speakers

We’re ​thrilled ​to ​be ​joined ​by ​an ​extraordinary ​panel ​of ​speakers, ​who ​are ​flying ​in from ​all ​over ​the ​world ​to ​share ​their ​ideas ​on ​design, ​creativity, ​innovation ​and technology.

Krystel Kouyoumji

McKinsey and Company

Experience Design Director

Krystel Kouyoumji is a Design Director at McKinsey Digital Labs based out of McKinsey & Company’s Dubai office. She has over 10 years of experience in user experience design, user interface design, motion graphics, and graphic design. Through her work at McKinsey,Krystel has had the chance to support various governments and large institutions in exploring digital opportunities, communicating their value proposition, building a digital team, and creating a design language to deliver on their vision.

Angela Haddad

One Third Blue

Virtual Reality Creative Director

Angela Haddad is a VR Creative Director and artist based in Los Angeles. She is the creator of One Third Blue - a VR art studio creating marketing campaigns and fan-facing stories, serving brands in lifestyle, fashion, and beauty. Angela’s portfolio includes Marie Claire, Lionsgate, LiveNation, AlJazeera, and more. She is one of ten global Microsoft Creator Council members for 3D & mixed reality products, a twice Oculus Launchpad Fellow, and has co-authored an IEEE op-ed. She has been featured at SXSW, in Buzzfeed, VRScout and UploadVR, and has spoken at SAG-AFTRA, UCLA Anderson, VRLA, NAB, and more.

Salman Amir

IBM

Associate Design Director - UxD

With a degree in engineering and a passion for design, Salman creates innovative and engaging user experiences. Great UX is about more than just looking good – it is about feeling right and making the user an integral part of the experience. His priority is the end user and the outputs are aimed at solving problems. All this comes with Salman’s faith in the combination of technology and art. As a UX and interaction designer, and an information architect, he focuses on providing user-centric designs to different platforms such as mobile, web and large screen surface computing. Salman’s expertise extends from creating initial high fidelity interactive prototypes to support the development team across the whole product development cycle.

Emily Von Eschwege

Google

Account Manager

Emily works for Google as an Online Sales Account Manager for the DACH market, based in Dublin. As a VR ambassador on the site she is constantly spreading the fascination about new technologies. Adding her passion about art, Google's Tilt Brush is the perfect representation of how you can combine business and art, and simply how you can make the world a bit more colorful place.

Jimmy Elias

SapientRazorfish

Senior Experience Designer

Jimmy Elias is a Senior Experience Designer at SapientRazorfish Germany. He holds an MA in Integrated Design (KISD, Cologne) and comes from a career of design, research and academic teaching. He co-founded nimslabs design studio, was a design lecturer at the Lebanese International University and a digital designer at Saatchi & Saatchi. In the past years, Jimmy emphasised on crafting experiences in the digital sphere along being a guest lecturer in design research. At Demodern digital agency, he led digital concepts for clients such as Covestro, Nike and Mazda. Today at SapientRazorfish, Jimmy designs digital experiences, products, services and processes for international clients including McDonald’s and DHL.

Filipa José Costa

Fjord

Business Designer

Filipa is a Strategic Designer at Fjord. Passionate about customer-centric design, she integrates business requirements with user needs to design relevant solutions. She’s focused on design research, strategy and facilitation tackling challenges such as shifting a product centric company to a service provider, re-defining a digital strategy across different touchpoints, implementing the use of design thinking methodologies inside an organization. Her experience includes projects across the globe for clients from different industries such as Carrefour, T-Mobile, Globo or Mango. Filipa maintains a tight link to Academia by collaborating with institutions such as IED Madrid and UNLP.

Jimmy Ghazal

M&C SAATCHI

Innovation Director

Jimmy Ghazal is the Founder of “MindLab”; a creative, business and innovation based consultancy. With over 18 years of experience, Jimmy has worked on several iconic local, regional, and international projects ranging from F&B, Fashion, Tourism, Banking, Telecom, Media, Religious, Governmental and Political. During his early days, Jimmy Ghazal joined “Quantum Group,” one of the leading communications groups in the MENA region, that is made up of several companies from the various industry disciplines. His journey in the group started at “BrandCentral” as a Corporate Identity and Arabic Typography Specialist. He later moved to the advertising arena with “Saatchi & Saatchi,” now “M&C Saatchi MENA,” where he headed the digital and multimedia division and helped lead the agency into the digital age. During his later years in the group, Jimmy was acting as the Innovation Director at “M&C Saatchi MENA” and Digital Director in charge of digital thinking and implementations for group companies. He was also responsible for setting up and heading the operation of “Mercury” and “M Media,” the specialized digital and content-driven divisions of the group. On a parallel front, Jimmy serves as a Strategic Consultant for “Le Charcutier” supermarket chain. He contributed to the growth of the brand to become one the largest and most established Lebanese retailer. Jimmy is also an Instructor in Media Studies at the “American University of Beirut” (AUB), The “Lebanese American University” (LAU), a mentor in the Lebanon tech startup ecosystem, a public speaker, and tech/innovation blogger “Techie Dad” on www.techiedad.me

