Guest Speaker Series

Discover the great line-up of guest speakers we will be hosting on our campuses. In order to ensure that our students never lose sight of the different reality that so many others in the world experience on a daily basis, we feel it is important to expose them to first hand testimony from people with personal stories that challenge their world view.

Talks have so far covered topics as diverse and wide ranging as environmental issues, race relations, human and civil rights, conflict and reconciliation, science, the problem of homelessness and even Ancient Greek philosophy!

Many of our speakers are household names such as IVF pioneer Professor Lord Robert Winston, politician Vince Cable, Pascal Couchepin and David Lammy, feminist and academic Germaine Greer, pioneer Bertrand Piccard, astronaut Al Worden, journalists Jon Snow, Nick Robinson and Gary Gibbon, cartoonists Chappatte and Plantu, authors Gillian Slovo and John Carlin, Nobel prizewinner Jacques Dubochet, and athletes Hannah Cockcroft, Graeme Le Saux or Howard Gayle.

Others, such as Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, human rights activist Marina Litvinenko, and anti-FGM activist Leyla Hussein deserve more recognition. Click here for the full list of past speakers.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rules currently in place to protect the health of Ecolint students and staff, we are currently unable to welcome external participants to our Guest Speaker Series. When possible, we will endeavour to livestream the conferences. If you are interested in viewing these remotely, please register by clicking on the links next to each speaker and if livestream options are available, we will share these with you.

Upcoming 2020-2021 Speakers

Speaker Date & Time Description

Mattia Fochesato

4 May 2021

13.25-14.10

Online lecture

Mattia Fochesato is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social and Political Science of Bocconi University, and research fellow in the Population Dynamics and Health unit at the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy. His research focuses on the determinants of income and wealth distribution across different world regions.

Currently studying the effects of population changes on income distribution in late medieval and early modern Europe and Middle East, Fochesato is also working on a project on the global history of wealth inequality, with Samuel Bowles. He holds a BA, MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Siena. 

Fochesato will give a lecture entitled "Plagues and Healthcare in Medieval and Early Modern Italy". 

Baptiste Lavie

25 May 2021

9.45-10.30

Online lecture

Baptiste Lavie is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva, the initiator of Salomé, a global pedagogical project that aims to introduce children to science through play. Through a fun comic strip featuring primarily female protagonists and aesthetically pleasing illustrations, this project seeks to engage children on solid scientific content while reducing gender inequalities in the science fields and blending art with science. Schools can then complement the cartoon with pedagogical workshops led by researchers from the University of Geneva. 

Lavie will give a lecture entitled "The Power to Change Your Life and Follow Your Dreams". 

No Apologies

Date TBC

Time TBC

No Apologies describes the state of physical and mental siege of underprivileged Black people living in Lausanne. Unable to film in the street and faced with the need to safeguard anonymity, No Apologies sought a way for protagonists to express themselves freely. Masked or bare-faced, they share their personal experience of daily survival, of police brutality, and in so doing question their place in the Swiss society which considers them to be pariahs.

Fruit of the alliance between those affected and professionals from the cinematographic world, this collective film project was produced in an emergency situation, in guerrilla mode, and is free of any constraints stemming from institutional financing.

Click here to view the trailer.

 

Past Speakers

 

Speaker Description

Margaret Harris

Margaret Harris is a Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), a member of their Covid-19 response team based in Geneva and a public health doctor. 

Harris previously worked on the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone of December 2013-January 2016, the most severe Ebola outbreak in recorded history in regards to the number of human cases and fatalities. 

Watch Dr Harris' lecture here.

Lorenzo Niola

Lorenzo Niola gets his hands dirty with impact tech ventures and impactful projects that can solve humanity’s grand challenges as well as drive social change, working closely with different stakeholders to foster equality and better humanity.

He supported 200+ entrepreneurs and brings a financial/analytical background & experience in operations and community management in both the start-ups’ ecosystem and international cooperation. He is a member of the Global Shapers Community and the co-director of former start-up Grind Milan and is an ex-AIESECer too.

