Speakers already confirmed include acknowledged musicologists and artists, as well as change-makers from creative and tech industries.
Alexander Hacke was born in the proletarian district of Berlin Neukölln. A musician from the start, he joined Einstürzende Neubauten in 1980 at the tender age of 14, besides playing in numerous influential underground groups and writing, recording, releasing and performing music under the pseudonym Alexander von Borsig. Throughout the eighties and up until today he not only collaborates with countless artists of various genres but also continues to produce records and score music for theatre, feature and documentary movies. Hacke has released two full-length solo albums, and has also collaborated with many other artists, such as Robert Rutman, The Tiger Lillies, Danielle de Picciotto, Crime & the City Solution, Phew, Gianna Nannini, Gry, Miranda Sex Garden, and many others. Since 2001 Alexander has been collaborating with the American artist Danielle de Picciotto. In 2015 he put out his autobiography “KRACH – Verzerrte Erinnerungen”, published by Metrolit a division of the highlyregarded German publishing house Aufbau-Verlag.
Danielle de Picciotto is an American born artist, musician and film maker. Amongst other things, she became internationally known as a painter, graphic artist, musician and film artist. Moreover, she made a name for herself as co-initiator of the first Berlin Love Parade on the 1st of July 1989. Her work is always powerful and expressive. She often picks out central themes as night life of a cosmopolitan city, eccentric Japanese dancers, circus motifs, carnival or artistic life itself, inviting the observer into a bizarre world.
Aya Ohi currently holds three positions within the Victor Entertainment Group of companies as GM of everything “International”. She has been representing the Japanese major independent record company, better known as “JVC” to its international friends, for 30 years acquiring master rights to international repertoire mainly for the Japanese market, including as the head of International A&R for the last six years. In April, 2016, she has added the role of bringing its vast catalog of domestic repertoire and artists to the global market as well as becoming GM of International Marketing at Flying Dog, Inc., its successful subsidiary animation company.
Brendan Jan Walsh was born in England (1979), bred in Belgium, trained throughout Europe and now living in Amsterdam, Brendan likes to be called a European. For years he has combined this geographical exploration with a journey through disciplines, genres, audience groups and times, never minding the traditional borders between high and low, old and new, day and night, haves and have nots. It makes of him the perfect broker between the classics, the heritage of the future and those who wish to build it, listen to it or barely dare to look at it. Brendan is founding director of the strategic marketing company BRENDING, connecting Arts to Business and Consumers. Amongst his clients are the European Commission Representation Office, European Choral Association, TEDx, Rabobank, City of The Hague, Netherlands Reisopera, Flanders Philharmonic and Piranha Music.
Brian Reich is a speechwriter, media junkie, political operative and sports fan. He advises executive leaders at global brands, media companies, startups, nonprofits, political, and advocacy organizations on communications strategy and the impact of media and technology on society. He also leads his own startup media company focused on casual sports fan development and engagement. Brian is the author of three books. His latest is The Imagination Gap: Stop thinking the way you should and start making extraordinary things happen.
Chris Cooke is MD and Business Editor of CMU, a service provider to the music industry.
Best known for its media – the CMU Daily, CMU Podcast, CMU Digest and CMU Trends – the CMU business also provides training and consultancy to music companies, hosts the CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference, and runs the CMU:DIY education programme for new talent. CMU is part of Chris’s company 3CM UnLimited, through which he also publishes cultural recommendations service ThisWeek London, its sister magazine ThreeWeeks Edinburgh and the TW:TALKS podcast; and helps run award winning PR training charity the Taylor Bennett Foundation.
Kadri Ugand is the Co-founder and CEO of GameFounders. GameFounders is a pre-seed fund coupled with a mentoring program working exclusively with game studios. GameFounders has built up a network of 200+ mentors, partners and friends from the game industry to help young studios grow. Over the past few years she has seen over 1000 gaming startups and invested in 60 teams so far. Regularly speaking at games conferences around the globe on strategies, investment and networking, she enjoys contributing to the growth of exceptional teams.
Kaidi Ruusalepp is the founder and CEO of Funderbeam, the marketplace where growth companies are funded and traded across borders. Funderbeam combines three stages of investor journey into one: startup analytics, investing, and trading on the secondary market. Powered by blockchain technology, the marketpace delivers capital to growth companies and on-demand liquidity to investors worldwide. Member of Startup Europe Advisory Board at European Commission. Kaidi is a former CEO of Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange and of the Central Securities Depository. Co-Founder of Estonian Service Industry Association. A lawyer by training, she co-authored the Estonian Digital Signatures Act of 2000 — landmark legislation that enables secure digital identities and, in turn, the country’s booming electronic economy.
