Dr. Ram Sewak Sharma is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Authority (under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) that implements Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), two flagship health missions of the Government of India. He is also the Chairman of Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 and a member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19.

Dr Sharma is a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS 1978 (Rtd.) Jharkhand cadre). Before his appointment as the CEO of National Health Authority from February 1, 2021, he served as the Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from August 2015 to September 2020. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Secretary of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India) and as the Chief Secretary to the State Government of Jharkhand (India).

Dr Sharma was founding Director General and Mission Director of UIDAI and was a part of leadership team that built and launched Aadhaar, the world’s largest Digital Identity Platform. He has captured the experience of building Aadhaar in his recently published book, ‘Making of Aadhar: World’s largest Identity Platform’.

Dr Sharma has a deep interest on using technology for governance and has led a number of e-Governance projects at both the National and the State level. He has been responsible for implementing a number of projects relating to ICT infrastructure, process reengineering and service delivery through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) models. His contributions in this area have been recognized both in India and abroad.

Dr Sharma is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K), where he earned a Master’s in Mathematics, and of the University of Allahabad, where he completed his Bachelor’s in Science. While on leave from the Government of India, he earned a Master’s in Computer Science from University of California, Riverside in 2002, and subsequently a PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D).

Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on social innovation, African agriculture and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and youth development. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant.

Ndidi started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in Chicago, New York, and Johannesburg. She returned to Nigeria in 2000 to serve as the pioneer executive director of FATE Foundation, supporting young entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. In 2002, she established LEAP Africa to inspire, empower, and equip a new cadre of principled, disciplined, and dynamic young leaders in Africa. In the same year, she established NIA to support female university students in Nigeria to achieve their highest potential.

Over the past 14 years, Ndidi has focused exclusively on transforming the African agriculture and nutrition landscape. Through her work as the co-founder and the Executive Chair of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, she has partnered with a range of private and public sector organizations to implement ecosystem solutions in the African agriculture and food landscapes. As the co-founder of AACE Foods, which produces a range of packaged spices, seasonings, and cereals for local and international markets, Ndidi has propelled the growth of a catalytic business. As the founder of Nourishing Africa, a digital home for food and agriculture entrepreneurs operating on the African Continent, she is accelerating the growth of the ecosystem and supporting entrepreneurs in 34 African countries. Her latest start-up is Changing Narratives Africa committed to changing global mindsets about Africa by showcasing the Continent’s contributions to the global food ecosystem through the pioneering work of her dynamic people, their innovations, and products.

Ndidi serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), AGRA, Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Heineken), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Netherlands, and the African Philanthropy Forum. She previously served on the Boards of Nestle Nigeria Plc., Fairfax Africa, the World Vegetable Center and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.

Ndidi was recognized as a Young Global Leader and a Schwab Social Innovator by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor from the Nigerian Government. She was listed as one of the 20 Power African Women by Forbes, on the 2019 100 Most Influential Africans List by New African Magazine and received the 2021 HBS Alumni Achievement Awards. She is a TED Global speaker.

Ndidi is the author of “Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact,” and “Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses,” both published by Routledge. She is also the author of “Working for God in the Marketplace.”

Nididi holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honours from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Eisenhower Fellow and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. She is currently the McConnell Visiting Scholar at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.

Bruce Mau is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Massive Change Network (MCN), a global design consultancy in the Chicago Area. Bruce is a renowned designer, innovator, educator, author and artist. His love of thorny problems led him to create a holistic, systems-based methodology for life-centered design that serves as the foundation for the MCN process and practice. Across nearly 40 years of design innovation, he’s collaborated with global brands and companies, leading organizations, heads of state, renowned artists and fellow optimists.

Along with MCN co-founder, Aiyemobisi “Bisi” Williams, Bruce created Massive Action, a global multidisciplinary immersive learning initiative to collectively design a better future. Bruce has a passionate interest in the art of books and has designed more than 250 of them. He became an international figure with the 1995 publication of his landmark “S,M,L,XL,” designed and co-authored with award-winning architect Rem Koolhaas. An author himself, Bruce’s most recent books are “MAU MC24: Bruce Mau’s 24 Principles for Designing Massive Change in Your Life and Work” and “THE NEXUS: Augmented Thinking for a Complex World — The New Convergence of Art, Technology, and Science,” co-authored with Julio M. Ottino. Bruce’s work and life story are the subject of the 2022 feature-length documentary, “MAU,” which premiered at SXSW in 2021. Currently available on TVOD in North America, the film has brought design into the cultural spotlight.

