The Leading Speakers Bureau

Aug 29 2014

Paddy Ashdown

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Former Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party

Paddy AshdownPaddy Ashdown was leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999. After leaving British politics, Paddy Ashdown served as the High Representative and EU Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 until 2006. In recognition of his service as High Representative Paddy was awarded the highest diplomatic service honour, the GCMG. Lord Ashdown became a life peer in 2001 and now sits in the House of Lords as a liberal Democrat peer.

“Politics is about putting yourself in a state of grace” Paddy Ashdown


In detail

From 1959 to 1972 he served as a Royal Marines Officer and saw active service as a Commando Officer in Borneo and the Persian Gulf. After leaving the Marines he joined the Foreign Office. He was posted to the British Mission to the United Nations in Geneva where he was responsible for Britain’s relations with a number of United Nations’ organisations and took part in the negotiation of several international treaties and agreements between 1974 and 1976. In the House of Commons he was spokesman on Trade and Industry and then Education.


What he offers you

An experienced politician and diplomat Lord Ashdown offers audiences a first hand account of his experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as his insights into the current political landscape in the UK and Europe.


How he presents

An adept speaker, Lord Ashdown is an interesting individual and an articulate communicator, something of an action man who can converse on many topics. His presentations are engaging and thought-provoking.

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Aug 27 2014

Martin Jacques

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Author of ‘When China Rules the World’, Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics IDEAS

Martin JacquesMartin Jacques is a writer, columnist, broadcaster and visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics, IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy, and a visiting research fellow at the LSE’s Asia Research Centre. He is a columnist for the Guardian and the New Statesman.

“Culture is the key for understanding China” Martin Jacques


In detail

Martin Jacques was editor of the highly respected journal Marxism Today from 1977 until its closure in 1991. He was founder of the UK think-tank Demos, has been a columnist for The Times and the Sunday Times and was deputy editor of the Independent. He has made many television programmes for the BBC including writing and presenting Italy on Trial (1993), The Incredible Shrinking Politicians (1993), a two-part series on The End of the Western World (1996) and Proud to be Chinese (1998). He was co-presenter of the Knowledge on Channel Four. He has recently been a visiting professor at Remnin University, Beijing, the International Centre for Chinese Studies, Aichi University and at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, and was a senior visiting Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.


What he offers you

Having written extensively for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and elsewhere (he has also been a regular contributor on BBC Newsnight, Channel Four News, Week in Politics, Westminster Programme, Any Questions, Today Programme, The World Tonight et al) and having travelled extensively in East Asia over the past fifteen years, Martin Jacques is a leading authority on Asian who offers deeply considered, influential political commentary on numerous Asian and global issues. His presentations are full of historical understanding and realism and are about more than China.


How he presents

The author of one of the best and most serious studies of China, Martin Jacques’ highly sought after presentations open our eyes to matters in Asia, from a unique and studied viewpoint.

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Aug 25 2014

Marco Tempest

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Virtual Magician and Techno Illusionist

Marco TempestAdventurer, Scientist, Showman, Dreamer and Hero… there is no one quite like Virtual Magician and High Tech Poet, Marco Tempest. His imaginative combination of computer-generated imagery, video, music and stagecraft with his unique vision of future life is creatively unique and unequalled within the performing arts. For years, Marco’s masterful blend of digital media and magic has enabled audiences to glimpse the future before technology gets there.

“Always out there exploring new frontiers, one step ahead of the rest of us”


In detail

Marco began performing when he was very young. At the age of 22 he had captured the prestigious New York World Cup of Magic, launching him into international prominence and following that he has been featured in his own theatrical shows and as part of numerous television specials around the world. Marco’s’ award winning TV series The Virtual Magician is currently airing in more than 48 countries. His talent has been recognised with a number of prestigious international awards. He is the winner of the 2009 World Magic Award for Best Contemporary Magic and he has been invited as a visionary presenter to the Seoul Digital Forum and the TEDxTokyo conference.


What he offers you

No one else combines the incredible technical savvy with the showmanship, the physical skills and the charisma of Marco Tempest. In the business world, leaders from all industries have found Marco’s work to be the perfect way to present their newest products and innovations. His work is also constantly changing: as new technologies envolve, he finds captivating ways of turning those advances into compelling illusions.


How he presents

Marco Tempest seems to have an uncanny sense of what would be just right for a given situation. Always working to stay just a bit ahead of the curve himself, he has a particularly winning way of taking his audiences with him on his magical excursions into the land of tomorrow. It is always wise to expect the unexpected.

