PONToon Virtual Symposium Speaker Bios

Andrea Barrett

Andrea Barrett co-founded the artistic collective Creative Hybrids Lab (formerly Creative Hybrids Conversations) in August 2019. The collective consists of a group of 'creatives' (artists/writers/academics) who are organ transplant recipients ('hybrids'). It is an emerging collaborative conversation space hosted online weekly. "We are all critically engaged as subjects and objects of our work; our research is intersubjective. Our collaborative conversations - through the combination of our exchanging cutting edge philosophical ideas & our radical openness with each other about our lived experiences- are a simultaneous blend of in-the moment confessional revelations, intellectual discussion and, when recordings are utilised as part of mixed modal pieces,... performance art, too." The CHL is ever developing in its artistic and academic scope and is the process of applying for grants in the UK, Australia & USA. At the Symposium Andrea will deliver her paper 'Organ Transplantation: A Way Into Understanding How Digital Technology & the Female Logic of Hybridity Intersect'.

Sarah Cheverton is the Editor in Chief of Star & Crescent, an independent, not for profit community media website serving the city of Portsmouth. As well as writers and journalists, Star & Crescent works directly with local residents, activists, community groups and organisations to provide a platform for missing and alternative perspectives on local issues. In 2020, Star & Crescent was awarded funding from the European Journalism Centre and from the Public Interest News Foundation to employ four local residents to interview local residents and organisations about the impact of Covid-19, including on people with disabilities, refugees, migrants, POC communities, and female small business owners. Sarah is also undertaking a PhD with the University of Portsmouth exploring the extent to which independent community media can address the broader crisis in mainstream local news.

Sylvia Denham is CEO of Parenting Soundly which provides courses for professional parents involving CRM systems, website building, webinars, e-commerce, developing identity, testing and the 'user journey'. Empowering individuals through coaching, mentoring, training and research, Sylvia has married her extensive knowledge of business development with her expertise in teaching. On her bespoke courses tailored to the specific needs of her clients, she explores how to set up and develop a business through flexible working and online engagement. Parenting Soundly also supports the IT needs of small businesses in the areas of systems analysis and database design.

Sue Edgerley is the Pontoon Ambassador at Eastleigh Borough Council. Sue's passion for helping raise others aspirations and skills through 'bespoke' and tailored training solutions has given her a good grounding in the project. Her background in helping those from the more deprived areas in the UK to achieve both personal and professional success has seen her strive to develop ways to engage those most hard to reach. She also has extensive knowledge in business engagement and working with employers to bridge skills gaps. Sue's presentation for the symposium will reflect on PONToon's achievements in the areas of employability, social mobility and tech upskilling.

Amanda Garrie is in the final stages of a PhD in creative writing, where she's writing a novel, at The University of Portsmouth. She was Portsmouth City Library and Archives Service Poet in Residence for 2019 and is a founder member of T'Articulation spoken word troupe. Much of her poetry and prose-fiction reflects the cultural curiosities discovered on her travels in Spain, Eastern Europe and India.

Peter Grant is Chief Executive of WSX Enterprise, a not for profit business support organisation delivering across Southern UK. WSX deliver UK and EU funded projects covering a wide spectrum from pre business start up through to supporting larger businesses to survive and grow. Peter has had a varied career from public to private sector but always strived to engage with local communities and encourage social and economic change. Very much a Portsmouth person [I left home at the start of a career and ended up in Basingstoke] the current challenges are obvious – helping as many individuals and businesses to survive and grow their enterprises. As part of the symposium Peter will be outlining issues to consider when starting a business and the basics of setting up a new enterprise.

Dottie Guerrero has worked in social movements and NGOs for 30 years. She is currently Head of Policy and Advocacy at Global Justice Now, "a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world." Dottie campaigns for and writes about corporate accountability, climate change, migration, trade and investment, China and other related economic justice concerns. She is originally from the Philippines and lived in the Netherlands, Germany, Thailand and South Africa before moving to the UK. She previously worked with the Transnational Institute (TNI), African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction (WOMIN), Focus on the Global South (an Asian regional organisation), Asienhaus Deutschland and the Institute for Popular Democracy in the Philippines. She was also a guest lecturer in MA Development Programmes in universities in Asia and Germany.

Simone Gumtau is a visual communication designer specialising in interactive media design, an academic lecturer and researcher. She started her career as a screen and web designer in the German media capital of Hamburg during the dot com boom. She left a position at the online department of prestigious news magazine Der Spiegel to start her studies in the UK. While studying for a BA (Hons) in Communication Design, she carried on commercial engagements by working freelance in various areas and for local design departments. After completing her MA specialising in Digital and Interactive Media, she started working as a Researcher on the project MEDIATE and subsequently began a PhD program researching touch-based human-computer interfaces. Several research and teaching appointments finally culminated in Simone's current position as Senior lecturer in Digital Media Design and Visual Culture.

