Steve Ballmer, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corporation  (via cybercast)
Steve Ballmer, a Harvard graduate, is the brains behind Microsoft's incredible sales, support and marketing efforts. As Executive Vice-President at Microsoft, he leads the Worldwide Business Strategy Group, and he sits on Microsoft's elite Executive Committee. Since no company (or entity) in the world has more influence over the Internet, when Steve Ballmer speaks to us—live, by cybercast—the world will be listening. While a major story leading up to the Conference will be Microsoft's antitrust battle with the Justice Department concerning Internet Explorer, Microsoft's web browser, this is but one program, one small part of Microsoft's empire of software, of content, of companies that will help to determine the scope and the direction of the Internet. Microsoft is unique. It will almost certainly be a powerful force in shaping technology for the remainder of our lives, and Mr. Ballmer holds a key leadership role within this most influential company. His keynote address will be an exciting event, a treatise on the future of the Internet, and a testament of its ability to bring people together from all over the world through the technology.

"... he's this wonderfully aggressive guy..."
   - from Nesson's Tour

Stephen M. Case, Chairman and CEO, America Online
When Case co-founded America Online twelve years ago, the market for interactive services barely existed. Today AOL boasts over ten million members, making it the world's biggest Internet online service. In taking the company from market pioneer to market leader, Case says he wants to remain true to his vision of creating a new medium that will someday be as ubiquitous as radio or TV, and ultimately even more useful.

Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings
Esther Dyson's new book, Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, was written to help (make) citizens and rulemakers think about how cyberspace will impact society, and it has been widely acclaimed as both visionary and practical. Ms. Dyson, the chairman of EDventure Holdings and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (and a boardmember of numerous other technology companies and institutions), is known all over the world as one of the most thoughtful and concerned speakers addressing the issues surrounding the rapid devlopment of computer technologies. Her keynote speech on the morning of May 28th will open a day devoted to discussing the numerous ways in which the Internet will impact how people relate to one another and to their governments. No one doubts that society will be different in the increasingly digital age, but few influential thinkers have attempted to articulate how that will happen, and what people can do to prepare for and shape the changes we are going through. There is a reason why Ms. Dyson (a Harvard graduate) is one of the most visible and highly regarded Internet commentators and analysts, and why her endeavors both in the public and commercial spheres continue to thrive: She knows her business, how computers and networks function, and what they will mean to people's lives in the future that is at hand.

"She has had more intelligent things to say about property in cyberspace than—I think—just about anyone."
   - from Nesson's Tour

Lawrence J. Ellison, Chairman and CEO, Oracle Corporation
As the CEO, Chairman and founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison has pioneered the field of database creation and management. Since the Internet is basically a database of information, Oracle's importance to any company or institution cannot be questioned: Databases make the internetworked world go round. How do large databases function, and why will they play an increasingly large role in society's use of the Internet? Mr. Ellison will not speak merely as the CEO of one of the world's most successful technology companies, he will be at Harvard to speak as a visionary about the world that is fast approaching where information is the single most important asset, and the modes of access to and manipulation of that information determine success and failure. How is information protected, how can it be manipulated, and what changes as databases get larger and larger? Oracle is positioned at the center of this architectural challenge, and that makes Larry Ellison's role crucial both to the ongoing struggle for control over the Internet, and in the future, where information will dominate our lives like never before.

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman and CEO, IBM
Five years ago, Louis Gerstner was charged with leading IBM into the networked future. As Chairman and CEO, he has transformed IBM (along with Lotus) into one of the industry's dominant web site providers, producing major sites such as the 1996 Olympics and the 1998 Super Bowl. He has spoken at the White House on e-commerce and Internet policy, and regularly discusses the importance of rethinking education in light of developing technologies. Mr. Gerstner, whose keynote speech on the morning of the 27th will kick off a day devoted to understanding technological developments relating to the Internet, is passionate about the important role network-centric computing will play in our everyday lives, and he speaks from a deep (Blue) base of knowledge and experience. His remarks are sure to set the tone for the Conference, and his presence at this event is indicative of the strategic importance of the Internet to IBM's continuing success as a market leader.

