Andy Burnham was elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017. Prior to this Andy was MP for Leigh from 2001.
In government, Andy has held Ministerial positions at the Home Office, Department of Health and the Treasury.
In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, before returning to Health as Secretary of State in 2009.
In opposition, Andy has served as Shadow Education Secretary, Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary. Andy lives in Leigh, Greater Manchester, with his wife and three children. He is a keen supporter of Everton FC.
Dan Hett is a BAFTA-winning creative technologist, and digital artist. His work has appeared in the likes of Computer Arts, the Guardian, BBC Click. He likes to build big, exciting, challenging things with technology. Interesting, tangible, noisy things that people can experiment with, play with, build new things with, or dance to.
The brother of Martyn Hett, one of the 22 murdered in the Manchester Arena attack, has been targeted by Twitter trolls (not just twitter, online and in real life!) after speaking out against extremism.
Jamie Bartlett is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he specialises in online social movements and the impact of technology on society. He is author of Radicals (2017) covering the recent rise of political outsiders and The Dark Net (2014) about secretive internet subcultures. He is also a regular commentator on national and international media outlets and recently presented the two-part BBC documentary series ‘The Secrets of Silicon Valley’.
Kabantu - Band
Kabantu means ”of the people” and is an award-winning, five-piece music group hailing from Manchester but representing sounds from around the world. Vocal harmonies from South Africa coalesce with everything from Celtic reels and Brazilian samba to Balkan folk music and beyond.
Kabantu will be releasing their debut album in 2018 and have performed all over the UK including the BBC Proms, The Sage Gateshead, BBC Radio 3 In Tune and the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Liv is the current #1 ranked European female poker player with over $4,000,000 in career winnings. She is the only woman to ever win both European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker Championship open titles.
With an academic background in Astrophysics, Liv is a keen promoter of science, game theory and rationality.
Her passion for evidence-based decision-making lead her to co-found Raising for Effective Giving, a non-profit that fundraises for a handful of the world’s most cost-effective charities and non-profit organisations.
Lucinda Belle is a harpist, singer and songwriter. Much like her hero, Harpo Marx, Lucinda’s path has been an unusually curvy one.
From the stages of the UK’s greatest classical concert venues as a child harpist with the National Children’s Orchestra, she would eventually go on to work with some of the biggest names of the pop & jazz world such as Natalie Cole, Annie Lennox, Robbie Williams, Pet Shop Boys, Gregory Porter. Her music has been nominated for an Oscar and she has recorded two albums and one EP.
Max Joseph is a filmmaker who grew up in New York, lives in Los Angeles, and shoots all over the world. He is perhaps best known as the co-host of the MTV reality TV series entitled “Catfish: The TV Show” which investigates the murkier end of the online dating world. He has written, directed, and produced over 70 short films that have screened at Sundance, Telluride, and SXSW. Max’s short film “Follow the Frog” was featured as one of TED’s Ads Worth Spreading in 2013. He most recently co-wrote and directed the film WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS starring Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski. He is also a frequent collaboroter with YouTube filmmaker Casey Neistat.
Nadine Shenton’s performance career started on London’s West End where she appeared in a number of highly successful musicals such as ’Barnum’, ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘Cabaret’, ‘Charlie Girl’ and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ alongside industry leaders such as Kenneth Branagh, James Nesbitt, Cyd Charisse, Michael Crawford and Imelda Staunton among many other leading lights.
However, raising a family with 3 boys did not mesh well with the “office hours” of the West End. As such, Nadine turned her talents to the world of voicing and today she can be heard globally on a variety of media platforms ranging from radio and TV, to airplane safety and SatNav announcements.
Her work continues to enjoy industry recognition and she was an award winner most recently at the Vox Awards 2017.
