Amar Latif is a blind world traveller, entrepreneur, and TV presenter with an astonishing track record of facing up to major life challenges.
Due to an incurable eye condition, Amar lost 95% of his sight by the age of 18.
But, by sheer determination, Amar has managed to turn an unpromising tale of loss, into one of truly inspirational achievement.
After leaving a successful career as an accountant at BT, Amar was determined to travel the world as an independent blind person.
Regular travel companies rejected blind people, but Amar wanted to empower thousands of other blind travellers to see the world.
He founded Traveleyes in 2004, a unique and award-winning travel company specialising in group holidays for blind and sighted travellers. On Traveleyes trips, sighted travellers act as the eyes for the blind and visually impaired travellers, describing scenes and landscapes as they travel through some of the most incredible places.
This way of travelling has opened the holiday travel industry to millions of blind and partially sighted people around the world.
With over 60 destinations to choose from, Traveleyes’ travellers can just as easily find themselves on a sunny beach as they can skiing down Europe’s highest mountains, sailing across the Ionian Sea, or
walking with lions in Africa.
As well as creating innovative TV programmes, delivering motivational speeches, and running
Traveleyes, Amar also leads group explorations where he’s uncovered countless wonders of the world through all his senses.
Amar believes that travel is more than just a seeing of sights and when you start using all your other
senses, the world becomes more alive.
Amna is a Scottish Pakistani comedy writer and broadcaster, living between Glasgow and California. Her first sitcom is due out in August and she has a young adult novel expected in the near future.
Amna is a content contributor to national publications such as the Guardian, BBC News, New Statesmen and Glamour where she tackles topics such as race, mental health and pop culture. As a broadcaster, she has been featured on the BBC, SKY and ITV amongst others.
She thinks feminism is good and racism is bad. Her parents, by her own admission, are still waiting for her to get a ‘real job’.
Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London
Anand is Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College
London. He directs the Economic and Social Research Council Initiative, the UK in a
Changing Europe (www.ukandeu.ac.uk).
As well as holding positions at Sciences Po, Columbia University and NYU, he has written on many aspects of contemporary Europe and is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of the European Union (OUP, 2012). He is also co-author of Brexit and British Politics (Polity, 2017) and author of Europe: The State of the Union (Atlantic Books 2008).
Anand has written for the Financial Times, Prospect, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and Le Monde. He is also a frequent commentator on national and international broadcast media and has made several radio documentaries on contemporary politics.
University of Glasgow
Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak is Regius Professor of Medicine, Vice Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow as well as honorary consultant physician and non-executive member of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. In 2016, she was awarded a DBE for services to cardiovascular and medical science.
Professor Dominiczak is one of the world’s leading cardiovascular scientists and clinical academics. She held a British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Glasgow between 1997 and 2010, and directorship of the Cardiovascular Research Centre between 2000 and 2010.
Her major research interests are in hypertension, cardiovascular genomics and precision medicine, where she not only publishes extensively in top peer-reviewed journals (over 400 publications), but also excels in large-scale research funding for programmes and infrastructure (with a total value in excess of £100M over the last seven years). She leads a collaboration of four universities, four academic NHS Health Boards across Scotland and two major industry partners in a public/private partnership focused on precision medicine.
Named as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and Human Rights activist Annie Lennox, OBE, rose to fame in partnership with Dave Stewart as Eurythmics in the early 1980’s with the classic album “Sweet Dreams are Made of This.”
In the decade to follow Eurythmics went on to achieve more than 20 international hits, selling over 83 million albums. In 1992 Lennox released her highly acclaimed debut album ‘Diva’… selling over 6 million copies worldwide and establishing her career as a solo artist.
Over the years Annie has received numerous accolades – 8 BRIT Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement), 4 Ivor Novello Awards, 3 MTV Awards, 4 Grammy Awards as well as 10 Grammy nominations, 26 ASCAP Awards – a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She is the first female to receive a British Academy of Songwriters Fellowship.
In 1986 she became an associate of The Royal Academy of Music, to be followed by a Fellowship in 1997, and an Honorary Doctorate in 2017.
