2018 Speakers

  • David Shelley

    CEO, Hachette
  • Sophia Thakur

    Performance poet

    Ever since Sophia climbed onto the stage at the age of 16 and captivated a room full of adults, she has pushed the traditional boundaries of poetry and literature to inspire audiences across the country. Sophia is a truly unique poet, delivering an incredibly powerful message on topics ranging from mental health, diversity, politics, wellbeing to the key issue of the day.

    Sophia was the first poet to be invited to give two TED talks before the age of 20, which in turn led to participation at events organised by The Guardian, The Royal Family, Channel 4, BBC and even The British Arts Council.

    Sophia’s poetry journey as taken her across the world, captivating and charming diverse audiences from Universities to The Houses of Parliament. She has also been invited into work with the creative teams at Nike and Samsung to share her talents for crafting powerful prose, whilst bringing poetry into unfamiliar terriroties.

    Online, Sophia has cultivated a passionate following with over 2million impressions per month across her social media channels. She has inspired young females to pick up a pen or type their own story and is regularly invited into schools to work with students.

    Furthermore, Sophia has performed at the Rockin’ Your Teens Annual Girls conference and is a youth ambassador for the betterment of young black girls, whilst leading BET and MTV’s global female campaigns for International Women’s Day and Black History Month. Sophia’s work also includes intimate forums with cancer patients, Cancer Research UK, Refugees and the Stand For Humanity foundation.

    Now a multi-award-winning writer and speaker, Sophia’s mission is to heal, creating a safe space to be vulnerable by pushing the boundaries of poetry and literature even further.

  • Muki Kulhan

    Executive digital producer, Muki International

    Muki is an award-winning Executive Digital Producer with over two decades creating interactive and immersive content for music,TV, entertainment and tech innovation. After 10 years growing MTV’s digital platforms in the 00s, she now runs Muki-International producing digital content, VR/AR and biz strategies for broadcasters, artists, R&D teams, and as BBC’s Digital Exec for The Voice UK she produced the first-ever ‘series’ of 360°VR experiences. Muki regularly speaks at conferences such as IBC, London Tech Week, BAFTA, Zurich Film Festival, ImmerseUK, Cambridge Wireless, Dublin Tech Summit, Microsoft Reactor and guest-hosts the highly-acclaimed Digital Jam Sessions tech podcast.


  • Tracey Follows

    Founder & CEO, Futuremade

    Tracey is a professional futurist and works with many well known global brands on consumer futures including Diageo, Conde Nast and Virgin.

    Tracey worked in media and marketing for over 20 years with brands such as John Lewis, easyJet and O2 but left to retrain in Strategic Foresight at The University of Houston. She later set up  her own futures consultancy, Futuremade and now regularly writes and speaks on Futures all around the world.

    In 2016 she was the recipient of the Women in Marketing Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Marketing. In 2017 Ad Age named her a Woman to Watch (Europe) and Business Cloud announced her as one their ‘101 Female Founders in Tech’.

    She is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, the World Futures Studies Federation and a Fellow of the RSA. 

  • Seth Godin


    Over the past quarter century, Seth has taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans from all walks of life, via his blog, online courses, lectures, and bestselling books. He is the inventor of countless ideas and phrases that have made their way into mainstream business language, from Permission Marketing to Purple Cow to Tribes to The Dip. In this exclusive video created specially for the FutureBook audience, Seth will explain how the ideas from his latest book, This Is Marketing, can help reinvigorate the future of books.

  • Sir Anthony Seldon

    Vice-Chancellor, The University of Buckingham
  • Rose Luckin

    Professor of learner-centred design, UCL Knowledge Lab

    Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab in London. Her research involves the design and evaluation of educational technology using theories from the learning sciences and techniques from Artificial Intelligence (AI). She has a particular interest in using AI to open up the ‘black box’ of learning to show teachers and students the detail of their progress intellectually, emotionally and socially.

