The speakers on our panel will be leading experts in the world of media, charity, and digital storytelling. We'll be announcing more of our #SMEX19 speakers very soon.
BAFTA nominated producer and Curator
Elhum is a BAFTA nominated producer, recently listed as a Producer on the Rise by Screen in their 2018 Brit50. She was recipient of the BFI Vision Award in 2016 for producing and distributing documentaries through her company Hakawati with the core ethos that a good story is all in the telling. Her recent credits include winner of the BIFA for Best Documentary Almost Heaven (Carol Salter, 2017) and BFI/Sundance funded Even When I Fall (Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon, 2017). In 2015, was self-distributed her BAFTA nominated production A Syrian Love Story (Sean McAllister, 2015) in the UK to such high visibility that it was named #3 Best Film of 2015 by the Guardian. She also produced McAllister’s 2018 A Northern Soul for BBC2. Her work has been broadcast internationally and screened at festivals including Berlinale, IDFA and Rotterdam. Elhum is a programme advisor for London Film Festival for films from MENA and Iran and Film Curator for Shubbak, festival of contemporary Arab culture. In 2017, she was nominated for the Arab British Centre’s Award for Culture and was awarded the Women in Film and TV Factual Award.
Elhum’s roots began in the Charity sector. She was Development Coordinator at Dost, a project of the Trinity Community Centre in East Ham, working with unaccompanied minors through a mix of education, psycho-social support and youth work. Volunteering at the Dost Youth Club for over 10 years, she was awarded a Jack Petchey Young People’s Champion Award for her work.
Acting Head of Home News at Channel 4 News | @C4Emily
Emily Wilson is Acting Head of Home News at Channel 4 News. She has been a programme editor and news editor at Channel 4 News for the last 7 years, and also did a 4 year posting as Washington News Editor, in charge of the programme’s US bureau from 2011 to 2015. She has also worked as Politics Producer and Science Producer on Channel 4 News. Before that, she was a Senior Producer at the BBC’s Today programme. Emily studied at Aberdeen University and did a Masters in journalism at New York University thanks to a scholarship from the St Andrews Society of New York.
Radio Producer, Falling Tree Productions | @FallingTreeProd
Alan Hall has been a radio producer since 1990 and has built a reputation for long-form documentaries, music features and ‘impressionistic radio’. Since leaving the BBC in 1998, having received two Prix Italias and Sonys, he has worked independently, establishing Falling Tree Productions as one of the world’s leading radio production companies. Programmes have received further awards from the Sonys, Prix Europa, Prix Marulic, Prix Bohemia and the Third Coast Festival.
Story Officer, Action for Children | @actnforchildren
Debby worked in Children’s Services for over 17 years, including managing Family Support services, Pre-schools and Children’s Centres. At the end of 2017, she made the leap to a communications role in Action for Children, where, as Story Officer she has been part of setting up and formalising the Story Function. Debby’s work as Story Officer includes making relationships with services to identify appropriate storytellers, working with the storytellers to collect and develop their stories in a way that is meaningful and safe for them and the charity, for different purposes such as fundraising, brand awareness, media and social media.
Story Manager, Action for Children | @actnforchildren
Louise is the Story Manager at Action for Children, responsible for leading the strategic development of Action for Children’s Story function and the implementation and management of the Story Team. The team are currently delivering a cross organisational story strategy that elevates and authenticates AFC’s brand, profile and income generation through engaging, ethical and impactful multimedia story content.
Prior to working at Action for Children Louise managed and implemented the case study process at NHS Blood and Transplant. Louise is incredibly passionate about ensuring people who tell their stories are given the respect and dignity they deserve and that their stories and content shared, always remains within the storyteller’s control. However, all of the above is only made possible with the successful introduction of a comprehensive story framework that the whole organisation can adhere.
Documentary Director and Cameraman, 72 Films | @dandewsburyTV
Daniel is a documentary Director and Cameraman based in London. Originally from Liverpool he studied Anthropology at Lancaster University. He began his career in Documentary over ten years ago on a BBC traineeship working on critically acclaimed series such as Wonderland, Storyville, Louis Theroux, The Family and 24 Hours in A&E. Since then Daniel has gone on to work with acclaimed documentary makers until getting his break on BAFTA-nominated series ‘The Detectives’ and Royal Television Society winning ‘Hospital’.
He completed his first job as a Series Director and Cameraman working with BBC2 on ‘The Mighty Redcar’ for 72 Films, an exploration through young voices of the inequality of opportunities which exist in some towns in the North East. The series has gone out to critical acclaim with the Guardian, Daily Mail, Radio Times and Independent giving it five stars. It was number four in the Telegraph’s ‘Best Television of 2018’. He is currently working on a series for Channel 4 as a Director examining the Ministry of Justice through the prison system.
Bureau of Investigative Journalism | @Megan_Lucero
Megan Lucero joined the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in January 2017 to launch and run The Bureau Local. The Bureau Local is now a network of nearly 800 collaborators in 100 areas across the UK who work together to produce unique, investigative stories that have positive impacts in their communities. This network has investigated the power of new voters ahead of the 2017 snap election, dark political advertising on Facebook, cuts to domestic violence provision, racial profiling at immigration checks, financial pressures in local councils and homelessness across the UK. This work has resulted in over 250 exclusive local stories in 18 months. It has been described as “one of the most positive and effective interventions in local journalism in the UK for some time” and has won multiple awards, including Nesta/Observer ‘s list of New Radicals (2018) and the Innovation prize at both the British Journalism Awards (2017) and the European Press Prize (2018). Previous to this role, Megan was the Data Editor at The Times and Sunday Times.
