Dancer and Choreographer, Aakash Odedra Company
Originally from Birmingham, the dancer and choreographer, Aakash Odedra founded his Company in 2011 as a vehicle for commissioning solos and for him to develop his own works. His style is a unique synthesis of his solid training in both classical Indian dance and contemporary dance and theatre.
As a choreographer, he’s been commissioned to create several works around the world, including an Opera, a ballet piece, and even a show for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the closing of the London Cultural Olympiad.
Aakash has been honoured with numerous awards and bursaries, including the Italian award Danza&Danza, a Dora performance award in Canada, the Audience Award Dance Week 2013 in Croatia, a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship and a 2014 Bessie Award whose organization has nominated him for his second award after his outstanding performance in New York.
Managing Director, Go Mad Thinking
As Managing Director of Go MAD Thinking, a leading Business Improvement Consultancy that helps clients accelerate results & enable change, Andy was voted Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 in the Leicestershire Business Awards.
Developer of the Go M.A.D. ® (Make A Difference) Thinking System in 1998, which is now used as a coaching framework by hundreds of thousands of people in 40 countries across the world, Andy has written over 20 books and presented over 200 audio and video programmes relating to leadership, change and coaching. His free podcast series ‘Thinking for Business Success’ has regularly been at the top of the iTunes Business podcast chart, ahead of the likes of Harvard Business School.
He is a man with a passion to put “Solution Focused Thinking” into every home, workplace and community, and has a 47 year vision to do exactly that. He is currently providing free training for 1000 volunteer community coaches within Leicestershire.
Consultant & Associate Medical Director, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
Jay Banerjee is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Associate Medical Director for Quality Improvement at the University Hospitals of Leicester and Honorary Reader in Health Sciences at the University of Leicester.
He graduated in 1993 from Calcutta Medical College (University of Calcutta) and soon after came to work in the NHS. He trained in Emergency Medicine (Newcastle) and Paediatric Emergency Medicine (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto).
He has been involved in developing NICE guidelines as Clinical Director at the NICE funded National Collaborating Centre for Women’s & Children’s Health, London, same time as pursuing a Masters in Educational Research at the University of Leicester. In 2008, based on his local work on older people, he was invited to set up a national group to develop quality standards for care of older people with urgent and emergency needs (‘Silver Book’) which was published in 2012.
Consultant Dermatologist & Venereologist
Maytham Al-Hilo is an Iraqi consultant dermatologist and venereologist. He is also a poet, novelist and civil rights activist. He was born in Al-Hilla city near the historic city of Babylon in 1968.
He graduated from Baghdad Medical School in 1991 and specialized in dermatology in 2002.
He has more than twenty published academic papers in his medical field. In addition, he published a collection of his poems (The interpretation of the vague in her eyes) and two novels (Bats entice light) and (The happy in his ultimate nightmare).
In 2013, he founded “To those who dare be rationalists” Group and has been its chairman since then. The group aims is to spread human rights and secular values through an epistemological critique of conceptual obstacles. The talks in this group are given on a weekly basis in the open air in one of the important cultural places in Baghdad, Al Mutanabi Street. His fourth book published in 2016.
Mohammed (Mo) Abbas is a consultant psychiatrist in Leicester. He was born in Baghdad in 1971. He graduated from Baghdad medical school in 1994. In 2015, he won a UK award given by the Royal College of Psychiatrists: The Psychiatrist Volunteer of the year for the volunteering work that he has been involved in. This work included a number of projects aimed at improving mental health services in Iraq as well as improving the standards of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.
Reader in Genetics and Archaeology, University of Leicester
Turi King is a British-Canadian geneticist. She read Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge going on a win a scholarship to study for a molecular genetics MSc at the University of Leicester, graduating with Distinction. She went on to carry out her award-winning PhD on the link between British surnames and genetics on a Wellcome Trust Prize Studentship.
She is now a Reader in Genetics and Archeaology. All of Turi’s research combines genetics with archaeology, history, geography and forensics. She is perhaps best known for leading the genetic analysis in the King Richard III case and for her public engagement in science work.
She has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association alongside Brian Cox, Alice Roberts and David Attenborough.
Author, University Chaplain, Entrepreneur and Singer.
