The Leading Speakers Bureau

Jul 31 2015

Ben Collins

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Professional Racing Driver, The Stig, TV Presenter, World Record Breaker & Hollywood Stunt Driver

Ben CollinsBen Collins is one of Britain’s most renowned and unusual sportsmen. He is most famous for his role as the Stig, but he is respected as a focussed and successful businessman. Ben has put every known supercar to the test, racing the world’s greatest cars, from the Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari 430 Scuderia to a London Routemaster. From the anonymity of his white helmet he taught some of the world’s most famous stars how to lay down a fast racing lap, managed to catch a parachutist in his moving car and coached a blind man how to take on a chicane.

Ben’s career has been touched by the unusual, the extreme and the unknown


In detail

As a journalist, Ben writes for Autosport and The Sunday Times and is currently a presenter for Channel Five’s Fifth Gear program. Ben has commanded James Bond’s Aston Martin in the last James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, and performed as Nic Cage’s driving stunt double. He has presented a TV show for the BBC called Extreme Teens and has carried out some daring stunts on numerous car shows such as Driven, Top Gear and Pulling Power. He was hired by Hornby plc for several years as the Brand Manager for Scalextric, during which time sales of the model cars rebounded under his direction.


What he offers you

Ben is an expert on cars and above all on driving and the mental aptitude required to be a professional. He is able to get across what it really feels like to go racing and relate his knowledge of personal development to everyday life. The concept of winning was etched into his ethos from a young age and the determination to succeed has remained a constant in his life. Ben understands the corporate world well and spends a great deal of time hosting corporate events and track days and is astute to the relationships between companies.


How he presents

Ben’s boundless enthusiasm, interest in all things and never say die attitude makes him an endearing guest and a captivating speaker. His unique and ongoing career exemplifies making the most of every opportunity and his story relates how personal development and great commitment will overcome all the odds.

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Jul 29 2015

Bassem Youssef

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Acclaimed Political Satirist

Bassem YoussefBassem Youssef is an Egyptian satirist, a columnist and a former cardiac surgeon. He hosted the most popular political satire TV show Al-Bernameg, which was the first of its kind political satire show in the Middle East region. Originally an online 5-minute show, Al-Bernameg became the most watched show in the history of Egyptian TV with an average of 40 million viewers every week, in addition to over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 700 million views on his own channel and other channels.

Named in 2013 one of the “100 most influential people in the world” by Time magazine


In detail

Al-Bernameg received wide acclaim around the world with coverage in some of the biggest media outlets. The second season, aired on CBC network, was the first live audience show in the Middle East. In June 2014, Bassim announced the termination of the show due to pressure on both the show and the airing channel. Foreign Policy magazine named Bassem one of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers. In 2013 he received the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Bassem is a spring fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.


What he offers you

Bassem is an accomplished speaker, host and interviewer. His bold, intelligent and humorous critiques of the political situation in the Middle East make him a sought after commentator at prestigious conference around the globe.


How he presents

Highly charismatic and thought provoking, Bassem Youssef engages audiences with his sharp political analysis and fine humour.

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Jul 27 2015

Gideon Rachman

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Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist for the Financial Times

Gideon RachmanGideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in 2006. Currently he writes their blog on international affairs and is also an associate editor. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections.

“Gideon is an elegant and provocative commentator with very wide experience overseas and in the UK”


In detail

Gideon Rachman obtained a first class honours degree in History from Cambridge University. He started his career with the BBC World Service (1984-1987). He was a visiting fellow and Fulbright scholar, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He later became a reporter for The Sunday Correspondent, stationed in Washington DC. He also wrote the Charlemagne column from Brussels in his role as EU Correspondent. He has also been writing articles for Prospect Magazine and was a contributing editor to The Washington Quarterly from 1996-2006.


What he offers you

Gideon Rachman’s particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation. He has also made regular appearances on TV and radio. He draws on his extensive knowledge to offer audiences fascinating forecasts and insights into the current foreign affairs and economic landscape.


How he presents

Gideon Rachman’s presentations are insightful and thought provoking. In a light and relaxed way, he conveys complex issues with great clarity.

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Jul 24 2015

Zanny Minton Beddoes

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Editor-in-Chief of The Economist

Zanny Minton BeddoesZanny Minton Beddoes is the Editor-in-Chief of The Economist and the first female to hold the position in the prestigious publications 170+ year history. Prior to her current role she was The Economist’s Economic editor. She travelled extensively in Latin America and Eastern Europe, writing editorials and country analyses. She has written extensively about international financial issues, the future of the IMF, economic reforms in emerging economies, the world economy, Latin American and global finance and Central Asia. Ms Minton Beddoes is a regular TV and radio commentator on PBS, NPR, CNN and CNBC.

