Take a look through the activists, artists, thinkers and influencers taking part in our landmark summit We Make Tomorrow on 26th February 2020 at the Royal Geographical Society, London.
Noga Levy-Rapoport led the London climate strike march on 15 February 2020 and has since become a core organiser at the UK Student Climate Network. Her work primarily involves the Green New Deal campaign and school outreach, having travelled to Berlin as a national representative. Her work with the press includes the Guardian and BBC Radio 4. She confronted corporate leaders directly at International Petroleum Week in February, and has spoken at several rallies and events to demand urgent climate action. Noga is one of the founders of T.E.A., an amateur youth-led theatre group based in West London, dedicated to improving teenagers’ wellbeing through free performing arts training. Currently an A level student at Arts Educational School in Chiswick, Noga also trains as a classical singer.
Brian Eno is one of the leading contemporary musicians in Britain. He is known worldwide for his original music and for producing the albums by artists as diverse as U2, David Bowie, Talking Heads and Paul Simon. Brian’s projects include producing Coldplay’s world number one album Viva La Vida, and the U2 album No Line on the Horizon. He has used contemporary media to campaign for human rights and the environment, including being a Trustee of environmental law charity, Client Earth.
Nabil Ahmed is the co-founder of INTERPRT, a research group that fights environmental crimes using spatial analysis and advocates for the criminalization of ecocide as an international crime. INTERPRT works in collaboration and cooperation with international criminal lawyers, scientists and civil society organizations worldwide with a focus on extraction, the legacy of nuclear testing and climate crimes. The group’s research has been exhibited most recently at the Warsaw Biennale/The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Beirut Arts Centre and The Museon – museum for science and culture in The Hague. He has written for Third Text, MIT Press, Routledge, Documenta, Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge, Sternberg Press, Scientific Reports, Archeological and Environmental Forensic Science, among others. He holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture where he has a long-term research affiliation with Forensic Architecture. He has taught and lectured extensively in the UK and internationally.
Afsheen Kabir Rashid MBE is a community energy specialist with over 15 years experience of working with communities and Local Authorities. Afsheen is Co-founder and Co-CEO at Repowering London and sits as Chair of the Brixton Energy Solar Co-operatives, the UK’s first inner city community-owned solar power stations. A former Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and current Chair of Community Energy England, Afsheen is now a Board member of Friends of the Earth and an advisor to several organisations. Afsheen has a MA in Geography and MEnv in Environment, Science and Society and an Honorary Doctorate, and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for her work in renewable energy in deprived London communities.
Kareem Dayes is a composer, cellist, bassist, social entrepreneur and community organiser. Kareem co-founded the Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) as a response to both climate change and the housing crisis in London, in order to create sustainable and affordable homes. As a musician he created a record label as a social enterprise; and the profits were used to create RUSS. Kareem and his team founded a site in 2012 and ever since have been organising, lobbying and workshopping their way to convincing the council and funders to work with and support them. RUSS now has planning permission to build 33 homes, which is the largest self-initiated community-led housing scheme of its kind in London, with over 800 members. Kareem also now works for Lewisham Homes helping in their efforts to build a new generation of council homes for social rent.
Charise Johnson (she/her) is a science policy researcher, environmental justice advocate, and relative newcomer to the UK. As a policy adviser at the British Academy, her work focuses broadly on the interlinking roles of science, social science, and humanities in upholding democracy and solving pressing environmental issues. Her past professional experiences are diverse, ranging from work on endangered species,chemical safety and air pollution, ocean conservation, and gender and racial equity in STEM. Prior to her role at the British Academy, Charise worked as a research analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy in Washington DC and served on the leadership board of the volunteer-led advocacy group 500 Women Scientists. She holds a BA in Psychology, an MS in Environmental Science, and is interested broadly in science and society.
Jason de Caires Taylor is a sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. His permanent site-specific works predominately explore submerged and tidal marine environments. His multi-disciplinarily sculptural works explore modern themes of conservation and environmental activism. Over the past 10 years Taylor has created several large-scale underwater Museums’ and ‘Sculpture Parks’, with collections of over 850 life-size public works. He gained international notoriety in 2006 with the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies. He has received numerous sculpture and photography awards and is a member of The Royal Society of Sculptors, Ocean Ambassador to DAN (Divers Alert Network), Ocean Exemplar of The World Ocean Observatory and a featured TED speaker. In 2014 he was awarded The Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, described as the Jacques Cousteau of the Art world.
Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges, and is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries. She is a Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is also a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Her work has been widely influential amongst sustainable development thinkers, progressive businesses and political activists, and she has presented it to audiences ranging from the UN General Assembly to the Occupy movement. Her book, Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist was published in 2017 and has been translated into 15 languages. The Guardian named her as “one of the top ten tweeters on economic transformation”.
