Navigating Uncertainty: Driving business value now whilst innovating for future growth
18 May 2023︱The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, London W1J 8LT, UK 

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Maurizio Headshot-1

Dr Maurizio Pilu
Managing Director, Safetytech Accelerator

Maurizio is a digital technologist and technology and innovation executive with 30 years experience. After gaining a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University he joined Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Bristol and Paolo Alto, CA, where he invented, published and commercialized a variety of cutting edge imaging technologies.

After an Executive MBA, he moved on to early stage venture capital where he was in charge of deep-tech investments. After being involved in high profile projects at InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, and the UK’s first-ever national digital innovation centre, Digital Catapult, he moved on to Lloyd’s Register as VP of Digital Innovation with the brief to create and run its first ever digital innovation pract

ice and contributing to transforming the business.

As part of that he created Safety Accelerator, where is he now Managing Director. Maurizio has 50 patents, 35 academic publications, secured over $100m of investments for programmes and ventures and his work has featured in the FT, Guardian, BBC.

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Caoilionn Hurley
Managing Director of Life Planning and Legal, Co-op Legal Services

Caoilionn joined Co-op Legal Services as Finance Director in 2014. She is now Managing Director and sits on the Co-op Group Operating Board. 

Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates over 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores.

Following a complete restructure of the then loss-making legal business in 2014, and a reset of the legal services strategy in 2015, Co-op Legal Services is now a market leader in estate planning and estate administration. The firm also provides services across family law, serious injury and clinical negligence. Co-op Legal Services is enjoying tremendous revenue and profit growth and returns a strong EBIT margin in the sector.

Caoilionn has led the firm’s transformation to become a digital law firm and continues to drive technological innovation through the business. Relentless innovation for better customer, colleague and commercial outcomes is at the heart of the culture of Co-op Legal Services.

As a member cooperative and community-centred organisation, the profits generated by Co-op Legal Services are channelled into Co-op’s Vision of co-operating for a fairer world.

Before joining Co-op Legal Services, Caoilionn held Chief Executive, Commercial Director, Finance Director and other senior roles in a range of sectors, including legal, events, shipping, technology and property. She holds a law degree, a postgraduate in business and a professional accounting qualification. In her personal time, Caoilionn enjoys creative hobbies and sporting interests. 


Tara Waters
Chief Digital Officer, Ashurst LLP

Tara Waters is a partner, the firm's Chief Digital Officer and Head of Ashurst Advance Digital, the technology arm of Ashurst Advance.

As the firm's first Chief Digital Officer, Tara is responsible for the implementation of the firm's digital strategy and the embedding of new digital capabilities across the firm to support that strategy.

As the Head of Ashurst Advance Digital, Tara leads the team responsible for designing, developing and delivering innovative technology-based services and solutions both within the firm and to clients, in furtherance of the digital strategy.

In addition, Tara maintains a legal practice focused on the technology sector and advising high growth companies and their investors.

She founded Ashurst's High Growth & VC team in London, Co-Heads the firm's FinTech practice and Fintech Legal Labs, and is a key member of the firm's Distributed Ledger & Crypto Assets practice.

Tara has written several articles and speaks regularly at international industry events on the topics of digital transformation, legal innovation, fintech and digital assets.

She is a technology specialist having spent seven years architecting and developing digital solutions for businesses in the new media and technology industries in NYC prior to becoming a lawyer.

She is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York.

She was named on Innovate Finance's Women in FinTech Power List 2017, was shortlisted for Legal Innovator of the Year at the 2019 FT Innovative Lawyers Awards and was named to The Lawyer's Hot 100 2020.

She is also a Techstars All Star Mentor.


Neil Turner
Chief Technology Officer, GoCardless

Neil joined GoCardless in 2018 as the VP of Engineering before quickly progressing to become the Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Neil’s role is to oversee the organisation’s global product development.

He has over 20 years of engineering experience and, prior to joining GoCardless, he held senior roles at Capital One and Amazon. 


Patricia Haynes

VP Technology Operations and Delivery, Zopa

As VP Tech Ops & Delivery at Zopa, Patricia is responsible for the smooth running of technology teams from Data to Delivery. 

