Our Speakers

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
President, COP26 and Minister of State at the Cabinet Office

Alok Sharma was appointed full-time President for COP 26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, on 8 January 2021.

He was previously Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and President for COP 26 between 13 February 2020 and 8 January 2021.

He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions from 9 January 2018 until 24 July 2019.

He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning, for the Department for Communities and Local Government from 13 June 2017 to 9 January 2018.

Alison Phillips
Editor, Daily Mirror and Chair, Women in Journalism

Alison first worked as a reporter for the Harlow Star weekly newspaper before going to Leeds University where she was editor of Leeds Student.

She was then a trainee at the Evening Argus in Brighton before joining Connors News Agency and Woman magazine. 

She came to Trinity Mirror (now Reach) in 1998 as a feature writer on the Sunday People magazine. She moved to become Features Editor on the Daily Mirror in 2001.

In 2016 she was made Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Mirror papers and in 2018 was named as the Editor of the Daily Mirror, making her its first female editor since its very first editor in 1903. In February 2020 she was made Editor in Chief of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People. 

Alison has also written a weekly column in the Mirror since 2012 and in 2018 was named “Columnist of the Year” at the National Press Awards.

She is chair of Reach plc’s Reaching Gender Equality group and Chair of Women In Journalism. 

She has three children aged between 11 and 17. 

Alison is also a regular media commentator and has appeared on such programmes as Question Time, BBC Politics Live and ITV’s This Morning.

Kamal Ahmed
Editor-in-Chief and co-founder, The News Movement

Kamal Ahmed is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The News Movement, a new media business focused on social media channels, new audiences and digital consumption. He is also a partner in the strategic advisory firm, WJL Partners.

Between 2018 and 2021, Kamal was Editorial Director of BBC News, working across news strategy, daily news and planning, commissioning, analysis, visual and audio journalism and new forms of digital content. He was a member of the Newsgroup Board and the Sounds board.

Between 2016 and 2018 Kamal was Economics Editor at BBC News, leading economics coverage for the corporation. He joined the BBC in April 2014 as Business Editor from the Telegraph Media Group where he was Executive Business Editor responsible for The Sunday Telegraph’s business and economics coverage.

Between 2007 and 2009 Kamal was Group Director, Communications, at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and before that was Executive Editor, News, at The Observer. Between 2000 and 2004, Kamal was Political Editor of The Observer, covering Tony Blair’s premiership. He has also worked at The Guardian and Scotland on Sunday.

A Leeds University Graduate in Political Studies, Kamal’s first book, The Life and Times of a Very British Man, was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.

Joseph Harker
Senior Editor, Diversity & Development, Guardian News & Media

Joseph Harker is Senior Editor, Diversity, and Development at The Guardian. He’s also a columnist and former Deputy Opinion Editor. For 20 years Joseph has run the Guardian’s Positive Action Scheme, which offers enhanced work experience to aspiring journalists who are ethnic-minority or have a disability: many have gone on to have successful media careers. Before joining the Guardian, Joseph was Editor and Publisher of the weekly newspaper Black Briton, and prior to that he was Assistant Editor at The Voice.


Warren Nettleford
Co-founder, Need to Know

Warren Nettleford is an award-winning national TV journalist and entrepreneur who’s tackled the biggest global news stories. He also owns the video production company Right Thing Films. In 2021 Warren won a Royal Television Society Award for digital innovation for creating NEED TO KNOW – a digital first impartial youth news service – and is now seeking to transform news coverage for young people on digital platforms. He’s worked for every major UK news broadcaster (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5). Covering four General Election campaigns he’s interviewed the last three UK Prime Ministers. Warren’s accent doesn’t give him away, but he is proudly from Dudley in the West Midlands.

Naja Nielsen
Digital Director, BBC News

Naja Nielsen is a journalist and an international leader of Digital transformation.

She joined the BBC in April 2019 as Digital Director, BBC News, overseeing BBC News digital and social strategy, editorial output and product development across BBC News websites, apps, social accounts and third party platforms. As member of the News Board she is part of the executive team leading BBC News and Current Affairs.

Previously, Naja worked as Chief Journalism Officer of digital start up Orb Media in the US and Head of News, Danish Broadcasting, DR.

