The Inspire Conference 2011


This was the official website for the 2011 The Inspire Conference, held in London, June 7 &8.
Content is from the site's 2011 archived pages.


Innovation, Trends and Thought Leadership are the backbone of every industry, whether it be the Web, Mobile, Creative or Social Entrepreneurship. Over two days in June 2011, we are bringing together some of the most brilliant minds in Technology, Creativity and Entrepreneurship from across the world to the heart of Europe's exploding tech and creative scene in London.

Inspire combines the quality and depth of TED conferences, the vibrancy and energy of other conferences at the same time making it as affordable as possible.

Our speakers are the best in their fields and will present their take on topics ranging from crowd sourcing to open data, from the future of Internet typography to future of search!

If you are a startup, entrepreneur, VC, Angel or a business leader, then this is a conference you can't afford to miss.


  • Hear from the best speakers in the world including many who have presented at TED, DLD, World Economic Forum, Le Web and other high-profile events
  • Meet the leading thinkers and innovators from UK's technology, web, mobile and creative companies so you leave with a wider network of influential contacts
  • Learn about the latest trends and innovation in Technology, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, from disruptive technologies to the most creative ways of solving the world's pressing problems
  • Find out how visionary entrepreneurs and thinkers are harnessing and driving these trends to change the world we live in and how can you do the same?
  • Get a competitive advantage by learning from established global businesses, visionary thought leaders and the hottest startups businesses
  • Build relationships with numerous startups, entrepreneurs and inspiring attendees at our parties and networking sessions



Partners Heading   seventh   eighth
Alexander Ljung - SoundCloud
Un-Muting the Web
Nick Halstead - MediaSift, TweetMeme
Big Data, Big Business
What is 'Big Data'? it is one of the hottest trends right now but like all trends it is often over used and mis-understood, Nick will delve into what constitutes 'big data' - why you should care, how people are using it and what technologies are involved.
Conrad Wolfram - Wolfram Research
Computation comes of age
Computation has been critical to innovation in modern times. But its use has been limited to a small, specialist group. Emerging automation enables everyone to use high-powered computation in a wide variety of ways...What does this change? How will affect the value-chain of knowledge? Who can benefit and how? How do we need to change what we learn to use this?
Seb Bishop - (RED), Steve Moore - Big Society Network, Shakil Khan - Spotify, Martin Kelly - IBM
Panel: The Next Generation of Change in Society
Chaired by David Rowan - Editor, WIRED UK
Simone Brummelhuis
Skill Swap Game
Iris Lapinski - CDI Europe
A new generation of problem-solvers - one app at a time
How can you use leading-edge technology to help young people to become problem-solvers improving their local communities? Apps for Good is a programme that does exactly that and is currently spreading fast in dozens of UK schools. We will talk about our thinking behind it to change learning about technology and give examples of apps designed by students.
Rory Sutherland - Ogilvy
The Overdue Science
The last fifteen years have seen an unprecedented explosion in the media and channels available to marketers - and yet this unimaginable progress has not been matched by corresponding improvements in our understanding of human behaviour or in the models of influence marketers use to generate sales or improve brand experience. The long-overdue ascendancy of behavioural economics is thankfully starting to change all that.........
Stephan Shakespeare - YouGov
How Opinion Works
Public opinion is 'the second superpower', but how is it made, what is its role, and does it predict the future?
Parag Khanna - Best Selling Author
Total Globalization: A Tour of the Next Decade
Discussing the trends that demonstrate the growing connectivity of developing societies in terms of trade and internet penetration, as well as the growing authority or corporations and NGOs, and a new concept of "collective leadership" among,,, and other key stakeholders to bring about a more resilient world.
Peter Vesterbacka - Rovio, Angry Birds
Discussion with the Mighty Eagle
Interviewed by Mike Butcher - Techcrunch
Martin Varsavsky - FON
Why you should not move your company to Silicon Valley
Avid Larizadeh - Boticca
The democratization of the global marketplace
Being global, having access to customers around the world, communicating with people across continents, executing on a global scale are no longer privileges limited to the rich, famous, political elite and large multinationals. They are now considered undisputed rights by the 2 billion people with Internet access. And this is true for the musician in Dubai, the jewelry designer in Estonia, the writer in Singapore and the photographer in Rio. They no longer simply aspire to have their voices heard and talent shared globally, but they have the opportunity to build a global brand, audience and business. This is fundamentally changing the dynamics of the global marketplace for the entire value chain, affecting the taste and expectations of consumers, and slowly causing cultural shifts.
This program is accurate at the time of publishing and subject to changes. The Organisers reserve the right to change timings, speakers or sessions



