Based in Exeter, Kagemusha Taiko have a mission to enrich people’s lives through the experience of taiko drumming. The group creates and performs original taiko repertoire and through an extensive training programme enable people not only to enjoy taiko as a spectacle, but to take part in it as players themselves. Modern taiko is originally from Japan, where the first group was created by a jazz drummer in the 1950s. This then, it has been spreading around the world, attracting people with its joyful energy.
Bandi Mbubi was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. He spent the first 21 years of his life there, experiencing first hand the political unrest and oppression which have since worsened throughout the region. As a student activist, Bandi suffered persecution and fled, seeking political asylum in the UK.
During the next 21 years, in the UK, Bandi’s commitment to social justice has continued to inspire his work. He is the Director of the Manna Society, the largest day centre for homeless people in South London. The Manna offers hot meals, medical care, shower facilities, clothing and advice about housing and welfare. The recently launched Education and Training programme aims to counter social exclusion by improving clients’ basic literacy and ICT skills. He is also a Trustee of Church Action on Poverty.
Bandi lives in Essex with his family and hopes one day to be able to take his children to visit their grandparents in a peaceful DRC. He is working to bring the world’s attention to the atrocities being committed in the Congo and for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing war.
Lily Lapenna is the Founder and CEO of award winning UK social enterprise, MyBnk. Her non-profit organisation helps 11-25-year-olds in some of the poorest parts of London manage their money effectively and make enterprising choices. She’s created the county’s first FSA approved, independent, in-school and online youth-led banking scheme.
From academies and supported housing to those in state care and young offender institutes, Lily’s practical education programmes are helping to shape the next generation of financially literate, entrepreneurial and responsible citizens. Lily is Italian and grew up between London, Italy and the USA within a very socially minded family. At 18 she left London for rural Zimbabwe working on youth AIDS awareness. A SOAS graduate in Development, she later worked in Asia for BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) and after this experience, returned to London and founded MyBnk. From a lone pilot and with no government funds, her charity has reached over 34,000 young Londoners in three years.
Her 24 microfinance branches offer young people a safe and accessible place to save, develop good financial habits. Pupils are trained to administer the banks and decide on approving 0% interest loans – 100s have had their first enterprise experience. As part of the this global movement, she is spreading her expertise to China with the Shanghai Better Education Foundation, Save the Children in Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and Columbia, and PEDN in Uganda. This autumn the first of several UK social franchises goes live in the North West of England.
This year Lily was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Selected as an Ashoka fellow in 2010, she was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the New Statesman in 2008 and her programmes continue to win awards for excellence in financial capability – most recently in 2010 by Children and Young People Now Magazine.Lily mentors and guide start-ups such as Big Society Award winners, FoodCycle, of which she is a Director. She sits on the Board of Trustees for CIVA (Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action) and is an advisor to the charity Olive Branch for Children (Tanzania).
Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. This grew out of many years experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and setting up the first 2 year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as co-ordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission. He is author of ‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience’, which has been published in a number of other languages, and which was voted the 5th most popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008, and of ‘The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times’, published in October 2011. He publishes the blog www.transitionculture.org, recently voted ‘the 4th best green blog in the UK’(!). He was the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, is an Ashoka Fellow and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served 3 years as a Trustee of the Soil Association, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award for the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust/Guardian’s ‘Green Community Hero’. He lectures and writes widely on peak oil and Transition, holds an MSc in Social Research and recently completed a PhD at the University of Plymouth entitled ‘Localisation and resilience at the local level: the case of Transition Town Totnes’. He lives in Devon and in any spare time he has, grows food for his family.
Antony Turner is co-founder of Carbon Visuals, a company that turns carbon footprint data into engaging images and films. He believes that a core reason for human society’s indifference to the climate challenge is that greenhouse gases are invisible.
After a career spent launching engineering technologies he helped set up the Business & Sustainability programme in 2000 at Schumacher College, which he managed for five years.
