João Benjamin Parolin
CEO, Oxiteno, Brazil
João Benjamin Parolin joined Oxiteno in 1986 in the commercial area where, over the years, he has headed up a range of transformations, aimed at expanding the company's international presence and focusing increasingly on surfactants. In 2007 he became CEO of the company. In this position, he has stepped up investment in new products and applications for surfactants and specialty chemicals. He has continued the international expansion of the company in Latin America and, more recently, into the USA.
Parolin holds a degree in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo, a post-graduate degree in marketing administration from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, an MBA from the University of Sao Paulo and he has done specialization courses at the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University) and Wharton Business School.
Partner, McKinsey & Company, USA
Robbie Kellman Baxter
Principal, Peninsula Strategies, LLC, USA
Robbie Kellman Baxter is the founder of Peninsula Strategies LLC, a management consulting firm, as well as the author of “The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue”, a book that has been named a top 5 Marketing Book of the Year by Inc.com. She coined the popular business term “Membership Economy”, which is now being used by organizations and journalists around the country and beyond. She has advised Netflix, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, and Guthy-Renker’s OceanX as well as dozens of fast-growing venture-backed companies. Over the course of her career, Robbie has worked in or consulted to clients in more than twenty industries. Before starting Peninsula Strategies in 2001, Robbie served as a New York City Urban Fellow, a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton, and a Silicon Valley product marketer. She has an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.Robbie has been quoted or interviewed by major media outlets, including CNN, Consumer Reports, and NPR. As a public speaker, Robbie has presented to thousands of people in corporations, associations, and universities, and now AOCS.
PwC EMEA Digital Services Leader, PwC Strategy&, Germany
Olaf Acker is a partner with Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), part of the global PwC network.
Olaf leads the firm’s digital platform across EMEA and is a member of PwC’s Global Digital Leadership Team.
He has over 15 years of strategy consulting and four years of prior media and banking industry experience. Olaf primarily serves chemical industry clients in Europe, North America and the Middle East, where he is focusing on their digital transformation journey with a strong emphasis on all aspects of related technologies.
Olaf holds a master’s degree from the University of Würzburg (Germany), with emphasis on business computing, marketing, and English language studies; and he attended the executive education program at London Business School.
Internationally-recognized Author, CNN contributor and CEO of 60 Second Marketer, USA
Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and network TV news contributor who has helped The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, CNN and other global brands tackle complex business problems.
He is the co-author of Go Mobile, which was the #1 best-selling mobile marketing book on Amazon when it was first released, and How to Make Money with Social Media, which is now in its second edition. He is a regular guest on CNN and HLN on the topics of business, digital media and leadership. And he's the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer, a business blog that is read by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Jamie has been profiled in the world's best-selling marketing textbook, is an adjunct instructor at Emory University, and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker at trade shows, events and corporations around the globe.
General Manager for Fabric Care, The Procter & Gamble Company, USA
Zeynep Yalım Uzun
Principal, Peninsula Strategies, LLC, USA
Chief Marketing Officer, Arçelik A.S., Turkey
Zeynep Yalım Uzun is chief marketing officer at Arçelik, a leading home appliances and consumer electronics company operating in 145 countries. Her responsibilities include global brand management, consumer insights, industrial design, and product sourcing. She manages Arçelik’s 11 brands, including Europe’s leading white goods brands Beko and Grundig, and Turkey’s Lovemark brand, Arçelik.
Zeynep initiated her career at Turkish conglomerate Koç Holding, then moved to Unilever, where she led numerous brands, including Knorr, Omo and Sunsilk, between 1992 and 2017. Between 1998 and 2001, Zeynep served as marketing manager for the Rama brand in Central and Eastern Europe. She returned to Turkey in 2001, working initially as marketing manager for Knorr and Calve, then for the Home Care Category. Subsequently, Zeynep became director of Unilever’s Home Care Category in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. She also led the team that initiated Omo’s renowned “Dirt is good” campaign.
In 2007, Zeynep became vice president of Unilever Turkey’s Home and Personal Care division and joined the Unilever Turkey board. In 2012, she was appointed global vice president of OMO, Unilever’s second-largest global brand, covering more than 80 countries. She moved to Arçelik and her current position in October 2017.
Zeynep graduated from Robert College in Istanbul and earned her BA in economics and psychology at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, USA.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Zipjet, Germany
Born and raised in Germany, Florian earned a diploma in economics as well as a master of law. He first worked as a consultant for KPMG, and later the Boston Consulting Group. After working more than 5 years in consulting, Florian entered the digital space and joined Tirendo, the leading European automotive e-commerce platform—which was incubated by Project A Ventures and which successfully exited to Delticom—as the head of business development. After the Tirendo exit, together with Rocket Internet, Florian founded Zipjet in autumn 2014. Zipjet is the leading European online, on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service, which thrives on the trend of consumer convenience services.
