Chairmen's Briefing

Hosted by John Thornhill, FT Innovation Editor and founder of The 125.

Living with Robots: How Man and Machine Can Work Together

David Hanson has an extraordinary vision of the future in which man and machine interact in harmonious and exciting ways. As the founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, Dr Hanson is committed to bringing human-like robots to life to serve, entertain, and help educate us. "In the not-too-distant future, Genius Machines will walk among us. They will be smart, kind, and wise," he says. In conversation with John Thornhill, FT Innovation Editor, Dr Hanson will be accompanied by the remarkable Sophia, the company's most advanced robot, who will also be prepared to answer the audience's questions.

Africa Rising: The Myths, the Magic and the Reality

Africa is repeatedly touted as on the brink of a renaissance but it is almost always tipped for the day after tomorrow rather than today. Can this rapidly growing continent finally deliver for its people - and for investors? How should the West respond to China's extraordinary new engagement with every country in the continent?

Alec Russell, FT Weekend Editor and two-times southern Africa correspondent, quizzes Razia Khan, Chief Economist, Africa, at Standard Chartered Bank and longtime Africa watcher on the myths and the reality of the "new" Africa.

The 125 Talent Leaders’ Lunch

James Blitz, FT Whitehall Editor, will lead the discussion on how Brexit will affect HR functions, joined by Christine Young, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills. 

The 125 Women’s Forum Member Network Drinks

With Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE, Former Captain of GB and England Women’s Hockey teams.

View from the Top: Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM

With Sarah Gordon, FT Business Editor and Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive, IBM.

Sarah began the discussion by asking what IBM would be like in ten years’ time. It was said that IBM, and other businesses, were entering an exciting phase, the “beginning of an era”, that would be characterised by the power of technology to manage information. The promise of the future brought some reflection to the past of IBM and its longevity; the key to this being not to “ever define yourself as a product. If you do, you are going to be constrained in how to reinvent yourself.” So how does IBM define itself? By the way it changes and adapts from era to era. It was noted that in this ‘new era’, companies would have to transform and “it will be the most extensive transformation that you have ever done, because by the time you are done, it will have changed what you do, how you work and who does the work”. It was said that the top attribute of IBM is its propensity to learn because “the world is not going to stand still”. Elaborating on this, it was observed that companies needed a variety of people, working in a variety of ways.