adobo Festival of Ideas: Meet the Speakers!

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Manila, Philippines — The adobo Festival of Ideas will be happening this coming December 5, 2019, at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, with “The Connectivity Economy”, as this year’s festival theme. The festival will be taking a look at how the modern economy is fueled by collaboration over competition, how unexpected connections are leading to an endless array of possibilities, and the role creative and innovative thinking plays in achieving business and sustainability goals.

There are billions of cogs that spin in this world, but they fall under fifteen main sectors that could be connected in an infinite number of ways: Data & Technology, Sustainability, Education, Entertainment, Infrastructure, Food, Business, Science, Health, People, Mobile, Makers, Arts & Culture, Sound, and Media & Communications. 

This year’s Agents of Innovation are individuals whose works demonstrate how The Connectivity Economy works and drives innovation.

Issa Guevarra-Cabreira

Managing Partner, 917 Ventures


Currently the Managing Partner of 917 Ventures — Globe’s corporate incubator arm creating businesses beyond telco services — Issa Guevarra-Cabreira is an experienced mobile innovator with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry. Prior to Globe, she was the Category Marketing Manager at Kraft Foods, Philippines (now Mondelez), looking after global brands Tang, MaxwellHouse, and Kool-Aid.


Anthony Thomas

President & Chief Executive Officer, GCash


Anthony Thomas joined Mynt as its Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and was part of its founding leadership team. He was appointed President and CEO in 2017. Under his care, Mynt has reached over 7 million GCash users, making GCash leading in mobile payments through its Scan-to-Pay technology.


Minette Navarrete

Co-founder and President, Kickstart Ventures, Inc.


Minette Navarrete is Vice-Chairman and President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc. She is a member of the Ayala Corporation’s Innovation Advisory Council, and of Globe’s Innovation Advisory Board. She is a Senior Vice President at Globe Telecom, focusing on New Business, and a member of the Board of Directors of AdSpark, Globe’s digital advertising subsidiary. Minette has held CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from scrappy Philippine startups to iconic global companies.


Neil Trinidad

Country Chief Marketing Officer, Lazada Philippines


Neil Trinidad is the Country Chief Marketing Officer of Lazada Philippines, the country’s leading e-commerce platform. He has over 16 years of experience in marketing and sales across FMCG, tech, and e-commerce. Trinidad spent 15 years of his career in Unilever, where he worked in local, regional and global marketing roles and handled over 15 brands. He left Unilever as a Marketing Director before joining Google Philippines as an Industry Partner to Telco, Travel and QSR clients. Neil is also an Entrepreneur and co-founded two e-commerce health food delivery businesses, Ketos of Manila and The Sugar-Free Bakery. In his current role in Lazada, Neil’s mission is to accelerate the growth of e-commerce through technology and shoppertainment.


Tuomas Peltoniemi

EVP Managing Director for APAC, R/GA


Tuomas Peltoniemi has been in digital marketing for about 20 years, working where technology, strategy, creative and business intersect since the late ’90s. Currently R/GA’s EVP and Managing Director for APAC, Tuomas oversees the company’s business across Asia-Pacific. 

For his session, he will be touching on the “Future Agency Model: The Connected Brand Builders,” and how the purchasing power and expectations of Gen Z and Millennials are driving brands out of their comfort zones, forcing them to think and behave differently to create a competitive advantage. This session will explore how R/GA is helping them do it. EVP Managing Director APAC, Tuomas Peltoniemi, will unpack how the structure, capabilities, and approach of R/GA is building thriving Connected Brands.


Patrick Renucci & Rachel Renucci-Tan

Co-Founders of Chen Yi Agventures


The husband and wife duo are the genius minds behind Renucci Rice, whose Dalisay brand was just named as the world’s third-best according to the World Rice Conference 2019. The two lived busy lives in Paris, Patrick as the owner of one of the largest printing companies in the city, and Rachel the fund manager of an over a billion-dollar fund that invests in different countries.  

After seeing the onslaught that Yolanda brought to Leyte, they decided to come home to the Philippines to build a state-of-the-art milling facility that would help provide farmers in Leyte a better livelihood. Through their efforts, they have been able to help increase yield as well as improve the quality of the rice grains produced in Leyte. This “Rice Revolution” will be the core of their session for the adobo Festival of Ideas 2019.


Calvin Soh

Founder, One Kind Ideas + One Kind House


Calvin Soh is a former CCO, now father, urban farmer, GIY stick creator, designer of One Kind House, investor, entrepreneur, consultant, occasional chef, speaker, co-creator time traveler, author of Big Red Dot and ex-advisor SIPI. For his session at the festival, he will be tackling how to future-ready children and yourself for jobs that don’t exist yet. He asks a question: If there’s an industrial revolution 4.0, then what is family 4.0?

He expounds, “That was the question I asked. How do I prepare my mother for retirement 4.0? How do I prepare my children for the age when machines make their careers obsolete? What is education 4.0? What are the life skills needed? I will take you through the journey of how my son did a Ted X talk at 12, Kickstarter at 13, an internship at angry birds at 14 and now studying in Helsinki at 16. We all have to build our own One Kind House. Transforming a family is almost the same as transforming a company. You can’t fire the kids, that’s all.”


