™ BE gathers the faces behind game-changing innovations in communications and marketing. The program features a well-selected collage of speakers from all backgrounds, who were born in Belgium and moved abroad, in agencies and far beyond. The ones who literally pushed their boundaries. In short: a well-selected collage of creatives from all backgrounds.
Creative Director - Google, NYC
Nike, Absolut Vodka, Starwood Hotels, Ikea, Mobistar, S.M.A.K., Bozar
Since early 2014, Koen Malfait has worked as a Creative Director for Google and Google’s Global Hardware Division in New York City. Before joining Google, his clients have included Nike, Absolut Vodka, Amplify, Techonomy, Starwood Hotels, Mobistar, S.M.A.K., Bozar and De Bijloke among many others. In 2013, he spent 8 months in a tiny Swedish town to bring a digital layer and a new layer of storytelling to the Ikea Catalogue. Despite living abroad for a long time, he never abandoned his true love: RSC Anderlecht.
Serial entrepreneur and occasional angel investor - Silicon Valley
Walt Disney, FireFox, Tapulous (Tap Tap Revenge), Flock, Eazel
Bart is responsible for no less than 25 #1 App Store hits! He launched the first App Store hit game, Tap Tap Revenge and ran smartphone games for Disney (2010-’14). He ran key parts of the Firefox 1.0 launch, including the global rollout and Google search deal. As you can see, Bart is a curious serial entrepreneur whose career is filled with surprising turns and interesting ventures. Bart also considers himself an activist, he does a lot of community work. And last but not least, you can always talk to him about one of his biggest passions: music.
Senior Director - Factory PR, NYC
Camper, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tinder, Rayban, ASOS, American Apparel
After years in PR and communications for shoebrand Camper, Eef leads her own division of Factory PR in NYC. She launched Michelle Pfeiffer’s parfum brand and manages Pfeiffer’s personal Instagram profile. She did several projects for Tinder. Her regular clients include Aayban, ASOS and American Appararel. She also does projects completely within the tech realm. Never a dull moment!
Executive Strategy Director - R/GA, New York
Nike, Uber, Samsung, Verizon, Jet.com, Johnson & Johnson
Dennis is a marketing leader who knows how to motivate the talent. He’s a thinker as well as a doer, looking to inspire and implement transformational ideas. Dennis worked on business growth and creative recognition for global brands (e.g. Samsung) and category disruptors (e.g. Jet.com). Talk with him about Sun Tzu, because he finds more inspiration in military strategy or space exploration than in marketing books or keynote speeches. However, we’re convinced that his keynote will be quite inspirational.
Managing Director - monopo, London
Nike, IKEA, Audi, AirBnB, Hyundai, Unilever, WWF, Lipton Ice tea, Volkswagen
Mattijs started his career as an advertising strategist at Duval Guillaume in Belgium and moved to London in 2012 to join Ogilvy and later adam&eveDDB. In 2016, he joined Wieden+Kennedy in Tokyo. There he helped brands like Nike, IKEA, Audi and Airbnb find their feet in the Japanese and Korean markets as Strategic Planning Director. Since 2019, Mattijs is setting up the London branch of monopo, a Japanese creative agency.
Stefaan "Smasher" Desmedt
Video producer, Los Angeles
U2, Apple, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Prince, Rolling Stones
Since 1993 Stefaan is with U2 as a Video Director and a member of their creative team. Bono even sang happy birthday to him. He also did video direction for Madonna, Robbie Williams, Prince, Rolling Stone and Apple. Stefaan is now creative technical director with PRG in Los Angeles developing new mixed reality technology for live events. He goes by the name “Smasher”: ask him why, if you dare.
Chief Executive MENA & Chief Digital Officer EMEA - Ogilvy, Dubai
Philips, Nestlé, British Airways, Vodafone, Unilever, IKEA, Expo 2020 Dubai, Saudi Aramco
Patou Nuytemans is regional CEO for Ogilvy MENA. She’s also EMEA chief digital officer and executive partner worldwide of Ogilvy. Under Patou's watch, Ogilvy Worldwide has been building its social capability. She calls social media “the new mass advertising”. Her strategy was to put it at the heart of Ogilvy agency.
To do this, she led an acquisition (Social.Lab) that quadrupled in revenue in 3 years time. It transformed the strategic and creative approach of the Ogilvy Group in multiple countries to advertising, influencer marketing and CRM.
During most of her career Patou have been in change management roles – globally, regionally and locally. An Ogilvy veteran, Patou has been with the network for 22 years, operating in five different markets in five very different roles. She worked in Brussels, Paris, New York, London and Cape Town.
Now she’s based in Dubai. Curious what’s the view on global marketing and communication from the Middle East like? No doubt Patou will tell us.
CEO Cable & Wireless/Liberty Latin America, CMO Liberty Global
Telenet, Proctor & Gamble, Liberty Global, Cable & Wireless
Inge Smidts played a crucial role at Telenet as senior vice president residential marketing for Telenet. She was responsible for the King & Kong-campaign that launched Telenet in the mobile market to become a big player. Behind the scenes at Telenet she was a driving force in realising a strategic shift from a cable company to a consumer-oriented enterprise.
In 2015 Smidts became chief marketing officer at cable imperium Liberty Global. Liberty created this function especially for her. She was tasked to translate ‘the voice of the client’ to relevant commercial products. She helps setting the right mobile services, internet connections and entertainment products in the market. She also guards the global marketing line.
In 2017 she moved to Miami to become CEO of Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W). Liberty Global took over C&W in 2016. Smidst will see to that the Caribbean, the Bahama’s, Panama en the Seychellen have internet, television and telecom services. For reference, C&W has 7200 employees and has an annual revenue of 2 billion euro.
It’s no exaggeration to state that this power woman Smidts is set for a stellar global career.