchange initiative highlighting 80 years of the IVLP and the impact of her work on the global community.
She regularly participates as a speaker, judge or mentor in startup competitions, Shipping fora, school and university lectures and events related to entrepreneurship.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Surrey. She has a 13 year old daughter.
Mr. Neeraj Bharadwaj is Managing Director of Carlyle India Advisors Private Limited, focused on large growth capital and buyout opportunities across sectors in India. Prior to joining Carlyle in 2012, Mr. Bharadwaj was a Managing Director with Accel Partners’ growth investing operation in India. Preceding that he was with Apax Partners for nearly 10 years – as a Partner in the U.S. and subsequently as Managing Director/Country Head for Apax in India.
Founder and CEO, Swaniti Initiative, social enterprise that delivers development solutions by working with government officials. Role focuses on issues around good governance, data-driven delivery and public services. Former Labour Economist, World Bank, focusing on issues of job creation. Has also worked for organizations such as UNFPA and FICCI. Master's in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; graduate in Political Science, Wake Forest University. Author of publications including: Frontiers in Development Policy (World Bank); A Primer on Labor Policies (World Bank); Global Business School Network (Harvard Business School).
Alsharif Nasser bin Nasser
In 2022, Mr. Nasser launched Ambit Advisory, focusing on cross-sectoral and cascading risks impacting issues at the nexus of security and development in the Middle East. At the start of 2022, he was also appointed as Senior Advisor to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), where he leads research relating to the impacts of ballistic missiles, drones, disruptive weapon systems and weapons of mass destruction on Middle East security and stability.
In 2023 Mr. Nasser became a member of World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Complex Risk, an interdisciplinary invitation-only community that works to identify long term global risks for stakeholders in the World Economic Forum and develop appropriate mitigation efforts.
From 2010 until 2021, Mr. Nasser served as the Managing Director of the Middle East Scientific Institute for Security (MESIS) based in Amman, Jordan. In this position, he focused on addressing chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) risks across the Middle East region. During the same period, he also headed the Middle East Regional Secretariat, the first of eight secretariats to be established globally under the European Union’s Centres of Excellence initiative on CBRN issues.
Previously, Mr. Nasser worked in the office of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, where he last served as Senior Analyst in the Foreign Affairs Directorate. During that time, he managed several bilateral and thematic files and led analytical studies on Jordan’s regional and international relations.
Mr. Nasser is also involved with numerous organizations. He served as the Chairman of a leading insurance company in Jordan and currently serves as the Vice Chairman of a public national commission offering support to injured and disabled veterans. He received his master’s degree in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University and his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy and Business Management from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts (2001). Nasser is also the chair of the Princeton alumni committee in Jordan since 2004 and mentor for Middle East alumni committees for two terms (2017-2023).
In 2015, Mr. Nasser was selected by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader,” along with 187 candidates globally and served as Member of the Advisory Group for the Forum of Young Global Leaders between 2021-2022. Between 2018-2020, he was a non-resident scholar of the Washington-based Middle East Institute and in 2021 joined the English-language daily, Jordan News Daily, as a regular columnist.
Adam C. Bird
Adam Bird is a Director with McKinsey & Company and Co-Leader of the Global Media and Entertainment Practice. He advises the top management of leading global media, entertainment, technology and consumer goods companies on critical business issues and leads McKinsey's Digital Marketing Practice, as well as the firm's Global Digital Initiative. Prior to McKinsey, Bird was the youngest Senior Partner with Booz & Company (formerly Booz Allen Hamilton). He founded the European Media and Entertainment Practice and led the Global Consumer and Media Practice. He also served as a Member of Booz Allen Hamilton's and Booz & Company's Board of Directors, the firm's highest governance bodies. Bird is co-author of Customer Centricity: New Opportunities for the Media Industry. He often speaks on media topics at conferences and is cited in leading publications. Bird is a Member of the International Council of the Paley Center for Media and serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Munich International School. He is an honours graduate of Wesleyan University.
Peter Bisanz is a social entrepreneur, filmmaker and pioneer in the emerging field of Social Impact Entertainment (SIE), which leverages the power of entertainment to catalyze change on some of the world’s toughest challenges. He has also spearheaded social impact campaigns while Head of Communications and Development for the World Economic Forum’s think-and-do tank (the Global Agenda Councils), which is charged with tackling the world’s most pressing environmental, social and geopolitical issues.
