SPEAKERS

Join visionaries and leaders from the world’s most disruptive brands

We believe that to inspire future trends in travel, we need to look beyond what’s happening right now and think about what’s going to happen next. That’s why we invite creative thinkers from around the globe and across industries to share their insights, challenging you to think differently and open your eyes to new perspectives.

2019 LINE-UP

Get acquainted with the trailblazers set to share their ideas this year, and sign up to our newsletter for all the latest Ministry updates.

Adam Larter

Strategic Account Director, Studio Black Tomato

Adam Larter

Strategic Account Director, Studio Black Tomato

Adam is the Strategic Account Director at Studio Black Tomato. He comes from a traditional advertising agency background having started his career at Ogilvy.

Since then he has been working at smaller agencies focusing on collaborative brand consultancy work largely in the engaging high-net-worth individuals for luxury/lifestyle brands in the travel and hospitality sector.

In Adam’s spare time he is an award-winning comedian and he draws upon this experience to lead brand consultancy workshops with energy and enthusiasm.

Speaking on:

Jon Cockley

Co-Founder, Handsome Frank

Jon Cockley

Co-Founder, Handsome Frank

Jon Cockley co-founded the UK based illustration agency Handsome Frank in 2010. The agency represents some of the world's leading illustrators and image makers including Jean Jullien, Malika Favre and Tom Haugomat. Working across advertising, design and publishing, their client list includes Google, Amazon, Budweiser and Nike. Prior to founding the agency Jon spent a decade working in publishing for London based titles Creative Review and Design Week.

Speaking on:

The map and the territory: navigating the Internet’s aesthetics in the real world

Talk

Francesa Gavin

Curator, Consultant, Editor

Francesa Gavin

Curator, Consultant, Editor

Francesca Gavin was the founding curator of the Soho House group. She put together bespoke a collection of over 3000 works over seven years for the luxury hotel and club group. The works which hang in London, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Berlin and Istanbul are now worth over $6 million. She was the co-curator of the Historical Exhibition of the Manifesta11 biennial in Zurich and has curated exhibitions internationally. She is the Art Editor of Twin, editor at large at Kaleidoscope and contributing editor at Good Trouble, Beauty Papers and Semaine.com. Gavin has written six books and has contributed to publications including The Financial Times, Dazed, Mousse, AnOther and Newsweek. She has a monthly radio show Rough Version on NTS Radio on art and music.

Speaking on:

Why hotels are poised to redefine the art world

Talk

Allie Hoffman

Founder, Equality Equation

Allie Hoffman

Founder, Equality Equation

For the past 14 years, Allie has been intersecting art, activism and media to create seismic social and cultural change. To date, media that Allie has produced or directed has been viewed more than 150 million times. She's been directly involved in changing laws in 27 different states, and she's produced events that have been attended by over 5000 people. In her role as founder of the Equality Equation, Allie currently manages relationships with clients like Alicia Keys, Charlize Theron, Van Jones, and Caitlyn Jenner, and delivers their impact-infused messages to over 2M people a day. Her work is regularly featured in Upworthy, NowThis, Teen Vogue and the Guardian, to name a few.

Speaking on:

Intersectional power building: Using art, culture and digital media to redefine social identities

Monday 17th June

Talk

Aja Monet

Poet, Performer, and Educator

Aja Monet

Poet, Performer, and Educator

Aja Monet is a Caribbean American poet, performer, and educator. Her poems are wise, lyrical, and courageous. Aja Monet was awarded the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title and has been internationally recognized for combining her spellbound voice and vivid poetic imagery on stage. In 2018, Aja Monet’s first full collection of poetry, My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. She read the title poem of her collection at the National Women’s March on Washington DC in 2017 to commemorate women of the Diaspora. Aja has independently published several chapbooks including Inner-City Chants & Cyborg Cyphers (2014) and The Black Unicorn Sings (2010). In 2012, she collaborated with poet/musician Saul Williams on the book Chorus: A literary Mixtape, an anthem of a new generation of poets. Aja Monet currently lives in Little Haiti, Miami where she is co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio, a community collective dedicated to music, art, culture, and community organizing. Inspired by poet June Jordan’s revolutionary blueprint, Aja facilitates “Voices: Poetry for the People,” a poetry workshop for grassroots community organizers and leaders. The workshop created the first annual Maroon Poetry Festival in Liberty City, Miami to honor elder cultural workers for their commitment to radical truth-telling. She was a featured speaker at TEDWomen 2018 for her meaningful work in South Florida with Smoke Signals Studio.

