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About OK2Roam

Executive Team
David Tarsh
CEO

David is a PR and business communications expert, recently turned into a tech… Read More

Hans-Christian Boos
Director

Hans-Christian Boos, known to his friends as Chris, is the Founder of Arago, a leading artificial… Read More

Asheesh Malaney
Chief Commercial Officer

Asheesh is a highly experienced strategy consultant and entrepreneur, who… Read More

Dr. Marek Meyer
Chief Product Officer

Marek is an experienced product manager with a strong track record of creating disruptive… Read More

Dr. Benjamin Tarsh
Chief Medical Officer

Benj is a practicing GP with extensive experience in transmissible diseases… Read More

Nigel Harris
Chief Financial Officer

Nigel is a practicing accountant with 30 years’ experience running his own firm. He… Read More

Advisory Board

Providing Advice and Introductions

Taleb Rifai (Chairman)

Taleb is one of the most respected figures in the world of travel, universally admired… Read More

Jean-Claude Baumgarten

Jean-Claude is one of the world’s leading tourism experts, currently acting… Read More

Ted Blamey

Over a forty-year career Ted Blamey has been a cruise industry pioneer and… Read More

Wolfgang Neumann

Wolfgang is a senior hospitality executive with 30+ years of international… Read More

OK2Roam was founded by David Tarsh, a strategic communications advisor to numerous influential organisations in the travel industry and Hans-Christian Boos (Chris) a technology guru, advisor to the German government on IT and Founder of Arago, a leading company in the field of artificial intelligence. Chris is also the co-founder of the PEPP-PT, a pan-European group of experts who came together to figure out how best to implement contact tracing technologies on mobile devices in a privacy-preserving, GDPR-compliant and technically-robust manner across national borders. 

 

When David first heard about digital contact tracing on mobile devices, he thought to himself: “If this technology can tell you how risky you are, maybe can you re-purpose it to tell you how safe you are and use that as a green light to travel.” Researching that idea brought him to Chris, who then figured out how to do it.

Our vision is to provide a universal, cloud-based, digital pandemic management system which is accessible to anyone, helping them create reduced risk bubbles and travel corridors. As more bubbles and corridors are created, they can be joined up on this common backbone, allowing people to move around freely in an ever-expanding reduced-risk environment.

OK2Roam’s values are innovation, responsibility, professionalism, straight talking and passion to rescue the economy from the predicament it is in, as a consequence of Covid.

Philosophy and Business Model

OK2Roam’s big idea is to reinvent pandemic management, changing it from a low-tech, rules-based system that restricts people generally from travelling, gathering and coming close, to a high-tech, risk-based system that ascribes disease exposure risk scores to individuals in real time, as they interact with others and with the environment. It is built on the growing popularity of wearable technology and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) enabling the rapid computation of risk.

 

This approach offers numerous advantages, including faster and more effective disease containment, more efficient contact tracing, substantially reduced costs, greater scope for individual freedom and substantially less damage to the economy.

 

OK2Roam goes much further than contact tracing systems by also analysing the results of diagnostic/screening tests, symptom checks, vaccinations, and real-time Bluetooth contact data. By calculating risk individually, it is possible to identify the riskiest individuals and potential disease spreaders immediately. One can then constrain viral spread proactively, by ensuring additional testing and, as necessary, advising the riskiest individuals, and their contacts to self-isolate.

 

OK2Roam is confident that the public will embrace its technology enthusiastically because there is an appealing quid pro quo for sharing a little personal information. In the context of a pandemic, when travelling and gathering are heavily constrained, giving up a little privacy in exchange for being able to attend events, enjoy hospitality or travel is a compelling trade off. There is good precedent for the public embracing such a proposition because they do so every day, and consent to greater levels of intrusion, when they browse the internet, engage with many forms of social media, or use a mobile phone.

 

For businesses such as cruise ships and resorts and for tourism dependent destinations, deploying OK2Roam will enable them to claim a superior level of bio security, to reduce the need for social distancing and to reassure consumers that they are low-risk places to visit. That will enable them to recover from the pandemic more rapidly and more profitably.

 

The business model is based on providing access to the platform via the internet to consumers, to businesses and to health authorities in exchange for a modest fee per user. Governments, universities and substantial companies seriously interested in using the platform will be able to run trials on it for a limited period of time gratis.

Interested in deploying OK2Roam?

David Tarsh

CEO


David is a PR and business communications expert, recently turned into a tech entrepreneur. Since starting his own strategic communications practice in 2001, David's work has:

Secured many hundreds of millions of pounds worth of media coverage for a broad portfolio of clients, including many leading companies and trade associations in the travel industry.

