Plenary Speakers

Amitabh Kant is presently CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS (Kerala Cadre: 1980 batch). He is the author of Branding India-An Incredible Story. Kant has been a key driver of several international award winning campaigns vizthe “Make in India”, Startup India, “Incredible India” and God’s Own Country”. These initiatives positioned India and Kerala State as leading manufacturing and travel & tourism destinations.

In his capacity as Secretary (Industries) Govt. of India, he initiated the Ease of Doing Business initiative and ranking of States on defined parameters.

Chris is one of the few Infrastructure professionals to have worked as Principal, Advisor and Debt Provider to the infrastructure sector. Starting in the mid 1990’s Chris was a founder partner in one of the early Infrastructure equity funds, Hyder Infrastructure Investors. Amongst many deals financed were the Melbourne City Link and the Asian Infrastructure Fund, as well as a number of UK PFI deals.

As an advisor in the late 1990’s Chris structured the N3 toll road project in South Africa, working to create financial instruments to promote local empowerment and involvement in the project equity. During this period he also worked on urban regeneration projects in the UK and the Cross Israel Highway.

After a period working in the Capital Markets with Ambac Chris moved to Partnerships UK, a PPP project set up by the UK Treasury working to advise the Public Sector in procuring Infrastructure programmes. He worked on the Wembley National Stadium and London Underground projects helping the Public Sector to get best value from their Private Sector counterparts. In 2001 he worked with the Brazilian Government advising on the process of preparing and executing a PPP programme.

Whilst at Partnerships UK he also spent some time working in the Treasury where he was one of the authors of the Government White Paper “Meeting the Investment Challenge”.

Chris returned to the Private Sector in 2006 and has worked for WestLB AG, Lloyds Banking Group and most recently Macquarie. He has provided finance to projects in the U.S., Europe, Turkey, China, Abidjan and Australia.

Erik Grab is currently Vice President Strategic Anticipation & Innovation for the Michelin Group. He is also in charge of the Mobility Open Lab of Michelin, a co-innovation ecosystem gathering over 200 international companies and 50 international or professional organizations. His previous mission within the Group was as Global Marketing Director for the two main Michelin business entities, namely Truck and Passenger Car. Before joining Michelin, Erik had created a Business Consulting Agency which he subsequently sold to WPP, world leader in advertising and marketing services. Erik began his career in sales, then turned to marketing consultancy and market studies, including within the German Institute GfK before becoming the company’s French branch Director. Erik is a strategic anticipation and innovation unconditional enthusiast and regularly speaks on university campuses and international forums on the future of mobility and sustainable development. He is a member of the Futuribles International Board, President of the third research initiative “Economy & Climate ” at the University of Dauphine and President of the Strategic Orientation Committee of ICN. He is also the new Mobility Factory Project Coordinator for the PFA ( Plateforme de la Filière AutomobileFrançaise)


Erik GRAB est aujourd’hui Directeur du département ” Anticipation Stratégique et Innovation” pour le Groupe Michelin. Il est également en charge d’un écosystème de co-innovation regroupant notamment plus de 200 entreprises mondiales et une cinquantaine d’organisations professionnelles ou internationales: l’Open LabMobilité créé par Michelin. Il a été auparavant responsable du Marketing Monde des deux principales entités business de Michelin dans les domaines des Poids Lourds et des Véhicules de Tourisme. Avant de rejoindre Michelin, il a créé un institut de conseil aux Entreprises qu’il a ensuite revendu au leader mondial des services marketing et publicitaires WPP. Il a commencé sa carrière dans les ventes puis le conseil marketing et les études de marché notamment chez GfK, un institut Allemand pour lequel il a finalement pris la direction de sa filiale Française. Erik est un passionné de créativité, d’innovation et de développement durable qui intervient régulièrement dans des universités et des forums internationaux sur l’avenir de la mobilité, la prospective et l’innovation. Il est notamment membre du conseil d’administration de Futuribles International, président du Comité d’Orientation de l’initiative de recherche “Economie & Climat” de Dauphine et président du Comité d’Orientation Stratégique de l’ICN.Il est également le coordinateur de “la fabrique des nouvelles mobilités” pour le compte de la PFA (Plateforme de la Filière Automobile Française).

