Conor hails from Dublin, lives in Inverness and he really doesn't like bullies. Conor will be sharing easy-to-learn techniques which neutralise aggression. These are designed for anyone to grasp and develop. Conor's spent many years in film/TV production, journalism, music, education & creative industries in Ireland, Canada and Scotland. He co-founded Inverness' Comedy Bothy stand-up club where he regularly bullies his audiences for fun, and he studies counselling and psychotherapy at Inverness College UHI.
James Dunbar is founding Chief Executive of New Start Highland. Starting in 2000 and now employing 70 with a multi-million pound turnover. James created a range of services and leads a team with a shared vision for Transforming Highland lives. He is a 2 time Institute of Directors “Director of the year” winner. Ernst and Young, Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards recognised him as Scotland’s leading social entrepreneur. He was made an OBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours for his services to the development of the economy and community in the Highland and Islands.
Kev Shields shouldn't be a climber, he only has a partial left hand, he's epileptic and he struggles to walk far after a fall in 2010. Regardless of these and other challenges Kev has successfully earned his place as a respected climber for taking on bold routes right at his physical and mental limits.
British adventurer Laura Bingham cycled 7,000 kilometres through South America in 2016. She achieved this inspiring journey without money by visiting local communities and working in return for food and shelter as she crossed the continent. The generosity of strangers remains her abiding memory of her expedition. Cycling in extreme weather across tough terrain and often hungry, this expedition taught Laura many lessons about staying motivated. She shares her story, both the highs and lows, as she crossed the Andes three times, foraged for food, picked through waste looking for anything edible and appreciated all the help she was given. Her story is about taking on a challenge when the odds are against you. She hopes her expedition from the coast of Ecuador through Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay to her destination, Buenos Aires on the coast of Argentina, will inspire others to rise to their own challenges whatever they may be.
Laura is the founder of Inverness-based Bruce Public Relations Ltd. With more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications, Laura has helped to raise the profile of global brands, small family businesses, and everything in between. She has a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Brock University in Niagara where she also worked as a teaching assistant, seminar leader, and researcher. Originally from Canada, Laura lived in Northern Ireland for ten years before relocating to Inverness in 2012. In March 2016, Laura was named Highland Business Women’s “Shining Star” for her contribution to the local community though her business, community, and voluntary efforts, including mentoring other businesswomen.
Patrick is a South African-born writer, speaker and rewilding activist currently based in the Scottish Highlands. His dual career in education and business was effectively ended by a brain tumour which initiated ongoing epilepsy. On completion of a Master of Research degree in Sydney, Australia, Patrick decided to explore and live each day based only on what resonates most strongly with his deepest passions. One of those passions is to stem the tremendous loss of species happening right now. Patrick writes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction concerned with wildness and rewilding, both of the self and of the environment.
Why are there so many of us who struggled with school-work and revision? Why are there so few of us that found the more academic subjects naturally engaging, yet we often never had an issue in engaging with something visual, colourful or of entertaining value - a movie, a performance, a piece of music, a picture...?
Rossie will talk about how turning his revision notes at school into comic strip stories turned his exam results from a 'D' into an 'A'. About how going back to our natural sense of visual-learning and our yearning for entertainment can open an exciting new range of possibilities; not least for our relationship with school and information-communication.
Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Coach
Shona Macpherson is a happy, confident and energetic woman who used to feel exactly the opposite. For years she was unhappy in mind and in body. It’s her passion to help others feel like the best versions of themselves. She will share and explore this journey in her talk.
Shona currently works as a Personal Trainer and a Weight Loss Coach. She's reinvented herself career wise over the years going from nurse, to overseas aid worker, to community project worker, to counsellor. At the moment she's training to be a life coach.
The common thread in all her work is her interest in people, well being and in making a difference in the world.