On Your Marks

• Tuesday 12 - Thursday 14 March 2024
• Thorpe Garden, Tamworth

On Your Marks​

The overarching theme of Wavelength Connect 2024 is The Future of Business and this three-day event will kickstart the conversations that will drive our learning across the year.

We will deep dive into our first theme, Global Perspectives on Innovation and Agility.

Carefully selected, inspiring, and sometimes challenging, leaders will join us from China, Silicon Valley and Europe to explore how the power and the speed of digital disruption has intensified, creating and enabling seismic shifts in how we live and work and how businesses, organisations and institutions operate.

Throughout Wavelength Connect, we will explore our theme of Personal Leadership, so starting here you will hear stories from people who have led in diverse and difficult settings and what it takes to create, lead and sustain high performing teams and cultures.

And of course, over dinner, on walks and in small group sessions, there will opportunities to connect and start to build your network across the cohort, accelerated by our sessions on the Personal Boardroom.

Pre-Work

 

Ahead of our time together at On Your Marks, please ensure you prepare well and undertake the following pre-work:

1. complete your Intention card, ‘My INTENTION for my time on Wavelength Connect 2024 is…’, to be found in the back pocket of your Moleskine. Consider using the SMART framework to think about how you will transform your intention into action.

2. read up to page 30 of the Who is in Your Personal Boardroom book, also to be found in your welcome box. The programme provides a unique opportunity to broaden your network to new connections outside your own organisation and sector. We will use the framework of the Personal Boardroom to challenge you to stop networking and instead start thinking about the network of people you need to surround yourself with to be a truly effective leader.

3. watch Lisa Gansky’s Lifecycle of an Organisation video (34 mins) ahead of our first theme, Global Perspectives on Innovation and Agility. In this video, Lisa invites us to consider where our own organisations sit on her ‘life cycle of an organisation’ bell curve and shares examples of organisations innovating to remain relevant.

Lisa Gansky
Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and Instigator

For more than two decades Lisa has been a Silicon Valley based entrepreneur and angel investor focused on building companies where there are opportunities for timely disruption and resounding impact. A founder and CEO of several internet companies, including GNN (the first commercial web publication) and the first online consumer photo sharing and print service, Ofoto (which she sold to Kodak), Lisa’s attention is on sustainable ventures with positive social impact.

She is the author of best-sellers The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing and Radical Trust: How Blockchain Liberates the Next Economy. Lisa is also the “instigator” behind the online Mesh Directory – “the pulse of the sharing economy”.

Theme 1: Global Perspectives on Innovation and Agility

Before the pandemic, AI and disruptive technology were the most powerful force for change in the world, including in the world of work. Due to the pandemic, the power and the speed of this ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ has intensified, creating and enabling seismic shifts in how we live and work and in how businesses, organisations and institutions operate. Things will not go back to how they were before.

To explore this theme we will meet and hear from some of the world’s most innovative companies; companies from Silicon Valley, China and Europe.

Trends, Technology and our Shared Future

David Mattin
Founder, New World Same Humans
& formerly Global Head of Trends & Insights, Trendwatching

David is an internationally recognised expert on consumer trends, and the future of business and innovation. He’s the founder of New World Same Humans, a newsletter on trends, technology, and our shared future that goes to 16,000 subscribers each week.

David’s writing on the future of business and innovation has appeared in publications worldwide, including The Times, Google Think Quarterly, Quartz, and Wired magazine. He is the co-author of the book Trend-Driven Innovation, published by Wiley.

David is formerly Global Head of Trends & Insights at TrendWatching, a leading independent consumer trends firm. He sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Consumption, which brings together leading experts from the private and public sectors to imagine new futures for business and consumerism.

Inside Silicon Valley

For over five decades, Silicon Valley has been a by-word for innovation and great place to work culture. It’s home to the densest concentration of tech companies in the world, where household names rub shoulders with startups.

Danny Fortson
West Coast Correspondent, The Sunday Times

Danny has been the West Coast correspondent for The Sunday Times since the beginning of 2017, covering all things technology and Silicon Valley. He was previously City Editor for the paper.

Danny grew up in the USA, lived and worked as a journalist in Europe (predominantly London) for 15 years, writing about natural resources – mining, energy and oil – before returning to California.

Danny also hosts the weekly Danny in the Valleypodcast, meeting the new wave of tech entrepreneurs hoping to disrupt our lives

Todd Yellin
former Head of Product, Netflix

For over 10 years, Todd was at the epicentre of Netflix’s incredible growth and one of CEO and Founder Reid Hastings’ top team. An incredibly vibrant and engaging speaker, Todd provides compelling insights into Netflix’s super high-performing culture, how organisations can unlock innovation, and the impact of frontier technologies like AI on business.