    Rose is also Director of EDUCATE: a London hub for Educational Technology StartUps, researchers and educators to work together on the development of evidence-informed Educational Technology. Rose has published numerous academic articles in journals and has authored 2 monographs and 2 edited collections. She is also lead author of Nesta’s influential ‘Decoding Learning’ report published in 2012 and Pearson’s Unleashing Intelligence, published in 2016.

    Rose holds an International Franqui Chair at KU Leuven and was named on the Seldon List 2017, as one of the 20 most influential people in Education. She is a UFI charity trustee, a governor and trustee of St Paul’s school in London, a governor of the Self-Managed Learning College in Brighton and a member of the Cambridge University Press Syndicate (ELT & Education Publishing Committee). She has taught in the state secondary, Further Education and Higher Education sectors, and she was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University of Sussex.

  • Niels Peter Thomas

    Chief book strategist, Springer Nature
  • Joseph Noble

    Head of partnerships & innovation, Oxford University Press
  • Yaz El Hakim

    Director of Learner Experience for Kortext & vice-chair of SEDA

    Yaz El Hakim has worked in Higher Education for over 16 years, starting as an hourly paid lecturer in Sport Psychology. He later held the roles of Director of Learning and Teaching and Student Engagement at the University of Winchester, UK. Yaz held leadership roles in over £800,000 worth of other nationally funded research projects, including TESTA (www.testa.ac.uk) and recently, the HEFCE Learning Gain Community.

    Yaz advocates that personalised learning and associated analytics will transform learning experiences, enhancing student retention, progression and success. He has spent 4 years now working with global EdTech companies, joining Kortext in 2016, to enhance the ‘Learning and Research Experience’ of students in HE and increasingly learners across society.

  • George Burgess

    Founder, EdTech Exchange
  • Joseph Evans

    Senior research analyst, Enders Analysis

    Joseph is a senior research analyst at Enders Analysis, an independent TMT research company. He writes about the internet and technology and their impact on traditional media, advertising and consumer services, and has consulted for major media and technology businesses on these topics. He has led research on the evolution of mobile platforms, the rise of voice interfaces and the impact of regulation on the technology and media sectors.


  • Wil Harris

    Co-founder & c.e.o, Entale

    Wil is a journalist and serial entrepreneur with a proven track record of building successful creative businesses, most recently in the field of online video and publishing.

    Currently, Wil is the c.e.o and co-founder of Entale Media, a technology platform to revolutionise the production, discovery and listening experience of podcasts and other audio content. 

    Prior to co-founding Entale Media, Wil was Head of Digital for Condé Nast, UK. He joined Condé Nast after selling ChannelFlip Media, which he co-founded and grew into the UK’s leading producer of made-for-web video, to Shine Group now part of EndemolShine

  • Nick Barreto

    Co-founder & technology director, Canelo

    Nick Barreto works where books and technology intersect. Nick is one of the co-founders of Canelo and their Technology Director. He’s managed and built mobile and web apps, is as an expert on ebook formats, book metadata as well as workflows. He is committed to automating all the repetitive tasks to free up more time for the work that matters. 

    @canelo_co | @nickbarreto

  • Sam Reid

    Co-founder, ThinkSprint
  • Bec Evans

    Co-founder, Prolifiko

    Bec is a writer, startup founder, and ex-publishing head of innovation. One of the 2018 FutureBook 40 for her work on publishing innovation, she’s one of Business Cloud’s 2017 top 101 female founders in tech, and Creative England’s Be More Boss campaign championing female-led business. She co-founded Prolifiko, a digital coach for writing, and her first book, How to Have a Happy Hustle: the complete guide to making your ideas happen will be published by Icon in 2019. 

    @beprolifiko / @eva_bec

  • Alex Wood

    Europe editor, Forbes

    Alex is the Europe Editor at Forbes. Alex joined Forbes in February 2018, following the acquisition by Forbes of The Memo, a London-based, online business publication that Alex founded and edited.

