Moments from the future

Talking about the future of

Sexual freedom or identity crisis? Age of genetic engineered super-babies? Is technology a friend or a foe to our children? How many people can live on our planet? What will be the most challenging question of human commitment?

Does big data know us better than we know ourselves? Is it keeping us in political bubbles? Will wearables transmit our biometrics and apps process it as big data?

What is the recipe for fighting brain drain? How can science fiction save capitalism? Will sport redefine success in business?

How do gangsters guide modern entrepreneurs? Will online pirates ransack our bitcoin chests? Can we put an end to the shadow economy?

Is prosthetics the 'new black'? Does body modification change human behaviour? Should we redesign ourselves through surgery and chemical intervention?

Can science fiction predict the future? Will conscious machines wipe out humankind? Would you ever fall in love with a robot?

Is the next world war coming? Has the end of capitalism begun? Will Europe become irrelevant?

Did you know that the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world? Is this going to change what we buy?How can the clothing sector benefit from new technologies, processes and business models?

What happens when we run out of drinking water? Which species will go extinct in 2017? Can we survive climate change? Lets go explore! See you at Brain Bar Budapest.

Why do most diets fail? Is there real science behind what we eat? Where does the key lie to health and weight loss?

Where have all the UFOs gone? What is a shadow biosphere? Is it possible to travel through time?

Is GMO really that dangerous? What it's like to be a galactic farmer? Can we save the planet by eating insects instead of meat?

Will technology save us from fake news? How journalism can regain its credibility? What will televison be like in 2025?


Kevin Kelly
Legend of futurism

What forces shape humanity's future?

Writer, photographer, conservationist, world renowned guru of digital culture. Kevin is founding editor of WIRED magazine, founder of Hackers Conference and author of several books, including 'Out of Control - The New Biology of Machines, Economic and Social Systems'. He was futurist adviser of the movie Minority Report by Steven Spielberg. Kevin's newest book, 'The Inevitable - Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future' is a New York Times bestseller. He'll fly in to Brain Bar Budapest straight from Pacifica, California.

Simone Giertz
Queen of Shitty Robots

How to keep technology playful?

A non-engineer maker and robotics enthusiast from Los Angeles. Her widely popular videos have been featured on Wired, Mashable, Business Insider as well as in The Late Show and Conan O Brien. She recently joined TESTED, a team of makers founded by master robot-builder Adam Savage.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Toomas Hendrik
Former President of Estonia

How to build a state for the future?

President Ilves is a global thought leader in the fast-emerging and crucial area of e-government and cyber security. As one of the key individuals driving Estonia's world-renowned program of digital public policy, President Ilves is an expert on how to bridge the gap between the technical and policy-making worlds, and the link between digital and economic development.

Lucy McRae
Body Architect

How can technology transform our body?

Trained in classical ballet and interior design McRae’s artistic study of technology began during her years at Philips Design, where she led the technology company’s far-future research lab. With a broad portfolio that focused on emotional sensing, she developed stretchable electronics and an electronic tattoo. Her range of emotion sensing dresses was awarded TIME’s Best Inventions of 2007. McRae is the inventor of the Swallowable Parfum and has spoken at Tribeca Film Festival, London’s Royal College of Physicians, Royal Albert Hall and BBC World Radio Service.

Greg Corrado
Principal Scientist of Google

What does future hold for human mind?

Greg is Principal Scientist and the Director of Augmented Intelligence Research at Google, and co-founder of the Google Brain Team. He works at the nexus of artificial intelligence, neuroscience and machine learning, while frequently publishing in various fields from behavioral economics, to particle physics to deep learning.

Shane Tusup
Badass of swimming

How to reinvent winning in sports and business?

Coach and husband of the "Iron Lady", three-times Olympic gold medalist, world record holder swimmer Katinka Hosszú. FINA Female Coach of the Year in 2016. Together with his wife he co-founded Iron Aquatics, a new powerhouse for swimming talent in Budapest. A lawyer by education, he's the former Captain of Swimming at the University of Southern California.

Tomotaka Takahashi
Founder and CEO of Robo Garage

Why we fear robots?

Founder and CEO of Robo Garage and professor at the University of Tokyo. Tomotaka creates, designs, and invents unique humanoid robots. Inspired by his childhood obsession with Astroboy and other fictional characters, he believes that unlike cold and uninviting machines, humans can relate to robots only if they have bodies like humans.

Alexa Clay
Author of The Misfit Economy

What startups can learn from pirates, smugglers and hackers?

Co-author of The Misfit Economy which was named the best pre-eminent book to read by The World Economic Forum, The Telegraph and Huffington Post in 2015. In the book Alexa interviews over 400 criminals, including Somali Pirates, LA drug dealers, young hackers and NY con artists to demonstrate that their ingenuity have more in common with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs than you might think.

Albert-László Barabási
Rockstar of network science

How everything is connected to everything?

