Squirrel Nation are artist and designer, Caroline Ward and neuroscientist turned futurist, Erinma Ochu.
Together, the duo create immersive and participatory experiences: from growing mushrooms on waste coffee grounds to imagining the future of radio using inaccessibility as a starting point.
The not-for-profit creative studio blends films, exhibitions and events that draw on art, science and the environment. It works with broadcast media and higher education, and runs a virtual studio that assembles designers, engineers, growers and scientists.
Labour MP Andy Burnham wants to be the elected mayor for Greater Manchester.
The former UK Health Secretary was first elected to Parliament in 2001, and was a Home Office Minister before joining the Cabinet in 2007. His cabinet experience includes roles as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Culture Secretary.
As a member of the opposition, he has served as Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Health Secretary, and made an unsuccessful run at the Labour leadership in 2016.
Among his stated policies for the city, Andy has pledged to introduce nursing bursaries and take social care out of the public sector.
Dan is a strategy leader at HeyHuman, a communications agency reshaped by behavioural science. He has 20 years of experience in creative and planning roles, and has spoken at conferences such as SXSW, Cannes and AdWeek.
Dr Helen Czerski is an oceanographer, physicist and broadcaster with an healthy appetite for “everyday” science. She has a degree in natural sciences, a PhD in experimental explosives physics, and has spent several years studying the optics and acoustics of ocean bubbles. She works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London, and is a science presenter for the BBC. She is also a keen supporter of ScienceGrrl, which celebrates women doing great science.
In the last year alone, Isaiah Hull has supported Kate Tempest, Lemn Sissay and Skepta at major events for the BBC. And he’s just 19.
Inspired by poet Saul Williams, author Philip Larkin and classical Greek tragedies, the Old Trafford writer and spoken word artist is one of the Roundhouse and BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Words First finalists. He is a member of the young writers collective Young Identity, which was formed in Moss Side to encourage young adults and teenagers to express themselves and tackle world issues through poetry.
His first slam poetry performance was at WORDCUP by Apples and Snakes, where he competed alongside artists from London, Leeds and Birmingham.
Hacker House is a place for young people at a crossroads. The cybersecurity consultancy attracts young hackers who have started dabbling in breaching code, and trains them in the art of ethical hacking.
It’s the latest in a series of ventures for California entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, who founded the Infotech Summit to encourage entrepreneurs, policymakers and investors to discuss and shape tech policy. A former film student who started in digital distribution and film production, Jennifer has previously run a video streaming platform and produced a short film that was sold at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Fool isn’t just a silly face. Throughout history, Fools have used humour to puncture the pretentions and hubris of the powerful, and to share wisdom with an audience through wit.
Jonathan Kay takes his modern interpretation of “Fooling” to venues around the world, teaching and performing in local pubs, homes, businesses and theatres. He is a regular at Glastonbury’s main theatre tent, and has appeared at Sweden’s No Mind Festival, Secret Garden, and sold-out shows in Germany, France and Spain.
He is the founder of the largest street theatre festival in the UK, and an Honorary Fellow of The University of Winchester.
Personal Finance Journalist Michelle has spent more than a decade writing for titles such as The Guardian, City Wire, AOL and Money Observer.
One night in 2011, a drunk illustrator called Mr Bingo felt the urge to send a hand-drawn offensive postcard to someone. He threw it open to people on Twitter, who couldn’t resist being abused through the mail.
Over the last few years, he’s opened up the Hate Mail project 12 times, and each time it’s sold out within days. He’s had a collection published through Penguin Books, and a 2015 Kickstarter to fund a high-end art book of his notorious work was funded within 9 hours. Rewards included going round to people’s houses to do their washing up, and a date in a Wetherspoons of their choice.
Mr Bingo has been spotted in TIME, Esquire, the New Yorker and the New York Times.
Serial entrepreneur and technologist Nicolas Cary is the co-founder of the leading Bitcoin software company Blockchain.
Blockchain has over 8 million users, and announced an outside capital round of over $30.5million in 2014, raised from several leading venture capital firms. Nicholas travels the world speaking on the benefits of FinTech and entrepreneurial advocacy, and won the 2015 European Digital Leader of the Year award for his work.
Before spending a decade building and growing startups, Nicolas taught English and participated in poverty reduction programmes in rural India. He believes his journeys around the world have informed his work as a businessman and founder.
Sophie Scott is one of the world’s leading researchers on laughter.
The deputy director of University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience has also performed stand-up shows around London. Her research includes the study of how people recognise real or “social” laughter.
Sophie is a Wellcome Trust senior fellow, and is a member of the British Psychological Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the Experimental Psychology Society. She is also a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
It’s been more than 20 years since Tash Willcocks dipped her toe into the creative and design industry.
In that time she’s been an album creative for Elbow, designed skateboards with Linder Sterling, and led graphic design courses at Salford University. She’s now helping Hyper Island students worldwide to discover new skills in digital management and digital experience design.
Tash’s recent projects include MapMyMCR, a map of illustrated buildings and their narratives. Her daily typographic project Mundaneaday is now in its fifth year.
Volker Hirsch is not afraid of placing his faith in concepts that others consider “niche”.
He has championed mobile and games for more than 15 years as an angel investor, founder, and advisor. He helped launch the world’s first mobile music services, published games on tiny black and white mobile phones and - damningly - used the term “gamification” as early as 2006. Today his focus is on education, Internet of Things (IoT) and – still – games.
Blackberry’s former Global Head of Business Development is now a founder of several companies, including software development house Blue Beck, and IoT venture programme builder Quantified Ventures. He is also a venture partner at leading EdTech accelerator Emerge Education, and the chairman of knowledge content recommendation system Bibblio.