Michael Bayle

Amadeus

Head of Mobile

Michael has been at Amadeus for three and a half years and leads its Mobile strategy including commercial product and operations. Previously Michael has had senior roles at Microsoft, Yahoo, and ESPN where he was the Senior Vice-President of Mobile. Sprinkled in between were stints early on at several start-ups including LinkExchange (acquired by MSFT), Amobee (acquired by Singtel), and GroundTruth (>$100M USD funding backed by SoftBank). Oscillating between marketing, advertising and mobile careers, Michael believes the common thread is to always build for the consumer. “I’m a B2C guy living in a B2B world” Michael often muses as his mantra to ensure the traveler is embraced in the complex ecosystem of competitive entities in travel. Michael has a BA in Japanese and his MS in Computer Science, with a focus on HCI (nowadays UX) from Stanford University.

Ramsi Bdeir

IBM

CX Director

Ramsi integrates his agency and marketing background with a solid foundation in business and technology consultancy. His deep understanding of regional clients and insight-driven approach enables him to solve complex organizational challenges in an array of industries. Ramsi develops and delivers against marketing strategies and plans and mobile solutions to drive a heightened customer experience at all stages of a consumer life cycle.

Joumana Mattar

Fjord

Service Design Lead

Joumana is a continuously curious learner, with more than 10 years of experience investigating the intersection of services, design, business and people. Passionate about bridging different industries using design methodologies, she facilitates workshops and prototypes design processes together with client teams to empower them to implement design led solutions within their companies. Currently at Fjord Madrid, her clients include UOC, Caixa Bank, ABC, Zurich Santander and Generalitat de Catalunya. Furthermore, Joumana previously founded and headed Mirada Madrid, as well as the Beirut Service Jam. She holds a Masters in Design Management from IED Barcelona and a Bachelors in Graphic design from AUB.

Tatiana Toutikian

BDW/MENA DRC

IXDA Beirut Founder/Project Manager

I'm an Industrial and Critical Designer with rooted background in Interaction Design, Design Research and Collaboration. I design objects, services, and interactions for the near future and sometimes a different now. I use design as a tool for provocation, dialogue, and a challenger of assumptions rather than for corporate profit. I am currently the Collaborations Manager at the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Design Research Center and the Founder of the Interaction Design Association (IXDA) Beirut Chapter. I also manage projects for Beirut Design Week and last year organized with our small team the first Criteria Conference, the first critical design conference in the Middle East. I have previously been working at Frog Design (Shanghai office), Hello Ruby (Helsinki), and Chiba University (Japan) and hold an MA from Aalto University (Finland) and a minor in the Media Lab designing tangible and auditory interfaces.

Dennis Neiman

IE University

Head of Innovation

Dennis has dedicated his 25 year marketing career to digital formats, platforms and content. As Head of Innovation at Spanish digital agency Multiplatform Content, Dennis has introduced and implemented emerging HCD technologies to clients including gamified intranets, international inbound marketing, Saas platforms, social media marketing and natural language understanding. In his UX/UI class at IE's HST, students apply UX fundamentals to emerging digital technologies.

Elie Khoury

Woopra

CEO

Elie Khoury is the co-founder and CEO of Woopra. An engineer by trade, CEO by profession, Elie built Woopra under the belief that data made accessible to everyone in the organization would empower all employees to make better-informed, data-driven decisions. He studied computer science at the Lebanese American University where he built the first generation of Woopra in 2007. In addition to Woopra, he co-founded YallaStartup, a non-profit organization established to foster entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa.

Masha Zvereva

Coding Blonde

YouTube blogger Global Entrepreneur in Residence

Masha is the founder of Coding Blonde, a blog dedicated to empowering women in technology and breaking stereotypes. She creates videos showing that tech can be fun and doesn't have to be intimidating. Her background is in Marketing and Market Research and learning how to code is her hobby. She is passionate about design thinking and disrupting technologies that don't serve the end user. Masha is originally from Russia and has recently moved to the US from London, where she worked at Google for a couple of years.

Hassan El Amine

IBM

Associate Design Director - Visual Design

Hassan conceptualizes original ideas that bring simplicity and user friendless to complex design roadblocks. He is responsible for creating a cohesive style guide, ensuring that a consistent design language is implemented across all products. He is in charge of creating UI and ensuring that it visually communicates the path laid out by UX designers, often collaborating with them in building wireframes. Hassan’s career progressed as an award winning art director working with top global and regional branding and advertising agencies. Throughout his career, Hassan has pushed his creative boundaries beyond standard mediums and into alternative channels. Today he pushes his creatives ideas further into the digital space, continuously advancing as a visual designer and gaining depth in UX.