Director of the Center for Complex Network Research at the Northeastern University. His work lead to the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, and proposed the Barabási-Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological and social systems, from the cellular telephone to the WWW or online communities. His best-selling book "Linked: The New Science of Networks" is available in fifteen languages worldwide.

Mona Chalabi
Data Editor of The Guardian

Will data tell us who will be our partner?

Mona is Data Editor of the Guardian, and columnist for New York Magazine. Her data sketches have been used by the United Nations and appeared in the National Geographic, VICE and the BBC. Mona previously worked at the Bank of England, Transparency International and the International Organisation for Migration. She likes lists.

Peter Sunde
Co-founder of Pirate Bay

How to keep secrets after privacy died?

Politician, computer expert and social activist known for co-founding the world's most resilient bittorrent site Pirate Bay. He was imprisoned in 2014 but ran for the European Parliament in the same year, expressing concerns over the centralization of power in the European Union. He also founded Flattr, a Sweden-based microdonation provider and currently works as an artist in residence at the collective of Konsthack.

Karin Kloosterman
Mars farmer

Farming on Mars?

Karin was raised to be an astronaut but decided that Planet Earth offered more-than-enough challenges. A published biologist and serial entrepreneur, her latest company has developed Eddy, a robot that understands the language of plants. Karin is currently working on a Mars-based product to feed earthlings into the next millennium.

On the Spot
On the Spot
Award-winning documentarists

How to keep the news real?

Award-winning team of two digging for human stories behind the news. Eszter Cseke and András S. Takács, digital journalists have travelled around the world from Afghanistan to Svalbard, from Iran to South Africa to make their 40 hour-long documentaries while making interviews with world leaders like Ban Ki-moon or Evo Morales. Their motto is a quote from the renowned war photographer, Robert Capa: "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

Ari Popper
Founder and CEO at SciFutures

Will science fiction make capitalism future-proof?

Leader of a team once called 'the coolest company on Earth'. SciFutures, a California-based innovation house, uses a panel of 100 renowned sci-fi writers to accelerate innovation, creating a workshop that embraces ominous future scenarios to develop real products. Helping “companies test drive the future,” their clients include Ford, Pepsi and the United States Navy.

Stephen Cave
Director of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence

Will artificial intelligence replace humans?

Executive Director of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. His latest work "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization" was called "the best book of the year" by The New Scientist. His topics include human nature, robot warriors and animal rights. Former diplomat and a frequent commentator of Wired, the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, the Financial Times, BBC and National Geographic.

Megan Miller
Co-founder of Bitty Foods

Can we save the planet by eating insects?

Food entrepreneur and digital strategist. Her company Bitty Foods is based on the revolutionary idea that insects are the best sustainable source of protein for humans. In 2014, Bitty Foods was named among 'The world's 100 brilliant companies' by the Entrepreneur magazine.

Peter Hammarstedt
Director of Operations at Sea Shepherd

How to save the oceans?

One of the youngest icons of the conservation movement, Peter sailed the seven seas to counter illegal whaling, sealing and destructive fishing practices. As Director of Operations for Sea Shepherd and captain of the marine conservation vessel Bob Barker he set the world record for the longest maritime pursuit in history: he and his crew embarked on a 110 day chase of the Interpol-wanted poaching vessel Thunder, across three oceans and 10,000 nautical miles. He currently leads campaigns to stop pirate fishermen plundering marine wildlife in the Gulf of Guinea.

George Friedman
Founder of Geopolitical Futures

Is there a global war coming?

Founder of Geopolitical Futures and former Founding Chairman of Stratfor. One of the globe's best known intelligence experts and geopolitical forecasters who has correctly predicted world-changing events — including the EU crisis, the Ukraine conflict, and the US-Iranian truce. He is the author of six best-selling books, including "The Next Decade", "The Next 100 Years" and "Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe".

Marije Vogelzang
Founder of the Dutch Institute of Food&Design

Why do we need a food revolution?

The world's first eating-designer. Having graduated at the Eindhoven Design Academy, she set her mind to creating a new direction in design. After having developed and sold two experimental restaurants in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, she now works on restaurant concepts and long-term medical projects for hospitals. She launched the Dutch Institute of Food&Design last year.

Travis Rieder

Should we have children in times of overpopulation and climate change?

What is the ethics of human self-preservation? Travis, a renowned bioethicist focuses on our collective responsibilities in the challenging era of overpopulation and climate change. His work has appeared in Wired and The Huffington Post.

Péter Árvai
CEO and Co-founder of Prezi

How will artificial intelligence change our workplaces?

Chief executive of the legendary Budapest-born startup Prezi. Under his leadership, Prezi has secured its first round of investment from TED, then also raised funding from Silicon Valley's best-known venture capital firms Accel Partners and Sunstone Capital. In 2014, Peter was named 'European Web Entrepreneur of the Year' by the European Commission.

Rocio Fonseca
Executive director of Start-up Chile

What does tech talent want from governments?