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Aug 22 2014

Malcolm Gladwell

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Best-selling Author, Staff Writer for New Yorker Magazine

Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell is the phenomenal best-selling author of Outliers, Blink and The Tipping Point. He has an incomparable gift for interpreting new ideas in the social sciences and making them understandable, practical and valuable to business and general audiences alike. His provocative ideas are taking the business world by storm.

In 2009, Thinkers 50, the global ranking of management gurus, placed him among the top ten most influential thinkers.


In detail

Malcolm Gladwell was born in 1963 in England, and grew up in Canada. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1984. From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter for The Washington Post, first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His editor describes his work as a new genre of story, an idea-driven narrative that’s focused on the everyday and combines research with material that’s more personal, social and historical.


What he offers you

Malcolm’s presentations contain all the sprightly prose and insight we have come to associate with his writing. In addition, he manages to make sense of a tantalizing array of research findings. Malcolm is an extraordinary speaker: always on target, aware of the context and the concerns of the audience, informative and practical, poised, eloquent and delightfully warm and funny.


How he presents

An excellent speaker, Malcolm changes the way you think about everything. A combination of lucid explanation with vivid (and often funny) real-world examples, he sets out to explain nothing less than why human beings behave the way they do. Magically, he entertains and shakes up your perspective at the same time.

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Aug 20 2014

Dr. Larry Brilliant

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Online Pioneer and Veteran Philanthropist

Larry BrilliantLarry Brilliant is executive director of google.org, an online pioneer and a veteran philanthropist. A self-described social change “addict”, Larry recently won the prestigious TEDPrize. Board-certified in preventive medicine and public health, he helped lead the successful WHO smallpox-eradication program and later founded the Seva Foundation, an international health non-profit that’s restored sight to more than two million blind people. Larry spends most of his time travelling to remote areas of the globe to evaluate current Google.org initiatives and identify potential opportunities and partnerships.

“If Larry Brilliant’s life were a film, critics would pan the plot as implausible.” WIRED


In detail

Trained as a doctor, Larry lived in India for 10 years — first at a Himalayan monastery, and later as a diplomat working for the UN. Time and Wired magazines called Larry a “technology visionary.” He received an honorary Doctor of Science from Knox College and has been awarded numerous other honours including “International Public Health Hero” from University of California.


What he offers you

Dr. Brilliant has spent his career solving the ills of today and building technologies of the future. In his presentations, he delivers multiple perspectives: those of a physician, a former CEO, a technologist, and now as executive director of Google.org, he’s redefining how we solve the world’s biggest problems.


How he presents

Energy and dynamism combine effortlessly with his compelling messages. His audiences are left both challenged and enthused.

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Aug 18 2014

Sir Ken Robinson

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Internationally Recognised Expert on Creativity and Human Resources

Sir Ken Robinson Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with governments in Europe, Asia and the USA, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and currently works with many groups and organisations around the world that are designing more creative and holistic approaches in education, culture and business.

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original”


In detail

Sir Ken led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government. ‘All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education’ (The Robinson Report) was published to wide acclaim in 1999. He was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, working with the ministers for training, education enterprise and culture. He was one of four international advisors to the Singapore Government for its strategy to become the creative hub of South East Asia.


What he offers you

His vision and expertise is sought by businesses that recognise the urgent need to promote stronger powers of creativity, communication and innovation within their company. Sir Ken also challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.


How he presents

His presentations are designed individually and his style of delivery is unique and inspirational.

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Aug 15 2014

Jer Thorp

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Data Artist, Educator, Thinker

Jer ThorpJer Thorp is an artist and educator from Vancouver and is currently Data Artist in Residence at the New York Times. A former geneticist, his digital art practice explores the many-folded boundaries between science and art. His award-winning software-based work has been exhibited in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia and all over the web. Recently his work has been featured by The New York Times, The Guardian, Business Week and the CBC.

“Jer Thorp makes data more human”


In detail

Jer has over a decade of teaching experience, in Langara College’s Electronic Media Design Program, at the Vancouver Film School and as an artist-in-residence at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He has presented at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art, at Eyebeam in New York City, and at IBM’s Center for Social Software in Cambridge. His unique collection of organic flash experiments and generative artworks have won numerous awards and have been featured in many art and design publications, both online and in print. Jer is a contributing editor for Wired UK.


