David White is founder of Secret Attic Software, a company which develops mobile application software for healthcare and defence. David's talk discusses how designing for the unexpected and the unpredictable can in fact be the most important element in success.
Director of Care, Donna Louise Children's Hospice
Dot Gillespie is the Director of Care Services at the Donna Louise Children's Hospice in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. Dot’s talk focuses on the process of parallel planning, helping young people who are living with life-limiting conditions to plan for all possible outcomes. Several young people are involved in this talk, sharing their own experiences and letting their voices be heard. Such a parallel planning approach could be beneficial for all of us for our enjoyment of life and facing our futures.
Edward Farmer is an orchestral and opera conductor who works with musicians around the world. He is the Founder and Music Director of the London Arts Orchestra, which seeks innovative ways of presenting classical music, telling the stories behind great works of orchestral music. Edward has toured Europe as assistant conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and makes his debut as guest conductor with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in the 2016/17 season. He is also active in music education as a recent conducting fellow at Keele University.
Born in Newcastle under Lyme, Harry Bradford was educated at Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College before studying English Literature and Language at Bangor University where he then specialised in Forensic Linguistics for his MSc. He currently works as a freelance Forensic Linguistic Consultant. This involves work on legal cases where the true identity or emotional state of a writer need to be determined. This often involves decoding texts or online posts to work out who wrote them and what their state of mind was at the time. Harry's talk considers the duality of online anonymity and the role that the field of Forensic Linguistics and linguistic profiling can play in shaping the future of the relationship between online discourse and surveillance.
Charity Entrepreneur/Trainee Medical Doctor
James Adams is a social entrepreneur and is currently training to be a hospital doctor in Manchester. Alongside his work in medicine, James is founder of three charitable ventures. The first is CATS (The Cancer Awareness in Teenagers and young adults Society), which James set up after his own experience of serious illness. Using innovative and novel methods, CATS aims to raise awareness of cancer symptoms in teenagers. The second is ‘Pregnancy Twinning’, a venture to improve maternal health in Malawi. The scheme has resulted in dramatic reductions in the vertical transmission of HIV within many communities and has become a national success. James’ latest venture, Number 11, is establishing a centre in the heart of his hometown, offering more holistic and relational care to the city’s most vulnerable people. James’ talk focuses on how to be an agent of change and have tenacity through the times when people say no until you finally find that yes.
Matilda Houston-Brown was Stoke and North Staffordshire Young Poet Laureate for 2015-16. At the time of her appointment, being 14, she was the youngest ever Young Poet Laureate in the U.K. Her time in this post culminated with an initiative which saw young people’s poems being displayed on buses which run between Stoke and Staffordshire Moorlands. Matilda speaks with passion about this initiative and the importance of poetry in all of our lives.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Peter is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Keele University, a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, a Member of the Institution of Engineering Designers, a Fellow (regional) of the Royal Society of Medicine, and an Honorary Consultant at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Peter has worked on the application of engineering design principles to medical devices, with a particular focus on fixing broken legs. In other words, he helps fix bones using engineering technology. He is now engaged in investigating how the emerging Internet of Things can be fruitfully used in medical engineering.
Film Producer, Associate Professor – Film Production Technology
Peter has over 25 years of experience as a screenwriter and producer in the movie industry, both in the UK and Hollywood. He is co-founder of film production company Grand Independent, a spin out company from Staffordshire University, where he is also Associate Professor of Motion Picture Industries. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). Peter's company, Grand Independent, runs the groundbreaking feature film concept ‘The 72 Project’, shooting and editing a complete feature film in just 72 hours. With three films shot in three different countries over the last eight years, the 72 Project is becoming a global phenomena.
Integrative therapist (body and mind)
Rob is an integrative therapist (body and mind) and forerunner in posture related stress research, having worked with posture for over 23 years. He is also an author, speaker, educator, and health and well-being expert for ITV Central and BBC Radio. Combining his passion for helping others with a childhood love of superheroes, Rob’s talk explores how we may be sabotaging our mental health and emotional wellbeing with bad posture and poor physical behaviours. He shares his discoveries, from working with hundreds of people, and shows how easily we can free ourself to be a healthier, happier and truly, super human.
Church of England Minister
Sally Smith is the founder of Sanctus St Marks, a support group for refugees and asylum seekers in Shelton and Longton, Stoke on Trent. Her work giving sanctuary to men, women and children of all faiths or none hit UK headlines in 2016. Sally’s aim is to provide a safe, non-judgemental space for people who have come to the UK seeking security from a world in crisis. Her talk focuses on the benefit such rejected people can be for us all.
Shelagh has a lifetime of experience as a counsellor, including lecturing, training and supervising other counsellors. She has been a trustee at The Dove Service for those suffering from bereavement and loss and counseling supervisor at The Donna Louise Trust children's hospice. She also established Elizabeth House, the first women's refuge in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Following her own diagnosis in 2011, Shelagh now campaigns assiduously with The Alzheimer's Society, particularly with a view to improving the early diagnosis of dementia and hence its treatment. She is a Quaker and proud grandmother.
Stewart McNicol is a teacher of English with years of experience teaching in Stoke schools and colleges, often even teaching teachers. It is often said that something is not good English or is ‘wrong’ when it comes to language. Stewart's talk considers how the English language is not best seen as a monolithic entity with rules that should not be broken. Rather, English covers a range of communication styles, a related family of languages, each appropriate in its own time and place. Educational success, then, should not be limited to those who can engage with ‘correct’ English, but should be open to the rich variety of all our various Englishes.