Executive Director of Start-Up Chile, one of the world's most successful government programs for startups. Graduated from the MIT in biotechnology, management and entrepreneurship, she directed innovation portfolios and go-to-market initiatives and managed teams both in the private sector and the public administration.

Steven Leckart
Co-author of Cabin Porn

Why do we escape city life?

Multi-talented writer, filmmaker and documentarist who co-authored Cabin Porn, the world's favorite inspiration of modern escapism. He has written documentaries about the music industry, reported narrative magazine stories about online drug trafficking, and covered various disruptive technologies for publications including Wired, Popular Science, and the New York Times.

Roger Scruton

Are we fooled by utopianism?

One of the world’s most prominent, conservative thinkers. Author of more than 40 books, including The Meaning of Conservatism, The Need for Nations, and Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet, Scruton was knighted in 2016 for services to philosophy, teaching and public education. The Weekly Standard described him as "England's most accomplished conservative since Edmund Burke".

Kevin Zollman
Guru of game theory

How to raise future-proof children?

Game theorist and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. He has applied game theory to a variety of topics and co-authored "The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting". His work has been covered in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and Scientific American.

James Beacham
Physicist at CERN

Will we ever travel in time?

James is an experimental particle physicist working at CERN’s world-famous Large Hadron Collider. As a member of the team that discovered the Higgs boson, Beacham is on the hunt for evidence of new particles — dark matter, gravitons, dark photons and exotic Higgs bosons — and is obsessed with finding new ways to tackle the most pressing unanswered questions of physics with future experiments.

Hannah Nordhaus
Author of 'The Beekeper's Lament'

Why bees matter for modern civilisation?

Award-winning author of "The Beekeeper’s Lament", a best-selling investigation on the worrisome global honey bee die-off. Graduated in history and American Studies from Yale University, her work received critical acclaim from the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Lord Michael Hastings
Lord Michael
Global Head of Citizenship for KPMG International

How to renew your corporate culture?

A leader on the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, he is helping build trust to empower future generations. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of Kent, for his work at KPMG and the BBC.

RGB feat. Éva Muck
RGB feat. Éva Muck

Inhabitants of planet Sumotori have been watching over the Cosmos to maintain order and peace. Sumotori leadership set up special 3-member biomechanoid teams to carry out the mission described above. The names of these teams are RGB. Our RGB unit have decided to use peaceful, musical tools instead of weapons, and have assembled a completely surreal, eclectic and chaotic mixture of music.

Tim Spector
Author of The Diet Myth

Is there a science behind what we eat?

Myth-busting scientist focusing on the misterious microbes live in our body. Tim is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College, London and has recently been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Larissa Huisgen
Explorer of customer needs at BMW Group

How to shape the future of mobility?

Head of Global Market Research for the BMW Group with a long history in customer centricity, research and analytics for Coca-Cola, BMW and MINI, propelling key strategic business decisions focusing on the customer perspective on products, services and future mobility concepts. Larissa holds a PhD in Economics.

Ilona Lénárd & Kas Oosterhuis
Ilona Lénárd &
Kas Oosterhuis
Founders of ONL

How the digital century will change architecture?

Power couple of a visionary designer and a visual artist. Kas leads the ONL innovation studio and the Hyperbody research group at Delft University, and is the founding editor-in-chief of a scientific journal called Next Generation Building. Ilona has specialized in art in public spaces, among others the Musicsculpture in Oldemarkt and the TT Monument in Assen. Her recent works include a series of robotic paintings. Both of them position themselves at an international scale between art, architecture, robotics, furniture, design and cities.

Jody Kochansky
Head of Software Development, BlackRock

How to measure the risks of the future?

Jody Kochansky, Managing Director, Head of Software Development at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and a leading financial technology provider. Jody is responsible for defining and implementing the vision for BlackRock’s proprietary technology platform called Aladdin, combining the best of financial services with cutting edge technology, and used globally by BlackRock and many of the world’s largest institutions.

Péter Pozsár
Co-founder of Hello Wood

How to create the village of the future?

Maker, architect and educator: Peter uses cutting edge design to engage social issues and sustainability. He is co-founder of Hello Wood, an international practice blending education, temporary architectural structures and social design. The group’s famous summer school has grown into a multi-year program, recently setting out to build a new village from scratch.

Pamela Druckerman
Author of Bringing Up Bébé

How to raise kids in the 21st century?

American writer and journalist living in Paris. She authored some of the world's most influential writings on modern parenting. Her op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and Monocle. She also appears regularly on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and BBC. In 2012, Pamela was nominated as one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine.

Barabás Lőrinc Live Act
Barabás Lőrinc Live Act

Occupying a musical world on the border of jazz, electronic music and pop music, Lőrinc has played and shared stages with artists like Valerie June, Bonobo, Nicola Conte, Erik Truffaz and performed at The Montreaux Jazz Festival. Originally coming from a jazz education, he draws on a wide range of influences from Béla Bartók’s music to native American culture.

