Writer, Director and Problem-Solver
Ben Akers is a writer, director, problem solver and male mental fitness campaigner. For 20 years he has worked at some of the world’s top advertising agencies both in the UK and Sydney. He then decided to use his evil powers for good, and joined the environmental and sustainable revolution. He now only works on projects that are good for the world. So when his childhood best friend took his own life in 2014, he needed to do something. He created a documentary called “Steve” and from that a male mental fitness movement, Talk Club.
Ben lives in Bristol with his wife and 3 children.
Drag artist, Academic and Activist
Cheddar Gorgeous is a drag artist, academic and unicorn who doesn't live in London. From founding a Manchester club night, to performing in venues ranging from bars to galleries and museums, cheddar believes that life is too short to only be one person. Before making a spectacle of theirself for a living, Cheddar liked to draw and write about other people, in Anthropology.
Former President of the Law Society
Christina is passionate about diversity and inclusion, access to justice and technology. She has led her profession as President of the Law Society and holds a number of government positions. Her motivation in life is to make a positive difference in the world. She is married to Graham, has 4 children and one small dog called Frankie.
Palliative Care Specialist
Dr Julian Abel spent his clinical life as a palliative care specialist doctor. He has developed a special interest in compassionate communities, initially as part of supporting people undergoing experiences of death, dying, loss and care giving. Over the last 4 years he has worked with Frome Medical Practice applying the compassionate community approach to healthcare in general, with some startling results. He is Director of Compassionate Communities UK, a charity which aims to share the lessons learnt in both palliative care and primary care more broadly.
Clinical Psychologist and Psychosexologist
Dr Karen Gurney is a clinical psychologist specialising in the theory and practice of therapy around sexual wellbeing and function. She is currently lead psychosexual therapist for 56 Dean Street (NHS) and director of The Havelock Clinic, an independent sexual problems clinic based in London. She teaches nationally and has written for and been featured in publications such as Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Refinery29. Her first book ‘Mind the Gap: the truth about desire and how to futureproof your sex life’ Will be published on March 5th 2020 by Headline Home.
World-leading Biomedical Scientist
Georgina is a world-leading female biomedical scientist from King’s College London. Her career has followed an upward trajectory and she has recently been promoted to Full Professor of Regenerative Muscle Physiology. She is the youngest Professor in the Faculty.
Spoken Word Artist
Luke AG is a London based poet with a distinctly political and historical message. He uses poetry and rhyme to navigate through a narrative of his own life, and the people around him. Originally from Hastings, his poetry and ideas provide a narrative of his journey from a small town to the big city, with a couple of pit stops along the way.
Marian Boswall is a leading landscape architect known for shaping beautiful historic estates, creative public spaces and thoughtful gardens. Winner of SGD Grand Award and Garden columnist of the year 2019. She lives in Kent.
Actor, Director and Producer
Peter Basham is an actor/director & producer. He has appeared for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Love's Labour's Lost, Love's Labour's Won and The Christmas Truce. Other notable acting credits include: As You like it (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Burial at Thebes & She Stoops to Conquer (Nottingham Playhouse), A View From the Bridge (Duke of York's, London). Screen highlights include: The Conductor (Shooting Star films), The Promise (Channel 4) Skyfall (EON Pictures), Inception (Warner Bros), Sherlock (BBC) Agatha Raisin (Sky One) Berlin Station (Paramount).
More recently, Peter has the recurring role of ‘PC Anthony Rogers’ on Eastenders (BBC). Since 2015 Peter has been an Associate Education Practitioner for the Royal Shakespeare Company, has delivered countless workshops for his education company ‘Access Shakespeare’. In 2019 he founded ‘The Shakespeare Project’ in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Happiness Consultant and Change-Maker
Samantha Clarke is a happiness consultant & changemaker and founder the Love It Leave It movement and author of Love It Leave It - How to be Happy at work.
She is on a mission to liberate individuals from work they no longer love to find a path to true work happiness. As a faculty lecturer at The School of Life and The Guardian Masterclasses, she facilitates workshops on career potential, building a portfolio career, managing stress and confidence.
Believing that it’s not just a one way street she works directly with company HR, leaders and managers to create initiatives that spurn better conversations around personal career growth and wellbeing at work with their employees. To foster better workplaces that support and nurture employees to thrive. Achieving big results with clientele including NHS, Innocent, Mediacom, Deutsche Mobile, Dishoom ,Virgin, Design Hotels and more.
Simon is the founder of Hype Collective, an award-winning youth marketing agency that co-creates campaigns with a network of thousands of student and youth groups. Rather than pump money into Facebook and Google each campaign they run funds youth groups to host events or create content on behalf of Hype Collective’s clients. This gives the clients real exposure within targeted communities and these groups much needed funds as well as the opportunity to learn new skills and enhance their career prospects.
In the first two years Hype Collective has worked with organisations like Adobe, Co-op and Abercrombie & Fitch. In doing so they’ve contributed funds to over 250 grass roots organisations and employed over 300 students.
Prior to launching Hype Collective, Simon co-founded TEDxClapham.
Author, Academic and Broadcaster
Vybarr Cregan-Reid is an author, academic and broadcaster who has written widely on the subjects of literature, health, nature and the environment. His most recent book is Primate Change: How the World We Made is Remaking Us. He has also made two series of ‘Changing World, Changing Bodies’ for the BBC World Service which looks at how different parts of the body are changing in different parts of the world. He is Professor of English & Environmental Humanities at the University of Kent.