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Keynote Speakers

Lord Young

In his own words Lord Young of Graffham is a serial entrepreneur and an occasional politician. His extensive experience in the business world includes stints as a director of Salomon Inc. and as Executive Chairman of Cable & Wireless PLC. In 1996 he founded Young Associates Ltd, a Private Equity house, of which he is currently Chairman.

His political career reflects this aptitude for all things business related. As a member of the Thatcher government, he served variously as Secretary of State for Employment, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and as President of the Board of Trade. Following a period during which he decided to focus more fully on his considerable business interests, Lord Young was re-drafted into the political fold by current UK Prime Minister David Cameron, for whom he currently serves as Enterprise Advisor.

Andris Piebalgs

Andris Piebalgs has occupied key positions in both national and European political fields. Currently the European Commissioner for Development, he was the European Commissioner for Energy during the first Barroso Commission. In that capacity, he led the development of a more competitive, sustainable and secure European energy system, which is one of the crowning achievements of the Barroso I Commission. In doing so, he was instrumental in propelling EU energy issues into the centre of EU policy-making. In recognition of his leadership in European energy policy, The Economist magazine honoured him with the title “Eurocrat of the Year” in 2007. In 2009, Andris Piebalgs received the “Diamond Prize” from the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice (Poland) for his work in developing a cohesive European Energy Policy for the further generations.  In 2009, the Energy Efficiency Global Forum presented him the Energy Efficiency Visionary Awards for his “outstanding contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency”.

Andris Piebalgs was born on 17 September 1957 in Valmiera, Latvia.


Melody Hossaini

Founder and CEO of InspirEngage International, is a young female social entrepreneur with a strong profile globally. She is a leading professional speaker and an expert in skills training with a passion in supporting individuals to explore social enterprise as an option. From a war-torn Iran, to starting out in the Youth Sector aged just 13, Melody is now a multi-award winning businesswoman spearheading a shift that will turn the business world on its head. In 2011, she became the first ever social entrepreneur to appear on BBC’s The Apprentice, now using the platform to champion young people and women.

Andrew Fiddaman

Andrew is the Director, and co-founder, of Youth Business International (YBI) www.youthbusiness.org. One of The Prince’s Charities, YBI leads a global network of independent country initiatives helping young people start their own business and create employment. Founded in 2000, the YBI network today spans 39 countries spread across 6 continents. Prior to joining YBI, Andrew was a director of the International Business Leaders Forum. In addition, he has also chaired the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s Team of Specialists on Entrepreneurship and was a founding partner of the UN’s Youth Employment Network. He was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order by The Queen in 2012.

Jeremy Lefroy MP

Jeremy is the MP for Stafford. As a strong believer in the power of enterprise and job creation to tackle poverty, he founded Equity for Africa www.equityforafrica.org which provides equity-type funding for small businesses. Also keenly involved on a local level, Jeremy played a pivotal role in the establishment of Stafford Works, a charity which promotes apprenticeships, job creation and entrepreneurship in his Stafford constituency. In addition he is a member of International Development Committee and the Chair of the inter-parliamentary Network for the World Bank.

Nadia Elhaggagi 

Nadia is a Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion http://ec.europa.eu/social/home.jsp. She works on the implementation of the Youth Employment Package (YEP). The YEP laid the groundwork for the Youth Guarantee Recommendation, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, and the forthcoming proposal for a Quality Framework for Traineeships.

Yannick Dupont

Yannick is the Founder and Director of Spark www.spark-online.org, an organisation that creates opportunities for education and entrepreneurship for youth in post conflict societies. Pre-Spark, Yannick boasts a rich background that interweaves work on policy, education and research. The common thread, reflected by Spark’s mission, being young people in conflict zones. It is this driving passion that today sees Spark working in countries as diverse as among others Burundi, Palestine and Afghanistan.

Larry Sullivan

Larry is Chairman and founder of COINS and five other niche market software houses including one in Poland and one in Russia.  In 2004 Larry also funded and established the not for profit Stepping Stones, a school for children with hemiplegia and has more recently established the COINS foundation to support projects that focus on building a more inclusive world.  Larry has given a series of talks to Business Schools in the UK and globally on ‘Entrepreneurship as a Force for Good’ where he aims to influence students to think beyond the bottom line and establish social enterprises http://www.coinsfoundation.org/p/h/Home//21/

TJ Morgan

TJ is a University of Essex graduate with a degree in Philosophy, Politics & Economics. Whilst studying, he co-founded Nupé Media. The aim of the group was to increase media coverage of positive and innovative happenings in young demographics, with a particular concern in ethnic minorities http://nupe.co.uk/.  He is a hobbyist filmmaker and enjoys tackling philosophical ideals through demanding screenplays. He believes technology has the potential to solve many of the connected world’s problems and is currently working on an employment mobile app that will make it easier for young people to be included in the recruitment process. He passionately supports the ideals of enterprise, Newcastle United and is a lover of most sports.

