From the youngest minds to the most accomplished entrepreneurs, everyone meets obstacles along the journey to achievement. And there is always a path forward.
Obstacles are opportunities: to better understand our goals, ourselves, and the collaborative network that will enable both to flourish; to find the shape of and wisdom in the crooked path from ideas to impact.

Our gathering in Riyadh, Impossibility to Impact, invites top entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world to help power a conversation about seemingly impossible odds—and the necessary risks, curious strategies and borrowed insights that lead to breakthroughs.

The event will bring together scientists, engineers, innovators, investors, and business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the world to share their personal stories of process and progress.

We will also introduce the first class of Fellows—six incredibly talented innovators showcasing their experiences and inventions born from our 8-month program.

By attending, you will become a vital part of the i2 ecosystem by engaging with top minds and young talent from the worlds of science, business, policy and design. Join us in investigating innovation and entrepreneurship with some of the most distinct perspectives in science and technology, and flex some of your own ideas in a nurturing environment unlike any other.

Adrian Anantawan

Co-Director of Music, 
Affiliated companies: Conservatory Lab Charter School

Adrian Anantawan holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a violinist, he has studied with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, and Anne-Sophie Mutter; his academic work in education was supervised by Howard Gardner. Memorable moments include performances at the White House, the Opening Ceremonies of the Athens and Vancouver Olympic Games and the United Nations. He has played for the late Christopher Reeve and for Pope John Paul II, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

 Adrian helped to create the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre. The cross-collaborative project brings researchers, musicians, doctors and educators together to develop adaptive musical instruments capable of being played by young person with disabilities within a chamber music setting. Currently in its third year, the initiative has helped transform the lives of children with Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Rett Syndrome. The project cumulated with a performance of the VMI with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra in November, 2012.

He is currently the co-Director of Music at the Conservatory Lab Charter School, serving students from the Boston area, kindergarten through grade eight.

Adrian is a winner of a Juno Award, a member of the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, and was awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the Commonwealth.

Josue David Gonzalez 

Job title: Co-Director for El Sistema at Conservatory Lab Charter School

Josue, a native of San Juan Puerto Rico, began his musical studies at the age of four. He holds a B.M. and a M.M. in performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Awards and accolades include prizes at the 2011 Sphinx Competition and the 2007 Plowman Competition with the Iannis Quartet. He has performed across the U.S. and he has also recorded for the Naxos label with the Monocacy Chamber Orchestra under the helm of Jung-Ho Pak.

Josue is currently a Co-Director and cello instructor for the “El Sistema” program at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also a guest member of the Boston Cellos, the Discovery Ensemble and is a conductor for the Boston City-Wide String Orchestra.

Teaching and social engagement have been a large part of his life as of late. He has dedicated the past four years of his life promoting the values of social change for urban communities through intensive classical music training for children and young adults called El Sistema. He eventually hopes to be able to disseminate this model of arts intensive social reform and replicate it in other at risk communities in America and abroad.


Introduction9:00 – 9:05

Welcome and Quran


9:05 – 9:10

Andrew Zolli, Curator & Executive Director, Poptech, USA


9:10 – 9:20

Hani Ashgar, Middle East Senior Partner, PwC


9:20 – 9:45

Dr. Hayat Sindi, Founder and CEO, i2 Institute


9:45 – 10:15

Todd Reichert, Co-founder, AeroVelo, Canada


10:15 – 10:30

i2 Fellows Hosam Zowawi and Moaz Bambi


10:30 – 11:00

Thomas Thwaites, Designer, UK

Break11:00 – 11:30Break

11:30 – 12:00

Ayah Bdeir, Founder & CEO, LittleBits, USA


12:00 – 12:15

i2 Fellows Ahmed Moor and Tariq Buhilaigah


12:15 – 12:45

Adam Bly, Founder & CEO, Seed, USA

Break12:45 – 14:00Lunch and Prayer

14:00 – 15:15



15:15 – 15:30


nnovation15:30 – 16:00Nola Masterson, Managing Director, Science Futures Inc., USA and Abdul Malik Al Jaber, CEO, MENA Apps, UAE
16:00 – 16:30

