Speakers

We have an exciting speaker line-up for you! Please read more about each of the speakers:

Thierry Geerts, Google Country Director Belgium-Luxembourg
Topic: the impact of AI on society

5Thierry Geerts is father of 4 children and graduated as Solvay Business Engineer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1989. After his studies, he started working as auditor for Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC), but quite soon his passion for media, online marketing and innovation led him to management and board positions at, among others, Corelio Publishing, Radio Nostalgie, Clickx and Passe-Partout. In 2008, he became CEO of Corelio Business Development and Arkafund.
Since 2011, he is Country Director of Google Belgium-Luxembourg and as such he is positioned in the heart of the digital revolution, marketing and innovative entrepreneurship.
He’s member of the “Digital Minds for Belgium” and “AI4Belgium” Expert group of Deputy Prime Minister De Croo, “Le Conseil du Digital” of Walloon Minister of Economy and of the board of IAB Europe.
He’s the author of “Digitalis, how to reinvent our world” (NL/FR June’18 – ENG Jan’19).

Lore Simons, Reimagine AI Engineer
Topic: A chatbot case study in the public sector

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Lore is one of Reimagine’s AI experts with extensive experience as AI Lead Engineer & Product Owner for Chat- & Voice-bot implementations.
She is an expert in creating innovative applied AI solutions for large and medium sized organizations.
Going from functional analysis to technical design she can deliver and industrialize AI solutions to reach impactful business value.

Dr. Gunjan Bhardwaj, Innoplexus CEO   
Topic: AI in healthcare – beyond the hype

1Gunjan Bhardwaj is the Founder and CEO of the Innoplexus group. He was earlier with the Boston Consulting Group and before that the leader of the global business performance think-tank of Ernst & Young and a manager in the German practice with a solution focus on strategy and innovation. He has led projects in strategy, analytics and technology for various clients in different parts of the world.
Gunjan is also a guest lecturer at the European Business School for growth management based out of Frankfurt, Germany and FIA Business School in Sao Paulo. He has been in the advisory board of a Future management initiative of a big Pharma company in Germany. Gunjan has been published in many scientific and business journals such as the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Review, Forbes and Journal of Service Research. He studied at IIT Bombay, Pforzheim Business School, MIT Sloan and European Business School.

Bruno Schröder, Microsoft 
Topic: What developments in AI should we expect in the next two years?

Copy of FB (1).pngBruno Schröder is Technology Officer of Microsoft BeLux in charge of technology policy discussions and technological cooperation agreements with national and regional authorities.
Mr Schröder has been working at Microsoft since 2004 and has previously held the position of Public Sector Director. He is a member of several think tanks and administrator of several organizations related to technology. Prior to his career at Microsoft, he held several management positions at Unisys, IBM and Matra.

Jo Buvens, Salesforce Country Leader Belux            
Topic: Artificial Intelligence & Customer Engagement.

2Jo Buvens is Salesforce’s Regional Vice President and country leader in Belgium and Luxemburg. He focuses on increasing the market share of Salesforce in Belux. In his role as Country Leader, Jo pays special attention to the expansion of Salesforce Belux in the various market segments.
Jo started at Salesforce Belux in January 2016 as Sales Director of the Enterprise division. He has 20 years of experience in sales and marketing of business software. Before Salesforce he was  Partner at a Marketing Automation Agency. From 2011 to 2014 Jo worked as Regional Sales Director at start-up Eloqua in France, Benelux and Nordics. From 2004 to 2011 he was at Cognos as (global) account manager and then country manager Belux. Previously, he was at Cartesis, Oracle and Nashuatec. Jo Buvens holds a Master’s in Applied Economics from KU Leuven.

Julie Foulon, MolenGeek Founder
Topic: The social ecosystem to make AI accessible to everyone

6Julie Foulon is the co-founder of MolenGeek, a Tech ecosystem based in Molenbeek, Brussels, whose mission is to give accessible new technology and entrepreneurship to all, especially to young people without academic background. MolenGeek offers different activities: events, a startup incubator and a coding school. By collaborating with multinational companies, such as Google and Samsung Electronics, MolenGeek allows young people to shape the future, instead of having to adapt to it. By working closely together with public authorities at all levels, they align their actions and impact. Julie is also the founder of Girleek a platform whose mission is to empower more women in Tech through article posts and events. For three years, she was also at the head of BetaGroup, the largest Tech ecosystem from Belgium, composed of more than 8.000 members, where she was organising networking events every month gathering +400 people.

Johan Loeckx, VUB Artificial Intelligence Lab
Topic: AI unraveled, but the mystery remains

8Johan Loeckx started as a micropreneur when he was 16, designing, selling and maintaining software for lawyer’s offices  (1996). He received a MSc. in Electronic Engineering (2003), a MSc. in AI (2004) and a PhD entitled “Methods for Simulating and Analysing the Effects of EMC on Integrated Circuits” in 2010 from K.U.Leuven, Belgium. He co-designed the encryption system for securely exchanging patient information in the Belgian healthcare sector, for which a patent was filed by the Belgian government. In 2012, he was one of the co-founders of the second Flemish Freinet school in Brussels. He is an active musician. Johan is currently associate professor and lab manager at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium, responsible for the R&D strategy and business development.

Ruben Audenaert, KBC AI and Data Analytics        
Topic: Critical success factors for your AI implementation

4Ruben Audenaert is Business Development manager for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics in KBC Group. He’s responsible for growing Artificial Intelligence capabilities in the different countries in the KBC Group. Next to this, he is also responsible for academic cooperation in the AI and analytics domain.
Ruben has more than 20 years of experience in KBC, including managing positions in ICT in the Risk domain, where he experienced the power and importance of Data.

Ron Pooters, Microsoft Technology AI Ambassador
Topic: What’s currently in AI?
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Ron Pooters is an AI Ambassador at Microsoft. He focuses on the financial services and insurance sector. As such he helps amongst others leasing companies and insurers implement internet of things scenarios, often involving telematics data.    Ron has 8+ years experience delivering complex BI and big data projects prior to joining Microsoft. He is a Certified BI Professional (CBIP).

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