Álvaro Fernández, named as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, is a recognized Brain Health pioneer, keynote speaker and author. For more than 15 years he has led SharpBrains, an independent research firm tracking applied neuroscience and gathering hundreds of scientists, experts, technologists, and practitioners. He has also been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Reuters, and Associated Press, among others.

Álvaro is the Editor-in-chief of seminal market reports on Brain Health and Innovation and co-authored the influential discussion paper Empowering 8 Billion Minds: Enabling Better Mental Health for All via the Ethical Adoption of Technologies published in the National Academy of Medicine. To help engage a variety of audiences he co-authored the acclaimed books The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness and Cómo Invertir en su Cerebro, translated into multiple languages.

Prior to his work at the frontier of applied neuroscience and mental wellness, Álvaro worked at consulting firm McKinsey & Company, helped Bertelsmann launch one of the first online bookstores in Europe. Additionally, he launched a learning platform at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, and participated in the turnaround of corporate e-learning company Docent/ SumTotal Systems.

Furthermore, Álvaro has enjoyed serving in several Global Future Councils by the World Economic Forum, in the Global Teacher Prize Academy run by the Varkey Foundation, and in the Global Advisory Board of SEK Education Group, among others.

Besides that background, he holds an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University and a BA in Economics from Universidad de Deusto.

He is native from Spain, and is an avid skier (alpine and cross-country), tennis player, non-fiction readers, and traveler. Having lived 24 years in the US between the Bay Area, Washington, DC and Boca Raton he and his family recently moved to Madrid, Spain. Born in Bilbao, in the Basque Country, Álvaro is a dual citizen of Spain and the US, and fluent in Spanish and English.

Empowering Minds: Leveraging Brain Science to Unlock Potential in the AI/ Cognitive Era

How can we enhance our core mental capacities to innovate and to thrive in today’s complex and rapidly-changing society and workplace? What can we do to invest in our most precious resource –our human brain– and boost individual and collective resilience? Discover the practical applications of emerging research on brain functioning and neuroplasticity, and learn how everyone can become a lifelong “mental athlete” ready to face professional and personal challenges in the AI/ Cognitive Age.

 Brain Health in 2030: Navigating Neuroplasticity and the Digital Health Market

Brain Health and Mental Health are rapidly-evolving marketplaces, and executives and pioneers should be aware of the far-reaching impact this transformation will have in the near future. Alvaro Fernandez, the CEO of the leading independent market research firm SharpBrains — tracking health and wellness applications of brain science — will discuss the latest market data and forecasts on how digital platforms will revolutionize brain health by 2030. Participants will discover and brainstorm how the growing mainstream demand for “brain fitness” is creating a significant demand and opportunity for web-based, mobile and biometrics-based technology to assess, monitor and enhance cognition and brain functioning.

Álvaro Fernaández, named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, is a Brain Health expert, speaker, and writer. For over 15 years, he’s led SharpBrains, a research group studying how brains work in everyday life, bringing together lots of scientists, experts, and tech folks. He’s been mentioned in big newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Álvaro writes important reports about Brain Health and Innovation and has written papers on helping everyone’s mental health using new technologies. He’s written cool books like The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, translated into many languages.

Before he became deeply involved in brain-related projects, Álvaro was busy helping start online bookstores and launching learning platforms. Additionally, he joined councils and groups that aimed to make the world a better place.

Álvaro Fernández went to Stanford University and got a BA in Economics from a university in Spain.

He loves skiing, tennis, reading non-fiction, and exploring new places. After living in the US for a long time, he and his family moved back to Spain. He’s from Bilbao and speaks Spanish and English fluently.

Lisa Neuberger Fernandez is a sustainability strategist, social innovator, and thought leader. She is Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at SharpBrains Advisors, a boutique consultancy offering strategic advisory and ‘innovation as a service’ in partnership with Axialent to high growth, purpose driven organizations.

Lisa has twenty-five years of experience leading global strategy and innovation teams to deliver value for business and society as Managing Director at Accenture, Head of Sustainability at a cleantech startup, and Senior Advisor to the World Bank.

She advised pioneers at Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and multilaterals on how to apply technology and innovative business models for sustainable and inclusive growth. She launched social businesses, shaped and implemented sustainability strategies, and built purpose-driven collaboration platforms to upskill thousands.

Recognized as an Unusual Pioneer by Yunus Social Business and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, she holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a Master’s from the Fletcher School at Tufts.

She enjoys unlocking human potential teaching at IE University, mentoring youth and social entrepreneurs, and hosting #rebalancetothrive workshops. She recently moved to Madrid with her family and loves to ‘walk and talk’ in beautiful places, sing jazz, and play tennis.

​Erika Reyes Loubet boasts nearly two decades of experience in strategic and organizational consulting, as well as in leadership and cultural transformation. Her focus lies in aligning team efforts towards achieving strategy through structures and initiatives tailored to the organization’s purpose.

