Speaker Biographies

  Marv Adams is currently an Executive Vice President at TIAA-CREF, responsible for the firm's Shared Services unit (IT, Operations, Procurement, Building & Real Estate related services). Marv's past roles include CIO of Ford Motor Company, CIO of Citigroup and President of Shared Services at Fidelity Investments. Marv's talk will focus on the insights he has drawn from systems thinking and complexity science, and the methods and tools that have led to improving an organizations capacity to adapt.
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  Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles, their interactions and cosmological implications. He served as SFI President from July 2005 through July 2009. Prior to joining the Santa Fe Institute as a Distinguished Professor in 2003, he was the leader, and founder, of the high energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he is one of only approximately ten Senior Fellows. His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena evolved into a highly productive collaboration on the origin of universal scaling laws that pervade biology from the molecular genomic scale up through mitochondria and cells to whole organisms and ecosystems. This led to the development of realistic quantitative models for the structural and functional design of organisms based on underlying universal principles.
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  Phil Budden is Great Britain's Consul General to the United States. Previously, he was the First Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington DC, responsible for science, technology and innovation work, as well British-American business affairs and transatlantic relations. His diplomatic career has also included postings in London (both in the Foreign Office, and in the European Secretariat, which advises Prime Ministers on strategy), and also to the British Embassy in Vienna, Austria.
Before becoming a diplomat, he received his D.Phil (doctorate) in contemporary history and international political economy from Oxford University (Lincoln College), an MA in American history and government from Cornell University (USA), and his BA/MA in British and European history from Oxford University.
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  Juan Perez Mercader is an Associated Faculty Member of the Harvard University Origins of Life Initiative. He has a degree in Physics from the University of Seville, Master of Science in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Trinity College of Dublin, as well as Master of Philosophy from the City University of New York and Doctor of Philosophy in Theoretical Physics from the City College of New York validated at the Complutense University. He is a co-discoverer of gravito-magnetism, a property of space-time predicted by Einstein and others in 1918 that was detected and measured in 1998. He is now pursuing his deep interest in the application of principles of theoretical physics to fundamental knowledge of the universe, especially life. His talk will address the origin and application to business of Zipf's law, one of the most intriguing laws in social sciences developed since the 1930s.
  Sushil Bhatia is a globally known award winning entrepreneur and innovator who has several patents, publications and new products to his name.
Some of the products that he has innovated, developed and has patents on are - Glue Stic, convention/seminar name badges, mailing labels, laser/copier labels, binding systems, decorative labels for shampoo/cosmetic/food containers and a DeCopier.
He has founded several companies and is currently the President and CEO of JMD Manufacturing Incorporated. JMD's products are used across many industries such as food, pharmaceuticals, electronics, cosmetic and toiletry products.
He is also founder of the Laughing Clubs of America and has completed a small book, "Just say YES to Laughing Your Way to Fitness with Yoga and Meditation (and That's No Joke)."
He has been a speaker at National Honor Society, Boston University, MIT Enterprise Forum-TiE Boston, American Express, John Hancock, State Street and others.
For his work he has been featured on TV/ Radio shows like ABC's Good Morning America, CNN, NBC- TODAY , Canada AM, NPR and has been written up in The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Economic Times and many other publications world wide.
Currently he is also a professor and executive in residence at Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University, Boston, where he teaches Innovation and new product development.
  Hamid Benbrahim is Vice President and head of the Center for Applied Complexity at Fidelity Investments addressing systemic risk in financial markets, self-organization in large corporations, and robustness and security in large technology infrastructures.
Prior to joining Fidelity Dr. Benbrahim advised Venture Capital firms on investments and going to market strategies in mobile and social media.
During his thirteen year tenure at Verizon Communications (previously GTE) Dr. Benbrahim assumed a number of business operations and technology roles. He led the deployment and design of Fault, Configuration, and Performance Management systems and processes for voice, data, and mobile Network Operations Centers in the US, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Argentina. As Chief Technology Architect he led a number of large software integration and deployment projects including the integration of large backend systems for the domestic yellow pages business unit and modernization of billing and customer service systems and processes for Verizon's mobile business unit in the Dominican Republic. As head of the Verizon's mobile yellow pages business unit in 2003, Dr. Benbrahim was responsible for the launch of new mobile phone products including local advertising, weather, movies, maps, and driving directions.
