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Siw is the CEO of Oslo Business Region and board member of Oslo Architecture Triennale. Oslo Business Region builds the startup ecosystem to create more startups and scaleups that solve local and global challenges. OBR attracts investments, talent and provides insight about the ecosystem in Oslo.
Siw is passionate about startups, place branding, city development, leadership, design, patterns and art. Prior to Oslo Business Region she had various roles in the fashion and media industry from Norwegian Fashion Hub to Katachi Magazine. Born in South Korea, raised in Norway, and educated in Oslo, Singapore and London.
Alex Beard lives content. A content strategist with over 12 years experience in broadcast, marketing and social media, she has led on multi-media campaigns for big brands across the world, for example Hyundai, Blancpain and Brand Scotland. She has a specific love of travel and tourism campaigns, finding the niche wonders of destinations and translating them for global audiences. Alex has a wealth of storytelling experience, from presenting charting podcasts to building successful social campaigns. Alex has extensive experience working across all content mediums, including her own social following @TheAlexBeard.
Caroline Boccarosse is Director, Advertising Sales, Western Europe for BBC Studios, the international commercial arm of the BBC.
Caroline joined the BBC’s London team in 2022 after 3 years working at the BBC in the U.S. (in Chicago, Illinois), where she led partnerships for clients based in the Midwest region. In her current role, Caroline oversees partnerships across multiple categories, including travel and tourism.
Prior to joining the BBC, Caroline worked at some of the world’s leading news media brands including the New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Journal, developing experience across branded content, digital, programmatic, audio, TV, and print media.
Artur joined Brand Finance in 2018 after graduating from the King's College London in Political Economy. Artur is currently a Level III Candidate for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programme. Artur is fluent in three languages - English, Russian and Ukrainian. Artur has experience in valuation, strategy, market research analysis for clients including Chevron, Rockwool, Iberia, Etihad, and stc. Artur also has experience in Brand Finance’s sports services offering, in particular, measurement and return on investment projects with global clients like Formula 1. Currently, Artur leads place branding projects at Brand Finance. In particular, the Global Soft Power Index and Brand Finance City Index.
Adam Burke serves as President & CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (Los Angeles Tourism), the official, non-profit destination marketing and sales organization for the City of Angels. With its mission to “improve the quality of life for all Angelenos through the economic and community benefits of tourism,” Los Angeles Tourism is proud to represent over 1,000 Member organizations from across the local leisure and hospitality sector.
As one of the world’s most diverse and welcoming destinations – with Angelenos hailing from 140 countries and speaking over 220 languages – tourism is one of the region’s leading drivers of employment, business sales, and tax revenues. In support of this vital industry, Burke is responsible for overseeing global branding, promotional, and sales strategies for L.A. through the organization’s eight dedicated offices around the world. He first joined Los Angeles Tourism as Chief Operating Officer in 2016.
With more than 25 years of travel & tourism industry experience, Burke previously served as Senior Vice President, Customer Loyalty for Hilton Worldwide with global management responsibility for the award-winning Honors customer loyalty program. During his 17 years with the Hilton organization, he held management positions in a variety of functional areas including strategic planning, international marketing, leisure & multi-brand marketing, sales integration, business development, CRM, and enterprise technology.
Burke is actively engaged in advocating for the broader travel and tourism industry, serving on the Executive Committee of U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees of the Destinations International Foundation, and representing Los Angeles as a Vice Chair City for the World Tourism Cities Federation. He is also passionately committed to addressing systemic inequities within the travel and tourism sector, serving on the Board of Directors of Tourism Diversity Matters, as well as the Global Leadership and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committees of Destinations International.
Locally, Burke serves on the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of Sister Cities of Los Angeles and Central City Association of Los Angeles, as well as the Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission. In addition, he is the current Board Vice Chair of L.A. Works, the region’s largest community volunteer action network.