Rana Haddad

AUB

Instructional Designer

Rana is an Instructional Designer with a Fine Arts and Interactive Multimedia background. Currently, she works closely with faculty members in higher education to design their courses in a way that is interactive and engaging for their students. What she love most about her job is being able to drive the much needed culture change in our education system so that we begin to focus more on the student learning experience. Through creativity and innovation in course/program design, students can start to experience personalized, adaptive and authentic learning throughout their years at university.

Georges Abi Aad

BIRDHAUS_

Chief Transformation Officer

After coaching Lebanese and English startups in their digital marketing efforts in one of Lebanon’s top accelerators, Georges went on to launch BIRDHAUS_, the first Growth Hacking agency in the country. Applying only agile data-based marketing techniques, the company aims at reconnecting marketing efforts and sales results.

Loubna Ibrahim

Ideatolife

Product & Innovation Manager

A human centred design consultant, Loubna started her tech career in 2014 and founded her own tech startup. 2 years later, she received a UX and design thinking for tech products training from Google. Being very passionate and an advocate of the Design Thinking process, she went back to become a Google Trainer for UX masterclass in 2017. Since then, Loubna has given many talks and workshops in the field, mentored and advised startups as well as clients. She is currently leading the Product & Innovation team at Ideatolife. Today, Loubna is also engaged in the civic society through her support for women’s place in technology, she gives trainings to girls from the age of 12 till 18 through Girls GOT IT in rural areas. She also gives back to her alma mater through free lectures and workshops on Design Thinking.

John Bucher

Producer and Author

John Bucher is an award-winning communicator, writer, and mythologist based out of Hollywood, California. His work centers at the intersection of art and technology and is motivated by a belief in the power of story to change the journeys of individuals, communities, cultures, and nations. His latest book, Storytelling for Virtual Reality, has been a best seller in the tech space. He has worked with organizations ranging from HBO to The History Channel to A24 Films to DC Comics and has served as a writer and consultant for numerous film, television, and Virtual Reality projects.

Petar Stojanov

Ebtikaar

EBTIKAAR FOUNDER

Identifying early in his career that business innovation challenges have more in common with science experiments than they do with business challenges, Petar founded Ebtikaar, a boutique advisory that reframes innovation challenges through the lenses of Human- Centred design and first-principles abstract reasoning, in order to reimagine and reinvent disruptive innovations. In just over a year, Ebtikaar has executed a portfolio of successful projects across the UAE, including the region’s first academically- supported entrepreneurship accelerator mentorship program, along with building intrapreneurship and innovation competencies in the Dubai Government under the highly-acclaimed EXPO 2020 and Dubai 10X initiatives. With a focus on youth talent development, Ebtikaar is working alongside the UAE Ministries of Education and Youth to develop innovation competencies across the youth of the UAE. Petar is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur Middle East, Arabian Business and Inc. Arabia. Nominated for the 2017 Arabian Business ‘Mentor of the Year’ award, Petar is a Global Mentor for 1776, and advises a number of Emirati entrepreneurs launching startups and new business ventures in fields as diverse as nationwide cybersecurity, IT, and technology-enabled F&B and retail platforms.

Rami Farran

AUB

Director of IT-Academic Services

Rami Farran is the director for teaching, research and outreach part of the IT organization at AUB. He holds an Executive Masters degree with a computer and communications engineering undergraduate background. He has extensive experience in eLearning and Student Learning Experience Design, in addition to extensive experience in Software Design, Architecture and Implementation. Under his capacity, Mr. Farran is overseeing all eLearning and distance learning activities, course and program design and redesign, innovation in student learning experience, eLearning governance and support, in addition to Learning Management System end-to-end implementation, operations and support.

Farrah Berrou

Wesley's Wholesale

Creative Strategist

From pre-med to art direction to the world of edible imports, Farrah's professional trajectory always had something in common: the transfer of information while doodling on scraps of paper. After a few years of learning the advertising ropes at Leo Burnett Beirut, she now manages all things social and experiential at Wesley's Wholesale, the family empire of food and all things American.

Wael Morcos

Morcos Key

Graphic and Type designer

Wael Morcos (born 1986) is a graphic designer, Arabic type designer and partner at Morcos Key design studio. After receiving his MFA from RISD in 2013 he moved to New York where he worked with 2x4, MTWTF, Commercial Type and Base Design. Wael has been named Print Magazine’s 15 under 30 and was named a Young Gun by the Art Director’s Club.