Left: Marshall Shepherd; middle: Parag Khanna; right: Shalini Vajjhala
Marshall Shepherd, Parag Khanna, and Shalini Vajjhala will be the keynote speakers at Bermuda Convergence 2020, which runs from October 6-8.
Shepherd currently chairs the NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Committee and was formerly a member of the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Nature Conservancy (Georgia Chapter) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Science Advisory Board. He was also a member of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s Hazard Preparedness Advisory Group and a member of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization steering committee on aerosols and precipitation.
Shepherd has advised on climate change issues, having sat on the 2007 Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change fourth assessment report contributing author team and the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) Panels on climate and national security, extreme weather attribution, and urban meteorology. He is a former editor of both the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology and Geography Compass.
Khanna, who will speak on day two, is a global strategy advisor, world traveler and best-selling author. He is founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. He is author of a trilogy of books on the future world order: The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, published in 2008; How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, published in 2011; and Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, published in 2016.
His newest book is The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century, published in 2019. Other books include Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012).
Speaking on day three, Vajjhala is founder and chief executive 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. Before launching that business she served as special representative in the Office of Administrator Lisa Jackson at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EOA), where she led the US-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability.
Vajjhala was also EPA deputy assistant administrator in the Office of International & Tribal Affairs and deputy associate director for energy and climate at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She joined the Obama Administration from the economics think tank Resources for the Future.
Kathleen Faries, chair at 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.”
Convergence, which has adopted a fully-digital format this year, is expected to attract over 500 attendees from all over the world, compared to the approximately 300 who usually attend the event in person. It is expected to attract delegates from more than a dozen countries, drawn from the alternative reinsurance, insurance-linked securities (ILS) and collateralised reinsurance industries.
This year’s panel topics will include perspectives from science; ILS and climate change; Investing in ILS, views from ILS investors and managers, the alignment of ILS and environmental, social and governance principles and insurtech.
Marshall Shepherd, Parag Khanna, Shalini Vajjhala, ILS Bermuda, Convergence 2020, Kathleen Faries