Vice President Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, BMW Group, Germany
President, Home Care, Unilever, UK
Kees has enjoyed a long career history with Unilever, working in senior roles for the company since the 1990s, based in countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Prior to his current role, Kees had been President of Unilever's North America business and Global Head of Customer Development since 2011. Between 2004 and 2008, Kees was based in South Africa as CEO of Unilever Foods, during which time he took part in a nationwide programme to bring together business, government and non-governmental organisations. In 2002, he joined the Board of Unilever Bestfoods in Asia, tasked with building Unilever’s foods and beverages brands across the continent. Kees is Chairman of Enactus International, a network of global business, academic and student leaders dedicated to developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. Kees is married with four daughters and enjoys travel, sports and spending time with his family.
- 2018: Appointed President of Unilever's Home Care business
- 2011: Appointed President of Unilever North America and Global Head of Customer Development and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive
- 2008 - 2011: CEO of Unilever Brazil
- 2004 to 2008: CEO of Unilever Foods
- 2002: Joined the Board of Unilever Bestfoods in Asia
- 1990s: Held various senior roles at Unilever in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Managing Director, Accenture, USA
Yves Gorat Stommel
Director of Business Development and Innovation, Evonik Corporation, USA
Yves Gorat Stommel is currently working as the director of the department for business development and innovation in the technological/methodological area, with a focus on implementing best practices (processes, methodologies and technology) in production and operations administration.
In his current function, Yves’ motivation stems from continuously improving the processes that lead to an increasing contribution of the operations to the business success, mainly through identifying, benchmarking and implementing best practices, coupled with targeted communication, linking knowledge and an emphasis on global instead of local mindsets and approaches. Through his international exposure as an expat (China and US) and through his work assignments, Yves has gained a deeper understanding of (and growing interest in) intercultural and international work environments.
Global Product Supply Officer, The Procter & Gamble Company
Yannis Skoufalos is the global product supply officer for the Procter & Gamble Company and is responsible for procurement, engineering, manufacturing, customer service, quality, distribution, and innovation program management of P&G’s brands across the world. Yannis joined P&G in 1984 as a chemical engineer in Europe. During his career he has worked in various supply chain management positions across most of P&G’s business units. He has lived and worked in North America, Latin America and Europe, leading P&G’s supply chains in these locations. He is currently overseeing the largest capacity and supply chain transformation in P&G’s 175-year history.
Born and raised in Greece, Yannis graduated from the University of Leeds in the U.K.
Global Technology Ethnographer and Co-founder, Sudden Compass, USA
Tricia Wang is a global technology ethnographer. She co-founded Constellate Data, a consultancy that helps companies to use data to understand people. As an authority on customer strategy, design research, China, and social media, Tricia’s work and points of view have been featured in popular media and presented to international corporations such as Procter & Gamble.
With more than 15 years’ experience working with designers, engineers and scientists, Tricia advises organizations on data brought to light by using digital-age ethnographic research methods to uncover emotions, stories and meaning that improve strategy, policy, products and services.
Tricia also investigates the intersection of technology and culture—how social media and the internet affect identity-making, trust formation and collective action. Particular topics of interest include social media, China, anonymity and the bias toward the quantifiable. Using hyper-immersive ethnography gives her a perspective that she believes is critical for organizations to understand if they want to form a lifelong relationship with their customers.
Tricia has a B.A. in communication and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California San Diego. She holds affiliate positions at Data & Society, Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet Studies, and New York University's Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP). She is a National Science Foundation Fellow, where she is the first Western scholar to work with China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in Beijing.
Claus Crone Fuglsang
Senior Vice President, Research & Technology, Novozymes A/S, Denmark
After finishing a biochemistry degree at the University of Copenhagen in 1993, Claus Crone Fuglsang joined Novo Nordisk, Enzyme Division (later Novozymes), first as a research scientist, then as a manager (finishing an M.B.A at Heriott-Watt University in 2000) and since 2002 as a director/senior director responsible for Novozymes’ protein chemistry area and pharmaceutical protein development. In 2008 he transferred to the United States, assuming global responsibility for Novozymes’ R&D efforts in bioenergy with focus on cellulosic ethanol. Since mid-2010 he has also served Novozymes Inc. (Davis, California) as managing director/president, covering a wide variety of research disciplines in Novozymes’ basic R&D organizations spanning production strain development to protein engineering. In May 2012 he became vice president and head of Novozymes BioEnergy R&D worldwide with research groups in Denmark, Brazil, China and the United States. In February 2016 he was promoted to senior vice president and head of research and technology in Novozymes. The global organization covers the basic research disciplines and technologies in the discovery and development of enzyme and microbial products including scale-up and later optimization of production as well as registration, product safety and IP.
Director-General, CONSUMERTEC, Ecuador
Rodrigo Olmedo is the co-founder of CONSUMERTEC and its director-general since 1994. He received his Chemistry degree from Catholic University in Ecuador, with further specialization in Neurobiology at Duke University (USA). He received the Latin American Textile Award for his advances in the area of color care evaluation methodologies. For more than 30 years he has been involved in the laundry consumer sector, in the areas of modeling and simulation of consumer realities, both physical and virtual. In the last 10 years he has pioneered the use of in-silico technologies to represent consumer perceptions and actions focused to influence consumer repurchase behavior in emerging markets.