“A renowned authority on the world economy and global financial issues”


In detail

Ms Minton Beddoes holds an undergraduate degree from Oxford University and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
She joined The Economist in 1994 after spending two years as an economist at the IMF where she worked on macroeconomic adjustment programmes in Africa and the transition economies of Eastern Europe. Before joining the IMF, she worked as an adviser to the Minister of Finance in Poland as part of a small group of experts. She is a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Committee for Economic Development.


What she offers you

As a prestigious expert on economic and financial topics and being a pioneer in economic journalism, Zanny Minton Beddoes analyses how financial and economic trends will impact businesses and industries. She is in great demand to advise global decision makers from all fields.


How she presents

Ms Minton Beddoes offers extensive experience and unique perspectives that engage and inspire audiences around the globe.

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Jul 20 2015

Kate Ancketill

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CEO & Founder of GDR Creative Intelligence

Kate AncketillKate Ancketillis the CEO and Founder of GDR Creative Intelligence, a globally recognised consultancy focused on innovation and emerging trends in retail, leisure and hospitality around the world.Kate won the Jennifer d’Abo Memorial Scholarship for female entrepreneurs in 2007 and was selected as one of the UK’s top 100 in the Courvoisier Future 500 in 2009.As CEO of GDR, Kate is retained by an impressive roster of major global brands.

“Meaningful innovation often starts with inspiration from unexpected places”


In detail

Founded in 1992, GDR Creative Intelligence is an independent consultancy that provides the world’s leading consumer brands with brand marketing and retail futures insight. The team researches, analyses and showcases key innovation trends to help clients compete. GDR is retained by brands and retailers for its personalized digital innovation platform, interactive presentations and workshops, custom research projects and real-world learning experiences where they can see innovation working in the field. The company also does creative matchmaking, thanks to its relationships with a diverse network of the best agencies worldwide.


What she offers you

Kate’s highly curated content illustrates how new technologies and consumer behaviours will impact physical and digital commerce globally.Her trademark wow-factor multi-media narratives explore the fast-moving impact of technological, human and spatial innovations that will change the face of retail and hospitality over the next two to five years.


How she presents

Kate specialises in making complex and fast-moving tech simple for the non IT audience. Her audiences take away concrete action points for future-proofing their business and a broad perspective on priorities for investment; as well as a mind fizzing with new, stimulating and challenging concepts and possibilities.

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Jul 17 2015

Jack Ma

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Entrepreneur& Lead Founder of the Alibaba Group

Jack MaJack Ma is the lead founder of Alibaba Group. After the company’s debut in 1999, he served as Group chairman and chief executive officer for more than a decade, with responsibility for overall strategy and focus. On May 10, 2013, he stepped down as Chief Executive Officer but remains executive chairman and continues to shape the Group’s business strategy and management development.

“One of the most successful Chinese Internet entrepreneurs”


In detail

Jack Ma graduated from Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute with a major in English. He currently serves on the board of SoftBank Corp., a leading digital information company that is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He is also a director of Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, a company listed on The Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Jack became a trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s China program in 2009; joined the global board of directors of the organization in 2010; and has served as chair of The Nature Conservancy’s China board of directors since May 11, 2013. In September 2013, he joined the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation as a director.


What he offers you

Jack Ma draws on his considerable expertise as a successful business leader, offering audiences a wealth of useful insights into creating successful businesses and generating wealth based on his first hand experiences.


How he presents

Jack Ma is as an enthralling speaker with a penchant for puns and slogans who is renowned for speaking at conferences around the globe.

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Jul 15 2015

Catherine L’Ecuyer

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Educational Consultant & Author of The Wonder Approach

Catherine L’EcuyerCatherine L’Ecuyer, a Canadian lawyer with an MBA,currently works as researcher, writer and speaker on The Wonder Approach, a new learning theory that she recently published in the prestigious academic journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Her book, The Wonder Approach, has been published in Italy, Corea and Spain (2012), where it is considered as a bestseller (10th edition)

“In education, more is not necessarily better”


In detail

For the last 20 years, our children have lived in an environment that is more and more frenetic, competitive and demanding. During these years parents have met with a new challenge in education. They have come to believe that “more and earlier is better”. As a result, children are encouraged to play with educational toys, are pressured to excel in one activity after another and are exposed to hours of fast paced screen viewing. Do children need so much input? It is time to unveil a series of educational myths. Updates in neuroscience tell us that more and earlier is not the better. On the contrary, constant noise and stimulus consume our children’s attention, and interrupt their natural learning process, making it increasingly difficult for them to observe, to question and to wonder


What she offers you

According to Aristotle, all men by nature desire to learn, or “wonder”. The wonder approach consists in creating a favorable environment, so that the natural desire to learn can flourish in our children and later teenagers. The wonder approach is about respecting our children’s own pace, their need for silence, nature and mystery, giving them opportunities for beauty and giving them back the love of learning they were born with.