    An award-winning editor and broadcaster, regularly seen on BBC News, Sky, CNN and CNBC, he has also written for The Guardian and The Telegraph. In addition, Alex is a visiting lecturer at Britain's leading journalism school, City University, where he trains the next generation of broadcast journalists.

    Prior to founding The Memo, Alex held several roles in the media industry, including Editor in Chief of Tech City News, TV Producer at Bloomberg LP, Co-Founder of Not on the Wires – an international current affairs magazine, and Data Journalist at the BBC World Service.

  • Anna Jean Hughes

    Founder, The Pigeonhole and freelance editor

    Anna has been working in the publishing industry for over fifteen years. There was a brief fling with the Erotic Review, a minor assignation with Condé Nast and a long and complicated relationship with Random House. She then swapped sides and went to see how the other half lived at Peter Fraser & Dunlop, before jacking in the traditional and going rogue and setting up The Pigeonhole, a social reading app.

    In 2015 she was named a Rising Star and shortlisted as Digital Achiever of the Year.

  • Keshini Niadoo

    Publishing director and co-founder, Hera Books

    Keshini has extensive experience of breaking authors into bestseller status, with her biggest authors selling millions of copies in eBook alone. Having started her career at Avon (HarperCollins UK), she then moved to being associate publisher at Bookouture, where she published global bestsellers including Angela Marsons and Kathryn Croft.  During her time at Bookouture, her authors amassed sales in excess of five million copies. Since picking Marsons up from the slush pile, she has gone onto sell over 3 million copies and has sold rights in over twenty-seven countries. 

    She was named a Bookseller Rising Star in 2017, because she has “unabashedly embraced commercial titles”.

  • Lindsey Mooney

    Managing director and co-founder, Hera Books

    Lindsey was the first UK employee for Kobo, launching their eBook service in the UK and working closely with publishers to make Kobo the No. 3 eBook store in the UK, ahead of Google and other competitors. Most recently, she has been instrumental in launching audiobooks in the UK. She has worked with eBooks since 2009 with various retailers, including The Book Depository and Anobii, which later became Sainsbury’s eBooks before handing over their business over to Kobo. She also worked on digital strategy for both Hachette and Random House before moving into retail.

    She was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2013, touted as a “digital young gun”.

  • Syima Aslam

    Founder and director, Bradford Literature Festival

    Syima is founder and director of the Bradford Literature Festival (BLF). In four years she has established BLF as one of the most innovative, inspirational festivals in the UK, bringing together literature from around the world and across all genres.

    Syima’s ambition with BLF, is to create a real and lasting change for the people and communities of the city in which she lives and works. Her commitment to young people and her passionate belief that education has the ability to change lives, are the inspiration behind everything she has achieved with the festival.

  • Emily Goldhill

    Strategist, Livity

    Emily is an experienced strategist who specialises in using human-led approaches to design robust campaigns, programmes and services. Since  joining Livity in 2016, Emily has run the strategy for major projects for Google, YouTube, Facebook, Home Office and SheDecides. Most recently, Emily has led the strategy for The Met’s innovative new recruitment campaign to attract more diverse and inclusive PCs.

    Emily has also been heavily involved in shaping Livity’s internal strategy for creating more social cohesion for  young people from a range of backgrounds. This is reflective of her passion for elevating underrepresented youth voices and providing them with creative opportunities.


  • Jess Williams

    CEO & voice designer, Opearlo

    Jess is the CEO & Voice Designer of Opearlo, a studio producing Alexa Skills across the games, productivity, kids and health & wellness categories. After 3 years designing and developing on voice, some of the most popular skills are Guess My Name, Find my Phone, and one for kids called Panda Rescue.
    Click here to see what other voice apps the team have built.

