Christina Yan Zhang black and white headshot

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang

Metaverse Pioneer, UN ITU Vice Chair of Metaverse Working Group on Sustainability, Inclusion & Accessibility, Co-chair of Citiverse Task Group

why book christina?

  • Serving as the Vice Chair on the UN International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Metaverse Working Group, Christina plays a key role in defining metaverse sustainability, accessibility, and inclusion standards globally
  • With 17 years of experience, Christina has received awards for her exceptional leadership, successfully transforming forward-thinking ideas into thriving businesses
  • Christina has held advisory positions in over 20 committees for influential organisations, including UNESCO, World Bank, Commonwealth, EU, and UK Governments
Christina Yan Zhang black and white headshot

Biography

Dr Christina Yan Zhang is an award-winning business leader with 17 years of experience turning forward-thinking ideas into successful businesses. She has extensive experience working with UN leaders, governments ministers, universities presidents, and business CEOs on innovation strategies.

Christina is a metaverse pioneer. She started her master research on the topic in 2006 to develop universities’ international strategies. In 2012, with full scholarship, she completed a PhD in using digital twin in the metaverse to augment the construction industry.

Between 2013 and 2020, she was China Director for QS, the producer of QS World University Ranking. Starting from scratch, Christina grew the UK-headquartered firm’s profile and commercial success in China. In January 2016, China’s Vice Premier highlighted the use of QS rankings in a keynote speech, with the rankings impacting 5 years funding allocations to 3005 universities across China with 48 million students, and a total budget of £750bn.

Between 2012 and 2013, she worked in the UK Parliament developing policies for the Shadow Business Secretary’ team.

Christina was the first Chinese elected to the national executive of the UK National Union of Students (NUS) since its foundation in 1922, and represented the interests of one million international and EU students studying at 600 UK higher and further education institutions who contribute £30bn a year to the UK economy.

She has sat on 20+ advisory committees for UNESCO, World Bank, Commonwealth, EU, and UK Governments. She is the UN International Telecommunication Union(ITU)’s Vice Chair on Metaverse Working Group on Sustainability, Accessibility & Inclusion and Co-chair of Task Group on Pre-standardization for the CitiVerse with the mandate to set up the first UN definition and roadmap on how cities can use metaverse, digital twins, AI and related technologies to build inclusive and sustainable cities around the world. She sits on TechUK’s digital twins board and Financial Service Council.

Christina Yan Zhang black and white headshot

She has visited and evaluated hundreds of the world’s top universities, national labs, hospitals and advised their presidents on strategies to develop world class innovation systems. She is also one of six leaders appointed to the advisory council of Centre for Science Futures at International Science Council, the world’s largest science body with a membership of 230 national and international academies of sciences, to advise the global science community on the impact of AI and other frontier technologies. 

For two years, Christina contributed to the BBC as a campus journalist. She has seven years’ experience as a TV presenter for People’s Daily Online, interviewing heads of states and the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on latest global issues.

As a bridge-builder between UN, governments, business, education and innovation sectors, she regularly meets with top leaders, is a frequent keynote speaker at high level events, and is interviewed by top media. 

She recently chaired the opening panel for The World Intellectual Property Organization’s summit on IP and Metaverse, addressed UNESCO on the future of education using metaverse, and the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in cities. She also teaches future tech at Cambridge University.

Topics

AI and Frontier Technologies – A Global Industrial Revolution

Get ready for a seismic shift in how we work, create, and connect! This session gives an overview of how AI and other cutting-edge technologies are shaping the future of industries worldwide, with a keen focus on practical examples. 

  • AI as the Mastermind: how AI algorithms are optimizing production lines, predicting market trends, and even designing next-generation products, propelling industries to new heights of efficiency and innovation.
  • Frontier Tech Toolbox: How other technologies such as robotics, blockchain, 3D printing, and the metaverse could disrupt and redefine established industries.
  • Reimagining Connectivity: Discover how frontier technologies are blurring geographical boundaries, enabling seamless collaboration, and paving the way for a more interconnected and equitable global marketplace.
  • Challenges and Opportunities: We’ll also delve into the ethical considerations and potential pitfalls accompanying this technological revolution, ensuring a responsible and inclusive path forward.
  • Future-Proofing Your Journey: Leave with actionable insights to harness the power of AI and frontier technologies for your own business or industry, navigating the wave of change with confidence and agility.

Welcome to the ‘CitiVerse’ – a tech-enabled, citizen-centred future city

Dive into the CitiVerse, where cutting-edge technologies like AI, digital twins, and quantum computing converge to create an urban living environment that truly responds to citizens’ needs and aspirations. 

Learn how cities around the world are already harnessing technology to make everyday life smarter, greener, and more connected, and shaping a future where cities work for their people, not the other way around. Get ready to reimagine urban living in this session brimming with innovative possibilities. 