Jasper Fulcher
Head of Daily Visual Production, Telegraph Media Group

Jasper has worked at The Telegraph for the last four years, first as its inaugural Snapchat Editor, and more recently in his broader role coordinating the digital visual teams across the newsroom. After launch in 2017, his team grew the Telegraph’s Snapchat daily edition to reach over 1m unique daily users, predominantly in the 13-24 demographic and now boasts over 2m Snapchat subscribers. The edition was awarded ‘Outstanding Use of Social Media’ at the 2020 News Awards. He now oversees daily visual production, developing best-practice visual journalism techniques to enrich online content across the Telegraph website and social platforms. He specialises in visual formats, mobile-first design and visual storytelling. Previous to the Telegraph, he was a senior member of the Snapchat team at MailOnline.


Luke Jacobs
Regional Editor, Reach plc

Luke Jacobs is south east regional editor for Reach in the south east, running brands including KentLive, SurreyLive, and SussexLive. He also leads the region’s content diversity strategy as New Audiences editor, aimed at ensuring its local newsrooms reflect their communities.

Shelley Bishton
Head of Creative Diversity, News UK

Shelley is News UK’s Head of Creative Diversity. She plays a central role in delivering News UK’s ambitious Diversity and Inclusion strategy. She works closely with our senior editors and programme directors to ensure they are best placed to deliver journalism and entertainment which is relevant and inclusive of all cultures across the UK.

Shelley has worked in the media industry for more than 15 years and joined News UK in April 2018 to head up partnerships for The Times and Sunday Times. She created News UK’s first network for Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees.

She is a mother of two young black boys and has a deep-rooted desire to push for a better world for them to grow up in.

Becky Clay
Head of Invention, Reach plc

Becky spent 12 years in media planning, at the agency PHD. She worked across a very diverse range of clients, spearheading multiple award-winning advertising campaigns across all media channels. Making the leap to publisher side in 2017 saw Becky join Trinity Mirror (now Reach) and focus on developing best in class multi-platform branded content campaigns across their vast portfolio. Becky now leads the Invention content studio at Reach, working with brands to create trusted connections with communities across mainstream Britain. Navigating the ever-changing competitive landscape in branded content alongside producing campaigns that not only resonate with Reach’s audience but drive real business returns for advertisers is what keeps Becky up at night (as well as her nearly 2 year old son of course)!

Su-Mei Thompson
CEO, Media Trust

Su-Mei Thompson is CEO of Media Trust, a non-profit organisation which works in partnership with the media and creative industries to give charities, marginalised communities and young people a stronger voice, while helping the media sector to be more responsible and representative. Previously, Su-Mei ran The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong and worked at media organisations including Disney and the Financial Times. Su-Mei has spear-headed Media Trust’s work to develop best practice in inclusive and intersectional reporting in partnership with civil society organisations. Media Trust recently launched Inclusive Reporting workshops for editors and journalists, supported by Meta’s Community News Project. Media Trust is also working with the BBC 50:50 to tackle the under representation of disability in on-screen and behind the camera roles. A passionate advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion, Su-Mei is also a Commissioner of the Equality & Human Rights Commission and a Trustee of the Orwell Foundation.

Jessica Hayes
Deputy Director of Global Supporter Strategy, The Guardian

Jessica Hayes is Deputy Director of Global Supporter Strategy in The Guardian’s Brand and Reader Revenue team. Jessica has been with The Guardian since 2014,  her initial expertise lay in optimisation; managing a team that oversaw The Guardian’s owned channels to drive results across revenue lines. She then became Business Lead and Deputy Director to the Contributions team, and was a leading force that saw the organisation diversify and scale its reader revenues globally. Since 2018 she has taken her wealth of learnings to deliver high impact acquisition campaigns that bring together editorial and digital innovation. Now, she leads the Supporter Strategy team in work to simplify and optimise digital reader revenues with a focus on audience insights, messaging and service design.  Prior to The Guardian she worked in publishing and events management.

Ros Atkins
Presenter, BBC News

Ros Atkins is the creator and presenter of Outside Source which simulcasts on BBC News Channel in the UK and on BBC World News. He’s been a BBC News TV and radio presenter for nearly twenty years and has covered many of the biggest global stories including the Arab Spring, Brexit, COVID19, Olympics and World Cups, and multiple US, European and UK elections. Since 2019, Ros’ new video explainer format has racked up millions of views with the Sunday Times crediting him with having ‘invented a new genre of reporting‘.