Ellah came to the UK as a Zimbabwean refugee looking for hope and a better life. During her 16 years in the UK, she not only found a better life, but has always endeavoured to better the lives of others. She is a published author, a university chaplain, a professional caterer and a proficient singer. Ellah has been honoured to sing for Her majesty the Queen, BBC Songs of praise. She began singing to “fill the gap” and make the gospel and joy that the choir brings accessible to all people even those who are hearing impaired. Ellah has managed through singing in the EAGA Gospel choir to reach thousands of lives in performing arts ministration. In addition she has used her love of cooking to provide exquisite mutli-cultural cuisine to the city of Leicester and beyond.
Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Gospel Academy
Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Gospel Academy (EAG , a.k.a DMU Gospel Choir. The Gospel choir have been working assiduously in the Leicester community and further afield- providing Christmas dinner for students; doing workshops at local schools; taken part in local community projects; sang at the LCFC Stadium for Lord Mayor’s Appeal: taken part in the Gloria Hunniford programme (BBC); BBC Songs of praise 2016; sang at DMU graduation ceremonies, open days and at the Queen’s jubilee.
Choir has impacted and transformed the lives of many; taken home the winning trophy from UGCY 2016; volunteered in a building project on Saffron lane, plants organic food and distributes to local communities; sang on behalf of LOROS Hospices, Disability Rocks and numerous other charities; delivered good cheer in song on the hospital Wards, Nursing and Residential Homes; serenaded customers in the city centre through carol singing and supports a school as a charitable cause in Jamaica.
Entrepreneur, Be Science
Jessica Okoro is a Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science student from De Montfort University, who overcame struggles of trying to learn using traditional teaching methods in class, to developing her own learning resources and using informal methods at home to achieving higher than what was expected of her in the final Science and Mathematics exams.
Once she managed to get into university to study her degree, she then became very interested in the way STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) was introduced and taught in schools this was her motivation in starting BeScience STEM-an organisation which gets the whole community engaged in STEM using innovatative and creative techniques.
UK Creative Director, Twist & Shout
Jim has had a 25-year passion for comedy filmmaking ever since he discovered that he could combine the images he was drawing (pastels mainly) with sounds he’d captured in jars. More recently he turned to making simple comedies for the “interweb” helping companies achieve notoriety despite their crushingly dull products and services.
He owns and runs Twist & Shout Communications, based in Leicester and, of all places, Dallas, TX. His stand up career seems to have peaked at “reassuringly mediocre”, prompting the Loughborough Echo to write “Jim’s avuncular style and material made us all feel like a hot mug of Ovaltine for some reason”. Nice.
A self-confessed disciple of new-marketing Guru Seth Godin, Jim tries to spread the word at every opportunity that we, the people, have the means of production at our fingertips. We no longer need a mill owner to employ us – we can make things on our own out of zeros and ones.
Chief Executive, The National Forest
John Everitt is a British environmentalist who has worked in conservation for more than 25 years. He is Chief Executive of the National Forest Company responsible for coordinating one of the boldest environmental projects in the country – the creation and management of the 200 square mile National Forest, spanning parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. He was previously Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and a former Director of Conservation for The Wildlife Trusts, working nationally on environmental policy and advocacy for more than a decade.
He plays a key role on Boards and networks across the region including the East Midlands Committee for the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Lowland Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Local Nature Partnership, Charnwood Forest Regional Park, and a range of partnerships and forums. With a degree in Zoology and Masters in Conservation Biology, John has a keen interest in the interplay between people and the environment,
Deputy Managing Editor, BBC Leicester
Kamlesh is the Deputy Managing Editor at BBC Radio Leicester, a role he has held since March 2014.
His appointment to this role marked a happy return to the Station for Kamlesh – he joined BBC Radio Leicester in 1986 at a time when Asian programming was still very much in its infancy – its purpose was to help the city’s new wave of immigrants from East Africa to settle into a new way of life.
When he was promoted to Presenter in 1988, he became the first of a new breed of young British Asian presenters, incorporating challenging and stimulating speech content, striving for harder-edged journalism, more informed news and sport content, and thought-provoking debates on his Sunday Discussion programme. The excellence of his early work was rewarded with recognition, winning CRE and Asian Film Academy Awards for his presentation and journalism.
Over his time at the BBC Kamlesh has made significant contributions across several parts of the organisation.
