Speakers – Culture: The Missing Link

Culture: The Missing Link poster

We’re thrilled to be joined by an exciting line up of speakers for ‘Culture: The Missing Link’, hosted by Julie’s Bicycle at COP26 Green Zone in partnership with the British Council as part of The Climate Connection, a global platform for dialogue, cooperation and action against climate change.

The event will take place in person and online on Friday 5 November, 10 – 11:30am BST. Please note: the live event is taking place in person at the Tower Base South, Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA, but all tickets, secured via the COP public programme website are now sold out. You can still join the live event virtually by booking online.



Alison Tickell

Alison Tickell established Julie’s Bicycle in 2007 as a non-profit company helping the music industry reduce its environmental impacts and develop new thinking in tune with global environmental challenges. JB has since extended its remit to the performing and visual arts communities, and wider creative sector. With an increasing international profile JB is acknowledged as the leading organization bridging sustainability with the arts and culture.

Originally trained as a cellist, Alison worked with seminal jazz improviser and teacher John Stevens as a performer and trainer. She worked for many years with socially excluded young people at Community Music, training professional musicians in teaching, mentoring and business development, and then at Creative and Cultural Skills where she helped establish National Skills Academy for the music industry. Advisory roles include, Tonic Theatre, Observer Ethical Awards, Royal College of Arts, D&AD White Pencil Awards, Music Week, Tonic and WOMEX awards.


Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels, including her latest The Island of Missing Trees. She is a bestselling author in many countries around the world and her work has been translated into 55 languages. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and was Blackwell’s Book of the Year. The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among the 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. The Architect’s Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s inaugural book club, The Reading Room. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She also holds a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bard College.

Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She was a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. She has judged numerous literary prizes, including PEN Nabokov prize and she has chaired the Wellcome Prize. Recently, Shafak was awarded the Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize for her contribution to ‘the renewal of the art of storytelling’.


Es Devlin

British artist and designer Es Devlin creates large-scale sculptural installations and performances which aim to shift the viewer’s perspective. Her recent Forest for Change at Somerset House invited visitors to engage with the UN Global Goals and she has installed 197 trees as a parallel Conference of the Trees at COP26 Glasgow. Her mirror maze Forest of Us, explores the symmetry between trees and lungs at Superblue Miami while BlueSkyWhite, at 180 The Strand, responds to geoengineered sky bleaching. Having begun her practice in theatre and live music (Beyonce, Travis Scott, The Weeknd), she is the first female designer of the UK Pavilion at the World EXPO 2020, and was Artistic Director of the London Design Biennale.


Disha A Ravi

Disha A Ravi is a 23 year old climate justice activist with Fridays For Future India and a writer. She became an activist after she saw her family impacted by the water crisis. She is best known for advocating for better policies and governance for the climate and environmental sector. She is passionate about ensuring that voices from MAPA – Most Affected People and Areas are represented in climate conversations and negotiations.


Ed Hawkins

Ed is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, and a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report. His research examines how and why the climate has changed since the industrial revolution. He also leads Weather Rescue – a citizen science project involving thousands of volunteers – which is recovering millions of lost Victorian-era weather observations from hand-written archives and turning them into invaluable digital data. Ed also actively engages with a variety of audiences about climate change, especially through blogs, social media and graphical visualisations such as the Warming Stripes.


Nova Ruth

Nova Ruth Setyaningtyas is a live-artist. Not only written and sung, her lyrics are messages and guidance for her daily life. Born in Malang, East Java, Nova wrote lyrics about environmental and women issues. She started Legipait Coffee Shop in 2011 to hold music showcases and exhibitions for her surrounding artists in her hometown. Because she grew up singing in a church, reciting Qur’an, playing gamelan and singing Javanese pentatonics, her tunes represent her multi religious family. First lyrics with duo-female emcee Twinsista, Otak Asap, spoke about pollution in her surroundings caused by industry and irresponsible behaviour. From there on, she hasn’t stopped becoming part of the voice of nature. With her partner Filastine, Nova decided to hike down her mountainy hometown to the sea, enriching her recent project, Arka Kinari, the cultural sailing vessel. She is now voyaging the Indonesian water to share live performance from the deck of Arka Kinari, workshops, and live music sessions onboard with emerging local musicians, all powered by the wind and the sun. Also, she is one of the co-founder of The Women Of the Seven Seas that aim to connect women from all aspects of maritime life.


Love Ssega

Love Ssega (Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka) is a British-Ugandan musician, producer and climate activist. He is on the founding committee of Brian Eno-led music climate initiative EarthPercent and his recent multi-arts Season For Change commission “Airs of the South Circular” was a creative response to highlight the toxic effects of air pollution on the Black population in South London. It reached 100,000 residents across Lewisham Borough and was supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

His music has been performed across the globe from BBC Philharmonic to productions at Sydney Opera House. A keen advocate for education and the arts, Love Ssega currently works with National Literacy Trust, Music For Youth as an Ambassador and Shadwell Opera as a Trustee. A founding member of pop band Clean Bandit as co-writer/producer of “Mozart’s House”, Love Ssega also has a PhD in Laser Spectroscopy from the University of Cambridge.


Prem Gill

Prem is a polar conservationist and PhD student leading the “Seals from Space” project with the Scott Polar Research Institute, British Antarctic Survey, and WWF, using high-resolution satellite imagery to study polar seals and their sea ice habitats. Prem is also a 2021 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for Europe and works with the BBC on the landmark wildlife series Frozen Planet II. As a previous guest lecturer on AI and immersive technology for Oxford University’s Biodiversity, Conservation and Management MSc, Prem led a workshop and public event on AR/VR and Data Science for Conservation. Europe’s National Geographic Emerging Explorer 2021. As the founder of Polar Impact, a network of racial and ethnic minorities in polar research, Prem spearheads projects to retain talent from non-traditional backgrounds within polar and conservation science, and change the face of polar exploration.


Performer: Selina Nwulu

Selina Nwulu is a writer, poet and essayist with a commitment to social and climate justice. Her poetry and essays have been widely showcased in a variety of journals, short films and anthologies including the critically acclaimed anthology New Daughters of Africa. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Greek and Polish, exhibited on the Warsaw metro and in Dublin and New York. She was Young Poet Laureate for London 2015-6, an award that showcases literary talent across the capital and she was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2019. She is also a 2021 Arts Award Finalist for Environmental Writing. Her debut full-length collection, A Little Resurrection, is out with Bloomsbury in Autumn 2022.


Performer: Zena Edwards

For 27 years, Zena has been a professional writer/poet performer, facilitator, and creative project developer after graduating from Middlesex University. She studied storytelling and performance at The London International School for Performing Arts. She is founder and Creative Director of Verse In Dialog CIC . She is published in several anthologies including Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa, Second Edition and Dance the Guns to Silence (Flippedeye publishing).

Zena is a passionate advocate for championing The Green Belt and environmental issues for wellbeing, decolonisation, race and power and has been mentoring young and emerging artists in professional artist’s development and creative campaigning since 2010. She is a leading advocate for diversity for Culture Declares Emergency Movement.
As a multidisciplinary collaborator, Zena supported the late great Hugh Masekal and Baaba Maal, has worked as a consultant with internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer Akram Khan (Xenos), and has collaborated with Visual Artist – Theaster Gates (Soul Manufacturing Company), radical Film Maker Fahim Alam, (Riots Reframed), and The Last Poets.