past event

Leading in a Time of Crisis: The Role of Tech Companies

During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology companies are playing a key role in providing innovative services and platforms for communities to come together, filling the gaps left by overstretched NGOs and government entities.

Join us as we bring together two leaders in the Aspen Global Leadership Network, Brian Wong, Vice President of Global Initiatives at Alibaba Group, and Johnny Bosch, Founder of Conecta Voice Services to share how they are leading with values through this crisis. What innovations are tech companies creating to address challenges during this pandemic? What are tech companies in China, Central America, and other emerging markets doing to address urgent needs in their countries and communities? How can other countries and regions learn from these examples?

Brian Wong
Vice President
Alibaba Group

Brian Wong is vice president of the Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce company where he is presently responsible for executive leadership development and globalization initiatives. During his fourteen year tenure, Brian served as the special assistant to the Chairman managing international affairs, the Executive Director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy (AGLA), led the company’s global sales, business development and marketing operations, and spearheaded’s international expansion in the US, India, SE Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Brian originally joined the company as its 52nd employee. Brian is founder and Chairman of RADII (, a digital media platform dedicated to bridging understanding between China and the world and is co-founder of Operation Masks, a non-profit created by a group of entrepreneurs who want to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. During his time away from Alibaba, Brian was an angel investor in e-commerce and consumer-related start-ups. He also was an executive at the McGraw-Hill Companies, a management consultant and served as Special Assistant to Mayor Willie L. Brown of San Francisco. Brian is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the Hopkins (SAIS)-Nanjing Center, and the Wharton School. He is a member of the Wharton School Alumni Executive Board, Swarthmore College’s Council on Presidential Initiatives, a board director of the 1990 Institute, and was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Brian is a Fellow of the fourth class of the China Fellowship Program and a member of the AGLN.

Johnny Bosche
Conecta Voice Services

Johnny Bosche is the founder and CEO of Conecta Voice Services, a technology company that drives innovation to bridge the gaps between people and their families, as well as companies and their customers. He is originally from Nicaragua and currently lives in Miami. He is a serial entrepreneur ranging from ad-tech to telecom. Previously Johnny co-founded Chargello, a mobile-device charging system now operating in 25 countries. He is also co-founding an NGO that builds technology platforms geared towards social impact. Johnny holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Design and Management from Villanova University. He is an Endeavor Entrepreneur, founder of TEDxManagua, and OpSmile Ambassador. Johnny is passionate about the interdisciplinary romance between altruism and technology and fervently believes it is possible to change the world with an idea, and that there is no better execution than one driven by human warmth. Johnny is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


Heather Sonn
Gamiro Investment Holdings

Heather Sonn is the director of Gamiro Investment Holdings which has investments in the renewable energy, marketing and advertising and financial services sectors. The company is committed to delivering commercial returns and also driving economic transformation strategies aimed at addressing the inequities created by South Africa’s segregated past. Heather started her career as an investment banking analyst with Merrill Lynch, in New York working in the globally branded consumer goods and leveraged buy-out divisions. She has held leadership positions in investment management, stock-broking and banking industries. Heather has also worked in national social cohesion projects aimed at increasing the strength of South Africa’s democracy and lobbying government and the social justice sector on various aspects of policy. She currently holds directorships on a number of listed and unlisted company boards including Steinhoff International (as chair) and Reinsurance Group of America. She is also a member of the Board of GreenCape, a local government funded organisation formed to support the growth of the green economy in the Western Cape. Heather holds a Liberal Arts Degree from Smith College and a Master of Science in international affairs (business) from Georgetown University. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Africa Leadership Initiative-South Africa and an Aspen Global Leadership Network moderator.


Event information
Thu Apr 30, 2020
10:00am - 11:00am EDT