Ros is also the founder of the 50:50 Project which works to diversify contributors in media content. It began in the BBC newsroom and is now in over 130 other organisations in over 25 countries. 50:50 has also been the subject of two case studies by London Business School and Harvard Kennedy School.

Ros recently made his debut on BBC 6 Music with a drum and bass mix on Steve Lamacq’s show.

He grew up Cornwall but now lives in London with his wife Sara and their two daughters.

Simon Robinson
Reuters Global Managing Editor, Newsroom

Simon Robinson is Reuters Global Managing Editor, Newsroom.

He joined the news service in 2010 and ran investigations and enterprise reporting in Europe, Middle East and Africa for six years, editing award-winning series on Iran, Russia, corporate taxation, Greek banks and migration.

Between 2017 and 2019 he was Regional Editor for EMEA, running Reuters single biggest region and overseeing everything from breaking news to budgets.

Between 1995 and 2010, Simon was a correspondent and then editor for Time magazine, reporting from more than 50 countries in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He has published short stories and wrote and produced an award-winning satirical movie about aid workers and journalists in Africa.

Nabihah Parkar
Video Producer, Vice World News

Nabihah is a video journalist for Vice World News. Her work focuses on presenting, producing, filming and editing short-form TikTok videos covering global conflict, social injustice, and climate change. Her work has contributed to the exponential growth of the Vice World News TikTok account that went from having 30,000 followers at the start of 2022 to over 1.3 million followers today. Her most viral video was a TikTok explainer on ‘Why Russia Hates NATO’ that gained over 15.4 million views and over 1.2 million likes. Other notable videos include remotely producing a video of what Ramadan is like this year for a Ukrainian Muslim refugee and an explainer on the recent clashes in Jerusalem.

Prior to working for Vice, Nabihah was a digital journalist for HuffPost UK, managing and producing content for their Instagram page. An explainer carousel post she produced on the Stop Cambo campaign went viral after being shared by Emma Watson and her 60m+ followers.

Nabihah spent several years as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, including a reporter for BBC Newsbeat and a digital journalist presenting and producing social video for the BBC Minute Instagram page and BBC World Service social accounts.

Edward McCann
Deputy Publisher, Mediahuis Ireland

Edward is Deputy Publisher at Mediahuis Ireland where he has responsibility for newsroom strategy and management, as well as editorial budgets across the group’s various titles. Mediahuis is the largest newspaper publisher on the island of Ireland and among the newspapers under its umbrella are the Belfast Telegraph and its sister title the Sunday Life, as well as Dublin-based national titles such as the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent.

Mediahuis is a multi-national media group headquartered in Antwerp. It entered the Irish market in 2019 with the acquisition of Independent News and Media (INM).

Edward was previously Group Managing Editor at INM in Dublin for five years and before that was Deputy Editor at the Belfast Telegraph. He has worked in various other roles within the group in Dublin, Belfast and Cape Town since joining in 2003 as Associate Editor (Features) at the Irish Independent.

Jonathan Levy
Director of Newsgathering & Operations, Sky

Jonathan Levy is Director of Newsgatheting & Operations at Sky News – the UK based news organisation which reaches millions of homes across America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Responsible for all of Sky’s domestic and international newsgathering across all platforms, he has overseen news coverage that has been garlanded with a string of major accolades, from an International Emmy for the 2015 migration crisis, to BAFTAs for the West African Ebola outbreak and the Rohingya refugee crisis as well as numerous Royal Television Society awards.

Jonathan was previously Head of Politics – running Sky News political coverage. In 2009 he led Sky’s campaign for the UK’s first televised election debates and was part of the broadcast negotiating team that ultimately brought them about, for which he jointly received the prestigious RTS Judges Award. He also produced Sky’s exclusive interviews with President George W Bush on his final visit to London in 2008 and President Obama on his visit to Africa in 2009.

Prior to working in Westminster, Jonathan worked as a producer on major international stories including the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Asian Tsunami and 2004 US Presidential campaign. 

He began his career in journalism at NBC News in London.

Marianna Spring
Specialist Disinformation and Social Media Reporter, BBC

Marianna Spring is the BBC’s first specialist disinformation and social media reporter, who investigates the real-life consequences of viral conspiracy theories, falsehoods and abuse shared on social media. Her journalism appears across TV, radio and online for News and Current Affairs, including for Panorama, BBC News at Six and Ten, Newsnight, Radio 4, BBC Sounds and World Service. She recently presented Radio 4’s podcasts ‘Death by Conspiracy’ and ‘War on Truth’. Her first book Among the Trolls: Notes From the Disinformation Wars is due for publication from Atlantic Books in autumn 2023.