Having joined Zopa in January 2020 as VP Engineering, Patricia took on a wider role to lead the Technology and Engineering teams during Zopa's bank launch with a focus on expanding our products and establishing Zopa as an exciting and supportive environment in which to grow a tech career.

Patricia is passionate about supporting our D&I initiatives and creating opportunities for new paths into technology. She is a leading member of the Zopa Women in Tech Community often seen in panel discussions and hosting events both internal and external.

Patricia has over 20 years of experience across tech and engineering. She previously worked at Octopus Labs where she held the position of Head of Engineering. 


Harsha Tharkabhushanam

Head of Data Science and AI, BP

Kabir Patel-1

Kabir Patel
Global Head of Finance IT and Transformation, AstraZeneca

Matt George, Equinix

Matt George
Director and SME - Digital Transformation, Equinix

Matt joined Equinix in 2012 and is one of the company’s Global SME’s (Subject Matter Experts).

He covers several industry sectors including Content & Digital Media, Manufacturing and Retail/wholesale supply chain transformation. Sitting as an overlay between the sales and technical teams he advises companies on ways to improve connectivity, global reach, end user experience and cloud enablement through deployment on Equinix’s global interconnection platform. 

Prior to joining Equinix, Matt worked as a Digital Transformation Consultant for companies including Sky Germany and Ladbrokes. 

He started his career in the UK cable TV industry in the mid 90’s. He has led a number of senior marketing and business development positions at Flextech, TiVo, Sky and BT.

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Vimal Parekh

Head of Digital Innovation, Oxford University Press

Vimal is a people focused leader of progressive, digital, customer-focused innovation.

Innovation is a machine that needs to be designed, built, and maintained. Vimal is driven by creating and managing these innovation mechanisms in organisations to improve customer/user experience.

Vimal’s innovation capability was born from a project delivery background. He’s experienced delivering outstanding insights grounded in robust logic with energy and passion. This was enabled through his Business Analysis and Lean Six Sigma experience. Later with Capita, he adopted the Service Design methodology to ensure human centred design principles are at the foundation of his recommendations.

Previous, Vimal headed up Digital Product Innovation within FTSE 250 company- Capita. Vimal built the innovation mechanism in Capita and oversaw a steady stream of Digital Products which Capita used to use to support their outsourcing business.

Vimal has now moved onto Oxford University Press as Head of Digital Innovation where he is building a similar innovation engine.

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper 

Director, Global Innovations, Movember

More than a decade of international experience in communications, innovation, partnerships, business development, CSR and brand marketing, working with some of the world’s most recognised brands and entertainment platforms. Currently leading Innovation at Movember building the brands presence in Web3.

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Leon Gauhman 

Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Elsewhen

Leon Gauhman is the co-founder and Chief Product & Strategy Officer at Elsewhen the Digital Product Consultancy.

Among their clients are companies like Spotify, Google, Microsoft and Mastercard.

Their mission is to empower leaders to harness a cutting edge approach to design and technology to deliver positive impact for their organisations.

They have three service offerings – Digital Strategy, Digital Transformation and Product Design.

Leon writes for publications including Sifted, Venturebeat, City AM and Fintech Futures.

He loves using his experience in engineering and product to invest in promising early stage founders.
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Brandie Deignan

CEO, Pier Health Group

Brandie is a sector agnostic leader, having held leadership roles in 4 different sectors so far in her career. She is a mentor, a guest lecturer, a trustee, a non-exec director, a JP, an advisory board member and a CEO by the day oh, plus a twin- mom most of the time!

In early 2021 Brandie joined primary care within NHS as Chief Executive Officer, highlighting that leadership is leadership, and cuts across all sectors. Prior to this role, Brandie was Managing Director at Marco Pierre White Restaurants, cementing her c20 years’ experience in the consumer service delivery industry across hospitality, retail and aviation. Before her MD role, Brandie held senior leadership positions at British Airways Plc, Tesco Plc, Whitbread Plc, Travelodge and Hilton Hotels, where she started her career as a graduate trainee and worked her way up.

