The International Conference on Business Learning Games (ICOBLG) brings together multi-disciplinary experts from business, education, and learning games. It is attended by HR professionals from organizations large and small, by companies in the training and learning games space, and by educators. It aims to promote innovation and use of business learning games and delivers a unique opportunity to network, share ideas, and find solutions to help drive improvement and enhance business outcomes in an era of ongoing change.
Ana is Director of Pedagogy at Happy Code, a company focusing on STEAM (STEM plus Arts) education solutions.
She has previously worked on developing a serious game for medical education at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Portugal, has been the primary author on a number of papers on learning games in STEM, and has presented at several international conferences. Ana has also served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Technology, Education and Development Conference.
She holds a BSc in Biology, an MSc in Environmental Biology, a post-graduate qualification in Science Communication, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minho in Educational Technology, Games, Motivation, and Learning.
Ana served as an International Business Learning Games Judge in 2016 , 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Blaz is the founder and CEO of Baltazar Marketing and has worked for clients such as Porsche, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Toshiba, Astellas Pharma, Studio Moderna, and Austrian Airlines. Since 2014 he has been delivering training courses and workshops on topics including entrepreneurship, marketing, product re-engineering, live experience design, and business game design.
He is an aficionado of educational Larps (Live Action Role Playing games) and has co-created over 20 scenarios, which he has used to train and mentor numerous international training course participants. In 2017, he created the learning game Digital Shift in collaboration with Deloitte.
Blaz holds a BA in Sociology and human resources management and is the author of Imagine This, a book on the power of Edu-Larps in corporate training, which was published by the Danish firm, Rollespilsakademiet, in March 2018.
Dianne is Dean of the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development at Dalhousie University. Prior to taking that role, she was an educational consultant and entrepreneur with two decades’ experience running her own educational consultancy, providing practical, knowledge-based solutions for education institutions, professional associations, non-profit organizations.
She has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. and has worked on educational assignments around the globe, notably in Asia and Africa, ranging from curriculum development and the evaluation of educational technology to policy development and program accreditation. She is interested in the effective use of business learning games in organizations and when integrated into curricula at the high school, college and university levels.
Dianne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical and Health Education (University of Toronto), an MA in Applied Linguistics (University of Queensland), an MBA (Ivey School of Business), a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurial Education (University of Toronto). She is a Fellow of the Business Excellence Institute.
Fausto is the Principal Software Engineer at GSN Games (a Sony Pictures Entertainment and AT&T Entertainment Group company). He has a background in corporate engineering and application development but his passion is casual games, digital art and educational games.
He has participated in several games events including hackathons, game jams, and conferences and won the 2nd prize in the 2016 Intel IoT Roadshow Hackathon with his project “The Adventure Cube”, a physical electronic game that connects with all the smartphones in an audience or crowd – a device which can be thrown around for engaging social gameplay with educational, social and debating purposes. Fausto has also collaborated on the creation of science educational activities for the company Kids With Brains in London, and has also worked with them in workshops a science entertainer. He’s currently working on his own educational games for children with the objective of teaching basic programming skills.
Fausto holds a BSc in Computer Science and Engineering (Técnico Institute, Lisbon) as well as a Professional Qualification in Electronics and Telecommunications (EPPET, Lisbon). He served as an International Business Learning Games Judge in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Gillian serves as Board Chair for the Australian Network of Art and Technology and is an award-winning Producer with experience working with commercial digital media companies, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.
Her interests include neuroscience, learning behaviours, educational games and experience design. She has published papers on Educational Games and lectured on Digital Media Production and has a passion for developing creative, effective communications solutions. Gillian has won the Australian Teachers of Media Award for best Primary Educational Resource (2003), best Tertiary Education Resource (2000), and best Entertaining Multimedia Production (1999) as well as a Special Jury Prize for “Innovation and pushing the boundaries of Interactive Multimedia” from RMIT (1995).
