Agile2021 Keynote Sessions

July 19 – 22  |  Online

Meet the Agile2021 Keynote Speakers

Agile2021 will feature three exciting and informative Keynote sessions featuring industry leaders and visionary thinkers from around the world. Sessions include “Taking the Numb Out of Numbers” with Mona Chalabi, “Sustainable Disruption, Where We Go From Here”, a conversation with Gabrielle Benefield, Dr. Alistair Cockburn, and Jutta Eckstein, and “Innovating During Times of Uncertainty: Turning Adversity Into Vision” with Jessica O. Matthews.

If you’re already registered, click to enter the conference. Not registered? Click here now.


Mona Chalabi: Taking the Numb Out of Numbers

Mona Chalabi Data Editor of The Guardian

Mona Chalabi

Data Editor of The Guardian


About the Session

Data journalist Mona Chalabi is on a mission to “take the numb out of numbers.” In her illustrations, animations, and articles for The Guardian and publications like FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times, she explores data sets from the timely (affirmative action, voting trends, race, politics) to the offbeat (popular dog names in New York City) to the eye-opening (how many Americans eat pizza for breakfast). After analyzing statistics for the United Nations, Mona saw how important data was, but also how easily it could be used by people with their own specific agendas. In this talk, Mona will walk the audience step-by-step through her process for creating data visualizations using simple language, beautiful images, and a decent dose of humor.

About the Speaker

Mona Chalabi is a journalist who really loves numbers! She is the Data Editor of The Guardian, where she writes articles, produces documentaries, and illustrates, as well as animates, data.

Read Full Biography

After analyzing statistics for the United Nations, Mona Chalabi saw how important data was, but also how easily it could be used by people with their own specific agendas. Since then, her work for organizations like Transparency International and The Guardian has had one goal: to make sure as many people as possible can find and question the data they need to make informed decisions about their lives. She gives speeches and teaches courses on data journalism, and when she can, she illustrates data. Her illustrations have been exhibited by the Design Museum and were commended by the Royal Statistical Society, of which they said, “Her deceptively simple graphs are fun and accessible.”

Mona helped create the Emmy-nominated four-part video series “Vagina Dispatches” which explores the physical, social, and sometimes political dynamics that surround women’s bodies. She also executive produced and hosted Strange Bird, a podcast about things that we’re not great at talking about. Mona has a master’s degree in International Security from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and has worked for FiveThirtyEight, the Banks of England, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the International Organization for Migration.

Mona lives in New York City. The only thing you need to know about her personal life is that she loves Peter Falk.


Sustainable Disruption, Where We Go From Here

Gabrielle Benefield Agile2021 Keynote

Gabrielle Benefield

Founder, Mobius


Gabrielle Benefield is an author, speaker, innovator, and founder of Mobius. Mobius is a navigator for transformational thinking that helps you deliver outcomes that matter. Gabrielle is an advocate for purposeful innovation and believes the relentless pursuit of ‘more, more, more’ gets in the way of success.

Read Full Biography

Since developing the earliest inception of Mobius in 2009 she has helped individuals and organizations all over the globe, including Google and Red Hat solve complex problems in a transformational way.

Gabrielle earned her stripes in innovation thinking during the early 2000s in Silicon Valley. She used Agile and Lean techniques to successfully lead teams, including taking a startup to a robust Initial Public Offering, and spearheading one of the largest Agile enterprise transformations – scaling up to 250+ teams across three continents. She founded the Scrum Foundation in 2009 together with key Agile thought leaders, including Jeff Sutherland (the inventor of Scrum), and is an author of the Scrum Primer, one of the most downloaded guides to Scrum.

Gabrielle is passionate about taking Mobius to the world and regularly delivers public and private workshops and presentations everywhere from London to Tokyo. She currently lives in Portugal with her family.

Alistair Cockburn

Dr. Alistair Cockburn

Humans and Technology, Inc.


Co-author of the Agile Manifesto and the Declaration of Interdependence, creator of the big Agile conference back in 2003 and 2004.

Read Full Biography

Asked by IBM in 1991 to create a new and modern methodology for the IBM Consulting Group, Dr. Alistair Cockburn started studying how teams succeed. His team was one of the few that succeeded with commercial object-technology projects in the mid-1990s. His book Surviving Object-Oriented Projects showed how they did that.

Continuing his research, including being special advisor to the Norwegian Central Bank in the late 1990s, Dr. Cockburn co-organized the event that changed the software industry, the writing of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, generally just called the Agile Manifesto. He received his Dr. Philos. from the University of Oslo in 2003, the same year he organized the first Agile Development Conference.

