Lauren Gardner, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, is the creator of the interactive web-based dashboard being used by public health authorities, researchers, and the general public around the globe to track the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The dashboard, which debuted on January 22, became the authoritative source of global COVID-19 epidemiological data for public health policymakers and many major news outlets worldwide. Gardner is co-director of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering and affiliated faculty in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining JHU in 2019, Gardner was a senior lecturer in civil engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, in Australia.

Her research expertise is in integrated transport and epidemiological modeling. Gardner has previously led related interdisciplinary research projects which utilize network optimization and mathematical modeling to progress the state of the art in global epidemiological risk assessment. Beyond mobility, her work focuses more holistically on virus diffusion as a function of climate, land use, mobility, and other contributing risk factors.


Josef Penninger, MD was formerly a lead researcher at the Amgen Research Institute in Toronto. Since 2002 Josef Penninger was the founding and scientific director of the newly established Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria. In 2018 he accepted the appointment as Director of the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.

As a trained immunologist, Dr. Penninger’s research has had a huge impact in many disease areas, and in some cases opened entirely new fields of research. With particular relevance to the current pandemic, Dr. Penninger, has played a singular role at essentially all stages of Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) research, from its discovery to a rapid fundamental understanding of COVID-19 pathology and, translation of an ACE2 based drug to a highly promising, rational treatment for COVID-19.

Josef Penninger’s major awards include the Descartes Prize, the Wittgenstein Prize of the Austrian Federal Government, the Ernst Jung Prize for medical excellence, an AAAS Award, the Innovator Award from Era of Hope/U.S. Department of Defense and a second ERC Advanced grant.


Renate Nyborg joined Headspace in 2019 as General Manager for Europe, leading the company’s growth outside the US. She has 15 years of experience building mobile apps and growing subscription businesses with some of the biggest brands in tech and media, notably Apple & Edelman. Renate is of Norwegian and Dutch origin and has worked in London, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, and most recently Paris. She is a Philosophy graduate of Cambridge University.


Josef Aschbacher is the ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESRIN, ESA’s centre for Earth Observation, located in Frascati (near Rome), Italy.

Born in Austria, he studied at the University of Innsbruck, graduating with a Master’s and a Doctoral Degree in Natural Sciences. He became a Research Scientist at the university’s Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, 1985–89.

Josef Aschbacher began his career in ESA in 1990 as a Young Graduate at ESRIN. From 1991 to 1993 he was seconded as ESA Representative to Southeast Asia to the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. From 1994 to 2001 he worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, where he was, in his last post, the Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Space Applications Institute. He returned to ESA Headquarters, in Paris, in 2001 as Programme Coordinator, where he was primarily responsible for advancing Copernicus activities within ESA. In 2006, he became Head of the Copernicus Space Office, where he led all activities for Copernicus within the Agency and with external partners, in particular the European Commission. In 2014, he was promoted to Head of Programme Planning and Coordination at ESRIN, where he was responsible for planning ESA’s Earth Observation programs and for formulating and implementing programmatic and strategic decisions across the Directorate. He took up duty as Director of Earth Observation Programmes on 1 July 2016.


Emerald is a world-renowned Privacy and Data ethics expert, award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and lecturer.


She currently leads the EMEA privacy team at Logitech after her success as the CEO and founder of Eurocomply. Forbes named her one of 100 female founders to watch. She speaks regularly at events such as TEDx, WomeninTech and Dublin Tech Summit. In addition to her work in privacy, she is a fierce advocate for female entrepreneurship and equality. She is a faculty member at the Law Society of Ireland and serves on the external advisory board of University College Cork School of Law.


Dr. Andreas Bierwirth, born 1971, has been CEO of Magenta Telekom (formerly T-Mobile Austria) since September 1, 2012.

Bierwirth is a member of the Supervisory Board of the sister company Telekom Deutschland and was previously Chairman of the Supervisory Board of T-Mobile Poland from 2015 to 2016. After training as a banker, Andreas Bierwirth studied business administration at the University of Münster and received his doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.) from the Institute of Marketing. As Deputy Managing Director of Eurowings, he developed the repositioning and rebranding of the Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings from 2002, which he headed from 2004. After two years as Vice President Marketing of Deutsche Lufthansa, he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Austrian Airlines in 2008 and Chief Financial Officer from 2009 to 2012. Bierwirth is a trained professional pilot and Non-Executive Board Member of EasyJet, London.