Inna Braverman
Co-Founder of Eco Wave Power

Will waves become the ultimate clean energy source?

Co-Founder of Eco Wave Power, a startup that generates clean energy from sea waves. Inna installed her first power plant at the age of 26 in Jaffa, Israel. Four years later she led the execution of the first wave energy array in the Mediterranean Sea. Inna and her story were recently featured in WIRED.

Robert D. Kaplan
Robert D.
Senior Fellow at Center for a New American Security

How do maps shape geopolitical reality?

Geopolitical thinker, bestselling author on travel and global politics. Robert is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior advisor at Eurasia Group. He held the national security chair at the United States Naval Academy and was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. For three decades his work has appeared in The Atlantic. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers”.

Slomó Köves
Leading rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation

What makes a modern religion?

Descending from several generations of rabbis, Slomó finally found his own vocation at the age of 14. Born in Budapest, he studied abroad in the yeshivas of New York, Pittsburgh and Paris and returned to become one of the most active religious leaders in Central Europe. He serves as chief rabbi of the Hungarian Defence Force and is the founder of the first Hebrew-Hungarian bilingual kindergarten and elementary school in Budapest.

Soharóza / Deadly Colours
Soharóza / Deadly Colours
catwalk concert premiere

A spectacular catwalk concert presented by Soharóza, the most innovative interdisciplinary choir in Hungary. The performance is based on the group’s cult show Taboo Collection, directed by Fruzsina Nagy and Dora Halas conductor, pioneer of improvised choral music and collective composing. Singing models wear costumes showcasing the topic of death – an inevitable part of our lives. The solid electronic beats of Hungarian beatbox champion and sound designer Márk Bartha makes the performance a full experience.

Colin Beavan
No Impact Man

Can we have zero impact on the environment?

The man behind the No Impact Project, an experiment of "zero impact" lifestyle, producing no trash, consuming no goods, using no carbon-based transportation and no paper products with his family for one year. Colin is also a dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, and a former Green Party candidate for the United States House of Representatives.

Christopher Mattheisen
CEO of Magyar Telekom

What are the jobs of the future?

Chris studied economics at Columbia University. He started his telecommunications carrier in 1993 at the legendary local carrier Westel 900. From 2006, he has been the CEO and member of the Board of Magyar Telekom.

Ákos Takács
Head of marketing at Red Bull Hungary

What is the future of marketing?

Ákos is head of marketing at Red Bull Hungary. As a titan of the branded content revolution, he's founder of Red Bull Pilvaker, a globally unique project that mingles underground hip-hop, 19th century poetry and modern theatre arts.

Shir Halpern
Founder of the Tel Aviv Farmers Market

How to imagine the future of agriculture?

Founder and owner of the Tel Aviv Farmers Market. She helps farmers to put emphasis on the principles of sustainability, localism, seasonality, small producers and quality of variety and taste. Shir is also advising Liftoff Ventures that focuses in food technology. She has a B.A. in History, a culinary degree and an MBA specializing in sustainable development.

Stephen M. Walt
Stephen M.
Professor of Harvard University

Why is it useful to think as a realist?

Key thinker in international relations, professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Stephen previously taught at Princeton and the University of Chicago and is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine. A prominent realist, he authored award-winning books eg. The Origins of Alliances, The Global Response to U.S. Primacy, and his most notable, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a New York Times best-seller which has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Carol Cleland
Professor of Astrobiology

When will we contact alien life?

Once a member of NASA Institute for Astrobiology, now Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. Her research areas include microbiology, origins of life and the theory of computation. She is the inventor of the term ‘shadow biosphere’, and currently finishing a book titled "The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for life as we don’t know it".

Wedding Acid Group / Galactic Jackson
Wedding Acid Group / Galactic Jackson

Kick-ass synthesizer wizard straight outta Újpest is ready to rock the stage of Brain Bar Budapest. Waiter in daytime, dj in evenings, vinyl and synthesizer collector, moved to the capital from a small town in the Great Plains to amaze us.

Ista Boszhard
Co-founder of TextileLab Amsterdam

How does fashion ruin our environment?

Ista focuses on the unethical and environmental unfriendly realities of the clothing industry. She explores alternatives for both the changing values in the industries as innovate the design and production process.

Zoltán Várdy
TV and Digital Pioneer

What is the future of media?

He spent 25 years building and running media businesses around the world as an executive, entrepreneur, investor and advisor. He helps ‘Total Video’ companies find new markets, new revenue streams and new investments. Corporate career stops include NBC Universal and ProSiebenSat1. Zoltan has also invested in media start-ups Brainient and Antavo.

János Csák
Chairman of Design Terminal

Economist, sociologist, author, management consultant and former ambassador. Board member of Bank of China Central Europe and Richer Gedeon Pharmaceuticals. During his career, he has been president, CEO and board member of several leading companies in Europe, USA and Australia; MOL Oil and Gas, Westel and Investel among others. In 1996 he was treasury advisor for Chicago based Ameritech. He’s founder and chairman of the Kálmán Széll Foundation and trustee of the St. Francis Foundation. Between 2011 and 2014 he served as Ambassador of Hungary to the United Kingdom. In 2010 he has been dedicated with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.

