Find out more about our speakers who will be presenting at the Belron Client Conference:


Sheryl Connelly

Leading Futurist & Global Consumer Trends Expert

Previous Chief Futurist at Ford Company (1996-2023)

Sheryl is a global trends and consumer expert whose mastery at identifying what’s coming around the corner, and the potential influences on customer attitudes and behavioural patterns that directly impact business strategy, is unparalleled.

From 1996-2023, she was a cornerstone presence on Ford Motor Company’s global trends and futuring team, working her way up the ranks at the automotive juggernaut and becoming the company’s chief futurist. As Ford’s chief futurist, Connelly led a team of researchers, engineers, marketers, and anthropologists tasked with tracking trends, spotting signals of change, and identifying outliers to develop uniquely compelling insights designed to test the power innovation across the enterprise.

Sheryl has twice been named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and was listed among TechWeek’s “Top 100 Innovators.” Her thought leadership and strategic viewpoints have been featured in leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times, Forbes, and the BBC. She has also appeared on CBS’s “This Morning with Charlie Rose,” CNBC’s “Fast Money,” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

Drawing on both these areas of expertise, Sheryl will share insights on how vehicle manufacturers think and plan for the future, but equally how consumer behaviours and demands are changing when it comes to their cars.

For more information on Sheryl visit her website www.sherylconnelly.com

Miel Horsten

Chief Operating Officer, Ayvens

Miel Horsten started his ALD Autmotive career in 1997. He held several roles inside the company and became Operations Director in 1999. After the acquisition of the company in 2003 by Société Générale, he became Insurance Manager for ALD International in Paris.

In this role, he created ALD’s reinsurance company ALD Re in Dublin in 2005. In 2007 he became CEO of ALD Automotive USA until he took up the role of Products and Services Director worldwide for ALD International in Paris. In 2012, Miel became CEO for ALD Automotive, the largest vehicle leasing company in Belgium. In 2016 he also became President of Renta, the Belgian Lease and Car Rental Association, a position he held until 2020.

In 2020, Miel was asked to join the Executive Committee of ALD in Paris as a Group Regional Director covering the Nordics, the Benelux, Ireland and South-East Asia. In this position, Miel was actively involved in the acquisition of LeasePlan combining the worlds largest leasing companies into one.

Today, Miel is Chief Operating Officer at Ayvens (ALD + LeasePlan) and oversees global procurement, global insurance, vehicle operations and customer and driver service for the entire group covering a budget of close to 25 billion euro and a team of 5.000 coworkers.

Miel joins us to share a perspective from the Lease sector.
An authority on mobility solutions along with his role at Ayvens puts Miel in a unique position to talk at our conference on the changing demands for mobility solutions and how the lease sector is adapting.
Miel will also discuss the challenges created by new vehicle brands with their differing approaches to aftersales service and repair networks for their vehicles.
Magnus Lindkvist

Trendspotter Extraordinaire

Magnus Lindkvist is the futurologist, author and trendspotting phenomenon who delivers profound keynote performances shot through with subversive humour.

He has been described as brilliant, insanely funny, engaging and utterly professional. With a great sense of comic timing, he energises audiences as he presents the latest trends. He calls his approach ‘intellectual acupuncture’ – but however you label them, Magnus Lindkvist’s lectures are unforgettable.

For almost three decades he has been performing all over the world, enchanting audiences with his research into the trends of the future.

A firm favourite at our previous conferences, Magnus will share his insights on the future trends coming our way. Magnus will also provide some solace for all of us seeking to reset and bounce back from a recent crisis, drawing inspiration from his latest book The Reset Book: How to Bounce Back from a Crisis (2023).
If you have seen Magus speak before you would almost certainly agree ‘Magnus Lindkvist is the best Swedish export since ABBA and meatballs!’
Inma Martinez

Digital pioneer and A.I. scientist

Inma is a technology pioneer and AI scientist advisor to leaders in business and government on the digital economy as a force for progress and societal welfare.

As a government advisor, Inma currently serves as Chair of the Multi-stakeholder Expert Group and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee at the GPAI, the G7/OECD global agency for the development and cooperation on AI.

Inma has considerable experience in the automotive world having published a book in 2021 titled The Future of the Automotive Industry: The Disruptive Forces of AI, Data Analytics, and Digitization.

Inma is ideally placed to share with our invited guests how artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are used to design future cars, predict car efficiency, ensure safety and simulate engineering dynamics for its design, as well as a new arena for IoT and human data.

For more information on Inma, please visit here website at https://www.inmamartinez.io

Paul Polman

Business leader and campaigner

Co-author of Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take – Financial Times Book of the Year. #3 Thinkers50

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality.

As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), Paul demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, marrying a long-term, multi-stakeholder model with excellent financial performance. During Paul’s tenure, shareholders saw their returns increase by 290% while the company consistently ranked 1st in the world for sustainability.

Today Paul works across a range of organisations to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop. This includes his work to drive systems change with Systemiq and bold new industry coalitions, including in fashion and food. He leads the UN Global Compact; is an Ambassador for the Race to Zero - and works to develop our next generation of leaders, through the Oxford University Saïd Business School, INSEAD, One Young World and others.

