The Life Changing Magic of Food
Engineer, Artist, Ex-International Racing driver, Scrapheap Challenge star, avid collector of knowledge, and a maker of weird and wonderful things.
My Dad, got me into making, he built his first hovercraft in 1966. The first thing my Mum knew about it, was when she came home from shopping to find him sawing wood in the living room. I started racing hovercraft when I was 13, and raced nationally and internationally for 20 years. I studied Automotive Engineering at University, and became a Bearing Application Engineer, and then an Art Teacher. I was also asked to be on the first series of Scrapheap Challenge alongside Dick Strawbridge.
I currently run the Fab Lab at Sandwell College. A Fab Lab is a place where people come and make almost anything. It has been variously compared to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, and Q’s workshop from James Bond, and for anyone into making, it is a mind-blowing experience.
I have to know how things work and that includes the human body. I like to ask questions, like what if I do eat 10 potions of plant foods every day? Will I feel any different? I use tech to see what works.
Sex and Sensibility: A Novel Approach
Chris Burden is a proud Wulfrunian, and University of Birmingham and Wolverhampton alumnus. They are a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and a social activist, campaigning for numerous issues including youth engagement in politics, LGBTQ+ liberation, and environmental causes.
Chris sits on the board of the Young Combined Authority, as well as their local political party branch, where they raise the opinions and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community to those with the power to effect change. This experience has shown Chris the limitations and restrictions placed on the community, preventing a full integration to society, inspiring them to campaign for change.
Chris is particularly interested in the voices of the largely unheard working-class voices in the debate around LGBTQ+ liberation, and wishes to bring their own experience of these issues to a wider audience. They wish to provide an opportunity to hear a frank, open, and honest discussion on the issues of a marginalised community, with no punches pulled.
Chris is honoured to accept this opportunity to raise these issues to a wider audience, and looks forward to sharing their experiences.
Disability and Ambitions
Gina Patel is passionate and proud to work for the NHS as a Personal Assistant at Health Education England and is Portfolio Co-Lead for Skills and Digital on the West Midlands Young Combined Authority. She is a young woman with Cerebral Palsy (Hemiplegia) and Epilepsy who is an ardent disability rights activist by wanting to use her voice for good. She inspires to be a positive role model for all people with disabilities to convey that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. She is strong-minded in ensuring no one goes through the same situations in life that she has personally gone through and continues to do so. She is committed to breaking down barriers through educating others on the disability perception and the need for inclusion as a whole!
Gina is determined to speak out for all people with disabilities (including those with mental health issues.) But she is particularly passionate to speak out for those who are unable to do so for themselves. She believes that no one is too disabled to live an ordinary life and encourages this in her day-to-day life to others.
The Vibration of rejection, How a moment shapes who we become
Kupid the King is a Youth Mentor, International Recording & Performing Artist and Father
who works with hard to reach young people at The Switch Project. Kupid specialises in
engaging them through improvisation, tailored activities and conversations around social &
emotional wellbeing and personal development.
Kupid is passionate about challenging stereotypes, changing perceptions around young
people, building relationships and promoting healthy mindsets through early intervention and
Kupid the King prides himself in sharing an honest message through his music and extends
his positive practices through every area of his life. Kupid was encouraged by a young
person, who was inspired by his real talk approach, that he should share his knowledge,
ideas and experience through a Ted Talk.
Many of the young people and artists who Kupid has worked with have been affected by
rejection and have found a variety of ways to overcome and/or avoid future rejection.
In his talk, Kupid the King will explore the different ways we feel rejection, our cognitive
reaction to it and what it sounds like at different stages of our life.
“Change the Curriculum, Close the Gap! Education, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment”
Lisa started her career in marketing for a multi-national company before reading BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. She then went on to complete a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and started her academic career in Further Education colleges teaching media, film and advertising, gaining QTLS status.
After leaving the FE Sector in 2011, Lisa went on to become a freelance video producer and started her own small business in specialised event catering and management, developing a successful brand alongside writing and blogging. Lisa then went on to complete a postgraduate qualification in Enterprise Management from the University of Birmingham and a Certificate in Digital Marketing through the Open University.
