Event Speakers 2016

Alexa Clay

2016 - Lessons in creativity from pirates, hackers & gangsters

Alexa Clay researches, writes and speaks on topics related to underground and grassroots innovation, technological change, economic transition and the power of misfits.

Her background is in ethnography, the history and philosophy of science, creative writing, (studying under poet Bob Creeley), and 18th and 19th century moral philosophy and economic theory.

Her book, The Misfit Economy argues that lessons in creativity, innovation, salesmanship, and entrepreneurship can come from surprising places: pirates, bootleggers, counterfeiters, hustlers, and others living and working on the margins of business and society.

Alexandra Deschamps- Sonsino

2016 - IOT: Connecting products and experiences

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is an interaction designer, product designer and entrepreneur focused on the Internet of Things. She was named 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014), included in the Top 100 Influential Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014) and Top 10 IOT Influencers you need to know about (Dataconomy, 2015).

Alexandra’s work with connected objects has sought to bring human connection to the forefront of design. As a leading voice in enabling connected innovation, Alexandra has been uniting the design and engineering community and has contributed to the national growth of grassroots innovation.

Adam Kucharski

2021 - Why things spread and why they stop

Adam Kucharski is an Associate Professor and Sir Henry Dale Fellow in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

His research uses mathematical and statistical models to understand disease outbreaks, and the effects of social behaviour and immunity on transmission and control.

Adam will be talking how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion – from the revolutionary initiatives that helped tackle gun violence in Chicago to the truth behind the spread of fake news. And along the way, he’ll explain how innovations and emotions can spread through our friendship networks, what STDs can tell us about banking, and why some outbreak predictions go badly wrong !!

Russell Davies

2023 - Interesting. The need to notice, collect and connect

Don’t try to be interesting. The secret is to do interesting. None of us were born interesting. It s something that needs practice; a set of habits not a personality type. Not something you are, something you do. Russel Davie will be back at OffGrid this year talking about the need to pay attention and notice more Collect the obvious (images, quotes, facts) and the less obvious (metaphors, patterns, vibes) Store and remember things, collide ideas together and multiply their value. Share ideas, tell better stories, be more persuasive. By turning the things you notice into a useful and productive marinade, everything will get that bit more interesting and you ll learn something about yourself and what makes you tick.

Russell Davies is a writer and communications strategist. He has worked at advertising agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy and R/GA and for organisations including Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Honda and LOCOG. His most well-known work is probably the strategy development that led to Honda’s ‘Power Of Dreams’ campaign.

He is a Contributing Editor for Wired (UK) and has written for publications as diverse as The Idler, The Observer and Google’s Think Quarterly. He was Director of Strategy at the Government Digital Service – working out how a Digital Government integrates its products, services and marketing and is now Digital Strategy Director for the Co-op.

Anjali Ramachandran

2016 - Start Up & Social Enterprise

Anjali Ramachandran is a co-founder of Ada’s List, a global network for women in technology who want to change the industry and make it more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

She is also a board advisor at Angel Academe, an angel-investing group who invest in female entrepreneurs, and the editor of Other Valleys, a platform to highlight creativity and technology in the emerging markets. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a mentor to startups, and till recently was the Head of Innovation at PHD Media in London.

Mark Shayler

2016 - Purpose & innovation

Mark Shayler works with companies and individuals to help them develop ideas and move on. He’s a founding partner of the Do Lectures. He also helps run Good for Nothing a collaborative group that deliver design and strategy work for good causes, for nothing.

His latest book Do Disrupt is about disruption. About doing things differently. About having ideas that will change the world. That will at least change your world. It is also about delivering those ideas. Do Disrupt is a workbook that will help you create ideas and take them from concept to market. It will encourage you to define your customer, identify the competition … and then out-smart them. You’ll find out why you need a chat with your Nan and a tape measure.

Ruth Anslow

2016 - Super Market Revolution

What if you had an idea of how supermarkets “should be” that you turned into a voice? And that voice became a rallying cry of thousands of people? And that crowd enabled you to open a chain of stores?
And those stores transformed supermarkets for the 21st century?
And more people were inspired to follow their own ideas of how it should be? That’s Ruth’s journey….

Ruth Anslow, Co-Founder of hiSbe Food CIC. She is in love with the idea that business can be a force for good, by serving the interests of the public and communities, not just a few shareholders and directors.

She’s not into destructive innovation that makes out-of-date business models obsolete. She believes that when we follow a vision of “how it should be,” we can transform whole industries.

Robert Rowland Smith

2016 - Does the soul have ideas?

A Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, Robert has been published on philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis and is the author of ‘Breakfast with Socrates’ and ‘Driving with Plato.’ He has written for The Independent and has recently undertaken talks on ‘How To Be An Entrepreneur’.

Philosopher and consultant Robert Rowland Smith will show us that entrepreneurship is about much more than just the pursuit of profit. It is a way of thinking that hopes to make the world a better place. In this lesson, we’ll discover that the skills of an entrepreneur – from managing risk to getting things done – can help all of us, whether we’re starting our own business or innovating within an existing organisation.

John Burgess

2016 - Cider Making & Community

Many London gardens have apple trees but most of the fruit is wasted. In 2010 John Burgess decided to do something about this waste of a fantastic natural resource. He leafleted neighbours offering to collect unwanted apples (or pears) to make cider.  The response was overwhelming.

He collected 750 kilos of apples and pears and pressed the fruit to produce the first batch of London Glider – a clear, strong, still cider with a well-balanced fruity flavour and clean apple finish.

Nothing is wasted. Even the dry pulp left after each pressing is given to local farms to feed the sheep.

His “Orchard” continues to grow.