Speakers

We’re so excited to announce our final speaker line up for TEDxGlasgow 2019…

  • 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.

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  • Sarbjit Nahal

    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.

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    Demographic Disruption 

    We have two choices. Adapt or die. 

    Sarbjit Nahal believes we are living in the midst of the most remarkable demographic transitions in human history. But to survive it, we’ll need low-hanging and innovative solutions in immigration, social welfare, technology, training, and work-life balance. 

    Fertility is declining, the number of young people in the world is starting to plateau, and we have an aging population that are living longer than ever before. 

    And all of this is happening at a time when we have slowing economic growth, technological disruption, and increasing inequality. 

    How will this transition affect global growth and social cohesion? Join Sarbjit as he shares his ideas on how the world can adapt to survive this new world. 

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  • Mark Logan

    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.

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    Why can’t women lead?

    Only 15% of leadership positions are filled by women.

    Despite corporate and educational initiatives to boost this figure, it remains stubbornly low. Why haven’t we made more progress?

    Mark is the first male ambassador of Women’s Enterprise Scotland and has mentored many men and women towards executive leadership roles.  In his talk, he reflects on his experience in the tech industry to address the tough question: what single change can each of us make to address this imbalance?

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  • Amna Saleem

    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’.

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    Diversity must die 

    Amna Saleem is a comedian, writer, broadcaster, activist, and Celtic fan. 

    But when many people look at her, they only see one thing – the colour of 

    her skin. 

    She’s had enough of her successes being attributed to racial quotas, of being asked about her thoughts on ISIS rather than the new Avengers movie, and of diversity initiatives that tick boxes instead of making real change happen. 

    Funny, sharp, and poignant, Amna’s talk takes a more in-depth look at privilege, racial prejudice, and the reality of being considered a “diverse” person.

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  • Richard Shotton

    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 to name a few, before founding Astroten, a consultancy specialising in applying behavioural science to business problems.

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    The strength in weakness 

    Are you afraid of failure? Do you struggle to accept your imperfections? Does criticism leave you feeling discouraged? If the answer is yes, Richard Shotton has a simple idea that could help turn your weaknesses into strengths. 

    In 1993, Melody Maker published a review of French rock band Darlin’, in which their music was dismissed as “daft punky trash”. Rather than shying away from this disparaging critique, they embraced it. They formed a new band. You may have heard of them – Daft Punk. 

    In this talk, Richard delves into the science behind why imperfections make people and products more attractive. And shares how everyone from bands to brands is using this idea to become more authentic and likeable.

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  • Jude Ower

    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’.

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    The world’s best kept secret to saving humanity 

    How do we solve humanity’s biggest challenges? 

    Jude Ower has a game-changing idea. 

    Gaming gets a bit of a bad rep. Critics see it as addictive, a drain on time, and a cause of our sedentary lifestyles. But what if Pokemon Go could end ocean pollution? Or Angry Birds could ensure all children have access to education? 

    Jude believes gaming is misunderstood and that it can be a powerful way to do good. In this talk, she explains why this 100-billion-dollar industry could be our best shot at saving us and our planet. And reveals how she got 140 million gamers to take small actions for global issues to raise over $1.5 million to combat them.

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  • Anand Menon

    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.

    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.

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    Democracy VS The people? 

    Are democracies rigged? 

    From mass demonstrations in France to Brexit in Britain, and the election of Trump in the US, peoples’ anger over the current state of democracy is fuelling protest and anti-establishment movements around the world. 

    Anand Menon, a professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, cuts through the nonsense to deliver a much-needed analysis of democracy today – and urges those at the helm of politics to take citizen’s grievances seriously. Warning that, if they don’t, we’re heading towards a future of political uncertainty and instability. 

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  • Madeleine Black

    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 4th2017.

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    Unbroken – speaking the unspeakable 

    “I remember wishing they would kill me to make it all end.” 

    It takes courage to speak the unspeakable. But for many years, Madeleine Black felt too afraid and too ashamed to utter a word of what happened to her. 

    Violently attacked at the age of thirteen, her story is one of pain – but also of recovery, strength, and forgiveness. 

    Through her words, Madeleine hopes to help others find the courage to speak up, whatever their story. And to show us that it’s not the traumatic events in our life that define us, but by how we choose to reclaim our lives after them. How we become unbroken.

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  • David Allfrey

    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.

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    AI minus EQ equals Zero – the importance of remaining human in a machine-driven world

    As we pass the anniversary of Alan Turin’s death (7 June 1954) and with artificial intelligence, machine-learning and affective computing poised to recognise, interpret, process and simulate human affects, the need for emotional intelligence has never been greater.

     Although machines are starting to mimic us – to look like us, talk like us, and even think like us –  they cannot yet match our emotional intelligence: that precious capability, sometimes allied to empathy and social conscience, that allows an understanding of our own emotions, those of people around us and, the ability to respond to them in our interactions one-to-one and between communities.

     In this talk, David Allfrey will call on us to rediscover our instincts, empathy and ability to communicate as humans in our machine-driven world while also ensuring that education places a proper emphasis on these skills, as well as those needed to master the technology.

