Babak Ghassim and Usama Elyas
Founders of RebellComedy
Childhood friends, Babak and Usama founded RebellComedy, a stand up comedy group in 2006. It was the first show of its kind in Germany, bringing together multicultural comedians with urban music and spoken word. Ten years later, RebellComedy is one of Germany’s most popular Comedy shows with a weekly TV Spot and sold-out tours around the country. Babak started writing and directing videos in his teens and studied literature while writing for the screen and stage. He is currently working on his first book and bringing spoken word to the Rebell stage. Usama is a stand-up comedian performing all around the world and is developing his first solo stand up special for 2017.
Journalist, broadcaster and Sex Educator of the Year 2016
Alix Fox is a multi award-winning journalist, broadcaster and sex educator. She presents the Guardian‘s hit sex and relationships real-life storytelling podcast, Close Encounters, and answers listeners’ most intimate enquiries as an X-rated agony aunt on magazine-style show The Modern Mann. Her writing can be found in Marie Claire, Vogue, Grazia, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Time Out and more. In addition to working as Sex & Relationships Expert for Durex, Alix often collaborates with Brook, a sexual health advisory and is currently working together with Brook and MPs to improve sex education in schools.
Psychologist and earthgazer
Annahita Nezami is a psychologist with over thirteen years' experience in mental health, with specialisations in attachment psychology, postnatal depression, personality disorders and positive technologies for mental health. Annahita has spent the last five years researching the therapeutic value of earth gazing at City University London.
BBC journalist and presenter
Babita Sharma is a Journalist and Presenter for the BBC World News. She is also the presenter and co-author of Booze, Beans & Bhajis: The History of the Cornershop, which was aired on 19th December 2016 on BBC Four.
Founder of Ratchet Clothing
Self-made entrepreneur with a larger-than-life personality, Dhillan Bhardwaj is the owner and founder of Facebook’s largest independent clothing brand, Ratchet Clothing. Using clothing as a way to celebrate diversity and to express himself, Ratchet Clothing turned over a million pounds in its first year of startng.
Financial tech expert and social entrepreneur
Diana Biggs is a thought leader in blockchain technologies and has been actively involved in the ecosystem since 2013. Her work in blockchain includes venture building, strategic advisory, research and executive education, covering a variety of use cases including payments, healthcare and supply chain. She is the Industry Engagement Advisor for the University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies and her work was recently published in Springer Publishing’s Banking Beyond Banks textbook (2016). A recognised fintech expert, Diana has been named one of the top 25 fintech influencers in the UK by CityAM (2015 and 2016) and on Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist 2016. She is a Women's Patron for global microfinance network FINCA, a mentor at Gaza Sky Geeks and is a frequent speaker on the use of technologies, such as blockchain and digital currency for social good.
Student and Let Us Learn campaigner
Emmanuel Opoku was born in Ghana and moved to the UK when he was 9 years old. Growing up in Hackney, east London has instilled in him a great appreciation for community and diversity. He joined the Let Us Learn Campaign in 2014 and as a part of the Schools Team, Emmanuel gets the opportunity to speak in schools and raise awareness about the the aims of the campaign and to shed light on the injustice being experienced by migrants in the UK.
Founder of Climate Outreach & climate change communicator
George Marshall is the founder of Climate Outreach and is one of Europe’s leading experts in climate change communication, advising governments, campaign organisations, trades unions and faith groups. Over the past 28 years he has worked across the environmental spectrum – from grassroots protest groups to senior positions in Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation. George writes widely on climate change issues and has written two books on our personal behaviour toward climate change and the reasons for our collective denial.
Technologist and emoji expert
Jeremy Burge is the founder of Emojipedia and creator of World Emoji Day. He is also a member of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, which is responsible for reviewing requests for new emoji characters.
Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Kerstin Dautenhahn is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. She has pioneered research in social robotics and human-robot interaction.
O’Hooley & Tidow
British Folk Duo
O’Hooley & Tidow are regarded as ‘one of British folk’s mightiest combinations’. Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and soulful performances are infused with honesty and empathy that will disarm the hardest of heart. Their latest album, Shadows is the follow-up to groundbreaking album The Hum, both albums earning them places in Mojo’s Top 10 Folk Albums of 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Poet, feminist and founder of RevolYOUtion
Rasheeda Melesse Page-Muir is passionate and madly in love with her community of Greenwich, south-east London, where she was born, grew up and lives. The complexity and diversity all around her has greatly informed her political views. Rasheeda founded RevolYOUtion London, a debate platform for young people, to engage in social and political discourse. She regularly writes and performs poetry and is passionate about public speaking and destroying social injustice. She secretly wants to change the world!
Songwriter, Musician and Producer
Renell Shaw presents “Bass Monk” is a project that reflects his personal philosophy and way of experiencing life and music. Inspired by discovering the original meaning of the word Kung Fu (Gong Fu), which referrers to any skill achieved through hard work and practice, Renell created the Bass Monk project and applies this concept to all aspects of its creativity.
The Hackney Artist Development Programme
The Hackney Artist Development Programme
The Hackney Artist Development programme (ADP) is a two-week summer programme for young artists aged 13-19. A company of over 50 young artists, actors, musicians, dancers, singers and rappers work alongside a team of top industry professionals from the UK and the USA to devise, compose, write, choreograph and perform their show on the Hackney Empire main stage. These two weeks of intensive support and guidance will endeavour to continue to platform the ideas, opinions and voices of the future.
The Ministry of Stories
Creative writing centre for young people in East London
The Ministry of Stories is a community writing and mentoring centre in east London, where young people aged 8-18 come to discover their own gift for writing. In an imaginative space, the organisation supports and inspires young people to write through a range of innovative storytelling and writing workshops that empower imaginations and help build confidence, self-respect and communication skills.
Student and Raleigh International alumnus
When Tom was 14 years old, he had an experience that dramatically influenced the direction of his future. He went from being a fun-loving, laid back teenager to abusive and violent over night. Everyone, even those closest to him, labelled him as an "aggressive teenager", but, unbeknownst to them, he was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Tom is now 22, and a lot has changed in the past 8 years. He works for Raleigh International, a sustainable development charity, where he delivers talks across the United Kingdom to inspire young people to use their passion and energy to create lasting change overseas. As well as working full time, he studies part-time through the Open University.