The second edition of a global competition on reshaping the business world leveraging on human capital, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, taking virtually place live from the FT headquarters and Bocconi University from the 6th until the 13th of February 2021.
The 150 participants will compete in teams to solve real business and strategic challenges in different business fields.
They will work with rising stars alumni and academics from Bocconi University who will support and mentor them throughout the event to help understand how innovation works within Policy, Entrepreneurship, Finance and Marketing frameworks.
The Challengers will have access to masterclasses and talks on the impact of digitalization and emerging digital technologies on the business mindset and strategy, delivered by panels of experts from Financial Times and Bocconi University.
Each team has the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of an audience of professionals, members of the Bocconi University Board, academia, alumni, as well as FT journalists and board members.
All participants will have the chance to network with each other and with Bocconi professors and alumni, and will get a real sense of what it takes to work in the business world today.
Mario Monti is President of Bocconi University (since 1994, on leave when in public office) and Italian Senator for life (since 2011). In August 2020 he has been appointed Chairman of the “Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development: Rethinking Policy Priorities in the light of Pandemics”, convened by WHO/Europe.
In November 2011, with Italy close to default, President Napolitano called on Monti to form a government of national unity, taking the positions of Prime Minister (2011-2013) and Minister of Economy and Finance (2011-2012). The confidence vote by Parliament saw the highest majority in post-War Italy. Eliciting cross-party support, the government overcame the financial crisis, initiated structural reforms and obtained vital improvements in Euro-area governance.
After months of negotiations under Italy’s pressure, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland - which had strongly opposed the idea of interventions in order to stabilize sovereign bond markets – changed position and joined a unanimous statement by the Euro Summit (June 2012) calling for such interventions. This provided the ECB with the highest political coverage for a shift in monetary policy, which was in fact announced shortly afterwards by the ECB President.
Monti had previously served for ten years as Member of the European Commission (1995-2004). As Commissioner for the Single Market (1995-1999) and Competition (1999-2004), he fostered market integration whilst promoting tax coordination; and sanctioned high-profile cases of abuses of dominance (e.g. Microsoft), anticompetitive mergers (e.g. GE/Honeywell) and illegal state-aids (e.g. German government’s guarantees to public banks).
Born in Varese, Italy, in 1943, he graduated from Bocconi University and pursued graduate studies at Yale University. He was professor of Economics at the University of Trento, at the University of Torino, and then at Bocconi, where he was Rector between 1989 and 1994.
Virginia works as a Business Development Manager at the Financial Times, as part of the Commercial Department. She founded and runs the FT Talent Challenge project.
Her role consists in looking across new business ideas and new revenue growth opportunities that reflect on the sustainability of the news business model, and on its future readership and talent acquisition. Her job is to keep the Financial Times among the most innovative media companies, being a source of innovation and energy across the media business – uncovering new opportunities for the FT to be successful.
She is FT Advisor for the new FT data and strategy consulting firm FT Strategies. She is part of the founding team of the organisation, building a sustainable business model of the firm as well as developing a new collaborative mindset throughout the media and news industry, shaping and sharing best practice for other publishers.
She is actively working between London and New York.
Before joining the FT, Virginia has been a start-up founder & entrepreneur; she worked as a freelance reporter for La Stampa. She is the Winner of the 30 under 30 International News and Media Association (INMA) Award and Europe Grand Prize Winner (2020). She now sits on the Board of INMA, Europe. In 2019 she was listed as one of the Future Leaders by Digiday and in 2016 she was awarded as the Best Italian Entrepreneur Under 25.
She is the CEO & founder of GoodSaints, a wellness start-up, and had previously founded a digital magazine, Revolart, as well as a cultural heritage foundation, Bolognadasballo.
She holds an MSc in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and a BSc in Economics and Management for Art, Culture and Communications from Bocconi University. She loves travelling in ‘extreme’ conditions. She is a Vespa rider – even in foggy London!