She has been recognized with doctorates and fellowships from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Edinburgh College of Art, the Open University of Scotland, Williams College USA, Essex University, Berklee College of Music USA, and in 2016 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Musician’s Company.
In 2003 she performed at the inaugural concert for Nelson Mandela’s HIV/AIDS Foundation 46664, which became a pivotal point on her life’s course and was the first of many performances to advocate, raise awareness and fundraise for the issue.
Her experiences in South Africa with 46664, in Uganda with Comic Relief and Malawi with Oxfam, inspired her to found the SING campaign, supporting women and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2008, she founded ‘The Circle,’ which became an official charitable non-governmental organisation in 2015. The Circle aims to inspire, support and amplify awareness of the issues experienced by some of the world’s most disempowered women and girls – in order to change and challenge the injustices they face.
Alongside Ambassadorial roles with UNAIDS, Oxfam, Amnesty International and The British Red Cross, she has also been a Special Envoy for the Scottish Parliament and the City of London, from whom she was awarded the Freedom of The City.
In recognition of her humanitarian work, she received the Woman of Peace Award at the 2009 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. In 2011 she was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In 2013 she received the Honorary Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and in 2016 Annie was awarded the prestigious Livingstone Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In 2017 she was awarded the George Harrison Global Citizen Award and the Jubilee German Sustainability Award. Last year, Annie was appointed Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Helena Kennedy is one of Britain’s most distinguished lawyers. She has spent her professional life giving a voice to those who have the least power within the system, championing civil liberties and promoting human rights.
She has used many public platforms – including the House of Lords, to which she was elevated in 1997 – to argue with passion, wit and humanity for social justice. She has also written and broadcast on a wide range of issues, from medical negligence to terrorism to the rights of women and children.
David Allfrey retired from the Army in 2011 to become Producer & Chief Executive of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo following a varied 33-year military career which included command of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and 51st(Scottish) Brigade. He is now Colonel of the Regiment for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
He has delivered many civil/military spectaculars over the years including the D-Day Commemorations along the south coast, Armed Forces Day celebrations in Scotland, and ten Tattoos in Edinburgh and abroad. Under David’s leadership, the Tattoo has delivered over 200 shows in Edinburgh, Melbourne and Wellington, entertaining audiences totalling more than 2 million.
David is a Visiting Professor at Edinburgh Napier University, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Marketing Society (Scotland), a Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute for Statecraft, an International Advisory Council Member for the Asia Scotland Institute and he is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust.
Fraser is a counselling psychology doctoral trainee at Glasgow Caledonian University. He works as a psychological counsellor at First Psychology and is the Creator of GetPsyched, an online psychology learning platform where content on psychology, mental health and therapy is developed and facilitated.
His main passion within mental health is men’s mental health and he
has developed an understanding of the mechanisms that create barriers to the development of positive mental health in men, as well as the challenges that men have in accessing therapy.
Currently, his research focuses on the lived appreciation of mental health amongst older men. This topic has led him to seek a better understanding of the concept of male identity better, how male identity is at a critical point in society, and how this may contribute to developing mental health difficulties amongst men.
Jude is the CEO and Founder of Playmob, connecting the most socially conscious brands to millions of engaged global gamers, making the world a fairer place for all.
Playmob has engaged over 140m gamers to take action for global issues and has raised over $1.5m for causes in the process. Playmob’s platform links to the Sustainable Development Goals, allowing for impact to be tracked and reported, ensuring each campaign works towards achieving those goals.
Jude was recently awarded Most Influential Women in Tech 2018 (Computer Weekly) and in the Maserati 100 2018 with the Sunday Times. In 2016 she was awarded an MBE for services to Entrepreneurship and in 2015 she won the Talent Unleashed award, judged by Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak, as the ‘One to Watch in 2015’.
Less Waste Laura
With a passion for environmental living, Laura lives to inspire and motivate people to see the difference they can make. Using her environmental themed blog, Laura aims to encourage her readers to make a positive difference to the world through lifestyle change.
Tackling issues such as plastic pollution, carbon footprint and low impact living, Laura uses her academic background to help educate people on the simple changes we can all make to help fight real environmental concerns. She is currently working towards her Masters in Environmental Protection and Management at the University of Edinburgh.