József Váradi
Founder and CEO of WizzAir

What is the future of travel?

A real industry maverick, Jozsef is founder and head of the leading value airline of Europe. Previously a commercial banker and sales director of Procter & Gamble, he also led the Hungarian national airlines before founding his own company. In 2016, WizzAir carried more than 23 million passengers all-across the continent while Jozsef voted 'CEO of the Year' by Aviation100.

Jónás Vera Duo
Jónás Vera Duo

Award winning Vera Jónás is founder and leader of Vera Jonas Experiment that showcased at Eurosonic, Europe’s greatest talent festival in 2017. She graduated from the London Centre of Contemporary Music, and toured in Japan, Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

Dávid Vitézy
Director, Hungarian Transport Museum

What can we learn about city planning from retrofuturism?

An outstanding voice in urban mobility, David was founding CEO of the Budapest Transport Authority. Since 2016, he has been responsible for the reconstruction of the Hungarian Transport Museum. David also works internationally as an expert and consultant for mass transport projects.

Melanie Seymour
Head of BlackRock Budapest

How to build an inclusive company?

Melanie has over 30 years experience in finance as well as running her own business. A passionate mentor and educator, she is vice president of Women in Banking and Finance, a nonprofit offering guidance and support to all levels of women in the finance industry.

Boyd Cohen
Urban strategist

How can we make our cities smart and sustainable?

Urban strategist specialised in smart cities and sustainable development. Boyd received his PhD in Strategy & Entrepreneurship and co-authored Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change.

Josh Valman
Founder and CEO of RPD International

Is school still relevant for success?

Josh designed his first robot at 10. His company RPD go on to power over 100 R&D departments around the world, including Vodafone and Unilever. RPD operates a global network, making use of the best design minds from engineers to sculptors and artists. This ‘distributed creativity’ model allows companies to run projects that would usually take them over a decade in just a couple of years.

Owain Service
Managing Director of Behavioural Insights

Can psychology become the basis of governance?

Running one of the most unique policy agencies in Europe, Owain was previously Deputy Director of the British Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, where he led programmes on public service reform, education, energy and national security.

Dana Denis-Smith
Founder of Obelisk

Can a drawback be your biggest advantage?

Dana founded Obelisk to help lawyers working flexibly, around their family and other personal commitments. A winner of the Strategic Leadership Award and finalist of Legal Innovator of the Year. She was also named as one of the most inspirational women in business under 35 in the UK.

Matt Burgess
Journalist at WIRED

Can technology handle the fake news anomaly?

Journalist and author working for WIRED magazine. Matt's personal interests include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robots, internet rights, privacy and data. Outside of WIRED, he writes, talks, and trains on Freedom of Information laws in the UK.

Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky
Deputy Mayor of Budapest

Can locals compete with tourists?

Alexandra is responsible for culture, education, social and youth policy, sports, environmental protection, tourism and branding of our festival's host city. In this broad area she supervises the operation of theatres, museums, sports centres and various other institutions. Alexandra pays particular attention to city image with the aim of making Budapest a popular and more visible city abroad.

Eva Duda Dance Company
Eva Duda Dance Company
contemporary dance and circus

Blending contemporary dance, circus and live music creatively, VIRTUS is based on inter-arts collaboration. The creative artists do not lack humor in portraying typical Hungarian scenes and the tensions of human encounters. This show is a real Eastern European escapade with grandiose emotions, lofty rhythms, sad laments, heated conflicts and a glorious circus. Choreographer: Eva Duda

Gabriel Hallevy
Author of When Robots Kill

Can artificial intelligence be our new lover?

Gabriel is a professor of criminal law, hi-tech law and conflict of laws. He published about 30 books and was chosen as one of the 40 most promising persons under the age of 40 by Globes. He is a long-distance runner, holds a pilot license and speaks four languages.

Balázs Fürjes
Government Commissioner for Major Budapest Developments

How to keep urban megaprojects on a human scale?

A lawyer by education, Balázs is a think tank of urban and spatial planning with the ability to lead and successfully deliver big-time projects. The developments he is responsible for frame the Hungarian capitol from North to South, East to West.

Freak Fusion Cabaret / FightinGravity
Freak Fusion Cabaret / FightinGravity

Like everyone, a circus artiste’s life is dictated by the downward pressure of gravity – hanging in suspension, floating, hovering, tumbling, doubting. But through the medium of circus impossible situations can be brought to life in front of our eyes. What would it be like if gravity was inverted? How would it be to live life upside down? What would happen if we were literally able to ‘climb up the walls’? This performance takes theories and then shatters them, allowing the audience to experience for a moment what it is like to challenge this ever-present downward pressure.

Patrick Vlaskovits
Founder of Superpowered Inc.

