X, the moonshot factory
Dean Banks (Samuel Dean Banks Jr.) is the former President and CEO of Tyson Foods. At Tyson, Dean led the company through the pandemic, re-built the leadership team, and set a bold plan for a 3-5 year organizational and food supply chain transformation, which drove the stock price up by ~35%, outpacing the S&P 500 by double digit figures. This plan included initiatives (digitization, automation, sustainable/health-oriented products, and projected annualized operational savings of over $1B) which continue to
drive value today as the plan is disclosed and actualized. Dean had served on the Board Of Directors for 2 years prior to being asked to lead Tyson, with roles on the Strategy/Acquisitions Committee and the Governance/Nominating Committee.
Prior to leading Tyson, Dean was on the leadership team and a Project Lead at X (formerly Google [x], Alphabet/Google’s “moonshot factory”). There, Dean built both a small “startup engine” called “The Refinery”, and created/led many projects in the moonshot
pipeline. One project which Dean founded and led is Instrinsic, which is an advanced industrial automation platform AI, perception and simulation to make industrial robots more dynamic and easier to use. Intrinsic has recently graduated to become a separate Alphabet company. Another project Dean co-founded and led, Tidal,
is using a variety of emerging technologies to digitize and reimagine the protein supply chain by creating sensor infrastructure that can provide a real-time, quantified health assessment of our planet’s shores. Other projects include the successful re-launch of Google Glass for enterprise use, and initiation of deep-tech projects in biotechnology, therapeutics, drone fleet management and wearable devices.
Prior to arriving at Google X, Dean co-founded Vergent Bioscience, SVP of BD/Strategy at OrthoHelix (acquired by TRNX), Strategy/M&A at Cytyc (acquired by Hologic), advised Cleveland Clinic Innovations, and was a venture capitalist at Highland Capital Partners and SEED Ventures. Prior to Business School, Dean worked in sales, sales leadership and marketing at Ethicon EndoSurgery. Dean has a BA from Miami University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Dean also served as a squad leader and platoon sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.
Dean is motivated by big, hard, impactful, transformational opportunities, and pretty much anything that has been deemed “impossible.”
One of the country’s most informed economists, Alan has been providing workshops and economic analysis seminars in countries across the world to literally thousands of business owners and executives for the last 25 years.
He is co-author of Prosperity in the Age of Decline, a powerful look at how to make the most of the US and global trends over the next 20 years. Alan also coauthored Make Your Move, a practical and insightful guide on increasing profits through business cycle changes, and noted by one reviewer as “simple, yet awesome.”
As the chief economist for numerous US and European trade associations, it has been remarked that Alan’s “insight into our business, a track record of accurate forecasting, and unparalleled knowledge of global markets has earned him the respect and appreciation of key business leaders in our industry.”
Pronouncements from ITR Economics™ and/or Alan have appeared in/on: the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Knight Ridder News Services, Business Week, Associated Press, The Washington Times, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, KABC, NPR affiliate WLRN and numerous other outlets.
House of Design
Shane Dittrich is at the forefront of analyzing and concepting innovative robotic applications for manufacturing. Shane was introduced to industrial robotics while working for JLS Automation and then Transform Solar, where he managed both the Automation Development Group and the Reliability Division.
Shane is the Co-Founder of House of Design Robotics. Under his leadership, House of Design has quickly grown into a top automation integrator and advanced software company serving a wide variety of industries. Shane works extensively with his community and sits on the ABB Advisory Council and the Northwest Nazarene Engineering Industry & Alumni Advisory Board.
Jeremy Dodson is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at NextLink Labs where he facilitates digital transformation and cybersecurity program development for clients across a variety of industries.
Jeremy began his 20+ year career in Information Technology and Cybersecurity as a Signals Intelligence Analyst for the United States Air Force. While in the armed forces, Mr. Dodson served in NSA’s Center for Executive Protection, where he performed nation-state threat analysis and conducted security briefings at the White House with the President of the United States and top government and military officials.
After leaving military service, Jeremy led the technical team for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Independent Enterprise Assessments (EA-21) performing full-scope assessments of critical national infrastructure, including 92 DOE sites, nuclear weapons complexes, Power Marketing Administrations, and Headquarters.
Jeremy’s passion for technology extends beyond his career. He served as a technical advisor for the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) for the NBCU/USA show Mr. Robot, and has developed several mobile platform games. He advocates for educational gamification and creates puzzles designed to entertain and educate participants.
Jeremy also holds the unique distinction of being on the reigning 4x world champion dodge juggle protect team. He volunteers for the World Juggling Federation, helping advance their goal of making juggling an Olympic sport.
Author & Innovator
Suneel Gupta is the author of the book, Backable. The book is rooted in Suneel's journey from a twice-failed entrepreneur to being named "The New Face of Innovation" by the New York Stock Exchange. Suneel has led product development inside some of the world's most breakthrough companies, and teaches Innovation at Harvard University.