Executive Officer, Executive General Manager of Production Engineering Research Headquarters, Lion Corporation, Japan
Dr. Okano joined Lion Corporation after receiving a master’s degree in engineering from Osaka University in 1989.
As of 2009 he was responsible for research management as the director of functional material science research laboratories. In 2011 he accepted the position of director of the research planning and administration department, then became executive officer and the executive general manager of research and development headquarters in 2014.
In 2018, Dr. Okano became executive officer and executive general manager of production engineering research headquarters for Lion.
Professor of Production Management, Hochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Production has fascinated Andreas Syska his entire professional life. After his graduation in mechanical engineering from the RWTH Aachen in 1985, he initially worked as a research assistant at the Aachen Research Institute for Rationalization (FIR). There, he also carried out a series of industrial projects.
After receiving his doctorate in 1990, he worked for Robert Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart. There he became production manager with a subsidiary of the group. Subsequently, he returned to his home, the Rhineland, where he became a consultant for factory organization. In 1997 he became professor for production management at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach. Since then, he has endeavored to pass on the greatest possible share of his fascination with production to his students and his cooperating partners in industry.
President & CEO, Kao Corporation, Japan
Michitaka Sawada was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Kao in June 2012. Since then, he has been responsible for championing the design and release of K20, the Kao Group's new mid-term business plan. K20's goals for the company include creating a global corporate presence and pursuing business with environmental and social benefits.
Sawada joined Kao in 1981, after specializing in applied chemistry at Osaka University, where he earned a Master of Engineering degree. Over the course of his career at Kao, he has spent more than 30 years in research and development. Sawada's work has included both fundamental research and product development research, extending from the development of the polymer materials used in the iconic Bioré pore strips to leadership on the re-engineering of Merries baby diapers after his appointment as Vice President of the Sanitary Products Research Laboratories in 2003. In 2006, he became one of Kao's executive officers and assumed responsibility for the entire R&D Division. Sawada was the first leader of the Human Health Care R&D Center following its establishment in 2007 and was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2008. He is currently a Director of the Japan Chemical Industry Association, a Vice Chairman of the Japan Soap and Detergent Association, a Deputy President of the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, a Chair of Committee on Consumer Goods and Services of the Japan Business Federation, and a Director of the Board of the Consumer Goods Forum, a global network that serves shopper and consumer needs.
CEO, Seventh Generation, USA
Joey Bergstein joined Seventh Generation in 2011 and, together with the Seventh Generation team, has been transforming it’s business, more than doubling revenue during this time, while fulfilling the company’s mission to incite a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations. Following the sale to Unilever, Joey has been appointed CEO. Growth and profitability are accelerating as is the company’s ability to impact millions of people.
Head of Sustainability and Resource Management, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Germany
President, CEO and Founder, HealthPro Brands Inc., USA
Todd Wichmann has over 25 years in the consumer products business, both as an entrepreneur and as an employee at the Procter & Gamble Company. After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1992, he initially joined the Procter & Gamble Company working in the laundry product development (R&D) division, earning several patents on detergent formulations. In 1995 he transferred to P&G’s brand management organization where he served as North American brand manager for both Tide and Cascade.
In 2000, Todd left P&G to co-found Redox Brands, which acquired the Oxydol and Biz brand detergents from P&G in 2000. In 2001 Todd won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his founding work at Redox. After Redox Brands successfully merged with another cleaning company to become CR Brands, in 2005 Todd bought the trademarks and formulation patents of FIT Produce Wash from P&G and founded HealthPro Brands Inc. FIT was reformulated to be certified USDA organic and has launched into new organic cleaning categories such as laundry detergents, surface cleaners and dishwashing products.
Vice President of International Affairs, Veolia, France
Gary Crawford is the vice president of international affairs at Veolia. Based in the global headquarters in Paris, France, Mr. Crawford has more than 25 years of experience in the waste industry and has held various operational, technical and managerial positions. He is responsible for establishing active partnerships with key global stakeholders and institutions to support the company’s current activities and developing business. He is focused on emerging growth markets associated with cross-cutting subjects, such as the circular economy, climate change and smart and sustainable cities. He also is responsible for identifying new business models for developing economies that deliver sustainable development benefits and business value.
Previously, he was vice president of sustainable development for Veolia Environmental Services (VES). He led an international team that developed and implemented corporate health, safety and environmental policies, programs and initiatives. His team also provided support and expertise to VES’s world-wide business units on carbon management and the execution of sustainable development projects.
Mr. Crawford is a member of the board of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and is chair of the ISWA Working Group on climate change and waste management. Representing ISWA, he is a member of the steering group and lead partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Municipal Solid Waste Initiative. Mr. Crawford received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Cook College, Rutgers University, and a master’s degree in engineering geology from Drexel University (US).