Passionate about impact tech and frugal innovation, Niola is a coffee lover and former rugby player and has a true love of snowboarding in the Alps. 

Seth Berkley

Seth Berkley is an American medical epidemiologist and the CEO of the GAVI Alliance since 2011. A global advocate for the power of vaccines, he is the founder, former president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Recognised by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2009, Berkley has also featured on the cover of Newsweek

Berkley holds a Bachelor of Science and medical degrees from Brown University, and trained in internal medicine at Harvard University. 

Watch Dr Berkley's lecture here.

Josh Bayliss

Josh Bayliss is CEO of the Virgin Group and is responsible for the management of the Group’s capital investments and the Virgin brand. He has been with Virgin since 2005, previously serving as the Group’s General Counsel before taking on the CEO role in 2011. He has extensive experience as a director of a large number of companies across the Virgin Group globally and across all of Virgin’s core sectors.

Bayliss was previously a Senior Associate at leading international law firm Slaughter and May from 1999 to 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Genevie Fernandes

Genevie Fernandes is a research fellow in global health governance and respiratory health for the Global Health Governance Programme of the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics in the University of Edinburgh. 

Interested in policy and practice for advancing maternal and child health in developing countries, Dr Fernandes has worked with a number of organisations, including UNICEF India and FHI 360. She holds a MSc in Health Inequalities and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Mumbai. 

Watch Dr Fernandes' lecture here.

Gib Bulloch

Gib Bulloch is a speaker, writer and facilitator whose 25 years in the business world at three of the world’s largest companies – BP, Mars and Accenture – has given him a unique perspective on the role of business in society.

During his time at Accenture, he set up the award-winning Accenture Development Partnerships, a corporate social enterprise that provided development sector organisations access to Accenture’s top people, knowledge and assets on a not-for-profit basis.

Named Sunday Times Management Consultant of the Year in the Best Partner/Director category in 2008, Bulloch serves on the US Board of the END Fund for Neglected Tropical Diseases and served on the UK Secretary of State for International Development’s Economic Development Advisory Group. He has also played a key role in promoting the emerging concept of social intrapreneurship as co-founder of The League of Intrapreneurs, and as a Visiting Fellow at the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University. Bulloch is the author of The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent (2018).

Today he works with organisations, individuals and teams to develop a sense of responsibility at both a personal and collective level to create meaningful impact.

Watch Gib Bulloch's lecture here.

Nicolò Govoni

Nicolò Govoni is an Italian writer and human rights activist. He is the President and Executive Director of the non-profit organisation Still I Rise and has been nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. At the age of 20, he began his first voluntary mission in an orphanage of a small village in India. In 2017 he self-published the e-book Bianco come Dio to sponsor the education of children in the orphanage. 

Govoni later moved to Samos, Greece, to work in a refugee camp. In 2018, together with two other volunteers and seven founding partners in Italy, he founded the non-profit organisation Still I Rise and opened Mazì, the first youth centre for refugee children and adolescents on the island of Samos. The inhuman conditions in the camps led Govoni to write his second book, Se fosse tuo figlio (2019), a denunciation against the abuse perpetrated by Greek authorities on refugees. All proceeds from the sale of the book have been used towards the construction of a new Still I Rise school in Turkey. 

In 2020, Still I Rise plan to open Beraber, the first international school for refugee and underprivileged children in Gaziantep, Turkey, as well as Ma'an, an educative centre in the city of Al Dana, Syria. In June 2020, Govoni was awarded the CIDU Prize for Human Rights by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for his awareness-raising activities on refugees and migrants. 

Govoni graduated in journalism from Symbiosis International University in India.

Watch Nicolò Govoni's lecture here.

