The speakers on our panel will be leading experts in the world of media, charity, and digital storytelling. We'll be announcing our #SMEX19 speakers very soon, but in the meantime here's a look back at our #SMEX18 speakers:

Our keynote speaker

Dr Sue Black OBE

Award-winning computer scientist, radical thinker, social entrepreneur and public speaker

Recently named in the list of top 50 women in tech in Europe and nominated as the 119th most influential woman in the world, Sue is one of the leading tech personalities in the UK today. An award-winning computer scientist, radical thinker, social entrepreneur and public speaker Sue is well known for founding the high profile campaign to save Bletchley Park, much of which was realised through her use of social media, capitalising upon technology as a fitting continuation of Bletchley’s technological legacy. Sue’s book about the campaign Saving Bletchley Park, was one of the fastest crowdfunded book in history taking less than five days to be funded. It is on sale now.

Sue is a passionate advocate for women in tech, and has spent the last 20 years campaigning for more recognition and support for women in computing. This led to her founding BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and #techmums, a social enterprise which empowers mums and their families through technology. Sue recently appeared in the BBC Three documentary Girls Can Code, encouraging and mentoring young women into the tech industry.

Sue is also an academic with 20+ years’ experience with more than 40 publications and a PhD in software engineering to her name.

In 2017, Sue received the Social Impact ABIE Award at The Grace Hopper Celebration in recognition of the positive impact her work is having on women, technology and society.

She was made an OBE in the New Year Honours list 2016 which was presented by HRH Price Charles on May 20th 2016, and sits on the Government’s new advisory board for improving digital services.

Sue has spoken at many events worldwide, including after dinner talks for the United Nations in New York and Geneva, Google London, various banks, consulates and embassies, as well as to corporate leadership teams, geeks, mums, students and even on a soapbox on the South Bank of the Thames for Soapbox Science.


More speakers

  • Aimee Meade

    Deputy blogs editor at HuffPost UK | @AimeePaige

    Aimee has been working at HuffPost UK as deputy blogs editor since October 2016. She looks after their blogs and vlogs on news, entertainment and comedy as well as curating their Life Less Ordinary series which showcases weird and wonderful life experiences.

    Before that she worked at the Guardian for three years, starting as a content coordinator on the Voluntary Sector Network – a online community website for charity professionals – and editing it by the time she left in the summer of 2016. Aimee has also freelanced for a range of publications including the Independent, Indy100, and Stylist Magazine.

    When it comes to content she is always excited by personal stories and experiences – Aimee thinks the most powerful way to tell a story is with a first person, human interest account.

  • Vinay Nair

    CEO and Co-Founder, Lightful | @vinaynair

    Vinay Nair is Co-Founder and CEO of Lightful, a social media platform working with charities and social enterprises looking to scale their impact via the power of technology. 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.

  • Milly Chowles

    Freelance Radio Producer & Reporter | @Milly_on_Air

    Milly Chowles is a freelance radio reporter and producer who works regularly for BBC Radio 4, The World Service, BBC 6 Music and Radio 1 & 1 Xtra. She’s a regular reporter for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and in the last year she’s produced The Fix: Woman and Addiction a six part series which she personally authored by drawing on her own lived experience of being a woman in recovery. She also made the series Women Leaving Prison earlier this year told the stories of women though the gate and further along in their rehabilitation, exploring the many complex challenges they face. Milly often covers issues she has lived experience of which allows her to humanise her subjects and tell their stories with nuance and empathy. She has a background in arts and has also made a number of radio documentaries for Radio 4 and Radio 1, most recently a Radio 4 programme which looked at masculinity from a literary perspective called ‘Tough Love: Boys, Books and Romance’. She has also made social history podcasts for Audible and has recently started working with charities to produce their own podcasts.


  • Peter Stewart

    BBC presenter and digital media producer; author on broadcasting and social media | @TweeterStewart

    Peter has written the world’s first book on how to live-stream video from your phone straight to Facebook or Twitter. The techniques in The Live-Streaming Handbook are ones he has used in 30 years of TV and radio broadcasting, and has passed on to colleagues at the BBC and to groups such as Oxfam. He has written several books for TV and radio students and has run training courses for all levels of experience in the UK, New York and as far afield as the Falkland Islands. His BBC role includes daily live and recorded video reports, produced almost-entirely on his mobile phone.


  • Emma Wakefield

    Managing Director, Lambent Productions  | @LambentP

    Emma established production company Lambent in 1996 where she’s created a wide range of acclaimed documentaries, factual series, and education programming. Credits include KIDS BEHIND BARS for BBC3, OUT OF JAIL AND ON THE STREETS for BBC1, and THE SPECIAL NEEDS HOTEL for Channel 5. She developed formatted teen series GAY-Z, LIFEPROOF, and WELCOME TO MY WORLD for Channel 4 and BAFTA-nominated drama-documentaries LOVE HURTS and TRUE STORIES for BBC2/Learning. Lambent have won 10 RTS awards, and 17 nominations; 6 BAFTA nominations; 2 Focal Awards, 1 Grierson Award; and nominations for the Japan Prize, a Broadcast Digital Award, and a Rockie at BANFF. Emma’s recent documentaries include LAST WHITES OF THE EAST END for BBC1,  the powerful ADDICTED PARENTS: LAST CHANCE TO KEEP MY CHILDREN for BBC2, and RAPED: MY STORY for Channel 5.

  • Jim Armstrong

    Director of Marketing and Innovation, Phoenix Futures | @PhoenixFutures1

    Jim has worked in marketing and communications for over 20 years in the commercial and charity sectors. He believes in the power of shared experience as a means of reducing stigma and prejudice around issues such as addiction and disability. Most recently working in the addiction sector Phoenix Futures have created, and contributed to, a wide range of projects that provide a means of expression and learning, for example using theatre and performance (with the Young Vic and Spymonkey), documentary (Lambent Productions and the BBC), podcasting (Prison Radio Association) and creating the Recovery Street Film Festival which facilitates and promotes short film making.

