Founder & CEO of Power the Fight
Ben is founder of Power The Fight, a new charity which launched in Jan 2019 to train and empower communities to end youth violence.
One of The Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 London’s most influential people for 2018, Ben is an experienced trainer and facilitator with more than 17 years spent working with high risk young people in the field of gangs and serious youth violence.
Ben began his career developing programmes in some of the most challenging estates in London (Brixton, Clapham and Lewisham). In 2003 he became a learning mentor at a primary school in the borough of Lewisham, South East London before joining the Lewisham Youth Offending Service, where he worked in a number of roles, including leading the early intervention team.
Since 2016, Ben has been the lead pastor at Emmanuel New Cross in South East London. His first book We Need To Talk About Race – Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches is out now.
Co-founder of Small Robot Company
Ben is a digital innovator. He is the founder of The Small Robot Company, a startup crafting small robots and nurturing their dream to save the world.
He is also the tutor on mobile and social strategy for Google's Squared Online digital innovator course, running live remote classes for up to 120 people.
Previously, he founded two agencies, two consultancies, an app start-up and a phone for blind people and has been a Creative Director, Experience Director, Head of Innovation, and Head of Brilliant.
He has been in the Drum Magazine’s Mobile Top 50 for two years running, #23 in the Digerati Top 100 and won Experience Innovator of the Year.
But it's not all talk, he likes to get his hands dirty creating user experiences and conceptual creative for products and interactive brand narratives as well. Over the years I have built brands, campaigns, apps, sites, games, and a bottle opener that looked like a submarine.
Nelson Mandela's friend and former bodyguard
Chris' life began in the rural surroundings of the eastern Cape of South Africa. At high school, he discovered his gift for speaking and led students in protest against the unjust system of apartheid. This set him on a collision course with the apartheid regime and a life long relentless struggle against discrimination.
Through sharing his own story and the unique story of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a democracy. He inspires positive change and helps others discover their own purpose. It's a story of determination and resilience which is a tribute to the thousands of South Africans who have given their lives in the pursuit of freedom. Chris believes that each of us has an in-built ability to make a positive contribution to the world.
He has worked with some of the greatest world leaders including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, FW De Klerk and Colin La Foy. It was his parents who taught him the power of unconditionally love and the true meaning of humanity ‘Ubuntu’.
Entrepreneur & Strategic Consultant
Clare is an independent advisor and consultant to early stage technology and education companies in Europe and North America. In 2012 she co-founded Code Club - a network of over 13,000 after school coding clubs for children and led Code Club in a merger with Raspberry Pi Foundation in 2015. Previously Clare was a UX designer and art director in the mobile, tech and advertising sectors. Clare was awarded an MBE for services in technology education in the Queen’s 2015 New Year’s Honours List.
She believes in equal opportunity for all people no matter who they are or where they come from. She is evangelical about lifelong learning and excited about the new opportunities that technology provides in this area - she is happiest at the intersection of innovative technology, social impact and education. Recently she co-founded She Wins with the aim of empowering women to negotiate their salary and educate businesses to negotiate fairly with women.
Managing Director of Charity Water UK
Originally from Dorset, Hannah has lived all over England and in Scotland, Norway, Alaska, Abu Dhabi, India, and Texas. Her degree in English and American Literature launched her career in publishing, but she transitioned into corporate responsibility and then the nonprofit world. Most recently, she was the founding CEO of United Way UK. As the Managing Director of charity: water UK, she oversees operations, helps increase awareness, and builds a supporter base throughout Europe.
Founder of Migrateful
Prior to setting up Migrateful, Jess Thompson spent two and a half years working on the front line to support migrants and refugees in Ceuta, Morocco, Dunkirk refugee camp in France, and London. Her work has included facilitating a support group for victims of human trafficking, teaching English, Spanish and French to asylum seekers, and setting up therapeutic English conversation clubs. The Migrateful idea was borne out of discussions with a group of refugee women at a Time Bank project in Tower Hamlets. The women in the group were all very qualified, yet were unemployed because of language barriers and their qualifications were not recognised in the UK. When asked about the skills they could share with the group, many of them said they could cook. Later, as everyone sat sharing their various traditional foods, and discussing what they could do, the Migrateful idea was born.
