Katya Adler

Katya Adler
Europe Editor, BBC Media

Katya Adler, a popular British journalist has been working for the BBC since 1998. Currently, she is a Europe Editor at BBC Media.

After graduating from the University of Bristol in 1995, she moved to Vienna to work for Mondial Congress, an organiser of International Congresses. Adler began working as a correspondent for Austrian national public broadcaster ORF in late 1995, reporting locally and then internationally from Kosovo, Eastern Europe and across Southwest Asia and North Africa. 

Adler joined the BBC in Vienna in 1998, reporting on Austrian and Central European affairs. After becoming the BBC's Berlin correspondent for a short period, from 2000 she was based in London for the BBC World Service presenting on European current affairs, and commuting weekly to Berlin to work as a news anchor for Deutsche Welle Television. From 2003 she was made the BBC's Madrid correspondent. From December 2006, Adler was the BBC's Middle East correspondent, B in Jerusalem. In 2014 she was appointed the BBC's Europe editor in succession to Gavin Hewitt. In 2017 the BBC broadcast a documentary by Adler titled "After Brexit: the Battle for Europe" in which she examined the mounting challenges facing the European Union over the next few years.  


Roma Agrawal

Roma Agrawal
Structural Engineer & Assosciate Director, Aecom 


Roma Agrawal is a structural engineer and associate director at AECOM who builds big. From footbridges and sculptures, to train stations and skyscrapers – including The Shard – she has left an indelible mark on London’s landscape.

She is a tireless promoter of engineering and technical careers to young people, particularly under-represented groups such as women. She has advised policymakers and governments on science education, and has given talks to thousands around the world at universities, schools and organisations, including two for TEDx. She is a television presenter, and writes articles about engineering, education and leadership.

Roma has been awarded international awards for her technical prowess and success in promoting the profession, including the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering’s Rooke Award. Her first book, BUILT: the hidden stories behind our structures, will be published by Bloomsbury on 8 February 2018.


Vanessa Butz
Vanessa Butz

CEO & Co-Founder, District Technologies


Vanessa is passionate about diversity, technology and communities. She is shaping the future of cities to improve everyone’s work and life experience through founding District Technologies. Previously, having studied Engineering, Economics and Management at Oxford University, she wrote her master’s thesis on "Understanding the DNA of Strong Entrepreneurial Hubs” and took her theory into practice by building large technology and co-working campuses - Factory Berlin and Interchange Camden, Market-Tech valuation from £700m to £1.4bn in 2 years.


Araceli Camargo

Araceli Camargo
Lab Director, The Centric Lab


Araceli Camargo is a cognitive neuroscientist, science communicator, and is the Lab Director for The Centric Lab, which is in partnership with UCL. As a Lab Director she works on alongside Dr. Hugo Spiers from UCL to understand how people experience and are affected by the physical environment.

As a science communicator she has worked with clients ranging from the NHS to Lloyds TSB to Nike. The themes of her science communication centre around attention and memory. Prior to becoming the Director of the The Centric Lab, Araceli founded THECUBE, which is a coworking space in Shoreditch East London in 2009. THECUBE provided the platform for studying the relationship between people and the built environment.



Nick Dalton

Dr Nick Dalton


My background is as a computer scientist, programmer and writer working on the interface between architectural design and computation. My academic life has spanned artificial intelligence, virtual reality (VR), pervasive and ubiquitous computing as well as large-scale urban computing. My current research focus is human computer interaction (HCI), whole body interfaces and the future of computing in the workplace. I have also worked in industry for companies engaged in artificial intelligence, VR and the 3D web, urban transportation and smart growth in the UK and US. I also consult for a number of start-ups along with running my own start-up for several years. Finally, in my spare time I write science fiction novels, speculating on the 'near future' of everyday technologies.



Ruth Dalton

Professor Ruth Conroy Dalton


Professor Dalton is an alumna of University College London. As a licensed architect, she has worked for Foster and Partners (London) and Sheppard Robson Corgan Architects (London) and key projects upon which she has worked include the Carré d’Art de Nîmes, in France, the Palaçio de Congresos in Valencia, Spain, and the Kings Cross International Terminal (unbuilt). She has taught at the Architectural Association, London, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA and the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Professor Dalton’s research interests are centred around the relationship between the spatial layout of buildings and environments and their effect on how people behave and interact in those spaces. Professor Dalton is an expert in space syntax analysis and is passionately interested in placing the building user at the centre of the design process.



