Science and Tech Writer
Senior Fellow, Harvard University's Kennedy School. Visiting Professor at King's College, London. Strategic Adviser.
Senior Fellow, Harvard University's Kennedy School. Visiting Professor at King's College, London. Council Member, European Council of Foreign Relations. Strategic Adviser to Pinsent Masons. Adviser to Bono on development and investment within and beyond Africa to drive economic growth, together with technology investment. Served as Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for Her Majesty's Official Opposition (2011-2015). Previously served in numerous senior UK Ministerial positions (2001-2010), including as Minister for Europe, as Secretary of State for International Development and UK's Governor of the World Bank.
Founder, Media Diversified
Samantha Asumadu is a documentary filmmaker, and Editor-In-Chief and founder of Media Diversified and the Media Diversified Experts Directory. She is one of the founding members of the Bare Lit Festival. Her decade long commitment to grassroots activism has led to her campaigning on issues such as women’s representation in Theatre and Sickle cell 2001. As a journalist she was based in East Africa, Great Lakes region where she covered stories such as Acid Attacks, Blood Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Kampala bombings of 2010 for news outlets including CNN, Deutsche Welle, Sky News, France 24 and Agence France Presse. Her first documentary was broadcast by Aljazeera English in 2009. The Super Ladies’
is the story of three Ugandan women rally drivers and a race with a dramatic outcome. She has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph and The New Statesman, appeared on BBC Women’s Hour, LBC Radio, BBC World and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
In 2015 Samantha was chosen to be one of the LIBERTINE 100 ‘A maverick community of thinkers, makers and doers with ideas that will change the world.’
Professor of Journalism, Middlesex University London
Erika Brodnock is the creator of digital resources covering emotional and social learning, digital regulation, and digital parenting. She is also Sky News’ child confidence expert. Erika is passionate about ensuring every child has an equal opportunity for success. In 2012, Erika founded Karisma Kidz to deliver emotional learning to young children through play and provide feedback to the whole family, teaching children that real superheroes interact positively with others. The brand is loved by parents and children, is preloaded to around 5 million devices, and championed by the Sunday Times as the next big thing to shake up the children's entertainment industry.
Chairman, Overseas Development Institute
LBC 97.3 Political Editor
Director of Philanthropy and Communications, Dorfman Family Office.
Zaki is a communications professional, with over 15 years’ experience. He was an Assistant Press Secretary at Buckingham Palace from 2009 to 2012, focusing on the Diamond Jubilee. Previously he has worked for Lord Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, and in the corporate sector for T-Mobile, Tesco and Standard Chartered. He is on the FCO’s Diplomatic Excellence Panel and is a Trustee of the Council of Christians and Jews. He is co-author of a book on cricket grounds, and has had many letters and articles published in the national press.
Partner and CEO Coulson Chappell
Andy Coulson is a consultant, journalist and former political adviser. Following a long career in newspapers he edited the News of the World from 2003 until 2007 winning a number of awards including Newspaper of the Year. In June 2007 he was appointed as Director of Communications and Planning for the Conservative Party advising David Cameron and the Shadow Cabinet. After the 2010 election he became Downing Street Director of Communications, responsible for all communications across the coalition government. In January he launched Coulson Chappell, with business partner Henry Chappell - a consultancy providing corporate strategy and communications advice to leaders, companies and organisations. Andy also writes on politics for GQ and The Daily Telegraph.
Head of PR, Tata Consultancy Services
Writer, Broadcaster & Lecturer
CEO, Outside Organisation
Director, Ellwood Atfield
Gavin founded the company in 2003, now Europe’s leading full service firm of headhunters specialising in ‘recruiting the people who talk for you’.
He has over twenty years’ recruitment experience hiring senior and specialist leaders, communications and public affairs professionals for a diverse range of organisations and global brands in the UK and Europe.
In 2013 he founded the Ellwood Atfield Gallery, the first gallery dedicated to exploring the role, character and importance of communications. Exhibition guests of honour have included the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Major of London, Lord Bell, Jeremy Paxman and Evan Davis.