Gianmario Verona is Rector of Bocconi University. He is a Professor of Management specialized on the strategic management of technology and innovation, with a focus on the theme of digital transformation. He has been Visiting Professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and Visiting Scholar at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Before being appointed Rector, he served Bocconi as Dean of the Faculty, Director of the MBA program and Director of the PhD in Business Administration. He is author of over 70 academic articles and 5 books and has published in all the leading management journals. Over the years he has collaborated with many Global500 companies, innovative multinationals and newly founded startups in terms of applied research, executive education and consulting activity.
Jon Slade oversees the Financial Times’ subscriptions business, global advertising sales operations, print and digital consumer marketing, customer services and business development. He is the FT’s first CCO, and was appointed to the FT Group executive board in December 2014.
Slade was previously the FT’s BC2 managing director, and before that he was the commercial director for global digital advertising and insight, where he spearheaded the overall strategic direction for the FT’s digital advertising business. In this role he also established the FT’s first Global Commercial Academy to drive L&D for the advertising team. The popular programme is an effort to formalise the development of digital media and advertising skills among staff, and inspire new ideas, initiatives and collaboration. Slade has directed the development of new advertising products for FT.com, the FT’s mobile apps, third party platforms such as Flipboard and Google Newsstand, as well as howtospendit.com.
Most notably, he pioneered the FT’s widely reported initiative to establish a time-based currency for digital advertising, CPH, and advised the IAB on industry standards around ad viewability metrics.
He joined the FT in 2002 as technology client manager working with European technology and telecoms clients. He left the FT in 2005 to join News International, and returned to the FT in 2007 as commercial director for digital advertising. Before that he ran the FT’s strategic sales team – a global creative cross-platform advertising team he built in 2007. Slade has a background in client sales within the advertising technology sector previously working for Fairfax, both in London and Sydney. He is a member and board representative of the IAB in London, an active participant with the DCN in New York, and a spokesperson for the FT on digital strategy in news publishing.
After graduating in Management of International Firms at Luigi Bocconi University, she completed a PhD in Business Administration at the University of Torino.
She started her career at Procter&Gamble, where since 1997 she held positions of increasing responsibility working on mature and emerging markets until she was appointed in 2012 as Cosmetics International Operations Division leader, with the responsibility of supervising the brands in her portfolio in over 70 countries throughout the world. From 2014 to 2017, she served as Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal Italia S.p.A. and she lead the return to growth of the company in a challenging economic environment. Since July 2017 she is Chief Executive Officer of the KIKO Company, completing the Tornaround and doubling up the EBITDA. Brand leader in Italy and in Europe, KIKO has more than 7,700 employees, 900 mono-brand stores in 22 countries and an e-Commerce channel present in over 34 countries.
Speaker and lecturer in many national and international conventions and conferences related to enterprise development, leadership, diversity and sustainability, Ms. Scocchia is also a member of the Board of Directors of EssilorLuxottica S.A and IllyCafè S.p.A.
In June 2019 she was awarded the Legion d'Honneur.
Andrea Ordanini is BNP Paribas Professor of Marketing and Service Analytics, at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.
He has been a visiting researcher at the London School of Economics in 1997 and at the University of California at Irvine in 2003 and 2006. His research interests focus on services marketing, services innovation and consumption of cultural goods, covering both conceptual and empirical research endeavors.
Recently he is interested in studying the effects of Artificial Intelligence solutions on physical and virtual service encounters.
Simona Maellare is the Global Co-Head of Alternative Capital Group at UBS. She is also a member of the Global Banking Global Management Committee. With over 25 years of experience in investment banking, she was ranked as one of the 100 most influential women in the City of London in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Degree summa cum laude and a Master in Economics from Bocconi University, Milan. She has also studied at UCLA, Los Angeles as exchange student.