"The questions about how established capital deals with the change, with the pace of change that the Internet represents, is a problem I think Gerstner can offer insight into."
   - from Nesson's Tour

Ira C. Magaziner, Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Development
Ira C. Magaziner is Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Development. Since August 1995, Mr. Magaziner has been chairing a joint National Economic Council/National Security Council initiative to increase U.S. exports. Recently, he completed a document outlining the U.S. government strategy for promoting the development of global electronics commerce on the Internet. As part of the 1996 National Export Strategy, Mr. Magaziner and his team announced a joint program to be administered by EXIM and SBA to improve access to financing for small businesses engaged in export activities. Before chairing the export project, Mr. Magaziner managed the development of the President's health care reform initiative.

Prior to his White House appointment, Mr. Magaziner earned respect as one of America's most successful corporate strategists, building two successful corporate strategy consulting firms and directing policy analysis for major corporations. From 1990-1992, Mr. Magaziner's firm SJS Inc. earned revenue from corporate strategy work and invested it in pro bono public policy projects related to education, health care and social services. Mr. Magaziner founded Telesis in 1979 and built it into a respected international firm with offices and affiliates in the U.S., France, Japan and Australia. Mr. Magaziner sold Telesis in 1986 to Towers Perrin Inc. and managed the U.S. strategy practice for Towers Perrin from 1986 to 1989. Prior to forming Telesis, Mr. Magaziner worked as a corporate stategist for the Boston Consulting Group in Boston, London and Tokyo from 1973 to 1979.

Mr. Magaziner graduated in 1969 as valedictorian from Brown University and attended Balliol College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. While at Brown, he initiated and wrote a report on education reform and organized a student and faculty effort that led to a major overhaul of the university curriculum. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, the New England Institute of Technology, and the University of Maryland.

Scott G. McNealy, Chairman, CEO, and President, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Scott McNealy, who runs Sun, is responsible for Java, a revolutionary software concept of Write Once, Run Anywhere. One of the founders of Sun in 1982, Mr. McNealy has been at the heart of the Silicon Valley explosion, and he has positioned himself and his company as valiant competitors of Microsoft (Bill Gates has said, "Java is there to overthrow what we've done."). While Sun has been known mainly for developing the hardware that allowed the Internet to grow so rapidly, it is on the front end, through Java and other software devlopments, that Sun is positioned to be a huge factor in how people actually use the World Wide Web. Mr. McNealy is a lively speaker (he keynoted the 1996 Harvard Internet Conference), who describes Sun's corporate culture as "Kick butt and have fun." When he speaks on Wednesday afternoon (May 27, 1998), not only will Sanders Theater be full, but those who care about the development of the Internet will surely be listening closely to this inspirational and revolutionary figure who is not only leading a major company, but also a major battle over control of the networks we will all come to rely on every day.

"The basic philosophy of openness, of transferability that McNealy espouses; his is a voice I want represented at this conference."
   - from Nesson's Tour

Kim Polese, President and CEO, Marimba, Inc.
When Kim Polese left Sun, where she helped develop Java, to found Marimba, a Java-based software company, no one doubted that it would be exciting. As president and CEO of Marimba, she has turned her considerable skills and expertise toward new and exciting projects that involve providing content and educational software over the World Wide Web. As a leader who battles on the front lines of the Internet industry, she can tell us about what it means to be at the helm of the hottest startup company of the year. Ms. Polese is no ordinary business leader: She is a visionary who looks into her monitor and glimpses the future. Her keynote address on Thursday afternoon will encompass themes raised earlier in the day: universal access, educational development, and the nuts and bolts of how bits and bytes make a difference in our lives. A compelling speaker and one of the few female CEO's in Silicon Valley, she brings a unique perspective to the Conference, and there is no doubt that she will sharpen our understanding of how the Internet (and its applications) will shape society and give its role new meaning.

Copyright ©1998 the President and Fellows of Harvard College