Andreas Kunze is the CEO and Co-Founder of KONUX. He studied Information Systems at TUM and Stanford University. In 2016, Andreas was the youngest CEO to be on the “40 under 40 entrepreneurs"-list by Capital Magazine. In early 2017, he got selected among Forbes' “Top 30 under 30 - Europe” and 2018 selected in the MIT Technology Review list of "Top Innovators under 35 Germany" and became part of the „European Young Leader“ (EYL40) Program as well as a "European Digital Leaders" and the youngest "Global AI Council Member" of the World Economic Forum.

His AI company KONUX transforms railway operations for a sustainable future. KONUX has raised +$50 million with leading Silicon Valley investors such as NEA and Andy Bechtolsheim. The company won the national mobility award "Deutscher Mobilitätspreis", the German digital award "The Spark" in 2016, and the CoX Award for AI in the category "Best Innovation in IoT" in 2018. KONUX was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the world’s 30 most innovative start-ups and scale-ups worldwide.


Prof. Dr. Jochen Maas has been Managing Director Research & Development at Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH since October 2010. He also heads the German R&D Hub, one of three integrated research and development centers worldwide, and is a member of the global management team. In addition to his work in industry, Jochen Maas holds lectures on pharmacokinetics and drug delivery systems as a professor at the Technical University of Central Hesse.

Jochen Maas is a biologist and veterinarian. He began his industrial career in research in the pharmaceutical division of Hoechst AG in Frankfurt as head of the animal pharmacokinetics laboratory. After his function as a group leader and assistant to the executive board, he became head of the Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics department in Frankfurt, followed by similar areas of responsibility for the successor company Aventis in Paris and throughout Europe. At the same time, he was responsible for the entire development department in Germany before finally taking on responsibility for both research and development in Germany as managing director.


Daniel Nill is CEO at Turbine Kreuzberg and accompanies organizations in developing digital strategies – from implementing new sales channels to transforming entire business models. His focus is on the B2B sector, especially in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland. He is also responsible for the Tech Ventures division.


Jochen Borenich is a member of managing board at Kapsch BusinessCom.

As a leading ICT-partner in digitalization, the company operates as a consultant, system supplier and service provider. Kapsch BusinessCom supports companies and institutions in taking their performance to a next level and developing new business models. Kapsch is a partner for keeping abreast of rapidly evolving digital technologies thanks to its expertise in handling large quantities of data and all matters of IT-security, in addition to the valuable experience gained from successful implementation of various use cases across numerous industries.


Carolina Aguilar is co-founder and CEO of INBRAIN Neuroelectronics, a bioelectronics startup using graphene to develop the most intelligent interface in neuroelectronic therapies to treat brain related disorders.

Carolina studied Neurosciences in US and after several business degrees she worked in Medtronic for more than 13 years as Business Director in Deep Brain Stimulation and lately as Global Business Director of the first Medtronic's Value Based Heltthcare (VBHC) provider model, helping winning the VBHC European Prize in 2018 upon which the model was featured in a Harvard Business School Case. Combining materials sience innovation, AI driven-signal processing theory and VBHC principles the company aims to decode brain signals into sustainable medical solutions to treat and empower millions of patients around the world.


Dkfm. Wolfgang Kaps is the General Manager for the Specialty Care Business Unit Rare Diseases, Oncology, Immunology, Multiple Sclerosis. Kaps has many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2003 he joined the Sanofi Group and initially held several positions with growing management responsibility in Germany and Austria. Since March 1 2019 he has taken on the role of Sanofi Austria's General Manager and represents one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Austria with around 150 employees and a broad portfolio of prescription-only products, vaccines, and OTC products for self-medication. Wolfgang Kaps is Vice President of Forum of Pharma Industry (FOPI) / Trade Organisation of R&D Pharma industry and Member of the Board at Pharmig (Association of the Austrian Pharmaceutical Industry).



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