The Inspire Conference will be held at The Senate House in The University of London, a historical venue right in the heart of London.

The venue is one of the most interesting and versatile venues in London. The Inspire Conference will transform the venue using state-of-the-art audiovisual effects into an intellectual theatre designed to highlight the venue's beauty and to provide attendees with an unique experience.

Address: Senate House, University of London, London, WC1E 7HU

Getting there

London Underground

Russell Square - 6 min walk (London Underground - Piccadilly Line)

Goodge Street - 8 min walk (London Underground - Northern Line)

For the latest London Underground travel information go to:





Alex Breuer

Design Editor - The Times

Alex Breuer is the Design Editor (digital) at The Times and is an award winning Art Director and Design Consultant. He has nearly 20 years experience in the editorial field. From a start in business magazines, through newspapers and hi-end consumer titles both in print and digital including Esquire, Financial Times, The Guardian, John Brown Publishing. His work has been recognised by numerous awards.

Alexander Ljung

Founder and CEO - SoundCloud

Alexander Ljung is founder and CEO of fast-growing audio platform, SoundCloud. Since its inception in 2008, Alexander has been responsible for all aspects of the site's strategic vision and business development. Under his leadership, SoundCloud has quickly gained a reputation for being one of the best platforms available for audio creators to share, broadcast, track and promote their sounds on the web. There are currently more than four million registered users. Alexander previously worked in sound design for feature films; co-authored a book on online sociology; co-founded a consultancy network and kept the dream of one day writing the perfect song alive.

Andy Budd

Co-founder - Clearleft

Andy Budd is one of the founding partners at User Experience Design Consultancy, Clearleft. As an interaction design and usability specialist, Andy is a regular speaker at international conferences like The Web 2.0 Expo, An Event Apart and SXSW. Andy curates dConstruct, one of the most popular design conferences in the UK. He's also responsible for UX London, the UK's first dedicated Usability, Information Architecture and User Experience Design event. Andy is also the driving force behind Silverbackapp, a low cost usability testing tool for the Mac. Andy has helped judge several international design awards such as the British Interactive Media Awards. Andy also sits on the advisory board for .Net Magazine, although this has absolutely (cough) nothing to do with them wining agency of the year last year. In May 2010, Wired Magazine named Andy one of the top 100 most influential people in the UK digital sector, much to the pride of his mother and the surprise of everybody else.

Ann Cotton

Founder - Camfed

Ann Cotton is the Founder and Executive Director of Camfed International which is widely recognised and respected as an example of best practice in girls' education. It is at the local and national levels where Camfed's influence is most strongly felt and where it exercises a leadership role, advising national governments and international organisations, and multi- stakeholder coalitions. Its advocacy of girls' education and child protection is ensuring that the voices of rural girls and women are heard at the highest level. Since its inception in 1993, 1,065,070 children, primarily girls have benefitted from Camfed's education programme across a network of 2,798 schools. And on leaving school, 5,132 young women have received business training and start-up grants to establish their own rural enterprise. They are leading change. Ann Cotton has won numerous awards for her work including an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Cambridge University, an OBE from the Queen and the Skoll and Schwab Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.

Avid Larizadeh

COO and Co-founder - Boticca

Before co-founding, Avid worked in Paris alongside the CEO and founder of Altavia, an independent global marketing communications group specialized in retail businesses. Prior to that she was at Accel Partners in London where she focused primarily on software and Internet investments. Avid has strong product management experience from four years working at eBay in Silicon Valley, and she also has worked at a number of start-ups, including Skype (acquired by eBay) and Tellme Networks (acquired by Microsoft). Avid earned her BS and MS in engineering at Stanford University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. She grew up in Paris and has lived in San Francisco, Boston and London. Avid speaks French, Farsi, English and German.

