Carla Canales

Carla Canales has been praised by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.”

In 2014, she became the first singer ever to win the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sotomayor in a ceremony and concert at the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2015, she also became the first opera singer to be named by Foreign Policy Magazine to its prestigious annual listing of the year’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers for her work using music to bridge cultural barriers. In 2017 she became the first opera singer to receive the Michigan Alliance for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the prestigious University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award. Most recently, Ms Canales was named one of Musical America’s 30 Movers and Shapers of 2018. As a singer she has received worldwide acclaim, and is best known for her portrayals of Bizet’s Carmen which she has performed over 80 times in a dozen countries. She has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and top international venues in Europe, Asia and Latin America. She holds both US and Mexican citizenships.

Nefise Özkal Lorentzen

Nefise Özkal Lorentzen is a Turkish-Norwegian writer, filmmaker and associate professor at Innland University.

Over the past two decades she has directed documentaries, short films, TV-series and a controversial documentary trilogy related to Islam: “Gender Me” (2008), “A Balloon for Allah” (2011), and “ManIslam” (2014). She’s been named one of the TOP 10 immigrant role models in Norway. She’s received several awards and nominations, and her films have premiered in prestigious festivals such as IDFA, Rhode Island Film Festival and Gothenburg Film Festival.


Masako Okamura

Executive Creative Director

Dentsu One Manila

Under the COVIT-19 pandemic, she has been technically challenged by Zooms, Teams, BlueJeans and GoogleMeet and physically by time zone in Japan, Philippines and USA. In 2017 she took up the Executive Creative Director role at ASPAC, now Dentsu One Manila, which handles accounts such as Honda, Ginebra San Miguel and Nissin Cup Noodles. Prior to that, she was ECD at Dentsu Vietnam and won big local accounts such as Beer 333, Jetstar and Mobifone.


Masako has numerous accolades under her belt with work for clients such as Toyota, Suntory, Shiseido, Fujifilm, Shizuoka Broadcasting and Thai Airways International. She has served on juries for Cannes, Clio, YoungGuns, AdFest, Spikes, One Show, London International Awards, New York Festivals and so on. She is one of the International Board of Directors for One Club that organizes One Show and ADC.


Masako just finished co-authoring a Korean book, titled  “ 커리어 대작전(Career Operation)”.  It details tough but amusing episodes of when she became the first female CD at Dentsu. She has spread the word ”Kawaii”, the essence for Japanese culture, in her speeches in 14 countries. Meanwhile, she is a Sake Sommelier and is proactive about promoting it among her friends.