Steve Wozniak

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive.

The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.

In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple Computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students.  Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

In 2006, Wozniak published his autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. It was co-authored by writer Gina Smith.

In 2007, Wozniak joined Scottevest as an Advisory Board Member.

In 2009, Wozniak joined Fusion-io, a data storage and server company, in Salt Lake City, Utah as their chief scientist.

In 2014 Wozniak became an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Peter Littmann

Peter Littmann is the Managing Partner of Brandinsider Strategic Brand Consulting GmbH in Hamburg, and since 1993 has been Honorary Professor in the Marketing Faculty of the University of Witten/Herdecke (Germany).

He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of Nijenrode University, the Netherlands and a Member of the Harvard University Art Museum's Visiting Committee, Cambridge, USA. From 1993 to 1997 he was Chairman of the Managing Board of Hugo Boss AG; prior to this he worked from 1982 to 1993 for the international textiles company Vorwerk & Co, latterly as President and CEO. Member of the Board of Directors of Bata Shoe Corporation from 1996 to 2005.

Alberto Alessi

Alberto Alessi was born in 1946, in northern Italy - the touristic town of Arona. His father, Carlo, was a designer and entrepreneur; his mother, a housewife. Her family name is Bialetti, who are the most important Italian producers of coffee machines.

Alberto is the third generation in his family to run the company, established by his grandfather – specialist in steel products, in 1921. In 1970 Alessi took over family business as the president and has radically extended the product offering. Since then the company has become known for its quirky gadgets and kitchenware, often developed in partnership with designers including Philippe Starck, Michael Graves and Frank Gehry.

Alberto Alessi used his entrepreneurial flair to successfully explored the frontiers of design and technology. He had repositioned the company as a design leader and as a designer received the MBA Design Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Brooklyn Museum, New York.

Mr. Alessi risk management skills are sought by prominent technology and design organizations around the world. Holding a number of honorary titles from various academic institutions he embraces the borderline between traditional and avant-garde thinking leading to increased potential in design industry.

He received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University from the University of Central England, Birmingham, in 2001; was named a Master at the Atelier de Formation en Haute Pâtisserie de l’Ecole supérieure de cuisine française (ESCF Ferrandi) in Paris, in 2008; was granted an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Lincoln University (UK) in 2010; and was the recipient of Collab’s Design Excellence Award for 2010 at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts.

Alberto Alessi curated the exhibition “The Dream Factories: People, Ideas, and Paradoxes of Italian Design Factories” at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. Opened on April 6, 2011, and on view through February 26, 2012, the exhibition illustrates Alessi’s vision and analysis of what he refers to as the “factories of Italian design.” According to Alessi, these factories have developed a series of highly specific artistic intermediation practices, which are among the best expressions of international contemporary product design on the one hand, and of the market, on the other.