Adrian Anantawan, Co-Director of Music, Conservatory Lab Charter School, USA and Josue David Gonzalez, Co-Director for El Sistema at Conservatory Lab Charter School, USA
16:30 – 16:45

i2 Fellows Yousuf Jamjoom and Abdullah Aldossary
16:45 – 17:00

Michael Chihoski, Chief Operating Officer, King Abdullah Economic City, KSA
17:00 – 17:30

i2 Fellows Q&A
17:30 – 18:00

Awards and Closing Ceremony

Andrew Zolli 

Job title: Curator and Executive Director
Affiliated companies/organizations: Poptech 

Andrew Zolli is an acclaimed leader in the fields of global foresight, social innovation and resilience. He serves as Curator and Executive Director of PopTech (poptech.org), a global innovation network which brings together scientists, technologists, engineers, designers, business leaders, social entrepreneurs, ecologists and others to collaborate on new approaches to the world’s toughest challenges.

Under his leadership, PopTech has incubated breakthrough collaborative innovations in mobile healthcare, education, sustainability, and a number of related fields. It has also identified and trained dozens of the world’s leading social innovators and scientists; and its annual thought-leadership conferences have become one of the most recognized and influential in the world.

Andrew has served as a Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and his work and ideas regularly appear in dozens of leading publications and media outlets. Andrew’s most recent book, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, has been published in more than a dozen languages and has received worldwide acclaim.

Dr. Abdul Malik Al Jaber 

Job title: Founder and Chairman, MENA Apps. 
Affiliated companies/organizations: Middle East Payment Services  

Dr. Al Jaber is the Founder and Chairman of MENA Apps, the former COO of Zain Group and CEO of Zain Jordan. Prior to joining Zain, he served as CEO and Vice Chairman of Paltel Group where he was also responsible for profits growth from $15 million to $100 million in a record time. During his tenure, the Paltel Group became the first Palestinian company and 2nd in MENA to adopt the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Practice and Reporting, as well as the first company in the country to form a corporate foundation.

Dr. Al Jaber serves as chairman of the Golden Wheat Mills Company and is Chairman of Middle East Payment Services, leading payment processor and acquirer in the Middle East. He also sets on a handful of regional and global boards of companies and institutions.

In 2010, Dr. Al Jaber was the first Jordanian ranked by Global Telecoms, # 62 on its annual power 100 list and thereafter in 2011 as # 69 and # 70 in 2012. He was also ranked # 21 in the top 50 most powerful people in the Media, Marketing and Advertising in June 2011. He was also awarded by HRH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid PM of UAE as Best Arab Manager.

Dr. Al Jaber is a member of the Arab Business Council, WEF, The Arab Technology Forum, YPO and the Global Agenda Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of Kuwait National Fund for Entrepreneurship, Chairman of Oasis Venture Fund and Founder or Arabreneur.

Michael Chihoski 

Job title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: Emaar, The Economic City  

Michael Chihoski is the Chief Operating Officer of Emaar Economic City (EEC), a publicly listed Saudi company leading the development of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). In his current capacity, he heads the Corporate Construction, Supply Chain, Infrastructure, Utilities and Master Planning divisions of EEC.

Mr. Chihoski has more than 20 years of progressive experience in the fields of operations, construction, and facility management.  This experience includes working for several large corporations and as a consultant to a variety of industries.  In addition to his full time roles Mr. Chihoski has also served on more than a dozen boards and commissions both in the public and private sector.  Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and recognition for his contributions to his field of expertise. 