Prof. Vikas Shah MBE
Professor Vikas S. Shah is an Honorary Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship at the University of Manchester Alliance Business School and Professor of Entrepreneurship for the MIT Sloan Lisbon MBA. His portfolio career includes being CEO of Swiscot Group (a diversified international trading business), a venture investor in numerous technology startups and businesses internationally, and co-founder of 53 Degrees North (a feature film studio). He is also the Chairman of Manchester’s FutureEverything.
Vikas’ online publication – Thought Economics – features his interviews with an incredible list of global talent including Will.I.Am, Buzz Aldrin, Noam Chomsky, Sir Richard Branson, F. W. de Klerk, Bear Grylls, Moby, Philippe Starck, Sir James Dyson, Garry Kasparov, Ai Weiwei, Maya Angelou, Usain Bolt, George Takei, Hans Zimmer, Jack Welch, Ed Catmull as well nearly 20 Nobel Prize Winners and the Presidents and Prime Ministers of nations including Mexico, Portugal and the Maldives.
Doctor / Author
Rachel Clarke is a palliative care doctor in the NHS where she specialises in caring for terminally ill patients and their families. She shot to fame in 2016 to protest the changes being proposed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Prior to becoming a doctor Rachel was a television journalist and she used those skills with great effect to rally the opposition. Her Sunday Times bestselling book, Your Life in My Hands, was published last year and revealed what life is really like for young doctors - and their patients - on an overstretched NHS frontline.
Rasmus Ankersen is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, speaker on performance development and a trusted advisor to businesses and athletes around the world.
In 2012 Rasmus published The Gold Mine Effect, in which he explores how some countries and cities develop a disproportionate amount of top talent. In 2016 Rasmus published Hunger in Paradise: a book about how successful organisations can remain successful by eliminating complacency.
Rasmus is also the chairman of FC Midtjylland, his childhood football club in Denmark, and a director of the English club Brentford FC. Both are known as some of the world’s most innovative football clubs, especially recognised for their use of big data to drive decision-making.
Over the past few years, Rasmus has been hired to share his research on high-performance cultures by global brands like LEGO, Google, Boston Consulting Group, IKEA, Google, Facebook, Hitachi, Roche, Ernst & Young and many more.
Professor Sheena Cruickshank is an immunologist in the University of Manchester. Our immune system is crucial to recognise infections but also has to cooperate with helpful microbes like the ones that live in our gut and her research focuses on the way the body’s immune system interacts with a host of microbes from bacteria to parasites.
She also regularly discusses infection and her research in the media (TV, radio and press).
Tez Ilyas hit the ground running finding himself in no less than eight competition finals including the prestigious BBC New Comedy Award and Leicester Mercury New Comedian of the Year in his first year as a stand-up.
In 2015 Ilyas achieved phenomenal success with his debut stand up hour TEZ Talks. A sell-out run at the Soho Theatre and his own Radio 4 series based on the show followed, with a second series coming this year.
In 2016, his highly anticipated follow up show Made in Britain went on to sell out every single performance (including extra shows) at the Edinburgh Fringe and gained spectacular critical acclaim, with a smash hit nationwide tour in 2017.
His third show Teztify once again delivered a spectacularly powerful, provocative and brilliantly funny hour of topical stand up, delivering to packed out audiences night after night. Tez has appeared on The Last Leg (C4), Mock the Week (BBC Two), Live From the BBC (BBC Two), Man Like Mobeen (BBC Three), Kevin Hart’s Live from Montreal (LOL Network), Virtually Famous (E4), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and made a brand new quiz show pilot for Vice.
He has also written and starred in his own scripted comedy shorts for BBC Three, BBC iPlayer and Sky Arts.
Will Storr is part journalist, investigator, novelist and educator. Above all though he is a storyteller. He has been named New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year, and has won a National Press Club award for excellence. His work has appeared in The Guardian Weekend, The Sunday Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Esquire among many other titles. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books and his latest book - Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us - was released recently in June 2017. In its review of Selfie, the FT described Storr as “an electrifying analyst of Internet culture.”