January 5, 2018, by Elizabeth Smith

Ingenuity18 Ideas Summit: Who’s who?

Each year, the Ingenuity competition grows, develops and gets better and better. Ingenuity18 is no different, and it’s kicking off with the biggest date in your diary: the Ingenuity18 Ideas Summit.

Ingenuity18 Ideas Summit is a groundbreaking event and the first of its kind at The University of Nottingham. Open to all Ingenuity18 entrants, we want to challenge your thinking and inspire you to realise the power you have to re-shape contemporary society.

Throughout the weekend, we will provide inspiring talks from world-class thinkers, innovation sessions, trend forecasting, a series of thought-provoking screenings and hands-on development. Our key aim is to move you out of your comfort zone and help you find more innovative solutions to the problems you are facing.

Here’s the lowdown on some of our headline sessions…


ian filby, ingenuity18, ideas summitIan Filby: Chief Executive Officer, DFS

Background: Before Ian took the helm at DFS in 2010, and since then has become renowned for bringing a fresh approach to the market leading sofa manufacturer and retailer. The transformation came from 27 years of experience with Boots, putting the customer at the heart of the business, and making the DFS brand more female friendly. He recently delivered a keynote speech at the Pitch@Palace bootcamp the University of Nottingham hosted, and we look forward to hearing him igniting some more minds at Ingenuity18 Ideas Summit!

Ingenuity18 topic: Ian will be delivering a keynote speech on the importance of physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being in innovation. Inspired by thought leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Ian will provide an accessible insight into how we can shape our business, research and innovation proposals, as well as our day-to-day lives, to embrace the importance of well-being.


Kajal Odedra, UK Director, Change.org

kajal odedra, change.org, ingenuity18, ideas summitBackground: The more we read about Kajal, the more we fangirl her! Change.org is the world’s largest online petition website with 190million users worldwide and over 14million in the UK. People on Change.org work with decision makers to find new solutions to the big and small issues that impact their lives. Kajal has a decade’s experience in the campaigns and tech sector, is an advisor for women in STEM group Ada’s List and founded the People of Colour in Campaigns network.

Ingenuity18 topic: Kajal will be drawing on her experience in campaigning and working with decision makers to outline how the future of society and politics could look. She will also explore the opportunities that the University community – whether you are a student, alumni entrepreneur, ECR, or member of staff – can create and lead to shape these changes. Our innovation and creativity can have incredible influence, both on our doorsteps in Nottingham, and in the wider world – and Kajal’s keynote will help us to realise this.


Rohan Gunatillake, Creative and Executive Lead, Mindfulness Everywhere

rohan gunatillake, ingenuity18, ideas summitBackground: Rohan is one of the most original and creative voices in modern mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness Everywhere is a creative studio combining meditation, technology and design. As well as being the Creative and Executive Lead at the organisation, Rohan is also the author of “Modern Mindfulness: How to Be More Relaxed, Focused and Kind While Living in a Fast, Digital, Always-On World”, a trustee of the British Council and was named by Wired magazine in their Smart List of 50 people who will change the world. His experience in creating best-selling apps, such as buddifhy, make him an ideal person to bridge the gap between the skills needed for innovation, and the mindset needed to make those ideas happen.

Ingenuity18 topic: Rohan’s talk will look at ethical and mindful design in technology. With the recent media attention on the implications of current apps, social media sites and other digital parts of our lives on our mental health, the Ideas Summit provides an ideal opportunity for us all to make sense of how we can progress technology with an intention of making positive change.


Dr.Deborah Benham, UK Coordinator, 8 Shields

deb benham, ingenuity18, ideas summitBackground: Deborah has a PhD in wildlife conservation, environmental education and the people/nature interface. What does that have to do with an event designed for entrepreneurs, ECRs and innovators? Lots. Since completing her studies she has become a leading figure in deep nature connection, culture repair and design for sustainability; with a particular interest in the role of organisations and social enterprise in creating a sustainable future. Formally Managing Director of the Newbold Trust, she is now UK Director for 8 Shields Institute, a global movement of outdoor leaders and community builders providing training in nature connection and cultural mentoring. She also offers consultancy, training and workshops in nature connection, regenerative culture, sustainable design and youth empowerment.

