ECIAIR Biographies

Below are the ECIAIR Biographies of the Conference and Programme Chairs, Key Note Speakers and Mini-Track Chairs.

Conference and Programme Chairs

Dr Paul Griffiths BSc, MEng, DBA, A.Dip.C is Professor of Banking, Finance and Fintech and Academic Director of the MSc in Banking and Fintech at the Ecole de Management de Normandie and is based at the UK Campus in Oxford. Prior to becoming a full-time academic Paul spent many years in leadership positions at global management consulting firms, serving Boards of blue-chip companies, particularly in the financial services sector. He specialises in the management of intangible assets such as intellectual capital and artificial intelligence. He helps organisations and industry sectors set up knowledge networks on technological platforms such as cognitive computing, augmented reality and blockchain. Having lived in nine and worked in 15 countries he defines himself as multicultural. 

Dr Caroline Stockman is an experienced Senior Lecturer with a demonstrated history of working in higher education and the commercial e-learning industry. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Winchester, UK, and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Leuven, Belgium. As a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a JISC Digital Leader, she is a recognised expert on effective human-technology relationships. She has presented her work at MIT and BCS - the Chartered Institute of IT, and published her most recent monograph on technology acceptance with Routledge.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Andy Edmonds started his career as an electronic engineer, moving by way of computer architecture design into software in the 80s. He started the UK’s and Europe’s first AI company, Neural Computer Sciences, in the late 80s, and moved into AI based financial prediction and trading system design founding Science in Finance in the 90s. This was acquired by a large futures trading organisation.  He turned one of his projects into a PhD thesis in 1995. A US publicly traded company, Scientio, inc. followed. Andy’s interests moved from neural systems to alternate AI algorithms that offered explainability, such as fuzzy logic and graph-based systems. and has spent the time since developing software and providing consultancy in such non-neural areas. His most recent company, ThinkBase,  LLC, provides a Knowledge Graph creation and evaluation system as Software as a Service, which can be found at

Dr Velislava Hillman is a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science and founder of EDDS, where she leads an independent team of international experts providing comprehensive audit and evaluation of education technologies. As a researcher and academic Dr Hillman’s work lies in education focused on the integration and legitimisation of AI systems into educational institutions and the role and participation of children and young people in increasingly digitalised learning environments. Through EDDS, Dr Hillman maintains two objectives: to develop minimum standards and benchmarking of the edtech sector, and to offer a unique enhanced reporting mechanism that gives students, parents and educators peace of mind when choosing and using education technologies.

Dr. Catholijn M. Jonker. I am a computer scientist researching and teaching in artificial intelligence. My family, and friends have my devotion. I like reading scifi and fantasy. Sculpting in clay and doing heavy garden work is my way of relaxing my brain. American Kenpo Karate has taught me some much needed lessons of how to deal with human behaviour. Dogs and horses have taught me some much needed lessons about myself and inspire me in my work towards hybrid intelligence which is human intelligence co-active with artificial intelligence.

Lode Lauwaert is Professor in Philosophy of Technology at KU Leuven (Belgium). He published Wij, robots (in Dutch), in which he presents a philosophical view on technology and AI - it will appear in English in 2023. His current research is on social media and polarization.

Mini Track Chairs

Prof Ali Hessami is Director of R&D and Innovation at Vega Systems-UK. He represents UK on CENELEC & IEC safety & security systems, hardware & software standards and chairs the IEEE Humanitarian Technologies and the Systems Council Chapters in the UK and Ireland Section. Ali is Technical Editor and Chair of IEEE 7000 standard on technology ethics and the VC and Process Architect of the IEEE ‘s global Ethics Certification Programme for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. Ali is Visiting Professor at London City University and Beijing Jiaotong University. He is a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Fellow of the UK Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Prof. Evgeny N. Pashentsev  s a leading Researcher at  the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He is a Director at the International Centre for Social and Political Studies and Consulting, coordinator of the project GlobalStratCom - a joint platform of international strategic studies associations, and coordinator of the International Research Group on Threats for International Psychological Security by Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence (Research MUAI). He is a member of the international Advisory Board of Comunicar (Spain) and is on the editorial board of The Journal of Political Marketing (USA). His areas of research interest include strategic communication, international security, advanced technologies and social development.

Prof. Agnis Stibe is 4x TEDx speaker, MIT alum, YouTube creator. Artificial Intelligence Program Director and Professor of Transformation at EM Normandie Business School. Globally recognized corporate consultant and scientific advisor at Provides an authentic science-driven STIBE method and practical tools for hyper-performance. At the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he established research on persuasive cities for sustainable wellbeing. His change method is helping millions to gain confidence and build resilience against everyday circumstances. Within this vision, business acceleration and societal wellbeing can be achieved through purposefully designed innovations that successfully blend technological advancements with human nature.

Workshop Facilitators