How to convince your first-ever investor?

CEO and founder of Superpowered, maker of the most popular mobile and embedded audio SDK, funded by Techstars. Aside from entrepreneurship, he’s also a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur and Hustle.

András Fazakas
IoT & Business Development lead at Deutsche Telekom

If everything is connected, how will big city life change?

András is responsible for Deutsche Telekom's European Smart City and IoT business. This line comprises the go-to-market and business development strategies of 12 countries in Europe. He joined the company's European team in charge of business customers in 2012 and later went on to become head of the European machine-to-machine business line.

Peter Halacsy
Co-founder of Prezi and Budapest School

What education will look like in 2040?

While “HP" has a degree in engineering, the most fitting title for him would be a ‘change agent’. He is constantly searching for new ways and new solutions that will allow us to live in a better functioning world. Among other initiatives he is co-founder of Prezi and the Budapest School. Prezi, founded in 2009, has grown into a global company, with a staff of 300. Today, the Budapest School has established/started a teaching experiment going on in four educational institutions, with one goal in mind, to ensure our kids are happy adults in the year 2040.

Mae Ryan
Show Developer at The New York Times

What does data tell us about the future of sex?

Emmy-award winning filmmaker based in New York. Mae was a Senior Producer at The Guardian US where she covered a variety of topics including immigration, police brutality and vaginas. Her clients have included The New York Times, TIME and The Wall Street Journal.

Frigyes Endersz
Group Strategic Director, Magyar Telekom

Do you think you can use your time well?

Frigyes started his career at IFUA Horváth & Partners management consultants, and as a consultant he worked for numerous large corporations, primarily in the field of strategy, controlling and operation improvement. In 2012 he joined T-Systems Hungary as Director of Strategy. From 2014, he is Director for Competitiveness Improvement.

Léa Peersman Pujol
Peersman Pujol
Founder of the Future of People

What are the dream jobs of the future?

Fascinated by the knowledge economy, Léa has spent a decade investigating innovative ways for people to learn, share, and do better. Her experiences in venture philanthropy, foresight, and strategic human capital management led her to hold positions at organizations like Rothschild, and start NGOs enabling communities to better envision their future careers. She is currently finishing her MBA at MIT.

Katalin Novák
Minister of State for Family and Youth

Can public policy boost demographics?

As a minister of state, Katalin works to ensure that everyone from childhood to retirement age, has a supportive environment that allows them to accomplish their goals and dreams. She is also mother of three.

David Kaspar
Leader of Creative Prague Project

Can we use culture to take the city back from tourism?

David and his group "Creative Prague" are transforming the Czech capital into a hub of education, culture and creativity. He has been involved in the cultural and community revival of his city for decades, revitalizing public space and cultural projects with social outreach. He also teaches at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Zsófia Bánhegyi
Deputy CEO, Hungarian Tourism Agency

How will the fourth industrial revolution shape tourism?

Deputy CEO of Marketing and Communication at the Hungarian Tourism Agency. Earlier she worked in ICT, where she learnt: it is not enough to follow trends, we have to shape them. As a leader she maintains to utilize the opportunities of the digital solutions.

Márk Hetényi
Deputy CEO of MKB Bank

Will banks survive?

Obtained his degrees at Santa Clara and Georgetown University. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Flextronics. To become a fintech powerhouse, Márk was nominated Deputy CEO of MKB Bank responsible for Retail and Digital Banking.

Pamela Ronald
Geneticist and coauthor of Tomorrow’s Table

What if GMO is actually good?

Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California. Her research has been published in Science, Nature and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and National Geographic. She was selected by as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology and one of the 50 visionaries who will lead us toward a sustainable future. She is co-author of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food.

Vladyslav Lyak
Project Manager of GE Global Operations

How to connect global & local value creation?

A psychologist by education, Vladyslav tried himself in marketing, recruitment, hospitality as well as finance. He is now part of GE team, where he leads multiple sales projects from market demand generation to order entry. Vlad is also passionate about volunteering and making positive impact - he has just returned from the trip to Nicaragua, where together with the GE family he was building a school for a local community.

Iulia Oprea
People Operations, Formlabs Europe

Wanna help us to rule the world in 5 years?

Iulia is recruiting for Formlabs Europe HQ, one of the most innovative and fastest growing 3D printing company in the world. After 10 years of International HR experience, her credo shifted into empowering people to realise and to pursue their full potential. "What is the future of work and how are we going to redefine the notion of employment" is a current topic on her mind.

Baybars Altuntas
Entrepreneur and angel investor

How to convince your first-ever investor?

Senior advisor of the London Stock Exchange, entrepreneur and angel investor based in Istanbul. Baybars is currently a jury member on the new Turkish entrepreneurship program Do You Have a Business Idea? In 2011, he wrote Off the Bus, Into a BMW, the story of his life and his rise to success in the business world.