A true trailblazer, Brandie was the first female MD to hold her MD role at MPW Restaurants. As of 2020, Brandie was the first black female MD within branded restaurant groups in the UK. Brandie was named as one of the top 15 BAME high fliers in travel and tourism industry and was a finalist at the Black British Business Awards, Senior Leader, Consumer and Luxury. Brandie was voted No 41 of the Top 50 listening leaders and also nominated in the National Diversity Awards for positive role model, gender diversity. Recently, Brandie was nominated in the SheInspires
Awards as an agent of change.

Peter Dignan

Peter Dignan

Head of Engineering and Customer Engagement, PistonHeads

Pete is currently serving as the Head of Engineering and Consumer Engagement at the enthusiast car website PistonHeads. He is passionate about strategies and innovation to help make the car buying, selling and ownership process less bewildering and easier for people who are looking for premium, performance or collectible cars.

Previously Pete has worked as Head of Architecture for fintech company, Collinson, the leading airport experiences programme implementing bank and credit card benefit solutions across global markets and as Head of Architecture for Haymarket Media Group building unique content to specialist audiences. Pete started his career (after failing at being a professional racing driver) for University of Surrey building one of the first global distance learning MBA experiences back in the early 2000s.

Sam Stamp

Sam Stamp

Chief Commercial Officer, Makers

Sam is Chief Commercial Officer at Makers, creating a new generation of tech talent who are skilled and ready for the changing world of work. Prior to this, he was Head of New Business at international law firm Simmons & Simmons, where he led the firm’s innovation and diversification initiatives including the development of new products and services. Previously, he has worked for a range of technology startups, from smart energy to YouTube content creation, and various marketing agencies in the UK as a Strategy and Business Director. Sam is an Anthropologist by training, which has reinforced a preoccupation with people and the way they interact with the structures and systems around them.
Tom Clarke

Tom Clarke 

Chief EV Officer, Abacai

Tom is the Chief EV Officer for insurtech Abacai, where he leads the group’s work on revolutionising insurance for electric cars. He has over a decade of experience in financial services and has been working in the electric vehicle space since 2018. Tom is passionate about the decarbonisation of transport through electrification and was previously Head of EV strategy at LV= General Insurance. He also sits on the advisory board for electric car subscription provider Voltric. Tom has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and is a chartered fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.  

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Nermin Magued 

VP Digital, Herbalife

15 years of experience in driving digital change, passionate about great digital experiences, change management & leading with purpose. Apart from being a digital expert, Nermin is a certified change management practitioner (APMG) and has vast experience in driving change through digital transformations , business innovations and process simplification.

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James Fullarton

VP Commercial IT, Smith & Nephew

James is VP of Commercial IT for Smith + Nephew where he is responsible for all customer experience, commercial excellence and digital health technologies. He believes that technology is at the heart of every business strategy and is driving transformation of how S+N do business by integrating digital technologies and experiences seamlessly across the value chain from marketing right through to the operating theatre and beyond into patient recovery. James has a background of complex transformation having provided digital technology leadership at TUI Travel, Tesco, HMRC, Accenture and Capita.

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Jamie Crummie

Co-Founder, Too Good To Go

Jamie Crummie trained as a lawyer before pursuing his mission of fighting food waste. He is the co-founder of Too Good To Go, the world’s largest marketplace for surplus food. The app lets consumers buy unsold food from restaurants and retailers so that it doesn’t go to waste. 

Too Good To Go is now active in 17 countries. The market-leading app has 72 million users and 180,000 food businesses signed up, who have rescued over 167 million bags of food collectively. 
Jamie was named Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year at the GB Entrepreneur Awards 2022, a Trailblazing Activist in the 50 Next class of 2021, One Young World’s Entrepreneur of the Year in August 2020, one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Europe in February 2019.