Founder and surgical nurse from Project Harar
Project Harar was set up by Jonathan Crown after first meeting a young boy with a facial tumour while travelling as a photographer in Ethiopia. Jonathan spent the next couple of years securing complicated facial rebuilding procedures for several children on a Mercy Ship and in London. The logistics were overwhelming and he realised that the most efficient way to treat as many individuals as possible was to conduct the surgery in Ethiopia partnering with local surgeons, or flying out teams of medical experts such as Emily Windsor. Every year, a group of medical volunteers fly out to Ethiopia to provide life-changing surgery for 50 patients. The surgical mission begins with two weeks of pre-surgery assessments, two weeks of surgery and up to two months of recovery.
They have treated more than 8,000 individuals with facial disfigurements since 2001 and have recently started a cleft and nutrition project for children and their mothers in the Afar region of Ethiopia, funded by Comic Relief.
Architect & Educator
MATT+FIONA is an organisation which asks young people how their built environment might be improved and empowers them to bring that vision to life. Each project has a clear pathway: Briefing, Design, Fabrication - with the children and young people at the centre of every stage.
Completed projects include an outdoor classroom for young people outside mainstream education, on an allotment in Hull, and Room for Art with Lansbury Lawrence Primary and The Whitechapel Gallery. This summer they have been working with over one hundred 7-10 year olds to create a Mega Maker Lab in collaboration with the Institute of Imagination, and are currently collaborating with young people in Brixton to design and build a temporary theatre for the Ovalhouse.
Head of Frensham Heights School
Teaching and working with people is in Rick’s blood. Raised and educated in Johannesburg, South Africa, with an English teacher father and an educational psychologist mother, Rick was destined to follow them into education. A double major in English and Psychology, English Honours and a PGCE led Rick to pursue his career in the UK, a dream of his since he spent a year living in the UK as a 10 year old.
Rick has worked in a wide range of schools in both South Africa and England. His passion for English drove him to lead English departments at Brighton College and St John’s College in Johannesburg. Prior to becoming Head of Frensham Heights School, Rick was senior Deputy Head at Warminster School and a boarding Housemaster at Wellington College. Frensham Heights is a progressive co-educational school whose ethos champions creativity, resilience and generosity of spirit.
Head of Communications & Marketing at Streamr
Shiv Malik is a former investigative journalist who along with reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan, also worked for the Guardian for five years breaking exclusive front page stories on everything from UK government to ISIS. He's the author of two books including the 2010 cult book Jilted Generation, and is a co-founder of the think-tank, the Intergenerational Foundation. He’s now a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s the Moral Maze and full time contributor to the crypto-technology project Streamr, where he evanglises about a new decentralised data economy. His book, The Messenger an intrepid personal tale about a relationship with a terrorist, will be published by Faber in June 2019.
CEO & Founder of Sideways 6
In 2011, while working as an analyst as part of a graduate placement for SKY TV, Will Read ran into a problem he hadn’t encountered before. As an employee with ideas for how to improve the company, he couldn’t find a way to get his voice heard by the decision makers in senior management. His solution – a suggestion box 2.0 – started as just an idea, but has since grown into Sideways 6; a company which
helps organisations improve through the power of employee ideas and one of the top 100 startups in the UK today.
Will, who was recognised as one of Startups 100 ‘Five to Watch’ in 2018, firmly believes employee ideas should be at the heart of innovation. His goal is to give 50 million employees a voice and prove that great ideas really can come from anywhere.
Outside the business world, Will’s passions include craft beer, reading and Watford Football Club, where he can regularly be found cheering on the Hornets.