Head of Level39 and Former Royal Marines Officer
Featured on the BBC documentary ‘Situation Vacant’ (1994), Ben started his career serving with the Royal Marines for five years; eventually being promoted to the rank of Captain. Joining JP Morgan as an analyst, he worked in New York, London and the Middle East, before launching his first digital business in 2001. As the world’s first crowdfunding business, Bmycharity combined payments, social networking and data analytics, enabling 800,000 donors to deliver more than £50 million to UK charities. Since February 2016, as ‘ambassador’ for the Royal Navy and Heropreneurs, Ben has been the Head of Level39, supporting 200 high-growth technology companies who are transforming the security, productivity and reach of global financial services and other sectors. Ben holds the unbroken world record for endurance abseiling and is the winner of the Royal Navy Innovation Award.
Gabriele Pollina is a multi-instrumentalist from Italy. His passion for music began when he received his first drum kit at the age of six, surrounded by a very musical environment his percussive skills grew fast and at the age of eleven he was already playing in his first band. After several years of drum training gigs and recordings he felt that something was missing in his musical development, something that could combine rhythm and melody, he found his answer in an instrument called handpan! He approached on his first handpan in 2013 and after only 6 months he won the first prize at the “Handpan Race”, a handpan contest organised by the Handpan Festival in Milan. During the following years he recorded his first album as Handpan soloist and he started a long music trip through Australia and Asia. Now He's based in London, where he is teaching and performing with his handpans.
Founding Members of JAG Art
Having co-directed Game of Fools, Einstein in Action and Lickers and Kickers together, for which they won an Arts Council Award, Gerrie Skeens and Julia Munrow are a scintillating duo.
Known for her roles in Ravenswood and Red River, Gerrie has appeared in countless productions and won numerous awards. In 2018, she played the part of Nina in Ward 6, Queen Elizabeth in Richard III and Medea in a solo show. In collaboration with JAG Art, she appeared in PoArtry of the Revolution, a joint Russian/English language production which she co-wrote, translated and directed.
Julia Munrow was the Artistic Director of MOMI Actors and directed the Playback Company featured on LWT's Nightlife. The writer of Silent Women? Black in the Frame and News from No-man's Land for the National Film Theatre, her novel, Please Don't Keep In Touch was shortlisted for the Woman's Fiction award. Julia’s film and TV credits include the BBC’s Elisabeth II in Love Again and Mercy in Mankind.
Painter, Draftsman, Writer and Pioneer of East-West Dialogue in Art
Haralampi G. Oroschakoff, born 1955, is an Austrian painter, draftsman and writer and is the offspring of an old, exiled Russian family. He lives and works in Berlin, Vienna and Cannes. Haralampi G. Oroschakoff is considered a pioneer of the East-West dialogue in art and a renewer of the reception of Eastern iconography in Western painting. He attracted attention in the eighties with drawings, text collages, installations, and video performances. He has numerous exhibitions, lectureships and publications in the international culture industry since the early 1980s. Haralampi is the author of “Die Battenberg Affäre” and one of the authors of “Moskau-Berlin Stereogramme” (both Berlin Verlag).
Former TEDx Speaker, Author and the Real Slumdog Millionaire
Admired across continents, Jillian Haslam’s life story has always had a peculiar way of capturing the attention and imagination of her audiences. Born to a British father in India, who chose not to return to England after India’s independence in 1947, she faced a bruising childhood of extreme poverty, malnutrition and disease, living through the deaths of four siblings and her mother, as well as some appalling instances of racist abuse. Now, Jillian is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, trainer, philanthropist, and author of two books ('Indian.English.' and 'The Irrepressible Mind'), She currently runs six charities for various sectors of the underprivileged in India. Recently turned into a screenplay, her book, 'Indian.English.' is set to be turned Hollywood movie. Regularly featured in the media, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, The Independent, and The Telegraph, she has previously participated in several TEDx event as a speaker.
Author, Motivational Speaker and Expert on Menopause
Katie started her training and motivational speaking career in 1989 as a result of a somewhat challenging life. She went on to develop her leading women’s development programme that has been delivered all over the world. She is frequently the key note speaker at global events and has appeared many times on radio and tv worldwide speaking on women’s leadership and personal development. She is one of the UK’s leading voices on menopause in the workplace, delivering her suite of programmes under the banner of ‘Midlife Matters’. She is one of the Directors at the Foundation for International Collaboration and on the board of trustees of the charity Wayfinder Women. She is a visiting lecturer at The Shadomal Centre for Management in Mumbai, India. Her new book, No-one to fall back on, behind every successful woman is herself’ was released in October 2018.