Speaking on:

The Poetic Sojourn: Travel as a metaphor for connection, community, and collaboration

Monday 17th June

Talk

Joel Beckerman

Founder and Composer, Man Made Music

Joel Beckerman

Founder and Composer, Man Made Music

Joel Beckerman is a known thought-leader in the world of sound, business and human experiences. He is founder and composer at Man Made Music, a global sonic studio that creates iconic and enduring music and sound for clients including AT&T, Deloitte, Citi, IMAX and Nissan. His philosophy is based on the application of Sonic Humanism, the power of sound to make life richer and simpler, solving for human and business challenges. Beckerman is the author of The Sonic Boom, a Fast Company Most Creative and featured on stages such as Cannes Lions, SXSW, WSJ D: Live, London Design Week, C2 Montreal and Future of Storytelling.

Speaking on:

Monday 17th June

Adam Wallace

Founder and CEO, Spherical

Adam Wallace

Founder and CEO, Spherical

Spherical is a digital marketing agency for luxury and lifestyle brands in hospitality and travel. Based in SoHo, Manhattan with a growing presence in Bangkok and Barcelona, the team tells compelling stories through a creative, insights-driven approach to all things digital. Spherical works with high-calibre brands including Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, EDITION Hotels, Highgate, and many of the top lifestyle hotel brands.

Prior to Spherical, Adam was known for his work at the Roger Smith Hotel where he helped establish the hotel's reputation as a pioneer in social media marketing in the hospitality industry.

Wallace has been featured as a speaker at dozens of conferences across North America and Europe and is widely recognized as an innovator in online marketing in travel and tourism.

Speaking on:

Monday 17th June

Maïa Morgensztern

Founder and Editor, CULTURE ALT

Maïa Morgensztern

Founder and Editor, CULTURE ALT

Maïa Morgensztern is a freelance culture journalist and broadcaster. She has written extensively for GQ, Madame Figaro, Modern Weekly and Numéro, among others.

She is the Founder and Editor of CULTURE ALT, a digital magazine and series of podcast interviews celebrating icons in the art, design, gastronomy, lifestyle and film industries. Past guests include artists Jeff Koons and Marina Abramović, designers Sir Terence Conran and Jean Paul Gaultier, architect Sir David Adjaye, Palme d'Or Winner Jacques Audiard as well as World's Best Chef Massimo Bottura.

CULTURE ALT also curates tailor-made, money-can’t-buy cultural experiences for corporate and private clients. Partners include Christie’s, Sotheby’s, The Dorchester, Le Meurice, Fiac!, Frieze, TATE and UBS private bank.

As a board member of several art and science charities, she helped raise millions for educational and research programmes.

Prior to setting up CULTURE ALT, Maïa was the Art and Auction Manager for Robert Wilson's Watermill Foundation in New York. She also served as the Culture editor of London-based radio station FRL for 6 years. She holds a Masters II in Art History from the Sorbonne, Paris.

Maïa can be found on Instagram @maiamorgen

Speaking on:

Why hotels are poised to redefine the art world

Talk

Rob Holzer

Founder and CEO, Matter Unlimited

Rob Holzer

Founder and CEO, Matter Unlimited

Rob is a 20-year veteran leader in the advertising and digital agency world. In 2011 he founded Matter Unlimited, a pioneering creative and strategic agency, to drive positive lasting change in the world by leveraging the power of advertising, digital marketing and creative storytelling. Under Rob’s leadership, Matter Unlimited has created powerful award-winning work for client partners including Facebook, Abbott, Merck For Mothers, UNICEF, The Obama Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, ABC/Disney, Kimpton Hotels and TED.

Prior to founding Matter Unlimited, Rob was Founder and CEO of Syrup, which he created in 1998. In 2007, he successfully navigated Syrup through their acquisition by LBi (now Digitas/LBi, part of Publicis). Among other efforts, Rob is a global mentor for Endeavor.org and founding member of The Civic Nation Creative Alliance, a group created by The White House under President Obama to connect key social initiatives to the country’s top creative talent.

Speaking on:

The opportunity for innovation in the new purpose-led economy

Talk

Matt Delaney

National Manager, Innovation, Equinox

Matt Delaney

National Manager, Innovation, Equinox

Matt Delaney currently serves as the National Manager of Innovation for Equinox, a global lifestyle brand and leader in High Performance Living. Prior to taking this role he spent the last decade as a Health Coach, Manual therapist and International Educator, helping people from all walks of life improve their health and maximize the potential within themselves.

