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Our TEDxWWF Speakers

ANDREAS KELLER

Co-creator of iShack
Andreas Keller left a career in the hedge fund industry to follow an ambition to help create a more sustainable and safer future for people living in the slums of South Africa.

With a keen interest in alleviating energy poverty, while studying for a Masters in Sustainable Development from the University of Stellenbosch, Andreas thought up the idea of an ‘improved shack’, better known as the iShack, to provide affordable, ecologically designed structures built from recycled materials that boast incrementally scalable and grid-integrateable solar technology.

He is now based at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, where he is working with a team of slum dwellers, activist scholars and professionals, to develop a social enterprise enabling those living in slums to access sustainable off-grid solar infrastructure and shack dwelling upgrades.

Andreas also holds qualifications in BBusSci (Finance) from the University of Cape Town; BPhil (Sustainable Development) and MPhil (Sustainable Development), both from the University of Stellenbosch.
 / ©: Berry Wessels
Andreas Keller
© Berry Wessels

ANDY RIDLEY

Executive Director and Co-founder of Earth Hour
Keen diver Andy Ridley is the CEO and co-founder of one of the largest grassroots environmental movements: Earth Hour, a WWF initiative. This movement, which started in just one city in Australia, has grown to inspire millions around the world to unite to protect our planet.

This has earned the campaign more than 20 international awards including the Cannes Titanium Lion for Integrated Marketing and the Australian Banksia Gold Award for the Environment.

As the former Director of Communications at WWF Australia, Andy worked on a number of successful campaigns to establish large wildlife protection areas in Papua New Guinea, protect the Tarkine Forest in Tasmania and establish some of the world's largest marine Protected Areas in Southern Ocean and on the Great Barrier Reef.

Andy has previously worked for The Prince’s Trust in the UK, and is also an Ambassador for the Great Barrier Reef for Tourism Australia and Tourism North Queensland.

Andy holds a BA (Hons) in Modern Studies, History, Politics and English from the Manchester Metropolitan University.
 / ©: Andy Ridley
Andy Ridley
© Andy Ridley

BRUCE FERGUSON

Professor at Masdar Institute
As a lecturer at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Professor Bruce Ferguson dedicates his research and teaching in the fields of entrepreneurship, technology management and the “innovation ecosystem”.

Professor Ferguson is the Director of Center for Innovation Systems and Entrepreneurship at Masdar, a university which focuses on developing new renewable energy sources and other sustainable technologies as well as the co-founder of Orbital Sciences Corporation, a co-founder and former CEO of Edenspace Systems Corporation; and a former Fellow at the George Washington University Center for International Science and Technology Policy.

He received his Juris Doctor, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Harvard University.
 / ©: Bruce Ferguson
Bruce Ferguson
© Bruce Ferguson

ELHAM AL QASIMI

First Arab woman to reach the North Pole
Despite having no prior knowledge of trekking, Elham became the first Arab woman to set foot on the North Pole in April 2010. In a three-week unassisted journey at the top of the world, she stepped away from corporate life to face up to the challenges of one of the world’s harshest environments.

Elham met those challenges with perseverance while being committed to leading by example and motivating others to do the same.

She holds a masters degree in NGO Management from the London School of Economics and graduated from the American University in Dubai in 2004. After leaving higher education, Elham worked in investment and the charity sector.
 / ©: Elham Al Qasimi
Elham Al Qasimi
© Elham Al Qasimi

GINGER KRIEG DOSIER

Inventor of Bio-Brick
With a strong passion for science and the environment, architect Ginger Krieg Dosier has made it her mission to challenge concrete-based construction materials in favour of creating something increasingly sustainable for the construction market.

Compelled to improve the sustainable building material options for architects, she turned her hand to science and is now the inventor of the Bio-Brick. In the last eight years, Ginger has dedicated her time to researching building materials with an environmental focus, has engaged in co-research forums and sought to better understand the properties of a material in relation to its architectural performance.

