These speakers will host participatory sessions that allow you to engage directly with the speaker and other session participants. To see keynote and panel speakers, return to our main speaker page.
Natasha Akib is a digital producer who believes in individuals and communities telling their own stories. She specialises in using the skills of film production, media and marketing for purpose-driven organisations and is responsible for developing, producing and facilitating Stories for Impact – Digital Storytellers’ educational workshops, tools and resources. Stories for Impact has supported thousands of storytellers from around the world to find, make, edit and share their own video stories using smartphones and affordable technology, for fundraising, advocacy, community engagement and more. This includes working with Engineers Without Borders, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Uniting Ability Links, the Centre for Social Impact and the World Bank. Stories from former participants have been broadcast widely, including on BBC World News, National Geographic, the Today Show and beyond. Natasha was previously Community Builder at StartSomeGood.com – the leading crowdfunding platform for social impact projects. As well as leading the communications and community engagement for StartSomeGood’s community of changemakers, she has also been directly involved in managing eight of her own successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Claire is a respected, award winning social entrepreneur, and a pioneer in the now global Coworking industry. She created one of Europe's first hubs, targeted at Scotland’s Social Innovation community, and located it in the heart of our capital city, opening just before the 2007/8 crash.
Claire leads on strategic innovation, business diversification and partnerships. Over the years this has resulted in the development of other pioneering initiatives which incubate and accelerate other social innovators and place-makers, both locally and globally.
Elizabeth Chick is the Executive Director of Buy Social Canada, a social enterprise with the goal to educate, advocate and engage social enterprise suppliers, and purchasers from across governments, institutions and corporations to advance social procurement policies and practices. Elizabeth studied Law at the University of Cambridge and University of Utrecht, and has worked in Legal Research and with the Legal Services Society of BC. She is a Social Innovation Alumni of Year Here and has worked with Social Enterprises and consulted for the Public Sector in the UK and Canada.
Ailsa established Inspiralba in 2009, inspired by the passion, energy and determination within rural communities to work with social enterprises across rural and island communities. The focus on community wellbeing and wealth building is at the heart of sustaining vital services and maximizing local assets demonstrated by the prevalence of small locally based community led enterprises across rural Scotland. The need to improve understanding of this context, created the drive to establish the RuralSEHub. www.ruralse.net provides space for collaboration, networking, tools, resources and information as well as enabling rural social enterprise to inform research and policy.
Michael started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant before moving into IT consultancy. In 2002 he joined Prudential in Scotland, first in IT Audit and then as Head of Change Management.
Since 2007, Michael has worked for a medical charity focused in West Africa and then ran a large residential outdoor centre in Scotland. He joined Community Resources Network Scotland as CEO in September 2018. CRNS represents over 140 social enterprises who are delivering reuse, repair and recycling services across Scotland. In his spare time Michael enjoys hillwalking and birdwatching.
Nicole is a globally recognised expert and practitioner in project-based learning and student entrepreneurship and is the founder of Future Anything, an award winning, curriculum aligned entrepreneurship program for high school students. She is also the founder of YouthX, Australia’s first purpose-built Accelerator program for school aged entrepreneurs.
As a teacher in the USA, UK and Australia and a Head of Department and Head of Year at some of Queensland’s top performing public schools, Nicole has repeatedly led the design and implementation of whole school curriculum changes to support future ready learning.
Nicole has represented Australia as a delegate for the G20 Young Entrepreneur’s Alliance in 2018. Nicole passionately believes that youth-led ideas have the power to bend the future, and works tirelessly to provide young people (and their educators) with the support, skills and space they need to take their ideas out of the classroom and into the real world.
Gareth is the founder of Iridescent Ideas - a social enterprise business advice firm - and has been a champion of the social enterprise movement in Plymouth and the South West of the UK. He was the elected chair of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network for seven years 2013-2020 and chairs the city’s Inclusive Growth Group. Gareth led Plymouth’s successful bid to become the first ‘Social Enterprise City’ in the UK. Gareth was the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Plymouth University. He writes regularly for national and local media on social enterprise themes and runs a popular social enterprise chat show.
Ailsa works at Inspiralba, providing support to various projects, including the Rural Social Enterprise Hub and ViSEnet Erasmus+ project. Ailsa’s first taste of working in the social enterprise sector was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she spent a year studying abroad. She recently graduated with a first class Honours degree in Geography and Social and Public Policy, and is passionate about degrowth, community wealth building and rural repopulation. Ailsa’s dissertation research examined the characteristics of social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and made recommendations for more tailored rural policy.
Colombian musician from the conservatory of the Eafit University - Medellín, CEO of Timbalé Salsa con Toda, a standard-bearer project for impact initiatives and the construction of a social fabric that works towards the integration and inclusion of marginalized communes in Colombia, making an impact in recent years to more than 500 children and youth in the country promoting the empowerment, transformation and creation of new references and social leaders with awareness of change, adaptation and conflict resolution with art as an essential work tool and as the basis for the integral development of the human being.
With a focus on the role of social enterprise, David has been fully engaged in all aspects of community economic development during his years in the field. He is Managing Partner of Buy Social Canada, Chair of the Canadian Council on Social Enterprise, and Board Member of SEWF. He recently published “Marketplace Revolution, from Concentrated Wealth to Community Capital’ a book exploring the creation of a social value marketplace.
Lisa Lowthers is a single mom of three and “almost empty nester”, who is also the Senior Trainer for SEI. She has invested the last 30 years in business and community development in Canada. Through facilitation, training and counselling she helps organizations build business models that diversify revenue streams and achieve defined social impact at the same time. She is a certified adult educator, an internationally certified small business counsellor, and will be launching a national certification for community-based business developers in the fall of 2020.
With a passion for understanding the systems around us and working collaboratively on community centred solutions, Tori believes in people and the power of shifting perspectives and objectives to create monumental change. At Buy Social Canada Tori spearheads engagement and communication, championing the work of social enterprise and social procurement.