Documentary Maker, Century Films
Historian, broadcaster and businesswoman
Dr Eliza Filby is a historian, writer and businesswoman. Currently a visiting lecturer in Modern British History at King’s College London, she is also founder of GradTrain which helps train academics disseminate their work to the academy and beyond. Eliza regularly appears on TV/Radio as a historical commentator and has written for The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator, Standpoint and has reviewed for the Financial Times. Her first book, God and Mrs Thatcher: The Battle for Britain’s Soul was published in 2015. She is currently researching her second book, Generation WTF, a history of Generation Y. You can find her on Twitter: @elizafilby
Professor of Journalism, City University
Suzanne Franks is a former journalist with BBC TV where she worked on programmes such as Newsnight and Panorama. She gained her Phd in 2007 and took up her chair at City in 2012. Suzanne has published widely on humanitarian reporting, and international news. Her recent books include 'Reporting Disasters. Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media,' and 'Women and Journalism' Suzanne continues to broadcast and is an occasional blogger. On a lighter note she has written ‘Get Out of My Life, but First take me and Alex into Town. A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager.’
Managing Director, Gatehouse Advisory Partners
Nick Greenstock is Managing Director at Gatehouse Advisory Partners, a geopolitical advisory firm he founded in 2010 with Sir Jeremy Greenstock and Sir David Manning. Nick works with decision-makers in government, business and civil society to identify and interpret the geopolitical changes affecting organisational performance. Nick is a visiting lecturer on Geopolitical risk at King’s College London and Georgetown University. Nick formerly worked for RBS, Educare Capital (New York/London), EASDAQ and corporate affairs specialist, Christow - around a professional rugby career (Wasps, Quins and England).
Founder, Integriti Capital
After more than 20 years in banking and financial communications, Patricia now helps social enterprises attract private capital. She is a Director of the Learning Schools Trust, a Director of UserVoice, Associate Director of The Finance Foundation, as well as a member of the BVCA’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee and the World Council of International House. Born in Kyoto, she may be the only Japanese/Cuban-Lebanese to own her own Italian deli, help to fund a Richard III/King Lear world tour for the National Theatre and set a California high jump record. She is passionate about conscientious capitalism and her twins.
Director of Reputation Management & Strategic Media Relations at Weber Shandwick.
With over twenty years’ high profile media relations experience, Patrick is Weber Shandwick’s London-based reputation management specialist, providing strategic Boardroom-level advice, media training and crisis support to a wide range of multinational companies, charities, NGOs and academic organisations. Patrick was The Prince of Wales’ Press Secretary for over ten years, working with many high profile British brands, institutions and individuals. He led the multi-stakeholder communications teams for the 2005 and 2011 royal weddings and for 24 official tours to 37 countries, as well as for hundreds of UK visits. Originally a journalist, Patrick spent eight years in Central Government communications.
CEO, Quiller Consultants
Howell is the CEO of Quiller Consultants. In government he was Permanent Secretary for Government Communications; worked in No10 Downing Street as Political Secretary to the Prime Minister; and was Special Adviser in the Departments of Employment, Trade and Industry. In business he worked at Barclays, Christies, and Cable & Wireless. In media he held senior positions at the BBC, Capital Radio, TVam, the UK’s first commercial breakfast television channel.
Poet and novelist
Head of Communications, International Rescue Committee
Laura Kyrke-Smith leads communications in the UK and Europe for the International Rescue Committee, a charity helping people affected by conflict and natural disaster, with a strong focus on Syrian refugees. Laura was previously a Partner at communications consultancy Portland, where she led the philanthropy practice and supported clients including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before that she worked as a speechwriter and policy analyst in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Controller, Languages, Global News, BBC
Creative Media Director, BBC
Digital Marketing Manager, John Wright Photography/WrightJ Media
Benedict Lombe works as the Digital Marketing Manager at WrightJ Media and Motel Studios. Originally from a performance background, she previously studied Scriptwriting and worked in the theatre industry. She co-founded Rat’s Nest, a human rights-led arts organisation, where she utilised theatre to raise awareness for the plight of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and campaign against sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war. She remains vocal on issues of race and inequality, and retains a strong interest in stories of the diaspora and the art of storytelling through all mediums.
