Inspiration unlocks the future

Speakers - Fast Forward


Rob Bell


TV Presenter, Broadcaster, Adventurer, Engineer, Thrill Seeker


Mark Stevenson


Mark Stevenson is the author of two books, the just released We Do Things Differently and the best-selling An Optimist’s Tour of the Future which has been translated into 10 languages and was described by Wired “a very coherent and entertaining journey through the world of future technology” and by New Scientist as “a refreshing reminder that the future will always belong to the optimists”.

Stevenson is one of the world’s most respected thinkers on technology and societal trends – helping you see where the world is going – and how to adapt.

His many advisory roles include Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge, Civilised Bank, Atlas of the Future and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Entrepreneur, author, broadcaster and expert on global trends and innovation


Maxine Mackintosh


Co-founder of OneHealthTech, which promotes under-represented groups in health innovation

Maxine is the co-founder of One HealthTech – a community which champions and supports underrepresented groups in health innovation, particularly women, to be the future leaders in healthcare.

She does this alongside a data science PhD in London where she is mining medical records for new predictors of dementia.

Her professional work has led her to the Royal Society, Roche, L’Oreal, Department for International Development, and NHS England.

She is part of a number of communities and committees including the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, the British Computer Society and the Digital Health Forum.


Dale Lane


Developer for IBM working on Watson

Dale joined the development team for IBM Watson in early 2011, as the work started to transition Watson from a Research project demonstrated on a quiz show to a commercial solution ready for industry.

He spent several years working on large-scale bespoke applications of Watson in industries such as healthcare.

More recently, he has spent the last few years working on transforming Watson into a developer-friendly platform on the cloud that enables developers to embed AI capabilities in their own apps and solutions.


Mischa Dohler


Wireless Communications expert, cross-disciplinary innovator, smart city pioneer, pianist and composer, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Professor in Wireless Communications, King’s College London

Mischa Dohler is full Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London, driving cross-disciplinary research and innovation in technology, sciences and arts.

He is the Director of the Centre for Telecommunications Research, co-founder of the pioneering smart city company Worldsensing, Fellow of the IEEE and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), and a Distinguished Member of Harvard Square Leaders Excellence.


Mark Miodownik


Author of the bestselling Stuff Matters and presenter of shows including Materials and Chef vs. Science

Professor of Materials and Society, UCL

Mark is a materials engineer and Professor of Materials and Society at UCL where he teaches and runs a research group.

Mark received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials scientist in the USA, Ireland and the UK.

For more than ten years he has championed materials research that links the arts and humanities to medicine, engineering and materials science.

This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making where he is Director and runs the research programme. His current research interests are animate materials, innovative manufacturing, and sensoaesthetic materials.


Bas Lansdorp


CEO, Mars One, and a man on a mission to establish a human settlement on the Red planet

Bas Lansdorp is an entrepreneur with a passion for ambitious projects. He is co-founder and CEO of Mars One, the Dutch foundation that aims to land the first human on Mars in 2032.

Lansdorp abandoned his PhD research in wind energy at Delft University of Technology to start his first company, Ampyx Power.

Ampyx Power develops a novel, cheaper than coal, method of wind energy generation. Lansdorp then sold part of his shares in Ampyx Power to finance the start of Mars One.

Now, just three years later, Mars One is one of the established names in the world of space exploration. Mars One aims to send its first unmanned demonstration mission to Mars in 2022 and recently announced.


Haiyan Zhang


Innovation director of Microsoft Research Cambridge, designer, technologist, inventor and maker of things

Haiyan Zhang is a designer, technologist and maker of things. She is Innovation Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

Inventing cutting-edge technology to enable new "Connected Play" experiences. She is also an inventor appearing in the BBC documentary, Big Life Fix.

In her 18-year career in the Technology sector, Haiyan has worked hands-on in software engineering, user experience, hardware R&D, service design, Cloud platforms, design thinking and blue-sky envisioning.