Jamie Oborne is the owner and CEO of Dirty Hit Records and All on Red Management, working with The 1975, Wolf Alice and Benjamin Francis Leftwich among other artists. Oborne has previously called out anyone “in the world who is waiting for people to do something before they can legitimately do it themselves”. He said The 1975’s work with activist Greta Thunberg, who features on a track from Notes On A Conditional Form, “finally made the penny drop” in his mind. “I forgot my own selfish desires,” he said. “When you start reading up on this (climate) stuff it’s pretty harrowing.” Dirty Hit is involved in the Music Declares Emergency campaign and won Artist & Management Awards ‘Entrepreneur of The Year Award’ in 2018.
Frances Morris has been Director of Tate Modern since 2016. Curator, writer and broadcaster, Frances joined Tate in 1987 becoming Head of Displays at Tate Modern in 2000 and Director of Collections, International Art from 2006. Alongside many exhibition projects and publications, including acclaimed retrospectives of Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama and Agnes Martin, Frances has led the transformation of Tate’s International Collection, strategically broadening and diversifying its international reach, developing the collecting of live art and performance and pioneering new forms of museum display.
Chris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the public body tasked by the Climate Change Act to be the independent authority on tackling climate change. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering expert insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate.
Chris led the CCC’s work in 2019 to recommend a new ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK – now brought into law. He speaks regularly on the transition to a zero carbon economy and the need to confront climate change with urgency. Chris has wide experience in government. He has designed economic policy in Whitehall, including in HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of the Scottish energy and climate strategies.
Baroness Lola Young OBE is an independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords. She founded and Co-Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights and has previously served on Select Committees on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on EU. As Chair of the Young Review, and Agenda: the Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk, Baroness Young has addressed racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system and the vulnerability of traumatised women and girls respectively. Baroness Young holds several honorary doctorates, has sat on the Boards of several national cultural organisations and charities, has been a Chair of judges for the Orange Prize for Literature and the Man Booker prize. She is now working on eliminating modern forms of slavery in supply chains, with a focus on fashion and sport.
Andrea is Lead Producer at D6: Culture in Transit, a visual arts organisation working with partners, communities and policy makers, to promote the role of artists in the sustainable development of our towns and cities.D6’s current programme, There is Beauty in this Journey engages artists, partners and networks on a local and international level. The programme explores the complexities of colonial heritages intersecting historic and contemporary migration, environmental sustainability, gender, social justice, race, institutional practice and de-colonisation. Andrea has lived in the North East since 1998, working extensively in the fields of visual arts and heritage, with a long-standing focus on socially engaged practice and a greater representation of marginalised heritage and community networks. She has co-delivered artistic programmes for BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and TynesideCinema; and co-developed heritage and engagement strategies with Riverside Studios (London)and Museums Northumberland.
Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change policy expert and activist. For 30 years she has provided high level strategic and legal advice to leaders of vulnerable countries and was Lead Author of three assessment reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She is also credited with getting the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 into the 2015 Paris Agreement after which Ms Yamin founded Track 0, a co-created global campaign to unify the climate movement focusing on a full phase-out of greenhouse gas emissions to zero in line with climate science. In 2018 She joined Extinction Rebellion (XR) as Coordinator of the Political Strategy Team and played a central role in the rebellion including getting arrested in April 2019 for gluing herself to the HQ of the oil giant, Shell. She now remains a member of XR’s International Solidarity Network and is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Senior Advisor for Systemiq, a Trustee for Greenpeace-UK and Julie’s Bicycle, and a member the Programme Committee of WWF-UK.
Zamzam is the President of the National Union of Students (NUS) where she is elected to represent the views of learners across the UK. Along with student leaders in Students’ Unions across the country Zamzam works every day to campaign toward a free and funded education system. Prior to her current role Zamzam was NUS’ Vice President Society and Citizenship, and President of University of Salford Students’ Union.
Chaitanya joined Green Alliance in February 2017 as Head of Climate and Energy, focussing on projects surrounding local authority climate emergencies and consumer benefits of electromobility. Before joining Green Alliance, Chaitanya worked as the South Asia campaigns leader at 350.org, an international climate campaigning group. He was responsible for designing and executing political and educational campaigns, to move India and other key South Asian countries away from coal and towards cleaner forms of renewable energy. He has closely followed the international climate negotiations since 2008 and has written extensively on climate and energy issues. He holds an MSc in Energy Policy for Sustainability from the University of Sussex and a BA in Computer Science from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India.
Born and raised in South East London, Drill Minister AKA Young Drilly is more than an internet/TV star as a real activist and wordsmith, he just connected as he says with “What the young people of today really want to say”. Giving a voice to his inner City childhood, exposure to the struggles of the working man, minorities and how youth culture, Drill Minister has become “The Streets Elected Voice” across music, politics and youth culture. Addressing political issues the young Drill Minister has already been heavily supported by TV, Radio and The Community, his next step is to build his team and supporters as he heads towards the London and then Cabinet Elections. A real political voice, that takes an informed stance on not only politicians’ hypocrisy alongside general issues, but also the realities of London life.