Speaking on:

Master your night to own your day

Monday 17th June

Talk

Harsha Chanrai

Founder and CEO, Saira Hospitality

Harsha Chanrai

Founder and CEO, Saira Hospitality

From a young age, Harsha Chanrai was strongly influenced by her father’s philanthropic work in primary health care, eye-care, and safe water projects in Nigeria and India, in addition to his work with Mother Teresa. Seeking a way to merge her passion for hospitality with her deeply rooted dedication to philanthropy, Harsha enrolled in the MMH graduate program at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where she began developing the concept for Saira Hospitality.

Saira partners with luxury and lifestyle hotels, creating bespoke pop-up schools to educate and empower local communities for employment in hospitality. Saira creates meaningful partnerships between luxury hotels and the communities they inhabit and offers hotel partners community diplomacy, higher retention and local talent.

Today Saira has graduated 175 Saira students with 100% ROI to participating hotel partners, including Virgin Limited Edition, Rosewood Hotels, Autograph Collection, Bunkhouse Hotels and Costa Palmas Beach Club (managed by Four Seasons Hotels). Saira’s pop-ups have taken Harsha to Los Angeles, Mexico and the British Virgin Islands over the last three years. From her upbringing in London to her career with Six Senses, Fullerton Hotel and Aman Resort across Asia, Harsha brings a global eye for education and hospitality to her work around the world.

Speaking on:

Embracing the new consumer definition of ‘local’

Monday 17th June

Talk

Nick Ford-Young

Head of Studio, Studio Black Tomato

Nick Ford-Young

Head of Studio, Studio Black Tomato

Nick Ford-Young is Head of Studio Black Tomato, the brand strategy and content creation agency borne out of the Black Tomato luxury travel group.

Nick has extensive brand consultancy and creative content experience working with prestigious luxury and lifestyle brands such as Cadillac, One & Only, Clinique, Diageo, American Airlines and Barclays Wealth.

Having also previously run his own enterprise business Nick’s experience on both sides of the fence puts him in a great position to understand brands’ short and long term strategic needs.

Speaking on:

Hannah Bronfman

Director of Sustainability & Impact, SH Hotels & Resorts

Hannah Bronfman

Director of Sustainability & Impact, SH Hotels & Resorts

Hannah Bronfman is the Director of Impact and Sustainability for SH Group. Hannah has over 10 years of experience as a sustainability and green building expert, including a background in program implementation and communications with a special focus on corporate real estate and hospitality. She has worked with organizations to incorporate sustainability across their business practices, from corporate-level initiatives and policies to building-portfolio management.

In her role, Hannah works with our property and corporate teams to enhance our sustainability strategy, implement new programs, and ensure that our sustainable business and building strategies bolster the 1 Hotels brand.

Hannah joined SH Group from WSP USA (formerly YR&G) where she was the Director of the Corporate Sustainability Team. Key clients included Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Tishman Speyer, The Dust Organization, and the US Green Building Council. Prior to WSP, Hannah held technical positions within MEP engineering firms, working specifically on green building design and operations of buildings. Hannah is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University teaching courses on sustainable construction management.

Hannah holds a bachelor’s degree in General Science and Geography from the University of Oregon. Additionally, she studied visual communications at the Pacific Northwest College of Arts.

Speaking on:

Using sustainability and creativity to build a better business

Monday 17th June

Panel

Tom Marchant

Co-Founder, Black Tomato

Tom Marchant

Co-Founder, Black Tomato

Tom Marchant is an entrepreneur known for launching some of the fastest growing, award-winning brands in the luxury travel and lifestyle sector. He is owner and co-founder of The Black Tomato Group, parent company of the travel brands Black Tomato and Epic Tomato, along with incentive agency The Black Tomato Agency and Studio Black Tomato, the award-winning content and strategy agency. As co-founder, Tom leads the group’s business development, marketing and creative strategies.

Black Tomato has grown to be recognized as the leading authority in the world on luxury travel and caters to a global list of discerning clients. Unearthing clients’ passions and making these a reality is paramount to Black Tomato’s core and have inspired Tom, his partners and their team to create ground-breaking products such as 'Blink', pop-up luxury accommodations in remote areas, lauded in Bloomberg as “the coolest thing to hit the travel world.”