Dr. Adil Najam is Founding Dean Emeritus and Professor of International Relations, Earth and Environment at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies in Boston, USA. Earlier he served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan. He has taught at MIT, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and at the School for International Training and holds a PhD and two Masters from MIT, a Specialization in Negotiation from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan.

Professor Najam was a co-author for the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); work for which the scientific panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the public understanding of climate change science. In 2008 he was invited by the United Nations Secretary-General to serve on the UN Committee on Development (CDP). He was a member of the President of Pakistan’s Special Task Force on Human Development (2001) and served on Pakistan’s Presidential Commission on Higher Education (2002). In 2010 he was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), one of Pakistan’s highest civil awards by the President of Pakistan. In 2019 he was appointed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs.

Author and editor of nine books and more than 100 scholarly papers on global environmental policy, sustainable development, human development and technology policy, Dr. Najam was the lead author of UNDP’s Human Development Report on Youth in Pakistan and of multiple international reports. He has been a past winner of MIT’s Goodwin Medal for Effective Teaching, the Fletcher School Paddock Teaching Award, the Stein Rokan Award of the International Political Science Association, the ARNOVA Emerging Scholar Award, and the Pakistan Television Medal for Outstanding Achievement. He has served as a Trustee on the international board of WWF, was elected a Trustee of The Asia Foundation, the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Switzerland-based Luc Hoffmann Institute, a Council Member of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria; and was the Board Chair of the South Asia Network of Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE).

Dr. Alika Lafontaine (MD, FRCPC) is an award-winning physician, social innovator, and the first Indigenous doctor listed in Medical Post’s 50 Most Powerful Doctors. He was born and raised in Southern Saskatchewan with a mixed Indigenous ancestry of Metis, Anishinaabe, Cree and Pacific Islander.

Alika has served in provincial and national medical leadership positions for almost two decades. In August 2022 he will become the first Indigenous physician to serve as President of the Canadian Medical Association, the national voice of Canada’s physicians. Dr. Lafontaine is a respected authority on health systems, change management, social innovation, anti-racism, and reflective practice.

From 2013 to 2017 Dr. Lafontaine co-led the Indigenous Health Alliance project, one of the most ambitious health transformation initiatives in Canadian history. Led politically by Indigenous leadership representing more than 150 First Nations across three provinces, the alliance successfully advocated for $68 million of federal funding for Indigenous health transformation in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. He was recognized for his work in the alliance by the Public Policy Forum, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented the award.

In 2020, Dr. Lafontaine co-founded Safespace Networks with his brother Kamea, an Indigenous dentist and software developer. Safespace Networks is a Web 3.0 learning platform for safe and anonymous reporting of healthcare harm and waste. Patients and providers use the platform to share their lived and observed experiences, providing insights into healthcare systems without risk of retaliation. These insights can be used by patients to better navigate health systems, or by decision-makers, advocates, and funders to make better informed decisions.

Dr. Lafontaine continues to practise anesthesia in Northern Alberta.

Bea Bruske was elected as President of the Canadian Labour Congress at the CLC’s 29th Constitutional Convention in June 2021.
Over the past three decades, Bea Bruske has served workers and families as an activist, workers’ advocate, negotiator, community organizer and union labour leader.

Bea’s passion for the rights of working people was ignited in 1987, when she and her UFCW Local 832 co-workers held the line strong for 125 days to achieve a fair contract at the Westfair grocery chain in Manitoba. Over the next seven years, Bea took on roles as a shop steward, health and safety committee member, and was elected by her fellow members as a vice-president of the Local’s executive board.

In 1994, Bea was hired as a full-time union representative, and later, full-time negotiator. Over two decades, she serviced and bargained for tens of thousands of Local 832 members in the health care, food production, retail, non-profit and security sectors.

In 2011, Bea Bruske was elected UFCW Local 832 Secretary-Treasurer. In her role as Secretary-Treasurer, Bea was responsible for administering the largest private-sector local union in Manitoba, with 20,000 members. She also continued as a negotiator — bargaining contracts with some of Canada’s largest cross-country employers.