His ideas have been backed by firms like Greylock and Google Ventures - and he served as an Entrepreneur in Residence inside Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers. He has personally backed startups including Impossible Foods, AirBnB, 23&Me, Calm, and SpaceX.
a Principal Cybersecurity Advisor
As a Principal Cybersecurity Advisor for NextLink Labs, Jay puts his 21 years of military service and strong social engineering skills to work in some of the most creative ways possible. Before retiring from the Air Force he was responsible for handling and protecting sensitive, mission critical data for one of the top weapons systems in the arsenal. Jay also was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to secure government contracts for large medical facilities, gaining invaluable experience coordinating cross agency federal teams.
After his military service he was able to put his social engineering and physical security skills to use as a Principal Cybersecurity Advisor leading red teams for one of the nation's largest municipalities. During these full-scope adversarial attack emulations he was able to improve access controls and information security through the analysis of procedures done correctly and those needing a little more improvement. While executing his duties as a social engineering expert, he has been a janitorial custodian and CEO of a billion dollar company all in the same day.
In his few free moments, Jay likes to stand atop the world as the World Juggling Federations four-time Dodge Juggle Protect World Champion. He was also instrumental in creating and kicking off the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) for the TV show Mr. Robot. As a consultant for NBCU, Jay helped ensure accuracy of the technical elements of the show and infused a fun interactive game for fans to follow and play as the show aired. Serving as the liaison between the top executives at NBCU and his team was one of the most exciting experiences of his career.
GM AI, Mixed Reality & Silicon Platforms, Business Development
Dr Rashmi Misra heads Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality and Silicon Business Development, for Microsoft. Working closely with ecosystem partners, customers and engineering teams Rashmi is responsible for proving leading-edge solutions and partnerships combining AI, mixed reality and emergent technologies at Microsoft.
Rashmi has been at the forefront of intelligent systems for over 20 years, managing network applications, cloud, media, IoT and M2M businesses for HPE where she was the Head of AI Solutions for High Performance Compute solutions.
Rashmi previously led Motorola's worldwide System Integration portfolio and was instrumental in deploying some of the first expert and AI systems on mobile networks. She owns six international patents for intelligent optimisation, automated network health and monetisation of traffic on telecom networks.
Rashmi has a doctorate in Artificial Intelligence on Multi-Agent Reasoning Systems, from Exeter University, UK and an MBA from Warwick University, UK.
Founder and CEO
Dr. Andrew Ng is the Founder and CEO of Landing AI, whose flagship product is an enterprise AI platform that allows customers to build and deploy AI-powered visual inspection solutions. As the former Chief Scientist at Baidu and the founding lead of Google Brain, he led the AI transformation of two of the world's leading technology companies. A long-time advocate of accessible education, Andrew is the Co-founder and Chairman of Coursera and Founder of DeepLearning.AI, an AI education platform. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University’s Computer Science Department.
Senior VP and GM - North America
Oli has 20 years’ experience of helping leading global corporations to develop breakthrough products and services in a range of markets – from consumer and industrial to logistics and transportation. At Cambridge Consultants, she now partners with Fortune 100 and start-up companies to launch digital transformation and automation initiatives. These leverage global organization capabilities in AI, advanced sensing, robotics and wireless communication. Oli holds a master’s in electrical engineering from WPI and an MBA from MIT. As well as serving on the WPI Engineering Advisory Board, Oli lectures at MIT Sloan School of Management. There, she mentors CXOs and executives on how to manage the most critical and complex organizational challenges in business, technology and global operations.
Chief Commercial Officer
Christoph Schell is the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and a member of the Executive Leadership Team of HP Inc. The commercial team is accountable for customer success globally. It consists of country and market organizations reporting in a 10-market structure. Category Management teams across Printing, Personal Systems and Services are accountable for consistent 4P management and own revenue and margin. Centers of excellence across customer support, global account management, omnichannel, sales operations, channel management and pricing drive customer success imperatives and go-to-market innovation.
Christoph has been with HP for more than 22 years and has held senior management roles across the globe, most recently as the President of 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing.
Previously, Christoph served as Executive Vice President of Growth Markets at Philips where he led the Lighting Business across Asia Pacific, Africa, Russia, India, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Christoph started his career in his family’s distribution and industrial solutions company and worked in brand management at Procter & Gamble. During his career, Christoph has worked in all global markets and moved 9 times internationally.
Christoph holds bachelor’s degrees from ESB Reutlingen in Germany and École Supérieure de Commerce de Reims in France. He is fluent in German, English and French.
Christoph is based in Palo Alto, California.
Executive Director of Robotics Business Technology
Mariah Scott is the Executive Director of Robotics Business Technology at Verizon. As a founder, President or COO, Mariah has spearheaded the introduction of new products that transform the way business operates. She has taken businesses from creation through exit, and built markets in commercial drones, healthcare, identity services, and media delivery, across North America, Europe, and Asia. Now, at Verizon, Mariah leads teams whose mission is to create faster time to insight and lower costs through aerial drone and autonomous mobile robotics solutions, controlled via software and Verizon's cellular network. Her work at Verizon, Intel, WebMD, and other technology companies has focused on hands-on leadership spanning strategy, sales, marketing, brand, product, and operations management. She led the groundbreaking Intel Inside program, and twice received the Intel Achievement Award for new product introduction and leadership marketing. Frost & Sullivan recognized her work in healthcare as a product of the year
President, Abrasive Systems Division
Debarati Sen was appointed as President of 3M Abrasives Systems Division effective April 2021 prior to which she was the Vice President & General Manager since June 1, 2019 leading 3M’s global abrasives franchise serving industrial companies and associated sectors.
