What Happened In New York City? The 6th NYC CDO Summit!

On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, the 6th NYC CDO Summit was held in the Roone Arledge Auditorium in Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia University in New York City, USA.

Delegates at the 2018 NYC CDO Summit in Roone Arledge auditorium at Columbia University.

The event was sponsored by Bain Capital, Esri, United Technologies, Unified, Sansan, The Shipyard, Ellig Group, Caserta, Avado, BERG, Metis Machine, and ODBMS.org.

Videos of all keynotes and panels from every CDO Summit to date – including NYC – are available for CDO Club GOLD and PLATINUM members.

CDO Club membership benefits are here

The NYC summit was kicked off by David Mathison, Founder and CEO of the CDO Club and CDO Summit, welcoming the crowd and introducing Joe Bilman to the stage.

Joe Bilman, Chief Digital Officer & Head of Product Development at Harland Clarke Holdings, Valassis & Harland Clarke

Joe Bilman, Chief Digital Officer & Head of Product Development at Harland Clarke Holdings, Valassis & Harland Clarke, presented “The ‘Gig Economy’ Hits the C-Suite: A Talent Exchange that Works For You.” During this presentation Mathison and Bilman officially announced Innovation Exchange Inc (IXI), the CDO Club’s new AI-based Talent Exchange that matches C-suite experts and executives with targeted opportunities.

Mathison then discussed the “101 CDOs Who Have Become CEO” report that was recently released by the CDO Club and Bain Capital.  He revealed the statistics of those who have made the transition from the Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer title to the Chief Executive Officer role.

To see the digital and data executives who made the list, download the free report here. Profiles of all 101 executives can be found on the CDO Club blog here.

Following Mathison was Darren Herman, Operating Partner at Bain Capital, and Jon Bond, Co Chairman and Chief Tomorroist of The Shipyard, who spoke more on the ‘CDO to CEO’ career path.

Darren Herman, Operating Partner at Bain Capital

Jon Bond, Co Chairman of The Shipyard

By no coincidence, the first panel of the day was CDOs Who Have Become CEO or President moderated by David Mathison. Panelists included:

  • Barbara Goodstein: Member of Board of Directors at Kush Bottles
  • Darren Herman: Operating Partner at Bain Capital
  • David Chivers: President & Publisher at Register Media
  • Eric Hellweg: Vice President of Product, News Experience at The New York Times & Former Managing Director, Product Management & Digital Strategy at Harvard Business Review / HBR.org
  • Sean Atkins: Sr. Advisor, Evolution Media & Former President, MTV at Viacom

Panelists discussed the skills and background required, and challenges to overcome, when making the CDO to CEO career move.

CDOs Who Have Become CEO or President Panel

After the first break of the day, the event jumped into another panel on Digital Transformation in the CMO Suite moderated by Greg Paull, Co Founder and Principal of R3 and author of the book Global CMO: Best Practice in Marketing Effectiveness and Efficiency Around the World. Panelists included:

  • Ben Jankowski: Group Head, Global Media at Mastercard
  • Kim Canfield: North American Media Director at Colgate Palmolive
  • Michelle Froah: VP of Digital Transformation at Samsung Electronics America

Digital Transformation has changed the modern marketing playbook. These panelists explored how global CMO’s are embracing and leading digital within their firms, and leveraging marketing, sales, and technical talent to migrate to e-commerce and customer connections.

Digital Transformation in the CMO Suite Panel

Delivering the next keynote was Saskia Steinacker, Vice President and Global Lead Digital Excellence at Bayer on “Digital Transformation of a Life Science Company.” Steinacker spoke on how innovation is needed in Life Sciences to help feed and heal a growing population in a sustainable manner. She also explained Bayer’s transformation to use digitalization and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence to create innovative and sustainable solutions for its customers.

Saskia Steinacker, VP and Global Lead Digital Excellence at Bayer

Delegates then took a quick break for lunch and then dove into three Lunch & Learn presentations.

Ananya Chadha, Innovator at TKS

First up was Ananya Chadha, a 16 year-old blockchain developer from Toronto who blew the audience away with her keynote on “The Future of Blockchain – Intersections With Other Exponential Technologies.” She informed the crowd that she has developed two cryptocurrencies and crowdsale (ICO) smart contracts with the ERC20 tokens framework set by Ethereum. Chadha spoke on how she is focused on the intersection between blockchain and other exponential technologies including Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs). Recently, she developed a brain-computer interface that uses brain waves to turn on and off music with the user’s thoughts, and controlled a remote control car with her brain which she demonstrated during her presentation with a video.

Next up was another impressive presentation given by Jessica Pointing, Founder at Optimize Guide; Quantum Computing Researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Pointing spoke on “The World of Quantum” and used donuts to explain a complicated topic to an audience hungry for understanding. She illustrated how classical physics can not explain the quantum behavior of atoms and subatomic particles, but when behavior is harnessed effectively, systems become far more powerful than classical computers.

Jessica Pointing, Founder at Optimize Guide; Quantum Computing Researcher at MIT

The final Lunch & Learn lecturer spoke at the recent 2018 London and based on an informal poll, was the most well-received presentation. Rich Kramer, Managing Director at Arete Research, spoke on the controversial topic, “Are Digital Advertising Markets Rigged?” Kramer’s point is that a few Internet players have managed to control both the supply and demand side of the digital ad market in a way that would be unimaginable in financial markets. That Facebook and Google have absorbed nearly all the incremental spending on digital ads is conventional wisdom; but why, and how?