Aza Raskin

Founder - Massive Health, Ex Head of UX - Mozilla Labs

Aza is the founder of Massive Health, and was until recently Creative Lead for Firefox. He's been responsible for innovations like Panorama and Ubiquity. Aza gave his first talk on user interface at age 10 and got hooked. At 17, he was talking and consulting internationally; at 19, he coauthored a physics textbook because he was too young to buy alcohol; at 21, he started drinking alcohol and co-founded Humanized which later became part of Mozilla, which was the founding event for Mozilla Labs. Aza also founded and sold, a minimalist music search engine that had over a million song plays in its first week. In another life, Aza has done Dark Matter research at both Tokyo University and the University of Chicago. Visit his blog, Aza on Design.

Conrad Wolfram

CEO - Wolfram Research

Conrad Wolfram is European founder and CEO of Wolfram Research and its worldwide strategic director. Since 1988, the Wolfram group has built the Mathematica computational software and since 2009, the spin-off Wolfram|Alpha knowledge engine. Conrad's instigation and leadership of business and technical initiatives has been central to many key innovations in the technical computing industry. He regularly speaks on topics ranging from future technology to the new era of knowledge and the reform of maths education (the subject of his recent TED talk). He holds an MA in natural sciences and maths from the University of Cambridge.

Erik Hersman

Co-founder - Ushahidi

Erik Hersman is a prominent technologist, blogger (AfriGadget & WhiteAfrican) who specialises in the impact and application of technology throughout Africa. As a co-founder of Ushahidi, an open source project which allows users to crowd-source information, he allows everyday people to share news and report in emergency situations via the web and SMS. Erik is also a Senior TED Fellow and founder of the iHub, Nairobi's Innovation Hub.

Iris Lapinski

CEO - CDI Europe

Iris runs CDI Europe and Apps for Good, an award-winning programme where young people learn to create apps that change their world. She has a background in commercial digital media & telecoms consulting working for Ovum and Farncombe Technology. During that time Iris managed a range of due diligence, business planning and strategy projects especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Leisa Reichelt

UI-UX Expert

Leisa Reichelt left the agency and consulting world four years ago in order to concentrate finding ways to help start ups get more access to good user experience consultancy. She has a background in formal User Centred Design, Design Research and Information Architecture combined with a passion for making these practices more accessible and more successful for companies with limited time or resources, and for those who work using Agile or Lean methodologies. Leisa works extensively with the Drupal community and is currently leading ‘The Prairie Initiative’ – a social architecture and collaboration initiative. Leisa is a regular speaker and workshop-giver and has spoken at conferences including London IA, UX London, dConstruct, Drupalcon, EuroIA, Future of Web Apps, Web 2.0 Expo, Next, Interesting, GUADEC, Interaction, and Reboot. She has mentored at Seedcamp and coordinates the London UX Bookclub.

Martin Varsavsky

Founder & CEO - FON

Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur and founder of seven companies in the past 20 years. In 1984, while still in college, Martin Varsavsky started his first business, Urban Capital Corporation. This was soon followed in 1986 by Medicorp Services, a Canadian biotechnology company, a pioneer in AIDS and PSA testing. His third business, Viatel Ltd., Martin�s first venture into the world of telecom, was founded in 1990. In 1998 he started Jazztel Telecomunicaciones, Spain�s second largest publicly traded telecom operator. In 1999 he founded, Spain�s third largest Internet web site/DSL provider. Martin�s current venture is Fon, founded in November in 2005, a community empowered company dedicated to building the world�s largest global Wifi network bottom up, spreading the power of Wifi around the world. The FON Community already has over 4 million hot spots. Martin Varsavsky also engages in not for profit activities. He manages the Varsavsky Foundation ( best known as founder of two large educational projects in Latin America, (Argentina) and EducarChile (Chile) and the Safe Democracy Foundation.

