Nujeen Mastafa Biography

Nujeen Mustafa

Nujeen Mustafa has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. This did not stop her braving inconceivable odds to travel in her wheelchair from Syria in search of a new life. Sharing her story, Nujeen recounts the details of her childhood and disability, as well as her harrowing journey across the Mediterranean to Greece and finally to Germany to seek an education and the medical treatment she needs.

Trapped in a fifth floor apartment in Aleppo and unable to go to school, she taught herself to speak English by watching US television. As civil war broke out around them, Nujeen and her family fled first to her native Kobane, then Turkey before they joined thousands of displaced persons in a journey to Europe and asylum. She wanted to come to Europe, she said, to become an astronaut, to meet the Queen and to learn how to walk.

In her strong, positive voice, Nujeen tells the story of what it is really like to be a refugee, to have grown up in a dictatorship only for your life to be blighted by war; to have left a beloved homeland to become dependent on others. It is the story of our times told through the incredible bravery of one remarkable girl determined to keep smiling.

Nujeen’s story has already touched millions and in this book written with Christina Lamb, she helps to put a human face on an ongoing global emergency.

Nujeen Mustafa is now 18 years old and living in Cologne with her brother and sister.

Street Factory Biography

Street Factory_TEDxExeter_BW
Street Factory

Toby & Jo Gorniak are the Co-founders of Street Factory CIC in Plymouth. Street Factory share a belief in all young people, their capabilities and the possibilities for their growth and development, working hard in helping them develop not just as individuals, but also as a group, constantly reinforcing the belief that they have a duty and responsibility to the community around them. They teach through the 10 elements of Hip Hop, through genuine love and deep rooted trust that every young person can ‘find their genius’.  

Toby G is a hip hop artist, professional dancer, choreographer, educator and speaker. He has won numerous national awards for his work including an O2 Award, business awards, BBC & ITV community awards, police engagement  Health Lottery Community Award and an Honorary fellowship degree for his “Outstanding , Innovative approach to Community work”.  

Jo Gorniak is a professional actress, and performer, performing locally & nationally, with a Drama in the Community HND & Degree in Performing Arts. She has worked in New York, on projects using drama & hip hop to transform lives and at Los Angeles Film School.  

At TEDxExeter Jo and Toby are performing with three Street Factory dancers who have devised an original piece of Hip Hop Theatre on ‘Hope’.  

Dancers:

Perry Johnson: “Dancing for me is the borderline between day-dreaming and reality and I get to control the outcome “

Max Revell: “I dance not for the enjoyment of others but for the happiness of myself”

Emmanuel Atangana Maze: “Your passion makes your life and dance is passion”

James Craig Biography

James Craig James Craig is a second year student at Exeter College studying Maths, Chemistry and History.

Having originally aspired to be a Doctor, a work experience placement at a Solicitor’s firm set him on a different path. Being interested in law and politics now for several years, he has applied to study Law at university after completion of his A-levels. He’s previously been Chair of his schools council, tutor rep and is currently the Diversity Officer of Exeter College’s Student Representative Committee.

James believes in the power of communication and is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to talk at TEDx.

Rob Wilson Biography

Rob  WilsonRob has been involved with Toast Ale since its inception in early 2016, initially as an advisor and more recently as full time Chief Toaster. Toast Ale believe that if want to change the world, you have to throw a better party than those destroying it. Prior to Toast, Rob led an organization called Ashoka in the UK, supporting a global network of social entrepreneurs to scale system changing ideas and enterprises.

Rob is an award winning serial social entrepreneur himself having founded a number of ventures over the years. He founded READ International in 2004; a Tanzanian student-volunteer-led development organisation which to date has provided over 1.5 million books to school children and created 100 school libraries. He co-founded Generation Change in 2012, a partnership of the UK’s leading youth social action organisations, helping 600,000 young people a year take positive action in their local communities. He also recently co-founded the youth-led campaign Undivided; a non-partisan campaign set up to get the best possible Brexit deal for young people. In 2011 he co-authored a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up.

Rob lives just outside London in Kent with his wife Nikki and their two very cheeky little boys Thomas and Matthew.

Madhumita Murgia Biography

Madhumita Murgia Madhumita is a journalist, editor and speaker with expertise in the fields of science, health and technology.

As the European Technology Correspondent at the Financial Times, she is passionate about how technology and science have disrupted and transformed all aspects of our lives. She was previously head of technology at the Telegraph, where she oversaw the publication’s tech coverage and has written award-winning longform features on data privacy, gene editing and other major tech trends for publications such as Wired, Newsweek and the BBC.

Before journalism, Madhumita worked on an HIV vaccine at Oxford University.