She holds a BSc in Genetics (Australian National University), a Master’s degree in Creative Media (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and will soon finish her Ph.D. in Serious Games (Swinburne University). She served as an International Business Learning Games Judge in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Chief Executive of Totem Learning, Helen is one of the most sought-after learning games designers in the world. She is author of the acclaimed book ‘Why Games Are Good For Business’ and is known for creating award winning, effective and engaging gamified solutions with proven ROI that improve learning and development. Her work has contributed to shaping the Game Based Learning market.
Although CEO of Totem Learning, at heart Helen is an Instructional Games Designer who specializes in the design and development of engaging gamification and serious games that leverage behavioural and cognitive theories with a particular focus integrating learning content and the motivational aspects of good game design. Helen holds a BSc in Psychology (Abertay University, Scotland) and has received a number of awards including, in April 2018, both the Judges’ Recognition Award and the Achieves Internationally Award from the UK organization Woman Who.
John has been using games, exercises, and simulations to develop people at all levels in business for over a decade and led the development of APEX, the Institute’s flagship learning game to help people learn how to be strategic and make decisions in the face of uncertainty. He has been a community Teaching Assistant for MIT on their Edx courses on the Design and Development of Educational Technology and the Implementation and Evaluation of Educational Technology.
He holds a BSc in Applied Physics (NUI Galway) and an MBA (UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business), an MSc in Business and Management Research (Henley Business School) and has also studied at INSEAD. He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Excellence Assessor, and President of the Business Excellence Institute.
Ken Thompson is an expert practitioner, author and speaker on collaboration, high performing teams, and game-based learning. He started his career in technology and was Head of IT for Reuters London before joining a Software Engineering Research Institute as a director and, later, becoming Managing Director for VISION Consulting in Belfast. In 2006, he setup his own consultancy practice to pursue his interest in high performing teams and business simulations. He has written a number of books and his work has been featured in major print publications including Wired and Henry Ford Magazine. He has also spoken at many events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and NASA internal conferences. His clients include major corporations such as Abbott Healthcare, Jaguar Land Rover, Oracle, PepsiCo, Royal Sun Alliance, Spar, and Virgin. Ken holds a BSc in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Queens University, Belfast.
Lars is Director of Learning at the global engineering and software company DHI – a world leader in hydrology and water environments. He directs the DHI Academy, which delivers training to clients, staff, and partners. He has previously served as a Learning Architect at Henley Business School – where he also taught personal development to executive MBAs. He has worked as a management consultant for Gartner Group and Nykredit and has founded two companies within game-based learning: Games & Theory and ADEO. Lars serves as a guest lecturer at the University of Copenhagen and as an external examiner at both Aarhus University and at the Technical University of Denmark. He has designed well over 40 games for learning and change in large organizations and is serving as a judge for the 2018 International Business Learning Games Competition.
He holds a master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Copenhagen as well as numerous certifications in psychometric tests and learning tools. His interests include sports, science and playing all kinds of board games. Since 1999, Lars has designed well over 40 analog games for learning and change in large organizations. He has presented and run workshops at the Conference on multiple occasions.
Luis is Managing Partner and Founder of ÜBERBRANDS, a strategic consultancy boutique that helps organizations successfully navigate their competitive environment. He has held leadership roles in intelligence, strategy, marketing, and sales both locally (in Portugal) and globally. A seasoned consultant, prior to founding ÜBERBRANDS, he served as Ogilvy Consulting’s Global Competitive Intelligence Practice Lead and has experience working with FMCG brands such as Diageo, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Red Bull, United Coffee, and Heineken.
He lectures and teaches internationally, including for NOVA IMS, and is chair of the Portuguese Chapter of SCIP (Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals). He is the creator of an abductive-thinking framework for real-time CI he calls “SMINT” and the end-to-end innovation program “INNOVaction”.
Luis is an economics graduate from NOVA SBE and is working on his doctorate in IMS Nova. He is a certified Advanced Competitive Intelligence Professional and a CI Fellow.
Mark is European Head of Energy & Utilities at Kerry Taste & Nutrition and was previously Best Practice & Innovation Director for Veolia UK & Ireland, Technical Director of Dalkia Ireland and, before that, he spent 13 years with ESB International as a Key Account Manager, during which time he spent 3 years in Japan.
