Preti Taneja is the author of We That are Young, (Galley Beggar Press, 2017), a Book of the Year in the Guardian, Sunday Times and the Spectator (UK), The Hindu (India) and a 2018 Library Journal top 10 literary fiction book of the year (USA). We That Are Young has listed for international awards including the Prix Jan Michalski, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize, and is the winner of the 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for the UK’s best debut of the year. It is being translated into several languages and is published in the USA and Canada by A.A Knopf. Preti began her career training disadvantaged young people across the UK in media skills; she has over a decade of experience as a human rights researcher, writer and editor working in conflict and post conflict zones, and of teaching writing including in prison. She holds a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship at Warwick University.
Sam Leith is the Literary Editor of The Spectator, a columnist for the FT and regular book reviewer for the Guardian, FT, Telegraph and TLS. He’s the author of several books, most recently Write To The Point: How To Be Clear, Correct and Persuasive on the Page.
Tom Sutcliffe is the presenter of Radio Four’s arts review programme Saturday Review and Round Britain Quiz. After graduating from Cambridge he joined the BBC as a producer in Talks and Documentaries, and was eventually appointed editor of Kaleidoscope, Radio Four’s long running arts magazine programme. He left in 1986 to help launch the Independent, where he was Arts Editor, Associate Editor and a regular writer on the Arts and Comment pages. In 2000 his book, Watching: Reflections on the Movies, was published by Faber and Faber.
Ted Hodgkinson is a broadcaster, editor, critic, writer and Head of Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre, where he oversees the seasonal literature programme as well as the prestigious London Literature Festival. Since his arrival at Southbank Centre he has programmed and interviewed authors and speakers including Margaret Atwood, Philip Pullman, John le Carré, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Professor Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Neil Gaiman, Naomi Klein, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Ondaatje, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tom Hanks, Michelle Obama, Zadie Smith and Roxane Gay. Formerly online editor at Granta magazine of new writing, his essays, interviews and reviews have appeared across a range of publications and websites, including the Times Literary Supplement, the Literary Review, the New Statesman, the Spectator, the Literary Hub and the Independent. He co-edited, with Icelandic author and poet Sjón, the first anthology of Nordic short stories in English, The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat and other stories from the North (Pushkin Press, 2017), to critical acclaim. In 2018, for a second consecutive year, he was named in The Bookseller’s list of the 100 most influential people in publishing.
Robbie Millen has been literary editor of The Times since 2013. He was deputy comment editor of The Times‘s award-winning opinion pages from 2002-13. Before that he was assistant editor of The Spectator.
Helen Pankhurst is an author, a women’s rights activist and an international development practitioner. Helen studied at Sussex University, Vassar College, New York, and Edinburgh University and has an honorary degree from Edge Hill University. She is a Visiting Professor at MMU and (from December 2018) the First Chancellor of the University of Suffolk. Helen is a Senior Advisor for CARE International, based in the UK and in Ethiopia. She previously worked for other international development charities including WaterAid, Womankind Worldwide and ACORD. She is currently a Trustee of ActionAid. The great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement, Helen carries on the legacy. This includes undertaking re-enactment work for current-day awareness-raising including at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, the 2015 film Suffragette, leading CARE International’s annual #March4Women event ahead of International Women’s Day in London and launching the Centenary Action Group. She has worked with the composer Lucy Pankhurst, on the lyrics of the Emmeline Anthem commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and in 2018 published the book: Deeds Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.
Tulip Siddiq is the Labour Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Kilburn. She is a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. She is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Childcare and Early Education and the Vice- Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism. She is a governor at Emmanuel Primary School, a trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and a patron of the charity Leaders Plus.
Vaughan is an award-winning video journalist who founded the Frontline Club in London in 2003 as an institution to champion independent journalism. During the 1990s he ran Frontline Television News, an agency that represented the interests of freelance video journalists. Its history has been detailed in a book “Frontline: The True Story of the British Mavericks who Changed the Face of War Reporting'” by the BBC. Since 1988 Vaughan has filmed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo and elsewhere, including the only uncontrolled footage of the Gulf War in 1991 while disguised for two months as a British Army officer. Vaughan was a founding Trustee of the Rory Peck Trust. His home was refuge to Julian Assange for 13 months in 2011/12. In 2011 Vaughan won a Bayeux award for his film on US Medivac shown on Al Jazeera.
Sam Taylor is the editor of The Lady, England’s longest running women’s magazine. She started her journalism career on the London listings magazine City Limits, eventually becoming editor, before going on to hold several senior editorial roles at newspapers including The Independent, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.
Her satirical column for The Oldie magazine, East of Islington, was made into a successful novel and she recently edited a book of non-fiction, Make Do and Send, about letters written during wartime rationing. She is currently writing a dramatized version of the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor on the American medical register who spent her final years living with a woman in Hastings. Sam also writes features and comment pieces.
Tim Marshall was a foreign correspondent and then Foreign Affairs Editor with Sky News for thirty years before leaving full time journalism to concentrate on writing and analysis. Originally from Leeds, Tim arrived at broadcasting from the road less travelled. Not a media studies or journalism graduate, in fact not a graduate at all, after a wholly unsuccessful career as a painter and decorator he worked his way through newsroom nightshifts, and unpaid stints as a researcher and runner before eventually securing himself a foothold on the first rung of the broadcasting career ladder.