Jean Todt, President of FIA, and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety
Mr. Todt is the President of FIA (Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile) October 2009, the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s motoring organizations. The federation works across two key interlinked areas of activity – sport and mobility. In the realm of mobility, the FIA aims to ensure that safe, affordable and clean systems of transport are available to all. Mr. Todt made road safety a priority of the federation through the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign, launched in 2011 in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. The campaign is based on global advocacy for road safety, supporting action on the ground by its 250 member clubs in nearly 150 countries, building institutional and commercial partnerships as well as mobilizing the motor sport community to promote road safety. On 29 April 2015, Mr. Todt was appointed Special Envoy for Road Safety by the United Nations Secretary-General. In this role, Mr. Todt is helping to mobilize sustained political commitment towards making road safety a priority; advocating and raising awareness about the United Nations road safety legal instruments; sharing established road safety good practices; and advocating for adequate global funding for road safety.

Mr. Maxim Sokolov – Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Full State Counsellor 2nd Class of the Russian Federation.
He was born on September 29, 1968 in Leningrad.
1987–1989–Mr. Sokolov served in the army.
1991– Graduatedthe Saint Petersburg State University, Faculty of Economics with a degree of Political Economy,Ph.D. in Economics.
Between 1991 and 1993, Mr. Sokolov– Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics of the Saint Petersburg State University.
1992–1993–Commercial agent of the «Fraizy Grant»company.
1993–1999–Director General of the «Rossi»company.
1999–2004–Director General of the «Corporatsiya S»company.
2004–2009 – Сhairman of Committeefor strategic projects and investments in the Saint Petersburg Government.
2009–Member of the Saint Petersburg Government, Chairman of the Committee for economic development, industrial policy and trade.
2009–2012 –Director of the Department of Industry and Infrastructures of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Since May 21, 2012– Ministerof Transport of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Maxim Sokolovawarded Order of Honour (2014), Second-class medal of the Order «For Merit to the Fatherland»(2008), Russian Federation Presidential Certificate of Honour (2015), Russian Federation President’s Message of Thanks (2012), Chest Badge«Honoured Worker of Transport of Russia»(2012) and other ministerial awards.
Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Moshe Ben-Akiva is the Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. He holds a PhD degree in Transportation Systems from MIT and honorary degrees from the University of the Aegean, the UniversitéLumiére Lyon, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), and the University of Antwerp. His awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association for Travel Behavior Research, the Jules Dupuit prize from the World Conference on Transport Research Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ITS Society Outstanding Application Award for DynaMIT, a system for dynamic networkmanagement. Ben-Akiva has coauthored two books, including the textbook Discrete Choice Analysis, published by MIT Press, and over 200 papers in refereed journals or conference proceedings. He has worked as a consultant in industries such as transportation, energy, telecommunications, financial services and marketing for a number of private and public organizations, including Hague Consulting Group, RAND Europe, ChoiceStream and Cambridge Systematics, where he was previously a Senior Principal and member of the Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Future Interstate Highway System Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which was commissioned through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 to research actions needed to upgrade and restore the national interstate highway system to meet growing and shifting demands.

Neil Pedersen became Executive Director of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in 2015. In that role he provides executive direction and leadership to TRB’s technical activities, including its annual meeting of over 12,000 transportation professionals, its more than 200 technical committees, its conferences, and its publications; its peer reviewed policy consensus studies; and its multimodal cooperative research programs.

Neil spent 29 years at the Maryland Department of Transportation, where he served the last eight years as State Highway Administrator and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

Over his career Neil has been involved in volunteer leadership roles in both TRB and AASHTO. He chaired a number of TRB committees, including serving as Chair of TRB’s Executive Committee in 2011.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world. He has developed unique, impactful programs that empower, equip and transform individuals to tackle challenges at global, national, and individual levels. He has created a network of organizations including the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values, and a rapidly growing presence across 155 countries, reaching out to an estimated 370 million people. His presence at the World Road Meet is a seamless extension of his efforts at creating a stress free society by influencing road-safety and stress free travel, to save more lives.

Umberto de Pretto took up office as Secretary General of IRU in June 2013. He joined IRU in 1995 as Head of Economic Affairs. He then became Policy Coordinator and Head of Strategy, and was appointed Deputy Secretary General in 2002. His vision looking forward to 2020 is that IRU will lead the road transport industry in embracing innovation and ensuring that the industry is ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

After graduating from Ottawa’s Carleton University in Political Science, Economics and International Relations, he worked as a Legislative Assistant for Ministers and Members of the Canadian Parliament and then moved to Paris in 1992 to take on the position of Head of the Transport Division, to be shortly afterwards named Deputy Director of the International Chamber of Commerce, responsible for International Commercial Practices and Techniques.

Born in Ottawa in 1961, Mr de Pretto is a Canadian and Italian citizen, is happily married and is a proud father of two boys.