Paul actively campaigns on a range of human rights issues, including promoting disability inclusion through the Valuable 500 and the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, which he set up with his wife Kim.

During his session, Paul will both challenge and inspire us on how businesses can work together right across the supply chain to tackle the climate crisis.

For more information on Paul visit his website www.paulpolman.com.

Bryan Reimer Ph.D.

MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and MIT AgeLab

Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., is a mobility futurist whose work aims to find solutions to human factors, challenges in driver attention, driver assistance systems, automated driving, vulnerable road users, and electric vehicles.

He is the founder of two academic-industry partnerships: the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) consortium, which seeks to understand how drivers use emerging, commercially available vehicle technologies, and the Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Attentional Demand (AHEAD) consortium, which focuses on solutions to support driver attention.

His 2018 TEDx talk, "There's more to the safety of driverless cars than AI," sheds light on road safety beyond automation technology alone and he is an author on over 250 technical contributions.

Bryan is ideally placed to speak on the topic of the challenges facing autonomous driving. He will examine the topic from a technology perspective but also share invaluable insights on how we humans may (or may not) embrace driverless cars.
Christian Sahr

Managing Director, Allianz Centre for Technology (AZT)

Dr Sahr took on the role as Managing Director of the Allianz Centre for Technology (AZT) at the beginning of the 2024.

Christian Sahr studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University and specialised in automotive engineering. After graduating, he took over the management of the crash facility at the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) at RWTH Aachen University and completed his doctorate in the field of car body development.

Dr Sahr then worked for 15 years in management positions for companies that carried out the pre-development of vehicles and research into future vehicle safety structures as well as series development for complete vehicles for various car manufacturers internationally, most recently as Head of the Business Unit Vehicle at FEV Europe GmbH, a leading global engineering service provider in vehicle and powertrain development and digital mobility.

As a research institute belonging to the Allianz Group, AZT Automotive GmbH examines current issues in the areas of automobile technology, repair technology as well as vehicle and road-safety.

Drawing on the varied activities of the institute, Dr Sahr's session will look at the impact that advances in vehicle technology and ADAS are having on the automotive market including repairability. With claims frequency and severity always top of mind for insurers, Dr Sahr will consider the overall benefits of ADAS and which systems are the most effective.
Dr Sahr will also consider the key topic of data access and the challenges faced by the aftermarket in this vital area.
Inma Martinez

Digital Pioneer and A.I. Scientist

Inma Martinez is a digital pioneer who created many of the current technologies that we use today and a world recognised A.I. Scientist and Big Data expert who chairs the Global Partnership for AI (GPAI), the G7/G20 multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities. Advisor to various European governments and the private sector on digital transformation, she delivers strategies to respond to challenges and industry complexities focusing on sustainability and people-centred progress in a more ethically driven society.

She regularly speaks for Bloomberg, FORBES, the Financial Times and The Economist, and Fortune and TIME have defined Inma as one of the best European talents in human digital behaviour and FastCompany has labelled her a “fire starter” for her cutting edge work in innovation for the last 20 years.

She is a guest lecturer at Imperial College Business School in London and the author of scientific books (“The Future of the Automotive Industry” (2021) and “The Fifth Industrial Revolution” (2019) and research papers on emerging technologies.

For more information on Inma visit her website www.inmamartinez.io

Inma will consider the opportunities that AI and other digital developments are bringing to businesses and highly relevant to our audience, share insights on how artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are used to design future cars, predict car efficiency, ensure safety and simulate engineering dynamics for its design.
Sven Smit

Senior partner at McKinsey & Company and Chair of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)

As chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Sven leads research and authors MGI reports on global economic trends and topics such as productivity and growth, urbanization, innovation and technology, labor markets and the future of work, emerging markets, and Europe's economic outlook.

He helps McKinsey to develop the firm’s point of view on core issues such as economic volatility, inflation, and uncertainty, and defines ways to help clients navigate the problems.

Sven works with leading companies to develop strategies for growth, serving all industries. Analyzing the success factors required for business growth, examining the way megatrends influence it, and defining the lessons of diversified growth, he builds on the ideas in Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick (2018) and The Granularity of Growth (2008), two books he co-authored.

Focusing on the ‘big trends’ impacting us today, Sven will drawn on his experience as Chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute to share a global perspective on a number of key topics impacting us today.
Sven will then drill down to the specific influences on the automotive and related sectors.
Nigel Walsh

Managing Director for Global Insurance at Google Cloud

Nigel is the Managing Director for Global Insurance at Google Cloud, responsible for leading the company's approach to Insurance. Nigel helps companies in the insurance ecosystem leverage the best-in-market capabilities from Google Cloud to address mission critical insurance challenges, from claims and underwriting and use our GenAI and broader capabilities to drive better business outcomes.

Nigel also works with the broader Alphabet companies to bring their experience and insights to partner with existing insurance customers and serves as a Go-To-Market Advisor for CapitalG. Prior to this, Nigel was a Partner in Deloitte where he led on a number of areas for the firm including Global Future of Insurance and Global InsurTech.

With his many years experience in the insurance sector Nigel is regularly asked to give his view on the future of Insurance. For our conference Nigel will consider the impact of evolving vehicle technologies and consumer behaviours on auto insurance - plus how Artificial Intelligence can play a vital role for insurers.