Keynote Speakers


Sean Gardner

Forbes #1 Social Media Power Influencer

Co-Founder of the pioneering, Huffington Post “Twitter Powerhouses Series”​, which has interviewed hundreds of people in diverse fields – technology, business, health, philanthropy, travel, food and more – since 2010, and has been an influential voice in the social media conversation. The Bestselling Author of “The Road to Social Media Success”. His vision is expansive and inclusive: A more connected planet, with people working together to produce constructive, responsible solutions to our most serious problems.

Working for Apple Inc. right out of high school, Sean has delivered results for multi-national firms like Microsoft, Ford Motor Company, Ultimate Software, Marriott Hotels and Silicon Valley Bank, and non-profits like World Vision and Project Medishare. He is a board member of the World Communication Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He has also been a digital volunteer for since spring 2013, and helps the U.N. Foundation promote and expand it online.

He has given keynote addresses and presentations on digital and social media strategy at Harvard University, the annual Google Conference, the Smithsonian Institution, and at annual conferences in cities on 3 continents, including London, Amman, Kuala Lumpur, Davos, Toronto, Istanbul, Belgrade, Hamburg, New Delhi, and Kazan (Russia). Forbes’​#1 Social Media Power Influencer, he’s also been honored as one of the world’s top marketers, writers, thinkers and social good advocates.

He has been profiled in Hootsuite, Entrepreneur, Inc, and Glamour Magazine for his personal branding tips, innovative social media strategy and marketing expertise; given live commentary on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and CNN; and his written work has appeared in Fast Company and Buzzfeed.

Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Rafi Bin Mohamed Eshaq

President / Professor
Multimedia University


Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Rafi, has been appointed as President / CEO of Multimedia University (MMU) since Feb. 2016. He embarked on a career in education as a lecturer at Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM), Multimedia University (MMU) from its inception and later appointed as the Dean of the faculty.

He held a number of high profile positions in MMU and external organisations prior to his latest appointment. This includes Vice President (Academic), the Dean of Institute for Postgraduate Studies and Director of R&D Collaborations and the Deputy Rector of Academic Affairs at the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia. He is currently the Deputy Chairman 2, Creative Content Industry Guild (CCIG), Malaysia and a certified Multimedia Professional. He attended USC-Rhizophora training at University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, USA and CXO Technology Summit, a leadership programme at IMD Lausanne, Switzerland. His research includes virtual reality, virtual heritage, 3D animation, architectural visualisation, educational technology, and multimedia. He has published significant numbers of internationally multi-disciplinary refereed journal articles, conference papers and books. He has secured closed to RM3.5 million of research funds, and RM8.5 million of consultancy revenues and endowments from numerous of agencies related to ICT and creative industries.

He is the guest editor and reviewer for several local and international reviewing committees including Automation in Construction, International Journal of Educational Technology and Society, International Journal of Computer Games Technology, CAADRIA (Asia & Australasia), eCAADe (Europe), G-CAD (USA), King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Saudi Arabia), Techno Fund (MOSTI), Fundamental Research Grants and Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (MoHE), Malaysian Examinations Council (Chair for ICT) and to name a few. He has pioneered into the development of Bachelor, Master of Multimedia and Ph.D. degree programmes in the country targeted for producing world-class ‘content developers’ in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), Malaysia over the last 20 years.


Dr. Chris Fenner

Dr. Chris Fenner
Assistant Professor of Communication
University of West Florida

Speech Title: ” Fake news, real impacts: The role of agnotology on public discourse and international relations “

Prof. Elisabetta Gola

University of Cagliari

Speech Title: ” The Importance of Public Speaking Skill: the Role of Vocal Communication in the Digital World

Elisabetta Gola is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Language at the University of Cagliari, where she teaches different courses among which Theory of Language and Communication.

Her research interests include cognitive semantics and natural language processing, with a focus on metaphors and other non-literal usages of language in all the mental processes that are involved in communication and comprehension. She participated to national and international projects and events on the topics of cognitive semantics and natural language processing, and she published several papers and books, among which the book Metafora e mente meccanica (Metaphor and the mechanical mind).

She is head of the e-learning degree program in Communication Sciences, where she alternates the teaching activity to the production of multimedia e-learning courses. She is referent for the University of Cagliari in the Communication work group. She is coordinator of a reaserch unit of the project “Argomentazione e Metafora. Effetti della comunicazione persuasiva nel territorio sardo”, granted by Sardinian Region (RAS), L.R. n. 7/2007, call 2013.

Prof. Dr. AZIZUL HALIM Yahya

Faculty of Communication and Media Studies
Universiti Teknologi MARA

Professor Dr. Azizul Halim Yahya is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies. Prof Dr Azizul holds a PhD in Advertising from Loughborough University, Masters in Mass Communication (Advertising) from the Boston University, USA and Degree in Mass Communication from UiTM. Throughout his 30 years of service in academia, Prof Dr. Azizul exhibit outstanding achievements and was granted the opportunity to head important roles, inside and outside of the university administrative functions. His extraordinary ability to manage is evident in the years of tenure as the University Director of Corporate Affairs, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic at University Malaysia Kelantan, University Technology Mara (UiTM) and the numerous appointments as special task force and committee members in the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and other ministries. The blending between work experiences, strong networking in the media industry and his academic prowess has made him a renowned scholar and an ardent researcher in areas of advertising and political economy of the media. He is also a recipient of research grants and has champion in projects involving the ministries and the industry. His passion in carrying out media research work has been further supported by his participation in conferences and publications of books, articles, locally and internationally. As a tenacious scholar, his dedication towards the supervision of postgraduate students was evident, by successfully graduating many PhD candidates and master students. With his persevering attitude, he is veritably a source of inspiration to hundreds of his former students who are successful as media practitioners in the industry. Apart from academic, institutional administration tasks, Azizul is an avid cyclist, a sportsman and carries a great zest for adventures while travelling around the world.