Ginger is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. She also holds Masters in Architecture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelors degree in Interior Design from the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
 / ©: Michael Dosier
Ginger Krieg Dosier
© Michael Dosier

JULIE-ANN ODELL

Founder of Dubai Drums
Julie-Ann is an experienced drum circle facilitator who has used rhythm work and group drumming extensively for team building and community events in the United Arab Emirates and the region.

Since starting Dubai Drums in 2002, Julie-Ann and her team have drummed with thousands at schools, universities, corporations and community events. They drum in all parts of the Middle East and have now opened Cairo Drums in Egypt.

She is also an experienced executive coach, co-active life coach and organization relationship systems coach and firmly believes that life is all about taking responsibility for what you are creating, reconnecting to your inner core, your humanness and authentically honouring your values as well as living in rhythm.
 / ©: Julie-Ann Odell
Julie-Ann Odell
© Julie-Ann Odell

LUCY ORTA

Contemporary Visual Artist
Contemporary visual artist Lucy Orta draws inspiration from ecological and social sustainability issues to create her works, employing a diversity of mediums including sculpture, couture, painting and photography.

After graduating with an honours degree in fashion-knitwear design from Nottingham Trent University in 1989, Lucy began practicing in Paris in 1991, where she founded Studio Orta with her Argentinean husband Jorge.

Through Lucy’s collaborative work with her husband, she has raised the profile of international human rights, considered the value of the natural environment to our daily lives and created a series focusing on the scarcity of this precious resource for which they received the Green Leaf award, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme in partnership with the Natural World Museum in 2007.

Lucy is also a Professor of Art, Fashion and the Environment at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and was the inaugural Rootstein Hopkins Chair at London College of Fashion from 2002–2007.
 / ©: Lucy Orta
Lucy Orta
© Lucy Orta

MAJID AL-QASSIMI

Veterinarian and Environmental Advocate
Veterinarian Majid Al-Qassimi is keen on raising awareness on the issues surrounding endangered animals and the environment. As a veterinarian, he sees nature as our oldest teacher. He is an advocate of education and believes that knowledge and transparency are vital foundations for the next generation.

Majid qualified as a doctor of veterinary medicine at Saint Istvan University in Budapest, Hungary.
 / ©: Majid Al-Qassimi
Majid Al-Qassimi
© Majid Al-Qassimi

SARA EL SAYED

Certified Biomimicry Professional and Biologist
As a rowing enthusiast who trains on the River Nile, Italian Egyptian Sara El Sayed devotes her time to being a Biomimicry Practitioner.

With a BSc in Biology and a BA in Anthropology from the American University in Cairo, she is keen on creating opportunities for an impactful shift towards a more sustainable future for her home country: Egypt.

With a passion for drawing inspiration from nature, Sara is eager to share her learning of the natural world to as many varied and diverse groups as possible. As a result, in 2011 she co-founded Dayma, a social venture in education tourism to inspire students through the country’s native ecosystems, and in the same year she launched Nawaya: an NGO promoting sustainable agriculture in Egypt.

Sara also sits on the International Board of Slow Food and is lead instructor for the B-speciality programme in Europe as part of Biomimicry 3.8.
 / ©: Erin Leitch
Sara El Sayed
© Erin Leitch

WILLIAM GAILLARD

Senior Advisor to the President of UEFA
As a passionate advocate of using football as a platform for change, William’s role in UEFA extends beyond his position as Senior Advisor to the organisation’s President. William is actively involved in anti-racism work within the sport including UEFA’s own Unite Against Racism and the UK’s Kick It Out campaign.

Prior to his work in UEFA, William’s education at both Harvard University and The Johns Hopkins University led him to carve an international career including positions in the European Commission and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
 / ©: William Gaillard
William Gaillard
© William Gaillard

About TEDxWWF

  • TEDxWWF brings together forward-thinking speakers who share their endeavours and insights (scientific, adventurous, artistic or otherwise) that question and change the way we think, live and work to meet the challenges of living on our one planet.

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