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Toomas Hendrik Ilves wins prestigious Reinhard Mohn award

Toomas Ilves was today (June 29th 2017) awarded the Reinhard Mohn Prize “Smart Country: Connected. Intelligent. Digital.” He was granted the prize thanks to his pioneering work whilst the President of Estonia. This was predominantly through the promotion of digitalization in government, education and public services.

In recognition, Brigitte Mohn, a Member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann Stiftung, said “Toomas Hendrik Ilves introduced digitalization to schools and classrooms ten years before the invention of the smartphone. He realized just how important the early adoption and acquisition of digital skills were before many others did.”

Estonia is today considered a global leader in digital transformation, an initiative that was promoted and championed by Ilves. He was instrumental in grouping together the digitilization efforts of the Estonian ministries into a coherent national strategy. As President, he implemented high-speed internet and mobile broadband across the country. Simultaneously he transformed the population’s attitude to embrace digital technology through education and the development of e-skills.

The changes that he implemented have created a situation where Estonian residents now very rarely have to make a personal visit to public authorities, and can even cast an electronic vote during national elections.

Being awarded the Reinhard Mohn Prize puts Ilves in esteemed company with previous winners including Klaus Schwab, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Rita Süssmuth, the former Bundestag President.

Toomas Ilves is an expert speaker on e-government, cyber security, blockchain and new technologies. In recent weeks he has spoken in front of audiences in the USA, Europe and Asia. He is exclusively managed by Chartwell Speakers. To get in contact, or to request more information please get in touch with us at



Technology speaker Paul Markillie on how better batteries will change the world

In a January marked by geopolitical tensions and market upheaval, it was a welcome change of mood to catch up with expert technology speaker Paul Markillie and talk about technology’s potential to make people’s lives better. In the first of three conversations, we discussed how better batteries are set to change the world and create all kinds of new markets. In Paul’s view, this is one of the most important technologies we’ll see in the next decade. As the Economist’s Innovation Editor, he should know.

You can listen to our conversation on the Soundcloud link above, and see the key points in my brief summary below. And if you’re interested in having Paul speak at your next event, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Happy listening!


Energy Storage

  • Better batteries could make it possible to store power generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar, allowing businesses and homes to go off-grid. This would transform the energy industry.

Electric Cars

  • Most electric cars currently use lithium ion batteries, which cost US$400-500 per kilowatt hour.
  • But the new Chevy Bolt’s battery costs only US$145 per kilowatt hour. The industry is moving towards batteries costing only US$100 per kilowatt hour, which would allow these cars to compete with petrol engines.
  • This is being driven by the development of new lithium compounds, as well as materials that make solid-state batteries more viable.

Rival technologies

  • However, not everyone in the motor industry is convinced that batteries are the way forward. 
  • For example, Toyota has focused on hydrogen fuel cell powered electric cars such as its Mirai model. They argue these would be able to travel further and would be more convenient – they could be charged at the equivalent of petrol stations, rather than having to be topped up via cables at home.

A selection of motivational speakers and keynoters for 2016

Helping you book the right Keynote and Motivational Speakers for your 2016 events programme

Wishing all our clients around the world a Happy New Year from the Chartwell team and all the motivational and keynote speakers we represent around the world!

We’re excited about the year ahead, even though it’s got off to difficult start. There’s a lot happening politically (Presidential elections in the US and France, a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, Russian parliamentary elections and much more), economically (continued speculation about the outlook for the global economy, uncertainty about China’s ability to sustain high levels of GDP growth, the robustness of the Eurozone and the consequence of very low energy and commodity prices) and in the world of sport (Euro16 and the Rio Olympics). Digitalisation plus new technologies and materials will continue to force businesses to keep innovating to stay ahead of their global competitors. Daesh will continue to frighten the world, even as its relative threat shrinks. The Middle East will remain highly unstable. Iran will begin to be re-integrated into the global economy, but the depressed global oil price means that it won’t get the bonanza it was hoping for.

