Ponentes | 13th Middle East Conference

13th Middle East Conference

28 Feb 2018 hasta 01 Mar 2018
United Arab Emirates (the)

Ponentes | 13th Middle East Conference


Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence of the United Arab Emirates

His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama has been appointed as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence following the Cabinet reshuffle of October 2017. His responsibilities include enhancing the government performance by investing the latest technologies and tools of artificial intelligence and applying them in various sectors.

Al Olama is currently the Managing Director of the World Government Summit in the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future. His Excellency has been working as the Deputy Director of the Future Department at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future. Al Olama contributed to the preparation of the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy and the UAE 4th Industrial Revolution Strategy.

His Excellency holds a Diploma in Project Management and Excellence from the American University of Sharjah and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Dubai.

Editor-in-Chief, Sayidaty, Al Jamila and Arrajol Magazine - SRPC, Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Fahad Alharthi is a Saudi media person, who holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters degree in International Journalism from City University, UK, and has a twenty years of experience in the traditional and new media fields.
He started his career in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in London before joining as a correspondent for the Arab News newspaper, issued in English. He also joined the Financial Times of London as a visiting journalist.
He moved on to work in Al Eqtisadiah newspaper published in Saudi Arabia, and was appointed as a regular journalist, then he became responsible for the front page and the managing editor later. In 1997 he became editor in chief of Arrajol magazine, which was published in London, for the Saudi Research and Marketing Group. During this period, he earned the Gulf Excellence Award in 2002 after the great success of which the magazine has witnessed.

In 2004, he became the editor in chief of Sayidaty and Aljamila magazines, issued for the same group, he took them a year later from London to Media City in Dubai. He played a key role in transforming Sayidaty magazine to a wide range of specialized magazines and websites in the shade of Sayidaty, such as "Sayidaty decor”, "Sayidaty and your baby" and "Sayidaty Fashion ', in addition to issuing the monthly magazine Sayidaty in English.
He became the editor in chief of the Arab News in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Research and Marketing Group from 2013 until 2016. During this time he has launched the project of the Arab News talk show forum that hosts seminars attended by officials and diplomats to discuss topical issues.
In 2015 he started the program “ bdoonshak” at the mbc channel, which he hosts and manages, the program discusses social issues boldly ,and has raised high controversy and earned a lot of followers in the Arab world.

He won the election of the administration board of the Saudi journalists association in November 3, 2016 and became a member of the Council representing the media sector in Saudi Arabia.
He is a Founding member of the Young Arab Leaders Forum in Davos Middle East. A member of the Gulf 2000 Project at Columbia University in New York, and a Former member of the British Union of Journalists NUJ
Al Harthy earned the creative media award in Beirut in 2014 for his successes in the printed , visual and electronic media.
He currently, in addition to his TV program, “ bdoonshak, heads Arrajol magazine that focuses on dialogues of leaders and powerful personalities in the Arab world. He is also the editor in chief of the magazine Sayidaty, and its publications, Aljamila magazine and its website, in addition to the site, Sayidy, which addresses the Arab youth category.

Al Harthy is an active participant in many Arab and international conferences and forums, in which he has spoken about printed and new media. He shares political articles in the Journal of Asharq Al-Awsat, and Al-Bayan newspapers. He in addition to that has a weekly column in Sayidaty and an article in the monthly magazine Arrajol.

Chairman of the WAN-IFRA Middle East Committee, KSA

Dr. Saleh Alhumaidan has 30+ years of professional experience in various leadership positions in the private as well as public sectors serving in senior management and leadership capacities. He is founder, chairman and/or board member of several companies (some public stock) and not-for-profit organizations. For many years (2003 – 2015), he represented Saudi Arabia at the International
Labor Organization (ILO).

Dr. Alhumaidan is actively involved in academia both as a lecturer in Human Resource Management at the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and member of the board of trustees of two universities in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. He holds Bachelors and MBA degrees from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, and a Doctorate in Business Administration
(Strategic Management) from Grenoble Ecole de Management, France.

