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Under the patronage of the President SR
Patronage of the President

We are very proud to inform you that the president of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, took over the official patronage of the international forum Big Ideas for CEE 2015.


New ideas. You need them to update your knowledge and information in order to be and remain the best.

Big Ideas is an annual two-day meeting of speakers from around the world with business elite and top managers from Central and Eastern Europe. We would like to offer you an opportunity to meet world-respected personalities from various fields of business, management, sports or art, who have managed to turn opportunity into success and problems into new beginnings.

We believe that in the same way as they have introduced new perspectives to global corporations, they can be a great source of inspiration and new ideas for you.

Big Ideas for CEE 2015 speakers

Christian Majgaard

Business Innovation - making ideas and brands profitable

Christian Majgaard is an expert in branding, marketing and business innovation who championed LEGO's change from a plastic brick manufacturer to a brand that thrived on technologies and interactivity. Christian was a global top executive at LEGO, responsible for worldwide branding, marketing and business innovation. He stood behind lasting initiatives such as the LEGOLAND parks, LEGO Mindstorms robots, the Harry Potter license, LEGO Educational and the world's best-selling children's software. Christian Majgaard was featured in the book by Dutch/British professors Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner as one of the "21 Leaders for the 21st Century". He says that there is no such thing as a saturated market, just tired marketers.

Benjamin G. Edelman

The promise and challenges of online marketing

Benjamin G. Edelman is an associate professor at the Harvard Business School in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit. Ben's current research explores the public and private forces shaping Internet architecture and business opportunities. Ben's recent online privacy investigations uncovered a series of privacy violations including those of some major internet companies. Ben's consulting practice focuses on preventing and detecting online fraud and his representative clients include Microsoft, AOL, the New York Times, Universal Music Group, the Washington Post and others. At Big Ideas for CEE, he will talk on the subject of the promises and challenges of online marketing.

Tracey Wilen

Future work, skills and leadership in a digital world

Tracey Wilen is a prominent thought leader and speaker on the impact of technology on society, work, and careers. A former visiting scholar at Stanford University, she has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, Cisco, and the Apollo Group. She has authored 11 books which address the topic of new technologies and their impact on society. Dr. Wilen was named San Francisco Woman of the Year and honored by the San Francisco Business Times as the most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business in 2012. At Big Ideas for CEE she will focus on rapid changes in society and technology have changed work, talent management and employment.

Tom Standage

Top 10 emerging technologies to shape our world

Tom Standage is a a Deputy Editor of The Economist. He is also responsible for the newspaper's digital strategy. Previously he was Digital Editor and editor-in-chief of Tom is someone who constantly scans the future looking out for new things that will change our world. As an editor and as a business journalist, he sits at the very center of discussion about technology and business and often takes a historical perspective on modern day developments to better understand their implications for our future. He is the author of six history books, including the New York Times bestseller A History of the World in Six Glasses.Tom has engaged audiences around the world with his fast-talking witty style, a razor-sharp intellect and an astonishing depth of knowledge about our world and society – science, technology, business, politics and history.

Jonas Ridderstrale

Re-energize (making things happen)

Jonas Ridderstrale is one of the world's most influential business thinkers and speakers. Since bursting onto the international scene with the bestseller Funky Businessin 2000, Jonas has remained at the forefront of the new generation of management gurus. He has spent the last 15 years giving people the competence, confidence and courage to think, feel and do things differently. In keynotes and workshops, Jonas conveys his message with passion and energy, adding not only improved skill but also inspiring the will and thrill necessary for change. His forceful blend of academic rigor, imagination, humor and highly dynamic presentation style has inspired audiences and diverse clients including Fortune 500 companies, and major government bodies. Dr. Ridderstrale is a presenter with a difference who makes a difference.

Jan Zadak

Succeeding in the Global Digital Economy

Jan Zadak serves as President, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), for HP Enterprise Services (ES), where he is responsible for business development with some of the business unit’s largest clients. A native of the Czech Republic, Zadak graduated from the Czech Technical University of Prague in the beginning of the nineties. Throughout his career, Jan served as a senior vice president Enterprise Business and managing director for HP EMEA. Under his leadership, this region delivered consistent growth. Jan Zadak also chaired the regional leadership team responsible for the company strategy in EMEA. His story is a motivational example of a successfull career journey from a small European country to a global executive position. At Big Ideas for CEE he will give a speech on Succeeding in the Global Digital Economy.

Big Ideas for CEE 2013 speakers

Big Ideas for CEE 2011 speakers

Miha Pogacnik

Pioneer discovering new ways of inspiration

Referred to as the vanguard of innovation. Violinist renowned for inspirational corporations, transformations and leadership.

His intellectual curiosity, joie de vivre, and vision to position the arts as a driver for social change, have led him to step outside the parameters of a classical concert violinist. Why? Because creativity and innovation are primary business skills central to growth and sustainability. If you add passion, courage, performance and imagination, you have the qualities that artists live by. Pogacnik creates a new relationship between the arts and business. He uses the arts as an organizational development tool thanks to which bold visions can be considered and realized. The linear and rational must fuse with inspiration, beauty and passion for change to be implemented.

Ken Segall

a former associate of Steve Jobs

Credited for being a marketing and technology guru, with a background as a creative director who worked with Steve Jobs for more than 12 years.

He created a unifying and simple element for Apple products - resulting in "i-madness" just by adding letter "i" to Mac. He was responsible for Apple's legendary and successful advertising campaign Think different. On the other hand, he was not afraid to objectively criticise his best and most favourite client. Segall also worked for other well-known technological companies such as Dell, IBM and Intel. He is focused on the permanent war between simplicity and complexity, which is the theme of his bestseller, Insanely simple.

