We are very proud to present some of the greatest thinkers, doers, talkers of our closer and broader area. We specifically invited them to make sure we have a nice change of pace in the topics and we look at those topics from various angles. Our speakers are all trusted leaders and professionals in their industry and in our communities.

Roger Madelin

Head of Canada Water Development

Roger Madelin is Head of the 53-acre Canada Water Development at British Land and is a member of the Executive Committee. He joined British Land in February 2016 after 29 years at Argent.

As the development director at Argent from 1988, he was responsible for the delivering all of Argent’s projects including Brindleyplace in Birmingham, Thames Valley Park in Reading and major office projects in central London and the City. The company was an FTSE 250 emerging major from 1993 until it left the stock market in 1997. Roger then became CEO of the once again private development business which was funded by British Telecom Pension Fund and the senior management team.

Over the next decade, he expanded Argent’s development activities with major projects in Manchester and further projects in Reading, Birmingham and the City of London. In 2000 he led the company to be selected, and then to take forward, the development of the 56 acres of ‘railway lands’ between, and to the north of, King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations.

He formally left Argent at the end of 2015 but retains an advisory role on the remaining King’s Cross projects for the Aga Khan Development Network.

His talk:

How to involve the community in the transformation of an area instead of imposing it on them

Roger believes that a transformation should reflect the way people actually live and work today, rather than the way the people who shape the built environment like developers and architects think they should live. In his talk, he illustrates this with examples he has from his earlier projects and the ongoing project he works on.

Dr. Jane Riddiford

Global Generation Founding Director

Jane co-founded Global Generation in 2004. She has more than 25 years of experience in delivering environmental, arts & vocational training projects in New Zealand & the UK.

She managed the City Farm for Framework Trust and developed an Inner City Forest in Auckland as a learning resource for the Dept of Education. She also set up and ran an NVQ Horticulture programme for Camden Job Train and co-ordinated Camden’s Environmental Education Network.

Her interest in young people and projects that bring different parts of the community together has been a consistent thread throughout her working life. Jane invites engagement with the rhythms and patterns of nature through a combination of storytelling, hands-on and reflective experiences.

Her talk:

Engaging young people with a combination of storytelling, hands-on and reflective experiences

Jane will talk about Paper Garden, and how they involve and engage children and young people in the Canada Water Masterplan, and in the King’s Cross development, with the tools of storytelling, creative writing, handicrafts, stories of nature and the universe.

Robert Hulse

Director of Brunel Museum

Robert is the co-author of The Brunel’s Tunnel, jointly published with the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is Director of London’s Brunel Museum, housed in the original Thames Tunnel engine house and winner of The Queen’s Award.

Robert has worked in education and museums for 20 years. He has taught at London University and City University; lectured at Tokyo University, the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Tel Aviv University. He did a lecture tour of East coast American universities with the English Speaking Union.

His talk: The role of Brunel in history, and Brunel Museum in the community

Robert strongly supports museums in their search for a new and dynamic role within their local communities. He is the first man since Brunel to hold an underwater fairground and was involved in a project to build an underground theatre in the chamber where Brunel began and nearly ended his career.

Sue Coppard

Founder of WWOOF

Sue, a then London secretary started WWOOF in the autumn of 1971 when pining for the countryside, she came up with a plan for staying on farms in return for her help.

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) soon spread abroad and today, some 45 years later, it has gone global. There are currently around 52 WWOOF organisations and you can WWOOF in over 140 countries.

Her talk: Helping to save the planet by homestay on organic farms

WWOOF! It’s a wonderful way to experience rural life, see beautiful places, get physical exercise, and learn how to produce healthy food sustainably – enriching rather than depleting the soil; not to mention experiencing many different cultures – and much more.

Laura Burgoine

Editor of Southwark Weekender

Laura is an Australian writer, editor, journalist and presenter, living and working in London.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University in Melbourne, Laura began her journalism career in Chile, interning at the Santiago Times, where she covered the 2010 earthquake and aftermath.

Laura has worked as a reporter for Melbourne’s Neos Kosmos newspaper, the Prague Post, Marie Claire online, and the independent Weekender titles in south London, where she is currently editor. Her work has also been published by the BBC, Australian Associated Press (AAP), Time Out Melbourne, Crikey, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, and the Hobson’s Bay Leader.

In March 2018, Laura completed the Writing a Novel course at London’s Faber Academy, under the tuition of Richard Skinner. She is currently working on her debut novel.

Her talk:  What communities gain from having their stories told

Laura draws upon a great experience of storytelling and will share her thought on why do we tell stories, what do we expect from them. What quality storytelling looks like. She looks back on great journalism and compares it with free communication. She discusses the art of storytelling and why communities need to invest in it.

James Newell

Speaker and author

James Newell had been asking this question of himself for as long as he could remember. A successful professional and a survivor of some incredible life events, the drive to obtain what he felt he “deserved” had kept James alive and caused him to flourish and never give up.

But something was wrong.

Despite his “success” the feeling of deserving more remained.

It wasn’t about having “more” or earning more money, it was about living a life where he could play to his strengths and feel that child like passion that now seemed so far away. Deeply unhappy and unsure how to breakthrough, James had reached the peak of his career and circumstances, but the belief he could be more never abated.

Something had to change.

Over 18 months of soul searching and research, the meaning of what it means to deserve was de constructed, analysed and tested. The aim was to truly understand what it means to deserve and learn how to deserve. The results changed James’ life and they will change yours too.

His talk: To deserve more, serve more From the origins of the word itself right through to highly original and groundbreaking new ideas; Selfmore, Ennui, the Circles of Truth and more, James Newell leads the way into a subject so misunderstood and misused by so many, for too long.

At the core of deserving, is serving. It’s the shift from what you can get to what you can give that will enhance your life beyond the limits of your thinking.

Never before has the subject of deserving been presented in this way.

Never before has a word been so misused and misunderstood.

Never again will you wonder what you deserve.

YOU DESERVE IT – Take Responsibility. Take Action. Change your life.

Andras Bard

Year 8 Student at CoLA

Andras has been interested in Maths, Science, and technology since an early age. He won the Prizes for ICT, Mathematics, Keenest Reader, and Greatest Contribution in his school.

His talk: What kids do in front of their computer

Andras will use some magic to illustrate how technology evolves, how it helps communities, why it doesn’t matter and what kids actually do in front of their computers to help the world.

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