3D Dance Show

Freelusion’s award winning performances have been on primetime shows such as America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent. With more than 200 shows performed in 40 countries on 5 continents, Freelusion is the planet’s very first and most successful 3D dance company.

Zsolt Winkler
Gadget freak and digitalization maniac at KPMG

What does it mean to live in an industrial revolution?

Zsolt joined KPMG as director responsible for services related to the telecommunications, media and technology sector. Prior to this he was head of Kitchen Budapest, the innovation hub of Magyar Telekom for more than 6 years.

Budapest Show Choir feat. Yank
Budapest Show Choir feat. Yank

Dreamy, magical music for those moments when you want to focus on your inner world. Iamyank is a multi-instrumentalist producer and songwriter who keeps building up memorable scenes around the audience with futuristic synths, spacey guitar and dirty drums on the edge of instrumental and electronic music.

Zoltán Cséfalvay
Ambassador of Hungary to the OECD

Are we prepared for a tectonic industrial change?

Received his habilitation in geography and started his career at the Ministry for Industry. He was research fellow in Munich, Heidelberg and Cardiff. Zoltán is author of 14 standalone books in policy, geography and economics.

Sebastian Tamás
Director of Innovations at the National Trading House

How to reverse brain drain?

Sebastian is a shepherd of Hungary’s innovative companies with 10 years of experience in Alternative Investments between New York and Paris. He returned to Budapest to help align Hungary’s startup ecosystem along a demand driven model that streamlines access to global opportunities. He is on a quest to stabilize the country’s deal flow liquidity for future tech companies by adjusting how universities and hospitals also incorporate startups into their business models.

Igor Kovacevic
Founder of Center for Central European Architecture

What can the world learn from Central Europe?

Born in multiethnic Yugoslavia, Igor is a key force uniting architects and planners across Central Europe. He founded and runs MOBA office and Center for Central European Architecture in Prague with Yvette Vašourkova, where they are active in design and planning as well as cultural activities and teaching at multiple universities.

Mónika Pintér
Global Future Talent Specialist

What if talent is simply not enough?

Teacher, trainer and mother with a strong belief that shared values and hunger of knowledge make the world go round. She has been known as radical to hierarchy but cultural ambassador for creative communities also as a high school teacher, as HR lead, as organization developer and now as talent specialist at Deutsche Telekom.

Attila Kiss
Member of Board of Directors at E.ON

Why work for big companies?

With degrees in accounting, economics and management studies, Attila has been working at E.ON for 18 years. Throughout these years he held several leadership positions in asset management and regulations, energy controlling and optimization. He also served as a Country Manager for Hungary in Münich.

Tim Steigert
Leader of Business Innovation at GE

How to re-invent an industrial giant?

Tim is leading business innovation at GE Distributed Power. In this role he is drawing upon his diverse experience gained in the IT, Strategy and HR functions across GE over the past 18 years. A technologist & strategist at heart Tim believes that education, healthcare & energy will change the world, and that the key to unlocking a meaningful transformation is rooted in human behavior & beliefs. Blessed with a healthy dose of resilience he loves being a learner, jester & inspirator for others.

Techno spiritual arts and material research lab

How to design intelligent objects?

EJTECH is Esteban de la Torre and Judit Eszter Karpati, an art & tech lab working on experimental interfaces and interactive installations. EJTECH focuses on intelligent materials and the overlapping points between sound and textile.

Levente Magyar
Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy

Levente has a prominent knowledge of international affairs and economy not only through his degree from Corvinus University but also due to his 10 years of working experience at the field. He had been serving in the Ministry of National Economy and at the Prime Minister’s Office before becoming one of the youngest Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy. Fluent in four foreign languages, he has been the leader in conducting the fusion of foreign political and economic affairs since 2014.

Steve Fuller
Author of Humanity 2.0

What if the Internet is NOT a human right?

Philosopher and sociologist of science and technology at the University of Warwick. Steve founded the interdisciplinary field of 'social epistemology', which is about the role that knowledge plays in shaping who we are and what societies should be like.

Laura Aalto
Development Director of Helsinki Marketing

How can we use design thinking to reinvent cities?

Laura has a passion to create positive impact through design. She worked as Marketing and Communications Director for World Design Capital Helsinki and for its legacy project Design Driven City. Laura has 20 years of professional experience in branding, marketing, communications and corporate partnerships in culture and non profit fields.

David Goodhart
Director of IntegrationHub

Is Brexit the beginning of the end for Europe?

Author of the bestseller ‘The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics’. David is head of the Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit at Policy Exchange, and Director of Integration Hub.

Recirquel Company Budapest
Recirquel Company Budapest
contemporary circus

Led by artistic director Bence Vági, Recirquel represents a unique style of circus combined with dance and theatre bringing the flair of mid-eastern European classical theatre. Their productions bewitch audiences worldwide, with the ambitious vision to bring their unique messages throughout the whole world.

Joerg Bauer
President of GE Hungary

Where does digital lead?

