Shaped by their incredible stories and ideas, our speakers will explore new ideas that will inspire, empower, and motivate participants to embrace new practises and perspectives.
This year we are showcasing 12 inspiring speakers, whose vast range of expertise can be explored in the detailed descriptions below.
Aiden Meller is the director of an acclaimed Oxford art gallery and more recently the force behind the creation of Ai-Da, the world's first humanoid AI robot artist. Ai-Da is already a media sensation and will have a starring role in Aiden’s talk at the conference.
Imogen Malpas is the winner of our student speaker competition and currently studying at the University of Oxford. In her talk she will explore time-space synaesthesia, where people can see time as a shape, and will discuss how we can all access this mysterious, almost sci-fi world where people can taste music, smell words or see time, and use it to question the boundaries that appear to limit us.
William Sieghart is the chairman of the Somerset House Trust, London’s working arts centre, and founder of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, which have the aim of celebrating excellence in poetry and increasing its audience. He previously served on Arts Council England and is a regular broadcaster.
Gregory Makris is a senior vascular and international radiology fellow at Oxford University Hospitals. He is working to tackle maternal mortality rates in Uganda and East Africa by using new minimally-invasive procedures through a pinhole in the skin. He aims to raise awareness on how simple interventions can save thousands of lives.
Rebecca Hossack is the director of three galleries in London and New York which champion Non-Western artistic traditions, especially Aboriginal Australian art. She has previously served as the Australian cultural attaché in London and writes regularly in the national press and lectures internationally on Aboriginal art.
Aidan Gomez is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford focussing on machine learning. His talk will attempt to highlight some of the more substantial threats that artificial intelligence poses to individuals, in governance, and at war.
Shirley Liu is Vice President of Marketing at L’Oreal and will be discussing how Psychology is Good for Business and the 21st Century AI World. As a global FTSE500 corporation executive, she will show that there can be humanity, warmth and inspiration inside large corporations.
Patrick Thomson is Lead Researcher for the Smith School’s Water Programme. Patrick's research focuses on the use of technology to enable institutional change and bring reliable water services to rural communities. To this end, Patrick developed the first Smart hand-pump for water use.
Dana Thomas is a fashion and culture journalist based in Paris. She has written New York Times bestsellers on topics such as the luxury industry and famous designers including Alexander McQueen. Thomas is a regular contributor to The New York Times Styles section and was contributing editor for five years.
Michael Graziano will be the youngest Canadian/American male to visit all 193 UN Nations by January 2020 and is the founder of the Global Degree Academy, a formal travel-study programme. His talk will help us understand the limits of your passport due to visa restrictions and how these affect your ability to travel.
Nadine Smith is director of the Centre for Public Impact UK, a non-profit that helps governments to prepare for the complex challenges they face in creating better outcomes for citizens. She writes and comments on trust and legitimacy and believes strongly in building the voices of those who feel overlooked by government
Lindiwe Mazibuko was the Leader of the Opposition in the South African Parliament until 2014 and was the first black woman to hold that post. She is currently a resident fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University.
There has been a theatre on George Street for almost 185 years. The first theatre was built in 1836, and a second in 1886. In 1908, the Dorrill family took over the venue and finally in 1934, the third Theatre opened; the ‘New Theatre’. Stanley Dorrill masterminded the rebuilding of the theatre as we know it today. He commissioned a new building from the well-known theatre architects William and T.R. Milburn of Sunderland. The Milburns developed the decadent art-deco interior with T.P Bennett and Sons, who also designed the Saville Theatre in London.