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  • Fraser Smith

    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 focusses 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.

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    The male identity crisis 

    When you hear the expression ‘man up’, what does it make you think? 

    Is it about being tougher? More dominant? Or putting on a brave face? 

    There’s continued pressure on men to live up to a masculine ideal portrayed by the entertainment industry and on social media. In response, new initiatives call for men to acknowledge their vulnerabilities and ask for help, rather than play the hero. On the flip side, other social movements stigmatise men as being wired for aggressive and predatory behaviour. 

    Male identity is at a crisis point. 

    How can men find a sense of themselves amongst such narrow and conflicting ideas of masculinity? And what impact is the male identity crisis having on men’s mental health? 

    Psychological counsellor, Fraser Smith, shares his research into the impact of male identity and makes a heartfelt case for us to adopt a new way of thinking about what it means to be a man in 2019.

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  • Anna Dominiczak

    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.

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    Pioneering precision medicine in Scotland 

    The one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare isn’t working. With an ageing population and the spiralling cost of patient care, Scotland urgently needs to find progressive ways to create a sustainable NHS for the future. 

    The solution may, surprisingly, lie within each of us. 

    Precision medicine is an emerging healthcare model that makes it possible for doctors to tailor treatments, based on a patient’s genetic make-up. The right drug, for the right patient, at the right time. The ability to predict which treatments will work best for patients has the potential to save time and money on those that prove ineffective – as well as spare patients from unnecessary side-effects. 

    But can precision medicine really revolutionise healthcare in Scotland, and across the world? 

    Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak believes it can. In this thought-provoking talk, she shares how and why Scotland is leading the global development in precision medicine. 

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  • Pippa King

    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.

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    Sleepwalking into a Surveillance State 

    Everything, from our music tastes and shopping habits to our faces and fingerprints, is up for grabs in the business of big data. 

    But who exactly owns this data? How will it be used? And what impact will this ever-increasing digital footprint have on our lives? 

    These are questions that privacy campaigner, Pippa King, began to ask when she discovered that biometric data from her children was being collected by their school. As it turns out, this isn’t uncommon. Around 80% of schoolchildren will have had their fingerprint scanned by the time they leave school. 

    In this eye-opening talk, she asks, will privacy be an unknown concept for the next generation? Or will we – along with the government, policymakers, and business leaders – take a stand to protect our data privacy? 

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  • Annie Lennox

    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.

    Photo Credit: Eric Korenman – www.korenman.com

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    Global Feminism: Leaving no one behind in the Women’s Movement.

    Over the last 100 years, despite the fact that women’s rights have come a long way, there are still massive inequalities experienced by millions of girls and women across the globe.

    The facts are that 1 in 3 women have suffered physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

    603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime.

    Two thirds of the 757 million adults who cannot read and write are women.

    The list is much longer…

    Women and girls endure injustice, disempowerment, misogyny, rape, violence and human rights abuses on an appalling scale everywhere.

    To challenge and change these deep-rooted injustices, Annie Lennox believes we need to stand as a community of Global Feminists.

    From her own deeds and actions, she encourages others to take part in ensuring that every woman and child in every corner of the world has access to fundamental human rights.

    Join Annie as she shares why and how we, as a connected community, can help drive substantive change.

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  • Laura Young

    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.  

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    Kicking the plastic habit 

    When you throw something away, where is ‘away’? 

    From straws and takeaway forks to coffee cups and cling film, around 40% of the plastics we use are single-use and a mammoth 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled. 

    It’s no wonder the world is choking on it. 

    Alarmed by the scale of the problem, Laura Young decided to kick her plastic habit and work towards a zero-waste lifestyle. In this entertaining talk, she shares how she went from plastic abuser to conscious consumer. 

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  • Amar Latif

    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.

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    Being limitless 

    “If you want something that doesn’t exist, you have two choices. Either you do without, or you build it yourself.” 

    This is Amar Latif’s ethos in life. And one that’s paid off. 

    He’s flown a plane over Ayers Rock, trekked 220 miles across Nicaragua, skied down some of Europe’s highest mountains, and founded a successful travel company. 

    Losing his sight at the age of 18 was not going to stop Amar from living the life he dreamed of. He believes that no matter what personal challenges you are facing, through small actions and being aware of who you are, you can live a life without limitations. 

    If you’re looking for a dose of motivation, this is it.

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  • Laurence Dodds

    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.

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    Are we being played? 

    Facebook’s a videogame, and Mark Zuckerberg is hogging the controller. 

    This is how US tech reporter, Laurence Dodds, thinks of social networks 

    – as giant videogames which we are all living inside. And like games, social networks manipulate our behaviour by prescribing the choices they offer to us. From how we eat, to how we find love, to how we do politics. 

    But Zuckerberg isn’t the only player. Social networks are being exploited by small groups of organised cheaters, who want to do us harm. 

    Join Laurence as he investigates the sinister side of social, and urges us to become active players in this game before we end up as their pawns.

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