Kaela Fenn Smith  Kaela Fenn-Smith

Former Head Of Commercial, Landsec

Kaela Fenn-Smith has spent 25 years in the property industry and has worked in both North America and the UK experiencing the cultural and behavioural differences between the two markets.

Kaela spent ten years with CBRE as a broker in Canada, seven years as a Director at JLL in London, and most recently, seven years on the London Executive as Head of Commercial at Landsec where she led on the successful delivery of leasing and marketing their 3 million sq ft development pipeline in London.

Kaela has been passionate about gender diversity throughout her career and has a keen interest in influencing the further success of women in business in the property sector.

Kaela is re-prioritising her time this year towards family and is a Board Trustee at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity where she Chairs the Property and Development Committee monitoring the redevelopment of the hospital.

Rajdeep Gahir

Rajdeep Gahir

Founder & Managing Director, CoCreations

Rajdeep Gahir currently serves as the Founder & Managing Director of CoCreations, a boutique consultancy and venture builder which specialises in property disruption. CoCreations’ clients have included private equity fund Brockton Capital, where they launched a new workspace operator, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. CoCreations is also incubating its own companies including LeaseIT, standardised digital flexi-lease, and VivaHaus - a modular pop-up accommodation solution for Generation Rent.

As the former Head of Sales for European Expansion at WeWork, Rajdeep was responsible for setting up WeWork's European presence in London and Amsterdam and played a key role in launching over half a million square foot of space, taking the company from 200 to 1300 employees worldwide in just 18 months. Previous to this, she worked as an intrapreneur in the technology space for eBay, incubating new technology marketplaces in London and San Jose.



Janan Ganesh

Janan Ganesh


Janan Ganesh is a British journalist, author and political commentator. Ganesh is the principal political columnist for the Financial Times and regularly appears on the BBC show Sunday Politics.

Ganesh was active in Labour Students, the student wing of the Labour Party, having been inspired to join when he was 19 by Tony Blair's 1999 annual Labour Party Conference speech. In an interview with The Guardian at the time Ganesh described himself as "essentially a Portillista", comparing his politics to Michael Portillo's, who was the then Conservative Party Shadow Chancellor.

For two years he was a Researcher at the Policy Exchange, a Westminster-based right-wing think tank set up by Conservative MPs Nick Boles, Michael Gove and Francis Maude, and for five years he was political correspondent for The Economist. Ganesh co-authored Compassionate Conservatism (2006) with Jesse Norman, which received the T.E. Utley Memorial Prize for young journalists.

Ganesh has written George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor (2012), a biography of British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. 



Frank Gardner

Frank Gardner
Security Correspondent


Frank Gardner, Security Correspondent, is the only British journalist permanently assigned to cover the ‘War on Terror’.

In 2004 Frank was seriously injured in a gun attack in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. He and his cameraman Simon Cumbers were travelling with a government minder, and had no reason to believe their officially sanctioned trip represented any danger. Suddenly they were ambushed by two carloads of men, later identified as Al-Qaeda sympathisers. Cumbers was killed by a bullet; Gardner, shot six times at point-blank range, was left to die.

Frank has worked in Saudi Arabia for many years. A fluent Arabic speaker, he has interviewed Bin Laden supporters in their spiritual heartlands. Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Before becoming a reporter, he spent nine years in and around the Middle East as an investment banker with Saudi International Bank and Robert Fleming.

The author of two books, Frank recounts his experiences in the Middle East, and his extensive travels since his injuries. 



Richard Kauntze

Richard Kauntze
Chief Executive Officer, BCO

Richard Kauntze is Chief Executive of the British Council for Offices (BCO). He was appointed in 1999 with a brief to restructure the BCO and raise its profile. In 2000 the BCO relocated from Reading to the City of London where the dedicated secretariat promotes the BCO’s mission to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector. The BCO’s membership totals over 2,500 (principal and individual), embracing both the private and public sectors, and it has become widely recognised as one of Britain’s leading property bodies.