Todd, as head of product and innovation at Netflix, helped lead the charge to transform Netflix from a US DVD-by-mail service into a global entertainment company that revolutionised the way movies and TV shows are created, distributed and consumed.  He was responsible for leveraging vast amounts of information and best-in-class user interfaces across numerous viewing devices to create an easy, compelling way for Netflix members to find something great to watch. Todd also oversaw member acquisition, studio technology and partnerships. He and his teams continually applied the latest in machine learning and AI technology to maximise the end-to-end Netflix experience for content creators and consumers.

At the end of 2022 he left Netflix after 17 years to return to his writing and directing roots. He is currently an independent filmmaker based in Northern California, continually experimenting with Chap GPT, among other technologies, to see how it can serve the creative process.  Before joining Netflix in 2006, he wrote and directed the feature film Brother’s Shadow. Before that, as a documentarian for British TV, he filmed Tibetan refugees escaping over the Himalayas from China to India, and smuggled footage of political oppression out of Myanmar. Prior to his Asian adventures, Todd received an MFA in film production from USC.

A Deep Dive on AI

AI: the intelligence of machines or software, as opposed to the intelligence of humans or other animals. The last year has disrupted and super-charged everyone’s understanding of the rise of the machine – the opportunities, the risks, the unintended consequences.

Zoe Scamen
Founder, Bodacious

View Zoe’s presentation here.

Zoe’s strategy consultancy, Bodacious, has a focus on the intersections of entertainment, fandom, the creator economy, and the nascent rise of the Metaverse, where she’s helping set innovative global strategy agendas for EA Games, Nike, Oatly, Youtube, Zwi, Netflix, Axe and The NBA. Zoe and Bodacious are exploring how community and fandom, combined with AI and the Metaverse, can change behaviours around sustainability and environmental impact.

Zoe has worked in a variety of fields from brand planning, entertainment strategy, digital communications, new product development, to business strategy and innovation.; and in Sydney, London, New York and even Ethiopia. Sheʼs worked at ground-breaking creative agencies; such as Naked Communications and Droga5. Best-in-class film companies, like Ridley Scott Creative Group and forward-thinking innovative consultancies; such as Undercurrent, London Strategy Unit and The Upside.

Her client list includes some of the biggest brands in the world – adidas, Google, Danone, Airbnb, Unilever, Coca Cola and Pepsico.

Zoe also leads personal brand strategy for NBA star, Luka Doncic and has worked with a range of actors, performers and recording artists on defining their business and brand positionings and priorities.

Zoe recently published an in-depth look at ‘The Future Of Fandoms’ and published a whitepaper on the future of the creator economy (accompanied by the largest survey of creators ever undertaken) and has since been invited to speak about both topics with the leadership teams of LEGO, Tumblr, Pinterest, Pepsico, Snapchat and more.

The Great Tech Revolution: Insights from China

China is the largest digital economy in the world with more than 900 million internet users. User demand is constantly driving innovation and new digital business models to the next level. No matter if you find it fascinating or scary, you need to understand the dynamics of the new digital world order.

Christina Boutrup
Leading China Analyst and Journalist

View Christina’s presentation here.

Christina has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in China. As the world’s largest, most sophisticated digital economy which accounts for 50% of all global e-commerce trade, China offers invaluable insights into how to thrive in a digital world at a time when every organisation is trying to figure out how to deal with the post-pandemic acceleration to digital.

As a journalist Christina travelled in most parts of The Middle Kingdom and covered areas such as business economy, environment and social issues for more than a decade, hosting radio and TV shows about China.

Christina interviewed Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma and has closely followed the global expansion of Chinese companies. She has written several books about business in China, most recently The Great Tech Revolution: How China is Shaping Our Future.

Christina is the newly-appointed China Correspondent for Danish TV2 and will be our guest moderator for the China section of the day. She is also on the Advisory Board of ThinkChina.dk, a think tank of the University of Copenhagen.

Dr Wanli Min
Founder & CEO, North Summit Capital

Dr. Wanli Min, is the founder and CEO of North Summit Capital, a tech-intrinsic investment firm, offering resourceful capital and domain-specific AI solutions for the digital transformation of traditional industries. Min was formerly Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist of Alibaba Cloud and is considered to be one of the top AI leaders in China. Dr Wanly Min has made contributions to smart cities development in New York, Singapore and Sweden. His research on traffic flow estimate in 2011 had been widely cited. 