Lisa joined the University of Wolverhampton Business School in 2018 as a Lecturer in Digital Marketing and Enterprise and is currently working towards a Professional Doctorate in Education (Educational Enquiry).
Lisa’s research interests lie within enterprise education, ethical business practices, women leaders and entrepreneurs, social enterprise and digital marketing.
Lisa is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute as well as a Qualified Teacher for Learning and Skills.
Putting the ACT in Activism
Millie Gould (she/they) is an 18 year old activist and volunteer from the West Midlands, serving as a Member of Youth Parliament for 2 terms and having campaigned locally and nationally on issues she feels passionate about, such as Climate Change and Educational Equality.
Millie has just completed her final year at Sixth Form and is hoping to study Politics in September. In addition, she also enjoys spending time in nature, writing and reading and runs her own small jewellery business.
“The Personal Development Myth & My Army Solution”
Nathan John is a student turned teacher of self-motivation and personal development. From
humble beginnings, born in Wolverhampton, and following 20 years’ experience in the British
Army, degrees from Kings College London, Northumbria Business School and the Open
University, Nathan is a natural entrepreneur and has built several businesses including a
property portfolio and media company.
His debut book, Decision Point: The First Book You Read if You Want To Succeed, it is a
culmination of his personal development journey and a synthesis of his best lessons for
success. Nathan has fused practical human psychology with his own research to support and
develop colleagues and clients to achieve their own successes.
Now mentor to others, Nathan loves nothing more than to support and empower others to
realise and chart a path to life’s ultimate goal is – happiness.
An end to violence? Rethinking gender, refocusing power
Pamilerin Beckley is a digital communications professional with an insatiable passion for storytelling. As the Architect of Stories of The Haven, Wolverhampton, she engages with various stakeholders to explore how their stories can be told, through digital mediums, as a catalyst for change.
She has always been an advocate for women’s rights and the betterment of the girl child. As the former editor-in-chief of GoWoman Africa, she curated content covering various issues affecting women and children, including but not limited to domestic violence, female genital mutilation, discrimination and gender parity. She was exposed to and became fully cognizant of the stereotypes and stigma associated with many of these gender-based societal issues and how the power dynamics between men and women often leave women at the bottom end of the totem pole.
As a freelancer, she supports small to medium women-led businesses and organisations with simple, affordable but effective design and digital solutions. She has developed brand identities, designed and implemented marketing and communication strategies, which have improved consumer engagement and secured media coverage in leading media outlets like CNN and The Huffington Post.
Different is not a bad word: reframing our obsession with being normal
Becca is an autistic and ADHD individual who studied to become a Primary Teacher. Since graduating, instead of going back into the classroom, she has been working in various countries in Europe and North America with children, young people and adults, with varying conditions and support needs.
She is passionate about inclusivity and driving change for acceptance, awareness and celebration of those within the autistic community and those who identify as “different”.
Pranav Patel has 17 years of teaching experience working recently as an assistant principal. He has an exciting career in leadership; leading standards; behaviour; data; professional development, and curriculum. His NPQSL project was to lead whole-school coaching and has been a successful coach for over a decade. Pran has suffered from depression, anxiety and sleeplessness for much of his life; he firmly believes that we should accept and embrace these issues as illnesses. As such he firmly stands as a mental health advocate, he recently featured in the BBC documentary ‘Why teaching is making me ill’ and has spoken openly about the pressure of the education sector.
As a man of colour, Pran ascribes as a member of the ‘Global Majority’. While at university in the year 2000 he started his journey on the anti-racist road. In his inspirational TEDx talk ‘Decolonise the Curriculum’ he describes the moment he realised that the world was tiered away from an authentic truth and that started with the school curriculum. In this vein he recently featured in the Sky News Film ‘Slavery in Britain: What don’t we know?’ Alongside Prof Davide Olugosa, Prof Christopher J Brown, Prof Diana Paton and Prof Olivette Otele.
Pran is writing a book called the anti racist educator due out later in 2021.