Kevin Cole performed for over 15 years as resident DJ at Minneapolis’ legendary First Avenue nightclub pioneering the eclectic sound for which that city became famous for. In 1991, Kevin put a lifetime of record collecting and DJing to the test by starting the wildly adventurous Revolution Radio (REV105), which won numerous national awards and was considered to be the last great commercial alternative radio station in America. In addition to programming Rev 105, Kevin produced and hosted syndicated radio shows that aired all over the world, including the Spin Radio Network. In 1998 Kevin moved to Seattle to help a relatively new company, Amazon.com, launch their music site. In 2002 Kevin turned his attention to KEXP, becoming the Senior Director of Programming, and has since been leading this globally revered nonprofit arts organization dedicated to enriching lives championing music and discovery.
Lutz Leichsenring founded an internet startup after High School in the age of 19. His company was running one of the largest platforms for music events in the early 2000s in Germany. 2004-2010 he owned club and a restaurant business in Karlsruhe and in 2015 he was one of the founder of NAmedia GmbH which is into developing Apps and young targets GmbH, an Berlin and London based event agency. As spokesman and member of the executive board of the Clubcommission Berlin, since 2009 Lutz fights for the rights of Berlin’s vast underground club scene. He also happens to be a member of Berlin’s Chamber of Commerce and Musicboard, where he frequently votes on city development issues that serve to protect club areas affected by gentrification.
Mark Allen is a Music Supervisor/Creative Director at ThinkSync Music, an independent music licensing, supervision and placement company for visual media. Based in London and operating for over ten years, Mark’s role includes creative search and licensing of commercial tracks within the UK trailer and TV promo world. ThinkSync has a global outreach with recent film trailer projects including Bastille Day, Warcraft, Man Up, The Girl With All The Gifts and countless TV promos for C4 and BBC.
Mohamed Aly Ansar (known as Manny Ansar) was born into a family of Tuareg nomads on a sand dune a hundred kilometers north west of the city of Timbuktu in Mali. With a Masters Degree in International Public Law, he has worked extensively in humanitarian projects before turning to what has always attracted him, music. Manny was the manager of the premier Tuareg music group, Tinariwen, and in 2001 he co-founded and has remained Executive Director of the world renowned “Festival in the Desert” of Essakane / Timbuktu. His fight for the promotion of Malian music has earned him the “Freemuse Award” for the role played by the Festival in the Desert in the fight for freedom of expression by artists in the crisis in Mali.” Since the ban of music in 2012 in Timbuktu, the “Festival au Desert” has become a Festival in Exile.”
Nicolas Dolenc is the president of Slush, acting Executive Producer since 2015 and Co-Founder of Slush Music. Nicolas has a history in professional basketball and the event business as an entrepreneur. A long side his work at Slush that started in 2014 he’s finishing his master degree studies in Software Production Management and Leadership at Aalto University.
Saku Tuominen is a Finnish entrepreneur who has founded several companies. He has been teaching creativity and innovation in more than a hundred companies around the world, and in Aalto University in Helsinki. He has also written 10 books; about innovation, the future of office work, good life, human belief systems, everyday creativity, and Italian cuisine. At the moment he concentrates only on improving K12 education globally and his main initiative is a company called HundrED in which he is the founder and the creative director. He lives in Helsinki, Finland and in Paterno, Italy.
Simon Reynolds is the author of eight books about pop culture, including Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy (2016), Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past (2011), Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84 (2005), and Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture (1998). During his thirty years as a music critic he has been a staff writer at Melody Maker, a senior editor at Spin, and a freelance contributor to magazines including The New York Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Wire. Reynolds also operates a number of blogs centred around the hub Blissblog. Born in London, a resident of New York during much of the 1990s and 2000s, he currently lives in Los Angeles.
Tom Fleming is a leading international expert on the creative economy, cultural policy and creative cities and regions. His work focuses on advising governments, municipalities and institutions across the world to develop effective research, policy, strategy and action across the creative economy. He has led strategic research projects in every region, with a particularly strong track record in Europe, SE Asia, Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia and the Middle East. Major clients include The World Bank, UNESCO, European Commission, British Council, Arts Councils, Film Councils, multiple governments, municipalities, cultural and educational organisations and NGOs. He is Director of the UK’s leading creative economy and cultural consultancy and research agency: Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy (TFCC), which he set up in 2002.
Raised in Tokyo and Vienna, Austria, Ohsawa had an extensive and well-established career in the corporate world of Sony Group. During his career, Ohsawa gained the general knowledge of Sony Group worldwide having held various positions from assistant to Mr. Akio Morita to the President of Sony Berlin, General Manager of Entertainment Strategy Dpt etc. After leaving Sony in 2003, Ohsawa started his own company Office Ohsawa Ltd. which specializes in planning and organizing various live concerts in Japan, as well as management consultancy for corporations and institutions.
Vanessa Reed is Chief Executive of the PRS for Music Foundation. Since joining in 2008, Vanessa has repositioned the Foundation as the UK’s most pioneering and effective funder of new music and talent development, significantly increasing resources for the music industry and launching a diverse range of new initiatives which respond to the needs of composers and songwriters of all backgrounds. Vanessa was named as one of fifty ‘Women to Watch’ by the Cultural Leadership Programme (2010). In October 2016 Vanessa won the music category of the Hospital Club’s 100 awards for the most influential and innovative people in the UK’s creative industries.