Mac has had an eclectic and spontaneous career path that included drama and theatre skills, restaurants, mine rescue, horticulture and various social enterprises
He is the founder of Embercombe, a social enterprise committed to action for a sustainable world
Jo Negrini has been working as a regeneration practitioner in London for 20 years. She is a qualified town planner, and has had roles ranging from working in NGO’s with communities on environmental and employment issues, through to her current role leading planning and regeneration in Newham, East London
Jo has been involved in all aspects of regeneration delivery from working with communities around improvements to their local areas through to negotiating and leading on multi million pound regeneration schemes. Her current role involves leading on the delivery of £1billion development program and leveraging investment to ensure development has real impact on the lives of people in Newham and East London.
Richard Reynolds has been gardening without boundaries, usually neglected public land around his neighbourhood, for nine years. Through his blog GuerillaGardening.org, his book on Guerrilla Gardening and regular talks around the world, he has rallied many to do the same thing wherever they live. He’s unearthed a global movement of people motivated for all sorts of reasons to take land that’s not theirs and grow something.
When not gardening Richard works as a freelance communications planner, and brings his professional experience of motivating behaviour change into his passion for getting people to plant wherever they spot the opportunity
Selena has a long history of association with East London- as a student, resident, and now worker – and a passionate advocate of regeneration for the place and its communities. She is the Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of East London where she overseas much of the university’s community relations and outreach. UEL is a large metropolitan university with international reach as well as the most diverse student profile in the UK.
The ambition of individuals to seize opportunities and achieve against the odds, is what motivates her and is a spirit which she describes as ‘hard wired’ into the culture of her university.
She also leads the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship at the university
Leo Johnson is a Partner in PwC’s Sustainability and Climate Change team, and Co-Founder of Sustainable Finance Ltd, now a part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Group. His specialization is making business sense of sustainability, identifying environmental and social megatrends and the risks and opportunities for business leaders. Leo is a Business Fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at Oxford, and a regular lecturer for Cambridge University’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership. He has hosted the BBC World Show “Down to Business” helping scale up BBC World Challenges ground-breaking small businesses, including Green Gold in the Colombian jungle and biogas from waste in Kenya. He has commented and written guest columns for the BBC, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.
In his book “The Turnaround Challenge” (Oxford University Press, 2013), co-authored with Mick Blowfield, Leo moves beyond the rhetoric of extinction to look at the prospects for a next great wave of growth. Three cities of the future emerge as scenarios. The first is Petropolis, the city of fossil fuel driven mass production and consumption. The second is Cyburbia, sensored and censored. The third is the Distributed City, where post-mass technologies, from micro-production to renewable energy, help to construct a built environment in which we are not just resilient but thrive.
Tamsin and Ethel are community activists in the Royal Docks - an area that has been nicknamed by Newham Council as 'the dumping ground'. Situated between London City Airport, the Crossrail construction site and two busy roads it is no surprise that residents of this once vibrant working class area have felt left out of Newham's development. When the Momentum Project launched in the Royal Docks over 18 months ago Ethel - a long term resident - said she had been praying for this moment.
Tamsin Omond - celebrated campaigner and one of Momentum Project's founders - in conversation with Ethel Odiete - will describe this forgotten community, the barriers to resilience and the dignity they have found from building projects on the foundations of their community's enduring spirit.
Royal Victoria Singstars
The Royal Docks Singstars is an all-age choir based in North Woolwich and Silvertown. It was formed by community leader Anima Gichinga (who also happens to have a successful solo career as Mary Kay) after she witnessed the raw talent of the kids during a community planting project. Many children and young people wanted to get involved in the gardening, but there were not enough tools for them. So Amina took them aside and over 24 hours workshopped with them, culminating in the writing and performing a version of New York State of Mind.
At TEDxNewham we will see a short film about how the choir was formed out of the concrete jungle of the Royal Docks before the Singstars perform a favorite pop song about resilience and one that was written especially by the choir for TEDxNewham – Where Resilience Lives.
Arfah is 22 year old born and bred Newham resident. Always involved in endless projects and passionate about youth empowerment has led her to co-found Discoverables a new website that helps young people find and develop their key skills and strengths and share them with potential employers.
Empowering and equipping them to be resilient to tell their story their way. Arfah will be doing a quick 3 minute talking about how to build the resilience muscle by gamifying your life.
Andrew Simms is the author of several books, including the bestselling Tescopoly. He is a nef Fellow and was nef’s policy director for over a decade, also founding its work programme on climate change, energy and interdependence.
He trained at the London School of Economics and was described by New Scientist magazine as, ‘a master at joined-up progressive thinking.’ Andrew is a long-standing campaigner who coined the term ‘Clone Towns’ in nef’s work on local economic regeneration, co-authored the ground-breaking Green New Deal, was one of the original organizers of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel poor country debt, co-founded climate campaign onehundredmonth.org and devised ‘ecological debt day.’
After witnessing at first hand over two decades of failed international efforts to solve critical problems ranging from extreme poverty to climate change, his latest book Cancel the Apocalypse: the new path to prosperity (2013) is the result of a search for something better.
Faith Johnson has been teaching and coaching for over ten years. Five years ago she founded Caramel Rock Academy, which specializes in fashion training for young people. This gives them opportunities to be trained within different fashion specializations from design, cutting to business training for their fashion brand
The Academy also offers students the chance to showcase their work at fashion shows with over 12 fashion shows to date and showcasing collections during London Fashion Week and the O2. The Academy has given opportunities to over 700 young people from employment to further education.
Caramel Rock is where Couture Fashion and Education meet.
Saci Lloyd was born in Manchester, but raised in Anglesey where she spent a lot of time lost in nature or down by the shore. Saci returned to Manchester as an undergraduate, but soon quit University for a life of glamour. At various points in the glitz she has worked as a very bad cartoonist, toured the States in a straightedge band, run an interactive media team at an advertising agency, co-founded a film company and finally wound up as head of media at NewVIc. She's now stepped down from that post, but continues her association with the college.
Her first novels, The Carbon Diaries series came out September 2010 to critical acclaim and have been optioned by Company Pictures. They have been translated into fifteen languages. Saci has just finished her latest book, Quantum Drop, a thriller set against the backdrop of the financial crash.
Known as Plan B, Ben Drew is a British rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and film director from London. Plan B first emerged as a hip hop artist releasing his critically acclaimed debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words in 2006. His second studio album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks (2010), was a soul record and went straight to number one on the UK Albums Chart. He has also collaborated with other artists such as Chase & Status most notably on the top ten single "End Credits" (2009).
Drew has also had a successful film career as an actor, with roles in Adulthood (2008), Harry Brown (2009), 22.214.171.124 (2010) and The Sweeney (2012). In 2012, Drew released the film Ill Manors, which he had written and directed, and Plan B also released an accompanying soundtrack album which became his second number one album. He also started a charity Each One, Teach One http://eoto.org.uk/ that aims to improve the lives of young people aged 14-25 by providing access to new skills and support.
George is an inspiring poet, author and speaker, whose passion is using the power of creativity to help people and organizations to connect to their true purpose. In addition to sharing the stage with the likes of Sir Richard Branson, and regular performances at Glastonbury Festival, George is in demand youth mentor, who uses his talent for rhyme and rhythm to help young people explore their creative potential.
George believes that there has never been a greater need or a greater opportunity for humanity to being telling a better story of life on earth. He believes the key to forging a better world lies in developing our creativity, so that the challenges we face can be transformed into opportunities.