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This article was published on February 13, 2020

NASA, PayPal, Reddit, and Spotify are coming to TNW2020 – don’t miss their talks

NASA, PayPal, Reddit, and Spotify are coming to TNW2020 – don’t miss their talks
Ailsa Sherrington
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Ailsa Sherrington

Former Social Media Manager, TNW

Ailsa Sherrington is a former content marketer at TNW. Ailsa Sherrington is a former content marketer at TNW.

Hearing big ideas from leaders in tech can be a great way to bring inspiration to your work, both personally and professionally. Sometimes, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for – and in some cases, your favorite speakers are scattered across several events.

At TNW2020, we’re bringing them all together in one place, for two days of jam-packed keynotes and panel discussions. You’ll find a full range of talks, from broader ideas about our tech future to industry-specific insights. Our tech festival may be a long way off, but we’ve already confirmed over 100 big names you won’t want to miss.

To help you narrow it down, I’ve selected some of my personal top picks. Check out these headline speakers taking the stage on October 1 & 2 in Amsterdam:

Steve Huffman, Co-founder and CEO of Reddit

A man who needs little introduction if you’re a Redditor. For the uninitiated: Steve Huffman is co-founder and CEO of Reddit—the “front page of the internet.” Want to see puppies? Sadness? People losing their cool in public? Go to Reddit.

It all began in 2005. Huffman and his university roommate, Alexis Ohanian (who spoke at our event in 2018), created Reddit via then-new incubator Y Combinator. After selling it in 2006, Huffman launched Hipmunk and was named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2012. A few years later, Huffman returned as CEO of Reddit, where he has led the company’s development and growth to over 330 million monthly users.

At TNW2020 Steve Huffman will be speaking on Impact, our biggest stage. If you want to know more about what it takes to run a universally loved website, how he got to where he is now, or just want to stare up at him in awe, make sure to catch his talk.

To tide you over until October, you can watch Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s 2018 talk here:


Peggy Alford, SVP of Core Markets at PayPal

Peggy Alford is an absolute powerhouse and an inspiration to many. Alongside her executive role at PayPal, she’s also a board member at Facebook – making her the first African American woman to achieve a seat at the table.

As Senior Vice President of Core Markets, Alford leads PayPal’s commercial teams in the company’s largest and most established markets.  She has extensive experience leading high performing teams across product development, finance, and growth strategy.

Alford has previously held numerous senior leadership roles at Paypal, and in 2019 she returned to the company after two years as CFO and Head of Operations at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Driven by her passion to help others succeed, Peggy serves as an advocate for children, women, and minorities.

If you’d like to hear her speak (and you’d be silly not to gain invaluable insights from her), you’re in luck – she’ll be speaking twice at TNW2020. Catch her on both the Impact stage, where she’ll share broader visions of our tech future, and on our ecommerce stage, Checkout.

Rebecca Roth, Social Media Specialist and Imaging Coordinator at NASA

If you don’t follow NASA Goddard on Instagram, you’re probably doing it wrong. Sharing fascinating images and stories about galaxies you haven’t heard of before, it’s a wealth of knowledge delivered to your feed. Behind the social account is Rebecca Roth, Social Media Specialist and Imaging Coordinator at NASA.

Passionate and enthusiastic about sharing NASA’s compelling images with the world, Roth’s work is motivated by collaborating with very talented people at the intersection of communications and science. One of NASA’s mandates is to share with and educate the public about its research and exploration. To reach a greater number of people, Roth started the NASA Goddard Instagram account, Twitter account, and expanded its Flickr site.

The approach has worked. The social media team at Goddard won a Shorty Award in 2014 in the government division, which is like winning an Oscar for social media. At TNW2020, Roth will speak on our Re:Brand stage. If you’re in the field of marketing or just really like cool photos of outer space, this keynote is for you.

I mean, how could you not want to see stuff like this every day:

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This spiral galaxy (NGC 4455) is located in the constellation Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair). This might sound odd — and it is somewhat unusual. It’s the only modern constellation to be named in honor of a real person from history: Queen Berenice II of Egypt. The story of Queen Berenice II is an interesting one. A ruling queen of the ancient Greek city of Cyrene in modern-day Libya, and later a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt through her marriage to her cousin Ptolemy III Euergetes, Berenice became known for sacrificing locks of her hair as an offering to ensure her husband’s safe return from battle. Her husband did indeed return safely, and her hair, which she had left in a Zephyrium temple, had disappeared — it had apparently been stolen and placed among the stars. Should it be located in NGC 4455, it traveled a long way. The galaxy is about 45 million light-years away. This image was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, I. Karachentsev et al. #nasagoddard #space #science #Hubble

A post shared by NASA Goddard (@nasagoddard) on

Tony Jebara, VP of Engineering and Head of Machine Learning at Spotify

I know it’s going to be a great week when my Discover Weekly is absolutely on point. Now you know who to thank for hours of great tunes: Tony Jebara. As Vice President of Engineering and Head of Machine Learning at Spotify, Jebara and his team use extensive algorithms to help you find your next favorite song.

Jebara was previously the director of machine learning at Netflix, where he launched improvements to its personalization algorithms. He’s also a professor (on leave) at Columbia University and has published hundreds of scientific articles.

I’m really excited to hear him speak on our Neural stage, which is dedicated to discussing the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning. I highly recommend his talk, especially if you’re curious about how Spotify and Netflix get it right so many times, and how they’re constantly improving.

There are plenty more names I haven’t mentioned and I recommend checking out our full lineup. Discover more big name speakers you’ll enjoy, and make sure to grab your tickets to TNW2020 now. Early bird prices are still available! See you in Amsterdam on October 1 & 2.

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