Virginie Helias Biography

Virginie Helias

With 28 years of experience at Procter & Gamble in Brand Management and Innovation, Virginie has a broad experience across multiple categories and global to local brand management expertise across several of P&G multi-billion dollar brands (Pantene, Ariel/Tide, Pampers). She has international experience (France, UK, Switzerland and the United States).

Prior to her current position, she was the Western Europe Franchise Leader for Ariel, one of P&G largest brands, where she turned Ariel into the leader in Sustainability through the launch of the highly successful “Cool Clean/Turn to 30” campaign and the most sustainable laundry product (Excel Gel).

Beyond her brand and innovation expertise, she is also recognized for her visioning, change management and leadership development skills. She is a certified coach.

In July 2011, she recommended the creation of a new position –Global Sustainability Brand Director, working across all P&G business units and regions. Her mission was to embed sustainability into the innovation, brand-building and everyday business practices at P&G. In July 2016, she was promoted to Vice President of Global Sustainability, in recognition of the work she has led to make sustainability a core business strategy, an innovation driver and a catalyst for a more resilient organisation.

Virginie lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband and 3 children. She is a marathon runner.

Gill Hayes biography

Gill Hayes

A four month sabbatical in the French Alps in 2008 gave Gill Hayes and her family space and time to think about what was really important to them in life. As a result her husband sold his business and they relocated to Devon for a better quality of life for themselves and their children.

Gill decided to retrain as a yoga teacher. However, ‘living the dream’ didn’t go quite according to plan and she became severely depressed. By sharing her story of recovery, Gill wishes to spread hope to others with depression, to challenge some of the beliefs around mental illness and to encourage us to all to play a role in the mental health revolution.

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Christina Lamb biography

Christina LambChristina Lamb is one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and a bestselling author. She has reported from most of the world’s hotspots but her particular passions are Afghanistan and Pakistan which she has covered since an unexpected wedding invitation led her to Karachi in 1987 aged just 21.

Within two years Christina had been named Young Journalist of the Year. Since then she has won numerous awards including five times being named Foreign Correspondent of the Year and Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux. She was made an OBE in 2013. In 2016 she won the Foreign Press Association award for Feature of the Year for reporting on the Chibok girls in Nigeria and in 2015 Amnesty International’s Newspaper Journalist of the Year for reporting from inside Libyan detention centres.

Currently chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times of London, Christina’s postings have included South Africa, Pakistan, Brazil and Washington and she has recently reported on the refugee crisis across Europe and the Yazidi women enslaved by ISIS in Iraq.

Christina has written eight books including the bestselling The Africa House and I Am Malala and is a patron of Afghan Connection and on the board of the Institute of War and Peace Reporting. Her latest books are Farewell Kabul; From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous World and Nujeen; One Girl’s Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair.

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Vik Mohan biography

Vik MohanDr Vik Mohan is a GP in Exeter, medical director at Blue Ventures Conservation, and the architect of Blue Ventures’ award-winning integrated health and conservation programme.

While working with communities in Madagascar on Blue Ventures’ community-based marine conservation programme, Vik’s interest in community health led him to uncover a huge unmet need for health care, and sexual and reproductive health care in particular. Responding to this need, he led the development of the region’s first sexual and reproductive health service and oversaw its integration into the Blue Ventures’ activities, to form an integrated population, health and environment programme.

Improved natural resource management and community resilience, through to improvements in maternal and child health are some of the many benefits Vik has seen as a result of nearly 10 years of working in this way. He now wants to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from this “whole system” approach to conservation and sustainable development. He now focuses on supporting  others to adopt this approach, in Madagascar and beyond.

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Andrew Solomon biography

Andrew Solomon photographed by Annie LiebowitzAndrew Solomon is a writer, lecturer and professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University. He is president of PEN American Center. He writes regularly for The New Yorker and the New York Times.

Andrew’s newest book, Far and Away: Reporting from the brink of change, seven continents, twenty five years was published in April, 2016. He is author of many previous books including Far From the Tree: Parents, children and the search for identity, which won the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction, the Wellcome Prize and 22 other national awards. It tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. It was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback editions.

An activist in LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts, Andrew is a member of the boards of directors of the National LGBTQ Force and Trans Youth Family Allies. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center, serves on the National Advisory Board of the Depression Center at the University of Michigan, is a director of Columbia Psychiatry and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. He also serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yaddo and The Alex Fund, which supports the education of Romani children. Andrew is also a fellow of Berkeley College at Yale University and a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Andrew is a regular on the TED stage. His talk Love no matter what featured at TEDMED in 2013. Later that year he also spoke at TEDxMet on Depression, the secret we share. The video of Andrew’s TED2014 talk How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are, was also shown at TEDxExeter 2015. 

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