Comedian - Performer
As well as performing internationally, Al has opened, compered and headlined at gigs across the country from Plymouth to Edinburgh, via Newcastle, Belfast and many other places. He is as comfortable doing Stand up, Clown, Cabaret, After Dinner Speaking, MCing or Presenting.
Having shared a bill with acts from Mitch Benn, Robin Ince, Trevor Lock, Simon Evans, Terry Alderton and Felix Dexter, and with appearances on TV, radio (he has his own breakfast show on Wandsworth Radio), TV commercials and film, he is a rising comedic star and a quality compere.
At the Edinburgh Festival 2010 Al hosted a 44 run show with the cream of the Fringe (see www.LLAUGH.com/edfringe.html ) and at the 2011 Festival he performed in a phenomenal 100 shows in 20 days.
Patrick Monahan - (Al has) funny bones and a great charm on stage
Marcel Lucont - Al was just too popular!
Norman Lovett - Al Cowie is one of the best comperes I have ever worked with
Al was recently the warm up act for Adam Bloom.
CEO - GraffORM
Daniel Doherty – a self-titled Happiness Evangelist – was born in Glasgow to parents with eight and nine siblings respectively; he stopped counting how many cousins he had when the number exceeded 100! Daniel moved every three to four years during his childhood, due to his father’s work, and lived in two German cities as well Yorkshire before he was eight years old. Daniel has been around the world twice (so far!), so it’s as if he was born to travel and meet people.
He struggled with the concept of ‘home’ until 1995 when he went to Roehampton University and discovered Putney. His deep connection with the University, and his initial desire to teach, played an important role in developing the Grafform Internship Programme. Daniel has employed seven graduates (mostly from Roehampton University) in the last three years.
Daniel is passionate about using Social Media and Technology to bring people together online, and more importantly for him, offline (aka real life).
Daniel is one of the leading thinkers and visionaries of the global telecommunications industry. During his career he has served in several influential roles such as Head of Mobile Corporate Strategy of one of the leading European telecommunications players, to Chairman of the Chief Strategy Officers Group at the leading global operators association, GSMA. He is also one of the architects of developing Vision 2020 for the mobile telecommunications industry.
Daniel has worked in over 12 countries and speaks five languages. He believes that technology today affords individuals an unprecedented ability to extend themselves beyond their social surroundings; to influence and impact others in ways that has never been possible before. He believes this new influence can be harnessed to inspire others to assume greater leadership starting with themselves. He explores these ideas in his article entitled “Leadership of One, it concerns all of us”.
Poi Dancer - Performer
Emma, 23, is a dancer and actor who works in the festival circuit using circus props (Poi, hoop, fans using LED and fire!). She has featured at events including Volksfest, LeeFest, No Gloss Film Festival and the Portobello Film Festival.
The Roehampton dance and performing arts graduate says her passion lies in the creative process. Currently delivers circus and Poi classes for both children and adults at venues across London as she loves nothing more than involving others in the art form for which she has developed such a passion.
Founder - Wild & Free
Geraldine was born in a small town in the South of France where she grew up by the beach and always had a passion for animals. Geraldine moved to Paris and graduated as an IT Systems Engineer and went on to work as a programmer and web designer. She is currently the Head of Smartphone Marketing at a London-based international telecoms company.
However, it was during a safari holiday to Kenya in 2005 which re-ignited her yearning to work with animals. This led to a three month career break where she volunteered at a primate rehabilitation centre in South Africa and her passion for primates was born. In 2014, Geraldine formed her own animal charity Wild & Free – which supports the rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction of primates and other wild animals around the world.
Geraldine is married with two young children, a full time job, and manages the charity. She says, ‘There isn’t a dull moment in my life, and I’m happier than ever’.
Trainee Clinical Psychologist & Founder SW18 Club
Hannah Reidy is a psychology graduate and has worked in mental health for six years. She has worked as Social Inclusion Worker, and also as a researcher developing a new intervention approach for people with mental health difficulties to increase their access to and value from their social network.
She is currently in her final year of her PhD completing a doctoral thesis examining the mechanisms underlying paranoia and psychosis using Virtual Reality.
She is also the founder of Wandsworth-based SW18 Club, a group for young adults living with mental health difficulties aiming to reduce their social isolation and increase friendships and social activities. This activity forms part of the work of Wandsworth and Westminster Mind, a charity which she is also a trustee.
Founding Director - The DoNation
Hermione Taylor never intended to run her own business. But her passion for the environment led her to working in a strange assortment of jobs – from weighing rhino dung at Edinburgh Zoo, to carbon accounting in Westminster, and driving buses in Canada.
While studying for a Masters in Environmental Technology, Hermione looked at the impact to behaviour change when pledge schemes were introduced to campaigns to tackle climate change.
During a cycle challenge from London to Morocco she came to the realisation that the environment needed people’s action more than it needed their cash, and asked friends to support the challenge by introducing small changes to their everyday lives. They took on small challenges such as cycling to work, to eating local seasonal food, or switching to a Green energy supplier.
Programme Executive – The Prince’s Trust
Jamie Lee Brett’s life was dramatically transformed as a teenager as he became seriously ill, suffering from seizures multiple times a week. Managing treatments, psychological trauma and side effects from various medications took a huge strain on Jamie. He went into a state of despondency and dejection and dropped out of school with nearly no grades. Fortunately the seizures became controlled but with limited options and struggling to find sustainable employment he turned to the Prince’s Trust’s for support to turn his life around. Jamie has gone on to support a project for the UK Space agency, given evidence at select committees, became a researcher for an independent film and delivered various speeches on digital equality but his passion for supporting young people lead him back to the Prince’s Trust where he delivers engagement programmes that support young people into employment, education and training.