Helped previously little-known events become prominent, international gatherings of industry leaders, such as the Africa Hotel Investment Forum and the WTTC Global Summit.

Influenced Gordon Brown's government to block proposed EU legislation that would have cost thousands of jobs; and David Cameron’s to change pension rules to allow Forces widows to remarry.

Established an IT start-up as the world’s most authoritative source of travel information

Previously, David was Sales & Marketing Director of the UK’s no.1 corporate live events agency, a Saatchi company, which won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its export success.

David holds an MBA from Europe’s top business school, INSEAD, a Law degree from Cambridge University and a Diploma from the Academy of Executive Coaching.

Outside work, David is on the board of the INSEAD Mentoring Programme, is a trustee of a grant-giving charity and is a former director of the Queen’s Club. He was a prominent and successful campaigner against London’s Congestion Charge. His favourite form of relaxation is a hard-fought game of Squash. He is married with two sons, one aged 20 and the other 17.

Hans-Christian Boos

Director


Hans-Christian Boos, known to his friends as Chris, is the Founder of Arago, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company that helps businesses automate their IT processes using intelligent automation. He oversees strategy and product development, keeping the company at the cutting edge of AI with ongoing research into graph theory, decision systems and deductive logic to interpret the ever-growing flows of information organisations need to manage.

In the spring of 2020, Chris founded the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing initiative, comprising over 130 individual and corporate experts from 8 EU countries, spanning academia, IT, law, medicine, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, to figure out how digital contact tracing using mobile phones could work successfully across national borders.

Chris currently sits on the Boards of several companies, as an angel investor, and he is a member of the DigitalRat, which advises Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, on digital policy and AI.

He is a widely respected public speaker and thought-leader on AI, IT security, computer networks, the man-machine-relationship, the way societies deal with information and the future of work. In 2003, he was given the John F. Kennedy National Leadership Award as one of “Germany’s most outstanding leaders in IT".

Chris studied computer science at ETH Zurich and the Technical University Darmstadt.

Asheesh Malaney

Chief Commercial Officer


Asheesh is a highly experienced strategy consultant and entrepreneur, who has held various senior management and director level roles in business strategy, venture investing and new business. He is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Tripifini.com, an innovative travel technology business that enables affluent consumers to purchase upscale tailormade holidays at extremely competitive prices by connecting them to a network of hand-picked ground handlers around the world.

He is the Founder of Natural Mystic South Asia, a boutique destination management company that’s been creating incredible trips and destination events for discerning travellers since 1996.

He is also an advisor to the founders of several digital start-ups.

Previously, Asheesh was a Partner and Director of Nilgai Ventures, Digital Strategy and M&A Manager at Freemantle Media and a strategy consultant with Capgemini.

Asheesh holds an MBA from Europe’s top business school, INSEAD and a BSc in Business (Finance and Management) from The Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania).

Dr. Marek Meyer

Chief Product Officer


Marek is an experienced product manager with a strong track record of creating disruptive products based on cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and data science. As a Product Director, at Arago, Marek is responsible for Arago’s developer platform, and has recently created a new product line for pandemic management solutions. He has also contributed to the national Corona Warn App project for Germany.

Prior to joining Arago, Marek was a Product Manager and the holder of other roles at AGT International and before that has worked in the research department at SAP. Marek holds a PhD in information technology from Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Dr. Benjamin Tarsh

Chief Medical Officer


Benj is a practicing GP with extensive experience in transmissible diseases and travel medicine. He is a medical educator and examiner for Melbourne and Monash universities and for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Prior to qualifying as a doctor, Benj worked in the travel industry in a wide variety of roles at Insight International and Galilee Tours.

In addition to his medical qualifications, Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Bachelor of Medicine, from the University of Newcastle, NSW Australia, and Grad Dip Health Professional Education from Monash University, Benj has an MA in Medical Ethics and Law from Kings College London, an MSc in Information Systems and Technology from The City University, London, and a Bachelor of Law from Kingston University.

Nigel Harris

Chief Financial Officer


Nigel is a practicing accountant with 30 years’ experience running his own firm. He originally qualified with KPMG, before founding his own practice, Harris & Co, which specialised in advising start-ups and early years businesses. He is well versed in raising finance, commercial deals and buying/selling companies.