Mr. Chihoski has earned a B.S. Industrial Technology and M.S. Industrial Management both from Northern Illinois University in the United States. Mr. Chihoski is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Development Program (AMDP) in Real Estate at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

Hani Ashkar 

Job title: Territory Senior partner of Middle East
Affiliated companies: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Hani Ashkar is PwC’s Territory Senior Partner for the Middle East. He joined the firm in 1994 and was admitted as a Partner in 2004. 

Prior to becoming our Senior Partner, Hani was the leader of the deals practice for the Middle East Region. Deals encompasses transaction services (diligence and valuation), corporate finance, deals strategy, capital projects & infrastructure, business recovery services and forensic services. Hani was also country leader in Saudi Arabia.

Hani advises multinational and regional investors on transactions across the Middle East region and helped establish PwC’s deals businesses in Saudi Arabia and the Levant. Over the years, he has been involved in over 300 transactions with corporate and private equity investors across the region covering a number of industries. Hani also has considerable IPO and listings experience, acquired in London and more recently in Saudi Arabia, where he has advised on over 15 IPOs on the Saudi Stock Exchange.

Hani is a US Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder and a graduate of McGill University in Canada. He is a fluent English and Arabic speaker.


Abdullah was born and raised in Khobar City, Saudi Arabia. He has always been curious, hungry for knowledge, and enjoys looking for ways to apply that knowledge to solve the problems of every day life. His personal view is that every obstacle is an opportunity for improvement.

Abdullah graduated from Jubail Industrial College in 2010 as an Instrument and Control Engineer, where he mastered electronics. He then went on to receive his Masters in Industrial Engineering at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, U.S.

Abdullah enjoys playing soccer and racquetball as well as watching the latest TV shows. He dreams of building a company that specializes in manufacturing and outsourcing products for the elderly, to make users’ lives easier.

Designing mobile phones friendly enough for all users

Ayah Bdeir 


Founder and CEO, LittleBits, littlebits.cc
Affiliated Companies: Open Hardware

Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits, is an engineer, and one of the leaders of the Maker movement. Ayah’s career and education have centered on advancing open source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. She is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, an alumna of the MIT Media Lab and a TED Senior Fellow (her TED talk “building blocks that blink, beep and teach” has over 700k views).

Recently Bdeir has been named no.33 on FastCompany’s Most Creative People in Business for 2013 and littleBits has been named as one of CNN’s top 10 Emerging Startups to watch and won over 18 toy and education awards. Originally from Lebanon and Canada, Ayah now lives in New York City.

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Ahmed was born in a Gaza Strip refugee camp. Ten years later – after having moved to Sudan, back to Palestine, and on to Sierra Leone, and Haiti – his family came to the U.S.  He subsequently became an American citizen and moved to Philadelphia. The family returned to the West Bank, however, before settling in the U.S. in 2000. Ahmed earned a BA in political science and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and then moved to Wall Street, initially at Standard & Poor’s, and subsequently at Swiss Re Capital Markets.

After three years, he returned to the Middle East to begin a career as a freelance journalist, based initially in Beirut. He subsequently moved to Cairo and covered the revolution based in Tahrir Square. His writings have been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Review, Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Huffington Post, among other outlets. Sensing that his effectiveness as a writer and human rights advocate would benefit from further professional training, he gained admission to the MPP program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he is a first-year student. This semester he organized and managed a major international conference that explored what a one-state solution for Israel/Palestine might look like. 

Enabling small business capital in the Middle East

Nola Masterson

Job title: Managing Director
Affiliated companies: Science Futures Inc.

Nola Masterson is the Managing Director of Science Futures Management Company, LLC. Science Futures is a 30 year old investment and advisory firm. Ms. Masterson is a biotechnology industry leader and successful visionary thinker with more than 40 years of business experience in the life sciences industry and in venture capital investments. She brings value to the classroom as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco in the Department of Analytics and Technology in the School of Management.
Currently, Ms. Masterson is Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Repros Therapeutics Inc. (RPRX). She also serves on the Audit Committee, Nominating and Governance Committee and is Chair of the Compensation Committee.
She is Chairwoman Emeritus of the BayBio Institute, a non-profit organization serving the Northern California life sciences industry and also serves on the Board of Advisors to Astia, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women entrepreneurs.  She serves on the American Diabetes Association Leadership Board for Silicon Valley.
In 2003, she was included in Irish America magazine’s annual “Business 100” and received the Alumni Achievement Award from Marymount College at Fordham University in 2004. Ms Masterson is an avid horseback rider and mother of a daughter and a step-daughter.