As GE is transforming itself to the world’s premier digital industrial company, Joerg builds on their investments to support Hungary in it's transition to an innovation-based economy. Passionate about pro bono volunteering, he promotes CSR as president of the advisory board of UN Impact 2030.

Zsombor Pal
Editor-in-chief, Kreatív

Can algorithms filter out fake news?

Formerly a writer for Forbes and a marketing professional before that, Zsombor took over Hungary’s influential ad/media magazine, Kreatív in late 2016. He’s a magazine junkie and an enthusiastic but concerned observer of modern day propaganda.

John Ford
Director of GE Digital Hub

How does big data shape the world's biggest companies?

Already coding aged 11, John got a Masters in Languages from Oxford, then started work in sales & marketing, project management and enterprise architecture. He moved to Hungary 10 years ago and helped to set up a Global IT Services Centre for Vodafone. In 2016 John moved to GE to lead the Hungary Digital Hub, where big data and industrial software solutions are being developed to drive the Industrial Internet.

Attila Isóczki
Head of R&D at Knorr-Bremse Budapest

Is it possible to meet every demand and still travel safe, eco-friendly and sustainable?

Attila is the head of software and electronic development at Knorr-Bremse Budapest an industry leader in rail mobility. His team developed algorithms and softwares for the high-speed super trains of the Shinkansen railway.

György Bacsa
Group Strategy and Business Development SVP, MOL Group

I am open for any idea - can you sell me yours?

György joined MOL Plc. in 2003 as legal counsel. Currently he is leading the Group Strategy and Business Development organization which is responsible for Group-level, M&A projects, strategy development processes and business evaluations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Budapest Stock Exchange, MET Holding AG and the Dunamenti Power plant.

Csaba Tóth
Director of Republikon

Is there a revolt against the liberal elites?

Political strategist, director of the liberal think tank Republikon Institute and member of the board of the European Liberal Forum. Csaba also writes extensively about the political aspects of science fiction universes, and observes how our politics resembles science fiction more and more.

Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?
Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?

Founded in 2015 by S Olbricht - whose lo-fi techno is already familiar to Boiler Room & BBC audiences - and Krisztina Dányi, the singer-composer-producer behind Morningdeer, the intriguing act embraced by Tokyo-based Whereabouts Records. The result is a niche and unusual stepping stone to fantasy, with distinctive elements ranging from hazy melancholia to hiss-heavy abstract rhythms, and some of the finest personal poetry you’re likely to hear in pop music.

Previously at brain bar

Brain Bar Budapest 2016

Brain Bar Budapest is the biggest European festival on the future. Lively, ambitious and unique, Brain Bar Budapest creates the stage for top trendsetters, decision-makers and challengers to exchange ideas in unusual and unrestrained conversation.

We call it
the un-conference
sir martin sorrell
Sir Martin
Founder & Ceo of WPP
To think about the future differently, to think about technology differently, to think about your place in it. That's what Brain Bar does.
World's best known living astronaut

Previous speakers

Niall Ferguson
Professor of History at Harvard University

Niall Ferguson is Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, his acclaimed books include The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (also an International Emmy Award-winning PBS/Channel 4 documentary series), and Economies Die and Civilization: The West and the Rest.

He is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic and a prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics.

Richard Florida
Best-selling author

Richard Florida is the Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide. He is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist, “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” according to The Economist. Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class – “one of the best business books of all time” – 800-CEO-READ.

Sugata Mitra
Leading evangelist of technology in education

Sugata Mitra is at the forefront of a new approach to education which challenges how we teach today’s children in a technological age. He is Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and previously a Visiting Professor at MIT in the US. Sugata is currently working on the School in the Cloud, which is the culmination of over a decade of research and observations from all over the world.

Neil Harbisson
The world’s first cyborg

Neil Harbisson is a Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves. The antenna’s internet connection allows him to receive colors from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. Harbisson identifies himself as a cyborg, he feels both his mind and body are united to cybernetics. He doesn’t feel he is using or wearing technology, instead he feels he is technology. His artworks investigate the relationship between colour and sound, experiment the boundaries of human perception and explore the use of artistic expression via sensory extensions. In 2010 he co­-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organization that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement.

Ken Goldberg
Artist, Professor of Robotics at UC Berkeley

Ken Goldberg is an artist and UC Berkeley professor. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering. Goldberg directs, among others, the Automation Sciences Research Lab and his inventions have been awarded eight US Patents. He’s art installations are related to his research and have been exhibited at venues such as Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo.

Tina Saaby
Chief City Architect of Copenhagen

Tina Saaby has been the Chief City Architect at the City of Copenhagen since September 2010. She inspires, facilitates, advices, and coaches the politicians and City Administration. Her responsibility is to help defining architectural guidelines and visions in developing the city based on the Architectural Policy.

Tina Saaby is also Visiting Professor at Sheffield University and external examiner at University of Roskilde, University of Copenhagen and she is the Chairman of the Advisory board at The Royal Academy of Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

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