Landscape architect, Board Director at LDA Design
Alister is a masterplanner and landscape architect, and board director of one of the UK’s major design, planning and environment consultancies. Alister led the UK’s first Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, and sits on the HS2 Design Review Panel and the Design Commission for Wales (DCfW). He led the project team for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, the world’s first tidal powered energy plant, which received extraordinary public support through the planning process and has won numerous awards. He has been an advisor on major infrastructure and development projects across the UK, including Cambridge University, Sizewell C nuclear power station, and major settlement expansion. He is presently advising on the future growth of Oxford.
Alok Jha is a journalist and broadcaster. He has worked as science correspondent for both ITV News and the Guardian, covering daily news and current affairs for more than 15 years. He founded and presented the Guardian’s award-winning Science Weekly podcast and has written and presented several TV and radio documentary series for the BBC. He has covered everything from space to particle physics to stem cells in his work, and reported from all over the world, including live from Antarctica. He is also the author of three popular science books, including The Water Book (Headline, 2015).
Dame Athene Donald
Professor of Experimental Physics
Professor Athene Donald is a professor of soft matter and biological physics at the University of Cambridge and the Master of Churchill College. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and has previously chaired their Education Committee, as well as twice serving on their Council. She was the University of Cambridge’s first Gender Equality Champion, and writes and blogs frequently about the issues facing women in science and those taking unusual career paths, as well as on science policy issues. She was appointed DBE in 2010 for services to physics.
David has been a performance coach and facilitator for 15 years, and in that time has been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s most successful companies. David started his professional life in advertising, before training as an actor. While working in America in the mid 1990s he witnessed the rise of the Juice Bar, and brought the idea over to the health club sector in the UK. In 1998 he opened the first Bliss Juice Bar in Crouch End, before expanding across London. In 2004 he sold the chain within Virgin Health Clubs. David has always been fascinated by what the various keys are to making great communicators, speakers, storytellers or leaders. He very much believes that everyone has the innate ability to be a dynamic communicator. He cofounded the communications company Edison Red in 2012.
Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, former science minister
The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts is the Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation. He served as the Member of Parliament for Havant (1992-2015), as Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and previously worked at HM Treasury and the No. 10 Policy Unit.
Lord Willetts is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, a board member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a Board member of Surrey Satellites and of the Biotech Growth Trust, Chair of the British Science Association, a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is a member of the Board of the Crick Institute and a Trustee of the Science Museum. He is an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford.
Lord Willetts has written widely on economic and social policy. His book ‘The Pinch’ about fairness between the generations was published in 2010. His latest book “A University Education” is published by Oxford University Press.
At 22 years old, Dina Asher-Smith is the fastest British woman in history. She currently holds British records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, and is also the world's fastest teenager ever over 200m. She is the reigning European Champion over 200m, earned a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, and silver and bronze medals at the World Athletics Championships. After breaking the British records aged 19, just one year into her History degree at King’s College London, Dina was named Sky’s Young Sportswoman of the Year. She graduated from King’s with a 2:1 in the summer of 2017, despite being a professional athlete and having to rehabilitate a broken foot in the final months of her degree. She fought back to place 4th in the World Championships in London in August, and led the British 4x100m team to the silver medals, less than six months after surgery.
Liz is a Royal Society Research Fellow and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. Her research investigates the brain mechanisms linking genes with mental health conditions, with the hope of improving the treatment of these illnesses.
Senior Lecturer in American Literature
Dr Eric White is Senior Lecturer in American Literature at Oxford Brookes University. Originally from Canada, he completed his graduate work at the University of Cambridge before holding posts at the Universities of Yale and Edinburgh. His first book, Transatlantic Avant-Gardes (EUP 2013), explored modernist periodicals networks across multiple centres of production, while his current projects explore technology and sensory augmentation in international avant-garde movements. He is President of the William Carlos Williams Society and founder of the Avant-Gardes and Speculative Technology (AGAST) Project, an interdisciplinary consortium that re-creates the inventions of twentieth-century writers and artists using Augmented Reality.
Professor of Design
Jeremy Myerson is a design writer and academic. He is the Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, a Visiting Fellow in the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford, and Director of the WORKTECH Academy, a global knowledge network on the future of work. He co-founded the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA in 1999 and was its director for 16 years, helping to pioneer the practice of inclusive design in response to population ageing. He is the author of many books on design and innovation, and is a former editor of Creative Review, DesignWeek and World Architecture.
Instantly recognisable in her pointy specs and hats, Sarah McIntyre illustrates and writes award-winning picture books and comics, including There’s a Shark in the Bath and Dinosaur Police. Together with Philip Reeve, she creates books such as Oliver and the Seawigs and Pugs of the Frozen North. She loves showing children and adults alike that they can learn to draw, starting with simple shapes. For fun daily drawing challenges, visit the ‘Virtual Studio’ she set up on Twitter: @StudioTeaBreak.
In 2015, she launched the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign, explaining how crediting illustrators properly for their work benefits everyone who loves books. In 2016, The Bookseller magazine honoured the campaign’s achievements - illustrator names more commonly printed on front book covers, more frequent illustrator mentions in social media, inclusion in sales charts - by making her one of its ‘Rising Stars’. Find out more about the campaign at picturesmeanbusiness.com
Sir Bernard Silverman
Sir Bernard Silverman is one of the pioneers of Computational Statistics, the understanding and development of the ways that increasing computer power over the last 40 years has revolutionised the handling, analysis and presentation of data. His research has ranged widely across theoretical and applied aspects of statistics and he has acted as a consultant in many areas of industry, commerce, finance, law and government. From 2010 to 2017 he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, advising the Home Secretary, ministers and officials on all aspects of science and research. In the first scientific approach to the problem, underpinning the Modern Slavery Act 2015, he estimated that there were 10000 to 13000 victims of Modern Slavery in the UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a past President of the Royal Statistical Society, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Modern Slavery.
Musical improv group
Adam Meggido is the co-creator and director of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, the first improvised show ever to win a major theatre award (Olivier Award winner - Best Entertainment and Family 2016). Showstopper! has played in twelve countries and enjoyed a series on BBC Radio 4. It also won the Broadway World Audience Vote for Best Comedy at the Edinburgh Festival 2017 and a Chortle Comedy Award for Best Improv, Character or Sketch 2016.
Tom McRae is a Mercury and Brit Award nominated singer-songwriter. He has released 8 critically acclaimed albums, as well as writing music for orchestras, and film and television. He has also written songs for artists as diverse as Nadine Coyle (Girls Aloud) and rock legend Marianne Faithfull. He is also a visiting professor at Leeds College of Music. Poet Simon Armitage has called him “one of our greatest living songwriters” while Neil McCormick, chief rock critic for The Telegraph says "McRae's mordant wit & dark romance might make him the perfect songwriter for these fucked up times.” Tom, however, rates his proudest achievement as being an answer on the BBC quiz show, Pointless.