Brisa is a seasoned senior strategist with an extensive track record of successfully leading place branding, planning, and community engagement projects at CivicBrand. Her commitment to the vitality and identity of places is not just a profession but a passion. Hailing from the vibrant state of New Mexico, she intimately understands the profound influence of place on residents and their sense of community pride.
In her capacity as senior strategist at CivicBrand, Brisa assumes a pivotal role in steering the brand strategy process. Her expertise lies in collaborating with communities to craft and share their unique stories, inspiring residents, investors, and visitors alike. Noteworthy among her achievements are her contributions to transformational projects in communities such as High Point, North Carolina, Clackamas County, Oregon, and Lubbock, Texas.
Beyond her role at CivicBrand, Brisa serves on the board of directors for Texas Downtowns, an organization dedicated to nurturing vibrant districts across the Lone Star State. She also shares her insights and expertise by speaking on place brand strategy and as a featured guest on CivicBrand's "Eyes on The Street" podcast.
Social communicator with more than 20 years of experience in newsrooms and communication strategic, focused on public relations in the public and private sectors, as well as marketing strategies for the promotion of Peru.
With experience in content editing, creation and execution of communication strategies, content management for social media and crisis management, especially in issues related to tourism, exports of non-traditional products, investment, and the Peru country brand since its creation.
Clare is the founder and director of City Nation Place, the global forum for place branding and place marketing. City Nation Place creates connections and shares best practice between country brands, regional brands, and city brands around the world through articles, interviews, surveys, white papers, a membership group, and conferences.
Clare’s interest in the complex area of place branding was sparked whilst working on a series of Nation Branding Masterclass events, led by Simon Anholt, one of the first thought-leaders to speak about and promote the concept of place branding. Having listened to Simon address audiences in Accra, Delhi, Dubai, London and Singapore on how policy, governance, and symbolic actions need to combine with branding and marketing to create a competitive identity and drive economic growth, she continued to follow the growth in this sector. Clare launched the first City Nation Place Global conference in London in 2015: CityNationPlace.com has been steadily building followers and in 2017, she launched the first City Nation Place Americas conference, in 2018 City Nation Place Asia Pacific took place in Singapore, and 2019 saw the first City Nation Place UK, specifically for towns, cities and regions across the UK, and the launch of the first City Nation Place LatAm & Caribbean event. Clare manages the small team at City Nation Place alongside providing event consultancy and management for a number of clients in the publishing and trade association sector, including running the World Media Awards for the World Media Group and event consultancy for the UK Association for Online Publishers.
David Downs, CMInstD
Genetically Modified Optimist
David has had a successful career in the private and public sector and is now CEO of The New Zealand Story, an ambitious government-funded organisation marketing New Zealand to the world. He also acts as a consultant and is a director on several boards, including as Chair of The Icehouse, and the Hi-Tech Trust. David is an ex-comedian, TV and radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, cancer survivor and a published author of the books No.8 Re-wired, No.8 Recharged, A Mild Touch of the Cancer, and Silver Linings. David founded SOS Business, a hugely successful not-for-profit initiative to help cafes and other small businesses during covid-19.
Steve Duncan is Managing Director of C Studios, a joint venture between New York-based Development Counsellors International (DCI) and Belfast-based OCO Global. Based in the Netherlands, the new venture offers the full spectrum of strategy, digital marketing and lead generation across investment attraction, trade promotion and talent attraction. The work is backed by 80 years of combined agency expertise and the insights of 250 industry experts located around the globe.
Prior to C Studios, Steve spent 19 years in various roles with DCI helping best-in-class investment promotion agencies in every major region of the world to reach executives and skilled talents through tailored marketing programs. Steve’s strategic mindset, entrepreneurial thinking and tendency to defeat the status quo when it would benefit his clients has made him a trusted advisor for economic development organizations, including Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, CINDE, EDB Singapore, JETRO, Invest Puerto Rico and numerous U.S. states. He has been a leading voice in the industry encouraging the transition to digital lead generation programmes, often speaking on such topics at industry conferences and authoring multiple thought-leadership reports.