Rikesh Shah

Rikesh Shah

Open Innovation and Open Data Expert, PA Consulting and Ex-Head of Open Innovation, TfL

Rikesh Shah is Head of Open Innovation at Transport for London (TfL), has worked in urban mobility for the last 20 years. He has championed the organization’s award-winning market innovation activity to create new value for London by working with start-ups, corporates, academia, accelerators, and venture capitalists. He was responsible for creating TfL’s first Innovation Hub. The Hub sets out the organization’s key problem statements, bringing in the best innovators from across the world, piloting and scaling innovative solutions with the potential to commercialize, as well as establishing the right culture in the company focusing on agility and design thinking to work with market innovators who either have a new mobility product or an innovative idea to help solve existing city challenges through new technologies.
Natalia Konstantinova

Natalia Konstantinova

Architecture Lead in AI, BP

Natalia Konstantinova is a great enthusiast with over 15 years' experience in the application of Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, IT and machine learning technologies to real world problems. 

She is currently a Staff Data Scientist at BP and her role is to develop standards and best practices to accelerate the adoption and implementation of AI enabled solutions, and doing so with the right level of compliance and standards within BP.  

Natalia got her PhD from the University of Wolverhampton and worked in various fields such as machine translation, ontologies, information extraction, dialogue systems and chat bots. 

Natalia is a strong believer that modern technology can transform businesses and our everyday life.


David Venter

Former VP CH Separation Lead, GlaxoSmithKline

David is a senior Digital & Technology leader with
30+ years of experience across FMCG,
Pharmaceuticals and Retail. He has led large
scale digital transformation working with Exec
leadership teams in global multi-national
organisations (100+ countries) delivering growth
and efficiency. Deep expertise across technology
stack from cloud/infra to ERP and commercial &
marketing technologies. Led 500+ member
technology transformation teams
Alex Cottrell

Alex Cottrell

Principal Innovation Lead, Zurich

Alex is an experienced product leader with extensive knowledge of developing innovative products directly within large corporations and in consultancy roles. He has 20 year experience of working with global commercial enterprises over multiple industries and also major government agencies. Having co-founded Zurich’s Innovation function he has thorough experience of what it takes to create, mature and lead a successful innovation team inside a large company as well having a wealth of experience of the many pitfalls and complexities. He is passionate about how innovation practices can provide the business with the competitive edge by exploring and developing many more value propositions & business models using customer-centric and evidenced based Lean UX and Product Management approaches.

Lydia Hawthorn

Lydia Hawthorn

Delivery Director, Cprime

Lydia Hawthorn is a Delivery Director at Cprime a specialist Agile transformation, tech & tooling consultancy. Lydia has 8+ years of experience as an Agile Transformation Coach, SPC and RTE helping businesses deliver top quality products to their customers. Having had experience across several styles of implementation Lydia supports clients across all verticals to harness the benefits of Agile by creating truly impactful, data driven change within organisations. Agile transformation based on the individual needs of the business. Previously heading up the Delivery team at UK Tote Group Lydia is passionate about helping tech businesses future-proof their digital operations and technical teams by embracing innovation through Agility.
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Damian Smith

Chief Technology Officer, Podium Analytics

Damian is one of the most notable technologists within international sport, an expert in Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning and one of the Top 100 most influential people in data and analytics over a 25 year career in Technology across a range of sectors including Defence, Telecoms, FMCG, Sports, Media, Financial Services and Financial Regulation.

Previously, Damian was the Head of IT at the England and Wales Cricket Board where his team pioneered the use of cloud technology, big data and analytics, and artificial intelligence to grow the game, deliver fantastic customer experience and improve athletic performance. Damian tenuously claims responsibility for England winning the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup and the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup. Before Damian realised that his future lay in information technology, he ran pubs, climbed mountains and starred as a body double for Tom Cruise in Hollywood movies.

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Jon Jacobs

Portfolio CTO and Delivery Lead, Haleon

Jon is the CTO Portfolio and Delivery Lead for Haleon, delivering transformational change across the whole technology stack within the organisation. Jon was a key member of the team who created Haleon as a new Consumer Healthcare FTSE 20 company, an off-shoot from GSK. Jon’s background before Haleon was working at GSK across many of their global technology change initiatives including Service Now, Automation and the roll-out of one of the largest global single instance of SAP. Previously Jon was a consultant working mainly in Pharmaceutical, Consumer Products and Telecoms industries delivering major change programmes, working for big 5 and smaller consultancy companies.