Jeff Grout

Motivational business speaker focusing on People and Performance

One of the best business speakers in Britain, leadership expert and successful business author.

His areas of focus include Leadership, Team Building, Peak Performance, Recruitment and Retention. Jeff Grout is in considerable demand as a motivational business speaker, conference chairman, and interviewer. He holds a number of corporate advisory and executive coaching appointments and is also a successful business author.

Grout's talk What do leaders really do? analyses his own leadership experiences and those of well-known and respected leaders in different fields - business, sports and the military. He identifies each leader's core skills and behavior. He explains how to establish trust and understanding, articulate a clear vision and effectively lead change in your company.

David Pearl

Pioneer linking business and the arts

A well-known pioneer, who bridges the worlds of business and art.

He has more than 20 years of experience with performing, writing, directing, broadcasting and opera singing. He addresses thousands of people with his creative approach to enhancing effectiveness and best practices in corporate management and in personal and professional development. He has diverse experience, from within business and beyond. He helps clients find new and unusual solutions to usual and common problems.

His presentation Time to Take your Future Back, is about how individuals and businesses can make better choices for the future by thinking differently and more creatively about what’s coming.

Peter Fisk

game changer seeker

Marketing expert on brands and innovations. Fisk helps us understand fast changing markets and learn from a new generation of business. Consultant, speaker and coach of top executives from around the world. He inspires, innovates, and helps to win in the modern world of business. Author of a bestseller of "Creative Genius" and six other books which combine forward-thinking ideas, emerging practices, and practical experience.

His presentation Gamechangers of CEE is about the next generation of brands that will transform the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Being a little better or cheaper is not enough - you cannot win by imitation or small differences. The next generation of brands and business innovations will think bigger and differently.

Tara Swart

expert in the field of neuroscience

The only Leadership coach in the world with a PhD in neuroscience and a stellar career as a medical doctor behind her. She is an Oxford University trained medical doctor who specialized in psychiatry for seven years. Coupled with her PhD in neuroscience, this gives her a deep understanding of human performance and behavioral patterns, producing transformational and sustainable results for leaders and their teams.

Tara is a co-author of a book on creativity and productivity "An Attitude for Acting". She is also a key note speaker on the brain in business, and delivers talks at blue chip corporations, and educational institutions including, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Columbia University and MIT Sloan.

Nenad Pacek

Economy opinion maker in Europe

A respected expert on the Central European market whose opinions are sought-after by global corporations.

One of the world's leading authorities on emerging markets, advising business leaders on key opportunities and challenges and helping them to craft successful strategies. He previously worked for 16 years at the Economist Group as a Economist Intelligence Unit director where he was in charge of the Corporate Network programmes in CEEMEA and led Economist Conferences global Government Roundtables, chairing senior business-to-government dialogues with heads of state across Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Virgin Books selected him among the 40 leading opinion-formers in economics and business. His reputation and experience come from over a decade advising the world's largest corporations both as a writer and presenter of business intelligence.

Ivan Lendl

A former top tennis player

One of the best tennis players of all time.

He won eight Grand Slam singles titles during his career. He fought his way to 19 Grand Slam singles finals, a record among men surpassed only by Roger Federer in 2009. He won 94 ATP singles tournaments. In 2001, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Currently he coaches Andy Murray, who won the London Summer Olympics 2012 and gained the premiere Grand Slam title at US Open under his leadership. He is a collector of Alfons Mucha's work.

Garry Kasparov

This multiple world chess champion is considered the greatest chess genius of all time. Also known as a writer, political activist and a major critic of Vladimir Putin. Today, this champion in strategy reflects on his experience and unique perspective gained in his chess career in topics like leadership, logical and strategic thinking as well as Russian politics.

Scott McKain

Thanks to his books, thousands of organisations, and millions of entrepreneurs and readers around the world have improved the profitability of their companies and enhanced their business. In his field, he has become the best selling author and his book Collapse of Distinction was listed as one of the 10 best business books of 2009.

Peter Littmann

He is the man behind the success of a number of now world-famous brands. He managed to turn the local German clothing company Hugo Boss into a world-renowned brand. He advised Tomas Bata and the management of Mercedes. Today he manages his own consulting company Brandinsider GmbH.

Magnus Lindkvist

He is an expert on trendspotting and recognizing opportunities. His lectures are characterised with humour, wittiness, wisdom and above all are research-proven. Also, thanks to these facts he is one of the most sought after European speakers in his area of expertise.

Joan Laporta

Under his leadership, FC Barcelona became the best club in the world, with six trophies and the pride of the Spanish nation. He built up the previously unseen social pillar of the football club by concluding a historic cooperation agreement with UNICEF. Thanks to this, the FC Barcelona players today wear the children’s fund logo on their football shirts. An ambitious manager, presently a tireless campaigner for the independence of Catalonia.

Sir John Whitmore

A former successful British race car driver, now a leading thinker and consultant in leadership (coaching) and organisational changes. Considered to be the father of coaching and the number one in his field. He is an author of several world bestsellers about coaching.

Leo F. Johnson

More than 50 international banks and companies have benefited from his advice on sustainable development and the identification of social and environmental megatrends. He established Sustainable Finance - a company dealing with sustainable development.

Ian Scott

Ian Scott is an all-around expert. His portfolio includes topics such as macroeconomic management, the knowledge economy, change management, urban development and territorial development. He ended up his career as the World Bank's director.