TEDxLSE 2015 Speakers

Nadia Darwazeh, a disputes lawyer, conducted her first cross-examination at the age of 26 before an international arbitral tribunal in Kathmandu. By the age of 30, she was living and working in Shanghai, China. Now she is based in the Paris office of the international law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle LLP. She works as counsel and arbitrator and travels intermittently in her capacity as Secretary-General of the recently launched Jerusalem Arbitration Center, providing a neutral forum to resolve commercial disputes between Israeli and Palestinian trading. She practiced in London, Frankfurt and Shanghai before joining the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC in Paris, where she led the Europe- Middle East – Africa team and supervised more than 400 arbitrations.




Jane Burston is Head of the Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory, the UK’s national measurement institute, where she is responsible for managing the work of 120 scientists on climate science, emissions monitoring and low carbon technologies. She is a Trustee of the campaigning NGO Sandbag, a board member of the Natural Environment Research Council’s London Doctoral Training Programme, and a member of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Urbanisation. In 2011 she was named in Management Today’s ‘35 high-flying women under 35’ list and as Square Mile magazine’s ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’, and in 2012 as Management Today’s top UK ‘Non-profiteer’ and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.





Tak Lo is a Director at Techstars. He spent over 5 years in the London and NYC startup communities, having founded and mentored several startups on both sides of the Atlantic. He’s had an exciting and successful entrepreneurial career – a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte Consulting, an investment banker at Nomura, and an US Army veteran. He is also currently an advisor to Valence Labs in New York City, a senior member of Oxford Entrepreneurs, a residential entrepreneur at the Imperial Create Lab, and a curator at Startup Genome. Tak is passionate about early stage teams building great products and companies, and loves those that are crazy enough to build something from nothing. He now invests in multiple startups.




Design scientist and futurist Melissa Sterry is recognised as a world leading authority on the science, technology and thinking that could help build a better world. A recipient of several national and international innovation, creativity and enterprise awards, she is a visiting fellow/lecturer and guest critic at several leading architecture and design research institutes, and has been published in over 60 titles worldwide. Recent works include authoring the Biomimetics chapter for McGraw Hill Publishing’s Global Science Innovation Handbook. A PhD researcher at the School of Architecture and Landscape at University of Greenwich, her research interests converge in Bionic City, which posits the potential of the city as a complex regenerative and adaptive system that mimics ecological resilience strategies.





Jonathan Glennie is a writer and researcher on development cooperation for a new era, with a particular focus on development finance issues, human rights, conflict and land use, and the new frontiers such as sustainability, inequality and governance. He is a columnist in the Guardian, a regular panelist in conferences around the world, and has consulted for a wide variety of global development organisations. Currently he is Director of Policy and Research at Save the Children UK, and previously he led Christian Aid’s work in Colombia and ODI’s research into the future of aid. His book “The trouble with aid: why less could mean more for Africa” (Zed books, 2008) precedes his next book, provisionally entitled “The aid evolution: international public finance for a new era”.





Russell Buckley is a UK Government Advisor helping UK startups raise investment and a leading practitioner, speaker and thinker about mobile technology. He is also a previous Global Chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association, and an active Angel Investor. He also mentors numerous startups at TechStars Accelerator. Russell’s previous role was with mobile advertising startup, AdMob. He learned about AdMob soon after its launch and joined as its first employee in 2006. Four years later, AdMob was sold to Google for $750m. By the time he left in March 2011, he had served 500 Billion ads globally. Russell is most likely to say “The mobile will do to the PC, what the PC did to the mainframe”, “exponential” and “No thanks, I’m a vegetarian”.





Mete Coban is a politician, strategist, football scout and a charity worker. In May 2014, he was elected as the youngest Councillor in the history of the London borough of Hackney at the age of 21 for the Stoke Newington ward. He aims to work together with local businesses to ensure sustainable and community based growth, and he has pledged to place his priority on cycling issues, the high street and the housing crisis. Mete is also currently a football scout for Arsenal Football Club’s youth academy and is the Chief Executive Officer for the MyLifeMySay group, a not-for-profit independent organisation which aims to engage young people in politics, helping to develop strong lobby connections for the group among politicians, organisations, institutions and relevant authorities.