Consultant, Political Intelligence
Head of Leadership Programmes, LBS
Ellen Miller is an accomplished senior manager currently serving as Head of Leadership Programmes in the Career Centre at London Business School; a position she was appointed to in June 2014. She is responsible for developing and driving the careers strategy and offering across the Leadership Programmes; the London, Dubai and Global Executive MBA Programmes and the Sloan Masters Programme. She is a member of the Career Centre’s Senior Management Team and works closely with the Professional Development and Employer Engagement teams as part of the Degree Programme and Career Centre Office.
Disability consultant, Sminty Ltd and Comedy Producer, Abnormally Funny People
Simon is a Director of Sminty Ltd, a disability training and consultancy company. He is also a producer of the comedy troupe, Abnormally Funny People which he co-founded in 2005. He is the co-host of the BBC Ouch Talkshow.
Simon has a Post Graduate diploma in Disability Management at Work and a BSc (Joint Hons) in Philosophy and Sociology.
Producer, Channel 4 News
Chair, British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Anne Morrison is the chair of BAFTA, the leading charity in the UK supporting, developing and promoting the art forms of the moving image.
Until 2014 she was Director of the BBC Academy, the BBC’s centre for training, which she launched in 2009.
Anne's background is principally in television production, working as a producer/director and rising to become Controller, Documentaries and Contemporary Factual at the BBC.
She is a Governor of the University of the Arts London, a trustee of the Charleston Trust and a Board member of London & Partners.
CEO, Wolf Olins
Chief Executive, Newsworks
Rufus Olins was previously Chief Executive of WARC and Managing Director of Haymarket Brand Media
A former journalist, he started on Campaign, re-launched and edited Management Today and covered business and media for seven years on the Sunday Times
UK Deputy News Editor, Buzzfeed
Elizabeth Pears is deputy news editor at BuzzFeed UK. Prior to this, she was news editor at The Voice, Britain's leading black newspaper, where her responsibilities included commissioning and editing comment pieces from a range of contributors. Previous roles include work on The Guardian's Reading the Riots project, a data-driven study into the causes and consequences of the 2011 London riots. She has contributed to The Guardian and the New Statesman’s comment sections.
Writer and broadcaster
Author and Journalist
Head of Internal Communications and Operations, MasterCard Europe
Elizabeth Samuels is head of internal communications and operations for MasterCard Europe. She leads a team to deliver employee communications, improve engagement and understanding, and keep channels fresh and interesting. She also leads key campaigns, events, corporate social responsibility and communications operations across Europe.
Prior to joining MasterCard, Elizabeth was with Barclays, where she was most recently director of head office corporate communications. She has held senior roles at a series of global brands including Amex, GE and AT&T/Lucent.
Professor of Media History, University of Westminster
Fellow, Year Here
Marian graduated from the University of St Andrews in Biochemistry. At university she worked for Fife Council, was Charitable Societies Coordinator to the university, and was involved with Childreach International, an NGO that works in six nations to provide children with access to healthcare, education, and child rights and protection. Within this charity, Marian helped fundraise over £100,000 as Team Leader of Climb Kilimanjaro for Kids and as founder and president of the society. Continuing in the fields of health and social equity she worked as a Community Consultant on the Cycle of Demand Strand of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, addressing health inequalities in Tower Hamlets. She is currently on the Year Here Fellowship, a postgraduate programme designed to cultivate smart solutions to entrenched social problems, and chairs Childreach International’s London Action Group. Marian will begin her MSc in Global Health and Development in the fall.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist
William is an entrepreneur and philanthropist with a distinguished record of support for the arts and literature. In 1992, he founded the Forward Prizes for Poetry and in 1994, National Poetry Day. Since September 2015, he has been chairman of the Board of Trustees at Somerset House.
For many years he was a member of the Arts Council and Chairman of its Lottery Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Arts Foundation and StreetSmart, a charity supporting the homeless through donations from restaurant diners each Christmas. William is a trustee of Reprieve, Britdocs and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. William is the founder and Chairman of Forward Thinking.
William is a published author and a regular broadcaster. His most recent book is Winning Words, an inspirational poetry anthology published by Faber and Faber.
Managing Director, Corporate Communciations
Editor in Chief, Christie's Magazine
Chairman ITG Group.