Co-founder and CEO of Lightful | @vinaynair
Vinay Nair is co-founder and CEO of Lightful, a UK-based tech company on a mission to revolutionise the way charities and social enterprises drive genuine positive action through social media. Prior to this, he was director of business development at Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), one of the largest social impact investors in the UK. He has also held senior positions at the Social Investment Business, Acumen Fund and the Clinton Foundation as well as launching two public health social enterprises; one in the UK and one in Mozambique. He is currently a practitioner-in-residence at The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, Oxford University, a lecturer for the Impact Business Leaders programme, Trustee and board chair of the Social Entrepreneurs’ Trust, and a Fellow at the RSA.
Social Media Manager, Lightful | @TerezaLitsa
Tereza Litsa is a Social Media Manager at Lightful helping charities of all sizes to improve their social media skills. She has worked as a social media and content marketing manager for the last 6 years and she is passionate about social media and how it can be used in the tech for good sector in a more impactful way.
Deputy CEO, Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire. | @GrapevineMel
Mel Smith is Deputy CEO at Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire. Her work is all about movement building, she is currently sparking a movement against isolation in Coventry – #connectingforgood. She believes that movements are more powerful than services in bringing about change. Mel is also an open water swimmer and a few years ago set up #swimandtonic – a movement of people who want to connect by swimming in pools, lidos, lakes, quarries, rivers and seas. Equal provision is also made for those who don’t swim; the ‘Tonic’ in the form of socialising around water and eating cake.
Community Organiser, Grapevine Coventry & Warwickshire | @FeelGoodMel
Melissa Smith is a Community Organiser at Grapevine Coventry & Warwickshire. She believes communities can play a vital role in health & well being and is currently developing a grass roots movement #SelfCareSocial. Exploring creative ideas for self care that make a difference in the lives of people with a long term health condition. Melissa has first hand experience of the power of creativity in helping with pain management after she was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2014. She is also developing her own movement #FeelGoodCom – building a community who think creatively about feeling good. Whenever she gets the chance Melissa loves to doodle and is currently developing a range of Feel Good products
Expert Citizen, film maker, blogger and accredited training facilitator | @normandale25778
Over the last few years Lee has worked with various organisations across the country to raise awareness of the difficulties people face who are experiencing homelessness in the UK. By using his own lived experience of homelessness Lee is able to fill in the gaps that many professionals do not get to see or experience, shining new light on one of the most difficult social issues of our time.
Most recently Lee has been working closely with the Accident and Emergency department of Royal Stoke Hospital. Through facilitating learning and the sharing of first-hand knowledge Lee has influenced the way in which homelessness is recorded and acted upon when people present at A&E. To find out more here.
Video Journalist, BBC Stories | @cebo_zulufilms
Cebo is a Video journalist for the BBC, he creates short documentaries for news online and the series director of ‘1 Culture 2 Generations’. Many of his films are based around the black British experience, on topics based around Race, class and gender. He has worked for the BBC for over two years, it has given him a strong understanding of social media output, audience engagement and digital story telling. Cebo is also a MAMAYouth Project alumni having previously worked as a researcher for What’sUpTV on Sky1 in their current affairs team.
Since being in the BBC Cebo has created video content for BBC Rewind, Stories, Like That and Trending. Working across many of the digital current affairs channels ,has given him a strong understanding of social media, audience engagement and editorial understanding.
Crowdfunding Specialist, Crowdfund 360 | @crowdfund360
Jes Bailey is an award winning crowdfunding specialist and founder of Crowdfund 360, a crowdfunding consultancy that helps NGOs, social enterprises and businesses run successful crowdfunding campaigns. In 2 years, she has helped 35 organisations raise over £2.1million. Jes is passionate about using crowdfunding as a sustainable funding source and believes in it’s power to enable anyone to bring their project to life and make a positive social impact, allow people to grow their donor base whilst simultaneously increasing their marketing and brand awareness. Prior to crowdfunding, Jes worked in international development and communications in charities of varying sizes in Bangladesh, Egypt, The Netherlands and the UK.
Photographer, Teacher and DIrector, Arete | @kateholtphoto
After graduating from St Andrews University in 1996, Kate turned to journalism as a way to expose international development issues to a wider audience, and those with power to make a difference. She joined the BBC’s News and Current Affairs department and subsequently went on to study photojournalism at the London College of Printing.
Kate has worked across in some of the harshest environments; from uncovering extensive sexual abuse of young girls by UN peace keepers in Democratic Republic of Congo, to being embedded with African Union troops, and photographing children in Iraq, displaced by war. Nominated three times for the Amnesty Award for Humanitarian reporting, she still works throughout Africa and the Middle East, with an increasing emphasis on training and building the capacity of others to tell their own stories.
FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, SOUNDDELIVERY | @judehabib
Jude is the Founder and Director of sounddelivery. She set up sounddelivery to help non-profit organisations and other socially-minded enterprises embrace the changing media landscape and find new ways of telling their stories. As a former BBC producer Jude’s work has always focused on the power of human interest stories and is passionate about giving a voice to stories and issues that don’t get reported and strives to support people with lived experience to be confident to tell those stories themselves.