Min received a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Chicago and B.S from the University of Science and Technology of China. His research area includes probability, stochastic process, time series analysis, machine learning, smart traffic and signal processing. He served as a researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM Singapore, and Google before joining Alibaba in 2013. Later as Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist for Alibaba Cloud, Min took charge of research and development in the data intelligence solutions.

In 2017, Min was named by Forbes as a leading technologist driving China’s AI revolution and also appointed to the advisory committee of the next-generation AI strategy under China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Peter Lisbygd
CEO, China Experience

View Peter’s presentation here.

China is driving a Green Mobility Revolution with strong global impact for consumers, suppliers, and the established car industry. In fact China is already dominating this space in terms of speed, innovation, and supply chain.

Peter has an incredibly in-depth understanding of China, having spent 16 years in China and now based in Shanghai. In recent years Peter has a special focus on the country’s explosive development within technology, new digital business models and China ́s green transformation.

Peter shares the latest insights on what is going on, who are the key players, and how will it impact the rest of the world.

Zeng Cheng
Co-founder & CTO, Flint Walk

Read more about Flint Walk here.

Exploring the relationship between technology and art, Flint Walk is a digital ecosystem platform that incubates content and experiences, creating extraordinary moments that ignite inspiration – a creative collective composed of 3D artists, concept artists, creatives, play writers, directors, designers, and geek. 

Chengdu Flint Walk Film and Television Technology Co., Ltd. (FlintWalk) was established in Chengdu in 2020. The company has now built an all-media matrix which combines AR, MR, XR technologies and will continue to output cultural creativity in various media forms in the future – the company has been committed to technological innovation of naked-eye 3D, applying 3D movie production levels to 3D advertising, and is the first company to realise real-life photography.

Innovation in Action

We all love to hear about digitally native organisations – always thought-provoking, often inspiring – but what if our organisation is a long way from that, full of legacy systems and incremental innovation processes?

Robert Kent
Former Chief Data Officer, Pets at Home

View Robert’s presentation here.

Robert is one of a few CDO’s to have had sole accountability for data and analytics on a FTSE Executive management team in the UK. His work helped Pets at Home transform itself to become one of the most advanced users of data to drive decision making and customer engagement – their ambition to ‘out-Amazon Amazon’.

Robert joined Pets at Home in 2018 and has created the data and analytics capability from scratch including the recruitment of 70 data and AI specialists across a range of disciplines combined with the creation of a significant cloud-native analytics platform. This unlocked the potential of data at Pets, and for their customers, where impact was explicitly measured in terms of growth to the top and bottom lines.

Prior to Pets at Home, Robert was the Royal Mail’s first Chief Data Officer where he created a similar data and analytics function which grew to over 250 people whilst defining and leading a significant data transformation across the organisation over eight years. Robert has had a near 30 year career in data and analytics across a range of industry verticals.

Personal Leadership

We know from working with leaders who have done exceptional things, that these are people who not only look up and out into the world but who also look unflinchingly at their own leadership, including their weaknesses and failures. We believe that individual leaders can make a difference and that large scale transformation often starts with one person – something we are seeing in today’s world, for better and for worse.

Baroness Sue Campbell
Director of Women's Football, The FA
& former Chair, UK Sport

Sue was appointed as Director of Women’s Football by the FA in January 2016 and is overseeing the transformation of women’s football for both athletes and fans. The Lionesses won the UEFA Women’s Championship in 2022, marking the first time since 1966 that any England senior football team had won a major championship.

A recent survey by analysts Nielsen Sports revealed that almost one in five adults in the UK would call themselves a women’s football fan – a 60% increase in two years.

Sue was Chair of UK Sport, the strategic lead body for high performance sport in the UK. It invests Exchequer and National Lottery funds in Britain’s best Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to maximise their chances of success on the world stage. In the three years before the UK won the London 2012 bid, Sue transformed it, culturally and organisationally, into an organisation fit and ready to be the driving force behind the UK’s outstanding medal success.

The success of Sue’s influence at UK Sport was always going to be measured in one way – medals. In Beijing, Great Britain & Northern Ireland went from 10th to 4th in the medals table and at the London Olympics from 4th to 3rd. This success is even more impressive as it was delivered through 47 different sporting disciplines and thus 47 different governing bodies.

David Pemsel
Chair, The British Fashion Council, Co-founder, ScienceMagic.Inc
& former CEO, The Guardian Media Group

David shares what it’s like to lead in a context of constant change, where the only certainty is disruption. The three-year business plan to transform the Guardian that David implemented has been described as one of the most significant media turnarounds in recent history and has laid the foundation for how quality journalism could be funded around the world.