James Breiding

James Breiding is the author of Swiss Made, The Untold Story Behind Switzerland's Success. Available in 9 languages, the book has become the most authoritative work on 'Swissness'. Breiding’s writing on Swiss issues has appeared in The Economist, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. He has lectured at Harvard, Princeton, Beijing, Kyoto, NUS and Cambridge universities, and was elected a fellow at Harvard's Centre for International Development.

Breiding is the founder and owner of Naissance Capital, a Zurich investment firm, and the founder of S8 Nations, an organisation inspired by his book, Too Small to Fail: Why Some Small Nations Are Outperforming Larger Ones and How They Are Reshaping the World.

Watch James Breiding's lecture here.

Emanuele Capobianco

Emanuele Capobianco is Director of Health and Care at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), for which he also serves as global health lead for the COVID-19 pandemic response. His responsibilities include leading Red Cross and Red Crescent engagement in community heath, emergency health preparedness and response, and water and sanitation, and he has supported the technical response to several humanitarian crises, including the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and the 2019 Mozambique cyclones. Dr Capobianco was also the Global Emergency Coordinator for the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2018-2020. 

Prior to the IFRC, Dr Capobianco has also worked for a number of international public health organisations, including the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF Mozambique, UNICEF Somalia, as well as the World Health Organization.

He holds degrees in medicine, international humanitarian action and international health from the University of Pavia, Sapienza Università di Roma and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Watch Emanuele Capobianco's lecture here.

Bill Morrison

Bill Morrison is an author, speaker and consultant who has worked in the world of international sales and marketing for over thirty years. He is currently EMEA Managing Director for Sandler, the world’s largest sales training and consulting company. He is passionate about helping people develop their professional skills and capabilities. 

Originally from Scotland, Morrison has worked for major companies around the world, including Rolls Royce. As a consultant he has worked with many international companies in the areas of sales and business development. He has published his work academically on topics such as Nudge Theory and has spoken at universities in several countries.

Watch Bill Morrison's lecture here.

Rita French

Rita French is the UK Ambassador for Human Rights and the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

She began her career in the Civil Service as an economist advising on tobacco and alcohol taxation at HM Revenue and Customs. She moved into a number of policy roles at HM Treasury and also worked in the private office of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer as his speech writer.

French was Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Culture, working with the department to oversee delivery of the London 2012 Olympics. She also delivered an ambitious change programme for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

She has a Masters degree in Economics. 

Watch Rita French's lecture here.

Richard Ladkani

Richard Ladkani is a film director who has gained international recognition for his award-winning documentaries. His 2016 documentary, The Ivory Game, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award and has won multiple international awards, looks into the illegal ivory trade and the threat of elephant extinction.

In 2015 Ladkani and his wife, Anita, founded Malaika Pictures to produce films that spotlight on the most pressing environmental and political issues facing the world today. They are currently developing a feature film based on the bestselling book City of Thorns, which chronicles life in Dadaab, Kenya, the site of the largest refugee camp in the world.

Among Ladkani’s most renowned films are Escape Over the Himalayas, about the plight of Tibetan children fleeing their homeland; The Devil’s Miner, a harrowing look at Bolivian silver mines; Jane’s Journey, a portrait of conservationist Jane Goodall that was also shortlisted for an Academy Award; Vatican: The Hidden World, which gives an unprecedented insight into the heart of the Roman Catholic Church; and Gas Monopoly, a political docu-thriller about Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Watch Richard Ladkani's lecture here.

Stephen Reicher

Stephen Reicher is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of St Andrews, having previously held positions at the universities of Dundee and Exeter. His research is centres on social psychology, with a focus on social identity, collective behaviour, intergroup conflict, leadership and mobilisation. An editor for a number of journals, including Scientific American Psychology, Professor Reicher is also Chief Editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology

He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Bristol and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, with a thesis on collective behaviour. 

Professor Reicher gave a lecture on group dynamics during Covid-19.

Watch Stephen Reicher's lecture here.