Among the reports Steve has authored over the years include Ready or Not: The Value and Future of Site Readiness Programs; The State of Digital Advertising in Economic Development; 8 Digital Advertising Tips for EDOs; Know Your C-Suite; and An Executive Perception of Europe. He has spoken at industry conferences on the topic of entrepreneurship, economic development marketing, lead generation, talent attraction and digital marketing.
Among his paid media expertise, Steve and his team managed Invest Puerto Rico’s $6.8 million media budget in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. This funding was provided to help raise the island’s profile as a business destination when the external perception was still quite low following the destruction. The campaign led to a 1,400%+ increase in lead form fills, and generated 2,500 sign-ups for the island’s new investor portal.
Jeremie is a global expert in destination strategy and branding, with more than 20 years of experience in various strategy, consulting and entrepreneurial roles. At Resonance, Jeremie launched and spearheaded WRLDCTY, our global forum for urban innovation and currently leads our destination strategy practice across the world. Highlights include development and management of the new international unified brand for the Brussels Region, helping Christchurch New Zealand update their story, advising Houston on its brand strategy alignment, and developing the business case and narrative for a new major mixed-use development in downtown Miami.
Previously, Jeremie founded and led a destination marketing agency in France that disrupted the industry. There, he led some of the country’s largest economic development and tourism campaigns. Jeremie also held senior positions at global brand consultancies FutureBrand and Interbrand, and NYC-based culture-agency MATTE where he advised iconic brands such as Airbnb, Equinox, Marriott, Accor, Allianz and Nespresso on their brand strategy, experience development and growth trajectory. He also ran an event production company where he produced high-profile B2C events, including a 5,000-person dance party with the Concorde jet at the Bourget Airport.
Meaghan Ferrigno is Destination Canada’s Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO), a role which positions Destination Canada as an Insight Driven Organization, curating industry data to optimize both supply- and demand-side decisions.
She leads Destination Canada’s data strategy to help maximize the competitiveness and resilience of the Canadian tourism sector, making good information and analysis broadly available to tourism partners, businesses, local communities and government.
From her past roles, Meaghan brings an exceptional range of expertise in data-enabled competitive strategies and business agility. She is a certified CPA, CMA who holds an MBA in Management Technology from SFU’s Beedie School of Business as well as PMP and agile designations.
One of her most important and current priorities at Destination Canada is to build and launch the Canadian Tourism Data Collective, in partnership with Statistics Canada, other major data providers, and many industry businesses. This national platform harnesses the power of tourism data, to generate a source of long-term collaborative advantage, drive innovation for Canada's hosting economy, empowering decision-makers across public and private sectors.
Meaghan joined as the Crown corporation’s CDAO in August of 2021.
Mr Per Grankvist is the Chief Storyteller of Sweden's biggest government-funded innovation program, Viable Cities, with the mission to help 23 cities achieve climate neutrality. The program is recognized as one of the world's most innovative and influential initiatives of its kind and has inspired the EU to set the goal of making 100 cities climate neutral.
In an age where discussions around climate transition have become polarized, and factual arguments no longer matter as much, Mr. Grankvist is developing a method for explaining what quality of life will look like in a climate neutral city. His work has been featured on BBC, in the Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Süddeutsche Zeitung among others. In 2022 he was invited to present his work at the UN Stockholm+50 conference as well as in the British Parliament.
Sam is a leader specialising in the travel and tourism sector. Sam has spent the last 16 years developing and implementing strategies to drive and grow tourism globally. Within that, Sam has been responsible for identifying key global source markets for destinations, developing overarching strategies and overseeing the tactical delivery to drive incremental visitation. Sam has significant experience in nurturing and developing successful integrated teams across PR, trade, social media, creative, digital media and media planning all geared towards delivering stakeholder value and sustainable growth through innovative, integrated programming. During Sam’s career he has worked with some of the biggest and most diverse DMO’s and tourist boards such as Brand USA, European Travel Commission, Saudi Tourism Authority and South Africa Tourism.
