There will be 16 Speakers at the TEDxLancasterU 2017 Conference. More to be announced!

Marc Rivers

A dual US-Swiss citizen, Marc Rivers has over 20 years of experience in various finance roles in the pharmaceutical industry in the US, Japan, China and Europe. Marc currently serves as the CFO of the Pharmaceutical Division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Basel, Switzerland. He is the proud father of 3 boys, volunteers with the Boy Scouts, and is an active member of the Bahá’í Faith.

Marc will share lessons gleaned from the example of the life of his grandfather who passed from this earthly plane recently after a 92 and a half year journey filled with hard work, sacrifice, pain, joy, mistakes, tears, laughter, victories, precious learnings and, ultimately, simple and complete gratitude.


Dr. Emily Cooper

Emily studied for a BSc (Hons) in Geography at Lancaster University, and remained there to complete her PhD in Human Geography (awarded 2014). The PhD focused on the impacts of living in close proximity to brothels on residential communities in Blackpool.  She joined UCLan in 2016 as a Lecturer in Human Geography and a researcher for UCLan Policing.

Emily’s research centres on how sex, space and society interact, with a particular focus on sex work in recent studies.  She is also engaged in projects relating to female ex-offenders and young people at risk of involvement with serious and organised crime.

Sex work is considered to be a problematic feature of urban areas, largely generating fears around crime and disorder. However, robust and inclusive consultations with residential communities about the effects of sex work remain limited.

This talk will draw from conversations with local residents, authorities, and sex workers of Blackpool (UK) and will provide an insight into this under-researched area. Contrary to the assumption that crime and disorder are the only aspects that brothels bring to residential areas, brothels have several roles in Blackpool’s community. These include: economic contributions, heightening feelings of safety, and, quite simply, just being ‘ordinary neighbours’.


John Hardy

John Hardy is an inventor and computer scientist with a love for building tools that help people explore new and emerging technologies. In this talk he will describe what the world might be like if we could program our physical environments in the same way that we program our computers, and share how research is moving towards the ultimate computer. John graduated in 2014 with a PhD in Digital Innovation from Lancaster University and now runs a start up in Manchester called Hardy & Ellis Inventions LTD where they put the research into practice.


Erica Sosna

Erica is a highly experienced professional in the area of leadership and career coaching. An accomplished storyteller and performance poet, she uses her creative communication style to deliver inspirational messages that pack a punch. Erica is the author of Your Life Plan, runs her own company and not only helps individuals to understand themselves and reveal their full potential, but also works with companies to retain and grow talent by meeting the need for inspiring and useful careers education. Erica’s mission in life is to support people to remember, action and celebrate who they really are.  She sees no limits, has a strong personal vision and a fun and practical approach that supports others to achieve dreams and goals. Erica has worked with hundreds of people to help them find their ideal career using the Your Life Plan method. Her talk on how to find a career you love, will share the three key tools she knows make the most difference in finding and starting your ideal job.

You can find out more about her and her work, as well as taking her free careers personality test at www.ericasosna.com


 Nadeem Khan

Nadeem R Khan has been providing unmatched services to the Learning and Development sector for the past 9 years. He is now a scholar of the MA Human Resources & Consulting program at the Lancaster University Management School. Being awarded with a scholarship from the Department of Leadership & Management, his research interests include leadership, performance management and people analytics.

An MBA from one of Pakistan’s top university, Nadeem is the Founder and CEO of The Intrapreneur – a Management Development Consultancy and has worked collaboratively with some of the best organisations to improve the performance of human capital.

Have you ever dared to look back at what you have done in the past? Do you feel scared to do so? Don’t be! Because your past is your best friend only if you believe you can learn from it and do better in the future. It’s the one thing that plays a major role in reaching your true potential. The experiences that you have had in your past motivate you to keep moving forward and determine your success. Looking back at your experiences can help give you a clear vision for your future.

Nadeem R Khan shares his experience of how reflective practice can help you unlock your potential and become the best at what you do.


Isabella Ford

I’m originally from Winchester, Hampshire, but I’m currently in my third year at Lancaster University studying English Literature. I started She Works, a careers website for women, in the summer of 2015 after looking for a resource with advice about internships from different career paths and not finding what I wanted. I figured there would be other women who would benefit from this kind of online resource, so decided to start it myself. My main aim now is to motivate and inspire young women who are unsure of their career path or are anxious about breaking into a male-dominated industry.

At school, college and university, we are all pushed to know exactly what we want to do the minute we step out of education. In my talk, I want to focus on why it’s not only acceptable to have no idea what career we want at this age, but that open-mindedness should be encouraged. Using my website as a basis, I’ll look at the specific paths of some of the powerful women we’ve interviewed, and how none of them made the conventional progression we’re pressed to aspire to ourselves.


 Maja Groff

A graduate of Harvard University, Maja also has a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford (Social Anthropology) and two law degrees (common law and civil law) from McGill University. Her main focus is on international treaty law in the private law area, regularly addressing issues of international human rights law. For more than seven years Maja has been a practicing international lawyer in The Hague, Netherlands. She conducts liaison work with professional bodies and international organisations and has played a key role in the convening of international legal expert groups and conferences.

It is today a truism that we live in an interconnected world. Our lives, families, businesses and other activities are often linked to multiple countries throughout the world, defying even regional boundaries. However, despite this, international law is considered as something remote or unknown to most citizens. This talk will explore what international law has to say about being human in the 21stCentury.


Claire Liang

Moving to Canada from China alone at the age of 17, Claire Liang studied international business at Schulich School of Business at York University and went to the UK for exchange. Enthusiastic in solving high-impact problems, she worked as a consultant at Accenture and served companies across China and North America. Self-described as a “non-conventional path paver”, she volunteered in Tunisia, backpacked in Japan, and spent a month living in the wood.

In 2016, after seeing an old man searching food from a garbage bin, Claire found FUUDY, a non-profit redistributing surplus food via SmartSharing fridge and social networks to reduce hunger and food waste. Now leading 150 people across universities, industries, and organizations, FUUDY creates a network uniting different perspectives among enterprises, the hungry, and the givers.


Harriet Davis

I’m 25; I grew up in Northern Ireland and moved to Lancaster in 2011 to study. I enjoy playing the piano and I’m secretly a granny at heart as I love a bit of knitting and wearing pyjamas. I study medicine and I could be described as having a typical Type A personality. Always wanting to achieve, never satisfied with the outcome and therefore striving for more. Being mildly impatient, mostly with myself, and wanting to see perfect results instantly. All these traits have served me well in my chosen career, but they would also be my downfall.