Richard is a graduate in government, politics and modern history. From 1988 – 1993 he was a Parliamentary Officer at The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). In 1993 he became Director of Policy at the British Property Federation (BPF), promoted to Deputy Director-General in 1996. He took up the new post of Chief Executive of the BCO in November 1999.

His interests include politics, history, modern English literature, travel, wine and the countryside.



Michael Kimmel

Dr Michael Kimmel

Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Stony Brook University

Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. He is the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013. 

A tireless advocate of engaging men to support gender equality, Kimmel has lectured at more than 300 colleges, universities and high schools. He has delivered the International Women’s Day annual lecture at the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Europe, and has worked with the Ministers for Gender Equality of Norway, Denmark and Sweden in developing programs for boys and men. He consults widely with corporations, NGOs and public sector organizations on gender equity issues.

He was recently called “the world’s most prominent male feminist” in The Guardian newspaper in London.



Katrina WR

Katrina Kostic Samen
Managing Partner, KKS Strategy


For those who know Katrina, her total commitment and absolute passion in focusing on the best interests of the occupier, their business, and solving problems will be familiar. 

Her experience over three decades of commercial development and workplace design enables Katrina to provide expertise across all aspects of architecture and interior design projects. She challenges boundaries and perceptions, connects ‘inside-out’ design philosophies, and combines strategy and design to maximise real estate potential for both occupiers and developers.

Katrina, a dual British American citizen, founded KKS in 2004. She started her career at Gensler in Washington DC in 1985 and relocated to London to set up Gensler’s initial office in 1989. Katrina was promoted to principal in 1994, youngest in the firm’s history.

Katrina is a regular speaker on best practice for workplace design, development criteria, and occupier strategy. She has addressed Harvard Business School, has been a BCO Board Member for eight years, was shortlisted for CoreNet Partner of the Year and a First Woman award, and has had many articles published.

Katrina has built a practice which is a recognised leader in workplace strategy and interior architecture, reflected in many achievements and awards over the last 15 years. Katrina’s belief in pushing boundaries, striving for excellence, and expanding the professional body for commercial offices is represented in her fundamental principle:

Be Creative, Add Value, Have Fun!

Regine Leibinger

Regine Leibinger

Co-Founder, Barkow Leibinger


Studied architecture in Berlin and at Harvard University; teaching posts have included the Architectural Association in London and Harvard University, Professor of Building Construction and Design at Technische Universität Berlin since 2006. Since 2016 Visiting Professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture.

Barkow Leibinger:

Barkow Leibinger is an American/German architectural practice based in Berlin and New York, founded in 1993 by Frank Barkow and Regine Leibinger.

Their discursive research-based approach to architecture and design allows Barkow Leibinger’s work to respond to advancing knowledge and technology, locating the practice as an international leader in digital and analogue fabrication techniques. This know-how expands to include new materials and their applications in driving the practice forward, a continuously evolving activity. The office’s focus revolves around a commitment to academic teaching, research and the practice itself. This approach manifests distinctly in each project through the interrelationships within client-architect dialogue, location, aesthetics, and purpose.

Barkow Leibinger’s unique Serpentine Pavilion Summer House in 2016 was created from a mass of plywood folds, curves and ripples, mimicking the original concept design of stacked loops of paper. It formed a structure with multiple orientations and seating that offered different views of the park.



Michelle Marwood

Michelle Marwood

Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, EMEA, Blackstone

Michelle Marwood is Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Services and Operations for EMEA and India for The Blackstone Group International Partners LLP, based in London. Michelle oversees all aspects of corporate services operations for the region, including (but not limited to) commercial real estate transactions, strategic planning, design & construction, project management, facilities management, office services, physical security, crisis management and corporate travel. She heads a team of dedicated workplace professionals and provides mentorship to those entering the industry.

For the last 17 years Michelle lived and worked in New York City, with a 12 month secondment to Tokyo, Japan, and returning to the UK in early 2017. 

During her career overseas, Michelle managed every stage of the project lifecycle, from strategic planning through commercial real estate transaction and project execution, and post-project delivery facility management operations. Michelle’s particular expertise is creating scalable, functional corporate service teams from inception through to operational readiness. Michelle has done this for a variety of firms in the media, financial services and technology industry sectors.

Outside of work, Michelle is also a qualified Vinyasa yoga teacher.