Keynote speakers

Baroness Manningham-Buller

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) is delighted to welcome Baroness Manningham-Buller to present the keynote at BCI World 2015.

Eliza Manningham-Buller headed Britain’s Security Service (MI5) from 2002 to 2007, leading the organization through substantial change in the wake of 9/11 and the threat from Al-Qaeda. During her time at the helm, MI5 doubled in size, opened eight new offices, and altered its approach to the professional development of staff, with the establishment of a training academy.

Earlier in her career, Eliza led the Service’s investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. She served in Washington during the first Gulf war, returning to establish MI5’s intelligence effort against the Provisional IRA in mainland Britain. She joined the board, and assumed lead responsibility for work on Irish terrorism, surveillance, technical collection, finance and IT before becoming Deputy Director General in charge of intelligence operations.

In presentations Eliza draws on her experience in the most demanding of environments to stress the need for leaders in any walk of life to engage in frank dialogue and invite criticism: “Do not try to be something you’re not, take responsibility for your team and remember that praising people takes seconds and can make an enormous difference. And, don’t forget that humour can be found even in the most awful situations.”

This keynote promises to be one of the most engaging we have ever seen at BCI World, it will deliver something for us all to take away and think about - from a personal point of view, as well as from a continuity and resilience aspect.

Dr. Melanie Irons

After meeting Mel at WCDM in Toronto, we were amazed by her passion, energy and innovative approach to using social media in a crisis to make a real and valued difference to the community. We have invited Mel as one of our keynote speakers to share her unique experience and inspirational story as a young professional, and to share her expert views about the pros and cons of using social media that all organizations need to consider. Mel will address what the community experiences during and after a crisis, and how to manage these expectations.



Prof. Dr. Ulrich Winkler

Professor Ulrich Winkler is a seasoned higher education leader, consultant to Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneur and passionate teacher. He works for the University of Liverpool Management School as Director of Executive Education. Originally an economist, the areas he specialises in are leadership, organisational behaviour and strategy.

Before joining the University of Liverpool he led a multi-million pound Executive Education business, built up a Business School from scratch, and worked as a strategy consultant. Professor Winkler has extensive international experience, amongst other countries in China, India, Indonesia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, UK, Germany, and the US. He serves as an accreditor for EPAS and is on the MBA Advisory Board of the Mays Business School, Texas A&M.


Johannes Muellenberg, AFBCI

Johannes Muellenberg is Director Global Business Continuity Management at SAP SE in Walldorf, Germany. His responsibilities include the management of a global framework to ensure consistent Corporate Business Continuity Management Operations in all regions and countries where SAP serves with its more than 74.000 employees over 282.000 customers.

Johannes started his professional career in International Human Resource Management and held several positions in Business Traveler/Expatriate Security Management and related disciplines before he specialized in Business Continuity Management.

Additionally to the expertise gained as business professional he is actively involved in academic research projects in the field of Business Continuity Management and also a member of the Advisory Board of the DAX30 BCM Forum, a think tank and networking platform for BCM professionals from the 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. He holds an MBA from Staffordshire University Business School and is regular speaker on conferences in the UK and Germany.

Steve Cunningham

The early years
Steve has always loved sports and fast cars, boats and planes. A budding footballer, he dreamed of the day that he would captain his beloved Aston Villa, and then England at the World Cup. But his world soon grew cloudy, and then disappeared. Confused and very lonely, Steve found himself totally, and irreversibly, blind. He was 12 years old. But Steve is a remarkable person. Offered the chance of selling matches on street corners, he took another path, and has spent his life breaking every barrier that stood in his way.

Breaking Barriers
A world junior sprinter, Steve went on to play for the England Blind Cricket team. He trained with Aston Villa, then fulfilled his lifelong ambition by leading his English blind football team to the World Cup. Steve then set himself an audacious challenge: to become the fastest blind man on the planet. He powered to world speed records on land and sea, then took to the air and found international media fame as the world’s first blind pilot. Steve does have one handicap in life: golf …he plays off 24.

The Inspiration
Steve now captivates schools and businesses around the UK, inspiring and motivating people of all ages. His deeply-moving story takes audiences on his journey from despair to success. His core message is that anyone can break barriers; that the path to true success is in your mind, and not your ability or environment. A witty, humorous, entertaining and painfully-honest speaker, he makes people laugh and cry. A genuine man, Steve sees no disability in his total lack of sight, but takes pride in sharing true vision, which many sighted people fail to recognise.

Working with business, individuals and schools
KPMG, Chrysler, Michelin, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and EDF Energy have all paid testimony to his presentations, his passion, enterprise and conviction.  Feedback from the likes of Orange, Coop, Rolls Royce, Sony, Pfizer, and Iris Software. He works also with leading sporting bodies, such as the ERU, the ECB,Wasps RFC and Bolton Wanderers FC to inspire real teamwork.  Individuals, such as Sir Clive Woodward, David Beckham, Jim Davidson, Bob Monkhouse, Stephen Fry and Sir Bobby Robson have all offered their glowing testimony. Steve also travels to schools across the UK to help children of all ages understand disability and the importance of a positive mental attitude, just at the time that their minds are developing. Steve remains a passionate fundraiser for the visually-impaired charities and the proud father of two beautiful daughters.

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