Session Key Takeaways:

  • Have a full understanding of the key challenges cities will face in the years and decades ahead 
  • Identify the cutting edge technologies that can be used to help citizens to play an active role in the daily management and development of cities that are sustainable, resilient and equitable. 
  • Learn how cities can create the governance arrangements and planning roadmaps necessary to make sure that these cutting-edge technologies benefit citizens’ lives, while mitigating the risk of unwelcome outcomes. 

Shattering The Glass Ceiling: Women Leading In The Digital Future Of 2040

Learn about the latest digital innovations and their impact on gender equality and leadership. Witness how women are using technology to create a more equitable world and empower yourself to be a part of this transformation.

Join a dynamic exploration of how women are leading the charge in a people-powered digital future. Discover how emerging technologies like AI, Quantum Computing, and Brain Computer Interfaces are enabling women to shape a future that’s inclusive and empowering for all.

Session Key Takeaways:

  • Gender Equality in Tech Leadership: Gain insights into the current state of gender equality in tech and the challenges that remain
  • Exploring Cutting-Edge Technologies: Understand the potential of groundbreaking technologies set to redefine our world by 2040
  • Empowering Women in Tech: Through case studies and examples, learn how women can use these technologies to break barriers and lead the way towards a more inclusive future

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Work and Skills

Artificial Intelligence, once science fiction, is now coming into our workplaces. But fear not, for this evolution presents an opportunity – a chance to redefine the human-machine partnership. By training employees to get the best out of AI tools, we can enhance their productivity.

Session Key Takeaways:

  • Worldwide, there is already a mismatch between what universities are teaching and the skills that industry needs. This is only set to worsen with the rise of AI in the workplace. 
  • The latest predictions from tech leaders indicate that AIs could be competitive with human workers in many industries within three to five years. Millions of workers may have to retrain. 
  • The future workplace is likely to place a premium on the training and monitoring of AI systems, as well as on human-to-human interactions. Learn more about the opportunities this presents for the workers of the future. 

Masterclasses

You may want to go deeper with your audience. Masterclasses can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.

Christina teaches masterclass at Cambridge University for executive education on the following topics:

  • Future Tech
  • Smart Cities
  • Future of Work and Skills
  • Women, Tech, Entrepreneurship
  • Metaverse, AI, Digital Twins
  • Aerospace
  • Sustainability and Technology

testimonials

“Dr. Zhang’s opening keynote speech on the integration of AI in the automotive industry was nothing short of spectacular. Her insights into the future of mobility were not only informative but also incredibly inspiring. She painted a vivid picture of a future where artificial intelligence seamlessly intertwines with automotive technologies, transforming the way we perceive and interact with our vehicles.

The speech was a perfect blend of cutting-edge research, real-world applications, and a touch of the visionary. It was clear that she not only possessed a deep understanding of the subject matter but also had a unique ability to communicate her knowledge effectively.

Her presentation left a lasting impression on our conference attendees, sparking countless conversations and discussions about the limitless possibilities that lie ahead in the automotive industry. ”

Jacek Opala, Board member at Exact Systems, MotoIdea Conference organiser

“… I would like to thank Dr. Zhang for her outstanding contribution as a key speaker to the success of the third edition of the International Conference of Public Environmental Policies …”

The presentation Dr. Zhang gave in the Conference, ‘How Disruptive Technologies & AI Can Help Us Grow a Green City’ was the jewel in the crown of the event, a real magnet for the participants, as it was entertaining, intelligently dosed, containing the ultimate information in her field of work, supported by great on-screen presentation. Briefly, her presentation left everybody breathless. She was also the main character of the Conference since probably all the participants wanted to talk to her, to better know her activity and to propose a professional collaboration with her.

Thanks to Dr. Zhang once more for her professionalism, openness and interpersonal intelligence. We only hope that she will agree to further cooperate together in the future.” 

Nicoleta Cîrjan, Head of the Foreign Relations, Tourism and Events Office , Brasov Municipality

“Dr. Christina is an absolute marvel in the world of speakers. I had the distinct honour of having her deliver a keynote speech at our 1 Million Women In Tech Entrepreneurship initiative launch … her impact was electrifying … She possesses an unparalleled ability to articulate complex ideas with clarity and conviction, leaving the audience spellbound. “

“What truly sets Dr. Christina apart is her extraordinary talent for connecting with people on a profound level. Her words not only resonate but also inspire action. “

 

“I also had the privilege of hearing her on stage at the Reborn conference in Level39 London, one of the world’s most innovative community which produced unicorns such as Revolut and Wise Fintech.”

 

“She was the opening keynote speaker to address the conference attended by 200 tech entrepreneurs, investors and government leaders. She effortlessly commanded the room’s attention, and her insights were nothing short of enlightening.”

Dr. Christina possesses a unique gift for making you envision what’s possible in the most compelling way. Her impact on our mission to empower women in tech entrepreneurship has been immeasurable. I can confidently say that her speaking engagements are not just presentations; they are experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Dr. Christina is, without a doubt, a force of inspiration and change.”

Angie Madara, Founding Partner – Athena FundX