Katie Vanneck-Smith

Tortoise Media

Katie Vanneck-Smith is one of the leading innovators in media today. Where she leads, the rest of the industry follows.

Tortoise is doing something different in news. When trust in the media is at an all time low is it an answer to the question: how can we do this better? When so many people feel unheard and unseen by the press, Tortoise's solution is to bring its members right into its newsroom to be part of the editorial process, to have as many voices as possible in the conversations it is having. In its first two years it has grown a devoted membership of nearly 100,000 and won two awards for innovation and new journalism at the 2019 British Journalism Awards.

Prior to this adventure as an entrepreneur, Katie was the President of Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, where she led the company to over 3m subscribers, the largest number in WSJ history. Previously worked at the Telegraph Media Group and The Times, where, as Chief Marketing Officer, she was the architect of the early move to paid digital subscriptions and created the UK's first news membership brand, Times+.

Katie is more than just these achievements. She grew up in a single parent household, won a place to read History at Oxford having been the beneficiary of an education thanks to the Assisted Places scheme. She combines visionary leadership with humanity and kindness and inspires people to join her on that journey.