Bola Adesina

Global Diversity and Inclusion Partner, Legal & General Investment Management

Bola is LGIM’s Global DEI Partner, having previously worked in Technology for 20+ years. Her drive, commitment and advocacy for DEI, cohesion and integration have led to impactful organisational culture transformation.

Bola helps formulate and execute on LGIM’s D&I strategy in alignment with our business priorities through collaborating with global stakeholders in embedding D&I into our core business.

She is founder and Co-Chair of Culture Club, fostering dialogue and creating a safe space for colleagues to share experiences, while enabling an inclusive workplace for future generations.

She is known within the industry for her inclusion work, representing LGIM on industry bodies such as the Investment Association: helping to shape an effective approach to diversity data collection. Bola was also Steerco member and now Ambassador of #talkaboutblack under the Diversity Project. She continues to bring together D&I Leads and Ethnicity Co-chairs to share best practice with the goal of effecting broader sustainable and impactful change. Bola is also a member of the Black Women in Asset Management network, who volunteers on the Impact committee

Bola is a thought-leader, speaker and an award-winning DEI Advocate, who has been instrumental in keeping DEI momentum with the support and commitment of senior leadership.


Matthew Randall

Head of Software Development and Integration, Aston Martin Lagonda

Matthew as Head of Software Development and Integration at Aston Martin Lagonda is in charge of the teams that build all internal Software, Integrations and Business Intelligence solutions, currently transforming and moving to a new ERP solution in Infor LN from AML’s legacy home grown COBOL Solutions.

Working at AML since 2008 starting as a Junior .Net Developer and touching most technical solutions within that time, gaining a lot of insight on Automotive processes and how IT has changed during that time.

More recently Matthew is a founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion network at AML, here they are involved in organising events internally and externally to ensure a more inclusive working environment. As part of this work they are involved in modernising the office space for our new way of working, ensuring the workspace is inclusive of everyone who works and may work in the future at AML.

Lee Wilson

Lee Wilson

Head of Data Strategy, Royal London

Lee is an experienced leader, passionate about delivering impactful customer, digital and growth strategies for success. She has led strategy and transformation teams in financial services, media, energy, telecommunications, retail to enable businesses to pivot, innovate and scale to access new opportunities within markets.

Lee believes the fusion of shifts in the digital, data and consumer agenda are disrupting every industry. Significant opportunities for value exist for those with an entrepreneurial mindset, and a drive to deliver innovations people will value.

David Johnson

David Johnson

Director of Strategic Architecture, Domo

David Johnson has twelve years of experience delivering and consulting on business intelligence analysis around the world. As Director of Solutions Consulting for Europe, Middle East and Africa, he oversees proof-of-concept and proof-of-value efforts to help customers realise value and derive insights from real-time data.

Prior to relocating to London this past year, David has been based in New York City, Tokyo, and Salt Lake City where his work has spanned corporate and enterprise sales engineering, post-sale technical consulting and implementation, business and marketing analytics, and content development. From breaking ground on the world’s largest (at the time) KPI library to deploying Domo’s product offering to 50,000 people at a multinational conglomerate, David enjoys understanding how companies operate and how he can help them resolve complex issues. This work ethic is also visible in the results he achieves, from helping to double Japan’s share of revenue in six months to landing the first Domo customers and partnerships in Singapore.

Prior to Domo, David planned and delivered field marketing initiatives at Apple. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Business Strategy from Brigham Young University.

James Tomkins

James Tomkins

Chief Architect, Met Office

James leads the architecture function at the Met Office which includes setting technology strategy and direction, aligning organisational transformation and providing governance and assurance across delivery programmes.  James joined the Met Office in 2012 having spent 15 years leading and managing development teams across a range of organisations including Oracle Corporation (1998-2002) and Landmark Information Group (2006-2012), a leading supplier of geospatial information and services. James led the technical delivery of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) registers on behalf of the governments of UK and Northern Ireland and is currently leading a number of organisational transformation initiatives including public cloud exploitation.