Talks 2018

“Personality Prostheses”


Do you ever catch yourself saying “If only I was more organised” or “if only I was better at time management”? In studies of office and computer desktops the first thing most people do is apologise for the untidiness of their real or virtual desk. We recognise that we all have different physical abilities and intellectual aptitudes, but when it comes to personality or cognitive style we treat our differences as signs of moral turpitude.

Alan is Director of the Computational Foundry in Swansea University, and has worked previously in industry including start-ups, and high-tech products, in areas from technical creativity and innovation to debugging and design.

Alan’s current work is developing techniques to augment and compliment individuals’ varying cognitive traits. His work and his talk suggest that rather than saying, “if only I were different”, we should try to help each person achieve their goals given who they are.

“The gifts my grandmother gave me (and all the years it took me to receive them)”


Clare spent decades seeking to be more intellectual and spiritually expansive through various means, ranging from academic research to voodoo ceremonies in New Orleans. She will share how she finally received some unexpected answers in an unlikely place, from an unlikely person.

Wisdom isn’t something we need to go to extremes to find; everyone has a gift to share that can enlighten others.

“The Art of Getting What You Want”


Why is it easier to get what you want from some people that others? How do you gain confidence to achieve things you only ever dreamed of? Find out how in Alison Edgar’s Tedx Talk.

Alison’s debut book ‘Secrets of Successful Sales’ has reached the top of the Amazon best-selling chart and she’s been named one of the UK’s Top Ten Business Advisers and the UK’s #1 Sales and Marketing Adviser by Enterprise Nation.

“So you think slavery isn’t happening here? Think again”


Slavery is alive, well and thriving, right on our doorstep. Tens of thousands of people are trapped in modern slavery in the UK today, with British nationals making up the highest number of cases, followed by people from Albania and Vietnam. The criminals who prey on vulnerable individuals do not discriminate.

Slavery is a global phenomenon with a strong local dimension. This form of criminality and exploitation is taking place in plain sight and if we look closely we can spot the signs. We all need to be part of the anti-slavery movement.

Bela Arora at USW

“Understanding societal change through the language of accounting”


Far from being a passive measuring and reporting instrument, accounting is an essential tool in the construction of the world we live in.Its transformative nature is profound in many spheres of our lives.

The language of accounting is used to trigger and rationalise major change in our society, such as Brexit, and through this language we can make sense of where we are heading and why.

George Salijeni is a Chartered Accountant and has recently finished his PhD in Accounting and Finance at University of Manchester. As an academic, his interests in accounting relate to areas such as the social relevance of auditing, the role of Big Data and algorithmic tools in Accounting, and how accounting is implicated in the institutional structures and processes. George is also an active member of a charitable organisation “No Woman Should Die Giving Birth”, based in Malawi.

George Salijeni

“How the simple act of cutting someone’s hair can change more than how they look”


Mancunian ex-serviceman Ged King loves his city, but it broke his heart to see so many men and women living rough on the streets and he wanted to do something to help.

Ged’s a firm believer that when you’re going through a bad time it shows on your face, and if you clean yourself up you instantly feel better. Providing 1,000s of free haircuts and personal grooming to homeless people in Manchester and elsewhere, Ged illustrates the value of giving your time to connect with people and how you can build a tribe by taking action.

Ged King / Skullfades (Instagram)

“Parenting is not for cowards”


Gerrit played rugby with some of South Africa’s greats, he became a British paratrooper at the age of forty, is a Christian men’s ministry leader and even once dared tell his wife that she did not need another pair of shoes. But none of these things come even close to the sheer challenge of being a father.

In his work with national charity, Care for the Family (they have spoken to more than a million people at live events), Gerrit has discovered three golden keys that not only make us more effective parents, but also make the whole task a lot less scary – for us and our kids.

Gerrit Bantjes, Care For The Family

“Creating illusions to make a real difference”


Lloyd has an unusual job: he creates and develops magic tricks for magicians and performance artists all over the world.

Born and raised in a sleepy Welsh seaside town, it was a difficult conversation to navigate with the Careers Adviser and, though he’d often been encouraged to think outside the box, he was more interested in burning it down instead.

Lloyd will take us ‘behind the curtain’, exposing the secrets to a lateral, holistic approach to working out what you love, what you’re good at and making it happen.

Lloyd Barnes on Instagram