Tim reported in the field from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia during the Balkan wars of the 1990’s. He spent the majority of the 1999 Kosovo crisis in Belgrade, where he was one of the few western journalists who stayed on to report from one of the main targets of NATO bombing raids. Tim was in Kosovo to greet the NATO troops on the day they advanced into Pristina. In recent years he covered the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. He has written for many of the national newspapers including the Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and the Sunday Times. His book ‘Prisoners of Geography’ is an international best seller. This was followed by ‘Worth Dying For. The Power and Politics of Flags’ and this year saw the release of ‘Divided; Why we are living in an Age of Walls’ which went straight into the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers.
Tim has been shot with bird pellet in Cairo, hit over the head with a plank of wood in London, bruised by the police in Tehran, arrested by Serbian intelligence, detained in Damascus, declared persona non grata in Croatia, bombed by the RAF in Belgrade and tear-gassed all over the world. However, he says none of this compares with the experience of going to see his beloved Leeds United away at Millwall FC in London.
Sarah O’Connor writes about the changing world of work for the Financial Times, where she is an investigations correspondent and columnist. She joined the FT in 2007 as a graduate trainee, and in the subsequent decade she has covered the US economy from Washington, the UK economy from London and the financial crisis from Reykjavik. Her coverage of the labour market won the Wincott Prize for Financial Journalism in 2017, while her regular op-ed column won Economics Commentator of the year at the 2017 Comment Awards and Business Commentator of the year at the 2018 Comment Awards. Her story about “Shit Life Syndrome” in Blackpool won the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils in 2018.
Rosie Millard OBE is CEO of Children and the Arts, a national charity which works to engage all children with great art across the country. One of HRH Prince of Wales’ charities, Children and the Arts has worked with over 10,000 children to enable them to have transformative, inspiring and creative arts experiences in all fields of art. She is also Chair of BBC Children in Need, the BBC’s charity which every year helps bring happiness and transform outcomes for children across the UK.
From 2014-2018 Rosie Millard was the Chair of Hull City of Culture 2017, a £32.5 million programme which opened in January 2017. Darren Henley, CEO of the Arts Council of England has called Hull’s year an “unmitigated, rip-roaring, awe-inspiring, life-enhancing success.” Being City of Culture has had a transformative effect on the Yorkshire city, achieving 90% engagement amongst its citizens, involving every single one of its 55,000 children and bringing in millions of tourists. Rosie was called upon to speak at a vast array of public events on a national level, championing Hull and its unique cultural offer in the national media including all the broadsheets, the Today programme, BBC News, Sky News, and ITV. She is a Trustee of Opera North, which brings opera to communities and audiences largely (but not exclusively) across the North of England.
A bestselling author, journalist, editor and broadcaster Rachel Johnson has been in national newspapers since the age of 23, when, after leaving Oxford, she became the first female graduate trainee at The Financial Times. She has worked for the BBC, the Foreign Office, and has written weekly columns for Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, the Sunday Times, and the Evening Standard among others and was editor of The Lady from 2009 – 2012.
Rachel is the author of The Mummy Diaries (2004), Notting Hell (Penguin, 2006, a top bestseller in France) and Shire Hell (2008), and A Diary of The Lady (2010) – charting her first year as Editor of the world’s oldest women’s weekly – Winter Games, (2013) and Fresh Hell ( 2015). Rachel is married and has three children. She divides her time between her homes in London and Exmoor.
Nick is a Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, where he works on a range of policy projects. Between 1996 and 2011, he was Public Policy Editor of the Financial Times. He is also the author of The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State (new edition, 2017).
Professor Suzanne Franks is head of the Journalism Department at City, University of London, which educates over 500 young journalists a year – from all over the world. She is a former BBC broadcaster who has also published widely on international news and women in the media, including Women and Journalism, for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, where she was a visiting fellow in 2015. She teaches an ethics class and one on Humanitarian Communication. Her latest book is an edited volume, Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century. She appears regularly in the media and contributes to panels, speaking on questions including contemporary journalism education and journalism ethics.
Sir David Bell is a non-executive director of the Economist. He retired as a director of Pearson plc and Chairman of the Financial Times at the end of 2009 after thirteen years on the Board. David was appointed Chief Executive of the Financial Times in 1993 and became Chairman in 1996. In July 1998 he was also appointed Pearson’s Director for People with responsibility for the recruitment, motivation, development and reward of employees across the Pearson Group & in June 2003 he became Chairman of Pearson Inc in New York. David, born 30.9.46 in Henfield, Sussex was educated at Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania is married with three children and lives in Islington. David received his knighthood for services to industry, the arts and charity.
Elinor Mary Goodman is a UK journalist, best known as political editor of Channel 4 News from 1988 to 2005. Goodman joined Channel 4 News as political correspondent in 1982. Prior to her employment at Channel 4, she worked for the Financial Times. Goodman was appointed in 2005 to chair the Affordable Rural Housing Commission established by DEFRA. When she retired, she acted as a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme The Week in Westminster she served as one of six panel members of the public inquiry led by Lord Justice Leveson into the hacking of phones by News International.
Farrah Storr was appointed Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan in July 2015 and has since grown the brand to become the No.1 UK women’s glossy. Previously, Farrah was the launch Editor of Women’s Health magazine. Under her direction, Women’s Health became the most successful women’s magazine launch of the decade. Her achievements were recognised by the British Society for Magazine Editors when she won the prestigious award ‘New Editor of the Year’ in 2014. Most recently, Farrah was awarded Editor of the Year at the 2018 PPA Awards, Editor of the Year (Men’s & Women’s category) at the 2018 BSMEs, and was also named as one of the 36 BAME people on the Guardian’s list of the 1,000 most powerful people in Britain. She is one of the judges for the Orwell Foundation’s, Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils and is also the author of The Discomfort Zone (Piatkus).