Managing Director, Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and Dubai Production City (DPC), UAE

Majed Al Suwaidi was appointed as the Managing Director for Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and Dubai Production City (DPC) in March 2016.

Prior to his current role, Majed was the Managing Director of Dubai Internet City (DIC), the MENA region’s largest ICT business community and Dubai Outsource City (DOC), a modern, hi-tech business hub dedicated to the growing outsourcing industry.

Majed began his career at TECOM Group as the Director of Business Development for DIC and DOC where he developed the business parks’ strategy of business partner acquisition and retention. Under his leadership, both business communities witnessed success and the effective implementation of TECOM Group’s strategy, a world-class business community developer, by delivering maximum value to business partners, stakeholders, and community as well as improving the market share.

He played a crucial role in supporting and fostering startups, entrepreneurs and technology SMEs within DIC, enhancing the technology ecosystem in Dubai. Under his leadership, Dubai Internet City launched in5 innovation centre to support start-ups in technology in 2012 and was named a Strategic Partner of Smart Dubai in 2015

VD/CEO, Svenska Dagbladet (Schibsted), Sweden

Gunilla Asker, CEO of the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) since 2009, has been responsible for developing and implementing SvD's multichannel strategy, which aims to meet the new market and business needs that the digital development implies. She first entered the media sector in 2005, joining SvD as Marketing and Sales Director. 

 After graduating from Uppsala University in 1988 with an International MBA, Asker joined Unilever as a trainee and then spent 13 years with them working in the areas of strategy, branding, marketing and sales. She was later Vice President for Marketing and Corporate Communications at SJ AB (Swedish Rail) before becoming Division Manager of Custom Research at Research International.

Chief Executive Officer, Dar Al Hayat

Bachelor of Computer Engineering - King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals 2003.
Trainee in Al Hayat School 2004 program.
Managing Editor of the weekly pages and Head of Investigative Department – Al Hayat newspaper 2004 until 2007.
Director of Communication and spokesman - Rotana media Group 2007 until 2010.
Content and Communication Manager (Saudi television channels development project in collaboration with the English company ITN) - a very creative company 2010 until 2011.
Editor in chief of e-publishing – Dar Al Hayat from 2012 till date.
Member of the Board of directors-Dar Al Hayat from 2014 till date.
Al Hayat School Director – Dar Al Hayat from 2014 so till date.

Director of Global Partnerships at Google for Emerging Markets, Dubai, UAE

Alfonso De Gaetano leads the Google Publishers business across EMEA Emerging Markets. Driven by a mandate to enable publishers to thrive in a digital future, Alfonso works closely with publisher partners to help them get started in their digital transformation. Before Google, he spent most of his career in Management Consulting at Booz & Company advising Telecom and Media companies across Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Synopsis: In a fast moving digital age, it has never been more important for tech companies to collaborate with the news industry to have a sustainable news ecosystem. As new business models are emerging and news consumption is increasingly fragmented, there is high value for collaboration across  content creation, distribution, monetisation, data and infrastructure.

Chief Operating Officer, WAN-IFRA, Germany

Thomas Jacob was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of WAN-IFRA in 2012. He is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s strategy to be a platform for exchange of ideas, information and experiences among the global news publishing industry. Prior to this Jacob was the Deputy CEO, taking care of regional operations.

Prior to WAN-IFRA, Jacob worked for DMG Media, publisher of Daily Mail and Metro in the United Kingdom. As the International Development Director, he identified and evaluated digital media companies in Asia for potential acquisition. He also conceptualized and launched a compact midmarket newspaper, Mail Today, for the Indian market as a JV with the India Today Group.

Jacob is an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. As a summa cum laude, he is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for management in the United States.

He is a trained engineer in electronics and telecommunications, having graduated with distinction from the National Institute of Technology, Suratkal, in India.

Managing Director, Print Power Europe, Brussels, Belgium

Ulbe Jelluma is a seasoned marketing and advertising professional. He is heading Print Power Europe, the pan-European, industry-wide initiative promoting print advertising.

