Melissa Sassi

Chief Penguin, IBM Z - Student & Entrepreneur Experience

As IBM Z’s Chief Penguin, Dr. Melissa Sassi created her own IBM job title, job description, and leads Student & Entrepreneur Experience worldwide within the IBM Z division of IBM. This role includes being the Founder & Global Head of IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator, an IBM program focused on empowering early-stage fintech, healthtech, and insurtech startups to build and scale via business and technical enablement. Dr. Sassi has 45 startups in her existing portfolio and is currently on a #RoadTo100 startups in 2021. Dr. Sassi is also a Call for Code Judge – a tech4good hackathon, startup competition, and coding camp rolled into one – focused on solving the world’s wickedest challenges such as climate action via tech innovation. Prior to IBM, Dr. Sassi was an energy and internet access impact investor at Microsoft and led Microsoft’s celebrity talent management, as well as creative agency management globally for Microsoft’s Global Advertising campaigns. As Founder & CEO of MentorNations, Dr. Sassi created a youth-led digital skills movement teaching tens of thousands of youth changemakers to code in twelve countries. She’s Chair of IEEE's Digital Skills & Readiness Working Group, and Founding Member of Coalition for Digital Intelligence with WEF, OECD, IEEE & DQ Institute. She holds several Board positions in digital inclusion nonprofits. Dr. Sassi’s doctoral research is on the digital inclusion of underserved and underrepresented communities and the tie that access, skills, and utilization of technology play to make meaningful use of the internet. She serves on a UN Round Table for the High-Level Panel for Digital Cooperation, chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates with advisory leadership from Vint Cert – the Father of the Internet. Dr. Sassi is an avid speaker on digital skills and inclusion, tech entrepreneurship, tech4good, community building, youth empowerment, imposter syndrome & personal branding. You can find Dr. Sassi on Twitter at @mentorafrika.

10:00-10:45 AM (PT)

24th October, 2021 Day 2

Session on

Learning analytics - investigating student behavior in a social learning environment by Elvira Popescu.
Towards Charging Attacks on Smartphones: Introduction and Design by Weizhi Meng.
How to Pitch Like a Pro by Melissa Sassi.