Luuk works for the municipality of The Hague as City Branding Program Manager. His background is in the field of public administration and urban development. In his current job, Luuk and his colleagues, help to apply The Hague’s brand values in initiatives coming from inside and outside City Hall. They also carry out projects to strengthen the image of The Hague and city pride. They work closely with our destination marketing organization: The Hague & Partners.
Konrad leads Brand Finance’s place branding and soft power practice. He liaises with clients, directs consulting projects, and is responsible for the creation and promotion of the annual Global Soft Power Index and Nation Brands studies.
Konrad has extensive experience in advising clients in the fields of place branding and public diplomacy. Before joining Brand Finance, he worked at the Polish Embassy in London where he developed and delivered successful marketing communications campaigns as well as media relations programmes of official engagements by the president, prime minister, government ministers, and the ambassador.
In his role at Brand Finance, Konrad has advised a variety of place branding organisations, including New Zealand Story, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Konrad has qualified with the Professional PR Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). He studied European Studies MA at King’s College London and the Humboldt University in Berlin, and International Relations with Political Science BA at the University of Birmingham.
Nakyoung Kim is a city branding specialist and the Chief of the Brand Planning Team of Goyang city, Korea.
She believes that city branding is not just about city logos and slogans, but all the works that improve the competitiveness of a city and the value of citizen’s lives, and that the ultimate goal of city branding is to create a sustainable and livable city.
In addition to managing city branding, she has a 4-year career of destination marketing experience at MICE industry department. During this time, she ran the Destination Competitiveness Forum with Goyang CVB and she contributed to the designation of the Goyang International Meeting Complex Zone by the government. After transferring to the city branding department, she is in charge of the World Cities Forum.
In recognition of her contribution to fostering the MICE industry, she received a commendation from the Governor of Gyeonggi-do.
She holds a BA in English Language and Literature in Korea and a Master’s Degree in Events Management from Bournemouth University, UK.
From 1999 Mr Lubi has worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs holding various positions. He started at the Press and Information Department and later worked at the Foreign Economic Policy Department. He was an Economic Adviser at the Estonian Embassy in London 2002-2006. After returning from London he worked as a Director of the General Affairs Division in the EU Department. In August 2009 Mr Lubi took up the position of Economic Adviser at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, DC. In 2011 he was seconded to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in Estonia. In 2013 Mr Lubi took up office in New Delhi as the first residing Estonian Ambassador to India. His co-accreditations also included Myanmar and Sri Lanka. After 3 years he was seconded to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications as a Vice Minister for Economic Development. Since 2021 Mr Lubi has been the Ambassador of Estonia to the United Kingdom.
Kash Miah is the VP Marketing at CrowdRiff, where he leads a team focused on positioning CrowdRiff as the go-to visual content source for campaign ideas, social media marketing as well as UGC and custom short form video for destination marketers.
Mark has a BA in Philosophy and MA in Film, and has worked on everything from film scripts to vineyards, and he’s even been a Ranger for the Department of Conservation in New Zealand.
His career in brand and communications has included some of the world’s most renowned agencies on award winning work across all sectors – from re-branding Legal & General to overhauling Warburtons.
Having worked agency side on creating a new brand for his home city in 2018, he jumped ship from agency to client side to drive Sheffield forwards and re-position the city in a way that will change perceptions.
In 2019 Sheffield was shortlisted as CNPs Place Brand of the Year, and was finalist for the Academy of Urbanism’s European City of the Year. In 2020 there was another shortlisting for CNP’s Campaign of the Year, and in 2021 Sheffield was declared the UK’s greenest city by a NatWest report.
