Lecturer in Interactive Media and Researcher in New Media and Play
Alan Hook is a Lecturer in Interactive Media and Researcher in New Media and Play at Ulster University. His research explores how play can be used to explore complex topics and examine important social, cultural and political ideas. Alan is currently studying towards a PhD in Speculative Design and Play at one of the UK’s leading design institutes.
Entrepreneur and co-founder of Lottie Dolls
Ian Harkin is CEO and co-founder of Lottie Dolls, an empowering range of dolls launched in 2012 based on ideas inspired by real kids. Since launching the Lottie Dolls brand has challenged the toy industry in terms of body image, gender stereotypes, diversity and diffability. The company also avidly champions the importance of a cherished childhood.
Through the launch of its STEAM range, Lottie Dolls encourages girls to develop and continue an interest in science, technology, engineering, art and maths. A partnership with the European Space Agency saw the company send its Stargazer Lottie Doll to the International Space Station for 264 days alongside British astronaut Tim Peake.
Winning 35 in
Iternational toy awards to date, the dolls are on sale in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Ian regularly spends time in schools speaking about entrepreneurialism and the empowerment of kids. In his spare time, he is an avid Finn Harps supporter.
Entrepreneur and speaker on gender
Katie McGloin, 17, is the National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year & a European Enterprise Bronze Medalist. She is one of U Magazine 30 Most Inspiring Women under 30. Katie's company, K.T. Clothing Co. is Ireland's first gender neutral brand.
Philanthropy researcher, with internationally recognised and award winning research in alumni engagement.
Maria Gallo is a philanthropy researcher, with internationally recognised and award winning research in alumni engagement. She is the founder of KITE- Keep in Touch Education, a social enterprise that concentrates on fostering inclusive connection. Maria is also the Director of Lifelong Learning and Engagement at St Angela’s College, Sligo – A College of the National University of Ireland, Galway. She holds a doctorate from the University of Sheffield in higher education and is the author of several publications on alumni engagement and volunteering. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Maria lives in Ballybofey Co. Donegal with her husband Morgan Ferriter and two children.
Adaptive adventurer, motivational and mental health speaker
Nikki Bradley, director of The Motivation Factory, is an adaptive adventurer, motivational and mental health speaker, SideStix ambassador and the founder of ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’.
Nikki’s life has not been what you would call, ‘normal’. Diagnosed with a rare form of
bone cancer (Ewing’s Sarcoma) at sixteen and the receiver of not one, but two right hip replacements by the age of twenty six, Nikki has been on a truly unique journey.
In 2013 Nikki set up a fitness based awareness campaign called Fighting Fit For Ewing’s where she regularly participates in physical challenges to highlight the importance of exercise for rehabilitation. Her biggest challenge to date will take place in 2018 where she hopes to become the first woman on crutches to climb four of Ireland’s most iconic mountain peaks in less than 24 hours.
Writer, musician, entertainer
Paddy Cullivan is the third wheel of the Leviathan Political Cabaret along with Naoise Nunn and David McWilliams. He is also a writer and performer on Oliver Callan's first-rate RTE Satire vehicle 'Callan's Kicks' and has performed his unique brand of freewheeling political polemic at Kilkenomics, The Dartington Interrogate Festival and the Limerick Spring. His band, the Camembert Quartet, are the House Band on the Late Late Show and his multimedia historical shows 'Solutionism', 'The 10 Dark Secrets of the Irish Revolution' and '26 + 6 equals 1' have been performed all over Ireland and beyond. Born in Galway, he resides part-time in beautiful Gortahork, Co. Donegal.
Dr Simon Berrow was a founder member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and is currently their Head of Science.
Simon is also a full time lecturer at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology teaching on the Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology degree. Simon set and manages a long-term Shannon Dolphin Study on bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon Estuary and spent 2.5 years on South Georgia with the British Antarctic Survey. Simon has worked on whales and dolphins since 1989 largely in Ireland but also in Cape Verde and is organising an expedition to Iceland in May 2018 in search of whales.
In his talk Simon will present the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group study on humpback whales which are increasing in Irish waters and his attempts to locate their breeding grounds beyond Ireland.
Environmentalist and Educator in Conservation and Climate change
Susan is an environmentalist and educator in conservation and climate change.
Susan collaborates with ECO UNESCO and Schools for Resilience to promote Education for Sustainability programmes in schools. Education for Sustainability (ESD) is an educational process aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, interdependent and unequal world in which we live.
Susan designs and delivers structured education sustainability programmes in a primary and secondary schools. Her programmes engage students to come up with ideas that affect them locally and that are linked on an international and global scale. Over a ten week programme students will develop an action project that is important to them, enabling them to connect with their local community, using land based learning methodologies.
Susan was awarded Eco Unesco leader of the Year in 2017 for her work in schools leading young people to make a direct impact on their environment.
Psychologist and Mental Ill Health specialist
Susan is a National Team leader of the NGO, Shine - supporting people affected by mental ill health. She has been involved in the development and steering a number of mental health recovery initiatives such as Gateway peer drop in centre, MOJO Men etc. She was co author and developer of the pan European mental health education courses Prospect. She was involved in the development and co authored Eolas, a psycho-education programme for individuals who experience psychosis and their families that is a core component to the HSE National Psychosis clinical programme. Susan is currently engaged in the development of a number of National mental health policies.
For over 20 years, Susan has worked in the area of intellectual disability and mental health both in the NHS and the community and voluntary sector. She has a background in nursing, education and psychoanalysis. She has presented nationally and international conferences on mental health and has published in psychoanalytic journals.