Innovate, Advise, Fund and Solve
Discover more about how we are shaping a better tomorrow.
About Visionary Future
Through Visionary Future LLC, we work to shape and build a better tomorrow. We create innovative solutions to big problems in domains such as fintech (financial technology), digital identity, and cybersecurity. Our advisory portfolio includes government and corporate clients who seek greater proficiency with future trends. We also create, fund, and build new enterprises.
David Shrier is a futurist and innovation catalyst with expertise in artificial intelligence, data/analytics, fintech, digital identity, cybersecurity, and collaborative innovation. He is the Executive Chairman of Esme Learning Solutions, an AI-enabled digital learning company that works with top universities like MIT and University of Oxford, and CEO of Adit EdTech (NYSE: ADEX.U), a ‘blank check’ company (SPAC) that is merging with a sustainable (carbon-free) bitcoin mining company, Griid Infrastructure.
In addition to serving on the boards of Esme Learning and ADEX, David is non-executive director with Mode Global Holdings.
He also is a senior advisor to Copper Technologies (UK) Ltd, a markets infrastructure provider for institutional crypto trading, Kaleidoco, creators of Particle Ink unified reality technology, and Dandelion Science, a neurotechnology innovator.
David holds an appointment as Professor of Practice, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London. He previously was an Associate Fellow with Said Business School, University of Oxford, and a Lecturer & Futurist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also held positions as Managing Director, Connection Science and New Ventures Officer, MIT Sloan. David specializes in helping established organizations to build new revenue and new markets. Notable engagements include Kyriba, Dun & Bradstreet, Wolters Kluwer, Ernst & Young, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, GE/NBC, The Walt Disney Company, AOL Verizon, and Starwood, as well as private equity funds. He has led a number of private equity and venture capital-backed companies as CEO, CFO or COO, in either interim or full-time capacities, and has cofounded four AI-enabled MIT spinouts.
David sits on the European Parliament’s advisory committee for artificial intelligence, as well as the European Commission-affiliated High Level Group on citizenship innovation. David is a member of the FinTech Industry Committee for FINRA, the U.S. securities industry’s self-regulatory body; advisor to the European Parliament on artificial intelligence applications and policy; a senior advisor to Revenue & Customs (UK HMRC), and on the Fintech Trade & Investment Steering Board for the Department of International Trade. He also informally engages with OECD, Bank of England, FCA, SEC, US Treasury, and FDIC on innovation, cybersecurity, digital identity, blockchain, and AI. David is on the advisory board of WorldQuant University, a program offering a totally-free, accredited, online Master’s degree in financial engineering.
David has previously counseled the Commonwealth of Nations (the 53 countries formerly comprising the British Empire) on fintech and innovation policy, having served as principal author on their 2020 Commonwealth Fintech Toolkit; Millennium Advisors, a middle market credit liquidity provider, on founder succession, growth strategy, corporate culture, and technology trends; the Government of Dubai on blockchain and digital identity; the OECD, on blockchain policy and standards; and the European Commission on commercializing innovation.
David and MIT Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland have published books including Global Fintech (2022, MIT Press), Trusted Data (2019, MIT Press), New Solutions for Cybersecurity (2018, MIT Press), Frontiers of Financial Technology (2016), and Trust::Data (2016). David’s multi-year collaboration with Little Brown (Hachette) has resulted in Basic Blockchain (2020), Augmenting Your Career: How to Win at Work in the Age of AI (2021), and will publish his next book, Basic Metaverse, in 2023. David’s writing has appeared in Forbes.com, Newsweek.com, Coindesk.com and CNBC.com, and he also co-edits, together with Professor Pentland, the Connection Science imprint of MIT Press. He was named 2018 Global Fintech Person of the Year by Fintech Galaxy, a Refinitiv Top 100 Social Influencer in Financial Technology, and listed on One World Identity’s Top 100 People for both 2017 and 2019.
David Shrier was granted an Sc.B. from Brown University in Biology and Theatre, and worked professionally as a dramaturg and director after college.
Adele Jashari is a fintech consultant and startup advisor with a keen interest in the applications of new technologies to the financial services industry.
She spent the first 10 years of her career in Financial Services, starting as a Financial Analyst with NYSE Euronext in 2018, then moving into Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, Investment Banking at Nomura and concluding with circa 6 years in Prime Brokerage at Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise of financial services having experienced first hand some of the most challenging and testing years the financial sector has undergone.
