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2012 Speakers:

Stephane Bura, Lead Designer, Namaste Entertainment: A role-playing game writer of 25 years, Stéphane Bura has advanced degrees in artificial intelligence specializing in the study of emerging properties in complex worlds. Before joining Namaste Entertainment as their lead designer on the StoryBricks project, he worked with Kalisto Entertainment, has been the creative director of 10Tacle Belgium, and worked as an independent game design consultant.

Christian Petersen: VP Community, CloudMade: Christian has over 20 years of experience within online and mobile app industry. He has worked internationally as an expert on mobile applications and advergaming for companies such as Macromedia, Microsoft, Symbian, Kellogg’s, LEGO, Mars, and Nestle. Christian’s current role – VP Community at CloudMade – involves regular communication with top game developers and publishers and provides a clear understanding of the main trends and challenges of the gaming market. Christian is a frequent speaker at mobile and developer conferences, among the most recent ones – Mobile 2.0, Where 2.0, Casual Connect Europe.

Struan Robertson, Product Director, NaturalMotion: Struan Robertson held a variety of senior roles in production and design before joining NaturalMotion Games as Product Director. He has played an active role in the development of the Championship Manager franchise on consoles and handhelds as well as producing a variety of golf, cricket and sports products from console games and MMOs to Facebook titles and serious advertising games. At NaturalMotion Games, Struan is responsible for delivery of all internally and externally developed games.

Brian Wong, Founder, Kiip: Brian Wong is the founder of kiip (pronounced “keep”), a mobile rewards network, backed by True Ventures. Kiip has raised over $4.4 million in funding to date and is redefining the advertising industry through a “moments”-based model, versus the traditional attention-based screen estate model. Very recently, Kiip was listed by Forbes as one of the “4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List”, and was also named to the Dow Jones’ FasTech50 List.

Techcrunch and the Wall Street Journal called Brian the “youngest person to ever receive funding by a venture capital firm”. He was an early Bachelors of Commerce graduate from the University of British Columbia, graduating at the age of 18, after skipping four grades in elementary and high school. He was recently honored in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30, and was also lauded in Mashable as one of “The Top 5 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch”, and the Vancouver Sun called him “a budding internet visionary”. He was also recently a recipient of the Top 20 Under 20 awards in all of Canada. Brian was also recently listed to AdAge’s Creativity Top 50, and Business Insider’s Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley list.

Kevin Beimers, Art Director, Strandlooper Animation: After working as an animator/developer for various studios in New Zealand, Canada and London, Kevin relocated to Belfast to join Straandlooper Animation as Art Director, working on a new kid’s IP ‘Lifeboat Luke’. Kevin was also granted the opportunity to try his hand at script writing, resulting in a story and writing credit on three episodes of the series.

Following ‘Lifeboat Luke, Kevin then turned his hand to developing a handful of new properties focusing on character and plot/series development for long and short form animations including ‘Small Tragedies’ and episode outlines for Straandlooper’s new spoof crime drama IP ‘Hector’, created by Dean Burke.

Rob Woodward, CEO, STV: Rob Woodward was appointed to the Board as Chief Executive in 2007. Prior to this he was a senior advisor to LongAcre Partners, Europe’s leading independent mid-market corporate finance house focusing on the media and internet sectors. Until 2005 Rob served as Commercial Director of Channel 4 Television. He was an executive member of the Channel 4 Corporation Board and responsible for Channel 4’s commercial wellbeing. Included in his responsibilities was the management of the portfolio of commercial businesses in 4 Ventures. These businesses included digital channels such as E4 and Film Four, New Media Services and Rights Exploitation. During his tenure, Rob developed and executed a commercial strategy for Channel 4, which has positioned the Corporation at the forefront of digital media. He transformed the performance of Channel 4’s commercial businesses from heavily loss making to significant profitability.

Prior to joining Channel 4, Rob was a Managing Director at UBS Corporate Finance where he worked in both London and New York. Before this, Rob was the Managing Partner of Braxton UK, the strategy consulting practice of Deloitte. He also led Deloitte Consulting’s European TMT group. He has specialised in advising TMT companies on strategic and corporate finance issues for the past 20 years. He is the Pro-Chancellor at City University, and on the Board of Trustees of NESTA. He has a BSc Hons from Durham University and an MBA from Edinburgh University.