Dr. Benbrahim holds a PhD in Engineering (robotics and machine learning) from the University of New Hampshire, a DEA in Control Systems from Universite de Caen, France, and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.
  Cesar Hidalgo is an assistant professor in The Media Laboratory at MIT, and a faculty associate in the Center for International Development at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Dr Hidalgo's work focuses on improving the understanding of systems using and developing concepts of complexity, evolution and network science. His areas of application include (i) economic development, where he has pioneered the use of networks to quantify the productive structure of countries and its evolution, (ii) systems biology where he has published work on disease co-morbidity and genetic regulation, and (iii), social systems, where he has worked on human mobility and social network analysis using mobile phone data. Dr. Hidalgo is also a graphic art enthusiast and has published and exposed artwork that uses data collected originally for scientific purposes. He holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor in Physics from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. With billions of products, billions of people, and trillions of interactions, the world economy is one of the most outstanding complex systems to have ever emerged. Can we use complexity science to improve our understanding of a system of such paramount complexity? In this talk, Dr. Hidalgo will summarize recent research that uses networks to describe, characterize and understand differences in the productive structure of nations.
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  Paul Pedini is a Senior Vice President of Jay Cashman, Inc., a comprehensive construction company based in Quincy, Massachusetts. A civil engineer who spent ten years working on Boston's Big Dig Central Artery project, Paul received national attention for his use of discarded Big Dig materials in building his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.
  Paolo Gaudiano, President and Chief Technology Officer, Icosystem. Paolo Gaudiano's interdisciplinary background and entrepreneurial skills come together in his role overseeing Icosystem's technology, operations and business development. Before joining Icosystem in 2001, Paolo was Chief Scientific Officer at Artificial Life, a company that applied natural language processing and autonomous agent technology to a variety of Internet usage and navigation problems. He began his career at Boston University, where he was a tenured associate professor specializing in the application of neural networks to the control of mobile robots and in the study of biological and machine vision and where he received several prestigious awards, including a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research and a Sloan Fellowship in Neuroscience. Paolo holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University. He remains academically involved, currently teaching at Tufts University's Gordon Institute.
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  Tom Blessing has held technical and leadership positions in the defense, automotive and financial services industries. He presently leads the Finance and Accounting Information Technology group at Fidelity Investments. Tom joined Fidelity in 2008 as part of their IT Transformation initiative. Prior to joining Fidelity, Tom spent seven years at Ford Motor Company where he held IT leadership positions in product development, strategy and organizational development, manufacturing, and human resources/health care. Tom began his career in the defense and automotive systems field and has over 15 years of experience in roles from technical contributor to program management.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Wayne State University. He also holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.
  Tatyana Novikova, received her BS in economics from Novosibirsk State University in 1977. She earned a PhD degree in economics from the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1987. In 1988-1993 she joined the faculty at Institute of Electrotechnical Communications, and later at Siberian Academy for Public Administration in Novosibirsk. In 1994 she joined the faculty at Department of Economics of Novosibirsk State University. Dr. Novikova also serves as Head Scientist at the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Her research interests are focused on public economics and financial and cost-benefit analysis of investment projects.
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  Ginestra Bianconi, is Assistant Professor at Northeastern University Her research includes statistical mechanics of networks and application to complex biological, social and technological networks. She enjoys developing new theories that can explain emerging phenomena in complex system. In particular she is working on critical phenomena on networks, on their off-equilibrium dynamical properties, on the interplay between their global and local structure and on the quantification of their complexity by entropy measures. The aim of her current research is a formulation of an information theory of complex networks. The objective of this research is to define complexity measures of networks and using them to find new inference algorithms to analyze data. Moreover she works in dynamics of social human and animal behavior and on evolution of viruses and their spreading dynamics. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from Universita Di Roma "La Sapienza". She held post doctorate research positions at a number of research institutions including econophsics group at Fribourg, and the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Triest, Italy. She published over 50 papers and delivered over 40 international talks.