    Follow @Jess_P_Williams on Twitter

  • Miles Stevens Hoare

    General manager, W F Howes

    Miles joined RBMedia as General Manager – International in February 2017. Miles overseas RBMedia’ s UK and Australian subsidiaries, WF Howes and Wavesound. He started his career in Product Management with EMAP Magazines, taking on his his first MD role at Panini. He subsequently spent 6 years with Scholastic running Book Clubs and Fairs and then after a short VC adventure, 7 years running Capstones International business in Oxford. Miles is a devout consumer of audiobooks and is passionate about the format. The commute to work provides ample opportunity to enjoy the latest biographies and sports titles.

  • Ian Forrester

    Senior R&D firestarter, BBC R&D North lab, Mediacity UK

    Ian is a well known and likable character on the digital scene in the UK. Living in Manchester, UK where he works for the BBC's R&D Future Experiences. He specialises in open innovation and new disruptive opportunities; by creating value via open engagement and collaborations with startups, universities, early adopters and hackers.

    His current research is into the area of future narrative and storytelling, with a technology he calls Perceptive Media. Its a new approach to broadcasting; which pairs the best of broadcast with the best of internet technology; creating a experiences like sitting around a camp fire telling stories.

  • Eliza Easton

    Principal policy researcher, Creative Economy and Data Analytics team, Nesta

    Eliza is the Principal Policy Researcher in the Creative Economy and Data Analytics team at Nesta, the UK's leading innovation foundation. She works with the economists and data scientists in her team to analyse and develop policies for the creative economy and then with policy-makers to see them enacted. She has recently published on the digital skills most likely to be needed in the jobs of the future, and is currently looking at the skills needed most in creative careers of the future.


  • James Cridland

    Radio futurologist

    James is a radio futurologist - a writer, consultant and public speaker on radio’s future. He is Managing Editor of podnews.net, a daily podcast newsletter, and runs media.info, the media information website.


  • Heather McDaid

    Co-founder, 404 Ink

    Heather is an award-winning freelancer and co-founder of indie publisher 404 Ink. She is Books Editor at The Skinny, former Co-Chair of the Society of Young Publishers Scotland, and co-ran Scotland's virtual book festival #ScotLitFest. She was awarded the London Book Fair's Trailblazers Award, jointly named The Saltire Society's Emerging Publisher of the Year 2017, and through 404 was named in the inaugural FutureBook40 list, and #1 in The List's Hot 100 for Culture. @heathermmcd

  • Alice Revel

    Founder, Ampersand Book Co.

    Alice is the founder of the Ampersand Book Co. which aims to disrupt what reading means today by 'reconnecting people with real books and real experiences.'  The company's first launches include book subscription services, Books + Beer and Reading in Heels - which was nominated for the Booktech Company of the Year in 2017. Alice was also named as one of the first FutureBook 40: the definitive list of publishing innovators announced in 2018. 

    @ReadinginHeels / @booksplusbeer

  • Sam Coniff Allende

    Author, Be More Pirate

    Sam is a multi-award-winning serial entrepreneur, with 10 successful start-ups to his name, including the Bafta Winning content agency; Don’t Panic, the genre defining interactive TV Series Dubplate Drama; and the industry leading Creative Youth Network; Livity.

    He is also the best selling author of Be More Pirate, out on Penguin in the UK, and Simon&Schuster in the US. He’s a consultant to brands from Red Bull to Roald Dahl as well as Governments, think tanks and policy makers.

    Sam has been a mentor to thousands of young entrepreneurs and is now a sought after public speaker on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Leadership and Youth. 

  • Annie Stone

    International Account Manager, BookBub

    Annie Stone is the international account manager at BookBub, where she works with publishers in the UK, Canada, and Australia to promote great books and get new authors discovered. Before BookBub, Annie worked as an editor at Alloy Entertainment, Harlequin TEEN, and HarperCollins, focusing on YA and middle grade fiction. She lives and works in Cambridge, MA.