Louise Close
Head of Live, Evening Standard

Louise Close is Head of ES Live, the award-winning live events division of the Evening Standard. Louise has a proven track record of launching successful event concepts and over 25 years’ experience across media and corporate sectors. She is responsible for the strategic growth of the ambitious ES Live business, leading commercial and operational teams to optimise the current portfolio, create new scalable products and provide clients integrated solutions to offer the full marketing mix across ES channels.  

Career highlights include the delivery of Team GB House for the London 2012 Olympic Games; developing high-end international events for publication, BOAT International, aligning with the luxury lifestyle focus of the brand and providing high quality content for digital and print platforms; establishing the award winning international Extreme Sailing Series, a stadium racing circuit designed for spectators; implementation of events for key corporate sponsorships within the Barclays Bank’s portfolio, including the Barclays Premiership.

John Battle
Head of Legal and Compliance, ITN

John is Head of Legal and Compliance at ITN which makes  ITV News, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News and current affairs programmes. He has been in this role for 20 years advising on legal issues such as contempt of court, defamation, privacy and copyright and Ofcom regulations.

He has previously worked as Legal Manager at News UK and also Group Legal Advisor at Associated Newspapers. He is the Chair of the Media Lawyers Association, Vice Chair of the DSMA Notice system and a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn. He has a special interest in open justice issues . He has been a key figure on the issue of cameras in court. 

Tessa Chapman
Chief Correspondent, 5 News

Tessa Chapman has been Chief Correspondent for 5 News at ITN since 2011, covering domestic and international stories for the channel. Her first assignment was in Libya where she reported on the liberation of Tripoli and the hunt for Colonel Gaddafi. She covered the Gaza-Israel conflict in 2012, the Syrian refugee crisis and, most recently, reported from Kyiv as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.  

Tessa’s coverage of domestic social affairs stories includes investigations into eating disorders and child to parent abuse. Her coverage of child sexual abuse images was nominated for an RTS award. 

Before joining 5 News, Tessa worked as a correspondent at Sky News and ITV Granada. She started her career in local radio in Manchester, where she was sent to interview the Prime Minister Tony Blair on her first day.

Martin Breen
President, Society of Editors and Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life

Martin Breen is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Mediahius UK at their headquarters in Northern Ireland which publishes the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life. In this role he retains the Editorship of Sunday Life. Martin first joined the Belfast Telegraph as a graduate trainee in 1998, later becoming a reporter at Sunday Life. He was appointed Sunday Life Editor in May 2009 and Deputy Editor-in-Chief in September 2020.

Nick Fagge
Senior Reporter, MailOnline's Global team

Nick is a senior reporter with MailOnline’s global team and spent a month in March 2022 reporting on the war in Ukraine, from Lviv, Kyiv and Odesa.

He travelled independently with freelance photographer Tim Clarke and Ukrainian fixer / translator Olga Podorozhna and interviewed survivors of missile attacks and doctors working on the frontline alongside their patients. He also accompanied an independent aid organisation delivering aid to vulnerable people in Kyiv and country towns in the Vinnytsia region.

Fagge also joined a local militia group on a night patrol and visited fortified defences in Odesa and interviewed refugees fleeing war zones in eastern Ukraine.

Fagge has also reported from Venezuela, reporting on the economic crisis; Turkish-Syrian border on ISIS and the Syrian civil war; Iraq on the fate of the Yezids; the Democratic Republic of Congo on the United Nations peace-keeping mission and various locations of the Arab Spring uprisings.


Ian MacGregor
Emeritus Editor, The Telegraph

Chair of the Society of Editors, Ian is the Emeritus Editor of the Telegraph. He is the former Weekend Editor of the Telegraph and has previously worked for the Southern Evening Echo, South West News Service, PA Media, Daily Express and Daily Mail. He was launch editor of the Metro newspapers, editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, and deputy editor of the Evening Standard. He moved to the Telegraph group in 2007, and has been deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, and Weekend Editor. He was appointed Emeritus Editor in June 2017.

Look out for further speaker announcements coming soon.