Daniel joined Amadeus in 2022, bringing over 20 years of experience working with governments on foreign direct investment and tourism demand generation projects. He has a wealth of media and data experience, having worked in publishing, radio, TV and data/digital/online media. Daniel’s specialty is data informed media executions and business intelligence, and he currently leads Amadeus’ relationships with governments and tourism boards across Northern Europe, the UK & Ireland, Benelux, and France.
As the lead contact for governments and tourism boards in the region, Daniel manages Amadeus’ public tender applications and day-to-day relationships with DMOs. He evaluates tender calls and brings internal teams together to respond to calls that are relevant to Amadeus’ strategic business objectives. During executions, Daniel ensures the agreed level of service criteria are met and solutions delivered throughout the partnership. As he is the point of contact for our partners, he regularly participates in meetings with project teams.
Jean Scheltema is Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer at Wesgro: the Official Tourism, Trade, Investment, Film Promotion Agency for Cape Town and Western Cape. She has 18 years' experience in strategic direction and marketing - overseeing approaches to enhance competitiveness and improve efficiencies. She champions transformative initiatives by aligning business strategy with innovative thinking.
Jean is an Oxford Said Business School Graduate, a Board Member at Silicon Cape, with significant time spent in the private sector before moving into the public sector.
She has won multiple local and global awards over the past decade for tourism, investment promotion, digital strategy and innovation. Wesgro became the first Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency to market a tourism destination in the Metaverse under Jean’s leadership. She has also driven the development of the Western Cape’s “Made in the Cape” region of origin exports brand, which uses product to tell the story of place and connects international buyers to the CapeTradePortal.com – a virtual matching platform, which has been locally and internationally lauded as an example of trade innovation.
Jean leads the Marketing, Research as well as the Policy and Advocacy units within Wesgro. She is also responsible for the data science capability, implementing a fully data-led approach to the mandates of the organisation. She has experience in managing complex stakeholders and delivering effective strategies that enhance the competitiveness of a destination. She has taken on the roles of IT Steering Committee Chairman, Member of the Global Tech Positioning project with the Western Cape Government and is the creator of Pioneers Magazine, profiling innovative tech companies in the Cape.
She has a passion for work that creates meaningful change.
Since 2008, Ryan Short has been the CEO and co-founder of CivicBrand, an organization at the forefront of transformative place branding and community engagement. Ryan hosts the "Eyes on The Street" podcast, where he delves into discussions about the intersection of place, identity, and community, has been published on Forbes.com, and regularly speaks on topics of engagement, placemaking, and place branding.
With an unwavering passion for the profound impact of place on our lives, Ryan co-founded CivicBrand, dedicating himself to the mission of helping communities unlock their full potential. Ryan has cultivated a proficient team, fine-tuned processes, and developed cutting-edge tools that are tailored to fully engage communities. These resources are not just about attracting attention or visitors; they are instrumental in nurturing civic pride and facilitating the discovery and implementation of each community's authentic identity.
At the helm of CivicBrand, Ryan provides strong leadership, guiding the team toward realizing their shared vision of creating vibrant and meaningful places. His impressive portfolio of work spans diverse communities across the US. This portfolio includes comprehensive city and county-wide branding initiatives, district branding projects, as well as placemaking and activation strategies that breathe life into once-neglected areas. Furthermore, Ryan has been a driving force behind various planning efforts, including comprehensive plans, open space and trails master plans, parks and recreation master plans, and downtown master plans, all aimed at shaping sustainable and thriving communities.
Rebecca is the former Director of The New Zealand Story. Over a transformative seven-year period, Rebecca shaped and enhancing the country's international brand, fostering global recognition, fuelling export success.
The NZ Story nation brand programme yielded remarkable outcomes, with over 60% of exporters actively engaged and a consistent upward trajectory in key perception indices, culminating in record-breaking results during the 2020/21 period
Rebecca is an experienced leader in global brand strategy, reputation management, marketing, and communications propelling significant brands to achieve global and domestic recognition, driving commercial growth. Rebecca has held pivotal roles such as Director of Brand Reputation & Communications at Fonterra Dairy Co-Op, CEO at Apprentice Training NZ, and Chair of Wools of New Zealand along with executive leadership roles in the banking, telecommunications, tech and manufacturing sectors.
