David Christian was born in New York, lived as a child in Nigeria, and went to school and University in England. He gained a doctorate in Russian history and came to Macquarie University to teach Russian and Soviet History. Since 1989 David has also taught a large first year course on ‘big history.’ The course surveys the history of everything, beginning with the big bang, continuing with the history of the earth and life on earth, and ending with a survey of the history of our species. It offers a cosmological perspective on human history.
David is currently engaged in constructing a free on-line course on big history for high school students.
A champion athlete, Glen Gerreyn was struck with a debilitating illness that ended his Olympic dream. He shifted his focus to community development, with his efforts recognised nationally as Young Australian of the Year in Queensland, and other awards. Glen lectures and to date has spoken to over 500,000 people around the world. He challenges his audiences to test their limits and set personal targets they never envisaged. He articulates a strong message of empowerment and imparts a sense of expectation concerning one’s future. After learning to lift himself out of difficult situations and excel, Glen is now inspiring generations to do the same.
Glen lives in Sydney and rolls four deep with his wife and three daughters.
Aaron has led change and developed changemakers in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Following active service as a military officer in Iraq as an eighteen year old, Aaron has implemented cutting edge humanitarian projects across the globe, which have seen him increase the graduation rate of a secondary school in a Tanzanian slum by six hundred percent, develop a fully sustainable HIV/AIDS orphanage for one hundred Kenyan children, and co-found Spark* International, a not for profit enabling local changemakers in some of the poorest places on the planet. As the Director of The LEADERS Project, Aaron has conducted leadership development for organisations across Australia including The Oaktree Foundation, Teach for Australia and the Northern Territory Department of Education. A graduate with distinction from the University of Cambridge and the winner of the 2011 Emerging Leaders for Social Change Award, Aaron is a highly innovative social entrepreneur, a tried and tested leader and an inspiring communicator.
Ehon Chan has been known as a social entrepreneur, innovator, “digital branding professional” (news.com.au) and one of the “world’s most inspiring young achiever and innovator under 30” (Sandbox Network).
He has passion for entrepreneurial and innovative approaches to social change that is both equitable and sustainable. His work has focused on harnessing the social impact of digital technology and new media for the greater good. Ehon also has extensive experience working with the government, corporate and social sector as a consultant, educator, and advisor on projects related to engagement, community development, digital technology, new media and campaigning.
Chantelle wants to see a world where women and girls are creating and leading change in their communities. To fulfill on this vision, Chantelle co-founded One Girl – a non-profit organisation that works in one of the worst places in the world to be born a woman : Sierra Leone, West Africa. Chantelle and the One Girl team provide education scholarships to highly vulnerable girls who are at risk of being forced into child marriage. They’ve also launched a social enterprise called LaunchPad that delivers affordable eco-friendly sanitary pads to women and girls living in rural areas. Who knew a sanitary pad could change the world?
Chantelle is a proud fellow of Melbourne’s School for Social Entrepreneurs and has been selected as one of Australia’s “Brightest Young Minds”.
Stephanie Lorenzo (26) is the Founder and CEO of Project Futures Ltd, an organisation run by passionate campaigners with the aim to empower and engage our generation in raising awareness and funding to combat sex trafficking globally. Stephanie began Project Futures two years ago after reading the heart-wrenching auto-biography by Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman sold into prostitution as a child. She believed Project Futures could become an outlet for young people to give back in time, skills and talents by leveraging their social calendar and profession in order to raise awareness for this cause and have fun while doing it, ensuring that charity is an active, fun and collaborative part of everyday social interaction. Stephanie has a Bachelor of International Communication from Macquarie University and believe it or not, never had a desire to work in the charity sector. She is an eternal optimist, believing that the good in people and a simple attitude or outlook shift might one day allow a society as lucky as Australia to live simply so that others can simply live.
Andrew brings a 26 year career in investment banking, to Grace Mutual, a not-for-profit he founded in 2009. Grace Mutual works at the intersection of the commercial and social sectors, bringing financial skills to the not-for-profit sector. In particular, Grace Mutual creates investments for wholesale, institutional investors which generate capital for good social outcomes.
Andrew has been appointed to numerous director roles in public and private companies and, with his wife Philippa, has been involved in not-for-profit and development projects for more than 20 years.
Anders Sorman-Nilsson is Swedish-Australian, a reformed lawyer, and the founder and creative director of the Sydney and Stockholm based research company – Thinque. He is an active member of TEDGlobal (Oxford ’09 and Edinburgh ’11), is the curator of the Social Media & Communications Summit, and is on the advisory board of Delta’s Ideas In Flight. His unique global perspectives have been helping leaders, teams, and business owners in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia make sense of and harness disruptive trends in innovations, generations and communications. His misfit insights have recently been manifested in his book Thinque Funky: Upgrade Your Thinking and amplified by endorsements via AFR Boss Magazine, Wired (UK), and Monocle.
He has advised and spoken to senior leaders and teams across 4 continents, and executed successful organisational change programs across cultural and linguistic barriers. He works with organisations like Cisco, IBM, Lilly, Randstad, SAP and AXA.
Linh Do is a social change advocate working primarily on environmental issues through community organising, altering paradigms, using technology and advocacy. In 2006, Linh ran Change A Million Light Bulbs, to switch incandescents to fluorescent lights. Through community organising and political lobbying, the campaign achieved its goal and incandescent lights are no longer for available in Australia. She has since been focused on Change&Switch and improving civic journalism standards at the UN climate change negotiations. Linh is UNEP’s youth advisor for the Asia-Pacifc region. She also works with Make Poverty History and youth climate coalitions within and outside of Australia. Outside of the environment space, Linh co-founded OurSay to promote democratic engagement. She is currently working on a sustainable development road tour through Africa and South America in the lead up to Rio+20.
Linh is also completing a Bachelor of Arts (International Politics and Environmental Studies) at the University of Melbourne.
Clare Froggatt is a Macquarie University student, a passionate educator, an engaging communicator and a girl on a mission. When her eldest daughter was diagnosed with ALL Leukaemia in 2009 she discovered the desperate need for stem cell donors to save lives like her daughter’s. She was surprised by how little awareness there was regarding the need for donors. Clare desires to dispel the myth that bone marrow donation is a barbaric painful experience.
Sonnie Abdalla is a Macquarie University student and the Creator of The Sponsor Schooling Project. He has spent the majority of his adult life travelling alone through developing countries, spending time with the poor and less fortunate. In the midst of poverty Sonnie found his purpose in life – putting an end to the extreme suffering and exploitation of children. Regardless of race, gender, religion, cast, or otherwise, Sonnie’s vision is education and equal opportunity for all children in all countries. He believes technology holds the answer.
Sonnie believes children need to be mentored and monitored to ensure that they remain in schooling for long enough to break the lineal chains of poverty. He says we need to feel emotionally connected to the kids we sponsor as we do with those in own families. Sonnie believes the future of child sponsorship is in online social networking.