Ravi Theja Muthu

Ravi is a young entrepreneur whose wealth of experience belies his tender years. He is the CEO of Renergy Technologies, a green business whose focus is on providing sustainable, affordable and reliable alternative energy solutions to people in the rural Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, India.
Ravi is also the co-founder of the Climate Leaders India Network that works to promote climate solutions.

Chaired by David Woollcombe – Founder and President, Peace Child International


Making Change Happen: How can young people engage positively and confidently with policy makers to create relevant and sustainable jobs for their future?

Facilitator: Alexander Woollcombe

Alexander leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s UK and EU External Relations in London. He was previously the Senior UK Government Relations Manager as well as EU Director at the ONE campaign, an advocacy organisation that fights extreme poverty in Africa. Alexander has also worked for Oxfam in Ethiopia and Senegal on policy and communications. Prior to that, he worked for the Conservative Party, the EU and Peace Child International in West Africa, Brussels, India and South America. Alexander holds an MA degree in History from the University of Edinburgh. – See more here

Case Study:  Lottie Dexter

Lottie Dexter launched and leads the Million Jobs Campaign, a campaign to stand up for the young unemployed. She works closely with young adults across Great Britain to make sure their needs are fairly represented in government and the media. To join Lottie and sign up to the Million Jobs campaign, go to: www.millionjobs.org.uk

Digital economy workshop: Learn the art of killer digital networking

Facilitators: Steven Champion

Steven started working with young people in 1999 with the YMCA in East London. Over the last 15 years he has engaged, mentored and trained over 10,000 young people aged 16-24 across the UK. A former IT Recruitment Consultant, he has a fascination with the Digital Economy and the opportunities it presents to young people in terms of employment and entrepreneurship. His first venture, Edit Amplify, is focussing on the Olympic Borough – Newham in London to connect young people with Tech City. And is rapidly gaining interest from other areas of the UK. And the world. Steven is also a mentor with Work In Progress and a non-Exec at AppsCluster.

Alasdair Blackwell

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Decoded, Ali is responsible for all the digital bits of a very human business. He is currently setting up the Decoded Foundation to bring free code education to teachers up and down the country.

Med Bukey

Founder & CEO @VexPop, Visionary, Idealist, Chef, Non-Conformist, Disrupter, Philosopher, Military Genius, Rock / Jazz Guitarist, Jedi, Thinker, Tech Guru, Spurs Fan, Satirist, Libertarian, Investigative Blogger, RATT & Van Halen fan.

Hassan Hoque

Director of AppsCluster, the team of app specialists training 16-24 year old’s in app development. Hassan completed an MA in Social Anthropology at SOAS and has had heavy involvement in leading community learning at Limehouse in East London.

Matt Ogston

Director and Co-founder of JobPage, the UK’s first crowd sourced jobs social network that helps young people find jobs, mentorship and practical career advice. He is also a highly experienced web business advisor, product manager, coder, UX champion & on-line marketing consultant.

Rosa Glover

Projects Manager at a well known, fast paced, high octane, cake fuelled tech start-up. Rosa has had a true portfolio career including mural painter, Cinderella, science teacher, puppeteer, Santa’s head Elf as well as TV producer (all true).

Measuring results of youth employment interventions: challenges and approaches

Facilitator:  Nic van der Jagt, SPARK

Nic van der Jagt is Monitoring and Evaluation Manager with SPARK, a Netherlands-based NGO specialized in youth entrepreneurship development in fragile states and conflict-affected environments www.spark-online.org. He currently manages the results measurement systems of a number of multi-country programmes funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DFID, SIDA, and other donors. He has been involved in monitoring and evaluating small enterprise development projects in South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, the Palestinian Territories, Liberia, Kosovo, Libya, Yemen and South Africa for more than 15 years, including for the International labour Organization.


