Opening Keynote • ​Sunday, August 18​

Putting Positive Societal Impact at the Heart of Strategy: How Diageo Uses This Approach to Make Its Business Better

Professor Katherine Smart 
Global Technical Director and Chief Scientist • Diageo

Professor Katherine Smart is the Global Technical Director and Chief Scientist at Diageo, joining the company in 2019. She has held accountabilities for Diageo’s innovation, sustainability, science and technology, margin enhancement, and governance functions. Katherine is also an affiliate academic at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, having previously held a University Lectureship since 2018 as academic lead for the highly successful Masters in Bioscience Enterprise. Before joining Diageo and the University of Cambridge, Katherine co-founded The Surrey Copper Distillery Limited in 2017. 

She previously held vice president roles in ABInBev and was the Global Chief Brewer for SABMiller. Earlier in her career, Katherine held University appointments at Cambridge, Oxford Brookes, and Nottingham. She co-founded the National Brewing Library at Oxford Brookes and the Brewing Science and Bioenergy Centre at Nottingham, where she remains an honorary Professor. Katherine has published over 100 refereed publications and is the author of patents and books in the field of Yeast Cell Biology and Fermentation. She holds two scientific doctorates, is a qualified distiller, and has successfully completed sustainability courses at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. She is also an alumna of the Royal Society Industrial Fellowship.

Katherine is the current vice-president of the ASBC and Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers. She was previously the President of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. ​

Invited Speakers

​Jonas Borrit

Vice President • NIRAS

Jonas Borrit is involved in the international beer & beverage industry, working as Vice President of the global engineering company NIRAS. He offers a strong business understanding that derives from a background in the consulting industry, IT industry, and financial industry combined with a Master’s degree in economics and supply chain management. ​​

​Janet Johanson

Founder & CEO • BevSource

Janet Johanson, a two-time EY Entrepreneur of the Year honoree and MSP Business Journal's Most Admired CEO in 2023, brings over 20 years of experience assisting thousands of new brands in launching, innovating, and scaling—including renowned brands such as Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Celsius, and Crispin Hard Cider. Her leadership style, centered on empowering mindsets and fostering collaboration, has propelled BevSource to become the largest packaging and ingredients distributor exclusively serving the beverage industry in the United States. ​