Print Power Europe, the leading voice for print media campaigning, sponsored by the European paper industry, organises Round Tables with leading brands and agencies; providing facts, expert interviews and cases on its website printpower.eu and setting-up face-to-face meetings with agencies and brands discussing the role of print advertising in the media mix.

Ulbe worked for the international advertising agencies Ogilvy, Hakuhodo/TBWA and BBDO for international clients such as Canon Europe, Sappi Europe, Südzucker, Unilever, Philips and American Express.

He's committed to the effectiveness of advertising and was a member of the founding committee and winner of the award that recognise effective advertising campaigns: the Effie awards. He was also part of the team that relaunched the Euro-Effies. He is a past Board member of the Belgian Marketing Association. Ulbe is Dutch but has spent more years in Belgium than in his home country.

He’s a regular speaker at industry events, including WAN-IFRA Annual Conference, INMA Global News Conference, FIPP Global Annual event, Distripress Congress, and various Print Power member events,….

Commercial Director, Politiken, Denmark

Head of Subscription Sales and Marketing, Politiken, Denmark   Jørgensen focuses on Politiken’s goal to strengthen and grow its revenue streams from paying subscribers. Sales encompasses digital channels, telemarketing, BtB-sales and single copy sales. Additionally, she is a member of the Business Management Board of Politiken.   She has been with JP/Politikens Hus (one of Denmark’s leading media houses) from 2007-2015 and again from 2017. JP/Politikens Hus is publishing house for several titles, Ekstra Bladet and Politiken, amongst others.   From 2013-2015,  Jørgensen was commercially responsible for the tabloid newspaper Ekstra Bladet’s development and launch of its paid content model (which started in 2013). Learnings from both Ekstra Bladet and Politiken, as well as a great European network, give her a thorough knowledge of development phases and failures whilst introducing paid content business models.   From 2015-2017, she was Portfolio Manager at Bonnier Publications in Denmark, being digitally responsible for eight crossborder magazine titles in five countries.   She has a Master of Communications from Aalborg University, Denmark – part of her degree from Brunel University, West London.  

Head of Culture Management, Dar Al Hayat, UAE

A distinguished 17-years career that reflects continual advancement; entrepreneurial-minded senior executive with consistent successes in starting, building, growing and improving the profitability, performance, and value of companies; experienced planner, leader and specialist in change and corporate transformation management;

Have a thorough insight into the business of diverse industries Media, Logistics, and Professional education, working between GCC and Lebanon with multi-national and global organizations such as Morgan International and DHL. Currently, Head of Culture Management at Dar Alhayat FZ LLC.

Have an MBA from AUCE, a BA from Lebanese, and authorized International Proctor for the ICMA.

Director of Digital TV at Muscat Media Group, Oman

Joe has been involved in TV broadcast media for nearly 20 years focusing on the sport environment in particular. He began his career and training in England with the BBC becoming the youngster sports anchor in their history.

His Television journey has incorporated stints at not only the BBC but also Arab Radio and Television ART, StarHub, Ten Sports and Sony ESPN.

Most recently he took the fledgling Times TV, part of the Times of Oman brand from 50,000 viewers to 29 million (by end of 2017) on multiple platforms including Facebook, Website and YouTube.

Media researcher and consultant

Greg Piechota is an academic researcher, a media consultant and a writer. As a researcher and an ex-fellow at Harvard and Oxford universities, he studies technology-enabled disruption patterns across industries, with a focus on business model innovation in news media. Mr Piechota is a former media executive with 20+ years of industry experience. He began his career at Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza in 1996 as a reporter in one of the smallest local offices rising to a news editor and a vice-president of Agora Foundation. The book, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain, which he wrote together with Professor Thales Teixeira of Harvard Business School was released in 2019 by Currency, a brand of Penguin Random House. Mr Piechota lives in Oxford, England.

