PwC Luxembourg partner Laurent Probst to speak at knowledge summit

30 November 2018

PwC Luxembourg partner Laurent Probst is due to appear among a range of international speakers at next week’s Knowledge Summit in Dubai.

To be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre over the 5th and 6th of December, the 2018 Knowledge Summit is the flagship annual event hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. Now into its fifth year, the Knowledge Summit has since its inception welcomed more than 300 local and international guest speakers and in excess of 5,000 attendees, covering themes such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (2017) and the Way to Innovation (2015).

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy’, which corresponds with the United Arab Emirates’ Vision 2021 agenda – a roadmap for diversifying the economy away from a reliance on oil receipts and toward a modern knowledge economy. Among the initiatives of the Vision 2021 agenda are policies for ‘Emiratisation’, which aims to grow future employment and skills capacity for young Emirati nationals.

“The youth are the fuel of the future and the cornerstone in sustainable development efforts in any community,” said Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation CEO Jamal Bin Huwaireb, who serves as a cultural advisor to the government of Dubai. “Hosting the event here in the UAE underlines the country’s status as a hub for constructive cultural dialogue, which spurs visions and plans for robust knowledge-based societies.”

PwC innovation leader Laurent Probst to speak at knowledge summit in Dubai

This year’s two-day Knowledge Summit will feature more than 100 private and public sector experts speaking across 45 panel discussions and workshops, including appearances from celebrated local science advocate HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States Mourad Wahba, and high-flying Deloitte Digital Independent Vice Chairman Jay Samit. .

Joining the luminaries will be PwC Luxembourg partner Laurent Probst, who serves as the firm’s Global Network Leader for its regional innovation cluster and was instrumental in developing and leading PwC’s Accelerator programme which was launched in 2012. Since then, over 500 European tech companies having been accelerated to Asia from Europe under the programme, which supports high-potential next-generation companies with their global growth ambitions.

A near two-decade veteran with PwC’s Luxembourg branch, Probst also serves as Economic Development & Innovation leader, specialising for the past seven years in economic development strategy and implementation for governments and EU institutions – particularly as to digital innovation and transformations and the formulation of EU policy initiatives in the politically complex fields of big data, artificial intelligence, and advanced cybersecurity.

Probst will share his opinions and expertise on the ‘Future of Knowledge Model’ topic on the first day of the event, alongside current EU innovation strategic advisor Jan Sturesson, and Leif Edvinsson, a fellow UNDP advisor and pioneering contributor to the theory and practice of Intellectual Capital. The session will cover areas such as the framework of the future knowledge model, factors influencing future knowledge, and the impact of big data on future knowledge among other issues.

Recently, the Luxembourg branch of PwC, which is the country’s largest professional services firm with a headcount of around 2,850 accountants, auditors and consultants, admitted eight new members to its partnership ranks – while earlier this year the firm launched its innovation ‘Experience Centre’ in the country, designed to support clients through an integrated blend of strategy, experience, design and technological know-how.


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Rik de Weerd joins Product League as Chief Digital Transformation

19 April 2019

Product League, a digital transformation agency dedicated to the OutSystems platform, has brought Rik de Weerd on board as Chief Digital Transformation.

Based in the Netherlands, Product League is a rapidly growing digital product specialist. The firm helps clients – including the likes of beer brewer Heineken and grocery players Albert Heijn and Coop – build systems, applications and products by combining a rapid application development approach with an agile way of working. To this end, Product League is dedicated to the low-code platform of OutSystems. 

Against a backdrop of a growing need to transform core legacy systems, as organisations embrace emerging technologies to bolster competitiveness and (digitally) navigate change, low-code is seeing a booming uptake by organisations of all sizes. According to one estimate, by a US analyst firm, the market for low code development is set to double in size from its current value of $1.6 billion roughly every two years during the period until 2025. Alongside peers such as Appian and Mendix, OutSystems is at the forefront of the low-code industry.

According to Rik de Weerd, Product League is uniquely positioned to tap into the growing market for OutSystems services, leveraging its specialist and multidisciplinary approach to help clients “deliver winning products”. He elaborated, “there are many good players in the OutSystems market which deliver excellent technical work. Product League goes beyond this, and additionally brings a focus on the strategic level. The firm is not only a strategic partner with the right toolset, but also brings the determination to take clients wherever they need to go.”

Rik de Weerd joins Product League as Chief Digital Transformation

The Dutchman brings a wealth of experience to Product League, as well as a reputation as one of the Benelux’s OutSystems thought leaders in the low-code industry. Before joining the digital consultancy, he worked for OutSystems from their Benelux office as Lead Solution Architect for Northern Europe. During his tenure, he has led a large number of digital transformation projects and has been responsible for resolving complex business and IT issues. Earlier in his career he held several IT consulting and project management roles. 

Asked about his move from OutSystems to Product League, De Weerd commented: “After five years of evangelising low-code, drawing up countless solutions across Northern Europe and battling 'old habits and short-term thinking’, now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. I had the privilege to be presented with several new business cases every week in different branches and help blueprint the road to value in all of them. Now I’m eager to take that to the next level and drive the programmes that actually transform corporations into the digital age.”

“Low-code has crossed the chasm, the technology is now here to stay. Searching for new, more effective ways of catalysing their digital transformation, leading companies are realising this. Driving digital transformation as a core competency of Product League is now my mission and I believe it will be an excellent fit.” 

He further pointed at Product League’s ability to provide an end-to-end service, “With a team of product owners, business analysts, UX/UI designers and OutSystems developers, Product League can offer clients the full digital experience. But technology can only take you so far – without the right people, the right mindset and the power to execute, IT stays hypothetical. I believe I’ve found all three in Product League.”