Dr. Cockburn is considered the world’s leading expert on the requirements gathering and process description technique called “use cases”, with the best-selling book on the subject “Writing Effective Use Cases.” He created the widely used software design pattern “Hexagonal Architecture”, in passing, collected and documented dozens of project management patterns and strategies. His work these days is Organizational Psychology, studying ways to help organizations grow closer together.

Consolidating his studies in organizational psychology and re-uniting the agile movement, Dr. Cockburn created the Heart of Agile, which consists of only four words: Collaborate. Deliver. Reflect. Improve. His current work is to help organizations of any type or specialty take advantage of what has been learned over the last decades.

Jutta Eckstein

Jutta Eckstein

Coach, Consultant, Speaker, Author


Jutta works as an independent coach, consultant, trainer, author, and speaker. She has helped many teams and organizations worldwide to make an agile transition. She has unique experience in applying agile processes within medium-sized to large distributed mission-critical environments.

Read Full Biography

In 2001, Jutta was one of the first worldwide who scaled agile. She has published her experience in many books:

She is a member of the Agile Alliance (having served the board of directors from 2003-2007) and a member of the program committee of many different American, Asian, and European conferences, where she has also presented her work.

Jutta holds an M.A. in Business Coaching & Change Management, a Dipl.Eng. in Product-Engineering, and a B.A. in Education.

About the Session

Three disruptive leaders share global insights on the impact and future of agile. Comparing the challenges of the late 1990s that resulted in the agile manifesto with those of today that indicate what we should work on now. Social responsibility, climate change, diversity, inclusion, trans-national work. This is not just a moral imperative it’s an economic imperative.

Join the conversation with Alistair Cockburn, one of the manifesto authors, Jutta Eckstein, who participated in the growth of agile from the patterns movements in the late 90s, and Gabrielle Benefield, who was a pre-agile practitioner in the dot-com startups of the late 90s. Drawing on decades of innovation across cultures and industries, they look at how we can use our current knowledge to nudge the post-pandemic world into a better place.


Innovating During Times of Uncertainty: Turning Adversity Into Vision

Jessica O. Matthews – Agile2021 Keynote

Jessica O. Matthews

Founder & CEO of Uncharted Power, Renewable Energy Expert, and Innovator


Sponsored by

Scaled Agile

About the Session

COVID-19 is unsettling for everyone, but the impact is even greater for underserved communities. Black people are dying from the virus at a higher rate – in fact, cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, and New Orleans have reported more than 50% of virus deaths were black. Business and government leaders hold an important role in coming together to create solutions that enhance the lives and health of marginalized citizens, but it is particularly exciting when small businesses within these communities led by members of the marginalized group feel empowered to take action.

One company working toward closing the gap is Uncharted Power, a data and power infrastructure startup creating tech to support these very communities. Jessica O. Matthews, a black female founder and CEO, chose to build her company in Harlem to encourage diverse decision-making and uplift the surrounding community. In this talk, Jessica will discuss:

  • Challenges and gaps in access to info, education, and opportunity that she sees first-hand being immersed in this epicenter of diversity – and what her company is doing to address the problem in real-time.
  • Why the pandemic is hurting black and brown communities worse – such as limitations on working remotely, more common pre-existing health conditions, and lower-quality healthcare
  • How Uncharted Power is turning adversity into vision – doubling down their goal of expanding tech to support underserved communities

About the Speaker

Jessica O. Matthews is the founder and CEO of Uncharted Power, an award-winning, sustainable infrastructure company that transforms the ground beneath us into an industrial IoT platform for streamlining the integration, deployment, and management of critical infrastructures like power lines, broadband, sidewalks, and water pipes.

Read Full Biography

Jessica’s career started at the age of 19 with her invention of the SOCCKET, an energy-generating soccer ball. At the age of 22, Jessica founded Uncharted Power as a power solutions company before expanding to integrated infrastructure solutions.

Jessica’s success in entrepreneurship led to a White House invitation from President Barack Obama to represent small companies for the signing of the America Invents Act in 2012. In 2016, she raised what was, at the time, the largest Series A round ever raised by a Black female founder in history, and was selected to ring the NASDAQ opening ceremony bell, representing all Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni.

Jessica’s research and career center around the intersection of disruptive technology, renewable energy, human behavior, and the psychology of self-actualization. A dual citizen of Nigeria & the United States Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is listed on over 12 patents and patents pending. Her list of accolades includes Fortune’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs, Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30, and Harvard University Scientist of the Year.

Register Now and Save!