She continues to push on the boundaries where technology can transform people's lives for the better.




William is an entrepreneur with a particular focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). He most notably founded the UK start-up Evi (formerly True Knowledge) which specialised in natural language understanding and automatic question-answering. After seven years as a venture capital backed business, the technology and team was acquired by Amazon in 2012 to create Amazon Alexa. Following acquisition, William held a senior product role in the team that defined, built and launched Alexa and Amazon Echo (the first Alexa device).

Alexa is perhaps one of the hottest consumer technology products of the last few years and has shown the path to a future where everyone routinely interacts with technology using voice. Since making the difficult decision to leave Amazon in 2016, William has been helping many other AI start-ups as a mentor, adviser and investor including being a fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab, a Toronto based incubator which helped around 50 AI startups in the last year.

He also once got a lot of press for calculating that April 11th 1954 was the most boring day in recent history.

Artificial Intelligence Entrepreneur




Researcher in artificial intelligence planning and model checking




Expert in adaptive computing and wireless sensor networks


Speakers - EngVentures




Aerospace Engineer, Baker and Presenter

Aerospace engineer by day, baker by night, Andrew gained an enthusiastic following for his innovative creations when he reached the final of the Great British Bake Off last year.

Since his time in the tent, Andrew has worked on engineering and baking content across print, social media, radio and television with partners including the IET, BBC, ITV, TEDx and Warner Brothers.

He regularly presents "bakineering" demos and talks at Science and Food festivals and has even designed and baked a rotating jet engine cake for Prince William.

He currently works on future aircraft concepts at Rolls-Royce. He's passionate about showing how diverse and creative a career in engineering can be and has ambitions to become an engineering TV presenter.


Lewis Dartnell


Astrobiologist and author of 'The Knowledge: how to rebuild our world from scratch'

Research scientist, presenter and author

Lewis graduated from Oxford University with a First Class degree in Biological Sciences and completed his PhD at University College London in 2007.

He now holds the Professorship in Science Communication at the University of Westminster where his research specialises is in the field of astrobiology and the search for microbial life on Mars.

Lewis also held a STFC Science in Society Fellowship and is very active in delivering live events at schools and science festivals, working as a scientific consultant for the media, and appearing in numerous TV documentaries and radio shows.

Lewis has won several awards for his science writing and outreach work and regularly freelances for newspapers and magazine articles, and has published three books.




Maker of synthesised human voices and writer of Apps and software for voice teaching

Electronic Engineer interested in music technology, human voice production and choir singing.

David is the Founding Head of the Department of Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway, University of London where September 2017 sees the first student intake.

David is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has held an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow, is a STEM Ambassador and he takes pride in his outreach work.

“We all have a voice but few know much about how it works; it’s a fascinating subject!”




Launcher of games including The Heist series, Comatose, the Banana Dash series and High Speed Chase

Max has launched a number of successful game IP’s over his 10 year career in games.

As a co-founder of Johnny Two Shoes in 2007, Max launched The Heist series that has gone on to achieve over 250 million plays. Max has also launched many other games played by millions of fans, including Comatose, the Banana Dash series and High Speed Chase.

Building games with film and commercial brands inspired Max to build the wildly successful iOS game in 2010 — Plunderland — with a metacritic score of 86 and over half a million downloads.

Sea Hero Quest, launched in early 2016 with Telekom, was the first game to enable anyone to help with dementia research. With over 2.2 million downloads in the first 2 months, Sea Hero Quest has collected over 7,000 years worth of data for scientists working towards a cure for dementia.

Sea Hero Quest won 9 Cannes Lions awards. Campaign Big Silver Award. Max speaks at events across the globe on game design and the disruptive impact of games on finance, education, health and science.




Structural engineer and designer of bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures, including the foundations and spire of The Shard

Structural engineer and designer of bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures, including the foundations and spire of The Shard.

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