AI Entrepreneur

Parankusha is a Tech entrepreneur helping enterprises and startups adopt disruptive technologies like  AI at an early stage. Previously, he was VP-R&D focussing on AI and automation at Ninestars, a digitization company. While at Wipro Technologies, he co-conceptualized HOLMES AI platform in 2014, a pioneering initiative among the top IT services companies in India. He was the head of engineering of its flagship program - HOLMES EKYC. He also brings a wealth of experience in multiple domains across Banking, Capital Markets and Media. Parankusha has a Master’s degree in Management from I.I.M Lucknow and a Bachelor’s in Computer Science & Engineering from N.I.T Jamshedpur.


CEO, Al Abkaria Holding Company and GM Nebras Films, Saudi Arabia

Niko Ruokosuo, MSc Technology, Finland
25 years of executive positions in Media at VP, SVP and CEO levels in Finland, Germany, California and Saudi Arabia, including 9 years at Los Angeles Times, most recently as President of their Classifieds Business. 4 years at Sanoma Corporation, one of Europe's leading media companies as CEO of one of their Business Units. Founder and CEO of Saudi Arabia's largest cars for sale website for dealers, Abi Sayara. Co-Founder and CEO of a unique polling platform startup. Shareholder and former CEO of a mobile crowdsourcing photo and video company.  Currently CEO of Al Abkaria Holding Company, a construction, interior design, Real Estate and movie production corporation based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Director Middle East, WAN-IFRA, Germany

She is responsible for all WAN-IFRA activities in the countries of the Middle East,
working closely with the company's members in that region.
Previously she has held various leading positions at WAN-IFRA. As Director of Marketing
and Membership, she was Head of the marketing and PR team with responsibility for
all global marketing activities. In this capacity, she introduced a new logo and dynamic
new corporate identity.
As Director of Membership she acted as the contact for all members worldwide, while
also introducing a new membership model and structure.
Upon joining WAN-IFRA, initially as Head of IT, she implemented two editorial systems
at the company.
Before coming to WAN-IFRA, she worked for Monotype in the position of Head of
Application. During her time at that company she played an instrumental role in the
market launch of a new editorial system.
She began her career at ATEX, the leading system supplier for editorial systems, where
she worked as a trainer and application specialist. Her duties in this position included
training editors and journalists in leading media houses in both Germany and the UK.

Senior fact checker, Faktisk.no, Norway

Silje S. Skiphamn is a senior fact checker and investigative reporter at Faktisk.no, Norway´s new groundbreaking fact-checking organization. She has worked as a news journalist and political reporter in several newspapers since 2008, among them VG, the largest Norwegian daily on paper and internet combined. Skiphamn is also chair woman of the Norwegian Foundation for Investigative Journalism (SKUP). She holds a Bachelor´s degree in political science from the University of Oslo and has also studied journalism. 

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd., Singapore

Anthony joined SPH as Executive Vice-President, Chinese Media Group in February 2015. Anthony was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2016. He oversees the media businesses of SPH, which includes titles such as Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian, Tamil Murasu, as well as radio stations under SPH Radio.

Anthony also manages the Group’s Healthcare business.

Prior to joining SPH, Anthony was Deputy Secretary (Policy), Ministry of Health and concurrently Special Assistant to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (2011-2014). During his career with the Singapore Public Service spanning more than 15 years, he served in various organisations including the Ministry of Finance, Home Affairs, Manpower as well as the People’s Association.

Anthony currently serves on the boards of Singapore Power Limited and several SPH subsidiaries. He also serves on private/non-profit organisations.

Anthony graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1997 with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in Political Science. He also has a Master of Science (Management) degree from the Stanford Business School.

Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication Studies and Media Research, LMU Munich, Germany

Dr Neil Thurman is Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication Studies and Media Research, LMU Munich. Dr Thurman's research focuses on the changes taking place in news production and consumption as a result of the internet. It has been covered by media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Le Figaro; and been honoured by the International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin, Texas, where he won 'best paper' over four consecutive years. He is on Twitter: @neilthurman

13th Middle East Conference