PwC innovation leader Laurent Probst to speak at knowledge summit in Dubai

28 November 2018

PwC economic development and innovation leader Laurent Probst will feature among a range of speakers at the 2018 Knowledge Summit to be held in Dubai next month.

To be held over the 5th and 6th of December at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation’s 2018 Knowledge Summit in its fifth year carries the theme of ‘Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy’, with a broad range of speakers set to take the stage to discuss a number of surrounding topics, including PwC Luxembourg partner Laurent Probst.

An 18-year veteran with PwC’s Luxembourg branch, Probst in addition to being partner and economic development leader also serves as the firm’s Global Network Leader for its regional innovation ecosystem, and further played a leading hand in the development of PwC’s Accelerator programme. Launched in 2012, the accelerator supports high-potential next-gen companies with global expansion – with more than 500 European technology companies having been accelerated from Europe to Asia under Probst’s guidance to date.

For the past seven years, Probst has specialised in economic development initiatives and implementation for European governments and institutions, especially in areas related to digital innovation and transformation, with many proposed future policy recommendations surrounding issues such as big data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity among others having recently been adopted by the EU Commission.PwC innovation leader to speak at knowledge summit in DubaiWith an event schedule of 45 panel discussions and workshops, Probst will feature among a line-up of more than 100 experts and decision makers from attending from all corners of the globe, including local government, public sector and business leaders, including the Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States and UN Assistant Secretary-General Mourad Wahba and leading regional science advocate HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan.

In terms of the consulting realm, other speakers to appear will include former EY senior consultant and now CEO of Bahraini fintech hub Bahrain FinTech Bay, which recently launched an Islamic financial innovation centre, and long-term communications, media & technology expert with Booz Allen Hamilton/Booz & Company (now Strategy&) Karim Sabbagh, who was appointed as the CEO of cyber-security advisory DarkMatter earlier this year. Former Bain & Company and PwC partner and current Vice Chair for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council Yasar Jarrar will also share his knowledge and expertise.

Falling within the greater Vision 2021 agenda of the UAE, which is geared toward diversifying away from a reliance on resources and developing the Emirates into a leading knowledge economy – including policies for ‘Emiratisation’ (increasing the meaningful employment of UAE citizens) and local skills capacity building, the Knowledge Summit conference this year will cover themes which include the promotion of youth entrepreneurship.

“The youth are the fuel of the future and the cornerstone in sustainable development efforts in any community,” said Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation CEO Jamal Bin Huwaireb, who will preside over the agency’s awarding of the Knowledge Award during the opening ceremony. “Hosting the event here in the UAE underlines the country’s status as a hub for constructive cultural dialogue, which spurs visions and plans for robust knowledge-based societies.”

Carlos Ghosn's daughters get their career starts in strategy consulting

16 April 2019

With the Ghosn affair taking yet another twist, this time concerning allegations in Oman, the world’s media remains gripped.

A highly celebrated figure in Lebanon, the case of ex-Nissan and now ex-Renault head Carlos Ghosn has captivated the media round the world, with his re-arrest and detainment in Japan on further embezzlement charges last week – this time concerning allegations in Oman – delivering the latest twist in the saga. For his part, Ghosn continues to deny the charges, labeling the latest allegations of financial impropriety as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

Much of the media fascination stems from Ghosn’s remarkable story. Born to Lebanese immigrants in Brazil, Ghosn spent much of his youth in Lebanon before moving to Paris to pursue an engineering degree – and in almost no time arriving at the very top of the global automotive industry as a feted turn-around specialist, having rescued both Renault and Nissan from probable ruin. The other factor; a cultivated lifestyle of celebrity glamour.

Front and centre in that image was Ghosn’s young family, including a son Anthony and three daughters – Caroline, Maya and Nadine – who have all grown into their own spotlight in the international business and entrepreneurial worlds. And in line with that A-list background, all three of his daughters got their career starts at the crème de la crème of the strategy and management consulting world; prestigious MBB firms McKinsey & Company and BCG.The Ghosn family affair with the international consulting sector  The eldest Ghosn daughter, Caroline, joined McKinsey in 2007 following a BA in International Relations at Stamford University – before founding professional career network Levo in 2011 with three of her McKinsey associates. Her husband, Nicholas Flanders, CEO and co-founder of carbon reduction tech-company Opus 12, (and former COO of Levo), is likewise an alumnus of McKinsey – serving for three and a half years alongside Ghosn in the firm’s New York office.

Carlos Ghosn’s second daughter got her start at Boston Consulting Group.  A regonised name in luxury fashion as the founder and creative director of Nadine Ghosn Fine Jewelry, her brand counts and Beyoncé and the recently deceased fashion icon Karl Largerfeld among its celebrity clientele. At BCG, Nadine, who also graduated Stamford, served as an associate in the firm’s luxury and consumer goods practice before joining a management programme at Hermès.

Like her eldest sister, Ghosn’s youngest daughter Maya joined McKinsey’s New York office – spending over three years there as an engagement manager before departing in 2016. Maya is now Manager, Housing Affordability for the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan to promote social equality. Incidentally, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, a former McKinsey consultant, has been a mentor to Caroline and also founded, where Maya first started out as an intern.

Carlos Ghosn’s son Anthony – who has now been embroiled in his father’s affair with accusations of money being funneled via Oman toward his financial services start-up, Shogun (where he is CEO but has not been accused of any direct involvement) – didn’t get his break at an MBB, but his step-brother, Anthony Marshi, the son of Carlos Ghosn’s second wife Carole Nahas, is a partner with BCG in New York according to French newspaper Le Figaro.