Taleb Rifai

Chairman


Taleb is one of the most respected figures in the world of travel, universally admired for his vision, diplomacy, intellect, sincerity and warmth. He is a Former Secretary General - UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and current holder of numerous high-profile representative roles for commercial and not-for-profit organisations in the travel industry, including:

Advisory Council - Airbnb

Ambassador - World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

Trustee - Mediterranean Tourism Foundation (MTF)

Patron - African Tourism Board (ATB)

Chairman - International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT)

Chairman - The International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC)

Chairman - United Nations Institute for Training & Research (UNITAR)

Co-Chairman - International Tourism Resilience & Crises Management (ICTRCM)

Vice Chairman - Board of Trustees - Middle East University (MEU)

Vice Chairman - International Sports & Tourism Organization (ISTO)

Jean-Claude Baumgarten


Jean-Claude is one of the world’s leading tourism experts, currently acting as a strategic advisor to several top executives and their organisations through his consultancy firm, Crewe Associates.

Born in Strasbourg in May 1942, Jean-Claude Baumgarten graduated from the French business school, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales.

He joined Air France in 1970 and was appointed Regional Manager for West Japan in 1974. He later became Regional Manager for Thailand and Burma, as well as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and then General Manager for Japan in 1982. He was also Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In September 1986, Jean-Claude became Vice President and General Manager for the United States. In June 1990 he was appointed Vice President for the Americas and Asia.

In November 1993, Jean-Claude was promoted to Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations and Member of the Executive and Strategic Committee. In February 1996 he became Executive Vice President of Corporate, International & Industrial Affairs. From December 1997 until July 1998, prior to leaving Air France, Jean-Claude held the position of advisor to the Chairman.

In October 1999 he was appointed to President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council and in November 2010, Jean-Claude left his position as President and CEO and became Vice Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur. He is also an Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite and a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. He is advisor in Foreign Trade to both the French Government and the Chairman of the Tourism Commission. He was presented with the Gold Medal for Tourism by Turismo do Algarve in 2003.

Ted Blamey


Over a forty-year career Ted Blamey has been a cruise industry pioneer and leader. He joined Sitmar Cruises, a major global cruise line, as Managing Director Australasia (Sydney) from McKinsey and Company at age 33.

Through the 1980s, under Ted Blamey’s leadership, Sitmar redefined cruising in the South Pacific and South-East Asia to become Australasia’s dominant cruise line within 6 years. Their innovations in product, itineraries, distribution, pricing and marketing continue to underpin the Asia/Pacific cruise industry. The island destinations they established are core to all Pacific itineraries.

Ted was then promoted to President/CEO Sitmar International (Los Angeles and Monaco), then one of the leading global cruise lines. While overseeing its dramatic expansion, Ted initiated the first major cruise industry consolidation, merging Sitmar and P&O/Princess worldwide through outright sale of Sitmar’s companies. This set the tone for the global industry’s next decade.

Ted was subsequently CEO of Australia’s largest retail travel group and inaugural Chairman of Sydney Ports. He helped create Silversea Cruises in the 1990s.

Ted founded CHART Management Consultants in 1997 to help companies and authorities capitalise on the growth of the global cruise industry. Recently CHART led the cruise tourism strategies for the Philippines, South Pacific Tourism and Papua New Guinea, conducted a market/operational appraisal for a new cruise port in China and for another in Vietnam, assisted a major bank to evaluate the financing of two mega ship newbuilds and private investors to examine the prospects for separate participations in Asian cruise ventures existing and new. CHART developed the seminal 2013 White Paper on the Asia cruise industry, CLIA’s Asia Cruise Trends projects 2014 to 2018 and CLIA’s 2019 Asia Deployment/Capacity report.

Ted is a frequent speaker and moderator at global cruise industry events. He leads cruise industry courses for executives.

He earned an Honours degree in Applied Science from University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard.

Ted was the 2017 honoree to the CLIA Australia Hall of Fame and is a Visiting Fellow of the Seatrade Academy. CHART is an Executive Partner of CLIA, a member of the Australia Cruise Association and of the Asia Cruise Leaders Network. Ted is affiliated with the Council of China Cruise Development Experts and the Association of International Cruise Research Institutions.

Wolfgang Neumann


Wolfgang is a senior hospitality executive with 30+ years of international experience. Today he has a diversified portfolio of different non-executive director and strategic advisory roles in the travel & tourism sector, amongst them:

Chairman of the Board, Hotel School The Hague.

Chairman of Board, International Tourism Partnership.

During his executive career Wolfgang was President and CEO of the Rezidor Hotel Group, President Hilton Europe & Africa and CEO of the Arabella Hospitality Group.

Wolfgang was born in Austria, educated at the Institute for Hotel & Tourism Management Klessheim (Austria), and attended Senior Executive Management Courses at Insead Management School (Fontainebleau, France) and Cornell University.