Join the CIE for the return of Conversations in Innovation where a panel of experts will share their wide-ranging perspectives on the intersection of fashion and technology. Speakers will include veterans of the fashion world: Donald Pollard, Joanne Yulan Jong, Chantal Tjong, and Simone Tarantino. Collectively, this group has worked with major brands such as Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, and Nike. CIE Director, Jay Jayamohan will moderate the discussion.

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Donald Pollard

Donald Pollard is an entrepreneur, a visionary, and an educator with 20+ years of experience working in the global luxury goods sector, consulting and mentoring for entrepreneurs, and developing innovative programs in collaboration with universities and nonprofit organizations. Mr. Pollard has spent time working in fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Milan, and with companies including The Neiman Marcus Group, Bergdorf Goodman, ISAIA, and Michael Kors. The founder and creative director behind DONN STERLING a private label menswear brand which was founded on the principles of preserving traditional artisanal craftsmanship while embracing innovation.  A 2017 TEDx speaker and a 2022 MIT Solv[ED] mentor, mentoring a FinTech startup in Harare, Zimbabwe, leading the next generation of MIT innovative student leaders.


Joanne Yulan Jong

Joanne Yulan Jong is a London-based ESG sustainability and brand consultant and author of The Fashion Switch and founder of the award-winning agency Yulan Creative. She has twenty-five years of experience developing fashion brands in the UK and Internationally, twelve years of these working with luxury brands such as Giorgio Armani in Milan. Her winning combination of creative vision and entrepreneurship has resulted in a proven track record of creating breakthroughs for clients. 


Chantal Tjong

Chantal currently is a Venture Partner at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) in NY and advising startups in AR/VR space and Retail/Manufacturing Tech as well as helping corporate clients to innovate and incorporate new technologies.

She has a rich corporate background, always working on new opportunities and moving boundaries on the digital front. She joined McKinsey & Company after finishing her studies – during her 12 years there, she was part of the team starting up the McKinsey Jakarta office in ’95 and joined the newly formed Business Technology Office upon returning from Indonesia for another 5 years with clients ranging from Software, Manufacturing to Banking and Insurance.

After McKinsey, she spent 15 years at Nike where she held various leadership roles in Sales at the Nike European Headquarters and NY Headquarters. She was part of the team that designed and developed Nike’s award-winning HQ in NYC. Throughout her career at Nike, she built a reputation for digital innovation, developing interactive b2b showrooms using the latest VR technologies and rule-based AI. She is an advisor to corporations on how to engage with new technologies and to startups how to grow and expand their business model. Chantal holds a degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Amsterdam and an MBA from INSEAD.


Simone Tarantino

A serial entrepreneur with a passion for creating innovation ecosystems, Simone Tarantino is an expert in market access, advisor for the investment and startup desk at the Italian Trade Agency, lead mentor and advisor for several global accelerators and international companies. With a background in fashion, business and tech, he founded successful ventures including Impact Mentors, a path to funding for underrepresented entrepreneurs.