Until April 2020, Johan Cardoen was Managing Director of VIB, a dedicated life science research organization based in Belgium. In this role, Johan was in addition to the executive management responsible for VIB’s Innovation and Business Team. Today he is a Board Director at Biotalys (BE) and Aphea.Bio (both are VIB agro spin-offs), Complix (BE) and is Chairman of Meiogenix (an Institut Curie spin-off, FR). In the past he held board positions at argenx, Actogenix (now Intrexon), Applied-Maths (now bioMérieux), Pronota (now Mycartis), Multiplicom (now Agilent), GST (now Boehringer Ingelheim) and was Chairman of Flandersbio from 20007-2012) and he was also Chairman of the LP Board of V-Bio Ventures, a dedicated life sciences investment fund, which is focused on early-stage investments in life sciences (2015-2020).
Until 2012, Johan was CEO of CropDesign N.V., today part of BASF (Ghent, Belgium), a biotechnology spin-off from VIB. Johan joined CropDesign in 1999 as Vice President Business Development and became CEO of CropDesign in 2004. He developed and implemented a dual track strategy (IPO/trade sale) which led to an acquisition of CropDesign by BASF Plant Science in 2006.
Prior to joining CropDesign, Johan was Head of Technology Acquisition at AgrEvo Hoechst Schering (now Bayer CropScience) and was responsible for all biotechnology-related technology acquisitions and he started his professional career as business development manager at Plant Genetic Systems (PGS) in 1988. Johan received his Ph.D. in biology from KU Leuven, Belgium (1987) and a business degree from KU Leuven (1990).
Giles is one of Europe’s leading thinkers on the evolving role of social entrepreneurialism – among businesses, charities, social organizations and government – in creating a stronger society for all. For the past two decades, he has advised organisations around the world, to help them understand, innovate and act on the opportunity to spark social change. Giles is the founder of Good Business, a strategy & sustainability consultancy. Since 1996, Good Business has worked with many of the world’s most iconic businesses including Nike, Microsoft, McDonald’s, O2, KPMG, Avon, The Walt Disney Company, Kellogg’s and many others. In 2010, Giles founded The Sustainable Restaurant Association, a not-for-profit membership organisation supporting restaurants globally in their journey to be more sustainable. And in 2012 helped he helped set up the Paraorchestra, an elite disabled orchestra, rewriting the rules of classical music. In addition, he chairs Shift, a unique service design agency for reimagining the charity sector. In 2002, he coauthored a book – Good Business, Your World Needs You and writes regularly on transformational change and the role of business.
As Head of Agriculture, Adrian has responsibility for strategy and investment across Buccleuch’s extensive portfolio of farms, representing one of the largest privately-owned land holdings in the UK, extending to some 80,000 hectares in Southern Scotland and England. A member of Buccleuch’s Executive Committee he advises the wider Buccleuch estates in policy and estate development planning. Previously Adrian led the Barrington Park Estate farms, overseeing their transition to conservation farming, is a former manager with Velcourt and consultant with Andersons. He studied at the Royal Agricultural College School of Business and is a Fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Management. Adrian is a former speaker at TED Global and the Sustainable Food Trust.