How she presents

Catherine has a unique talent of understanding, energising and motivating her audience through a blend of storytelling, humour and knowledge. Her warmth and empathy connects her to audiences and her understanding and experience of children’s education is unique.

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Jul 13 2015

Anja Förster

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Management Consultant and Author

Anja FörsterAnja Förster is a bestselling author, management consultant and one of today‘s savviest business authorities on reinventing the logic of how business gets done.. She is a member of the Top 100 Jury, an initiative that awards the Best Innovator prize in Germany. Anja also lectures at the ZfU International Business School in Switzerland. Living in Germany, Anja writes her books in the US and picks up unusual business solutions on her extensive travels through North America and Asia.

“Crazy is who always does the same but hopes for a different result”


In detail

Anja Förster studied Business Administration in Germany, before being awarded a scholarship to continue her studies at a renowned American Graduate School of International Management and lived and worked in the US for several years. She was a senior manager at one of the world’s leading consulting companies before deciding to branch out and found her own management consultancy. Travelling all over Europe, she applies her theories in practice. Her clients include BMW, Deutsche Bank, Swisscom Mobile, Siemens etc.


What she offers you

Anja is a provocative and inspiring voice on management and innovation. She shares her unique insights into what it takes to succeed in today’s rapidly changing business world and highlights growth opportunities. Additionally she challenges people to turn long-held industry conventions on their head, fearlessly challenges the old guard and amazes her audience with new and unique products and services.


How she presents

Entertaining, thought-provoking and passionate, her presentations don’t just talk about being different they inspire people to be different. Her dynamic and entertaining approach leaves a lasting impression on her audience, leaving them energised.

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Jul 10 2015

Michael Foale

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British Astronaut

Michael FoaleMichael Foale is the British born astronaut who sprang to public attention whilst on board the Mir spacestation. Michael graduated from Cambridge University with a BA in Physics and a doctorate in Laboratory Astrophysics, While a postgraduate at Cambridge University he participated in the organisation and execution of scientific scuba diving projects. With the co-operation of the Greek Government he participated in one expedition and led another surveying underwater antiquities in Greece. In the autumn of 1981 he participated as a volunteer diver in the under water exploration of the 1543 ocean galleon, “The Mary Rose”, learning excavation and survey techniques in very low visibility conditions.


In detail

Wishing to pursue a career in the U.S. Space Programme, Michael moved to Houston, Texas, to work on Space Shuttle navigation problems at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Corporation. In June 1983, Michael joined NASA Johnson Space Centre in the payload operations area of the Mission Operations Directorate. In his capacity as payload officer in the Missions Control Centre, he was responsible for payload operations on Space Shuttle missions STS-5IG, 51-1, 61-B and 61-C.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in June 1987, Michael completed a one-year training and evaluation programme in August 1988. Before his first flight he flew the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) simulator to provide verification and testing of the shuttle flight software, and later developed crew rescue and integration operations for International Space Station Alpha. He has served as Deputy Chief of the Missions Development Branch in the Astronaut Office, and Head of the Astronaut Office Science Support Group. In preparation for a long-duration flight on the Russian Space Station Mir, Foale trained at the Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, Foale has logged over 160 days in space including 10-1/2 hours of EVA. He was a mission specialist on STS-45, STS-56 and STS-63, and served as Board Engineer 2 on Mir 24.

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Jul 08 2015

Vitaly Sevastianov

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Russian space exploration hero, Academic, Former Statesman and Politician.

Vitaly SevastianovAviation and space exploration were the ruling forces of Vitaly Sevastianov’s early life. A graduate of the Moscow Institute of Aviation in 1958 he started his career working in the Design Bureau under the academic Sergei Koroliov. In 1960 he taught the first of the USSR’s cosmonauts, including Gargarin. He was commissioned as a cosmonaut in 1962, working in this capacity until 1993, a record in itself. Vitaly Sevastianov’s first flight was on Soyuz 9 in June 1970 with Andian Nokolaev. The flight lasted 17 days 16 hours and 49 minutes and created a world record for that class of spaceship. In 1975 together with Piotr Klimuk he set a new USSR space endurance record of 32 days, 23 hours 20 minutes and 8 seconds.


In detail

A member of the International Astronautic Academy and the Tsiolkovsky Russian Space Academy Vitaly Sevastianov entered the political arena in 1990.Later he became deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was twice elected to the Federal Russian Parliament, where he was Chairman of the Mandatory Commission of the State Duma and a member of the Committee of International Affairs. He is currently President of “Globe Russia” which forms part of the global ecological forum.


What he offers you

Author of many books and articles Vitaly Sevastianov has also gained reputation as an inventor and scientific researcher. He was a presenter, for over 20 years, of the long running popular television programme “Man, Earth, Universe”.


How he presents

Vitaly Sevastianov has twice been decorated with the highest order of the USSR , the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. His presentations are in Russian but he also speaks German and English

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