Peter was the founding Executive Director for the Skoll Center for SIE in Hollywood — the first center of its kind — where he partnered with Participant Media in publishing The State of SIE, the first book on the topic. He also previously served as Head of Development for Paramount Pictures’ The Ladd Company, directed Entropy Films’ feature length documentary Beyond our Differences and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007.
Peter currently leads The Power of Story, a new SIE consultancy and production company. The Power of Story's current project is a documentary series and integrated social impact campaign based on The Conversation, Harvard Professor Robert Livingston’s eponymous book about a radically non-judgmental and scientific approach to ending systemic racism.
Peter earned his MBA from the University of Oxford, an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a BFA in Film and Television from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts.
Matthew Bishop is a leading writer and social innovator. He spent over 25 years at The Economist, including serving as New York Bureau Chief and other roles including business editor and Wall Street editor. He then led the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. Bishop is a co-founder of the Social Progress Index; Catalyst 2030; the SDG-focused initiative, 17 Rooms; and the #GivingTuesday campaign. He was official report author of the G8 Taskforce on Social Impact Investing. He is the co-author of several books, including Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World and The Road From Ruin. He has chaired the WEF Global Agenda Council on Philanthropy and Social Innovation and was honored by the WEF as a Young Global Leader.
Cristina Bitar is Executive Director of Azerta, a strategic communications company in Chile and Member of the Board of Un Techo Para Chile, an NGO dedicated to building housing for families in extreme poverty. She was also the Founder and Executive Director of Independientes en Red, a political movement that was created to promote new leadership and political renovation. From 1996 to 2008, Bitar was Executive Director and Founding Partner of Hill & Knowlton Captiva. Prior, she worked as Adviser to the Minister Finance of Chile and Head of the APEC Division at the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Chile. She also led the presidential campaign of Joaquin Lavin in 2005. Bitar is a Member of the Board of Comunidad Mujer, a local leaders association for women, and Member of the Board of Provida, the largest pension fund in Chile. She has a BA in Economics and Sociology from Dartmouth College, and an MBA from Universidad de Chile and Tulane University.
Thor Björgolfsson is a self-styled “adventure capitalist”, who became Iceland’s first billionaire. He made his first fortune with Bravo Brewery in St Petersburg, Russia, selling it to Heineken in 2002. Over the next years he invested in telecoms, mostly in Eastern Europe, built up generic drugs company Actavis (now Allergan) and became big investor in one of Iceland’s largest banks, Landsbanki.
Thor continues to be an active investor in the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America through his London-based private equity fund Novator Partners LLP. He is Chairman of Novator and maintains a shareholding in companies including telecoms Play in Poland and WOM in Chile, as well as computer games company CCP, data center Verne Global and pharmaceutical company Xantis Pharma.
Thor graduated from New York University‘s Stern School of Business with a degree in Finance and has served on the School‘s Board of Overseers for the past 8 years.
Thor’s autobiography, “Billions to Bust—and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune, And What I Learned on the Way”, was published in 2014.
Jimena Blázquez Abascal
Jimena Blázquez Abascal has a PhD on contemporary art and public spaces. Prior to working for the NMAC Foundation, she worked at the Picasso Museum of Paris and for Art Adviser, Marc Blondeau. Since 1999, she has been focusing on the opening and curatorial direction of the NMAC Foundation and has curated more than 40 site-specific art projects by outstanding artists. She has created a platform of creative art and ideas at which artists from all over the world can come to dialogue, particularly between Africa and Europe. In 2003, she became a curator at PS1/MOMA together with Harald Szeemann of “The Real Royal Trip”, one of the biggest exhibitions of young Spanish artists ever presented in the United States and which became a travelling show around Europe. She was also the first curator to introduce the works of Jeppe Hein, Michael Lin, Yael Bartana Marepe and Maja Bajevic to an American audience. Blázquez Abascal has written several books, including a bestseller, "Sculpture Parks in Europe: A Guide to Art ". She is a frequent contributor to international art magazines.