Hotung Chair of Molecular Immunology, Director of the Institute of Infection and Immunity, St. George’s, University of London
Julian Ma holds the Hotung Chair of Molecular Immunology and is Director of the Institute for Infection and Immunity at St. George’s, University of London.
He graduated in dentistry in 1983, and went on to gain his PhD in Immunology, studying topical anti-microbial immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies. He worked at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, in the laboratory which pioneered the expression of recombinant antibodies in transgenic plants. On his return to the UK, his group developed the first monoclonal secretory antibody expressed in plants and its clinical application to prevent tooth decay.
He moved to St. George’s Hospital Medical School in 2003 to explore the wider applications of plant biotechnology for global infectious diseases. His research group now studies basic mechanisms of protein production in plant cells, as well as the design, engineering and clinical applications of novel recombinant proteins in plants for vaccination and immunotherapy.
Khadija-Taj Jamilla O’Connor-Parris
Singer / Songwriter / Artist
Khadija-Taj Jamilla O’Connor-Parris is a twenty year old singer songwriter from South London. Growing up, Khadija was influenced by the music her parents played around the house. As well as this, her grandfather would play her cassette tapes by people like Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole and Nina Simone when he dropped her to school. Khadija studied classical piano and music theory from a young age but despite this music wasn't her main focus. It wasn't until she dropped out of sixth form to live with her mother in the Caribbean island of Anguilla, that she truly found herself. She joined a Soca band and released two albums with them before returning to London, where she signed up for a music performance course at South Thames College. Here she formed a band, “Juicyfruit” and continues to write music, striving to achieve her goals.
Founder - S.T.O.R.M
Marie Hanson is the founder of STORM (Support, Trust, Opportunity, Rebuilding and Motivation), a Wandsworth-based charity helping women to rebuild their lives after experiencing domestic and sexual abuse. Her own experience of domestic abuse by a former partner, which impacted one of her 6 children, was a strong motivation to start the group. With little support available around the North Battersea Estate where she lived at the time, she formed a self-help group that started with just four women.
Designer & Co-Founder, Gravity Sketch
Oluwaseyi is an inquisitive designer and engineer. His work is focused on exploring and experimenting with manufacturing processes, materials, and human interactions. He is constantly challenging current design, human behaviour, and production methods. His most recent work focuses on new tools to empower people to interact with developing technologies.
Oluwaseyi believes that these tools could open new possibilities for designers, engineers and artists alike. Together with the other members of the Gravity Sketch team, he has challenged the conventional methods for creating 3D content and has brought an element of craft in creation to the digital era.
Consultant Neurologist, St George's Hospital Medical School
Dr Peter Garrard is a neurologist and neuroscientist at St George's Hospital Medical School. His research and clinical practice at focus on dementia and its effects on speech and language. Notable research subjects include the novelist Iris Murdoch, former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and King George III. More recent research has used computer algorithms to demonstrate language changes associated with political power: changes were seen in the speeches of two British politicians who developed the 'Hubris syndrome'. This recently-described personality disorder leads to dangerous overconfidence, isolation and misjudgement in certain leaders.
Dr Garrard will show how the language used by two recent British Prime Ministers reflects the onset and time course of the Hubris syndrome. He will suggest ways in which language analysis may help in monitoring personality traits of political, business and financial leaders.
Senior Research Leader of Chemical Ecology, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
As Senior Research Leader of Chemical Ecology, Professor Stevenson leads Kew’s research on the ecological function of plant and fungal chemicals, the interactions chemistry mediates between plants and other organisms and the potential to use plants sustainably for enhancing ecosystems and improving horticulture. His research focuses on the chemistry that drives pollinator-plant interactions, how plant chemicals affect insect behaviour and ecosystem function, for example through pollinator exposure to invertebrate toxins or provision of adequate nutrition and the potential of plants to provide environmentally benign alternative pest control technologies in smallholder agriculture.
Robin has written extensively for television, radio and theatre. His work for series TV includes ‘Casualty’, ‘The Bill’, ‘Where the Heart Is’, ‘Medics’, and ‘Roman Mysteries’ among many others. Television Serials include ‘Plastic Man’ with John Thaw, Eddie Marsan and Frances Barber, and ‘Grushko’ with Andy Serkis and Brian Cox.
His first feature film, ‘Dance of the Wind’ premiered at Venice, and won the Audience Prize at the London Film Festival. His most recent film, ‘Lore’, was critically acclaimed worldwide, winning numerous awards including an AWGIE for Best Adapted Screenplay. It was Australia’s official entry to the Oscars.
Robin is currently adapting the Paul Scott novel ‘Staying On’, with support from the BFI. He is a lecturer in scriptwriting at Bath Spa University. His recent book, ‘The Art of Screenplays - A Writer’s Guide’ was publish
Founder – AttireX and A Level student
Solomon never had a clear idea of what he would do when he grew up. The day he was excluded from school for the fifth time, he saw his mother break down and cry. He vowed that one day he would make her proud – and make a positive contribution to society.
So, despite the school exclusions and most debilitating of all – a stutter, which was a cause of bullying and fights during school, Solomon refused to be defined by society. Instead he has utilised his adversities to build resilience and tap into his creative entrepreneurial skills.
Solomon says, “Although my mouth still shapes words that will never be released, I will never let my circumstances define me.”
Today, as well as studying for A Levels, Solomon is the founder of AttireX – a growing customised clothing enterprise with a dedicated client base. He aspires to be a successful entrepreneur, in the vain of entrepreneurial heroes Jamal Edwards and maintains an impressive following through various social media.