  • Emma Lawton

    Creative Director, Author and Parkinson's Campaigner | @ems_lawton

    Four and a half years ago, just as Emma’s company was redesigning the Parkinson’s UK website, Emma was diagnosed herself with Young Onset Parkinson’s. She was aged just 29. Making it her mission to raise awareness about the condition and continue her life as she planned, Emma campaigns and shares her story on social media, published her own book on dealing with Parkinson’s and featured in BBC documentary ‘The Big Life Fix’ while continuing her career as a Creative Director.

    In 2015 Emma won the CharityComms Inspiring Communicator award for her fundraising for Parkinson’s and in 2017 she was listed as one of MT’s 35 women under 35 and is shortlisted for a Woman of the Future Award. She has written articles for the Telegraph and Cosmopolitan and is a 3 time TEDX speaker. Last year she published her first book ‘Dropping the P Bomb’ sharing her experiences of receiving the bombshell that was her Parkinson’s diagnosis.

    In April 2016, Emma set herself the challenge of video blogging under the name PD365 every day for a year to raise awareness of day-to-day life with the condition.

  • Luke Williams

    Social media and digital innovation consultant, WarpSauce | @alukeonlife

    Luke has spent the last 10 years specialising in social media, including 5 years at the RNLI – whilst there Luke was part of the innovation group working on projects utilising 360 video, Virtual Reality, ChatBots and Minecraft, using data to optimise content and as project lead for the RNLI becoming the first major UK charity to accept Bitcoin.

    Known for his Failure Swapshop sessions and speaking at a wide range of events including a keynote at the Charity Technology Conference, TEDxHull and TEDxBristol, and being interviewed for publications like the New York Times, The FT, The Telegraph and Third Sector.

  • Carl Konadu

    Motivational Speaker, Coach & Co-Founder 2-3 Degrees | @ckkonadu

    Carl Konadu transfers energy. Whether it is one to one, in a workshop or through an audience, Carl uses his energetic style and way with words to motivate and inspire audiences. He is a Motivational Speaker, Coach and Co-Founder of 2-3 Degrees. A social enterprise that inspires & equips young people with personal development skills through activity based training. Carl produces daily motivational content across all social media platforms to bridge between traditional personal development and youth culture. Follow him on all platforms to find out more @ckkonadu @2_3degrees

  • Emily Wilson

    Acting Head of Home News at Channel 4 News

    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.

  • George Olney

    Stories Journalist, Crisis | @crisis_uk

    George is a photojournalist who uses photography and other media to document the stories of people experiencing all forms of homelessness across the UK. He specialises in a natural yet intimate style of portraiture that seeks to show the humanity of the subject beyond society’s assumptions and stereotypes. George recently joined homelessness charity Crisis as a Stories Journalist, a new role created to help capture stigma-shattering stories to end homelessness.

  • Jess Barlow

    Digital Communications & Engagement Manager at NHS England | @jessica_barlow

    Jess has worked in NHS and Government communications for over 10 years. She has worked at NHS Employers, worked in the No10 and Prime Minister’s Office Digital Communications Team and is now at NHS England. Jess has taken a lead on the digital arm of national campaigns, the development of new channels to improve digital engagement, launched the first at scale live event social media strategy and played a key part in the implementation of social media software across the organisation. Jess launched the award winning @NHS Twitter account, managing the account and curators. Jess is also managing the development of the new NHS Facebook page. She believes that the power of social media for social, political and organisational change and service improvement lies in the hands of the people, and organisations  -if you just step back- is all about listening

  • Jem Stein

    Founder and Director at The Bike Project | @jem_stein

    Jem graduated from the London School of Economics with a BSc in Government. He volunteered, then worked as a youth worker, in the Jewish community delivering informal education activities to young people on topics such as mental health, social action, and sexual health. He has previously served on the boards of The Advocacy Academy and Sweet Cavanagh and is now a trustee of FPA. In 2013 Jem founded the charity and social enterprise The Bike Project who provide second-hand bikes to refugees and asylum seekers in London. Jem has since won several awards including the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015 and EUInnovation Impact Award 2017.

  • Phillippa Budgen

    Independent Media Consultant

    An independent media consultant, I’m lucky that two of my passions, justice reform and communications are at the heart of my work. With more than 15 years as a journalist with the BBC (Radio 4, 5 Live, the World Service), my story-telling know-how has been the not-so-secret weapon for press campaigns to improve access to justice and influencing court innovation policy. In my ‘spare time’ I like running – muddier the better!

  • Jason Nuttall

    Head of Funding, Crowdfunder.co.uk | @jasonnuttall

    Jason Nuttall is a poacher turned gamekeeper, having spent years securing grants and contracts for charities and social enterprises, in more recent years he’s been responsible for overseeing a number of large grant programmes for national funders. Crowdfunder is the number one crowdfunding website in the UK, there Jason develops partnerships with match funders including Santander, Trust for London and Arts Council England.


  • Jude Habib


    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.

  • Haydn Thomas

    Director of Development, Lightful | @hmtiv

    Haydn is Director of Development at Lightful. Haydn has worked in fundraising for over 10 years and specialises in data analysis and operations, systems implementation, digital fundraising and campaign strategy, and supporter experiences. Over the past 7 years, he has led projects for over 50 charities, universities, membership associations and social enterprises. Haydn is also a Director of a social enterprise, Project Cordillera, a Trustee of the Park School, and a Fellow of the RSA.