Prior to her current role, Debarati was Managing Director, 3M India Region leading 3M’s public entity in India and India Region since June 2016. Earlier assignments included Director, Corporate Sales, US Atlantic & Pacific Branch Operations, and Director, Global Oil & Gas from 2012 to 2015. Her career with 3M started in 1996 in Bengaluru, India.
Under her leadership from 2016-19, 3M India gained nationwide recognition at prestigious forums. The company was voted 2017 Business Standard Star MNC, 2017 Forbes India Super 50, and also featured in Outlook magazine’s ‘Nation Builders’ edition. On a personal level, she was inducted into Fortune India’s listing of 50 Most Powerful Women in business, 2018.
Over 24 years of Debarati’s career have been in 3M, covering regions in Asia and US, in various global, regional and country roles, driving marketing, sales and customer engagement, product development, business development, strategy as well as mergers and acquisitions.
She has also held the position of Vice President of Global Marketing – Equipment Protection Business at Pentair, Inc.
She is a passionate advocate for women’s rights and volunteers her time in addressing multiple issues like gender and racial equity, poverty alleviation, education and women’s empowerment. She is the Treasurer and Member, Board of Trustees for Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and has also served on the national governing board of Jeremiah Program, a Minnesota based national charity and on the board of United Way Bengaluru in the recent past. In 3M, she has served on the board of the 3M A3CTION (Asian Employee Resource Network), as well as held the post of Executive Member of 3M’s Women’s Leadership Forum.
During her India assignment, Debarati was the Co-Chair of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) National Committee on Technology, as well as a member of the Karnataka State Council of CII.
Deba holds a BS/BE in Electronics Engineering, as well as an MBA in Marketing & Finance from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
Vice President of Membership & Business Intelligence
Association for Advancing Automation
Alex Shikany is the Vice President of Membership & Business Intelligence at the Association for Advancing Automation. In his position, he researches and reports statistics for robotics, machine vision, and motion control markets. In addition to market research, Alex is a member of A3’s leadership team, leads membership and marketing efforts for the association, and is a frequent speaker at industry events around the world. He is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Broad MBA program, where he majored in Marketing and Finance. Alex also received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from MSU and has over ten years of experience in marketing, brand strategy, and market research.
President - Industrial Automation Group
Greg Smith is the President of the Industrial Automation Group at Teradyne. The Industrial Automation Group includes three of the most innovative and successful companies in the robotics industry: Universal Robots, MiR – Mobile Industrial Robots and AutoGuide. Prior to leading the Industrial Automation Group, Greg was the President of the Semiconductor Test Business, Teradyne’s largest operating segment. During his tenure, Semiconductor Test revenue grew over 50%. Greg began his career at Raytheon as a test engineer and held numerous engineering and management roles in the semiconductor test industry before joining Teradyne in 2006. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Engineer - Mars 2020
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Only Adam Steltzner and his talented team at Jet Propulsion Lab could follow their “Curiosity” rover success with the stunning Mars 2020 mission to land the rover “Perseverance” on the red planet. The magnificent landing on Mars on February 18, 2021 was akin to hurling a dart from New York City to land in a 5-foot circle in Washington DC. More than a technological achievement, the successful mission stands as an extraordinary leadership accomplishment in the midst of a global pandemic. In his exhilarating keynote, full of fascinating anecdotes and breathtaking images, Steltzner shares his own innovation challenges, leadership struggles, and flawless execution. Most importantly, he shows how you can overcome daunting obstacles in times of uncertainty and change. The human spirit is boundless, and Steltzner leaves you unafraid to journey from your comfort zone to explore your own exciting future.
Considered one of the top mentalists in the world, Kevin Viner has appeared on Penn and Teller: Fool Us, Masters of Illusion, Don’t Blink, commercials for T-Mobile and Now You See Me 2, as well as on the PBS documentary Johnny Carson: King of Late Night. As a corporate entertainer, Kevin has engaged top-level management with Google, Intel, Cisco, Starbucks, and many more.
Kevin started young with his first magic set at five, a passion for the craft and not a shadow of a doubt what his career path would be. By age 14, he’d begun performing at the world-renowned Magic Castle in Hollywood. And by only 17, he was establishing a career as one of the top emerging mentalists in the country. Today, he performs over 150 events annually for clients around the world.
Kevin’s wide-ranging interests often find intriguing ways into his shows. With a degree in mathematics, he can harness probability to determine how guests are most likely to respond. Through his research in psychological profiling, he is able to deduce who may be the best participants in the show. Through his background in aviation and martial arts, he has honed keen observational skills and reaction times. Through his studies in piano and guitar, he has gained a sense of rhythm that keeps the show flowing constantly. And through his education in comedy and improv, he will keep your guests laughing the entire time.