UA Global Summit 2017

See the highlights from the UA Global Summit 2017!


Schedule Overview

Tuesday 7th
Airport Arrivals
Check In
Opening Dinner – including UA Judging Panel, (Smock Alley Theatre)

Wednesday 8th
UPresent & UFair (Light House Cinema)
Dinner & Mixer with Irish Music (Generator Hostel)

Thursday 9th
The Colloquium (Farmleigh House)
Medal Presentation Ceremony (Dublin City Hall)
Gala Dinner


Medal Presentation Ceremony

Keynote Speaker

Chris Lubbe
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.

Zerbanoo Gifford 
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.


The Colloquium

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 Smyth

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.

Lynn Scarff
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.


Philip King
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.

Syed Shoaib Hasan Rizvi
Founder & Executive Director at ‘I Am An Entrepreneur’

Shoaib is an advocate of women’s economic empowerment. In 2012, he created the ‘I Am An Entrepreneur’ campaign in Pakistan, which provides microloans and mentors to women to develop their entrepreneurial ventures. While pursuing a Media undergraduate at Western University, Rizvi launched a women’s vocational training program in Charsadda, a girls’ school and women’s empowerment center in Sargodha, and made a film called “Voices from Karachi” featuring the lives of women and children affected by terrorism. Rizvi’s work promoting gender parity was recognized with the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award at the United Nations Youth Assembly.

Rizvi is an intern at the United Nations World Tourism Organization. He has been a speaker at several high-level conferences on sustainable development, including the Winter and the Summer Youth Assembly at the UN, and the World’s Challenge Challenge at Western University. Rizvi is the Global Schools Ambassador at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Ronan Hodson
Regional Officer for India and South Asia, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Ronan is an international representative for Trinity College Dublin, focusing on the University’s relationships in South Asia. A research physicist and nano-scientist by training, Ronan has worked for many years with student organisations in Ireland and elsewhere. He is Honorary Treasurer of the Central Societies Committee since 2011 which oversees the funding and recognition of Trinity’s 120 societies.


Dr Cynthia Mannion
Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing
UA Judging Chair of Nursing, Midwifery & Applied Health

Dr Cynthia Mannion is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Calgary. Cynthia graduated from Queen’s University at Kingston and completed a Master’s degree in Nursing from McGill University. In Quebec she worked in Infant Medicine at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, in the Newborn Nursery and Postpartum Units at the Royal Victoria Hospital and taught prenatal classes at St. Mary’s Hospital Montreal and later with the Calgary Health Region. She completed her PhD in Human Nutrition and Dietetics focusing on maternal dietary intake and birth outcomes.


Gavin Fogarty
Founder of – The Java Career Marketplace

A sole-founder from a non-technical background, working in the startup sector with the highest expected failure rates, Gavin has raised over $1.5million to accelerate the growth of his company. Gavin studied Venture Management and Computer Science in University, “and now I get to build things online, which suits me more I think.” Having recently become a father, he is particularly passionate about managing energy levels both at home and at work.


Prof. Owen Priest
Professor of Instruction in the Department of Chemistry, Northwestern 
UA Judging Chair of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Owen is a Professor of Instruction in the Dept of Chemistry at Northwestern University. As a member of the Hoye Group, Owen trained as a natural products synthetic organic chemist and was a member of the team first to carry out the total synthesis of Michellamines A, B, & C. After serving as the Director of Undergraduate Organic Laboratories, Owen continues to teach organic chemistry as well as courses for chemistry majors. He has served on executive committees within the American Chemical Society (ACS), and Committee Chair for the American Chemical Society’s LGBT Chemists and Allies committee.


Conor Houston
Programme Director, Centre for Democracy & Peace Building

Conor is a lawyer, influencer, strategist, collaborator, innovator and active citizen. He is a graduate of Law from Queen’s University Belfast with a masters in International Human Rights law. Following graduation he studied at the European Public Law Group Academy, Greece. He was the first lawyer from Northern Ireland on the Executive Board of the European Young Bar Association, and the youngest solicitor to be elected to the Council of the Law Society. Conor is passionate about youth empowerment and has been involved in the establishment of groups and programmes to promote new models of leadership including Young Leaders NI and Young Influencers.


Barry Sheehan
Head of Design, Dublin School of Creative Arts
UA Judging Chair of Architecture & Design category

Barry is Head of Design and Assistant Head of The Dublin School of Creative Arts at Dublin Institute of Technology. An Architect by profession, Barry has been involved in the design of numerous projects from architecture and interior design through to graphics, multimedia and product design. He is a regular commentator on design-matters in the national media. Barry is a valued member of the Academic Advisory Board of The Undergraduate Awards and has been keenly involved the Judging Process for many years. This year Barry served as the Judging Chair of the Architecture & Design category.


Dr Marisa Moazen
Director of Undergraduate Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Marisa is the director of Undergraduate Research for the Office of Research & Engagement at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Marisa earned her doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee, and has an extensive background in programme management for both nonprofits and educational institutes. Marisa also serves on the Alumni Advisory Council for Leadership in Knoxville, is regent for a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a volunteer for the Friends of the Library, among other organizations. Marisa has recently joined the Academic Advisory Board of The Undergraduate Awards.


Will St Leger 
Artist, Activist and Broadcaster

Dublin born artist, activist and broadcaster, Will has become a household name in the Irish street art scene since the mid 2000s. He studied design and visual communication at Athlone Institute of Technology and has held solo exhibitions almost annually from 2006 to 2012 in Dublin. Among his more provocative shows was ‘Art Raid’ for Dublin Fringe Festival 2007, which encouraged viewers to ‘steal’ the exhibits at the sound of a security alarm. His most recent work is a collaboration with ACT UP Dublin, a group committed to direct action to end the HIV/AIDS crisis.



Pat Liddy
Writer, illustrator and local historian

Pat Liddy is an Irish artist, historian, writer, illustrator, broadcaster, mapmaker, and environmental lobbyist who has helped make Dublin a global tourist attraction. Pat published a column in the Irish Times for ten years, in which he illustrated the various fascinating faces of Dublin. He is the author of ten books. In 2005 he founded Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin.

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