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Keynote speakers for Convergence 2020 named

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Organisers of Bermuda Convergence 2020 event next month have announced the keynote speakers.

Marshall Shepherd, Parag Khanna, and Shalini Vajjhala will present at the digital event, which will take place from October 6 to 8, ILS (Bermuda) Ltd said.

In the past, more than 300 attendees have attended the annual event in Bermuda but with this year's digital format, more than 500 are expected to attend the event, which focuses on the alternative reinsurance, insurance-linked securities and collateralised reinsurance landscape.

Dr Shepherd chairs the Nasa Earth Sciences Advisory Committee and was a past member of its Earth Science Subcommittee of the Nasa Advisory Council.

He was a member of the board of trustees for the Nature Conservancy (Georgia Chapter), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed's Hazard Preparedness Advisory Group, a member of the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation steering committee on aerosols and precipitation, was on the 2007 Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR4 contributing author team, and the National Academies of Sciences panels on climate and national security, extreme weather attribution, and urban meteorology.

Dr Marshall is a past editor for both the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology and Geography Compass, respectively.

The keynote speaker scheduled for day two is Dr Khanna, a leading global strategy adviser, world traveller, and bestselling author.

He is founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Dr Khanna's newest book is The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict and Culture in the 21st Century (2019). He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilisation (2016). He is also the author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and coauthor of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilisation (2012).

Dr Khanna was named one of Esquire's “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in Wired magazine's “Smart List”.

He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and bachelor's and master's degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has travelled to nearly 150 countries and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

The closing day of the virtual event will feature Dr Vajjhala, founder and chief executive officer of re:focus partners, an integrated design and finance firm dedicated to developing resilient infrastructure solutions and innovative public-private partnerships for communities around world. Prior to starting re:focus, Shalini served as Special Representative in the Office of Administrator Lisa Jackson at the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she led the US-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability; EPA deputy assistant administrator in the Office of International and Tribal Affairs; and deputy associate director for Energy and Climate at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Dr Vajjhala joined the Obama Administration from the economics think tank Resources for the Future, where she was awarded a patent for her climate adaptation mapping work.

She received her PhD in engineering and public policy and B. Arch in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently a non-resident senior fellow with The Brookings Institution and a co-founder of The Atlas Marketplace.

Kathleen Faries, chairwoman of ILS Bermuda, said: “One of our goals for Convergence this year is to deliver opinions and insights from people we don't normally hear from, but who bring important perspectives on the challenges and opportunities our industry faces.”

Panel session topics this year will include: Climate: Perspectives from Science; ILS and Climate Change; Investing in ILS; Views from ILS Investors and Managers; the alignment of ILS and ESG as well as opportunities in the InsurTech space.

For more information, visit

Keynote speaker: Marshall Shepherd will participate in the Bermuda Convergence 2020 event next month (Photograph supplied)
Keynote speaker: Shalini Vajjhala (Photograph supplied)
Keynote speaker: Paraj Khanna

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Published September 08, 2020 at 12:30 pm (Updated September 08, 2020 at 12:30 pm)

Keynote speakers for Convergence 2020 named

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