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  Robert Ghanea-Hercock, is currently a Chief Research Scientist in the British Telecommunications Security Research Practice. He has many years experience in managing Security Research projects in the UK, and was Theme Leader for Networks and Security in the UK MOD DIF Defence Technology Centre. He Chairs a Workshop on Adaptive Network Defence and is Chair of the Steering Committee for the UK Technology Strategy Board Cyber-Security KTN. This group has a national UK role in advising government and industry on best practice in all issues surrounding Cyber Security. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for the UK Network Security Innovation Platform. He has over thirty international publications in AI and Security concepts and has filed twelve patents on Security and AI models. His latest book is on the theme of Resilience and Cohesion in Social systems: ("Cohesion - The Making of Society", available from Amazon.) Professionally he is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Computer Society. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University, and at the Said Business School in Oxford University, and an Honorary Fellow at Imperial College. He has also served for several years as an Independent Expert for the UK Defence Science Advisory Council (DSAC) and was a Business Research Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. He is married with two precocious daughters and lives in Oxford.
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  Greta Meszoely, PhD., , is a member of the Sawyer Business School faculty and a fellow in the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership, as well as a Faculty Fellow of Service and Outreach and member of the Environmental Studies Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at Suffolk. She as pursued her interest and research of complex problems and sustainable governance globally in business and society. She has been actively engaged in community and economic development in the US, women's rights and economic development in Zimbabwe, human rights in Egypt, democratic elections to support peace and development in Palestine, and water resources management in the Sahara. Through her study of complex problems and the characteristics of complex adaptive systems her research has led to her interest in developing fundamental management competencies necessary to support effective governance of sustainable systems.
Dr. Meszoely holds a PhD in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University.
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  Tomas Backstrom, is professor of innovation science. He is leader of the innovation management research at Malardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden. His research deals with creativity in groups and organisations, with a special focus on communication and leadership. It is often performed in cooperation with organizations characterised by decentralisation and distributed responsibility, where emerging structures are of high importance. Complex systems theory is used as a meta-theoretical base.
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  Carol Ann Zulauf Sharicz, co-designed the Master's Degree Program in Adult and Organizational Learning, which focuses on applying systems thinking tools to practical applications, understanding the needs of adult learners, and incorporating organizational learning competencies into training and human resource development initiatives in organizations.
As a business practitioner, and thought leader, Dr. Zulauf advises, speaks, and publishes on systemic leadership, emotional intelligence, in a number of sectors, including health care, financial services, high tech, government, education, energy, and consumer products, in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Dr. Zulauf holds an Ed.D in Human Resources Education from Boston University.
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  Peter A.C. Smith, is President of The Leadership Alliance Inc., a worldwide consulting practice assisting leading public and private sector organizations enhance performance and profitability. He is Consulting & Special Issues Editor, The Learning Organization; Publisher and Managing Editor of the Journal of Knowledge Management Practice; and Assistant Editor, International Journal of Sociotechnology & Knowledge Development. Peter is published widely in academic journals and books, and is in demand internationally as a speaker, workshop leader and conference chair.
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  Howard Park, is Managing Director at Model Answers, where he builds models and analytical tools to help clients with a range of complex business problemsm using several tools of analytics, including neural-networks, system dynamics, Monte Carlo methods, animation, 3D visualization, and agent-based modeling. He has integrated information design, systems thinking and behavioral economics into the "user interaction" and "organizational decision making and action" aspects of working with advanced analytics, simulations and models. He has worked across many Fortune 500, private and non-profit organizations. Howard holds an MBA and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, as well undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics.
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  Tory Gattis, is the Founder, President, and Social Systems Architect at OpenTeams, a web software-as-a-service firm that increases employee engagement and entrepreneurialism in large organizations with an internal free market that incubates innovative ideas, builds teams around them, and gets them funded and implemented. He has a background in information technology, entrepreneurship, and strategy and organization consulting, particularly around talent management and engagement. In addition to working in a series of technology companies and roles, he is an alumnus of McKinsey & Co., where he practiced strategic consulting assisting many Fortune 500 firms on issues including technology strategy and mergers & acquisitions. Tory is also an adjunct faculty member in business strategy at HBU. He holds an MBA and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.
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  Angela Maria Alves, is a doctoral student in Information Technology at the University of Campinas, Brasil. She is also a Coordinator of postgraduate studies in Federal University of Lavras and researcher at the Center for Information Technology Renato Archer. Ms. Alves has a wealth of experience in Software Engineering. Her current reserch activities include processes of emerging systems, complexity and systems thinking applied to the collaborative production of software.