Stevie is a portfolio director, investor and adviser. As well as the ITG Group, she Chairs Kino-Mo,and BBC Children in Need ; is INED and Remuneration Chair for the Co-Operative Group; Senior independent director of ALCS; and on the Council of Kent’s International University.
Her executive career included serving as CEO of two international media groups.
She is on The Sunday Times 2016 list of Britain’s 500 most influential people.
Co-Head of Europe, Commercial Banking, HSBC
Ian has over 35 years’ experience in the banking industry across a number
of financial institutions and holding a number of senior leadership roles,
most recently HSBC.
In his current role Ian leads a business of over 8,000 people, covering
Corporate and Business Banking segments and associated Product lines. Ian
holds responsibility for all aspects of customer service, channels and
product offering across commercial banking in Europe, covering 19 markets.
Ian is also a Business Ambassador for Meningitis Now and supports Speakers
Director of Communications - The Honeypot Children's Charity
Most of Peter’s career has been spent in senior roles at leading London marketing communications agencies, particularly Saatchi & Saatchi, where he spent nearly 14 years, firstly as a Board Director and latterly as Managing Director of Saatchi Direct, the group’s database marketing subsidiary.
He also set up and managed the Daily Telegraph’s first Sports Marketing Dep’t which was responsible for the creation of Fantasy Football and Fantasy Cricket, voted Promotion of the Century by Marketing Magazine.
A few years ago Peter moved into the not-for-profit sector, and is currently Director of Communications for the Honeypot Children’s Charity
Director of Partnerships, Henley Business School
Mark Swain is Director of Partnerships at world-ranked Henley Business School. He runs The Henley Partnership, which provides themed learning, masterclass events and peer networking for the senior leaders of almost thirty leading businesses. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Sales and Fellow of The Learning and Performance Institute.
His personal specialism is coaching individuals and teams to work out how to #standout. He has identified the elements that characterise #value ("The Five Fundamentals") and coaches "mere mortals" to become more #distinctive, #memorable & #valued. He blogs about #value at www.meritology.me and guests for www.icdbusiness.co.uk.
Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert, helping people to grow their influence to increase their impact at www.theinfluenceexpert.com. He is also the Founder of Young Charity Trustees and the Owner of the social good interview series, Social Good Six. He has a background as a social entrepreneur and was the Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition. He's also currently a digital nomad and has worked in a number of different countries.
Digital Communications Co-ordinator at Punch Records & Freelance Writer
Based in Europe's youngest city, Birmingham, Sam designs and activates brand strategies & creative for Punch's portfolio of award-winning projects. With a background in live arts and music event management her expertise is in engaging and enriching youth audiences through language and media.
As a freelancer studied in English and Creative Writing under Will Self and Benjamin Zephaniah, she is editor & contributor to a number of online and print publications & her creative work has been published in FT, Dagda Publishing & Dead Beats and is the 2010 Sentinel Literary Short Story Champion.
Managing Director, Tooley Street Research
Kitty Ussher is the Managing Director of Tooley Street Research. An economist and former minister in the last government, she was the MP for Burnley from 2005-10 and between 2007-09 held junior ministerial posts in the Treasury (twice) and the Department for Work and Pensions including as Economic Secretary to the Treasury in the early phase of the financial crisis. In 2013 she set up Tooley Street Research to grow an independent research company. She is also the Chief Economic Adviser to Portland and a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel and TheCityUK’s Independent Economists’ Group. She is a regular contributor to BBC Today programme and Newsnight.
Foreign affairs analyst and writer
Alexander Woolfson is a regular commentator on foreign affairs, with a particular focus on defence and security. He writes, lectures and consults for a broad audience within both the public and private sectors about the impact of the changing security environment. Alexander is a former BBC radio producer for the ‘World at One’ and ‘PM’. He also served as senior communications adviser to the BBC, where he developed the use of scenario planning in conjunction with Shell’s scenario’s unit. Educated at Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Harvard, Alexander holds a doctorate in the history of US grand strategy and has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University and the American Political Science Association. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is a trustee of the Disability Law Service. He can be found on Twitter: @DasWoolf.