Mary Ann de Lares Norris

GM - Oblong Europe

Mary Ann is currently Managing Director of Oblong Europe S.L., the European division of Oblong Industries, Inc. and developer of the next-generation spatial operating environment called g-speak�. Her previous positions include: COO of an interactive television company in Paris, Director of Strategic Planning for Mattel, and Executive Producer for Sony Electronic Publishing. Mary Ann holds a Masters of Science from the MIT Media Lab.

Michael Birch

Founder - Bebo, Profounders

Michael Birch is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded the online social networking site Bebo. Michael is passionate about entrepreneurship in Europe and was one of the founding partners of ProFounders, a european venture capital firm. He currently serves on the board of various companies and is an investor and advisor to eight other startups.

Nick Halstead

Founder & CEO - MediaSift, TweetMeme

Nick is CEO and Founder of Mediasift Ltd the creator of TweetMeme and DataSift. Nick started the company in 2007 with a vision of disrupting content delivery for consumers and business. For consumers this produced TweetMeme a social news site and for business DataSift a real-time data mining platform. TweetMeme is in the top 500 global websites and the TweetMeme Retweet Button is one of the Top 10 most installed widgets on the internet and is served over 500 million times a day. Nick is passionate about evangelising the social web, the future of news delivery and talking about 'Big Data' he has previously spoke spoken at many of the biggest conferences in the world, including SXSW, Le Web, BlogWorld, TechCrunch Disrupt and The Next Web.

Parag Khanna

Best Selling Author - Second World

Parag Khanna is a Senior Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He is author of the international best-seller The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008) and How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire's "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century," and one of fifteen individuals featured in WIRED magazine's "Smart List." Parag is widely published and quoted in media around the world such as theNew York Times, TIME, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal, and appears regularly on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, PBS, and NPR. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Born in India, Parag grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York, and Germany. He has traveled to more than 100 countries and has been named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Peter Vesterbacka

Mighty Eagle - Angry Birds, Rovio

Peter is the Mighty Eagle of Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds - the franchise has generated more than 200 million downloads since it’s launch. Peter is also the founder of Some Bazaar and MobileMonday. He was also recently named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Rajesh Sawhney

President - Reliance BIG Entertainment

Rajesh Sawhney is the President of Reliance BIG Entertainment, part of Reliance, one of the world's largest corporations. He has driven the group's foray into entertainment, media and online businesses. Under the leadership of Rajesh, BIG pictures has become the leading film producer in India and BIG cinemas is now the No. 1 film exhibitor. Rajesh has also driven the group's foray into Hollywood.

Rory Sutherland

Vice Chairman - Ogilvy

Rory Sutherland is the Executive Creative Director and Vice-Chairman of OgilvyOne London and Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, one of the world's largest and oldest advertising agencies. Rory was ranked 22nd in the Guardian's annual Media 100 - a list of the planet's most influential people in media.

Seb Bishop


Seb Bishop is International CEO of (RED), the business founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money from the private sector to help fight AIDS in Africa. (RED) has forged partnerships with some of the world’s most sought-after brands to create desirable (RED) branded products, with up to half the profits going to the Global Fund. Since 2006, (RED) has raised over $165 million for the Global Fund helping over 5 million people in Sub Saharan Africa. Prior to (RED) in 2000 at the age of 25, Seb founded Espotting, thus pioneering search marketing and pay-per-click advertising in Europe. He expanded the business across continental Europe, before selling to US-based in June 2004. He then led the global rebrand of the combined company under the MIVA name. Following the merger, Seb became President of MIVA. Seb is also Chairman of Steak Media, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies, a non-executive board member of AdJug (Europe’s largest Ad Exchange), an independent non-executive director at Future Publishing plc, a Governor of the School of Communication Arts and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders.

Shakil Khan

Special Projects - Spotify

Shak is a seasoned entrepreneur with a number of start-ups behind him, the last being Lightstate/, which was sold to in 2008. Shak was an early investor in Spotify and currently heads up the Special Projects team, as well as being an advisor to Daniel Ek (founder and CEO).