Indhu Rubasingham

Indhu Rubasingham, MBE, is an English theatre director and the current artistic director of the Kiln Theatre in Kilburn, London, which she joined in 2012. Her inaugural production for this theatre was Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti, a play based on the story of Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello on a London stage in 1833. She has also director radio plays for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3 and the BBC World Service. 

Rubasingham has received numerous awards, including the Asian Women of Achievement and Liberty Human Rights awards. She studied drama at Hull University.

Watch Indhu Rubasingham's lecture here.

Patrick Low

Patrick Low was Chief Economist at the World Trade Organization and an Adjunct Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute. He worked for GATT from 1980–1988 and joined the WTO in 1995, taking up his position at Chief Economist in 1997. 

Low taught from 1988–1990 at El Colegio de México, and served in the research complex of the World Bank from 1990–2004. He holds a PhD in economics from Sussex University and has written widely on trade policy issues.

Watch Patrick Low's lecture here.

Roland Chauville

Roland Chauville is Partnerships Lead for Switzerland at Oxfam, an international confederation of 20 NGOs working with partners in over 90 countries to tackle the effects of poverty. He is the Founder, and was Executive Director, of UPR Info, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to raising awareness about the Universal Periodic Review, a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. 

Chauville holds degrees in political science and international relations from the University of Essex and the Université Jean Moulin (Lyon III). 

Chauville gave a lecture (in English and French) on Oxfam's projects around the world, how Ebola and malaria are affecting populations, and the work being done to help them cope with these illnesses.

Watch the interview of Roland Chauville by The Update

Luke Lambourne

Luke Lambourne is Media Manager at Leyton Orient Football Club in London. He has extensive experience of media in sports, having worked in media relations, marketing and communications for AFC Fylde, Surrey FA and Hampton & Richmond Borough FC. 

Lambourne studied for a BA in English and American Literature at the University of Kent.

He spoke with students about the difficulties of running a small football club in the lower divisions during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Watch the interview of Luke Lambourne by The Update

Chris Jones

Chris Jones works in the field of sustainable urbanism, with a specialisation in food systems and how rethinking these in the context of urban solutions can work towards making cities more sustainable in the long term. He has worked in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ethiopia and Switzerland.

Jones is involved in various (re) development strategies with a focus on the role of circular economy based solutions, urban food systems and climate resilience/adaptation. He holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from Manchester Metropolitan University.

→ Watch Chris Jones' lecture here.

Danau Tanu

Danau Tanu is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and a Visiting Research Fellow at Waseda University, Japan. She is the author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School, the first book on structural racism in international schools. She also is co-chair of the FIGT Research Network and co-founder of TCKs of Asia.

Tanu’s main research interests are youth, mobility and migration (including forced migration), multiculturalism and international education. As a multilingual ethnographer, she also has a special interest in Indonesian and Japanese studies.

Heather Meyer

Heather Meyer works at the University of Warwick, and has been doing research on international schools for over 10 years. She has worked as a consultant within the international school sector, and currently specialises in inclusive interdisciplinary pedagogies, an area which has been significantly informed by her academic and professional work in diverse educational settings throughout North America, the Middle East and Europe. 

Meyer is the author of The Global Imaginary of International School Communities (2021).

Jacky Mulveen

Jacky Mulveen works for the WE:ARE Women’s Empowerment And Recovery Educators, a charity which delivers a range of awareness, empowerment and parenting programmes for women aged 16+ affected by domestic abuse. WE:ARE provides a safe and supportive environment for women who have survived domestic abuse and require support to overcome the effects of their experiences. 

In 2019, Jacky Mulveen received the West Midlands Chief Constable’s Community Service Award for her work in support of victims of domestic abuse.

→ Watch Jacky Mulveen's lecture here.

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Paul-Olivier Dehaye is a mathematician, the founder of PersonalData.IO, a not-for-profit organisation focused on data protection rights, and Hestia.AI, which helps data collectives leverage their assets while maintaining trust. He also sits on the Board of MyData Global Network, which works for personal data empowerment.

