TEDxLeicester Conference 2019: Fast Forward Speaker Announcement

TEDxLeicester Conference 2019: Fast Forward

Final Batch of Speakers Announced

We are super excited to unveil our final batch of speakers for our Fast Forward Conference due to take place at the Y-Theatre on September 7. If you are still waiting for the last week to purchase your ticket, be careful what you wish for, last days are….

Tickets are running out!!! and we’d love for you to join us on September 7 at the Y-Theatre. So reserve your seat now and get prepared to engage in conversations and performances that will inspire all of humanity towards the future. Visit bit.ly/tedxleicester and get yourself sorted.


Rabiha Hannan

Rabiha is a troublemaker. Her general direction in life, has been to stir things up and cause mayhem wherever possible. She co-founded New Horizons in British Islam, a forward-looking organisation that engages in critical discussions around Muslim identity and reform to challenge Muslims to think critically about the big issues of our times. She co-edited the book ‘Islam and the Veil’ and regularly appears on various BBC local and national radio programmes. She has been actively engaged in getting women more involved in the leadership of community groups and also undertaken work with young people to support, nurture and mentor them. Rabiha is passionate about bringing people together and building bridges between communities; she won an Award from the Christian Muslim Forum for her work in Interfaith Relations and was finalist for ‘Muslim of the year’ Award at the British Muslim Awards. She co-founded ‘Dine@Mine’ to encourage people from different backgrounds to meet over food and ‘Eat’n’meet’ to support the homeless of Leicester. She trained as a Clinical Pharmacist and holds an MA in Muslim Community Studies and amongst other local positions, chaired the ‘Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education’ (SACRE). In her spare time (and because she has lots of it) she is currently doing a PhD in Gender equality and Islam and is a mother of four (or five, if you count the husband).

Sophie Hainsworth

Sophie Hainsworth is an entrepreneur and co-founder of LoyalFree; a company designed to boost high street footfall for businesses in towns and cities throughout the UK. Just last year, Sophie’s company, LoyalFree won an award within the ‘Business Improvement Through Technology’ category at the East Midlands Chamber Awards. Sophie was crowned ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Leicester Mercury Women in Business Awards that same year.

Alex Ruhl

Alex Ruhl (The Drum 50 Under 30) is an award-winning Virtual Reality filmmaker who delights in using VRs as the new way of expression. Alex won the Pioneers of Immersive Realities Awards for 2018 for her work in the space and she advises companies and brands about the creative process behind VRs, as well as the behaviours of the audiences who experience it. Her company CATS are not PEAS is an immersive storytelling studio specialising in virtual reality projects. She is the curator for Phoenix Leicester’s VR cinema strand supported by the BFI and has co-created the I Experience VR programme. Alex has partnered with LOROS Hospice to bring Virtual Reality to patients nearing the end of life. She will be speaking globally on the topic of Next Generation storytelling and the potential impact VR will have across all sectors.

Akshay Sharma

Popularly known as Mr Shay, Akshay Sharma is a poet, producer and loop pedal artist from Leicester, who fell into the music scene after he was noticed creating live beats on a small stage using his mouth as his instrument. Mr Shay produces his own music; ranging from UK Hip Hop to Trap by fusing beat-box and freestyle rap/poetry, and often touches on topics relating to young people and the community. He has performed at various festivals and shows around the UK and regularly hosts local music events. Through his social enterprise, The Underground Creatives, Shay offers a distinct and uplifting sound for community music projects to engage teenagers and young adults facing various social barriers.