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Environment & Sustainability, Innovation, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Education

FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference and Awards Dinner 2019

London |
Speakers include:
Lise  Kingo

Lise Kingo

United Nations Global Compact

Vivienne  Ming

Vivienne Ming

Socos Labs

Alison Martin

Alison Martin

Zurich Insurance Group


The Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will once again gather senior investors, innovators, social entrepreneurs and other thought leaders for a major conference ahead of the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards dinner in London.

fallback Add to my Calendar 06/13/2019 13:00:0006/13/2019 22:00:00falseFT/IFC Transformational Business Conference and Awards Dinner 2019The Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will once again gather senior investors, innovators, social entrepreneurs and other thought leaders for a major conference ahead of the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards dinner in London.FT/IFC-Transformational-Business-Conference-and-Awards-Dinner-20191befb1befe28cecdadbaeb4df1555890MM/DD/YYYY

Full Overview

The Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will once again gather senior investors, innovators, social entrepreneurs and other thought leaders for a major conference ahead of the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards dinner in London.

In line with the theme of the Awards, the sixth edition of the FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference will discuss what the private sector is doing to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the steps that need to be taken to achieve long-term, transformative impact. There will be a particular focus on human capital and the use of technology to boost inclusion, and special sessions on climate change and the geo-political environment.

Chaired by senior FT journalists, this event will be a significant lead-in to the Awards dinner, which will honour those whose capital, technology and ideas are contributing to substantive progress in developing low-carbon urban infrastructure, delivering healthcare and education, assuring food and water security, harnessing technology to assist the disadvantaged, and generally transforming the development landscape.


Agenda - 13th Jun

  • 1:00pm
    Registration and light lunch
  • 2:00pm
    Welcome Remarks by FT and IFC
  • 2:10pm
    Opening Keynote
  • 2:30pm
    Development in an Era of De-Globalisation

    The trade war between the US and China, and the revival in US protectionism that fueled the crisis, not only threaten to put a deep dent in the global economic recovery that began in mid-2016. They represent a new approach to multilateralism and relations between nations, rooted in geopolitics and a global surge in populism, that could have a significant impact on global business and finance. What are the implications of this new trend of de-globalisation for developing economies and progress on the SDGs?

  • 3:10pm
    Dialogue: Cities, Infrastructure and Climate Change

    Despite the latest steps agreed at COP24 in Poland, much remains to be done to slow down the increase in global average temperatures to the levels mandated by the Paris Agreement. The world’s cities will play a big role in these efforts, and there is increasing urgency around the need for private sector finance and ingenuity to help establish the infrastructure that will lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions – whether around green buildings, environmentally clean mobility, or 100 per cent renewable energy dependence. How daunting are these challenges in developing economies, where cities are ballooning in size due to continuing migration from rural to urban areas? Is it feasible and affordable to achieve a zero-carbon economy?

  • 3:40pm
    Networking Break
  • 4:00pm
    Leveraging Technology to Boost Inclusion

    One of the areas arguably neglected in development efforts in recent years is the need to ensure inclusion among groups that are particularly disadvantaged, including people with disabilities or those that are ethnically or culturally discriminated against. How can innovation and technology help provide access to the disadvantaged in developing economies, bridge the digital divide and generally reduce stigma and discrimination? What steps are necessary to increase funding in this area?

  • 4:40pm
    Human Capital: Prioritising Health and Education as Foundations for Development

    Having a skilled and healthy population that has the potential to embrace economic opportunities in a rapidly changing world is crucial for progress in reducing poverty and generally achieving the SDGs. Greater attention is now being placed on human capital as a key bedrock for development, with the World Bank launching a Human Capital Index last year to help prioritise transformational investment in this area. What steps must be taken to significantly improve access to health and the provision of both basic and targeted education in developing economies? What are the barriers to nurturing human capital and how can countries overcome them? What is the most effective way to measure human potential?

  • 5:20pm
    Closing Remarks
  • 5:30pm
    Cocktail Reception
  • 7:00pm
    Awards Dinner

    Dinner Keynote

Speakers (7)

Lise  Kingo

Lise Kingo

CEO and Executive Director
United Nations Global Compact

Lise Kingo is the CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with more than 13,500 signatories from 170 countries that have committed to aligning strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and taking actions that advance societal goals.

Prior to joining the UN Global Compact in 2015, Ms Kingo was Chief of Staff, Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Management team at Novo Nordisk A/S from 2002. She was in charge of several business areas and pioneered the first Novo Nordisk strategy on sustainability, spearheading the integration of sustainability into the heart of the business. Before 2002, Ms Kingo held various positions at NovoZymes A/S and Novo A/S, including Director of Environmental Affairs and Senior Vice President of Business Support. She was the founder and primary force behind the first sustainability strategy at NovoZymes.