Twitter: #sciencefutures 


Thomas Frederick Arnott Thwaites

Job title: Designer

Thomas Thwaites is a designer whose work examines how science and technology interact with cultures, to shape our present society, and possible futures. As an undergraduate he studied economics and biology at University College London, and this training informs his work, which spans science and design. He completed his post-graduate masters degree in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in 2009.

He now develops far reaching design projects, undertakes commissions for private companies, as well as making work for public organisations including London’s Design Museum, the Wellcome Trust and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

He lectures at various universities in the USA and Europe, and has spoken at a number of conferences across the world, including TED, Design Indaba (Cape Town, SA), and Design East (Osaka, Japan).

His work is exhibited at major galleries worldwide, including at the National Museum of China, Ars Electronica in Austria, the Zero1 Biennial in California and The Science Museum in London. The  Victoria & Albert Museum recently acquired a work for their permanent collection.

Press includes features in newspapers including the New York Times, Sued Detsche and The Financial Times. He has presented a four part television series, aired on Discovery Channel Asia Pacific in 2013.

His first book, The Toaster Project, is published by Princeton Architectural Press, attracting critical acclaim, and has now been translated in to Japanese and Korean editions. 




Hosam M. Zowawi is a clinical microbiologist who is deeply interested in improving pathology diagnosis and reducing the turn-around-time to produce results. Hosam believes that early detection of infectious diseases will save people’s lives while reducing the costs that normally result from delayed therapy. In 2012 he designed a novel diagnostic tool that can be used to rapidly identify antibiotic-resistant bacteria based on their genetic fingerprint.

While this diagnostic innovation has so far only been used for epidemiological research purposes, Hosam is currently exploring how it could have a clinical applications too. He believes his tool could reduce the turn-around-time to identify antibiotic resistant bacteria in people and limit the unnecessary use of antibiotics in treatment.

Hosam completed his undergraduate studies from Umm Al-Qura University. Since then, he worked in pathologies, research laboratories, infection control departments, and taught in several medical schools. Hosam graduated with a Masters in Clinical Science (Clinical Microbiology) with Honours and is currently conducting his PhD dissertation at the University of Queensland, Centre for Clinical Research, where he is studying antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Results generated from this project will potentially highlight the importance of initiating active ongoing surveillance on multi drug resistance organisms in the GCC states.

During his free time, Hosam enjoys outdoor activities, mostly horse riding and playing polo.

Rapidly diagnosing antibiotic resistant superbugs for effective treatment



Moaz Bambi is a medical student pursuing his MBBS degree in Medicine and Surgery. A self-described “tech geek”, Moaz is a science-driven mind who is passionate about taking medicine forward through technology. In 2011, he was elected as a Google Ambassador as part of the first ambassadors group in the Middle East and North Africa region. He also co-organized the national g|Saudi 2.0 conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and is a member of Google Developers Group (GDG) in that city.

As part of his medical journey, he led a research sub-group in national statistical research in diabetes and hypertension conducted by the Saudi Diabetes Research Group (SDRG). And he takes every opportunity to attend conferences and events in the medical field.

Moaz’s greatest goals lie at the intersection of medicine and technology. Using advanced inventions to simplify and guide surgical pro­cedures in operation rooms, Moaz believes he can revolutionize medical and surgical technologies, and expand the experience and potential of medical education.

In his free time, Moaz immerses himself in science and tech news. To him, every field of science and technology is a fair game for exploration and discovery.