Tom regularly writes and speaks on trends and the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries at conferences and on broadcast segments around the world and has been named young entrepreneur of the year by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame. Tom and Black Tomato have been identified in the media by publications such as Vogue, The NY Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Forbes and the FT as leaders in shaping the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Tom is a former member of Travel and Leisure's Advisory board and sits as a member of AFAR media's advisory board. In 2018 Conde Nast Traveller named him as one of the 50 people in the world changing the way you travel.

Tom is a columnist for Harper’s Bazaar and Inc Magazine and in 2018 was selected to join the American Express Platinum Collective, an exclusive advisory board comprised of industry leaders tasked to inspire and inform the continued development of access and experiences for card members, providing a fresh perspective and creative guidance to the storied brand.

Speaking on:

From transformation to self-actualisation: exploring a new notion of luxury

Panel

Stacy Shoemaker

Vice President, Hospitality Design

Stacy Shoemaker

Vice President, Hospitality Design

Stacy Shoemaker Rauen is a well-respected and talented editor and writer, and is the editor in chief of Hospitality Design (HD) magazine, the leading publication for the industry, as well as vice president of the Hospitality Design (HD) Group, driving the strategic direction and programming for the overall brand. Owned and operated by Emerald Expositions, the HD Group includes Hospitality Design magazine, HD Expo, HD Summit, HD NextGen Forum, HD Awards, HD Platinum Circle Awards Gala, HD CitySCENE, HD SiteSeeing, and the soon-to-launch HD Elevate. Shoemaker Rauen also oversees Contract and the magazine’s multiple events.

Rauen—who has been with the magazine for 16 years—is a noted speaker at industry events, and as an avid tracker of trends, places, projects, and people, she puts together panels at HD's conferences, and has been quoted in various respected media outlets including CNBC and the Washington Post. She holds two degrees from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, including a master's in magazine journalism.

Speaking on:

Embracing the new consumer definition of ‘local’

Panel

Ben Pundole

VP of Brand Experience, EDITION Hotels

Ben Pundole

VP of Brand Experience, EDITION Hotels

Present VP of Brand Experience for EDITION hotels and founding editor of the insider travel site AHotelLife.com, Ben Pundole is redefining modern luxury as a practice rather than a package. Pundole’s dynamic career as a hotelier, editor and tastemaker began at London’s infamous Groucho club, where at age 19 he dedicated himself to learning through elegant observation, to become an authority in the hospitality world. After graduating to the Met bar where he continued to impress influencers in fashion, music and film, Pundole began an 11-year stretch working closely with Ian Schrager and Morgans Hotel Group as Vice President of Entertainment.

Now, Pundole is back in Schrager’s orbit with EDITION hotels. But in addition to curating memorable celebrations that launch hotels into the jet set’s creative consciousness, Pundole is focused on his passion project, AHotelLife.com, in which a select group of writers share personal hotel tips and traveler reflections that are that buzz with style and abandon. The site understands that, for the audience interested in undone beauty and life-logging memories, a house boat in the Rockaways can be as much a destination as a palace on a lake in Switzerland; thoughtful touches and heightened storytelling are the new scale for luxury, not cost. And yet, before launching the site, Pundole had no experience as a journalist.

A self-described 40-year-old Millennial, Pundole’s vision is experiential. He meditates. He Instagrams. He works to “face stagnation head on,” by taking inspiring adventure missions, like a solo jaunt to burning man and treks out to Bushwick to attend Cityfox raves, and allowing experience to shape his fluid taste.

Speaking on:

Using sustainability and creativity to build a better business

Panel

David Bowd

Co-Founder, Salt Hotels

David Bowd

Co-Founder, Salt Hotels

Starting as a Bellman, David has worked up the ranks for Hilton & Marriott before taking his first General Management position in 2001 for Thistle Hotels. David then joined Ian Schrager as GM for St Martins Lane Hotel and soon after to Regional Vice President overseeing both London Hotels and the planned European expansion. After 6 very successful years, David moved stateside to become Senior Vice President of Operations for Morgans Hotel Group overseeing the operations for 11 properties located in London, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and New York. In 2009 David re-joined Ian Schrager as Managing Director where he assisted in the creation and opening of the new PUBLIC brand. David joined Andre Balazs in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer for both the Luxury Collection and the Standard Brand, in this role David oversaw the opening of the much acclaimed Chiltern Firehouse in London.

In 2013 David founded Salt Hotels with partner Kevin O’Shea which owns and operates 4 hotels in NY, NJ & Cape Cod with 3 under development in New York, London, and Asbury Park NJ.