Ian Livingston OBE, Life President, Eidos:  Ian Livingstone is Life President of Eidos and one of the UK’s founding fathers of interactive games and fiction. In 1975 he founded Games Workshop with Steve Jackson and launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe and the Games Workshop retail chain. In 1977 he launched White Dwarf, the UK’s first interactive games magazine, and was its editor for 5 years. In 1982, again with Steve Jackson, he wrote The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first in the Fighting Fantasy series of interactive gamebooks that sold over 16 million copies in 23 languages. He wrote more than 20 books in the series including his best-selling Deathtrap Dungeon. His new title Blood of the Zombies is to be published in August 2012 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Fighting Fantasy. In 1995 he was instrumental in the flotation of Eidos plc where he served as Executive Chairman until 2002. At Eidos he helped to secure many of the company’s major franchises including Lara Croft:Tomb Raider and Hitman. Ian is also Co-author of the Next Gen report on computer games skills.

Kelly Sumner, CEO Soccer Matrix Previous CEO Take Two and Red Octane: Kelly Sumner was the managing director of Commodore UK, the UK subsidiary of Commodore International, during the early 1990s. He then joined US games publisher Gametek Inc. as MD of international operations. He became CEO of Gametek prior to selling part of the company to Take-Two Interactive (Grand Theft Auto). At Take-Two, he again ran international operations until being promoted to CEO of the New York games publisher in 2001. After leaving Take-Two he became CEO of RedOctane (Guitar Hero)[1] and sold the Company to Activision in 2006.Sumner currently is Chairman of Intent Media (MCV & Develop magazines) and CEO of Soccer Matrix. Plus currently Chairman of Mediatonic and Bantr plus an investor 3 other companies

Bill Liao, Australian social networking pioneer who has taken part in seven IPOs & co-founder of Diplomat, investor, entrepreneur, business mentor, speaker, philanthropist and author, Bill Liao co-founded the business social network service XING and is a venture partner at SOS Ventures, a global venture capital firm and investment management firm. Bill is a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis for sustainable development and the environment. He is also the founder of, an international not-for-profit organization combating global warming in the most natural way possible by sustainably and holistically reforesting previously degraded land – the organisation is approaching planting it’s millionth tree. Bill is also the Co-Founder of the Coder Dojo movement to assist young people to learn how to program.

David McCarthy, Marketing and Developer Relations, GREE: David is a member of the EMEA Developer Relations team at GREE. GREE is Japan’s leading mobile social networking service, home to thousands of games and millions of users. And it’s going global, aiming to build the leading mobile social gaming ecosystem for users and developers worldwide. David has over ten years of experience working in the videogame industry and has previously worked for Edge magazine, Rockstar games, and Salomon Smith Barney’s telecom and media investment banking team. He is also the author of Game On!: From Pong to Oblivion – The Greatest Video Games of All Time

Richard Firminger, Managing Director Europe, Flurry: As Managing Director of Europe, Richard leads the company’s UK office as well as advertiser sales and publisher relationships across Europe. Prior to Flurry, Richard led the digital media sales team for Amazon in Europe. Prior to Amazon, Richard was Commercial Director for Northern Europe for Yahoo!, UK MD for Enpocket (sold to Nokia to become Nokia Media Business in 2006), UK Deputy MD & BD Director for AdLink (a direct response media sales organization, sold to HiMedia in 2009) and the first UK Commercial Director for DoubleClick, subsequently sold to AdLink in 2001. Prior to DoubleClick Richard spent nearly 10 years in B2B publishing in tech press on titles such as Computing and Personal Computer World and during this time he launched Information Week and Computer Reseller News in the UK for CMP Media.

Paul Bowen, Managing Director, Tapjoy: With 9 years of experience working in digital media start-up companies and monetizing online content, Paul Bowen is one of the leading advocates of virtual currency in the UK. Formerly at the UK office of Adknowledge (owner of Super Rewards), he is now Vice President of Europe for Tapjoy, Inc. Tapjoy is the leader in discovery, engagement and monetization services for mobile applications. The company’s turnkey in-app advertising platform helps developers acquire cost-effective, high-value new users, drive engagement within their applications, and create incremental income by providing an ad-funded virtual currency based payment method.