Dr Hugh Rayment-Pickard is a co-founder and Director of Development of the education charity IntoUniversity.  Before that, he worked for over 20 years as a priest in Church of England parishes in London’s East End and in Notting Hill.  He has also worked with London’s single homeless and took part in the British Army’s ‘gap year’ programme working with the Ghurkhas in Hong Kong and South Korea. He completed his PhD thesis on the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.  This was published as Impossible God (Ashgate, 2003).   For several years he was part-time lecturer in philosophy at Goldsmiths College, University of London and is the author of several publications including Philosophies of History: from Enlightenment to Postmodernity [with Robert Burns] and The Myths of Time: from St Augustine to American Beauty.




Ross Sutherland is a poet and theatre-maker from Edinburgh. He was shortlisted for the 2015 Art Foundation Poetry Prize and is a former Times Literary Star of the Year. His writing has been featured on BBC2’s Newsnight Review, the Sky Book Show and BBC Radio 1,3 and 4. He has four collections of poetry: Things To Do Before You Leave Town (2009), Twelve Nudes (2010), Hyakuretsu Kyaku (2011), and Emergency Window (2012). His theatre work includes The Three Stigmata of Pacman (2010) and Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke (2012). He is touring his one-man show, Stand By For Tape Back-Up. For the last seven years Ross has been a writer at Homework: a live-literature club in East London. Listen to his podcast, Imaginary Advice, through iTunes or at imaginaryadvice.tumblr.com.





Alecia Maragh is a MSc in Human Rights student who is interested in specializing in Corporate Social Responsibility. She has over 5 years experience in public relations, programme coordination and education working in Japan as a participant in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. She received the University of the West Indies Open Scholarship to pursue her undergraduate and is currently one of the British Chevening Scholarship recipients at LSE. For her service and outreach, she has been awarded the Jamaica Prime Minister Youth Award for Excellence for Youth in Service in 2011, the Jamaica Governor General’s Youth Award of Excellence for Leadership in 2009.  She has continued her work in youth advocacy through her participation in the Post 2015 Consultation process as a youth leader in Jamaica and has represented her country at several international fora.




Alexander Lushnikov is a co-brother at Chainy – an online platform established to empower creative people with technology to network and collaborate on creative opportunities. Alexander has graduated with MSc International Political Economy (International Relations Department) from the LSE in 2014 and has obtained First Class Honours in BSc Business Management at King’s College London in 2013. Alexander is a member of Russian National WSKF Karate Team, holds 3 Dan and won Silver Medal at 2012 World Cup, Bronze Medal at 2009 World Championships and two Bronze Medals at recent 2014 European Championships. Alexander is one of 2014-15 London Leaders and is currently working with London Sustainable Development Commission (supported by the Mayor of London) to make London a better city to live in.




Leesa Gazi is a founding member of Komola Collective, a London-based theatre and arts company dedicated to telling stories from women’s perspectives. Leesa met 21 Birangona women in Bangladesh in 2010. In Bengali, Birangona means ‘Brave Woman’ and this was the honourific granted to the hundreds of thousands of survivors of the campaign of rape carried out by the Pakistani military and their Bengali collaborators in the Liberation war of Bangladesh in1971. Their individual stories are largely hidden and forgotten by a society in which rape is considered to be a source of shame for the victims like other rape survivors in conflict situations. Leesa started collecting their personal accounts to document their stories and from this, working with Komola Collective, a theatrical piece emerged.





Neal Lawson is a British political commentator. He is chair of the pressure group Compass and author of the book All Consuming (Penguin). He serves on the Boards of UK Feminista and the AV Referendum Campaign and was previously an adviser to Gordon Brown. He is a Contributing Editor of the social democracy journal Renewal and is an Associate Member at the Bauman Institute at Leeds University. He writes regularly for the Guardian and the New Statesman.



Ed Cooke is the co-founder and CEO of Memrise, a language learning platform with more than 200 languages and 3 million users. A Grandmaster of Memory, who can learn 1000 digit number in an hour, he once taught the journalist Joshua Foer to become US memory champion in a single year. Before founding Memrise, Ed studied Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford, Paris, Antwerp and Macquarie University, Sydney.






Nadeem Shad is our stage host for TEDxLSE. He is the winner of TEDxLSE Student Competition 2015.