Guest SpeakerTEDxLeeds2010

Our speakers for TEDxLeeds 2010

Our lineup of speakers at TEDxLeeds2010 is beginning to take shape with the confirmation of our first four guest speakers (yes, we’re still working on 2-3 more!)…

RASHIK PARMAR is IBM’s CTO for North East Europe, a Distinguished Engineer and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. During his twenty six years of practical experience in IBM, he has worked for financial, retail and manufacturing clients on IT projects of all sizes. Overall, he specialises in ensuring the technical success of complex IT projects.

He currently leading projects related to IBM’s Smarter Cities programme and development of techniques to drive industry level innovation.

Rashik is also IBM’s Partnership Executive for Imperial College – London. He is also an Adjunct Professor for Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Imperial College Business School and Visiting Professor to the Intelligent Systems and Networks Group at the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

USMAN HAQUE is the director of Haque Design + Research. He has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances around the world. His skills include the design and engineering of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life.

Trained as an architect, he received the 2008 Design of the Year Award (interactive) from the Design Museum, UK, a 2009 World Technology Award (art), a Wellcome Trust Sciart Award, a grant from the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science & Technology, the Swiss Creation Prize, Belluard Bollwerk International, the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence prize and the Asia Digital Art Award Grand Prize.

SUSAN WILLIAMSON is a  retail architect and social scientist who started her UK career 25 years ago during the shopping centre boom. She found her interest increasingly turned to the rationale – both cultural and economic – behind transactional spaces and the expert users of those spaces: the shoppers, workers, walkers, talkers , the performers and those who simply lurk. This led to the founding (with long-term collaborator Meg Abdy) of a new company, Cornerstone Strategies, which builds big, economically viable ideas that few others will touch: based on the needs, transactional spaces and the spatial choreography of those who will be their expert users.

In early 2008 Cornerstone were appointed by owners of Grade 1 Listed Temple Works, the historic flax mill Holbeck/leeds – once “the largest room in the world” – to build the business plan and creative direction for its staged conversion to the next major cultural venue in England’s North. The project is now in its third year and is animating Holbeck Urban Village from the ground up, online and realtime.

Susan founded the niche brand communication consultancy shining-red in ’98 that was an early leader in digital two-way communications between retailers and shoppers. She is currently Director of Cornerstone Strategies, founding partner in retail / leisure management network The Chambers, a published writer , and lectures regularly in the UK and abroad.

ALEXANDRA DESCHAMPS-SONSINO was born in Montreal, Canada, but grew up in Paris and the Middle East. She returned to Canada to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design at the Université de Montréal after which she moved to Italy to complete a Master’s degree in Interaction Design at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) where she met co-founder Massimo Banzi while he was developing the Arduino platform. She then moved to Amsterdam and was involved in projects for clients such as Vodafone, Nokia, Motorola, Droog design, Thinglink, Jaiku, Blast Radius, fo.am and Blyk bringing creative and strategic leadership to multi-disciplinary teams. In 2007, she relocated to London to set up Tinker London.

In the past years she has been an active speaker on issues surrounding internet of things, interaction design and how design will evolve out of it’s current top down state into a de-centralised model of empowerment and DIY problem-solving with the help of new technologies.

MATT EDGAR works in product strategy and design management in the amazing world of web and mobile media. He’s run product strategy for Ananova, home of the world’s first virtual newscaster, and design and usability for Orange UK. Before that he learned to ask questions and write short sentences as a newspaper journalist, and before that he was a history student.

On his blog at matt.me63.com he wonders about the history of technology and innovation, and the cool stuff that happens when old and new media converge. Matt also co-organises Service Design Drinks & Thinks in Leeds. He lives in Leeds with his wife, three sons and two cats.

STUART CHILDS co-directs The Jam Jar Collective using computers and electronics to make installations and run workshops for adults and children. With a background in designing sound and lighting for theatre shows he now shows people how to pick up a soldering iron and start making things.

Stuart will be speaking about his 60 seconds project and how he thinks geo-tagged sound recording is changing how we archive, consume and share audio content.

A regular at the UK’s Maker Faire and countless other tech events, current projects include designing a temperature reactive lighting control system for a new NHS building in Hull and working as a visual artist as part of a 4 year long EU-wide theatre project: Platform 11 plus.

JULIAN TAIT is the Open Data Cities and Social Sensor Networks Lead at FutureEverything. Originally trained as a photographer, he became more involved with digital arts and how technology could enhance our everyday experience. He is a serial project initiator and community activist who is passionate about how technology is used wisely, has the potential to create a more equitable society.

Julian is also cofounder of Social Media Cafe ManchesterRedeye – The Photographers’ Network and Littlestar Media.

MEGAN SMITH is a new media artist and PhD candidate in Contemporary Fine Art Practice at Leeds Metropolitan University. She uses the web as a space to source and make socially useful work. Her projects probe new systems for delivering syndicated data through narrative structure and she often works with Arduino, geo-location, digital print, video, and installation or a hybridization of all of these.

She is the recipient of an Arts Council of England grant for the arts for her recent work Pst! microCONTROL, shown at Watermans Art Centre in London as part of the ‘Unleashed Devices‘ exhibition.  Her work was also included in ‘Twitter/Art+Social Media’ at the Diane Farris Gallery in Vancouver, and was part of the Leeds pavilion at the ‘Amsterdam Biennale’ in 2009.  She is one of three people behind the development of Our City, Our Music, a geo-located audio-visual album in Leeds, which was supported by HPLabs and was nominated for two awards in the ‘Northern Design Competition’.  She is co-founder of DoGoSee.com, a location-based mapping project made with mobile devices. Smith is also an Associate Lecturer at Leeds College of Art.

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