The Telegraph US
Laurence Dodds is a tech reporter for the Daily Telegraph, covering the new legislators of humankind from its San Francisco bureau. His work is devoted to understanding why and how a small group of rich, nerdy people on the west coast of America are making decisions for billions of people across the world. He was previously a commissioning editor on the Telegraph's opinion section, a beat reporter and a theatre usher. He grew up in Brighton and on the Isle of Arran.
Madeleine uses her personal and moving story of forgiveness to help end the shame, stigma and silence surrounding sexual violence, enabling others to find their voice, whatever their story.
In March 2018 she won the Amazing Strength award at the No. 1 Magazine Amazing Women Awards and in October of the same year was asked to be the Patron for Say Women, a Scottish organisation which offers safe accommodation and support to young women who are survivors of sexual abuse/rape and who are homeless. She continues to work as a psychotherapist in Glasgow and her memoir, Unbroken, was published on April 4th 2017.
Mark was instrumental in the success of multiple award-winning tech start-ups, including as COO of Skyscanner, one of Europe's most successful technology companies. In 2014, the Institute of Directors named him Director of the Year and in 2016 he won the UK Digital Masters award for excellence in general management. In 2017, he was announced as Women’s Enterprise Scotland’s first male ambassador. Since leaving Skyscanner, Mark’s focus has been on helping to stimulate Scotland’s flourishing technology industry, acting as an advisor, investor and non-executive director in start-ups across the sector.
Nicole and The Backup Crew .
Influenced by the gritty and raucous sounds of old school R&B and fronted by the astonishing Nicole Smit, The Backup Crew perform across the UK and Europe, bringing foot tapping groove everywhere they land.
Old style up-tempo R&B. "The band are utterly fantastic" - BroadwayBaby.com
“Nicole Smit didn’t find blues, blues found her.” - Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.
Author - Sleepwalking into a Surveillance State
Pippa King campaigns against intrusions to children’s privacy in education. From 1999-2013 schools in the UK had been taking children’s biometric data without consultation or consent from parents. Since Pippa became aware of this she has campaigned relentlessly against schools using children’s biometrics and for parents to have openness and transparency on the use of their children’s data.
As a result of lobbying MPs the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 was passed in May 2012 which requires that schools must now gain written parental consent if they wish to store/process a child’s biometric data. She continues to raise awareness of the wider implications on adult society with biometrics and RFID technology, pushing for debate and transparency. Pippa is the author of Biometrics in schools and Against RFID in schools blogs.
Author - The Choice Factory
Richard is the author of The Choice Factory, a best-selling book on how to apply findings from behavioural science to advertising. The Choice Factory topped a global poll organised by ad agency by BBH to find the best book ever written on advertising.
Richard started his career as a media planner 19 years ago, working on accounts such as Coke, Lexus and comparethemarket.com, before founding Astroten, a consultancy specialising in applying behavioural science to business problems.
He tweets about the latest social psychology findings from the handle @rshotton.
Signal Capital Partners LLP
Sarbjit is a Partner and Head of Thematic Investing at Signal Capital Partners. In his role, he leads efforts to integrate long-term themes into the investment decision-making process – and in the development of the world’s first thematic private equity (PE) fund dedicated to global demographic trends and opportunities.
Sarbjit was previously Managing Director and Head of Thematic Investing Strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) where his global strategy team addressed thematic issues both from opportunity and risk perspectives, ranging from ageing and climate change to cybersecurity and augmented reality.
He was the most widely read analyst at BofAML, amongst the most widely read on Wall Street and was consistently ranked and regarded as one of the top analysts on Thematic Investing and ESG/SRI for the past two decades.
Sistema Orchestra with aerial performer Chrissie Ardill
Sistema Scotland works to transform lives through music, targeting some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities with its Big Noise programme. Independent research has shown that Big Noise increases confidence, discipline, academic skills, happiness, sense of belonging and fulfilment.
Big Noise Raploch began in April 2008 with six musicians supporting 35 schoolchildren. There are now four Big Noise centres – in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee – working with over 2,500 children. Big Noise Raploch has almost 500 children and young people, from babies to to adults. Its participants have performed across the UK and internationally.