What he offers you

Jer Thorp’s work focuses on adding meaning and narrative to huge amounts of data as a way to help people take control of the information that surrounds them. His presentations are also of highest interest for those who are tasked with making innovation happen in their companies.


How he presents

His unique and powerful presentations make Jer Thorp a commentator of great demand at conferences worldwide.

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Aug 13 2014

Isabel Allende

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Chilean-American Acclaimed Novelist

Isabel AllendeIsabel Allende is an internationally acclaimed author considered to be part of the Latin American feminist literary awakening. Born in Lima, Peru, she grew up in Chile and travelled around the world as the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. She is best known for her epic and highly autobiographical novel ‘The House of Spirits’, which was later released as a motion picture in 1993.

“A genius” The Los Angeles Times


In detail

Isabel Allende worked with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Santiago, then later in Brussels, Belgium, and in Europe. For a brief period in Chile, she also had a job translating Romance novels from English to Spanish. Reportedly, the CIA-backed military coup in 1973 “changed everything” for her because “her name meant she was caught up in finding safe passage for those on the wanted lists”. In 2006, she was one of the eight flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Her novels have been translated into 30 languages and sold more than 51 million copies.


What she offers you

Isabel has lectured, done extensive book tours and has taught literature at several US colleges. In her writing, Allende deals with politics, history, and social institutions in a way that is all but passive.


How she presents

Isabel’s presentations give fascinating insights into how she is guided by a vision of a world in which women have achieved social and economic justice. This vision includes empowerment of women and girls and protection of women and children.

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Aug 11 2014

Doug Richard

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Entrepreneur and Businessman

Doug RichardDoug Richard is a successful entrepreneur, and active angel investor, with over 25 years’ experience in the development and leadership of high technology and software ventures. Doug featured in the first two TV series of Dragons’ Den. In his time he has started, grown and sold 4 companies, run a NASDAQ listed public software company, invested in over 20 startups, invested over US$120Million into high tech companies in the UK as an institutional investor and taught over 10,000 people how to start their own company through his social Enterprise School for Startups.

“Entrepreneurship can be taught and must be learned”


In detail

Doug was Chairman of the Conservative Party Small Business Task Force, and is non-executive Director of BrightPearl Software Love2scoot. He was President and CEO of Micrografx. Prior to that he also founded and subsequently sold two other companies: Visual Software and ITAL Computers. In 2006 he was the first American to receive The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion; in 2007 he became a fellow of the RSA. In 2009 Doug received an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Essex for his contribution to entrepreneurship education. In 2010 he was awarded Enterprise Educator of the Year. From 2010 he has been a guest lecturer on Entrepreneurship at Cambridge University. Doug holds a BA in Psychology from University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor at the school of Law, University of California at Los Angeles


What he offers you

Doug has always been a champion for startups and small businesses and is dedicated to helping many entrepre¬neurs to start better, more profitable businesses.


How he presents

An outstanding storyteller, Doug’s speeches are a combination of excellent humour, raconteur timing and invaluable business insights which make him a highly sought after speaker.

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Aug 08 2014

Don Tapscott

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Author of ‘Grown Up Digital’ and Co-author of ‘Wikinomics’

Don TapscottDon Tapscott is a thought leader on the strategic value and impact of information technology. He has authored or co-authored thirteen widely read books on technology and business. His book, ‘Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything’ is an international bestseller, has appeared on the New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller lists, and has been translated into 19 languages. The Washington Technology Report called him one of the most influential media authorities since Marshall McLuhan.

In 2009 Thinkers 50, the global ranking of management gurus, placed him among the list of most influential thinkers.


In detail

Don Tapscott holds a B.Sc. in Psychology and Statistics, an M.Ed. specializing in Research Methodology, and two Doctor of Laws (Hon) granted from the University of Alberta and from Trent University. He served as founder and chairman of the international think tank New Paradigm before its acquisition by nGenera. He is Chairman of nGenera Insight and an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is interviewed and quoted widely in the broadcast media including CNN, NBC, CBS and the BBC and is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum.


What he offers you

Don Tapscott consistently identifies and explains the next business imperatives and defines the business models and strategies that the new imperatives require. He explores how the first generation to grow up with the net is redefining today’s workplace, marketplace, schools, family and government – how they learn and work and what power and influence they hold. This is an indispensable message for all organizations that seek to turn the NetGen’s talents and worldview to competitive advantage.


How he presents

An enthralling, brilliant and inspiring orator, Don is often described by customers as the most effective speaker they have ever had.

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