He has a keen interest in learning and innovation, design thinking, design ethnography, and uncovering a deep understanding of people’s behaviors and needs. Mark served as Chairman of Energy & Environment Division of Engineers Ireland (from X to Y) and was also a Play Tester for the Institute’s management learning game, APEX.
He holds a BSc Eng, Electrical Engineering (Dublin Institute of Technology), Post Graduate Diplomas in Project Management (Trinity College, Dublin) and Leadership (University of Limerick) and is completing his Masters in Design Innovation (NUI, Maynooth).
Michael is a multidisciplinary scholarly practitioner with experience in design thinking, information systems, knowledge management, education, and games. Having worked in business and as an entrepreneur, he moved into education and – despite being an advocate of innovative and disruptive approaches to education – has served as a professor at a number of universities in the US.
He is an internationally recognized thought leader on game-based learning and co-author of the upcoming book Successful Game-Based Learning: The Power of the human element in experiential learning, simulations, and serious games. Michael has won awards for teaching excellence and is an award-winning author of papers on both educational technology and business. He also serves as a research advisor for the Harvard Business Review.
Michael holds a PhD in Knowledge Management (McGill University). He is a Certified Management Consultant and a Fellow of the Business Excellence Institute. He served as an International Business Learning Games competition judge in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He has presented at the Conference on multiple occasions.
Natasha manages the Educational Technology Support team in the University of British Columbia and lectures for their Faculty of Education. Her work focuses on online collaboration and communication strategies, student engagement, delivery models and culturally responsive instruction. She has won several awards and has authored and presented numerous papers including; “Gamification in higher education” (Norway, 2015), “Changing Landscape of learning environments” (India, 2013) and “Play to become a leader and a citizen of the world” (Greece, 2011).
She holds BA in English (University of Novi Sad), a Master’s in Distance Education (Athabasca University) and PhD in Language and Literacy Education (University of British Columbia) as well as postgraduate certificates in Technology-Based Distributed Learning and Intercultural Studies. Her interests include technology-enhanced learning, instructional design, and professional development. She served as an International Business Learning Games competition judge in 2017 and 2018.
Paul is the founder and Principal of SCENARIO, a Serious Games company that designs and facilitates bespoke scenario exercises, business wargames, megagames, matrix games, and historical wargames to enable businesses, organizations and educators to “think and experience the unthinkable”.
An experienced design thinker, strategist, innovation specialist, facilitator and trainer, Paul pivoted a 15-year career as a professional architect and business owner when he moved into Business Innovation Management. He was a founding partner of Ireland’s first Competitive Intelligence and Business Wargames consultancy, POLUS Intelligence, is the former Head of Immersive Engagement at KATAWAVE, and has also served as the Innovation Ecosystem Development Manager at Accenture’s new Global Centre for Innovation in Dublin’s Silicon Docks.
He has presented and run games at the Conference on multiple occasions.
Paula is responsible for the Leader’s Academy Experience, the New Learning Experience for Top Executives of Santander Group. As a member of the Global Learning, Development & Talent Team, she is devoted to transform the traditional ‘push’ model used in the development of the leaders, into a model of continuous learning experience, which allows every Santander Citizen to design their own unique learning journey, leveraging the knowledge ambition of each single employee.
Passionate about people, training and human relations, Paula has developed her professional career within different industries, starting in insurance, where she was responsible for the Department of Foreign Clients of Groupama Seguros y Reaseguros, SA. She has been Commercial Director in several fairs of the Trade Fair Institution of Madrid (IFEMA), such as Manutec, Exponautica, and Fitness. In the Santander Group she has dedicated a large part of her career to people and their training, going from working with the interns in the Group, to designing the onboarding process, to currently take care of the Training and Development of Santander Corporate Leaders.
