Open House Choir
Open House Festival Choir started as a summer-long musical experiment in 2015, led by the enigmatic and multi-talented artist, Katie Richardson. The choir quickly took on a life of its own, and has grown over the last year into a 70-strong singing phenomenon, including performances with Duke Special, Celtic Soul and Gill Landry of Old Crow Medicine Show. They were also the subject of a documentary film which previewed at this year’s Belfast Film Festival.
Alastair has been a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly since May 2007, and is currently serving his third term at Stormont where he is a Minister in the Executive Office. Prior to his appointment to the Executive, Alastair served as Chairman of the Justice Committee where he pioneered the ‘Justice Innovation’ series of seminars aimed at finding creative and imaginative new approaches in the justice system which would improve outcomes for both victims and perpetrators of crime. During his time as a legislator Alastair has gained a reputation as someone who is willing to think differently and embrace new ways of doing things.
As Danske Bank chief economist Angela provides analysis, commentary and insights on Northern Irish, UK and global economic trends, in particular those elements of economic performance which impact the Bank's personal and business portfolios. She regularly provides commentary on issues impacting the local economy in regional and national media and also reports on local economic statistics and trends to colleagues in the Danske Bank Group.
Angela is a regular guest speaker at key business conferences and currently represents Danske Bank externally on the NI Audit Office External Panel. She is also a member of the Employer’s Forum at Queen’s University Belfast and sits on the International Advisory Board for the QUB School of Management.
David established Aurora Prime Real Estate to focus on a new dawn emerging in Belfast. He is seeking to raise £50m to invest in Grade A office space in Belfast. David is Chair of CBI, Northern Ireland, Vice Chair of Washington Ireland Program, and a Fellow of both the RICS and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
David went to Trinity College, Dublin reading Economics and Social Studies and attended Blackrock College. David and Helen O’Malley have 8 children ranging in ages from 24 to 3! He lives in Co Down and keeps fit by running and doing the occasional half-marathon!
Elyse Cherry is a national pioneer in impact investing, social innovation and community development finance. She serves as CEO of Boston Community Capital, a community development finance organisation that has invested over $1 billion and leveraged over $6 billion in underserved communities nation-wide. Elyse served as chair of the Board of MassEquality during its historic fight for marriage equality in Massachusetts. She was honoured to receive Fenway Health’s Susan Love Award as a champion of women’s health and Astraea Foundation’s Fueling the Front Lines award. Women’s eNews named her one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” and she is one of OUTstanding’s “Top 100 LGBT Business Leaders”. Elyse also serves on the Board of the Lesbian Political Action Committee.
Jennifer Rawlings grew up in Salina, Kansas, went to college to study biology, and decided to become a stand-up comedian instead. Jennifer is the proud mother of five children and lives with her family in Los Angeles. Jennifer has shared the stage with everyone from the late George Carlin to the Vice-President of the United States. In 2014 Jennifer was named one of the “21 Change makers of the 21st Century” by Women’s E News.
Jennifer often leaves her brood to entertain the troops.
It was during these trips to war zones that Jennifer added the title documentary filmmaker to her list of jobs. Jennifer’s powerful directorial debut: “Forgotten Voices: Women in Bosnia”.
Rawlings has written numerous essays and magazine articles for national publications including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Hybrid Mom.
Kim Constable is a vegan eating, yoga teaching, online entrepreneur and unschooling advocate. She believes that children deserve the same respect, freedom and rights as adults. She teaches how arbitrary rules that we force upon children, are designed to meet the needs of the adult, not the child. Kim and her husband Ryan exist in partnership with their children, allowing them to live in freedom. Her kids do not attend school and do not participate in any kind of forced learning. Instead they are free to pursue their passions as sources of learning, living life with joy and purpose.
Professor Hardy is a founding Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations at Coventry University. From 1995 until 2011, Mike was a leader with the British Council including responsibility for the Council’s global programme for Intercultural Dialogue, youth engagement and so-called ‘soft-power’ global strategic partnerships; he lived and worked in Cairo, East Jerusalem and Jakarta.
Back in the academic world since 2011, Mike focuses on applied research in intercultural dialogue, pluralism and diversity. Mike is special advisor to the World Forum for Intercultural Dialogue in Baku and directs the RISING Global Peace Forum at Coventry. He was awarded the OBE in 2001 for his peace-building work in the Middle East, and appointed a Companion of Honour of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 2010 for his work internationally in Intercultural Dialogue.
Niamh Hyland is a singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, and executive raised in Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Niamh graduated from the University College Dublin with degrees in business and law. She is a member of the New York State Bar and is currently an executive at Purpose, a global public benefit corporation dedicated to solving the world’s toughest issues.
Niamh toured globally as the lead singer of the original rock band Lily Sparks. Her love of the arts and her desire to help others find and reach their potential motivated her to co-found Artists Without Walls (AWoW). AWoW is an organization whose purpose is to inspire, uplift and unite people of diverse cultures through artistic achievement. @NiamhJHyland
Pádraig Ó Tuama
Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet and a theologian. He is the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organisation. Pádraig brings interest in religion, conflict and language to his work. Originally from Cork, he had a nomadic decade (Australia, Lithuania, Switzerland, the Philippines, Uganda) before settling in Belfast in 2003. Together with his partner Paul he began the monthly storytelling event Tenx9 in the Black Box in Belfast where nine people have up to ten minutes to tell a true story from their lives. His poetry is published by Canterbury Press and prose by Hodder & Stoughton.
Professor Patrick J Johnston is the President and Vice Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast.
Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, he was Dean of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences were he led the development of a new international Medical School at Queen’s. He is also a founder and former Director of for the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and the NI Cancer Centre.
He received the 2013 International Bob Pinedo Cancer Care Prize for his work in translating discovery science for the benefit of cancer patients and is also a founder of Almac Diagnostics, which is based in Craigavon and the Society for Translational Oncology in Durham, North Carolina. In 2012 he received a Diamond Jubilee Queen’s Anniversary Prize awarded by Her Majesty The Queen, for the University’s leadership of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre and its achievement in reducing cancer mortality rates in Northern Ireland over the last decade.
Prior to joining Twitter’s Public Policy team in July 2012, Sinéad was Director of Communications for An Garda Síochána (Ireland’s national police service) for almost five years, having been Director of Media and Public Relations for the Police Service of Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2007. From 1996 to 2004 she held a range of political advisory positions in the Irish government including roles at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Attorney General’s Office. She studied law and qualified as a barrister in 1993. @smcs
Sinead is an aerospace engineer and an Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Harvard Business School, with previous experience at NASA, the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency. She currently leads a team of engineers to integrate data from satellites and drones. By combining space technology with Artificial Intelligence, her company is challenging the status quo of humanitarian disaster relief. Sinead was appointed both a Sainsbury Management Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering and an Emerging Space Leader by the International Astronautical Federation in 2016.