  • Ra Page

    Founder & CEO, Comma Press

    Ra is the founder and CEO of Manchester's Comma Press, Britain's only short story specialist publishing house. Anthologies he's edited include The New Uncanny (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award), Litmus (Independent Book of the Week), and most recently Protest: Stories of Resistance. He was the first publisher (in any language) to publish the Iraqi author Hassan Blasim (winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize). He has also worked as a journalist and a short film developer.

  • Paul Kemp-Robertson

    After graduating with a master’s degree from University of London, Goldsmiths’ College, Paul served on the launch team behind Shots magazine in 1990, becoming editor in 1994. Subscriptions trebled under his tenure. In 1998 he became Leo Burnett's worldwide director of creative resources, based in Chicago, before returning to London to co-found Contagious – an intelligence resource and innovation consultancy for marketers.

    Paul has written for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter, and has appeared on CNN, ITV News, BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme and 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money. His TED Talk on Alternative Currencies has been viewed more than 1.2 million times. He is the co-author of The Contagious Commandments book, to be published by Portfolio Penguin in November 2018.

  • Anna Gerber

    Creative partner, Visual Editions

    Anna is one half of the Creative Strategic Innovation duo behind London based Visual Editions. With a background in publishing, advertising and design, Anna and Britt work as content innovators to create new story platforms and book experiences for the likes of Google, Ace Hotel, WeTransfer, British Library and Penguin.

    Paris born, LA bred and London based, Anna is a graduate of London School of Economics and Central St Martins. She relocated to London to study postgrad in Philosophy followed by Communication Design and wrote regularly for Creative Review and Eye Magazine. She spent a decade teaching design at Central St Martins and was external examiner for The Royal College of Art. Anna is founder of Visual Editions and editionsatplay.com.

  • Britt Iversen

    Strategic partner, Visual Editions

    Britt Iversen is one half of the Creative Strategic Innovation duo behind London based Visual Editions. With a background in publishing, advertising and design, Anna and Britt work as content innovators to create new story platforms and book experiences for the likes of Google, Ace Hotel, WeTransfer, British Library and Penguin.

    Copenhagen born and London based, Britt is a graduate of Copenhagen Business School. She relocated to London to study business at London University. And worked in communication research at Hall & Partners Soho, until she was pinched by Mother London as Strategist. After a decade at Mother, Britt became Strategic Partner at Fabula. Britt is founder of Visual Editions and editionsatplay.com.

  • Rachel Mallender

    Group audio director, HarperCollinsPublishers
  • Marine Debray

    Head of group strategy & business development, HarperCollins UK

    As Head of Group Strategy and Business Development, Marine is responsible for supporting HarperCollins’ corporate strategy and M&A, as well as managing business development with start-ups, finding innovative ways to bring HarperCollins content to audiences.

    Marine joined HarperCollins through the graduate scheme in 2013, having graduated from the LSE with a Masters in European Studies, and the University of Oxford with a BA in English and Modern Languages.

  • Ali Albazaz

    Founder and CEO, Inkitt

    Ali is the founder and CEO of Inkitt, the reader-powered book publisher. By using a sophisticated algorithm and the power of the crowd to measure reader engagement, Inkitt is able to identify potential best sellers with a higher level of accuracy than traditional book publishers.

  • Jasper Joffe

    Founder, Joffe Books

    Educated at Hampstead Comprehensive School (Zadie Smith was in the year below), The Ruskin - Oxford University, and The Royal College of Art. Joffe has applied his experience as a writer, high-profile artist, and curator to the world of publishing with great success. Joffe Books has become one of the leading publishers of mysteries in the UK, with sales and revenue doubling every year since its founding. In 2018 Joffe will sell 2.5 million books with leading authors such as Joy Ellis, Faith Martin, and Taylor Adams topping the best-seller charts.

  • Tim Cooper

    CEO, Macat

    CEO of Macat, the edtech company and leading light in Critical Thinking Assessment & Development.  Prior to Macat Tim spent the past 13 years in publishing where he previously worked for HarperCollins and Harlequin, where he was MD of Harlequin UK.  During his time at Harlequin lead the business through the publishing industry’s digital transformation.  

