This year we have 16 fantastic speakers that will deliver lightning talks on topics including from Health/Mental Health, Arts Heritage & Culture, Identity Relationships & Culture, Housing/Transport, Digital/Retail, Education Enterprise Skills & Employability, Digital Tech Public-Space & Communities and Relationship To Brum & Aspirations.

They will be weaving the fabric of the city together, representing themselves, topics they’re passionate about, and the world around them.


Liv Little - Founder and CEO of gal-dem

Liv is the founder and CEO at gal-dem, an online magazine and media platform run by women and non-binary people of colour.

Liv has spent time working within TV, most recently in commissioning in the factual department at the BBC where she developed a new strand focused on the history we aren't taught in schools.  She also has experience working on a range of shows as researcher, producer and art director and in 2018 produced her first audio documentary for the Migration Museum. Liv has been voted as a Future Leader, a rising star at WOW and included in the inaugural BBC's 100 women series.  Before this, she spent time working in a range of third sector organisations including Women for Refugee Women and the Simon community in Dublin. Liv is obsessed with storytelling and has written for a range of outlets including Feminists Don't Wear Pink, The Guardian, Wonderland and Elle Magazine.  She has spoken to audiences of up to 10,000 people and been recognised as one of the top women speakers in Britain by the Dots.


Doreen Foster - Director at Warwick Arts Centre

Originally from the West Midlands Doreen Foster started her arts career as Executive Director of Kokuma Dance Company in Birmingham before joining the Arts Council for the West Midlands as Dance Officer with a remit to reinvigorate dance in the region and open up dance – contemporary and classic – to new audiences.  From there she joined the Prince’s Trust for two years before taking up the role of Executive Director of Birmingham Partnership for Change, an organisation dedicated to addressing underemployment in black populations in Birmingham.  She then joined the West Midlands Social Economic Partnership as Director before moving to the Arts Council as Director of the Chief Executive’s unit, overseeing the merger of three separate arts bodies into the new Arts Council England.  

In September 2018 Doreen took up the position of Director at Warwick Arts Centre at an exciting time, as the organisation undergoes a major redevelopment project and prepares for Coventry City of Culture in 2021.


Tom Kirby - Mencap Ambassador

Tom Kirby is a young adult who lives in Birmingham with disabilities and suffers from mental health. Despite this Tom has managed to build quite the name for himself. From being part of the first gold medal winning England Para Hockey team at the 2017 European Championships in Amsterdam. To starting to have a wider impact online by sharing his life experiences and challenges through blogs, short stories as well as hosting an interview style podcast for Midland Mencap. He wears his heart on his sleeve in these digital endeavours in the hope that his own experience of overcoming these challenges can inspire someone in a similar situation to live the life they want to lead


Liza Belozerova - Program Manager at Google.org

I work for Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm, overseeing our grant portfolio focused on the future of work in Europe and Africa. Radio host in my former life, I previously designed community development initiatives in East Africa and built an education programme in digital citizenship for Google UK.  I'm passionate about creating multimedia content, tech for good, innovation for social impact and storytelling as a vehicle for empathy in the time of unprecedented technological change. I'm also a founder of How Is Africa, a social enterprise that created an open blogging platform for African youth.


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