Simon Robinson

Chief Scientist - The Foundry

Simon is a founder of The Foundry, and is now the company's Chief Scientist. He has 18 years’ experience in the film and broadcast industry, working within software and post-production facilities. He began his career at IBM Research in New York where he spent two years researching computer algebra. Simon then moved to Digital Pictures, a pioneering post-production facility based in London’s Soho. As Head of Software, he was responsible for the company's custom 3D rendering pipeline. Simon left Digital Pictures after two years to freelance for post-production houses in London including Rushes, Framestore and MPC, before starting up The Foundry. Simon was awarded a Sci-Tech Academy Award© for his part in the development of the company’s Furnace plug-in set. Simon was also voted number 52 in Fast Company's second annual ranking of the 100 most creative people in business.

Stephan Shakespeare

CEO & Co-Founder - YouGov

Stephan is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of YouGov plc, a leading market research and polling company based in the UK and operating in America, Germany, the Middle East and the Nordics. Stephan is one of the pioneers of Internet research and drives the company's innovation-led strategy. He is also Chairman of the Network for the Post-Bureaucratic Age, a group dedicated to advancing the web-powered relationships between consumers, business and government, launched with David Cameron in February 2010. He is also Chairman of Previously he was a school-teacher and founding Principal of Landmark West School in Los Angeles. He studied English at Oxford University.

Steve Moore

Director - Big Society Network

Steve was born and raised in Belfast where he co-wrote an acclaimed satirical review Now Before The Weather The War which toured the country to a mixture of rave reviews and mild bemusement. He joined the Government in 1987 and led a range of high profile employment and welfare initiatives under the pioneering Lord Young. He then moved to Australia where he worked with Time-Life and the great documentary film maker Ken Burns. Upon returning to London he worked on a range of large regeneration projects including London’s Bankside, the Thames Gateway and Deptford and Brixton City Challenges and became a Director of SOLOTEC and the Learning and Skills Council. Since 2002 Steve has established and led three start up businesses Why Not? , Ice 3 and Policy Unplugged. He has been employed as an advisor to Microsoft, the RSA, the BBC, PWC, Department for Education and Skills, Enterprise UK, NESTA and UnLtd. Steve has curated and facilitated over 80 major conferences and festivals including 2gether, Reboot Britain and 2morro. Steve is a strategic adviser to Channel 4 Television and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Tariq Krim

Founder - Jolicloud, Netvibes

A serial entrepreneur and angel investor, Tariq has a passion for building highly disruptive new products. He is founder and CEO of Jolicloud, a pioneer in personal cloud computing. Prior to Jolicloud, Tariq founded Netvibes, the personal startpage used by millions around the world. A thought leader and regular speaker at global technology and media conferences, he was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the world's "Top Innovators Under 35" (2008), by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and most recently was honored by the President of France as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. As a former journalist for La Tribune, Tariq has been a keen observer of the Web since its genesis. He holds a degree in Physics from the University of Paris VII and a Master's in Telecommunications from ENST (Telecom Paris).

Tom Chatfield

Author, Game Theorist

Tom Chatfield is an author, essayist, game writer and theorist. His book on the culture of video games, Fun Inc, was published globally in 2010; his next book, on digital ideas, is published in September 2011. Tom has consulted and spoken on games and new media widely, including at the RSA; authors@Google; TED Global; the World Congress on Information Technology; ICTD 2010; Learning Without Frontiers; and the ICA. He writes widely in the national press, and is currently a lead writer and designer on several forthcoming games projects. He's also a faculty member at London's School of Life, and has a doctorate in literature from St John's College, Oxford.

Dr. Victor Henning

CEO & Co-founder, Mendeley

Dr. Victor Henning is the co-founder and CEO of Mendeley, a London- and New York-based technology startup. Since its launch in 2009, Mendeley has grown into the world's largest research collaboration platform with more than 900,000 users, and the world's largest crowdsourced research database with more than 80 million uploaded documents. For his work on Mendeley, Victor was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He holds a Ph.D. from the Bauhaus-University of Weimar, where he researched the role of emotion in consumer decision making