To help you plan for your 2016 events, here’s some of the speakers we rate highly on some of the big 2016 topics:

Emerging Markets (China)
Andrew Sheng
Chief Adviser to the China Banking regulatory Commission

Emerging markets (Turkey)
Kemal Dervis
Head of the United Nations Development programme (2005-09)

Emerging Markets (Africa)
Dambisa Moyo
High profile commentator and expert on the global economy

European Union (UK referendum)
Kenneth Clarke
Veteran pro-Europe Member of the UK Parliament

European Union (Germany)
Joschka Fischer
Former foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany (1998-2005)

European Union (future of)
Jose-Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission (2004-2014)

Middle East scenarios (Daesh)
Fawaz Gerges
Professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations, LSE

Middle East scenarios (Iran)
Dennis Ross
Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director, Central Region (2009-11)

Middle East scenarios (Syria)
Roula Khalaf
Foreign Editor and Assistant Editor, Financial Times (2013-present)

Race for the White House
Niall Ferguson
Globally renowned historian and best-selling

Race for the White House
Mitt Romney
Republican Presidential Candidate (2012)

Race for the White House
John Zogby
Founder of the Zogby Poll, an pioneering polling methodology

R10 2016
Clare Balding
Highly acclaimed sports and Olympic Games presenter on TV and radio

R10 2016
Michael Johnson
Olympic Gold Medallist and sprinting legend

Euro 2016
Gary Lineker
Former England football international and TV presenter

For more ideas or to speak to an agent please contact me


Alex Hickman blogs at STUFF HAPPENS

Bjørn Lomborg on the best ways to fight extreme poverty

Adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, Bjørn Lomborg, writes for Project Syndicate about how we can help fight extreme poverty.

Lomborg cites South Korea’s significant per capita income growth since 1950 as an example of what we should try and emulate in order to help the world’s poorest countries. Many of the United Nations’ proposed 169 development targets for the next 15 years, which are concerned with poverty reduction. However, not all targets are equally good.

Lomborg explains in detail a few of the proposals within the UN development, such as, full employment for all, cash transfers, broadband rollout, freer migration, and lower trade barriers. He believes the single development target that would have the greatest impact on extreme poverty would be the completion of the Doha trade round, which would lower trade barriers between countries.

In order to help the extremely impoverished population of this world, Lomborg states that we must “focus on the targets that promise the biggest impact on the world’s poorest. In fact, our research shows that there are 19 phenomenal targets that – like freer trade – should be prioritized above all others.”

“The final decision about which targets will become global policy will affect the flow of trillion of dollars over the next 15 years.”

Click here to read the full article.


“Between Debt and the Devil”: Listen to Adair Turner draw from his new book to discuss the causes behind the financial crisis

Between Debt and the Devil - Adair TurnerLord Adair Turner is one of the world’s most influential experts on global economic trends, finance, and macro prudential regulation. Speaking with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at Chartwell, Adair discusses the key messages behind his forthcoming book – “Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance” (Princeton, October 2015).

Adair argues that whilst incompetent bankers and people who acted irresponsibly played a part in the 2008 financial crisis, the fundamental reason for the meltdown can be attributed to the extraordinary growth of private sector debt (both company and household) over the 60 years leading up to the crisis. He contends that most credit is not needed for economic growth, but rather drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression.

In this podcast, Adair draws from his new book to outline why this build up of private debt was bound to produce a major financial crisis and difficult post-crisis recession.

For more information on how to book Adair Turner as a speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

International economist Jim O’Neill discusses why the US has to “make space for China” on the global stage

Jim O’Neill speakerWriting for Project Syndicate, Jim O’Neill, best-selling author of “The Growth Map” (2011), argues that the US has “to make space for China…[and] accept its heightened global role.”

This comment follows from the UK’s agreement to become a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the ensuing friction this caused with the US. However, Jim argues that “America’s reluctance – and that of France, Germany, and Italy – to give the emerging powers an appropriate voice in the established international financial institutions is counterproductive.”

China’s $10 trillion economy is bigger than those of France, Germany, and Italy combined. Jim explains that “for anyone who wants to engage in global trade, it is thus vital to identify what China wants.” He suggests that a “new G-7 needs to be created within the G-20, thereby providing China with a degree of influence that reflects its economic weight and requires it to assume a commensurate proportion of global responsibility.”

Jim goes on to warn that opposition to this would “risk accelerating the decline of the established international financial institutions.”

Click here to read the full article.

For more information, or to book Jim O’Neill as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

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