Adele is no stranger to the C-suite, she has worked closely with COOs and CEOs of large and small institutions, from Tech Startups, to Tier 1 Investment Banks, Hedge Funds and Asset Managers. She has also worked with the public sector and recently completed a Fintech Toolkit project for The Commonwealth Secretariat.
Adele graduated with a First Class BSc Honors degree in Economics and Accountancy from CASS Business School, City University London, has studied fintech with the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and is also a Chartered Management Accountant and an FCA CF30 approved person.
Maureen Branley is an experienced corporate strategist with a 15-year history of advising C-level executives on strategic challenges facing their organizations. She has led a range of successful strategy projects for major companies across the UK, US and Europe in Financial Services, Energy, Media and Technology. Her strength is working closely with client executive teams to facilitate complex organizational efforts and delivering actionable insights and measurable results to CEOs and Boards of Directors.
Along with strategic planning, Maureen has deep expertise in supporting both organic and inorganic corporate growth initiatives, navigating regulatory challenges and guiding investor relations efforts. She spearheaded the investor communication strategy that successfully defended a top U.S. energy company from the largest hostile takeover attempt in utility industry history.
After earning her MBA from Columbia Business School in Finance and Economics, Maureen joined Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, where she worked on global strategy projects in the Technology space.
Following roles in Corporate Development at Hercules (now Ashland Chemical) and as Director of Corporate Strategy at Dun & Bradstreet, she co-founded the New York office of NeoFocus Strategy Consultants, a boutique strategy consultancy headquartered in Paris. Since 2012, Maureen has worked independently for her own firm, RBP Associates, LLC.
Maureen also holds a B.A. Hons. in History of Art from University College London and an M.A. in Art History from San Francisco State University.
Simon Chantry is a noted technologist and web3 expert.
Simon began his professional career as a Nuclear Systems Commissioning Engineer on Bruce Power’s Restart project, successfully bringing a number of systems online in Units 1&2.
After discovering Bitcoin in 2012, Simon co-founded Bitt.com and has held multiple roles with the firm including Director, COO, and CIO bringing the company’s Digital Currency Management System (DCMS) to market in 4Q 2017. The DCMS is now deployed across 3 continents with 5 unique digital national currencies, in CBDC and stablecoin formats. Simon is a global expert in the development of digital currency systems across borders.
Simon is a member of the OECD’s Blockchain Expert Policy Advisory Board (BEPAB), and has been a featured blockchain and DLT expert, speaker, and panelist at numerous government, regulatory, and technology centred forums around the world.
Simon is currently working to establish Central Bank Digital Currency standards and best practices to enable crucial privacy and accountability features, as well as interoperability and effective CBDC project collaboration and participation amongst international Central Banks.
Simon is an advisor and partner in a number of blockchain-based fintech projects.
Thaxter Sharp is an innovator and opportunistic investor in the alternative investment management arena.He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia and has spent extensive in-country time in Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico.
Thaxter was an early employee at Carlyle Group, at AIA Capital Corporation (AIG-backed Asian private equity) and at JMP Group. At JMP, Thaxter led capital-raising for JMP’s successful Harvest Capital Strategies hedge fund affiliate. He also built and led a business sponsoring and funding the startup of non-JMP hedge funds and real estate investment firms. Prior to joining JMP, Thaxter was a Managing Director with Bank of America where he held senior roles in Global Project Finance and Global Private Equity. His team raised an innovative fund supporting the privatization of previously government-owned assets in the UK and Australia.
Since leaving JMP Group post-IPO, Thaxter advised a family office-backed real assets holding company through three acquisitions, and also led the post-2008 restructuring of a Brazilian private investment group, in collaboration with Credit Suisse. He also advised the launch and early growth phase of a specialty life insurance business in Puerto Rico. Prior to graduate school, Thaxter worked at a New York bank in distressed loan recoveries and was a real estate investment analyst for a private San Francisco real estate group.
Since 2005, through these various roles, Thaxter has advised and/or led the sponsorship of eight start-up investment managers that have collectively grown to manage over $3 billion, some of which built top-tier teams and track records and returned a multiple of capital to the sponsoring investors. Thaxter spends a portion of his business time advising a small number of growth company founders and emerging fund managers on capital strategy and business development.
Thaxter has lived in Park City, Utah since 2001, and has two grown children. Each winter, he is a part-time Ski Instructor with the Park City Ski and Snowboard School. He holds an AB in Government from Dartmouth College and an MBA with Highest Honors from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
Investment Committee Member
Graham Anderson is a proven venture capital investor with extensive track record of successful investments, consultant, and start-up manager possessing both strategic thinking and execution ability. Graham and Shrier have known each other since 1997 and have worked together on various projects and investment opportunities over the intervening 25 years.