With a background in Industrial Engineering from Tec de Monterrey and a Master’s in Education, she has specialized in leadership, coaching, and specific interventions, applying her expertise to developing competencies in teams across various companies.​

From her early days in Quality Management Systems implementation, Erika has honed her skills in strategic execution and alignment with human capital. She has contributed to opening new markets for consulting firms, including her own, leading intervention programs with large and medium-sized corporate clients. Additionally, she founded and developed Groware Consulting, a boutique firm offering comprehensive solutions for sustainable growth of SMEs, focusing on corporate governance frameworks, process optimization, and digital transformation.​

As a lecturer at ITESM and Tec Milenio, Erika enjoys her time in the classroom, teaching subjects like Mathematics with creativity and passion, fostering logical and creative development in problem-solving. She believes in shared learning and direct engagement with people to achieve meaningful changes in organizations.​

Based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Erika resides with her two children, her most cherished life projects. Passionate about outdoor exercise, she finds in road cycling and running a way to build motivation, strength, and resilience, both mentally and physically. Moreover, she finds solace in painting and drawing, where she can explore less linear and structured thoughts.

Luciano is a senior executive expert in corporate strategy, leadership, and people development.

After graduating with honors in nuclear engineering, he followed several management courses at Bocconi, Harvard, Oxford and NYU.

In his long career as a management consultant, he held executive positions in leading multinational companies, being Strategy, Supply Chain Management and CRM Leader at PwC for Spain, Portugal and Italy, then BU Leader for Energy and Life Sciences Industries at Altran Italy and, more recently, Country Manager at CGI Italy.

He served on the Board of Directors for the post-merger integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Spain, and on the management committees of PwC Italy and CGI Spain, Latam and Italy.

With his knowledge and expertise in boardroom consulting, he has led remarkable corporate programs for Fortune 500 companies, focusing on lean organization, cultural change and digital transformation.
Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, he boasts a multicultural experience.

At Axialent, Luciano supports large international accounts in their leadership development programs, applying Conscious Business values and tools, and contributes to Axialent’s growth strategy in Italy and South Europe.

Married with two children, he practices sports, such as marathon running, swimming, and skiing, and has a passion for travel and wine tasting, being a professional certified sommelier.

Borja is a dynamic and experienced leader in the field of innovation, renowned for his expertise in guiding organizations towards groundbreaking creativity and sustainable innovation. With over 20 years of experience, Borja has been instrumental in shaping the innovation landscapes of various leading organizations globally.

As an author, Borja has enriched the field of innovation with his literary contributions, sharing his insights and methodologies. His role as an educator is equally notable, with a 15-year tenure as an awarded professor at IE Business School and Headspring, a joint venture between the Financial Times and IE Business School.

Talks

Interviewing Borja

Borja emphasizes the transformative impact of their innovation center on client relationships. He underscores the broader scope of innovation beyond technological advancements, highlighting the need for diverse perspectives.

ENFOCA-2: Failures and Learning, the Art of Entrepreneurship

This talk addresses innovation from multiple perspectives, integrating concepts from sports, business culture, teamwork, and effective communication. It emphasizes the importance of embracing change, learning from failure, and fostering a culture that promotes creativity and diversity of thought.

Joao Adao is a luminary in the field of digital transformation, renowned for his inspiring keynotes that drive organizations towards the digital future. With 30 years of experience at the helm of multinational companies, João’s expertise spans a vast array of sectors, including technology, consulting, and online services.

At the forefront of digital change, Joao’s most notable role was as the Managing Director for Meta in South America, where he spearheaded revenue growth by fostering a culture of success and assembling a high-performing, diverse team. His work at hibu, as President for Latin America, showcased his ability to turn around the company’s fortunes, transforming the Yellow Pages into a competitive digital entity and reversing declining revenue trends.

Currently, Joao is imparting his vast knowledge as a Senior Associate Partner at Axialent, based in the culturally rich and innovative city of Barcelona, Spain. His academic journey, which includes a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, coupled with specialized studies in Organisational Development and innovation, has given him an unparalleled understanding of the intricate relationship between business operations and technological advancement.

His professional journey is a testament to his versatile leadership and deep understanding of digital ecosystems. João’s positions have taken him across the globe, from Europe to Latin America, instilling a broad perspective on international management and digital strategy execution.

Talks

Joao Adao’s talks are a blend of inspiration and actionable insights, tailored to guide corporate audiences through the nuances of digital transformation. 

Digital Transformation and Culture Talks

Driven by his passion for digital and cultural transformation, Joao Adao has become a renowned keynote speaker. His dynamic and multilingual presentations captivate audiences globally, providing them with valuable insights, practical strategies, and inspiration to embrace and lead digital transformation initiatives.