Dehaye was involved in the investigations into the firm Cambridge Analytica, for which he appeared in the documentary The Great Hack. Accepted at Stanford University at the age of 20 to start his PhD, he went on to Oxford University as a research fellow, then as Heinz Hopf lecturer at ETH Zurich, SNF Förderungsprofessur at the Swiss National Science Foundation, and Assistant Professor of mathematics at the University of Zurich. 

Dehaye gave a lecture entitled "From Cambridge Analytica to the Future of Online Services".

Nadine Kessler

Nadine Kessler is a retired German footballer and current UEFA’s head of women’s football. From 2011 to 2016, she played for VfL Wolfsburg, and for the German national team since 2003, when she joined the women’s national under-15 squad. In 2014, Kessler received the FIFA World Player of the Year award at the FIFA Ballon d’Or. 

Kessler attended the German University for Prevention and Health Management, from which she received a BA in Health Economics.

→ Watch Nadine Kessler's lecture here.

Carina Tyrrell

Dr Carina Tyrrell is a British-Swiss public health physician, model, charity ambassador and beauty competition titleholder who is a former Miss England and Miss United Kingdom. Today, she works for the Institute for Public Health, Cambridge Biomedical Campus and MRC Epidemiological Unit. Her research interests include global health infections and outbreak response.

Tyrrell is a former president of Cambridge University's Global Health Committee, for which she championed a project to help the homeless in and around Cambridge. She has worked for the World Health Organization and spent two years working as a physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She studied medicine at Cambridge University Medical School and obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Cambridge in 2019. Tyrrell is an alumna of Ecolint (La Châtaigneraie '08).

→ Watch Dr Tyrrell's lecture here.

Ranya Shamoon Naman

Ranya Shamoon Naman is Senior Vice President of the Baby Care Europe Business at Procter & Gamble, and a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. Over the past few years, she has been invited to speak at the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society, and has supported the launch of the “She is Equal” campaign by Global Citizen, one of the most active NGOs in this field.

Shamoon Naman has also participated in several other equality and inclusion events in the region.

Katie Gaskell & Kim Girardet

Katie Gaskell and Kim Girardet met in 2013 when they started at Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne. Katie is a 2012 La Châtaigneraie alumna now working in law. Kim spent her school days at André-Chavanne, and is now building a business as a holistic health coach in the Léman area. Their friendship has always been based on supporting each other’s health journeys. When they realised Covid was causing an increase in eating disorders, but finding help was still as difficult as when they were younger, they joined forces to help. 

Gaskell and Girardet spoke with students about eating disorders, what are they, and how to handle them.

Michèle Lehmann

Michèle Lehmann is an alumna from La Grande Boissière. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design and a brief stint in Manhattan, she returned to Geneva and founded a strategic communication company. Today she is an independent consultant specialising in brand and communication audits. 
Lehmann is co-founder of Killthesilence.org, a safe place for those suffering from mental illness and any associated stigma and discrimination (including auto-stigmatisation and self-discrimination). She believes that because mental illness is still a difficult topic for many, the proper conversations are not being had and concerned members of a person’s entourage may default to seemingly rational advice like “just try harder," "you have to eat" or "look at the bright side of life". 

According to Lehmann, education is key to breaking the taboo around mental illness. She spoke with students about eating disorders, what they are and how to handle them.

Adèle Zufferey

Adèle Zufferey is the head psychotherapist for the Fondation Agnodice, whose mission is to support the integration and ensure the well-being of transgender and/or non-binary persons, as well as those questioning their sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender or all three. 

Zufferey studied developmental and clinical psychology at the University of Geneva, specialising in systemic psychotherapy, LGBTIQ+ affirmative care and integrative sex therapy. She has been working with trans youth and their parents. She spoke with parents and staff about the mental health of LGBT youth.

