Our speaker line-up for 2020 includes social reformers, scientists and big thinkers.

Join us on the day or watch the talks later online.

Professor Gina Rippon

Professor Gina Rippon

Gina Rippon’s research involves state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques to investigate how the brain interacts with its world, and what happens when this process goes wrong.

She is an outspoken critic of the misuse of neuroscience research to misrepresent our understanding of the brain and, most particularly, to prop up outdated gender stereotypes. In her new book The Gendered Brain, she challenges the idea that there are male and female brains,
and offers a 21st century model for better understanding of how brains get to be different.

Moten Kabell

Morten Kabell is an urbanist, former politician and advocate for bikes, green transport and life-sized cities. All his adult life, he has been politically active, locally to improve the city of Copenhagen and move towards a mobility model less dependent on cars; and internationally to spread the knowledge about sustainable and resilient cities.

Kabell was member of the City Council of Copenhagen for 20 years from 1998 to 2017. During the last term, he served as Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs, thus political responsible for urban planning, environment and climate, utilities, and smart city solutions.

During Kabell’s term as mayor, Copenhagen set new records in cycling as a mainstream mode of
transport with 62% of Copenhageners and 43% of all commuting being done on two wheels.

Juha Kaakinen

Juha Kaakinen

An experienced and passionate developer of innovative housing solutions to homeless people and social housing. Juha Kaakinen is Chief Executive of Y-Foundation, the biggest Finnish NGO providing housing for homeless people and social housing with a housing stock of 17 000 flats.

Before, he has worked in public administration of the City of Helsinki and as a CEO of Social Development Ltd, a company devoted to developing social and health services for cities and municipalities. He has also worked as a programme leader of a national programme to end long-term homelessness, and as a researcher and a consultant. He is internationally known as an advocate of Housing First policy.

Kate Adern

Professor Kate Arden

Kate is the Lead Director of Public Health for the GMCA for Health Protection and Emergency Planning & Response, in addition to her substantive post as Director of Public Health for Wigan. Additionally, she is also Chief Emergency Planning Officer and the Council’s Chief Commissioner for Leisure Services and currently lead DPH for the GMHSCP for alcohol and substance misuse, harm reduction and health protection transformation, including the development of a multi-agency antimicrobial resistance programme for the conurbation.

Cathy Hawley

Cathy Hawley is a practicing architect known for her work in housing, urban form and strategic sustainable development. She was a founding Partner at Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects who were four times Housing Design Award Winners and BD Housing architect of the Year 2009. Their Clay Field project won an RIBA Award and was mid-listed for the Stirling Prize. Goldsmith Street, a social housing development in Norwich, delivered by Mikhail Riches, was awarded the 2019 Stirling Prize.

Cathy works in collaboration with practices including Citizens Design Bureau and muf architecture/art, as well as with Local Authorities, on projects for sustainable rural and urban infrastructure and housing.

Jon Alexander

Jon Alexander is co-founder of the New Citizenship Project – a strategy and innovation company supporting the shift in the dominant story of the individual in society from ‘consumer’ to ‘citizen’ and whose client list includes The Guardian, the European Central Bank and the European Journalism Centre.

Jon is also a proud winner of Brand Republic’s Big Idea of the Year Award, for creating the concept of MyFarm which handed over decision making on a real working farm to the public, as a way of engaging people with sustainable food production. 

Neil Sartorio

Neil is a strong believer that we live in a world that is sub-optimal compared to art of the possible. He has a lifelong passion regarding the power of public services to deliver real life-enhancing outcomes. Working through the years in Government, Consultancy & the Third Sector he has led thinking and then implementation of reimagined local public services. Central to this belief is that taking a citizen-centric approach can develop stronger and safer communities for all.

Outside of his partnership at a global consultancy, this passion has led him to get directly involved in three social enterprises that focus on building aspiration and opportunity in some of the most vulnerable parts of our country. The latest venture is In-House Records, an award-winning record label run by prisoners that Neil is co-owner and director. This initiative has led to delivering reduced violence in the prisons it operates, a zero re-offending rate and the ability to turn intervention into prevention through its work with the London Gang Exit programme.