Until Ms Kingo started her work with UN Global Compact, she was chair of the board at Steno Diabetes Center, and has held a number of other board positions in foundations as well as in companies such as Grieg Star Shipping in Norway and GN Great Nordic. She was also a Professor at the Medical Faculty, Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, and the Chair of the Danish Council for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Ms Kingo has received several awards, including the Edinburgh Medal and the Copenhagen Business School 2018 Honorary Alumni Award. She is also a UN Gender Champion. She holds a Master of Science degree in Responsibility and Business Practice from the University of Bath, UK, a Bachelors of Arts in the Science of Religions and Ancient Greek Culture from the Universities of Aarhus and Odense, Denmark, and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Economics from the Copenhagen Business School. She is also certified by INSEAD’s International Directors Program in Corporate Governance.                                                      

Vivienne  Ming

Vivienne Ming

Co-founder and CEO
Socos Labs

Frequently featured for her research and inventions in the Financial Times, The Atlantic, Quartz and The New York Times, Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author. She co-founded Socos Labs, her fifth company, an independent think tank exploring the future of human potential. Vivienne launched Socos Labs to combine her varied work with that of other creative experts and expand their impact on global policy issues, both inside companies and throughout our communities. Previously, Vivienne was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, pursuing her research in cognitive neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Vivienne has invented AI systems to help treat her diabetic son, predict manic episodes in bipolar sufferers weeks in advance, and reunite orphan refugees with extended family members. She sits on boards of numerous companies and nonprofits including StartOut, The Palm Center, Cornerstone Capital, Platypus Institute, Shiftgig, Zoic Capital and SmartStones. Vivienne also speaks frequently on her AI-driven research into inclusion and gender in business.

Alison Martin

Alison Martin

Group Chief Risk Officer
Zurich Insurance Group

Alison Martin has extensive management, financial and commercial experience within the insurance sector. In October 2017, she joined Zurich as Group Chief Risk Officer-Designate and became a member of the Executive Committee. She assumed the role of Group Chief Risk Officer in January 2018.

A qualified accountant, Ms Martin began her career at PwC, where from 1995 to 2003 she worked with insurance clients in audit and advisory roles. She then served in leading executive positions at Swiss Re, starting in 2003 as Finance Director, Life & Health. She was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Swiss Re’s UK Life & Health business unit in 2005. From 2006 to 2010 she was responsible for Swiss Re’s Global Life & Health Risk Transformation team. Starting in January 2011 she served as Group Managing Director of Swiss Re’s Life & Health Products Division. She was appointed Swiss Re’s Head of Life & Health Business Management in 2013, a position she held until joining Zurich in 2017.

Ms Martin became a member of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Risk Center’s advisory board in September 2018. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Law, with honours, from the University of Birmingham. She qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as an associate member, and she has completed the Chartered Financial Analyst investment management certificate. 

Billy Cobbett

Billy Cobbett

Cities Alliance

William (Billy) Cobbett is Director of Cities Alliance, a global partnership for poverty reduction and the promotion of cities in sustainable development. As Director. Mr Cobbett initiated a series of corporate and strategic reforms for Cities Alliance, including relocating the Secretariat from Washington DC to Brussels, and which will culminate with the inaugural meeting of the Cities Alliance Assembly in April 2016. Born in South Africa, Mr Cobbett was overall coordinator of Planact, an urban NGO providing policy and technical support to civic organisations and trade unions. He moved to African National Congress (ANC) headquarters in 1992, serving on the National Housing Forum and, prior to the historic 1994 election, the Transitional Executive Council (TEC). In the Government of National Unity under President Mandela, Mr Cobbett was appointed Director General of the National Department of Housing under Minister Joe Slovo. He has a History degree from Middlesex University, London.

Lord Malloch-Brown

Lord Malloch-Brown

Senior Advisor

The Rt. Hon. the Lord Malloch-Brown is a Senior Advisor at Eurasia, engaging with its clients on questions of political risk. He was previously Co-chair of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. He is also a former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, as well as a previous Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He has also served in the British Cabinet and Foreign Office. He is active both in business and in the non-profit world. He also remains deeply involved in international affairs.

Rufaro Maunze

Rufaro Maunze

Regional Lead for Fragile & Conflict-Affected States
FSD Africa

Rufaro Maunze is the Regional Lead for Fragile & Conflict-Affected States at FSD Africa, a UK Aid-funded development agency working to strengthen financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Rufaro is also Principal of Tsambe, a boutique management consultancy firm, and serves as Independent Non-Executive Director for a large listed FMCG company and a public financial services company. Previously, she was Country Director for TechnoServe Zimbabwe, a leading global private sector development organisation. Prior to returning to her home country, Zimbabwe, she worked for Deloitte and Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia. Rufaro holds a Masters in Development Finance from Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods

Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University

Ngaire Woods is the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University. Her research focuses on how to enhance the governance of organisations, the challenges of globalisation, global development, and the role of international institutions and global economic governance. Previously, she founded the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University and co-founded (with Robert O. Keohane) the Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellowship programme. 

Professor Woods serves as a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, on the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and as a Rhodes Trustee. She is co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Values, Technology and Governance. She serves on the Advisory Group of the Center for Global Development (Washington DC). Previously, she served as a Non-Executive Director on the Arup Global Group Board and on the Board of the Center for International Governance Innovation in Canada. She has also served as a member of the IMF European Regional Advisory Group, and as an Advisor to the IMF Board, to the African Development Bank, to the UNDP’s Human Development Report, and to the Commonwealth Heads of Government. She has presented numerous documentaries for BBC Radio and TV.