Analytically oriented with industry experience in information services, healthcare IT, specialty pharmaceuticals, and consumer products, he brings hands-on operating experience as both a manager and working with entrepreneurs provides real-world insight into investment opportunities and risks. Graham is also a skilled negotiator with experience selling products and services, raising and placing capital, and sourcing strategic and financial M&A transactions.
He is a Partner at Green Circle Foodtech Ventures, an institutional venture capital fund focused on the foodtech space, and is currently serving as CFO for Koios Medical, a medical device company whose acquisition he led with a group of LPs.
Prior to Koios, Graham spent the majority of his career as GP & Partner of EuclidSR, a $250 million venture fund focused on healthcare and IT. Subsequent to leaving Euclid his brief ran a small fund that he launched to invest in private secondaries. Graham was Founder & President of Lillia Corp, a cosmecuetical company, and has recently consulted to Henkel.
Graham is a former President of the NY Venture Capital Association, graduated BA cum laude from Yale College, and holds a JD from the Yale Law School.
Tom Gardner is founder of and senior advisor to Omeza Holdings, Inc. (skin regenerative medicine), co-founder of KeyView Labs with David Shrier (cognitive health supplements), former chairman of IntegriChain (sold to Accel-KKR), and former chairman of MMIT (sold to Welsh Carson).
He is an advisor to Dandelion Science Corp. and the Visionary Future venture studio. Tom is co-founder of LEAD for Life and BRIDGE Angel Investors and a director of The Save A Leg Save A Life Foundation (SALSAL), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Prior to Omeza, Tom was CEO of several public and private companies including Nucryst Pharmaceuticals (sold to Smith & Nephew), Songbird Hearing (sold controlling interest to Procter & Gamble), Datamonitor (IPO on London Stock Exchange), Base Ten Systems (assets sold to Smiths Aerospace and ABB Group), and Access Health (sold to HBOC, now part of McKesson). Earlier, Tom held marketing and general management positions at Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
He earned a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from the University of St. Thomas (MN) and has been a guest lecturer on marketing channels at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Praveen Mandal is a veteran of 7 successful start-ups and a seasoned technology executive whose teams have developed industry recognized, market leading technologies and solutions in telecom equipment, electric vehicle charging, high performance compute and AI consulting industries. Mandal is an active angel investor, with angel-syndicate capabilities, and has co-invested with Shrier on half a dozen transactions.
Companies and organizations founded are Pipal Systems (served as CEO, acquired by Riverstone Networks), ChargePoint (served as President, publicly listed in 2021), the Emerging Technologies Group at SGI (served as SVP & GM), 2predict (served as CEO, acquired by Volta Charging).
Furthermore, he has held senior executive positions at Riverstone Networks (VP of R&D), Lucent Technologies (VP of R&D for Carrier Ethernet Solutions), SGI (SVP of R&D and GM of Emerging Technologies Group) and Volta Charging (CTO; publicly listed in 2021).
In addition to his appointment at MIT, Mr. Mandal currently serves as fractional CTO at various east coast and Silicon Valley technology startups. He is named co-inventor on 10 awarded patents and holds a BSCE from Santa Clara University.
Klaus Schleicher is an international recognized Global Business and Technology Innovator with proven record of accomplishment of helping small, medium, and large companies in diverse industries achieve growth, profitability, and operating efficiencies.
Adept at building and improving organizations from the ground-up, developing corporate direction, motivating employees, implementing new approaches and forging mutually beneficial alliances to ensure efficiencies and market penetration.
Hands-on technology and business acumen in both consumer and industrial markets with a deep-rooted sense of products, science, and engineering. Uncanny skilled identifying new technology, innovations and matching them to new markets, tends and new disruptive business.
Proficient in: driving business, managing change, innovation, and entrepreneurship, identifying, and developing future talent, product development, fostering creativity and results, executing organizational, business and product strategy.
He has an executive level background in R&D, Marketing, Product Development, and Business Development and has held senior positions at, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, WA Wilde, Presstek Inc., Consul Risk Management B.V. (IBM), Lernout & Hauspie (Nuance), Agfa (Bayer corp.) and Honeywell Inc. He holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and Engineering, from the Technical University of Giessen in Germany, as well as a (CISSP) Certified Information Systems Security Professional from ISC 2. Klaus speaks fluent: German, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, and Portuguese.
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