A global adventurer, Ted believes travel makes us kinder, smarter and overall better human beings. With over 25 years in the hospitality and tourism industry, he's covered a lot of ground and has extensive knowledge and experience in global travel marketing, data, analytics, branding and media. His goal for Zartico is to work with communities to improve the lives of its visitors and residents, as well as, our own employees.
Prior to joining Zartico, Ted led the global product development, marketing and sales of ADARA’s analytics products for destinations, airlines and hotels. Prior to ADARA Ted was the VP of Business Strategy for MMGY Global.
Mr. Sullivan’s goal is to change the KPIs of community measurement in the tourism and economic development industry to help destinations embrace the opportunity to make life better for all who live and visit the region.
He is a popular International speaker and contributor to industry publications and conferences. He educates the destination industry to embrace their inner geek, love of travel experiences and the utilization of data to make better, more impactful decisions. Ted just moved from London to Cape Cod with his wife Emily, their daughter Coley attends DePaul University in Chicago, and they welcomed their second daughter Izola to the world three years ago.
Whether he's 'working' or not you can find him in a quaint pub in Ireland, Orleans, Madrid, Slovenia or anywhere really... making friends with the locals and adding a bit of color to his stories for the benefit of those who are listening
Anu Syrmä is the Director for Brand, Marketing and Communications for Helsinki Partners, a company owned by the city of Helsinki, attracting international visitors, talent and investments to Finland’s capital. Before joining Helsinki, Anu has worked in various leadership roles doing international sales and marketing eg. for brands Reima, Nokia, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal.
Bloom Consulting CEO
Since 2003 Mr. Torres has been advising Countries in the field of Nation Branding and City Branding, working directly with heads of state, directors of National Tourism Organizations and Investment Promotion Agencies.
His clients include Countries, Regions and Cities such as Australia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jamaica, Poland, Sweden, Stockholm and many others spread across all five continents.
Mr. Torres collaborates directly with the World Economic Forum in the matters of Nation Branding and is a guest speaker in some of the most prestigious universities in USA and Europe, such as HARVARD, the London Business School, Stockholm School of Economics and many others, being interviewed by The Economist, BBC, Guardian and CNN.
Since 2011 his company performs a global research project called the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking and most recently the Digital Country Index and the Digital City Index
Sirpa Tsimal is an economic development and foreign direct investment specialist. Currently, she is Director for Investment Promotion at Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), where she leads the Global Marketing team.
At S-GE, Sirpa focuses her work on emerging technologies and ecosystems such as AI, blockchain, health and robotics in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Switzerland. Sirpa is a board member of the Home of Blockchain initiative, on the steering committee of the Swiss Biotech Report, and on the advisory board of CityNationPlace. She is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Sirpa has 18+ years of experience working with and leading international teams in marketing communications, business development, market entry and strategic innovation projects. Prior to S-GE, Sirpa was the founder of The Location Lab, an innovation consultancy, and co-founder and Managing Partner at TSIMANN LLC, a communication agency in New York/Washington DC. Sirpa worked as a consultant for various economic development agencies such as BaselArea and Health Industries South Australia. She also ran and scaled the mentorship program at two health tech accelerators, in New York City (ELabNYC) and in the State of Connecticut (ABCT).
Sirpa graduated from the University of Zurich in 2003 with a master’s degree in communication sciences, international law and social anthropology.
How to engage citizens in our marketing campaigns and events is something we do more and more often. The authenticity of the message helps others to see The Hague as the brand it is. After a master’s degree Business Management at the Erasmus University, I joined multinationals like Nestle, Unilever and Mars Inc. Nowadays I am working as Head of Development at the Hague & Partners responsible amongst other things for partners, branding and events.