  • Marcus Leaver

    Founder & director, OH! Book Group

    Marcus is a founder Director of OH! Book Group which will launch in Q4 of 2018.

    Marcus was CEO of The Quarto Group from December 2012 and resigned his position in May 2018. At Quarto, he re-focused the London Stock Exchange-listed Group on its intellectual property businesses; reducing debt by over 20% by selling non-core activities, growing its children’s business by 165%, and its foreign language business by over 30%. Prior to Quarto, he worked in the USA from 2005, latterly as President of Sterling Publishing, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble.

  • Ahrani Logan

    CEO & co-founder, Peapodicity
  • Matthew Jones

    VP content acquisition & strategy, Perlego

    Matthew is VP Content Acquisition & Strategy at Perlego, the eBook subscription service often billed as the 'Spotify for Textbooks'. Formerly a qualified teacher, Matthew is a keen EdTech advocate, having published 'The Future of Learning' report in The Times in 2017.

  • Mila Steele

    Publisher, SAGE Publishing

    Mila is Publisher covering research methods and academic skills at SAGE Publishing. She is passionate about developing learning where learning works best, and champions the exciting edge between print and online learning.

  • Meir Biton

    Co-founder and CPO, Storyball

    Meir Biton is the co-founder and CPO of Storyball, creators of award-winning smart-toy that merges technology & Storytelling to enhance children's development in the real world. Biton is a tech-savvy multi-disciplinary designer, passionate about the about the meeting points of human and machines. With vast experience in creative writing, methodic training and empowerment courses for both young and adults. 

  • Kate Jones

    Audio publisher (English Language), Storytel

    Storytel Original is an exclusive imprint available in Scandinavia, India, the Arab States, Russia, Iceland, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Italy and soon to be Bulgaria and Mexico.  Kate is an award-winning producer with over 20 years’ experience creating and directing drama, immersive audio and single voice recordings.

  • Tom Abba

    Associate professor: Art & Design, University of the West of England

    Tom is a writer and artist whose practice addresses the form and content of both digital and physical books, alongside hybrid forms of the two. He is Associate Professor of Art & Design at UWE Bristol, and since 2016 has directed the Ambient Literature research project, exploring the potential of digitally mediated situated storytelling. His manifesto for digital writing - This is Not a Book, co-written with Baldur Bjarnason, is available for free here and he hates choose-your-own-adventures. 

  • Kika Sroke-Miller

    Brand and growth director, Zed Books

    Kika is a co-owner and director of Zed Books, an independent non-fiction publishing house based in London and the world’s biggest publishing collective. Joining Zed Books in 2010 she held the role of Editorial Director for five years before becoming Brand and Growth Director. Prior to Zed Books she held several positions across the industry, working for Jacqui Small LLP and RICS as well as for a number of NGOs. She started her professional life as a Graphic Designer.

  • Nick Coveney

    Publisher relations & content lead, U.K. and ANZ, Rakuten Kobo

    Nick has more than nine years’ experience in the publishing industry, working with bestselling authors and leading brands to digitally bring their content to life. 

    Prior to joining the Kobo team he was Digital Innovation and Projects Director at HarperCollins, leading in-house teams to work with tech giants and start-ups to create unique storytelling opportunities and new platforms, such as the award winning StoryCastle. 

    In 2018 he was listed in the FutureBook40 as one of the top forty innovators in the publishing industry. Nick is also co-chair of the Pride in Publishing network which aims to support LGBTQ+ members of the book trade and increase the inclusivity and diversity of the industry for everyone’s benefit.

For event queries please contact Briony.Morgan@thebookseller.com
For sponsorship enquiries please contact Emma.Lowe@thebookseller.com
For speaker queries please contact Molly.Flatt@thebookseller.com