Pere is a Professor at the University of Barcelona who focuses on entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation, design thinking, and agile Learning methodologies. He uses games and Lego® Serious Play® for all his executive training assignments. Pere has also taught at IESE Business School, Toulouse Business School, and LATAM Business School. Before entering academia, Pere worked for Philips where – among other things – he developed and facilitated High Performing Teams in Knowledge and Innovation Management. He served as an International Business Learning Games Competition judge in 2017.
Pere holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Barcelona, a MSc in Computer Science from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and a PhD in Educational Innovation from the University of Barcelona. He is a qualified Excellence Assessor, a Certified Lego® Serious Play facilitator, and a Fellow of the Business Excellence Institute. He has run workshops at the Conference on multiple occasions.
Philip is a Computer Game Development lecturer with the Institute of Technology Carlow in Ireland.
He advocates the use of technology in education and has organized a number of conferences, seminars and events to encourage educators to explore pedagogy through technology. He was the founder of Games Fleadh – Ireland’s computer games festival which has included game design and programming events such as DirectX Ireland Challenge, Robocode Ireland, and Games Studio Ireland Challenge.
He was a committee member for the 7th European Conference on Games Based Learning and has presented at numerous international conferences including the UAE 2015 Challenges Conference, the Games:EDU Develop Conference, the IMTC Conference, and the Exploring ICT in Education Conference.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Trinity College, Dublin) and an MSc in Software Engineering (NUI Maynooth) and is completing his doctorate in Human-Computer Interaction.
Rob works for IE Business School in Madrid – one of the world’s leading business schools – as their Publishing Manager where he leads the publication of active learning experiences and paper-based learning materials. He is also the founder and host of the Professor Game, a weekly podcast featuring interviews with leading thinkers and practitioners who are bringing games to education around the world.
He teaches subjects ranging from Decision Science to Gamification for business at IE and has been presenting on learning and gamified learning to international audiences since 2015.
Rob, whose interest in games started when he got his first Nintendo aged seven, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering (Universidad Simón Bolívar) and an MBA (Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración).
Sara is an executive consultant, professor, former university Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of London.
An eminent educator with twenty-five years of experience working in higher education in Europe and Australia, Sara has an encyclopedic knowledge of the sector and is a champion of enhancing the educational experience. She has been a driving force for the use of learning games for over a decade and has led numerous programmes of higher educational curriculum development, organizational transformation and global engagement.
Named the most “Influential Woman in Technology” by Fast Company in both 2009 and 2010, Sara’s research to date has been led to the publication of 7 books and over 200 papers and she has delivered over 140 keynote speeches to audiences around the world. She continues to influence sectoral change working as a consultant and adviser to public and private sector organizations in the areas of education, health, media, and manufacturing (to name but a few).
Simon is the Founder and CEO of Serious Games Interactive which is one of the leading companies in the field. He is an award-winning game developer and one of the world’s leading thinkers in the learning games space. Over the years he has been involved in developing over 100 games for clients including LEGO, Maersk Group, Opel, Siemens Wind Power, the World Bank and Cambridge Assessment. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur and founding Serious Games International, he spent 5 years as an Assistant Professor at IT University of Copenhagen.
Simon holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Psychology (University of Copenhagen) as well as a PhD in Psychology (IT University of Copenhagen). He has published several books and over 40 academic articles on the use of games for learning.
Teresa is a lecturer at the University Rotterdam’s Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication and is the author of the upcoming book Digital Gaming in the Advertising Landscape as well as the editor of the upcoming volume Persuasive Gaming in Context, both being published by Amsterdam University Press.
As a researcher, she has provided professional advice to game designers on how to approach the design of games with persuasive purposes. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam and has worked as a researcher at both the Centre for the Study of Digital Games and Play at Utrecht University and in the Communication Studies Department of the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. She has also spent some time as an entrepreneur having co-founded the multimedia production company La Tia Mardalina.
Teresa holds an MA in Communication and Advertising and a Ph.D. in Game Studies (her Ph.D. thesis, Persuasive Structures in Advergames, received the prestigious Prize for Research on Audiovisual Communication awarded by the Consell de l’audiovisual de Cataluny).