Professor of Cognitive Philosophy
Andy Clark is Professor of Cognitive Philosophy at the University of Sussex. He is the author of several books including Natural-Born Cyborgs (Oxford University Press 2003), Supersizing the Mind (Oxford University Press 2008) and Surfing Uncertainty (Oxford University Press, 2016). His current research interests include human-technology interaction, embodiment, and the predictive brain.
Professor Emeritus of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology
Professor Michael York is a UK-based American Religious Studies scholar who specialises in the study of pre-Christian European religion and its relation to contemporary Paganism. In 2003, he published Pagan Theology, in which he put forward the idea that the ancient pre-Christian and pre-Islamic religions of Eurasia, indigenous religions from across the globe, and contemporary Pagan faiths could all be constituted as forms of paganism. His publications include The Emerging Network (1995), The Divine versus the Asurian: An Interpretation of Indo-European Cult and Myth (1995), Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion (2003) and Pagan Ethics: Paganism as a World Religion (2016). His interests remain in New Religious Movements in general and in the more amorphous movements of New Age and Contemporary Western Paganism.
Founder of Theo-Humanist Arts, Valentinian Priest and Misunderstood Poet
An award-winning 'theatrical poet' and Central Asia enthusiast, Rev David Parry is also an LGBTQ activist, playwright, producer, essayist, broadcaster, actor, director, founding member of Theo-Humanist Arts and a frantically busy Social Gospel pastor to South London’s disadvantaged. Rev Parry regularly co-hosts a number of international podcasts; including THA Talks and Sunday Valentine’s Service, while somehow finding enough breath to write his D. Philos (High Doctorate) at Aarhus University, Denmark, on Warholian Art Installations. Indeed, his critically acclaimed lyrical collections, Caliban’s Redemption, and The Grammar of Witchcraft explore Shakespearean noir, whilst his staged productions, The Botanist Monsieur Jordan and The Sorcerer-Dervish Mastali Shah; Shakespeare: A Comedy in Ten Scenes, both Serious and Tragic: along with Shakespeare Tonight, actively engage with highbrow gags for global audiences. After all, he believes nothing is more serious than comedy.
Agent for 'The Mountain' (Game of Thrones) and Renaissance Man
Sölvi Fannar is an actor, model, health professional, writer, poet, multi-athlete, musician and artist, dubbed a 'Renaissance Man' and 'Iceland's Bruce Lee.' Born in Iceland but now based in London, his first taste of acting came in the feature film 'Atomic Station' (Icel. Atómstöðin) at the age of 12. After this, there was no turning back. Following his studies at the Icelandic Film School, Sölvi has been involved in film, TV and media projects worldwide and is now the ‘agent’ for Icelandic actor and current World’s Strongest Man, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, also known as Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane in 'Game of Thrones.' Scheduled to appear alongside Stephen Fry and Anna Friel in the upcoming British film, 'Margery Booth: The Spy in the Eagle's Nest,' his two most recent films are 'Three Dots and a Dash' (as Boris Popov) and 'Operation Ragnarok' (as leader of a Viking squad). In 2014, he was interviewed by Vice for The Giants of Iceland; he is also the inventor of ‘kiss-up’!
Anthropologist and Documentary Filmmaker
Terje Toomistu is an Estonian documentary filmmaker and anthropologist. She holds double MA degrees (cum laude) in Ethnology and in Communication Studies from University of Tartu, where she is pursuing a PhD degree in anthropology. In 2013-2014, she was a Fulbright fellow in UC Berkeley, and in 2017-2018, a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Department of Anthropology. Her current main areas of research are Indonesian gender and sexuality and the late-Soviet non-conformist youth. For the past eight years, she has run a multi-platform research-driven media project about the hippie movement in Soviet Union, featuring a traveling exhibition in museums and galleries internationally, as well as a documentary film and soundtrack. Her filmography includes Wariazone (2011), Archeology of Ayahuasca (2016) and her most recent award-winning Soviet Hippies (2017). She has lived and studied in France, Russia, Indonesia, US and the Netherlands.