• Yoko Alender

    Architect, Politician

    Alender is an architect, city planner and liberal member of the Estonia parliament. Expect forthright opinions on tolerance and the importance of scale in urban environments as part of our How to Make a Nation panel.

  • Mira Awad

    Singer and actress

    Mira Awad is a Palestinian-Israeli singer, actress and artist who has used her fame to promote the idea of peace and cohabitation in Israel and across the Arab world (oh, and she’s also represented Israel at Eurovision). She’ll be discussing how to make a vibrant nation.

  • Dr Ecmel Ayral

    Academic, Consultant

    Bogazici University, Istanbul Bilgi University

    Ever wondered about the future of the property market? Ayral is a property developer and academic who has taught in management schools since 2000; he also co-created Istanbul's Tomtom Gardens, an urban project that flies in the face of gentrification.

  • Diana Balmori


    Balmori Associates

    Diana Balmori is a leading light in the field of urban design and landscape architecture. The founder of Balmori Associates, she has long been an advocate of sustainability and is a famed proponent of green roofs.

  • Tara Bernerd


    Tara Bernerd & Partners

    Bernerd’s interior-architecture practice has refreshed restaurants from New York to Hong Kong and her savvy take on hospitality design has been enlisted by some of the world's biggest hotel groups. In 2016 she will complete the much-anticipated renovation of London’s Hotel Russell.

  • Juergen Boos

    Executive director

    Frankfurt Book Fair

    Boos trained as a publisher at Herder Verlag in the 1980s. He has held management positions at various publishing houses since and is now executive director of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Drawing on his knowledge of and passion for the written word, he’ll discuss communication.

  • Ilse Crawford



    Crawford’s multidisciplinary design company is responsible for perfectly pitched homes, hotels and airport lounges; look forward to hearing more about her approach to creating architecture that’s good for us. Crawford is our only returning speaker from last year's conference.

  • Bill Granger

    Chef & food writer

    Granger dropped out of art school at the age of 24 to open his first restaurant in Sydney – now Bills is an international institution. He is responsible for five TV series and 11 cookbooks, as well as writing for newspapers and magazines worldwide.

  • Clemens Gunzer

    Director & founder

    Galerie Clemens Gunzer

    Galerie Clemens Gunzer showcases contemporary artists alongside emerging talent through showrooms in Zürich and Kitzbühel. Gunzer has a degree in architecture and industrial design from the Vienna University of Technology and will share his expertise on the art of collecting.

  • Martin Guttmann

    Artist & Professor of art and photography

    Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

    Guttmann is one half of Clegg and Guttmann, an artist duo that create installations for public spaces; their work has also been shown in galleries around Europe. He’ll discuss creating art for the people – and what it's like to be an artist whose work is collected.

  • Michael Hill

    Creative Director


    Drake’s is a gentlemen’s outfitters and designer of dapper ties, scarves and pocket squares (and now childrenswear and shirting too). Hill has kept the company’s production in London and will discuss the importance of making things in our cities.

  • Lilli Hollein

    Co-founder, director

    Vienna Design Week

    Hollein has worked as a curator, journalist, architecture and design critic. Vienna Design Week, which she co-founded in 2007, is Austria’s most important event for the creative industries, with more than 36,000 visitors every year.

  • Alexander Kotouc

    Head of product management

    BMW i

    Kotouc is a graduate of the Ludwig-Maximilian University and had experience in consulting, retail management, telecommunications and finance before joining the BMW Group in 2007. You’ll be able to find out what he thinks about the future of transport networks.

  • Mirik Milan

    Night mayor of Amsterdam

    Milan was appointed night mayor of Amsterdam in 2012. He has been building bridges between the city, businesses and residents ever since, ensuring the Dutch capital remains a welcoming place after dark. Cities still need their nightlife.

  • Petter Neby



    Neby founded Punkt. to make beautiful and simple-to-use technology (and prompt a few questions about our obsession with tech). His new mobile phone is good for calls and texts and has become a hit with people who value communication in its purest form.

  • Jacques Panis



    Jacques joined Detroit lifestyle brand Shinola in 2010 to lead the company’s product development and strategic brand direction, becoming president in 2013. With more than 10 years' experience in the industry, he will be discussing the importance of making things in the city.

  • Robin Petravic

    Managing Director

    Heath Ceramics

    Petravic and wife Catherine revived the fortunes of the Californian pottery firm Heath Ceramics. Community, provenance and perseverance have gone to show that there’s still room in cities to actually make things.

  • Till Reiter

    Managing Director

    Ludwig Reiter

    Reiter is the fourth-generation owner of the famous Vienna shoemaker, which has 130 years of pedigree and shops around the world selling everything from traditional dress shoes to casual footwear.

  • Gianni Riotta

    Journalist, Writer

    Riotta is a visiting professor in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University. He is a columnist for the likes of La Stampa and The Washington Post, and has written numerous books; he also contributes to the BBC World Service.

  • Rt Rybak

    Executive Director

    Generation Next

    Rybak’s Generation Next is an education group that’s a coalition of civic, business and school leaders. He previously served 12 years as mayor of Minneapolis; today he is also vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee. Expect moving insights from the world of transport.

  • David Sax

    Journalist & Author

    Canadian David Sax focuses his writing on the intersection of business and culture. His surprising new book looks at the resurgent value of analogue goods and ideas around the world; are we at peak tech interference?

  • David Sim

    Partner & creative director

    Gehl Architects

    Scottish-born Sim’s main remit at Copenhagen-based Gehl Architects is the development of masterplanning frameworks and urban design. He has taught at architecture and design schools all over the world and will teach us some lessons on transport.

  • Gregor Wenter


    Winemaker, farmer, TV chef, cosmetics company owner, design backer, hospitality player: Wenter has a remarkable line-up of roles. Based in Italy's South Tyrol region, he has fresh ideas for anyone in the worlds of food and hotels.

Dr Ecmel Ayral photo credit: Kimberly M. Wang

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