An interactive, fully-controllable virtual cadaver that will replace the need for human cadaver in all of its applications.

Todd Reichert 

Job title: Co-founder of AeroVelo Inc., aerovelo.com 

Todd Reichert is a co-founder of AeroVelo Inc., a company that spends its time pushing the limits of human potential. Projects have ranged from human-powered helicopters to aerodynamic bicycles capable of reaching speeds of over 77 mph. The common theme is one of doing more with less: going further with limited resources. Driven by passion and challenge, Todd’s journey has led to a unique understanding of what it takes to tackle the impossible.

In 2006, along with fellow AeroVelo co-founder Cameron Robertson, Todd set out to accomplish one of humanities oldest aeronautical dreams: create a human-powered aircraft that flies in the imitation of a bird by flapping its wings. Their success in 2010 spurred a massive international following and accolades that include Canada’s top aviation honor: the Trans-Canada McKee Trophy. Shortly thereafter the two sought to tackle the AHS Sikorsky Prize: a challenge requiring a human-powered helicopter to reach an altitude of 3 metres and stay aloft for 60 seconds. In only 18 months the team achieved what many had thought to be impossible, bringing home the $250,000 prize that had remained untouched for over 33 years. Todd and Cameron are currently working on the design of a bicycle to capture the human-powered land-speed record. Capable of breaking highway speed limits on less than one horsepower, these space-age aerodynamic vehicles boast an equivalent fuel efficiency 80 times better than the average car.

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Facebook: AeroVelo
YouTube: Aero Velo


Tariq, originally from Khobar, Saudi Arabia, is currently working on his Bachelors of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Psychology from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon. Tariq has certifications in both Business Planning from UNIDO-Bahrain and in an Introduction to Solid State Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2004 Tariq began work as a Computer Helpdesk Assistant at Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In 2007 he then worked at Rawabi Holding in Khobar as an IT Specialist.

When he is not studying chemistry, Tariq volunteers at the Saint Jude Children Cancer Center in Beirut. In the past, Tariq has also volunteered at the Lebanese Red Cross Youth Department at his university. He served as treasurer of the UNESCO Club at AUB for two years and worked at his university’s Office of Student Affairs for three years. Lastly, Tariq was a Research Assistant in AUB’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

His hobbies include photography, traveling, reading, and technology and gaming.

Expediting information and treatment in medical emergencies


Yousuf was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. After he graduated from high school he continued his education in California. During his college years, he did one semester of study abroad with Semester at Sea. In May 2013, he graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship & Finance and a Minor in Communication. While studying at Chapman, he had the chance to be part of the Rowing Team, MSA, and the Entrepreneurship Club. 

Yousuf also enjoys outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and tennis as well as trying new adventures. His adventures so far have included skydiving, the highest bungee jumping in the world, and road tripping across the United States. When he’s not adventuring and developing his business with i2, he is also an intern in the U.S. with the global science company DSM.

Advancing technology tools for student learning and collaboration

Adam Bly 

Job title: Founder & CEO, Seed

Adam Bly is Founder & CEO of Seed, the consultancy for the data era. He is also Visiting Senior Fellow in Science, Technology & Society at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems.

Bly has spent the past decade innovating at the nexus of science and society. Seed, the critically-acclaimed science magazine he founded in 2001, introduced a new vision for science’s place in society that is now widely referenced. Visualizing, which he founded in 2010, is now the leading data visualization sharing and challenge platform. He is credited with integrating science into the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos and has advised The White House, the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, and Fortune 500 corporations on matters of science and society. In collaboration with curator Paola Antonelli, he co-organized Design and the Elastic Mind, the groundbreaking exhibition on science and design at The Museum of Modern Art. He has lectured extensively on scientific thinking and data-driven innovation, most notably at the World Economic Forum, the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences, Harvard, MIT, Peking University, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bly was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. He is the editor of Science is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science + Society (HarperCollins).

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