David is a founder and principal of DDK the Management company in partnership with Williams Sonoma to create west elm Hotels launching in 2019.

Speaking on:

Embracing the new consumer definition of ‘local’

Panel

Markus Schreyer

VP Brand, Design Hotels

Markus Schreyer

VP Brand, Design Hotels

Markus Schreyer is part of the senior leadership team at Design Hotels, a handpicked collection of over 300 design-driven luxury hotels across the globe.

As Vice President, The Americas, he is responsible for developing the collection’s hotel portfolio, the business support of all member hotels, media and other potential partners, as well as expanding and building brand awareness and reach in North and South America.

Speaking on:

Artechulating the future of hospitality: Solving for community through technology

Panel

Nate Storey

Travel Editor, Surface

Nate Storey

Travel Editor, Surface

As the travel editor at Surface, Nate Storey oversees travel content operations across Surface Media's many platforms, and manages partnerships and brand extensions within the travel space including the Surface Travel Awards, an annual program that celebrates the best of travel and design, and the online travel agency Surface Hotels. His previous stops include Travel + Leisure and Men's Journal, and he's contributed to publications such as The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveller.

Speaking on:

Monday 17th June

Alain Sylvain

Founder / CEO, Sylvain Labs

Alain Sylvain

Founder / CEO, Sylvain Labs

Alain is the founder and CEO of Sylvain Labs, a strategy and design consultancy that helps companies seize the reality and potential of their business, products and brands. Clients include Google, American Express, Airbnb, Spotify, Blackrock, Samsung, Pepsico, AB InBev, Jet, IKEA, GM, Sonos, the NBA, and others. Founded in 2010, the company is headquartered in NYC, with offices in Amsterdam and Richmond, VA, and is a Certified B-Corporation.

In addition to Sylvain Labs, Alain is a partner and investor in several ventures, including Master + Dynamic, a design-driven, premium audio brand, So Choice Softworks, a mobile gaming company, Lilo, an açai bowl company, and PetMio, a smart pet food startup. In addition, he has served as executive producer on short documentaries, including Some Kind of Quest, a profile of one very unique individual and his journey to keep a dream on track, and Instafame, an exploration into the psychological impact of digital fame on young people.

Prior to founding Sylvain Labs, Alain was managing director at Redscout and a lead strategist at Mother New York. He also held positions at The Martin Agency, Publicis and SS+K. He frequently shares his perspective on innovation, culture, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, The New York Times, Monocle, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Quartz, AdAge, Paper Magazine and others. He is also a current board member of Plus Pool and the VCU Brandcenter. Additionally, Alain is an active contributor to various non-profit initiatives around the world.

Alain attended Columbia University’s SIPA and Columbia Business School, as well as Vassar College.

Speaking on:

From transformation to self-actualisation: exploring a new notion of luxury

Monday 17th June

Talk

Righteous tourism in action

Work

Ana Andjelic

Forbes CMO Next, Brand Growth Leader, Doctor of Sociology

Ana Andjelic

Forbes CMO Next, Brand Growth Leader, Doctor of Sociology

Ana Andjelic is a strategist, writer and doctor of sociology. She is obsessed with how technology changes the relationship between people and brands. Ana’s job is to help luxury, fashion and lifestyle companies transform into modern businesses. Her approach is best described as design thinking meets modern marketing meets technology, and she uses it in everything from advising MIT Media Lab students on how to launch their ideas into the real world to figuring out top luxury brands’ strategy to observing the counterfeit scene on Canal Street. Ana works with global brands across the US, Europe and Asia and often speaks at the international conferences. Her achievements include Luxury Women to Watch 2016, The Guardian’s Top Ten​ Digital Strategists to Watch, as well as critical business and brand impact for clients.

Speaking on:

Why hospitality is the retail industry’s next frontier

Panel

PAST SPEAKERS

Seth Godin

Author, Entrepreneur

Jillian Mercado

Model, Represented by IMG

Amy Farley

Senior Editor, Fast Company

Tom London

Tech Magician & Hacker, Tom London

Sarah Owen

Senior Editor, Digital Media & Marketing, WGSN

Dror Benshetrit

Founder / Principal, Studio Dror, Inc.

Tarana Burke

Founder, Me Too movement

Bette Ann Schlossberg

Director of Influencer Marketing, Lyft

Jeff Carvalho

Managing Director, North America, Highsnobiety

Dan Clay

Partner, Innovation, Lippincott

Michael Papadeas

Global Partnerships, Frieze

Marcela Sapone

CEO, Hello Alfred