Ingenuity18 topic: Deborah’s session will explore how organisations can create health, connection and resilience in our damaged modern communities and culture, from the inside out. Using a tried and tested framework based on the wisdom of nature and nature connected traditional cultures we can create work places and projects that support people’s gifts, genius and innovation to fully emerge. These brilliant individuals, groups and organisations are then fully equipped to be the catalysts, leaders, role models and mentors we need to create positive change throughout society.


Sarah Smith, Director, Indigo Leadership

sarah smith, indigo, ingenuity18, ideas summitBackground: Indigo Leadership brings together a team of people will a passion for helping people unlock the very best in leadership and management. With over 30 years’ experience as a leadership development facilitator and professional coach, Sarah knows that space to think is often in low supply in busy organisational life – whether you are a start-up or established, global organisation. As well as currently being the team coach to Shelter’s executive team, she has coached many influential leaders in banking, PR, housing, media, as well as those at charities such as Women’s Aid. Ingenuity18 Ideas Summit will give us an insight into what it is like for the CEO’s and executive boards who go through her programmes.

Ingenuity18 topic: Sarah will be leading a session called “Into the Great Outdoors”, where we will be able to try out innovative ways of answering tough questions. Without a smartphone in sight, Sarah will coach us through how we approach and respond to intuition, and how it can inform the development of our Ingenuity18 journey.


Professor Katherine Royse, Science Director in GeoAnalytics and Modelling, British Geological Survey

katherine royse, bgs, ingenuity18, ideas summitBackground: BGS is a world-leading geological survey. It focuses on public-good science for government, and research to understand earth and environmental processes. Katherine sits on NERCs Innovation Advisory Board, where she provides advice on how best to translate environmental knowledge and data into new value. She is also Secretary for the Geological Society of London, and is responsible for the promotion of professional excellence and ethical standards in earth sciences.

Ingenuity18 topic: Katherine will be representing BGS at one of our Ingenuity Live sessions during the Ideas Summit. During this, she will pitch some of the biggest challenges facing BGS in the 21st Century. You will then work in interdisciplinary groups using Ingenuity Online to provide viable solutions to the challenges posed. In pitching these ideas back to Katherine and all other participants, you will not only develop your skills in pitching ideas for innovation, but will be able to take ideas and learnings that can inform your own Ingenuity18 proposal.


The Future Laboratory

Background: The Future Laboratory exists to help us make a better future for businesses by giving them the confidence to make decisions today that will create economic, environmental and social growth tomorrow. Clients include Unilever, Diageo, Google and Nissan, and now you! They are leaders in creating strategic foresights required to manage risk, identify opportunities for growth, and demonstrate the ability to innovate and disrupt industries – just what the doctor/Ingenuity18 ordered!

Ingenuity18 topic: The Future Laboratory will delivering two keynote sessions: Female Futures and Civic Brands. Female Futures will explore the opportunities for women to lead the entrepreneurial landscape and shape markets. Civic Brands will discuss the need for innovators and entrepreneurs to step in, and lead the way, with instances of austerity, biopolitics, and where governments are reducing their support. The demands of the future require us to start being creative with our solutions now.


Rights Lab, University of Nottingham

Background: The Rights Lab is home to the world’s leading contemporary slavery experts and have built the world’s first large-scale research platform for ending slavery. Through working with governments and NGOs, Rights Lab are designing new research-led antislavery interventions to help achieve the ending of slavery by 2030. Current topics include identifying slavery using satellite technology; securing slavery-free supply chains; and slavery as a local issue. Our hashtag for Ingenuity18 is #FixTheWorld, and the Rights Lab are going to help us achieve that.

Ingenuity18 topic: Rights Lab are currently working with 20+ of their ECRs to identify the key challenges the beacon faces. Our Ingenuity Live session will allow you all to channel your creative thinking into providing solutions to these challenges, exercising your ability to think innovatively around one of the most pressing issues of our time. Modern slavery is happening under our noses, and if we have an ability to challenge it through our businesses, research, and activity as an organisation, there is no doubt we should.


We will also have a range of smaller sessions run by leading academics in fields of creativity, innovation, future tech, and the circular economy which will further develop how you make sense of your purpose as an innovator. Full details of the Ideas Summit timetable will be released on the Ingenuity18 website in due course.


The deadline to apply for Ingenuity18 is Friday 26 January at midnight (GMT). Only teams who have applied will be able to attend the Ideas Summit.

If you have any queries about the Ideas Summit or your Ingenuity18 application, please contact ingenuitycompetition@nottingham.ac.uk.

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