Bridget Kendall to be keynote speaker at Biennial 2016

  • July 7, 2016
Bridget Kendall to be keynote speaker at Biennial 2016

Next week's Gates Cambridge Biennial will bring together 250 past, present and future Scholars.

The Biennial 2016 is a major opportunity for Scholars to re-imagine their connection with the Gates Cambridge community and increase the strength and impact of our global network as well as a way to re-energise Scholars to achieve the mission of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship of improving the lives of others in myriad ways across the globe.

Professor Barry Everitt

The BBC's former Diplomatic Editor Bridget Kendall will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Gates Cambridge Biennial event next week.

The event, which takes place from 15-17 July at St. John’s College, will bring together 250 past, present and future Gates Cambridge Scholars. Attendees will represent more than 50 countries, all 31 Colleges, 65 academic departments and all 16 classes. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is the University of Cambridge’s, and one of the world’s, premier scholarship programmes for international postgraduate students and many of those taking part are already showing how their academic brilliance and social leadership is helping to improve the lives of others – criteria fundamental to the scholarship.

Bridget Kendall has just taken up her post as the new Master of Peterhouse and is the first woman to hold the post. In a distinguished career at the BBC, she has been the broadcaster's Moscow correspondent from 1989 to 1995, where she witnessed the power struggles in the Soviet Communist party as Mikhail Gorbachev tried to introduce reform, reported on the break-up of the Soviet Union, the internal conflicts in Chechnya, Georgia and Tajikistan and Boris Yeltsin's rise to power. Kendall was the BBC's Washington correspondent from 1994 and became the BBC's diplomatic correspondent in November 1998. She has interviewed numerous world leaders including Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah of Jordan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Biennial will conclude with a plenary session on the future of space by Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees, Public Astronomer Dr Carolin Crawford and space journalist and science broadcaster Sarah Cruddas.

Hosted by the Gates Cambridge Trust, in conjunction with the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association and the Scholars' Council, it includes a wide range of panel discussions and roundtables on topics ranging from de-carbonising the global economy and big data governance to the future of medicine. There will be interactive sessions on open source democracy, migration in the 21st century and poetry as a form of cultural defiance. Professional development sessions on topics such as the art of negotiation and career development are also scheduled.

Other speakers include the eminent philosopher Baroness Onora O’Neill; Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe, Director of the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology; Professor David Runciman, Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Cambridge; Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, Associate Director at the Carbon Trust; and Richard Mullender, Former Lead Trainer at the National Hostage and Crisis Negotiation Unit, Scotland Yard.

The event will also provide a platform for Gates Cambridge Alumni and Scholars, many of whom are already making an impact in their chosen fields, to speak on each of the panels. They include, among others, Julia Fan Li [2009], Senior VP, Seven Bridges Genomics and former Director of the Global Health Investment Fund; Joseph Bonneau [2008], Technology Fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Jaya Savige [2008], poet and Poetry Editor of The Australian newspaper; Vitor Pinheiro [2001], Group Leader and Lecturer in Synthetic Biology at the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London; Fabrice Langrognet [2014], a current Scholar undertaking a PhD in History and a former French Judge who specialised in immigration and asylum cases; and Isaac Holeman [2013], Co-founder of Medic Mobile who has been featured twice in Forbes Magazine’s top 30 social entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

Gates Cambridge Scholars are chosen based on their outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential and commitment to improving the lives of others. The Scholarship was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, which remains the largest single donation to a UK university. Since the first class of Scholars in 2001 more than 1,500 Gates Cambridge Scholarships have been awarded to Scholars from more than 100 countries and 600 universities.

Professor Barry Everitt, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, sees the Biennial 2016 as a major opportunity for Scholars to “re-imagine their connection with the Gates Cambridge community and increase the strength and impact of our global network” as well as a way to “re-energise Scholars to achieve the mission of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship of improving the lives of others in myriad ways across the globe."

Julia Li

Julia Li

  • Alumni, Trustees
  • Canada
  • 2008 MPhil Bioscience Enterprise
    2009 PhD Engineering
  • St John's College

Julia completed a PhD Technology Management in 2012, which focussed on innovative financing solutions for global health. Before coming to Cambridge, Julia trained as a Chartered Accountant and undertook projects for a variety of organisations including GAVI and WHO. During her time in Cambridge, Julia co-founded the African Innovation Prize, served on the University Council, and initiated and convened the Cambridge Global Health Commercialization and Funding Roundtable. Following her PhD, Julia was appointed Director of the $108m Global Health Investment Fund – a social impact investment fund designed to provide financing to advance the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions against diseases that disproportionately burden low-income countries. She is currently SVP at Seven Bridges Genomics which builds SaaS software systems to help researchers analyze bioinformatic data - from millions of genomes to phenotypic and patient outcome data.

Joseph Bonneau

Joseph Bonneau

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2008 PhD Computer Science
  • Churchill College

I study security, researching both technical aspects of cryptography and the human element in large systems like the Internet. I've enjoyed learning how security can go wrong, from lock-picking to the difficult economics of privacy online. I'm passionate about using computers as an empowering technology, enabling privacy, free speech, free access to information, and transparency in public authorities. My thesis work focused on the increasing difficulty of establishing identity in an interconnected world of many digital devices. Since my time in Cambridge I've worked at Google and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and been a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University and Princeton University.

Fabrice Langrognet

Fabrice Langrognet

  • Alumni
  • France
  • 2014 PhD History
  • St John's College

Before studying at Cambridge, I served for almost five years as a judge in the administrative branch of the French judiciary. I specialized in immigration and asylum cases, a field I had previously discovered as a volunteer in a French NGO providing help to asylum seekers. In addition, I have also worked as a speechwriter for the President of the French Republic, as a member of the editorial board of an international affairs newsmagazine, as an expert for the French Ministry of Culture on legal issues raised by digital arts, and as an adjunct lecturer at Sciences-Po and ENS. My interests and previous experience have led me to conduct research in migration studies at both master’s and Ph.D. levels.

Isaac Holeman

Isaac Holeman

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2013 PhD Management Studies
  • King's College

Isaac Holeman is a designer-researcher striving for global health equity. As a social scientist and co-founder of the social enterprise Medic Mobile, his work is about seeing complex health systems from the perspective of the poor and marginalized and responding pragmatically. Medic Mobile received a Skoll award in 2014, and Isaac has been featured twice in Forbes Magazine as one of the top 30 social entrepreneurs under the age of 30. He is an active speaker and consultant, and his writing has been featured in outlets such as National Geographic, the Oregonian and the Harvard Global Health Review. He continues to practice design at Medic Mobile, while pursuing research projects as a fellow of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Academy and as a Gates Cambridge Scholar in innovation, strategy and organization.

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