Carey Kirk

Carey Kirk is a U.S. trained, native English speaking therapist working in Lausanne. She provides individual counselling for adults using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapies. Over the past decade, she has worked with adults, teenagers and children of many cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, and across the world using secure online platforms.

Kirk spoke with parents about how to approach mental health discussions with children.

→ Watch Carey Kirk's lecture here.

Kariann Akemi Yokota

Kariann Akemi Yokota is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research interests include transnational relations in the era of the American Revolution, interethnic relations in the 20th century, and material and visual culture. She is the author of the widely acclaimed book Unbecoming British: How Revolutionary America Became a Postcolonial Nation (2011) and of the forthcoming Pacific Overtures: Early America and the Transpacific World, 1760-1853.

Prior to taking on her current position, Yokota was Assistant Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California. 

→ Watch Kariann Akemi Yokota's interview by The Update here.

Pritha Mani

Pritha Mani is a bilingual child and adolescent counsellor, with extensive training and experience working in the mental health field from her practice in India and in Switzerland. Provides counselling services across a culturally diverse population, Mani uses an integrative therapeutic approach to meet the specific needs of patients. Throughout her career, she has sought to push the barriers of counselling by instilling a more creative approach that is more adaptive to the needs of children and adolescents, with the aim of making counselling as approachable and non-intrusive as possible. Her practice includes strategies linked with play, art, mindfulness, therapeutic photography, songwriting, narrative therapy, walk and talk therapy or therapy through sports.

Mani spoke with students about how teenagers can cope with anxiety and mental health issues. 

Nicholas James

Nicholas James is a post-doctoral neuroscientist at the G-Lab Upcourtine of the Center for Neuroprosthetic and Brain Mind Institute of the Life Science School at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). As part of this, he is working on developing neuroprosthetic systems, robotic interfaces and advanced neurohabilitation procedures in combination with neuroregenerative interventions on rodent and primate models. This research seeks to understand the processes that can enable the reestablishment of motor functions after neuromotor disorders, and thus enable animals and humans to regain partial or full mobility. 

James will give a lecture entitled "Reversing Paralysis with Neuroprosthetics".

→ Watch Nicholas James' lecture here.

Anna Harrison

Extinction Rebellion is a global environmental movement which uses nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action on climate, biodiversity, social and ecological matters. Rallying support worldwide around a common sense of urgency to tackle climate change and the ongoing sixth mass extinction, a number of activists in the movement accept arrest and imprisonment, citing inspiration from grassroots movements such as the suffragettes and civil rights groups.

Anna Harrison of Extinction Rebellion spoke with students as part of La Châtaigneraie’s Green Week.

→ Watch Anna Harrison's lecture here.

Stewart Maginnis

Stewart Maginnis is Global Director of the Nature-based Solutions Group and Director of the Global Forest and Climate Change Programme at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As such, he has overall responsibility for IUCN’s work on ecosystem management, forests, water, gender, social policy, economics and business and biodiversity.

An agriculturalist by training, Maginnis holds an MSc in Forestry and Land Use from the University of Oxford and has been a study fellow at the University of Manchester. His research interests centre around the link between forest conservation and livelihood security of the rural poor, the practical application of ecosystem or landscapes approaches in forest management and the role of civil society in local and national natural resource governance arrangements.

Stewart Maginnis spoke with students as part of La Châtaigneraie’s Green Week.

→ Watch Stewart Maginnis' lecture here.

Ben Powless

Ben Powless is a Mohawk citizen from Six Nations and documentary photographer, videographer, writer and activist involved in the Indigenous rights and environmental justice movement around the world. In 2009, while traveling in Peru, he documented Indigenous communities’ plight against police forces, an experience which helped him realise the importance of Indigenous Peoples telling their own stories. Since then, he has worked with a number of Indigenous, environmental, and social justice groups to enable communities’ voices to be heard in their search for a just future.