Jonathan Pfahl is the owner and Managing Director of the Rockstar Group of Companies.
The Rockstar Group are dedicated to seeing young entrepreneurs succeed in setting up their own businesses. To achieve this, they provide a combination of one to one mentoring, promotion of products and services and support in accessing private funding.
Jonathan’s own career path started out in Sydney where he worked as an Investment Broker with Goldman Sachs. He has an degree in Applied Economics from the University of Sydney. http://rockstargroup.co.uk/

Social Enterprise: currently Social Enterprise and the Third Sector are creating more jobs than the commercial sector in the UK economy: how can we encourage it?

Facilitator:  Melody Hossaini, InspirEngage International

Melody Hossaini, founder and CEO of InspirEngage International, is a young female social entrepreneur with a strong profile globally. She is a leading professional speaker and an expert in skills training with a passion in supporting individuals to explore social enterprise as an option. From a war-torn Iran, to starting out in the Youth Sector aged just 13, Melody is now a multi-award winning businesswoman spearheading a shift that will turn the business world on its head. In 2011, she became the first ever social entrepreneur to appear on BBC’s The Apprentice, now using the platform to champion young people and women.

Other Presenters: Karl Belizaire

Karl Belizaire’s name is synonymous with social entrepreneurship networks in the West of England and further afield. As UK policy manager for UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, he works to integrate social entrepreneurs in local communities and create friendly environments where social entrepreneurs can thrive. This community driven model has now expanded to offer the largest support network for social entrepreneurs in the world. http://unltd.org.uk/

Public and Private Sector collaboration: how can government, third and private sectors best work together to create sustainable job creation interventions? How can youth engage to draw best practice and inspiration/guidance from all sectors?

Facilitator: Samuel Kasumu

Samuel Kasumu is the Founder of Elevation Networks, a youth employment charity, which tackles the lack of diversity within many industries www.elevationnetworks.org. Launched in 2008, Elevation Networks currently deliver a number of contracts including the Government’s Flagship Programme, National Citizen Service, and the Start- Up Loans initiative.

Samuel’s trailblazing efforts have been recognised by a slew of awards including the prestigious Barclays Business Enterprise Award and GBA Real Business Magazine’s Young Star of Enterprise Award. Amway International also named him as one their top 3 role models in the UK.

Root and Branch Reform of Education: Are we preparing young people for success post education?

Facilitator:  Nik Kafka, Teach a man to fish.

Nik is the founder and managing director of Teach A Man To Fish http://teachamantofish.org.uk/. From its roots in a chance visit to an innovative Paraguayan school where the poor were taught to become self financing social entrepreneurs, Nik has guided Teach A Man to Fish to become an International network. Over the years more than 50,000 young people from across Africa, Asia and Latin America have benefited from Teach A Man to Fish’s network of over 3,500 education institutions and experts in more than 125 countries. In recognition of his outstanding efforts, NIK has been honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and as one of Devex’s 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders.

Other Presenters: Laura Jane Rawlings

Laura-Jane is a leading figure and serial innovator on youth unemployment in the UK. She is the driving force behind both InspireEducation, a careers and employability specialist company, and Youth Employment UK CIC, a campaigning and membership organisation focused on collaboration, best practice, communication and engagement www.yeuk.org.uk. Youth Employment UK CIC is home to the national Youth Friendly Badge and publishes the monthly Youth Employment NEWS e-magazine.

Hilary Mason, Director Multiple Learning Solutions

Getting the media onside: can media alert young people around the world to the challenge and opportunity of job creation?

Facilitator: Susana Giner

Susana Giner is the Founder and Director of Youth Media Agency, the national home of youth media in the UK, supporting and connecting over 100 youth radio, magazine and online broadcast platforms to young creatives and the mainstream www.youthmediaagency.org.uk.

In 2009 she set up the UK’s first Youth-led Media Summit, sponsored by Channel 4 and then led the Global Youth Media Council at the World Summit on Media for Children & Youth in Karlstaad, Sweden 2010.  Youth Media Agency also leads the campaign #PressChange4Youth campaigning for more ethical press endorsed by 120 youth organisations.

International collaboration: what can we learn from each other?

Facilitator:  David Woollcombe, Peace Child International,

Other Presenters: Alpha Bacar Barry, Jatropha Youth Micro-Finance Bank and architect of Peace Child International’s Be the Change Youth-led Business Academies
Ravi Theja Muthu, Founder and Director, RENERGY Corporation, India