Jessica Butcher, CMO & Co Founder, Blippar: Jess cut her entrepreneurial teeth as the first hire at fast growth travel start-up where she was Head of Partnerships prior to moving on to manage business development and supplier marketing in EMEA for, the Chinese e-commerce site, on its launch into the region. In 2010 she set up Integritour, the first responsible tourism company in Western Kenya. She has an MA in Ancient & Modern History from the University of Oxford.

Caspar Thykier, Founder & Managing Director, Zappar: Caspar spent the last 15 years across differentareas of marketingstarting in advertising where he became the youngest Board Director and New Business Director at AMV BBDO before becoming a founding partner of Campbell Doyle Dye Ltd (“CDD”) and Managing Director at the age of 27. After 8 years at CDD Caspar became the Chief Operating Officer at the top UK PR firm Freud Communications before moving into the world of digital where he is the founder and director of two pioneering companies – VEEMEE and Zappar. VEEMEE specializes in branded content and original IP on games platforms and handheld devices; whilst Zappar is a world leader in mobile image recognition specialising in AR-enabled products and branded entertainment experiences.

Matt Mills, Head of Innovation, Aurasma: Matt joined Aurasma at its launch in June 2011, and as Head of Innovation, works with commercial partners around the world to ensure their ideas come to life with Aurasma. Before joining Aurasma, Matt managed the European sales for Autonomy’s Optimost product. Prior to Autonomy, Matt worked as a recruitment consultant for First Place Recruitment and as a computer programmer for Deutsche Bank. Matt holds a Computer Science Degree from Durham University.

Chris Allen, CEO, Brass Monkey: Chris Allen is an international speaker, software inventor and entrepreneur based in Boston, MA USA. He co-founded the open source Flash server Red5, where he and his team of volunteers reverse engineered Flash’s RTMP protocol. He started the company Infrared5, a technology services company, in 2007 where he served as its President and CEO until 2011. He is now CEO of Brass Monkey, a company that turns smartphones into game controllers for a browser based video game console.

Ashley Brown, PhD candidate in sociology, The University of Manchester: Ashley Brown is a PhD candidate in sociology at The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. When she is not researching or destroying pixels, she can be found in her garden with her malicious fluff-ball of a cat and a bottle of beer.

Dr. Esther MacCallum-Stewart, lecturer at the University of Chichester & Vice President of the Digital Games Research: Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart is a lecturer at the University of Chichester. She is Vice President of the Digital Games Research Association and runs the Players Vs. Games series of networking events for academics and professionals involved in the Games industry. alongside Jessica Enevold, she is co-editor of the forthcoming Game Love anthology from MIT Press. Her work investigates the ways in which players understand games, and how they interpret these narratives. She has written widely on gaming narratives, player behaviour and gender in games.

Ren Reynolds, Founder of the Virtual Policy Network: Academically Ren writes about the philosophy / ethics and law of technology, computer games and virtual worlds. His work has included exploring the philosophical basis of property, governance, identity and human rights in online spaces as well as the moral basis of virtual acts. He also writes on the TerraNova blog.

Ren has advised the UK Government, OECD, Council of Europe, the World Bank and other on matters of convergent media, digital objects / money and public policy. He is an advisor to the board of the Digital Games Research Association, a topic lead for the IEEE Serious Games / Virtual Worlds Standard group, and has been a content committee member of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, a review board member of Games Studies, a judge for the BAFTA Games Awards and a member of the European Information and Network Security Agency virtual group on virtual worlds.

Previously the global head of strategy for Internet, Mobile & Applications for Cable & Wireless Ren developed a Digital Media service portfolio. Ren has also consulted in marketing and product strategy / development for British Airways, BBC, Sky, Publicis; the UK Government and a number of virtual world and game start-up companies; and has written extensively for IBM on the business application of emerging technologies for strategic advantage.

Ren has numerous media credits including BBC, MTV; G4 TV; BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 and World Service, NY Public Radio, Radio Sweden, and has been interviewed by New Scientist, Popular Science, The Guardian; and has spoken at SxSW, New York Law School, Rutgers, Stanford, Nokia R&D and many others.