Powless holds a degree in Human Rights, Indigenous Studies and Environmental Studies from Carleton University and is self-trained in photography. His work has been exhibited at local galleries, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as well as in Peru. While at university, Powless co-founded the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, a national youth network dedicated to advancing the cause of environmental justice.

Ben Powless spoke with students as part of La Châtaigneraie’s Green Week.

→ Watch Ben Powless' lecture here.

Sarah Urquhart

The Forest Green Rovers Football Club is a professional club based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire competing in League Two. In 2015, it became the world’s first vegan football club, and their home stadium, the New Lawn, is installed with a number of eco-friendly innovations. These include an entirely organic pitch, the installation of 180 solar panels and a solar-powered robotic lawn mower.

In February 2021, the club received approval from planning authorities for a new stadium made entirely of wood and whose size will be able to be increased to 10’000 seats depending on the club’s successes. This new stadium will have the lowest carbon footprint of any stadium in the world.

Sarah Urquhart of the FGR Community, a charity established to educate, motivate and inspire through football, spoke with students as part of La Châtaigneraie’s Green Week.

→ Watch Sarah Urquhart's lecture here.

Richard Longden

Richard Longden is Group Communications Manager at INEOS, a British multinational chemicals company. As part of this role, he is the primary contact with media and political stakeholders, managing and advising INEOS on reputational matters, financial PR and Public Affairs for INEOS Group and its businesses. He also handles internal communication across the Group.

With a career in communications of more than 20 years Longden has held senior roles advising on a broad range of communication issues within the petrochemicals sector. He holds a BA in Business from the University of Manchester.

Richard Longden spoke with students as part of La Châtaigneraie’s Green Week.

→  Watch Richard Longden's lecture here.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones works in the field of sustainable urbanism, with a specialisation in food systems and how rethinking these in the context of urban solutions can work towards making cities more sustainable in the long term. He has worked in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ethiopia and Switzerland.

Jones is involved in various (re) development strategies with a focus on the role of circular economy based solutions, urban food systems and climate resilience/adaptation. He holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Chris Jones will speak with students about plastic use as part of La Châtaigneraie’s Green Week.

→  Watch Chris Jones' lecture here.

Gary Younge

Gary Younge is a British journalist, author, broadcaster and academic. He joined The Guardian in 1993, for which he has reported from all over Europe, Africa, the United States and the Caribbean. He also writes for the New Statesman and is the author of No Place Like Home (2002), Stranger in a Strange Land (2006), Who Are We – And Should it Matter in the 21st Century? (2011), The Speech: The Story Behind Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream (2013) and the award-winning Another Day in the Death of America (2016). 

In 2020, Younge was appointed Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester. That same year, he was listed in Powerlist’s Top 100 most influential people in the UK from African/African-Caribbean descent. He is also on the 2020 list of 100 Great Black Britons. He holds a degree in French and Russian from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Younge's lecture was about racism.

→  Watch Gary Younge's lecture here.

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson is an elite cyclist, activist and an Events Manager for Munzee, a scavenger hunt game. Actively involved in advocating for equality in sports, Gibson rode and led a team of female cyclists to successfully complete the Tour de France circuit 24 hours before the actual Tour de France was due to start. As part of her fight for equality, she seeks to ensure that women can participate in the Tour de France and other cycling events that currently only allow male participants.

Gibson spoke with students about equality in sports.

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is an English author and broadcaster, the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics and the chancellor of the University of Manchester since 2015. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Foundling Museum in London, an institution which explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, Britain’s first home for children at risk of abandonment. 

Having published his first book of poetry at the age of 21, Sissay has written a number of books and plays. His 2005 drama, Something Dark, about the search for his family, was adapted for BBC Radio 3 and won the UK Commission for Racial Equality’s Race in the Media Award (RIMA). Awarded an MBE for services to literature, he also won the PEN Pinter Prize in 2019 and received a Point of Light Award. 

Lemn Sissay gave a lecture entitled "My Name is Why".