Rich Kramer, Managing Director at Arete Research

Kramer left the stage on a hopeful note. Several developments – blockchain-based solutions, new entrants into digital ad space like Amazon, and greater regulatory scrutiny – offer the chance for publishers and brands to get more diversity and competition among those competing for their audience and ad budgets.

After the Lunch & Learns, the participants for the Leveraging Data for Competitive Advantage panel took the stage.  This panel, moderated by David Mathison, examined the challenges and opportunities many organizations face when leveraging their data for competitive advantage. Panelists discussed ways of establishing business-driven global knowledge and social collaboration strategies that can enable an organization to deliver real-time, actionable insights to the right people at the right time.

Panelists included:

  • Eugene Kolker: VP & Chief Data Officer, IBM Services at IBM Corp.
  • Gina Papush: Global Chief Data & Analytics Officer at QBE Insurance Group
  • Slava Akmaev: SVP, Chief Analytics Officer, Co-founder and Head of Berg Analytics at BERG
  • Steve Serra: VP, Product & Innovation at United Technologies

Leveraging Data for Competitive Advantage Panel

Following the panel was Joe Caserta, President of Caserta who keynoted on “Unleashing the Cloud: How Transforming Your Data Ecosystem Will Transform Your Business.” Caserta spoke on how world-class organizations have been transforming their data ecosystems to reduce cost, generate revenue, improve quality, and reduce risk. He informed the audience of the necessary digital foundation required to realize the full disruptive potential of the cloud. Caserta provided real-world use cases and examples of how the cloud enables automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and more.

Joe Caserta, President of Caserta

Makoto Kakizaki, Director of Digital Strategy Office at Sansan

After a brief afternoon break with plenty of networking and business cards being passed around, delegates then heard from Makoto Kakizaki, Director of Digital Strategy Office at Sansan who delivered a keynote on “What happens when you digitize business cards?” Kakizaki shared some videos on how issues that are common to Japanese organizations that continued from the Edo (Samurai) period can be solved by digitizing business cards originating in the United States.

Amen Ra Mashariki, Head of Urban Analysis at Esri

Amen Ra Mashariki, Head of Urban Analysis at Esri was next to take the stage, making this his second appearance at a NYC CDO Summit. This time Mashariki spoke of his experience at Esri and the work he has done there since starting in 2017 during his presentation on “Moving Towards a Smarter City with Urban Analytics.” He used case studies to inform the audience on how urban analytics, the combination of location intelligence and data science, can help data-driven decision makers realize positive outcomes for their communities through The Science of Where.

The next data-focused keynote was by Anthony Scriffignano, Ph.D., SVP, Chief Data Scientist at Dun & Bradstreet who was also making his return to the CDO Summit stage. Scriffignano previously served as a panelist on the “Improving Citizen’s Lives Through Data, Insights, and Analytics” panel at the Washington D.C. CDO Summit on July 26, 2017.

During the NYC CDO Summit, Dr. Scriffignano keynoted on “Digital Disruption: Evolve Or Fade, The Choice Is Ours,” where he explored how the massive availability of data is changing the way business decisions are made in the modern context. His session covered three main themes: Digital Disruption (how the data around us continues to change), Planned Response (using disparate information to make increasingly powerful decisions), and Future Trends and Recommendations.

At the end of his keynote, CDO Club founder David Mathison presented Dr. Scriffignano with the U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year 2018 award. In a nice surprise, they were joined onstage by last year’s winner (and Anthony’s friend), Dr. Inderpal Bhandari, Global Chief Data Officer at IBM.

Previous Chief Data Officer of the Year award winners from the U.S. and other regions can be found here.

David Mathison, Dr. Anthony Scriffignano, and Dr. Inderpal Bhandari

Closing the program was special guest John Hall, Former Congressman for NY’s 19th District, Musician, Songwriter, Co-Founder of Orleans, and Author of “Still the One: A Rock’n’Roll Journey to Congress and Back.” Hall spoke to the delegates on “Time, Tech, and the Digital Priesthood,” reminding the delegates that even though the pace of technology is dizzying, the need still exists to protect the analog knowledge that has been collected. John Hall then pulled out his guitar, and entertained the audience with a few songs.

John Hall, Former Congressman for NY’s 19th District, Musician, Songwriter, Co-Founder of Orleans, and Author of the book, Still the One.

A cocktail reception followed the performance, where delegates had a chance to network and celebrate with the award-winner.

Many thanks also to our “social media emcee” Sree Sreenivasan (@sree).  Sree was doing double-duty, covering the Pulitzers at Lowe Memorial Library across campus at Columbia University at the same time. He encouraged delegates to keep up their social presence on Twitter and Instagram, and tracked the engagement and participation following the hashtag #CDOSummitNYC. See the results here.

Thanks to all our sponsors and partners on the NYC CDO Summit for a great event – Bain Capital, Esri, United Technologies, Unified, Sansan, The Shipyard, Ellig Group, Caserta, Avado, BERG, Metis Machine, and ODBMS.org.

The next CDO Summit will be held in San Francisco on September 12, 2018.

Thank you Esri!

Thank you Sree Sreenivasan!

Thank you Caserta!

Thank you Metis!


Delegates networking at the 2018 NYC CDO Summit


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