Sholeh is a creative producer, consultant and facilitator working across the creative industries exploring the role of the arts and cultural leadership in systemic change and sustainable development. She has worked with hundreds of people and organisations and different artforms in the UK and internationally on issues such as climate change and environmental sustainability, social justice, intercultural understanding, and wellbeing. Sholeh is an Associate of Julie’s Bicycle, with whom she co-created the Creative Climate Leadership programme. She is a Clore Leadership programme Fellow (2016/17).
Dr Darren Henley OBE is chief executive of Arts Council England. Before joining the Arts Council, he led Classic FM for fifteen years first as managing editor and then as managing director. The author of two independent government reviews into music education and cultural education, his books include The Virtuous Circle: Why Creativity and Cultural Education Count (2014), The Arts Dividend: Why Investment in Culture Pays (2016), and Creativity: Why It Matters (2018). He holds a doctorate in professional studies, master’s degrees in management and in history of art, and a degree in politics. He is a Certified Coach and a Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Appointed an OBE for services to music, he received the British Academy President’s Medal for his contributions to music education, music research and the arts.
Richard Ashton is General Manager at Opera North, its environmental sustainability lead and part of its senior leadership team. He is leading on the Company’s £18m capital project. Formerly he was a professional oboist.
Chiara is a curator, speaker, researcher, and facilitator working across Julie’s Bicycle’s programmes and events, with a focus on getting the music industry up to speed when it comes to embedding environmental sustainability and best practice in their activities. Chiara has contributed to JB publications including the Powerful Thinking ‘The Show Must Go On’ report on UK music festival environmental impacts; IFACCA D’Art Report 34b: The Arts and Environmental Sustainability: An International Overview of cultural policy on environmental sustainability; the Julie’s Bicycle COP21 Creative Manifesto briefing; and Julie’s Bicycle Practical Guides on a wide range of topics. Chiara holds a degree in Natural Sciences/History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and has previously worked in cultural PR, live music promotions, and for music and arts festivals.
Sam Lee is a Mercury Prize-nominated and BBC Folk Award winning singer, conservationist and curator. Before becoming a musician, he trained in fine art but his life long passion has been wilderness studies and nature connection. He is a folk music specialist dedicated to collecting, sharing and interpreting the ancient oral music from Britain and Ireland. Sam’s forging of music and nature awareness has been most prolific through his ‘Singing with Nightingales’, an annual springtime concert series. Sam worked as musical director on the RSPB’s 2019 Top 20 birdsong single, ‘Let Nature Sing’. and his 2020 nature focused album ‘Old Wow’ garnered 5* reviews.
Tony is chair of Trustees for Julie’s Bicycle. He was Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK & Ireland from 1998-2008. Prior to that, he was Managing Director of the Parlophone label, working closely with artists such as Blur, Radiohead, Crowded House, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys and Queen. He subsequently managed all of EMI’s UK labels, working with global artists including Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen, Gorillaz, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Tony has previously acted as Chairman of the BPI, the representative body of the UK recorded music industry, and Chairman of BRIT Awards Ltd. He is a Trustee of the BRIT Trust, Governor of the BRIT School, Trustee of the Music Sound Foundation and Trustee of the EMI Archive Trust. He is non-executive Board Director of BIMM, the market leader in popular music higher education. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Music Week Strat Award for outstanding contribution to the UK music industry. In 2009 he was awarded the Scott Piering Award by the Radio Academy for outstanding contribution to music industry. In 2011 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the music industry. In 2017, Tony chaired the judging panel for the prestigious Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.
Lucia Pietroiusti is Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries (London) as well as the Curator of Sun & Sea (Marina) by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte, the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019, awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. She is the curator (with Filipa Ramos) of the durational festival on interspecies consciousness, The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (2018-19) as well as the research, publication and performance project, PLANTSEX, on erotics and botany. Since 2013, she has programmed and produced research projects, artist commissions and performances, as well as film and collaborative partnerships, at the Serpentine Galleries. Pietroiusti was the co-curator of the 2018 (Work), 2016 (Miracle), 2015 (Transformation) and 2014 (Extinction) editions of the Serpentine’s yearly Marathon festival of art, science and technology; and the co-curator (with Kay Watson) and co-presenter (with Victoria Sin) of The Serpentine Podcast. Previously, Pietroiusti has been Assistant Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2007-2009) and Associate Editor of the journal of the arts and letters, Boulevard Magenta (2008-2010). Pietroiusti is currently researching more-than-humanism, ecology, interspecies consciousness, species extinction, plant intelligence, botany and myth.