Connectivity is the Revolution!

Geeks Without Frontiers

12/04/2018 - 07:30 to 17:00

7:30 am - Registration Opens


8:00 am - Breakfast Briefing

 Brad Grady, Senior Analyst, NSR

8:50 am - Welcome

David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Frontiers

9:00- 9:30 am - Fireside Chat “Strategies to Bridging the Global Digital Divide”  with FCC Chairman


 VIP Speaker: Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)​

 Moderator: David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Frontiers


9:30-10:30 am - Executive Roundtable: “Profitability at the Bleeding Edge: Fact or Fiction?”  


Delivering digital access into unserved communities is nothing new; doing it profitably is the trick. This session will draw upon a panel of seasoned executives who have survived to share the latest lessons learned from the “School of Hard Knocks”... and implications for the future of financially sustainable broadband.​


John Morris, Co-Founder, Geeks Without Frontiers

Michael Potter, Co-Founder, Geeks Without Frontiers


 Andrew Beard,  CEO & Co-Founder, Vanu Inc

 Troy Etulain, Project Director, Digital Solutions, FHI360

 Jean-Philippe Gillet, Vice President and General Manager, Broadband, Intelsat

 Darrell Owen, President, Owen & Owen

 Lene Sjorslev Schulze, Head of Business Development, Bluetown


10.30-10.45 am - Coffee & Networking Break


10:45-11.45 am Shark Tank: “Show Me Your Business Case (and I’ll Show You Mine)”

Connectivity business cases that will stand up in a low-ARPU environment -- and that will remain standing -- have traditionally been the exception, not the rule. As industry and government intensify efforts to bridge the Digital Divide, innovative approaches increasingly are being pitched to potential investors. Here’s two.


Brad Grady, Senior Analyst, NSR 

Travis Mooney, Managing Director,  Dilettantism Limited   



Evan Buck, Strategic Business Development, Community WiFi, Viasat

Sergio Murillo, Co-Founder & CEO, Red52

11:45-12:45 pm - Roundtable: “No Bucks, No Buck Rogers… Bottoming Out the Bottom Line From the Bottom Up”

Zillions of dollars worth of investment are being poured into the development of exotic connectivity solutions that promise to bring billions of would-be customers within reach. But... do the numbers really add up when the spreadsheet is based on, say, crowdsourcing? Crypto and blockchain? Digital marketplaces? This session’s experts have sharpened their pencils.


Gary Fowlie, Ex Officio, ITU

John Morris, Co-Founder, Geeks Without Frontiers



Ferdinand van Ingen, Senior Industry Specialist TMT, International Finance Corp.

Niall Murphy, Co-Founder & CEO, EVRYTHNG

Jehan Tremback,  Co-Founder, Althea Mesh 

Niels Zibrandsten, Founder, Zibra

12:45-1:45 pm Luncheon


1:15 - 1:45 pm Luncheon Presentation - " Secure Digital Wallet for a Billion People"

Steven Sprague, CEO, Rivetz

1:45 - 2:00 pm - Keynote - “A Call to Action for the Connectivity Industry”

Mike Cook, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, North America, Hughes

2:00- 3:15 pm - “Doing Well by Doing Good: Are Forcibly Displaced Communities a ‘Market’”?

Or a charity? Having recently launched the HumanityConnect! Initiative -- a collaboration of stakeholders with an interest in reconnecting refugees and disaster-affected communities -- Geeks Without Frontiers is inviting a “Coalition of the Willing” to provide answers. Seventy-five minutes of no-holds-barred brainstorming will draw upon insights from session and audience thought leaders alike.


Robert Bell, President, SSPI

David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Frontiers                      



Jose-Luis Rodriguez, President, Campo Rico Group

Richard Thanki, Co-Founder, Jangala

Forrest Wilhoit,  Senior Program Manager, NetHope/USAID Alliance GBI

John Morris, Co-Founder, Geeks Without Frontiers

3:15-3:45 pm Coffee Break

3:45-5.00 pm - The Game Plan - "Rewriting the Rules"

Geeks’ Thought Leadership Forum will conclude with a roundup of key conclusions drawn from the day’s proceedings and will go several steps further: Objectives will be defined. Actions will be identified. And timelines will be set. Attend the final session to explore your role as a provider of revolutionary connectivity solutions.


M. Aya Kiy, Senior Manager, Government Affairs, Cognizant & Board of Advisors, Geeks Without Frontiers

David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Frontiers   

5.00 pm - Close of Thought Leadership Forum

Reed Smith
1301 K Street NW East Tower, 11th floor
Washington , DC 20005