Dr Aala El-Khani is a Research Associate in the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Manchester. She recently completed her PhD on exploring and meeting the parenting needs of families affected by war and displacement, to protect the mental health of children who have experienced armed conflict. She is passionate about raising awareness of the need to help parents to care for their children early on in their journey from refugee camps to resettlement. Through spending time with Syrian refugee families in refugee camps and on their journeys, she feels entrusted by these families to share their stories. Aala is determined to develop innovative ways of reaching these families with parenting information and training. Her work has been recognised by two prestigious academic awards from The University of Manchester; the Sue Fielder Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement 2015, and the Manchester Doctoral College Best Contribution to Society Award, 2016.
Professor Danielle George is a Professor Radio Frequency Engineering and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Manchester University. Described by the Guardian as one of 2014’s heroes in science she delivered the hugely prestigious Royal Institution Faraday Christmas Lecture. Originally from Newcastle, Danielle has a long history in Manchester. She completed her BSc and MSc at The Victoria University of Manchester based at Jodrell Bank Observatory, and her PhD at UMIST. She is involved in both the $1bn Square Kilometer Array and the $1bn Atacama Large Millimeter Array telescope. She has worked with NASA and ESA on the development of instrumentation to explore the Big Bang. Danielle thoroughly enjoys teaching her knowledge to students and is passionate about raising public awareness of the positive impact that engineering and sciences can offer.
Ed Carter devises and creates musical compositions and interdisciplinary projects that are context-specific, with a focus on process. He takes patterns, associations, and chronology, and uses these to form the structures of new site-specific work. Barographic, his current project at The Lowry, turns the venue’s architectural form into a 3D music sequencer, and creates melodies from atmospheric pressure readings taken in the gallery space. Ed’s talk will look at the relationship between architecture and music.
By the standards of world-class pianists, Hayley Parkes was relatively ‘old’ when she began studying the piano at the age of 9. Her talent was apparent and she soon went on to study at Chetham’s School of Music aged 11. Haley’s many appearances include performances at the BBC Proms, Royal Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, the Sage Gateshead and on BBC Radio. In 2014 she was named as a contestant in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. In 2015 Hayley was appointed as staff pianist for both the Northern Ballet and the Royal Ballet School. Her work is generously supported by Yamaha Music.
Ian Forrester is a well known figure in techie communities across the UK. After many years in London, he’s now well established in Manchester, where he works for BBC R&D North Lab. He focuses on open innovation and disruptive opportunities via open engagement and collaborations with startups, early adopters and hackers. Amongst his many side interests, Ian’s blogs on online dating have become famous enough that a Guardian columnist once described him as “The Wikipedia of Online Dating”. He spoke at TEDxManchester 2011 about his “brush with death” so we welcome him back for an all new talk in 2016.
Jan Blake is one of the leading storytellers, and has been performing worldwide for
over twenty-five years. Specialising in stories from Africa and the Caribbean she has
a well-earned reputation for dynamic and generous storytelling. Highlights include
being resident storyteller at Hay Festival, curating Shakespeare’s
Stories, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and being the recipient of the Thuringe Marchen Preis,
awarded to those who have devoted their lives to storytelling. Her epic telling of The
Old Woman, the Buffalo, and the Lion of Manding about the Malian hero king Sundiata Keita recently won a British Award for Storytelling Excellence.
Jeff Coghlan is founder and CTO of Matmi, a digital agency with specialisms in games and entertainment. Jeff has worked with celebrities such as Lily Allen, Warwick Davis and Gorillaz as well as with major brands such as United Airlines, Alton Towers, Comic Relief, Microsoft, Sony and Dell. Hugely creative and passionate, Jeff is highly sought after speaker and moderator for digital conferences in addition to his advisory work. Jeff has also served as a Board Director for Creative England.
Rob Procter was formerly the Director of the Manchester University eResearch Centre and is now a Computer Science Professor at Warwick Univeristy. Rob’s primary research focuses on the impact of social media on individuals, organisations and society. Rob led a team involving the Guardian and the LSE on ‘Reading the Riots’ which analysed tweets sent during the August 2011 London riots. This award-winning project won recognition at both the Data Journalism Awards and the Online Media Awards. Rob also works on the Pheme project, which is developing computational tools to help journalists assess the authenticity of information posted in social media. Rob’s other research interests include urban science. He is a member of the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress.
Ruth Daniel is a social entrepreneur, activist and cultural producer. Based at Manchester University she co-directs the In Place of War (IPOW) initiative. IPOW supports artists and creative communities living in sites of war, revolution and conflict to build powerful networks, create social change through creativity and demonstrate the value of the arts to public space, public life and public debate. They achieve their mission using multiple tools such as digital platforms and education. She strives to empower young people by giving them the ability to connect in the world’s most challenging contexts. Previously, Ruth founded the independent label Fat Northerner Records.
By day, Sam Aaron is a mild-mannered Research Associate at the Cambridge University Digital Technology Group. By night, he’s a live coder who considers programming as performance and strongly believes in the importance of celebrating creativity within all aspects of programming. He is also the lead developer of Overtone and Quil, both very powerful live coding platforms and the creator of sonic Pi which is used to teach programming to young people and children. Sam's talk and performance will be a compelling display of what happens when you mash up passion, creativity and code.
Tom is the founder of Book of the Future, an applied futurism consultancy which helps organisations build a coherent vision of their future and how to respond to it. Clients include LG, NHS, Nikon and Sony Pictures among many others. Tom co-founded CANDDI, one of Manchester’s most promising tech startups. He is a regular contributor on BBC TV and Radio. He is also the resident futurist on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch.
Yandass is a performer from Manchester. She’s currently studying Dance and Performance at Arden School of Theatre, a member of the Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company and an apprentice on the Future Leaders scheme with Global Grooves. She also performed in FlexN Manchester in MIF 2015 alongside street dancers from New York.