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Ayesha Khanna

speaker location icon Singapore

Founder & Director, Hybrid Reality Institute

Senior Editor, ‘Look Ahead’ innovation section, The Economist

Expert on the global economic and political impact of new technology

Ayesha Khanna is the Co-Founder and CEO of ADDO AI, an artifical intelligence solutions firm and incubator. She has been a strategic advisor on artificial intelligence and smart cities to leading corporations and governments.

She is also the Founder and Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, a research and advisory think tank focused on the intersection of technology trends, data intelligence and geopolitics, and also of Urban Intel, a digital skills development platform for professionals building careers related to the many demands of rapid urbanisation. A technology and innovation strategy expert, Ayesha has over ten years’ experience advising clients on scenario analysis, new product development, market entry, digital branding and customer experience.

She has been a keynote speaker for the world’s largest companies, governments, and industry associations on AI, smart cities, and innovation. ADDO AI was featured in Forbes magazine as one of the four leading AI companies in Asia in 2017. Ayesha was also named one of Southeast Asia’s groundbreaking female entrepreneurs in 2018 by Forbes. She has spoken to audiences and clients including telcos such as Singtel (Singapore’s largest telco), Habib Bank (Pakistan’s largest bank), SOMPO (Japan’s largest insurance company), and Smart Dubai (Dubai’s smart city agent).

Ayesha is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and one of the organisers of TEDxGotham. As an author, she co-wrote (with her husband Parag Khanna) Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (TED Conferences, 2012). The book explores how, in this era of disruptive technologies, accelerating change, and deep anxiety about the future, the “balance of innovation” has superseded the military “balance of power” as a measure of national potential. It provides a global tour of how the smartest countries, cities, and companies are harnessing new technologies to gain an edge. Ayesha’s upcoming book, “U+AI” explores how artificial intelligence can benefit humanity.

She also serves on the Board of Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Singapore government’s agency that develops and regulates its world class technology sector. She is the co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization. 

She is also the founder of 21st Century Girls, a charity that teaches girls coding and artificial intelligence. She has been featured in many publications including Peak (Hong Kong/Singapore), In The Black (Australia) and The Business Times. Ayesha has been named a leading Asian fintech influencer by Fintech Asia. 

Ayesha has a BA (honours) in Economics from Harvard University, an MSc in Operations Research from Columbia University and is writing her PhD in Information Systems and Innovation at the London School of Economics.

Speaking Topics

  • Winning with AI: How innovative leaders drive growth
  • The Future of Work: Human potential in the fourth industrial
  • Smart Cities 2.0: Public – Private partnerships at the technological frontier
  • Top Ten Trends that will disrupt your industry

Our Comment

"Ayesha has carved out a niche as a cutting-edge analyst of how technology is changing the global economic and political order. Her latest book is attracting widespread attention among the academic and business communities worldwide."

Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (TED Books Book 15)

Straight Through Processing for Financial Services: The Complete Guide (Complete Technology Guides for Financial Services)

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