Dondi Gomez

Chief Marketing Officer, Jollibee Foods Corporation


Holding a successful and global track record in the restaurant industry, Dondi Gomez is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of the Jollibee Foods Corporation. With a background in marketing strategy and marketing management, Dondi is a marketing executive with strong FMCG experience from Unilever and a business consulting background from Ernst & Young.


Alexander de Leon

Head of Product Marketing, Instagram Asia-Pacific


Currently heading the overall product strategy and go-to-market initiatives for Instagram Asia-Pacific, Alexander de Leon spent prior to his career at Google and YouTube, working across both technical and business development roles. With such a grasp on how social media works, he will be touching on the influencer marketing trend, why it’s important, and what the trend really is about. Coming along with him is his special guest Isabelle Daza, a Filipina actress, television host, and model. His session is called “Why Influencer Marketing Matters and How to Do It Right.”


Xin-Yi Wong

Sustainability Manager, H&M Southeast Asia


Xin-Yi Wong is the Sustainability Manager for H&M Southeast Asia; appointed to drive the company’s sustainability strategy for retail within the region. Having been with H&M for 6 years and previously working with its Marketing and Communications department, Xin Yi has years of experience engaging customers and stakeholders in sustainability. Wong will be touching on “Fashion, Way Beyond Next Season” and what it means for the industry to go sustainable.

Included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, H&M aims to use its size and scale to lead the change towards circular and renewable fashion while being a fair and equal company.


Rondell Torres

Senior Sustainable Business Manager, Unilever Philippines


Rondell Torres is currently leading the charge for Brands with Purpose, Selling with Purpose, and Sustainable Value Chain for the organization – collaborating with partners from all levels and functions of the organization as well as partners from business, NGOs, and government to drive successful sustainability initiatives at scale. He will be talking about their “Mission to Make Sustainable Living More Commonplace” at this year’s adobo Festival of Ideas.


Vic Icasas

President & Managing Partner, Hit Productions, Inc.


Vic Icasas is the President and Managing Partner of the multi-awarded sound studio Hit Productions, where he started his career almost thirty years ago as a composer and audio producer. He also serves as a consultant for Beyond the Box and Digital Walker and was formerly the Reviews Editor for gear website Technoodling. Vic is also the co-founder of Singapore-based startup Wika Media.


Royal Pineda

Co-Founder & Lead Architect, BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design


Known for his distinct, responsive design and practical construction using various sustainable and innovative technologies, as well as a lead advocate for Modern Filipino Architecture+Design, Arch, Royal Pineda is a staunch believer in the value of mixing modern and traditional elements, and fusing indigenous materials with artisanal methods.


Carlo Almandral

Managing Partner, Adaptive AI


Carlo Almendral has founded and led companies across markets with a focus on AI for social change and is currently the Managing Director of New-York based Adaptive AI. He is also known as a pioneer in social gaming, and a staunch philanthropist who serves at the Innovation Council for the UN’s World Food Programme and Board Trustee at For The Women Foundation.

In his session, Almendral will talk about new breakthroughs in adaptive technology, particularly how screens in a room can now contain customized art made to evoke certain emotions. Through adaptive technology, a restaurant who has screens as frames, for example, can have different “paintings” displayed during lunch and dinner, depending on the ambiance needed for the time period. He also describes the possibility of using this technology in clinics or hospitals, maybe even in hotel rooms.


Reina Reyes

Head of AC Analytics, Ayala Corporation


With a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Reina Reyes’ career in science goes a long way. Her involvement in her field has contributed to the country’s national development, as proven by her Gawad Lagablab Award, and she is now the Head of AC Analytics at Ayala Corporation and the Host of Science Says at the Knowledge Channel. She’s been touted as “The Filipina Who Proved Einstein Right” after publishing her research on testing general relativity. At the festival, she will be talking about “How Space Connects Us All.”

Humans have always looked up to the sky for inspiration. With the democratization of space, it is now within reach for private companies and emerging economies like the Philippines. Thousands of orbiting satellites shape our lives on Earth— from navigation to communication, astronomy to agriculture, hazard mapping to asset monitoring. Touring the Moon, living on Mars, and mining asteroids are no longer science fiction. All of humanity is invited to be part of this new space age. 



Catch these agents of innovation in this year’s festival. Tickets are available at or at PHP 5,000 at regular price and PHP 2,000 for students, inclusive of coffee and lunch. There’s also a group package of 10+1 tickets for PHP 50,000. For further inquiries, reach out to the adobo FOI team through or shoot an email to, or call up (+632) 884 50218. 


The adobo Festival of Ideas is sponsored by the following:

Co-Presenter: Jollibee

Major Sponsors: Unilever, Facebook, Lazada, Globe Telecom

Minor Sponsor: Asus 

Lootbag Sponsor: Oishi 

Venue Partner: Resorts World Manila

Production and Logistics Partner: ArtisteSpace

Creative Partner: Wunderman Thompson Philippines

Video Graphics Partner: Acid House 

Sound Design Production Partner: Hit Productions, Inc.

Partner Organizations: Animation Council of the Philippines, Design Center of the Philippines, United Print Media Group, International Association of Business Communicators, Kalibrr, PANA

Ticketing Partner: Ticket World, Ticket2Me

PR Partner: Greenbulb PR, Page One, MullenLowe Philippines, Fuse

Media Partners: Page One, Rappler, CHALK.PH, ANC-X, Manila Times, Philippine Star, ClickTheCity, Business World


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