Opening Dinner – including UA Judging Panel, (Smock Alley Theatre)
Medal Presentation Ceremony
Former Bodyguard of Nelson Mandela, Inspirational Speaker
Born at a very difficult period in South Africa’s history, Chris made a decision early in his life to become an activist and oppose the racially based system of ‘apartheid’. This decision was to put him on a direct collision course with the ‘apartheid’ regime which resulted in several spells of incarceration, torture and near-death experiences. After Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990 and the fall of ‘apartheid’, Chris worked with Nelson Mandela until his retirement as a bodyguard and also got involved in the delicate negotiations with the ‘apartheid regime’ resulting in subsequent agreement and the drafting of the new constitution. At present Chris works within various sectors as a keynote speaker and uses stories from his past to inspire positive change. His talks cover various themes including determination, resilience, courage, humanity, courage and forgiveness. Chris draws mainly from the important lessons he learned from Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Author, Human Rights Campaigner, International Woman of the Year 2006
Author and human rights campaigner Zerbanoo Gifford is the founder of the ASHA Centre, which pioneers youth empowerment in the fields of sustainable development, interfaith and intercultural dialogue and the arts. She holds the International Woman of the Year Award 2006 for her humanitarian work, which spans fifty years of grassroots and global activism, as well as the Nehru Centenary Award for her work championing the rights of women, children and minorities. A pioneer for Asian Women in British politics, Zerbanoo has also been London organiser for the charity Shelter and was director of Anti-Slavery International. Her seven books include ‘Thomas Clarkson and the Campaign against Slavery’, ‘Dadabhai Naoroji, Britain’s First Asian MP’, and ‘Secrets of the Worlds Inspirational Women’, highlighting the lives of 300 exceptional women from 60 countries for which she was awarded a ‘NESTA Fellowship’. Zerbanoo’s biography ‘An Uncensored Life’ is published by Harper Collins.
Prof Noel Sharkey
Emiritus Professor of AI and Robotics, University of Sheffield
Co-director Foundation for Responsible Robotics
As an interdisciplinary researcher, Sharkey spent 3+ decades working in AI, Robotics, Cognitive Science neural computing and evolutionary methods at the Universities of Exeter, Yale, Stanford, Essex and Sheffield. Now he works full time on the ethical risks and societal implications of technology including policing, care, military, transport, sex, surgery, civil surveillance and inequality of gender and race. As well as writing academic articles, Sharkey writes for national newspapers and magazines. He appears regularly on TV and Radio news to discuss current issues and problems being introduced by the application of AI and Robotics. He is probably best known to the British Public as Head Judge on BBC 2 Robot Wars (since 1998).
Mr Kingsley Aikins
Founder and CEO of Diaspora Matters
Diaspora Matters is a Dublin based consultancy company that has worked with over 30 countries to help them develop strategies to connect with their diasporas. Kingsley has written and spoken extensively on networking, philanthropy and diasporas. Prior to that he ran The Ireland Funds, a global philanthropic network, for 21 years and before that was the Sydney based representative of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. He is an economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin.
Prof Dame Sue Black
Director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification
Director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science
An anatomist and a forensic anthropologist who has worked for UK police forces, the UN and overseas including war crimes investigations in Kosovo and the Asia Tsunami of 2004. Author of 12 text books and over 130 papers. Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Awarded an OBE and a DBE for her services to forensic anthropology.
Ailbhe Smith is a campaigner and former academic. The founding head of Women’s Studies at University College Dublin (UCD), she left academia in 2006 to work with women’s community organisations and in social movement politics. Ailbhe has published widely on feminism, politics and culture in Ireland and is a regular contributor to media and public debate in Ireland. Active in feminist, LGBT and socialist politics for many year, Ailbhe was on the Strategic Executive of the victorious Irish referendum campaign for same-sex marriage in 2015. She has been campaigning for women’s right to choose for over 35 years, and is Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment which she co-founded in 2014. The Coalition is a cross-sectoral platform of over 100 organisations and groups and is preparing for a referendum on the issue in 2018.
Dr. Roja Fazaeli
Assistant Professor of Islamic Civilisations
Dr. Roja Fazaeli is an Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin and Warden of Trinity Hall, a residential learning community of 1,000 students. Roja has published widely on the subjects of Islamic feminisms, female religious authorities, women’s rights in Iran, and the relationship between human rights and religion. Her most recent book is “Islamic Feminisms: Rights and Interpretations Across Generations in Iran”. She is currently on the editorial board of the journal Religion and Human Rights and is a member of the executive committee of the Immigrant Council of Ireland. Roja also serves as the representative for Scholars at Risk at Trinity College Dublin. She previously served on the executive boards of the Irish Refugee Council, UN Women Ireland, the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies, as well as the board of directors of Amnesty International – Ireland.
Dr. Charity Wayua
Research Scientist at IBM Research Africa
Dr. Charity Wayua was born and brought up in several different towns in Kenya. After high school, she obtained a scholarship with the Zawadi Africa Education Fund to study at Xavier University, (Ohio, US) where she majored in Chemistry and had minors in Business and Gender and Diversity Studies. Following her graduation, she attended Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana, US) where she pursued her PhD in Chemistry. At Purdue, her research was focused on developing targeted therapeutics and imaging agents for lung, pancreatic and colon cancers. After graduation, she moved back to Kenya and joined IBM research Africa as a research scientist working on education. Currently Dr. Wayua is managing the Public Sector research team at the lab which mainly focuses on developing innovations that transform governments. In the two years, her work resulted in an unprecedented +44 point increase for Kenya on the World Bank Doing Business ranking.
Director, Science Gallery Dublin
Lynn Scarff is the Director of Science Gallery Dublin. She has extensive experience in developing and leading public engagement projects in science, arts and education fields. Lynn comes from a background of work in the environmental and not for profit sectors and has developed a series of programmes, exhibitions, events, books, TV and radio for these areas. Beginning her role in Science Gallery as the Education and Outreach Manager, Lynn has been involved since its inception. She is passionate about science and arts and the potential of spaces like Science Gallery to be facilitators of transformation in people’s lives.
Producer, Film Director, Writer, Musician and Broadcaster
Probably most famous these days as the founder of Other Voices, Philip King is a producer, film director, writer, musician and broadcaster. He is also a commentator and contributor to national and international forums on the role and contribution of culture and arts in a world where we are more connected and more isolated than ever before – hence his deep interest in the collision of the arts and technology. A former member of the Arts Council of Ireland, King’s achievements in broadcasting since the 1980s include The Full Set, a series on Irish traditional music, as well as documentaries on Nigel Kennedy and John McGahern. King is the driving force behind Other Voices, the documentary and music series featuring some of the biggest names in music, from Amy Winehouse to Ellie Goulding.
He continues to tour with his band Scullion and presents a weekly radio show, South Wind Blows.