Professor Woods’ books include The Politics of Global Regulation (with Walter Mattli, Oxford University Press, 2009), Networks of Influence? Developing Countries in a Networked Global Order (with Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Oxford University Press, 2009), The Globalizers: the IMF, the World Bank and their Borrowers (Cornell University Press, 2006), Exporting Good Governance: Temptations and Challenges in Canada’s Aid Program (with Jennifer Welsh, Laurier University Press, 2007), and Making Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries (with Dana Brown, Oxford University Press, 2007). She has previously published The Political Economy of Globalization (Macmillan, 2000), Inequality, Globalization and World Politics (with Andrew Hurrell: Oxford University Press, 1999), Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1986), and numerous articles on international institutions, globalisation and governance.

She was educated at Auckland University (BA in Economics, LLB Hons in Law). She studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar, completing an MPhil (with Distinction) and then DPhil in International Relations. She won a Junior Research Fellowship at New College, Oxford and subsequently taught at Harvard University (Government Department) before taking up her Fellowship at University College, Oxford and academic roles at Oxford University.

Professor Woods was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 New Year's Honours for services to Higher Education and Public Policy.


FT Participants (3)

Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman

Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator
Financial Times

Gideon Rachman became Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Financial Times in 2006. He speaks authoritatively about economics, politics, and globalisation as they apply to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and more, and writes a weekly column on international politics as well as feature articles. Mr Rachman joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. Mr Rachman’s book, Zero-Sum World, about the future of international relations was published in the UK in 2010. He was named as foreign affairs commentator of the year in the UK Comment Awards for 2010. He is a regular broadcaster for — amongst others — the BBC, CNN and NPR, and also a regular public speaker before both academic and business audiences. Mr Rachman is a graduate of Caius College, Cambridge and has been a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Pilita Clark

Pilita Clark

Associate Editor and Business Columnist
Financial Times

Pilita Clark is an Associate Editor and Business Columnist at the Financial Times. She writes a weekly column on modern corporate life, as well as features and other articles. Pilita has worked for the FT since 2003, covering aviation and the environment. She was the FT's Environment Correspondent from 2011 to 2017.

Pilita was previously a Washington correspondent for Australian newspapers and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Andrew Jack

Andrew Jack

Global Education Editor
Financial Times

Andrew Jack has worked as a journalist for the Financial Times since 1990. He is currently the Global Education Editor, reporting and developing new projects including as editorial lead for free online FT access for schools. He previously ran the curated content team, picking the best news and analysis from the FT and the rest of the web, including FT Health. He was previously Deputy Editor of the Analysis section, Pharmaceuticals Correspondent, Moscow Bureau Chief, Paris Correspondent, Financial Correspondent, general reporter and corporate reporter. He is author of the books Inside Putin’s Russia and The French Exception, as well as numerous specialist reports, and has appeared on the BBC and other media outlets.

why attend

  • Hear directly from the investors and innovators whose capital, technology and ideas are addressing key challenges in developing economies, particularly around combating climate change and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Discuss the impact of the latest geo-political and economic trends on development
  • Gain critical insights on the transformative solutions required to improve health and education and to prioritise human capital as the foundation for progress.
  • Explore how cities are leading efforts to address climate change
  • Discover how technology and finance can help boost inclusion of the most disadvantaged groups in the developing world.
  • Meet and network with the nominees for the 2019 Transformational Business Awards, whose ground-breaking initiatives are contributing to substantive progress in financing and developing low-carbon urban infrastructure, delivering healthcare and education, assuring food and water security, harnessing technology for people with disabilities, and generally transforming the development landscape.


Confirmation of attendance at the afternoon conference on 13 June 2019 automatically entitles you to a place at the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards Dinner that will occur later that evening.

If you cannot make the evening Awards Dinner but can make the afternoon conference, please ensure you tick the correct box when registering for the conference.



InterContinental London Park Lane
One Hamilton Place
London W1J 7QY

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7409 3131


want to know more about this year's awards?

Entries have now closed for the 2019 Awards. However to find out more about the Awards, who has been shortlisted and who is in our judging line-up please CLICK HERE.


A recap of the 2018 awards

To view what happened at our last FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards please CLICK HERE.


presented by (2)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of 985,000, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc, which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community. 

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit


The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We are tackling the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.

Supporting Partners (1)

Toniic’s vision is a global financial ecosystem creating positive social and environmental impact. Our mission is to empower impact investors.

Toniic is the global action community for impact investors. We serve individuals, family offices, foundations and funds. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in financial products – in all asset classes – that promote a just and sustainable economy.  Through the 100%IMPACT members of Toniic, we share portfolios and learn, together, how to best align financial assets with personal values.

Toniic has members in over 26 countries and its members have invested globally.


Jessica Yuen
Senior Event Manager
Financial Times Live
Jeff Wagner
Global Head of Content, FT Live
Rachel Jones
Head of Project Management
Financial Times