KEYNOTE: Joanna Coles, OBE

Is the chairwoman and CEO of Northern Star Acquisition Company I, II, III and IV. Which announced a merger with BARK in December 2020, and Apex Clearing in February 2021. She is also the Executive Producer of ABC Freeform’s highly acclaimed The Bold Type, now in its fifth season and inspired by her career. She is the former Chief Content Officer of Hearst Magazines, responsible for 300 magazines globally. She sits on the public Board of Directors of Snap Inc. (Snapchat) Bark, and Sonos. Private companies Density, a hard and software company which monitors use of physical space, KDC a leading manufacturer for the Health & Beauty industry, and the non-profit Women Entrepreneurs New York City, an initiative to expand female entrepreneurship, with a focus on underserved women and communities.

She advises several companies including Cornell Capital, a private equity company; the Swedish payment disruptor Klarna and Bustle Digital Media. She has a production development deal at ABC Studios creating TV shows across Disney’s streaming platforms including FX and Hulu.

The British-born editor moved to the U.S. in 1997 as the New York Bureau Chief for The Guardian, before becoming the New York Bureau Chief for The Times of London. Coles joined Hearst in 2006 as editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, where she co-produced the Style Network’s unscripted show Running in Heels. She was also the on-air mentor for Project Runway AllStars. She was named editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, the world’s largest women’s media brand, in 2012. She was the executive producer of the unscripted series So Cosmo on E! in 2017.

Over the course of her career, Coles has won numerous prestigious awards for journalism and media leadership. She was recently described by The New York Times as “one of the most powerful people in media.”

A frequent commentator on media, business and women’s issues, Coles is the author of Love Rules, published by HarperCollins, about relationships in the digital age and lives in Manhattan. It is being made for TV by FX.

She has two sons with the author Peter Godwin.