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CompTIA’s EMEA Member and Partner Conference, scheduled for October 17 and 18 at etc.venues County Hall Riverside Building in London, is coming up fast, so it’s a great time to get to know more about its keynote speakers and other presenters. They range from a former head of Britain’s Security Service – MI5 – widely known as the fictional home of legendary film spy James Bond, and a pioneer in the field of project management. Read on to learn more.
Eliza Manningham-Buller headed Britain’s Security Service (MI5) from 2002 to 2007, leading the organisation though substantial change in the wake of 9/11 and the threat from Al-Qaeda. During her time at the helm MI5 doubled in size, opened eight new offices and altered its approach to the professional development of staff with the establishment of a training academy.
Earlier in her career, Eliza led the Service’s investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. She served in Washington during the first Gulf War, returning to establish MI5’s intelligence effort against the Provisional IRA in mainland Britain. She joined the board and assumed lead responsibility for work on Irish terrorism, surveillance, technical collection, finance and IT before becoming deputy director general in charge of intelligence operations.
In presentations, Eliza draws on her experience in the most demanding of environments to stress the need for leaders in any walk of life to engage in frank dialogue and invite criticism. “Do not try to be something you’re not, take responsibility for your team and remember that praising people takes seconds and can make an enormous difference,” she says. “And don’t forget that humour can be found even in the most awful situations.”
Eliza Manningham-Buller is chair of the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest non-governmental fund providers for scientific research. She was also chosen to deliver the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures, alongside the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
While Manningham-Buller brings us this rich security perspective, keynoter Eddie Obeng speaks from the education space. Obeng is a British educator and author. He is a professor at the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Henley Business School and the founder of Pentacle (The Virtual Business School) and QUBE, a 3-D learning environment.
Obeng is notable as a pioneer in the field of project management and for developing and championing the concept of “new world management” as a response to the rapidly accelerating pace of change. He has been described variously as “a leading revolutionary” and “an agent provocateur” by the Financial Times, and by Abbey National as their “secret weapon”.
His business career started as an engineer at Shell before he became the youngest executive director of a European Business School when he moved to Ashridge Business School in 1987. In 1994, he established Pentacle, The Virtual Business School, in order to teach this philosophy and ensure that there was a “continuous link between learning and implementation”. In 2011, he won the Sir Monty Finniston Award for lifetime achievement by The Association of Project Managers for his contributions to the study and practice of project management.
Obeng and his team have spent the best part of a decade re-writing the fundamentals of business management to create their own coherent, joined up new world approach. They have challenged all the established thinking and re-interpreted the needs for the 21st century of complexity and fast change. Obeng brings genuinely new concepts, materials and practice. He has written up some of his work in over 12 books.