Diego Piacentini served as Italian Government Commissioner for Digital Transformation, reporting directly to the Prime Minister, after 17 years as Amazon SVP of the International Consumer Business. Earlier in his career, he worked at Apple for 12 years and was GM of Apple Europe. He is a member of the Boards of Directors of The Economist Group, Apolitical and OODA Health. He is also an Advisor for KKR and Convoy. Diego is active in NGOs and is on the board of University Bocconi, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Maasai Association (Kenya), Endeavor Italy and serves as a mentor for Endeavor Global. Diego graduated in Economics from University Bocconi and was awarded “Alumnus Bocconi 2010”.
Stefano Caselli is Dean for International Affairs at Bocconi University, Professor of Banking and Finance and Algebris Chair in Long-Term Investment and Absolute Return. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS) and member of the Steering Committee of CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences. His research focuses on the relationship between the banking and industrial system, on private equity & venture capital and on corporate governance of financial institutions. He is member of the Advisory Board of Confindustria and has widespread experience as an independent director in several boards, such as Generali Real Estate, Credito Valtellinese and Santander Consumer Bank.
Cassandra R. Chambers is an Assistant Professor in the department of Management and Technology at Bocconi University. She received her Ph.D. from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include cooperation, robust performance, social hierarchy, leveraging diversity in organizations, and online management tools.
Francesco Daveri is Professor of Macroeconomics and the Director of the Full-Time MBA Program at SDA Bocconi school of management. He has taught at the Università Cattolica, Parma, Brescia, Munich and Lugano and has acted as a consultant for Italy’s Ministry of the Economy, the World Bank, the European Commission and the European Parliament. His research activities focus on the relationship between economic reforms, the adoption of new technologies and productivity trends at the firm, industry and aggregate level in Italy, Europe and the US. He is an op-ed columnist for Italian newspaper ‘Corriere della Sera’.
After a degree in Economy at Bocconi University and a Master in Marketing at ESCP Europe, Elena Lavezzi worked as Marketing Manager at Uber for 4 years where she launched the Italian market before moving to Asia to support the development and growth of the Indian market. She joined the FinTech industry in 2016, up to becoming the Director, Go-To-Market Retail Europe at Circle and, in 2019 joined Revolut as a Head of Southern Europe, with the goal of creating and managing local teams and lead the gro wth in the region. Elena is passionate about consumer tech and those innovations that have the capability of changing people's everyday lives on a global scale, thus her career along with disruptive business models, from mobility to payments.
Elena is also co-founder of Next Generation UNICEF Italia, that has the goal to raise funds and awareness with a more contemporary fundraising system through its networking and new communication channels.
Antonella Carù is a Professor of Marketing at Bocconi University where she is also the Dean of the Graduate School. She is a faculty member at the SDA Bocconi School of Management. Her research focuses on services marketing and the experiential perspective in consumption and marketing. She is also interested in consumer behaviour and management in contexts pertaining to the arts. She has published on these topics in books and in various international journals.
Markus Venzin is Professor of Global Strategy at Bocconi University and Dean of Innovation. He has held visiting positions and teaching assignments at, among others, University of Michigan, Fudan University, Copenhagen Business School, Essec and ESADE. He is an expert on growth strategies with a focus on innovation and corporate entrepreneurship. He has widespread experience in consulting services to CEOs and senior executives, in strategy workshops for top-management teams and as a speaker at corporate and industry events on such topics as company resilience, internationalization strategies and strategic decision-making dynamics. He has founded his own consulting firm and has served as a member of supervisory and advisory boards of several multinational firms.
Researcher at Bocconi University, where he graduated in Business Administration, Stefano Pogutz teaches several courses related to Sustainable Business and Green Management, Corporate Sustainability and Global Sustainability Strategy. Former director of the MAGER, Bocconi's Master in Green Management, Energy and CSR, he is a member of the SDA Bocconi Sustainability Lab. Since 1997 he has collaborated with CEMS-MIM (Community of European Business Schools-Master in International Management), where he is Chair of the Faculty Group "Business and the Environment".
Global business and commercial development Director focused on new revenue driving opportunities across the B2C, Marketing and Advertising departments. Customer facing, commercial, sales and business development, focused on digital development opportunities and incremental revenue creation.