With fluency in five languages – English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian – Joao’s ability to connect with diverse audiences is unparalleled. His keynote speeches encompass a wide range of topics, including digital strategy, organizational change, innovation culture, and high-performance team development. He combines his practical experiences, industry knowledge, and charismatic speaking style to deliver engaging and impactful presentations that empower organizations to thrive in the digital age.

For over 12 years, Mirea has been a trailblazer in the application of behavioral science within the financial industry. Holding pivotal roles at the Dutch Central Bank and ING Bank, she garnered a reputation for her exceptional expertise, thought leadership, and a remarkable ability to implement behavioral change strategies that yield tangible results.

Professional Journey:

Mirea’s groundbreaking career marked her as a pioneer when she became the first psychologist ever appointed by a central bank, leveraging her unique skill set in supervision. Over 6.5 years, she led numerous culture inspections at the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), contributing to the globally acclaimed Dutch Approach—an innovative post-financial crisis strategy in supervision.

Her influence extended globally as she collaborated with regulators such as the ECB, the US, Australia, and Asia, sharing her insights and contributing to shaping international supervisory practices.

Post DNB, Mirea served as the Global Head of Behavioral Risk Management at ING for five years. In this role, she was instrumental in identifying and assessing behavioral risks, steering the business toward effective risk mitigation. Under her leadership, the capability she built has become an integrated part of ING’s risk function and strategic decision-making processes.

Academic Accomplishments:

Mirea holds a doctorate in Behavioral Sciences and has studied organizational psychology. She is the chief editor and lead author of the influential handbook, “Supervision of Behaviour & Culture.”

Talks

Decoding Behavioral Risk Management 

Overview:
In our recent webinar,  Mirea Raaijmakers, joined forces with Anabel Dumlao, Axialent Partner and Culture expert, to delve into critical questions surrounding risk management in today’s corporate landscape.

Key Discussion Points:

  • Unintentional Culture of Avoidance: Explore whether traditional risk management approaches inadvertently foster a culture of avoidance within organizations, hindering growth and innovation.
  • Navigating Sanctions and Regulatory Scrutiny: Provided insights into how teams can effectively navigate the challenges posed by sanctions and regulatory scrutiny while upholding ethical practices.
  • Streamlining Risk Management Processes: Address the complexities organizations face in their risk management processes, offering practical strategies to simplify procedures and enhance efficiency.

As a keynote speaker, Mirea brings a wealth of knowledge, practical experience, and a unique perspective on the intersection of behavioral science and risk management. Her engaging presentations are sure to inspire and inform audiences, offering valuable insights into driving positive change within organizations.

Borja is a successful entrepreneur and intrapreneur, and is a recognized expert in the field of innovation. Starting as an entrepreneur very early in his career, he then created and grew new successful businesses while working in companies such as DHL, Altran, Capgemini or frog design​.

He has also helped blue-chip companies in creating new products, services, solutions, and businesses, as well as becoming more innovative organizations, implementing all innovation processes and methodologies. He’s been Vice President of Capgemini Invent and frog design, the iconic brand noted for disrupting so many markets.

He was also the founder and leader of the Altran Innovation World Class Center, and ACIE, the official certification agency for innovation in Spain. He is now involved in launching new ventures merging Innovation and social and environmental Impact.

Borja is an awarded innovation professor at IE Business School, and has written seminal books in his field, including the first-ever Innovation dictionary published in any language.

Borja holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT-Sloan, an Executive MBA from IE Business School, an Honors Degree in Business Administration from Humberside University and ESIC, and has pursued studies in Civil Engineering and Political Science at UNED.

In his spare time, you can find him piloting light experimental aircraft around Madrid, Spain, where he resides with his family.

Paloma brings over three decades of experience in the IT sector. Currently, she serves as the President & General Manager for Xerox Spain, a position she’s held for 11 years, and has been the Southern Europe President for the past two. Her leadership has spanned managing multicultural teams in intricate business landscapes.

She previously managed Xerox Large Accounts, Distribution Channels and Outsourcing & Services organizations, acquiring an extensive operational and business transformation experience. She also hold the Human Resources Director position, which gave her a broaden vision of an organization and reinforced her focus on people as the key company asset.

A stellar communicator, Paloma possesses extensive board experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Since March 2015, she’s been a non-executive board member at Spain’s insurance company, Mutua Pelayo. And as of January 2022, she joined the advisory councils of PROA, a communication and reputation management consultancy, and CEG, Spain’s management excellence club.

Her educational milestones include a degree in Information Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, she is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has participated in several leadership and executive development programs at Insead Executive Education (Fontainebleau, Francia), High Performance Center Development (London, UK) and Centre for Creative Leadership (North Carolina, USA).

Based in Madrid, Paloma is a proud mother of three and is married. She is celebrated for her enthusiasm, commitment to diversity, networking prowess, and championing inclusion and equal opportunities. In recognition of her work, she was honored with the “Women Leadership Award” by the Spanish Federation of Women Managers and Entrepreneurs in 2018.