David co-founded ScienceMagic.Inc which works with leading brands and world-class talent to answer the challenges of building meaningful relationships with consumers in this complex and dynamic world. 

He describes with extraordinary candour what it’s like to face into unprecedented corporate challenges as a leader, the need for constant and transparent dialogue with employees, the introduction of OKR’s (objectives and key results) and small cross-divisional teams to encourage fast-paced innovation, the need to lead through purpose and never losing sight of why you exist as an organisation.

David joined GMG in 2011 and was appointed chief commercial officer in 2012. A year later he took on increased accountability in the newly-created role of Deputy Chief Executive, with responsibility for leading commercial operations in the UK, the USA, and Australia, and integrating them as one global organisation. In 2015 he was appointed CEO of Guardian Media Group (GMG) taking on the responsibility for leading the commercial and financial business strategy. In addition, he was founder and Chairman of GMG Ventures, a £42m fund making early-stage investments in innovative businesses in the media technology sector.

David is also a non-executive director of The British Fashion Council, a voting member of BAFTA, and was voted media leader of the year in 2019.

High Performing Organisations

Adrian Simpson
Co-founder, Wavelength

View Adrian’s presentation here.

For over 25 years, Adrian has taken leaders inside some of the world most admired and progressive organisations in Asia, North America, and Europe. Drawing on insights gleaned from the likes of Apple, Alibaba, Airbnb, LEGO, Netflix, Xiaomi, Tesla and many more this Adrian will explore the characteristics of high performing organisations.

Adrian shares insights and stories gathered from visiting the boardrooms and shop floors of some of the world’s most innovative, successful and admired companies.

He toured the first Apple Store with the legendary designer Jonathan Ive; engaged Al Gore to speak on sustainability; has interviewed numerous CEO’s and thought leaders; and taken 100’s of leaders, including the Executive Boards of BBC, Dyson, and Tesco, inside leading organisations.

In the last few years Adrian has visited: Alibaba, Apple, Tesla, LEGO, Amazon, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Pret a Manger, The Aravind Eye Care System, Southwest Airlines, The Eden Project, Zappos, and Xiaomi.

Through their lens Adrian has observed the defining elements of success. A storyteller at heart, he brings to life how such organisations remain at the forefront and how truly authentic leaders lead.

Networks, Not Networking!

Amanda Scott
Founding Director, Personal Boardroom

Amanda is the co-author of Who is in your Personal Boardroom? and the lead facilitator and regular speaker on Personal Boardroom, a company that helps people build their networks in a structured, purposeful way, focusing on quality not quantity.

Drawing on insights from academic research, the Personal Boardroom is a highly practical tool that can help leaders build a more effective network that will make them visible, propel them forward in their careers, and equip them to get things done.

Amanda’s career spans advertising, being an agent for actors, and a decade as an executive coach before discovering the power of networks and co-founding Personal Boardroom.

Finding new ways to help coaching clients survive and thrive rapid change triggered this latest shift to network thinking and Amanda brings practical insights about people’s behaviour in organisational settings.

The Personal Boardroom has been used in many well-known organisations including Accenture, Allied Irish Bank, BBC, Dyson, EY, Google, Linklaters, RBS, Severn Trent, and UBS.

Logistics

We meet for the first time at Thorpe Garden, Tamworth, a wonderful venue in rural Staffordshire.
Please ensure you organise your own travel and accommodation to attend this event.

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Arrivals: 10:30 (for 11:00 start)
Finishes: 21:00 after dinner

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Arrivals: 08:00 (for 08:30 start)
Finishes: 19:30 (after drinks)
Please note: dinner is not included

Thursday 14 March 2024

Arrivals: 08:30 (for a 09:00 start)
Finishes: 16:00

By Train

The closest station is Tamworth (approx 15 mins drive).

Wavelength will provide an optional coach transfer from the venue to Tamworth Station departing at the end of the event, Thursday 14 March.

By Car

If you are using satnav please enter ‘Thorpe Garden’ instead of the postcode.

Parking is available on site – follow signs to the Thorpe Garden designated area.

There are 6 EV charging stations on site.

 

Taxis

Bennetts of Tamworth: +44 1827 54444
Acorn Taxis: +44 1827 63333
DLO Taxis: +44 1827 897 570
Lime Taxis: +44 1827 892 229
Tamworth Taxis: +44 1827 62222
Denis-Taxi: +44 7445447647

Overnight

Below are some suggestions of local hotels. Please book early to ensure availability at your price point