Nationally, Bea Bruske was a Vice-President of the UFCW Canada National Council, which sets the strategic direction for the national union and its more than 250,000 members across the country.

In addition, Bea served on the UFCW Canada National Council Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Committee; as a trustee on a number of health and welfare trust funds; served as trustee on the Manitoba Council of Health Care Union HEPP (Health Employee Pension Plan); three terms on the Manitoba Federation of Labour executive board, as well as an employee representative to the Manitoba Labour Board from 2007 to 2018. Bea was also a member of the executive board of the Manitoba NDP and is a graduate of the University of Manitoba in Labour Studies.

Bob Rae is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York. Prior to his appointment he served as Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar (2017) and Canada’s Special Envoy on Humanitarian and Refugee Issues (2020).

Mr. Rae served as Premier of Ontario from 1990–1995 and interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011–2013.   From 1996 to 2008, he was a partner at Goodmans LLP and wrote government reports on the Air India bombing and higher education in Ontario. He also served as Chair of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Institute for Research in Public Policy and the Forum of Federations. Mr. Rae taught law and public policy at the University of Toronto and in the VicOne programme at Victoria College, and was a partner and senior counsel to the law firm OKT LLP from 2014 to 2020, specializing in indigenous law and constitutional issues. Bob Rae is a Privy Councillor, a Companion of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of Ontario.

Laura Kilcrease is CEO of Alberta Innovates.  Born in London, England, and recruited from Austin, Texas, Laura served as a member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee for seven years prior to joining Alberta Innovates.

She is widely recognized as a key figure in changing Austin’s economy from oil dependency to high-tech prosperity to become the #1 city for entrepreneurs to live and work in the U.S..

She has more than 25 years of experience in commercializing technology, including:

  • founding the venture capital fund Triton Ventures, LP;
  • founding the Austin Technology Incubator, among the earliest in the United States;
  • co-founding the Austin Technology Council, a premier economic networking organization; and
  • launching the Capital Network, one of the largest angel investor networks in the U.S. with over $150M in completed transactions.

Since her appointment as CEO in 2017, she has steered Alberta Innovates restructuring, spearheaded assessment of programs with an eye to the future, and launched Inventures, the flagship gathering of innovators, investors, industry leaders and global researchers, which PwC estimated catalysed some $200M in potential deal flow in 2019.

A dedicated community builder, Laura served on various for-profit and non-profit boards, including the Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, the IC² Institute at The University of Texas, and is currently on the board of the University Federal Credit Union, one of the top 100 credit unions in the U.S..

She has been often recognized for outstanding achievements, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Trailblazer Award.  Laura is a Chartered Management Accountant and has an MBA from the University of Texas.

Dr Arjoon Suddhoo is Commonwealth Deputy-Secretary-General with a broad remit working within the Commonwealth Secretariat at its Marlborough House headquarters in London.

Dr Suddhoo is a national of Mauritius, and has had a distinguished career as a scientist, in academia, and in commerce. He was most recently Executive Director of the Mauritius Research Council, a role he combined with being chair of the board of Air Mauritius and chair of the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA).

Earlier in his career, Dr Suddhoo was Head of Research and Planning at the Mauritius Tertiary Education Commission, and prior to that worked in research and development as a scientist for Rolls Royce Aerospace.

Dr. Ako Ufodike is Deputy Minister of Alberta Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He immigrated to Canada from Nigeria and began his career as assistant professor at York University where he taught auditing at the undergraduate level, data analysis for performance audits and public sector finance at the graduate level. His research focused on accountability, public private partnerships (P3’s), labour market integration, and equity, diversity and inclusion in business professions.

He is a licensed public practitioner by CPA Alberta. He has almost 30 years of professional experience spanning telecoms, banking, utilities, education, oil and gas and consumer packaged goods with organizations including Bell Canada and Molson Coors. Prior to academia, he was CFO/COO of one of the largest wireless internet service providers in Canada.

A graduate of Haskayne’s PHD and Cornell’s MBA programs, Dr. Ufodike is a Canadian FCPA, a US CPA, a UK FCCA and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He is also a Certified Director (ICD.D) of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr. Ufodike is active in the community and previously served as Chair of the John Ware Institute a non-profit he founded that aspires to make public company boards more diverse. He also served as a member of the Provincial Audit Committee for the province of Alberta and on the Senate of the University of Calgary.

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