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Keynote Speaker Biographies


Charles Leadbeater

Charlie Leadbeater is an independent and strategic adviser on innovation whose advice is sought by governments, cities and companies across the world.

The New York Times anointed Charlie’s idea, The Pro-Am Revolution, referenced extensively by Chris Anderson in his landmark book The Long Tail, as one of the biggest global ideas of the last decade. His TED talks on innovation have been watched by more than 800,000 people.

The Spectator Magazine described him as "the wizard of the web" after the publication of his bestseller “We Think: mass innovation not mass production” which forecast the rise of more collaborative, open forms of innovation made possible by the web. The YouTube animation based on the book has been watched by more than 200,000 people.

Charlie was a key adviser to Tony Blair’s (previous Prime Minister of the UK) policy team at the Downing Street Policy Unit and the Department of Trade and Industry, specialising in the impact of the Internet and the knowledge driven economy, helping to shape government policy across a number of fronts. He drafted the UK Government’s White Paper – Our Competitive Future: Building the Knowledge Driven Economy which was one of the first policy papers in the world to argue that advanced economies would become increasingly dependent upon innovation for growth.

Governments in Europe, North America, Australia and Latin America have turned to him for advice on policy issues ranging from health and education to culture and cities. Charlie speaks regularly at high profile conferences on every continent, from the Gates Foundation in Seattle to the Qatar Foundation in Doha, for the Economist magazine in London to the government of Mexico, from Cisco, the networking company to the Tate Art Museum.

Charlie is a long standing senior research associate with Demos, the influential London think tank; a co-founder of Participle, the leading public services innovation agency, which is working with public sector agencies to create next generation public services and a visiting fellow at the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, where he has championed ideas of open and user driven innovation. Charlie is co-chairman of the social enterprise Apps 4 Good, one of the first charities to be granted a license to make Facebook apps which has recently caught the attention of the White House.

He has a track record for spotting ideas ahead of time. The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur, published in 1997, for example, was one of the first books to predict social enterprise solutions to public problems would become more compelling. Social entrepreneurship has since become a global movement. Charlie gave a keynote address at the inaugural Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford.

His work ranges widely over innovation in the private, public and social sectors. In Learning from the Extremes, a widely read report published in 2009 by Cisco, he looked at the way social entrepreneurs are using technology to create new low cost approaches to learning in the slums and favelas of the developing world. From a new position working on health innovation with Imperial College London he is looking at the way new, low cost and distributed models of health care are emerging in the developing world.

Charlie is currently researching his next book, The Frugal Innovator, due to be published in 2014, which analyses the spread of super low cost, simple, robust and shared solutions to pressing social challenges. The Frugal Innovator looks at how the global dynamics of innovation are shifting during the downturn with more new products being devised for and with relatively poor consumers of the developing world. In tandem with that he is researching the way that digital technology is reshaping our lives and how it can be made more humane and empathetic.

'We Think' - View the short animated film referred to in Charles’s biography and share your thoughts on what you think. 


Skip Prichard
President and CEO, OCLC

Skip Prichard has led multi-national organisations that serve libraries across the full spectrum of library services and content needs. Skip joined Ingram in 2007 as Chief Operating Officer. He was named President and CEO of Ingram Content Group in January 2008, and served through to June 2012. Ingram Content Group is a $1.5 billion global group of companies with more than 3,000 employees that provide physical and digital books, music and media to over 35,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners around the world. Ingram Content Group includes Ingram Book Group, Lightning Source, VitalSource, Ingram Periodicals, Spring Arbor, Ingram Publisher Services, Ingram Transportation, Ingram Library Services, Tennessee Book Company and Coutts Information Services.

From October 2005 to April 2007, he was President and CEO of ProQuest Information and Learning (PQIL), an organisation with 1,200 employees in the Americas, Europe and Asia. He also held posts at PQIL as General Manager and Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing from April 2003 to October 2005. Prior to that, Skip held a number of executive positions with LexisNexis, where as Vice President he provided business information and risk management solutions to global corporations, libraries and other organisations.


John Tsebe
National Librarian and Chair of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries, South Africa

John K. Tsebe has worked in the Library and Information Services field since 1975. In March 2004 he was appointed National Librarian of South Africa, after previously holding the position of University Librarian at the University of the North, now University of Limpopo, for 19 years.

He was one of the first three graduates in Library and Information Science at the University of the North and he holds a Master's degree in Library Science from Syracuse University, as well as a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

He is currently the Chairperson of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL), and he also serves on the Boards of the South African Library and Information Consortia (SANLIC) and the South African Book Development Council (SABDC).

He has chaired the Forum of University Librarians of South Africa, as well as the Executive Committee of the Standing Conference of African National and University Libraries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS). 


Stephanie Diakité, JC-JD/MBA/PhD
Co-Founder T160K - Timbuktu Libraries in Exile Knowledge for Peace Initiative

With the left side of her brain, Stephanie is a jurist and a poverty eradication institutional development specialist working in more than 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa through her firm, D intl. With the right side, she is a book artist and a book and paper conservation specialist. She has been working for over 20 years in support of the preservation of the ancient manuscripts of Africa, including those from Timbuktu.

T160K is dedicated to the protection, preservation and study of the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. Our long-term vision is the return of the manuscripts to their home in Timbuktu and to apply the vast knowledge they contain to the peace process in Mali and in other places in Africa. T160K was co-founded by Stephanie Diakité and Abdel Kader Haidara, President of SAVAMA DCI and Curator of the Mamma Haidara Library in Timbuktu.

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