Lydia Unsudimi is an ambitious 20 year old singer/songwriter and artist based in Leicester, United Kingdom. After continuous appraisal from her peers in school, Unsudimi decided to take music more seriously and develop her talent by performing at every opportunity she could find.
The 2013 and 2014’s winner of ‘Leicester’s Got Talent’ is now recognised as one of Leicester’s leading talent’s, and has performed at prestigious venues nationwide including The Curve Theatre, Leicester Tiger’s Stadium, Walker’s Stadium and many more.
When writing and covering songs, Unsudimi ensures to choose songs with deep meanings and rich lyrics as she has a passion for consciously understanding what she is feeding to an audience. Unsudimi’s soulful and sultry range, coupled with a spine-chilling stage presence has been compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill Etta James, and Macy Gray.
Quarterback at Sublime Science
Marc Wileman is best known for firing smoke rings, making slime and winning investment on Dragons’ Den . He’s inspired more than 500,000 children to discover how awesome science can be with the Award-Winning Sublime Science Party. His dedication to changing the way science is taught has even been recognised by Her Majesty with a Queen’s Award for Innovation.
Founder of Matt Hampson Foundation
Matt Hampson : Since his accident in 2005 during an England Under 21 rugby training session, Matt has battled hard to live as normal a life as possible. Paralysed from the neck down and breathing via the aid of a ventilator, it is testament to him that he decided to set up the Matt Hampson Foundation so that others who have suffered similar catastrophic injuries through sport can receive support and assistance.
Matt’s Rehab centre : The ‘Get Busy Living’ Centre was initially a dream of mine, a place for our beneficiaries to come along too and receive physical rehabilitation after a catastrophic injury through sport. Since then, our plans for this new facility have evolved and become a reality. It will be a place where our beneficiaries and their families will be able to share experiences, hopefully be motivated to move on with their lives and make the most out of their situations.The Matt Hampson Foundation is now inundated with requests for help on a daily basis.
VP & Managing Director of Samsung Cambridge & Samsung Aalborg
Raj has over 20 years of experience in short range and wireless comms technology R&D, bus dev and marketing. Raj was part of initial IEEE 802.11 team to define first Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) standard in 1996 – a technology which has now shipped over 5bn units. Raj also helped pioneer the first 3G data transmissions working with Motorola.He has a number of patents including short range wireless technologies.
In 2012 Raj took up the role of VP Marketing responsible for defining future wireless products. In 2014, Raj was promoted to head up the Samsung Cambridge and Samsung Denmark offices leading the silicon and software development for Samsung’s connectivity solutions.
As well as working for Samsung, Raj is also Chairman of the Board for Cambridge Wireless (CW). CW is a networking organisation with over 400 members worldwide and the CW team regularly organise events where members share ideas, discuss and debate the future direction of new technology and its applications.
Simon became Chief Constable of Leicestershire in June 2010. He joined West Midlands Police on the Graduate Entry Scheme working in Birmingham in a variety of uniform roles. Simon joined Hampshire Constabulary in 2003 as Assistant Chief Constable and became Deputy Chief Constable in 2008.
Simon has worked on various National Portfolios. In 2012 he became Chairman for the NPCC Local Policing and Partnerships Coordinating Committee. He leads the Digital Public Contact Board and sits at the National Police Reform and Transformation Board.
In 2015 Simon was asked to lead work for the NPCC on the Prevent strategy to counter radicalisation, and on the collaborative opportunities available through the procurement of both interpreting services and uniform.
Simon has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Durham, an MA in History from University College, Worcester, and a Diploma in Criminology and Policing from Cambridge University.
Cosmocular was conceived by Amanda Leandro of Cosmopolitan Arts, her vision is to bring together a variety of high quality arts based media to create a multi-faceted experience that promises to dazzle and captivate its audience, through celebrating the vibrancy of Leicester’s cosmopolitan society.
Amanda Leandro, Richard Everitt John Berkavitch, Carol Leeming and Miranda Booth.
The ensemble includes the best musicians from Leicester: Amanda Leandro, Richard Everitt John Berkavitch, Carol Leeming and Miranda Booth. Will Todd, Mike Sole, Malcolm D’Sa, Marcus Joseph, Miranda Booth, Hari Trivedi and Julie Maxwell.