In 2003 he set up CarbonSense to help people and organisations understand climate change and take a more proactive role in moving to a low-carbon future. He has lectured at major universities and worked with a wide range of organisations including BT, TNT, Honda Formula One and HM Treasury.
Antony lives by the sea in Devon and believes most tough questions in life can be answered by asking “what would nature do?”
Peter Cox is Professor of Climate System Dynamics and leader of the inter-disciplinary “Climate Change and Sustainable Futures” activity at the University of Exeter. His personal research has focussed on interactions between the biosphere and climate, including the first climate projections to include vegetation and the carbon cycle as interactive elements. These simulations demonstrated the potential for the land carbon cycle to provide a very significant acceleration of global warming through loss of soil carbon, and also suggested that the Amazon rainforest could dieback under climate change. Peter Cox is a lead-author on the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is a member of Science Advisory Group for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, as well as being amongst the most highly-cited authors in climate change research during the last decade.
Voted by the Ecologist as one of the “Worlds Top 10 Visionary Thinkers,” Polly advanced to the United Nations the proposal for Ecocide to be made a crime, the 5th Crime Against Peace, to sit alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and Crimes of Aggression.
Polly has received various nominations and has been named “The Planet’s Lawyer” by the 2010 Performance Awards. She was identified as one of the top “unreasonable people” in the world by the cult US online magazine Planet Green for refusing to accept the norm and hailed by The Guardian as one of their Green Heroes working for the right kind of environmental change.
You can read more about the proposal in Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet. Find out more about Polly’s campaign at www.eradicatingecocide.com.
Mike Dickson advises companies, ranging from private equity firms to fashion retailers, on how to develop effective and inspiring relationships with charities: partnerships that help to inspire employees, increase job satisfaction, improve internal communications and create a more intelligent business. Mike co-founded the successful children’s charity Whizz–Kidz which provides mobility equipment for disabled children. Since 1990 Whizz–Kidz has raised over £75 million to provide equipment for more than 7,500 children and young people.
Mike is the author of Please Take One Step, a call to lead a more generous life, to move on from consumerism, to a create a world rather than acquire one. It discusses the links between altruism and happiness; asks what is ‘enough’ to live a happy and fruitful life?, challenges us to help the poorest people the UK, to champion the bottom billion in the world, and to do no harm to our environment.
In 2011 Mike founded the Rainmaker Foundation, to proactively help NGOs. Mike is a regular attendee at Ted Global. He has ‘been round 6 marathons’, led fundraising treks in the Himalayas and Peru, is married with two children, and lives in West London.
Andy Robertson is a videogame expert who specialises in family gaming. He edits the GeekDad blog for Wired.co.uk, has written for The Telegraph and BBC as well as contributing regularly to Radio 4’s You and Yours programme.
He produces alternative responses to videogames on his Game People website. These take the form of songs, plays, comedies and art that offer a playful and creative way to engage with videogames. The work has appeared nationally in both newspapers and television. Along similar lines, his Family Gamer TV show, published on Wired, offers parents a space to learn and engage with videogames without hype or jargon. By featuring real families it uncovers videogames successes and failures as a way to engage parents and children with these experiences.
Andy recently broadened this theme, of connecting videogames and art, in his Greenbelt Arts festival talk about the intersection between theology and videogames “Dark Stories in Safe Spaces”.
Tony Juniper is an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including as a Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership and as Special Advisor with the Prince’s Charities Foundation International Sustainability Unit. He advises international companies, both in a personal capacity and as a founder member of the Robertsbridge Group. He speaks and writes on many aspects of sustainability, is the chair of the 10:10 climate change campaign, the chair of Action for Renewables and is the editor of GREEN magazine. He is the author of several books, including the award winning Parrots of the World, Spix’s Macaw and How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Planet? He was a co-author of Harmony, with HRH The Prince of Wales and Ian Skelly. His new book What has Nature ever done for us? will be published in 2012. He began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International. From 1990 he worked at Friends of the Earth and was the organisation’s executive director from 2003-2008 and was the Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International from 2000-2008.