Professor Geoffrey Raisman is the Chair of Neural Regeneration and Director of the Spinal Repair Unit at UCL’s Institute of Neurology. Most recently Geoffrey's extraordinary research was globally realised in the inspirational story of Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack in 2010, but can now walk using a frame. The breakthrough surgery that transplanted cells from his nose into his spinal cord was fronted by Raisman, who led the UK research team. Fidyka commented on his moving ordeal that: "What I have learned is that you must never give up but keep fighting, because some door will open in life." Geoffrey is now studying the application of these cells to arrest the progress of blindness in glaucoma.
Guy Armitage is CEO of Zealous, the first social media platform for creatives. Zealous allows the user to curate their profile visually, and helps collective visions to germinate. He believes that the economic recession will make way for new creative opportunities, which in turn will centre the economy around these artistic spaces. As our lives migrate online and we communicate increasingly in the virtual realm, Zealous allows for artistic collaboration and inspiration via the simple mode of the Smartphone. Guy comes with the laudable title of the Guardian's Creative Entrepreneur of the Year thanks to his contributions to digital engagement. Outside of the commercial world, he also took first place at the Tate Modern's Hackathon last summer, sponsored by The Space. By implicitly raising concerns with government censorship and control of online activity, Guy discusses the ever growing importance of the Internet in every day life.
Find out more at http://www.zealous.co/
Jacob Mallinson Bird
Alongside graduating with first-class honours in Music from the University of Cambridge, London-born Jacob is both a male model working in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo, and an international drag performer and model under the pseudonym Dinah Lux. His research explores the ways in which music and dance affect gay and straight relationships, as well as music and the queer body in gay nightclubs. Jacob views academia through an unconventional, pop culture lens, blending the scholarly world with the everyday.
Artist Jebet Mengech works with Kids Company, a UK based charity founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996 to provide practical, emotional and educational support to children, young people and families. When words are too challenging, children use art to instinctively and eloquently express their stories and perspectives with an honesty and humility that is arresting. The charity's services reach 36,000 across London, Bristol and Liverpool, including the most deprived and at risk children whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges.
Lara is a British adventurer and motivational speaker. She was schooled in London, but much of her childhood was spent in Hampshire, where she developed an adoration for all things neigh. At the age of 19, Lara took part in the Mongol Derby, the world’s longest and toughest horse race. While most riders drop out, after 7 gruelling days, Lara enventually won the race. She was not only the first woman to win, but she also took the title of being the youngest participant to finish and the first Brit to win the race.
Mala Tribich was born in 1930 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland. When the Nazis invaded in 1939, Mala’s family fled eastwards but were later forced into the ghetto established in her hometown. When the ghetto was liquidated, Mala was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp and then to Bergen-Belsen. She came to England in 1947, where she married and gained a degree, and now works closely with the Holocaust Educational Trust, an organisation devoted to educating young people about the Holocaust and the important lessons it teaches us.
Mervyn Millar is at the forefront of creative theatre today, pushing the boundaries of the impossible. A renowned puppetry specialist, he has received global recognition for his inventive creations, winning an Arts Foundation Fellowship in 2010. Mervyn is the Creative Associate for the National Theatre’s globally acclaimed War Horse, having been involved in the project since its very beginning. Today, he represents puppetry as a serious art form and technical feat. As Director of Significant Object he is continuing to pioneer with the most incredible stage sets and puppets. His work in theatre and opera includes collaborations with the National Theatre London, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Court Theatre - to name but a few!
Find out more at www.significantobject.com
TEDxCourtauldInstitute invited Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski to join the Artists in Residence programme for 2015. Levack and Lewandowski are based at French Riviera, Bethnal Green, a contemporary art gallery which is also their former house. Their long standing collaboration has seen them create site-specific installations and video art which explore ideas of place, space and identity.
Simon Cox is an international investigative journalist with the BBC. Beyond his investigative experience, he has also worked as a news correspondent and editor, and as a global journalism consultant to broadcasters in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa. He is currently a news presenter on BBC World Service and BBC 5 Live, and lives in London with his wife and two daughters.