Alison Habens is course leader for undergraduate Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. She also teaches on MA Creative Writing and holds a PhD on the subject of 'divine inspiration' in literature. She runs a research project called 'Ink:Well' – Life-writing for Wellbeing. Her teaching specialisms include fairy tales and philosophy, epic poetry and historical novels, play writing and contemporary literary fiction. In publishing, she is best known for Dreamhouse, a 1990s cult novel based on Alice in Wonderland, with further novels, Lifestory and Family Outing, in print and short stories, articles, poems and plays to see on my website, The True Picture and Pencilwood. As part of the symposium, Alison will be running a workshop on creative writing for wellbeing in the age of Covid-19.

Nadine Hagen is an experienced practitioner in the professional training and coaching industry. Highly skilled in negotiation, organizational development, training, public speaking and customer service, she specializes in empowerment and leadership for black and African women.

Samantha Harvey is a visual artist, using technology as an interface to explore visual forms of portraiture to be able to sink into more meaningful reflections of what it means to be human in a language that suits the fast paced changing digital landscapes and dynamics of social media communication. This is what you might call femme technology as an alternative means of expression when using tech rather than the often common means to an end approach or solution based product outcome new tech is often marketed as. She attended Kingston University in 2010 receiving a BA in Graphic Design and Photography, and MA Contemporary Photography at Central Saint Martins, 2016. Physical screenings of her works have been included in the Artists' Film Biennial 'Outside' at ICA (2016), and part of Are We All Addicts Now with Katriona Beales and Fiona MacDonald at Furtherfield Gallery (2017). Since 2010 Harvey has been showing her works nationally and internationally, including the 2011 Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery, and more recently at Athens Digital Arts Festival (2016, 2018, 2020). International screenings also include #TFW105 – What Happens When... at Powrplnt, New York, and REFUGEE! at North East Hill University, Shillong, India. She has travelled to Austria where she took part in NXT Residency hosted by ELIA at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2017). And was also part of Artel 2017 Residency at TIFA Working Studios in Pune, India (2017).

Erika Hughes is Academic Lead for Performance in the School of Art, Design and Performance at the University of Portsmouth whose scholarship and practice research have been supported by grants from Innovate UK (in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company), the US State Department (in collaboration with Kinnaird College for Women University in Lahore, Pakistan), and fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Free University of Berlin, the University of Bonn, the Technical University of Berlin, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. At the symposium Erika will be sharing her research into women's theatre and digital storytelling.

Keiken are a collaborative practice, co-founded by artists Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos in 2015, they frequently work with multiple collaborators. Based between London and Berlin, they come from mixed diasporic backgrounds (Mexican/Japanese/European/Jewish). Keiken, Japanese for experience, create speculative worlds. They merge the physical and digital, "phygital", using moving-image, CGI, gaming software, installation, virtual/augmented reality, programming and gamified performance. Simulating new structures and ways of existing they explore how societal introjection governs the way we feel, think and perceive. Recent projects include solo exhibition Augmented Empathy, FACT, Liverpool (2020), We are at the end of something for Yerevan Digital Biennial (2020) and Mira.Mov, Ideal, Barcelona (2020), Feel My Metaverse with gamified performance for transmediale at HKW, Berlin (2020), Mind, Body and Screen, Block Universe (2020), Feel(s) 360 for Image Behaviour at ICA, London (2019) and Feel My Metaverse in collaboration with George Jasper Stone for Jerwood Art's Collaborate!, London (2019), Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (2020) and for König Galerie's The Artist Is Online (2020).

Shipa Ahmed Khan is the Coordinator of the Cross Cultural Women's Group and CDW in Mental Health in the Independence and Wellbeing Team for Portsmouth City Council. She has coordinated a number of fundraising events for issues affecting the people of Bangladesh and, in the symposium, will be exploring how PONToon's methods and practices could be applied to developing world contexts.

Louis Netter is a practising illustrator who has contributed to various aspects of the PONToon project since it began. Louis has over 15 years of experience and his satirical illustration has been published in magazines and books. His artwork is collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Library of Congress amongst other collections in the US. Recently, a comic collaboration with Olly Gruner was published in the Corbyn Comic (Self Made Hero). He completed a PhD at the Royal College of Art in Reportage Drawing and is exploring further practice based research in 'comic as research' projects following the publication of Steal This History in the journal Re Thinking History, published by Taylor and Francis. Other practice based research is exploring community outreach and lived experience through art making in Nairobi slums, arts and resilience in South Sudan and the factors that impact violence against women in southeast Asia. As part of the symposium, Louis will run a workshop focusing on art and creativity in the era of Covid-19 lockdowns and home working.

Professor Gilly Salmon has been a learning innovator for more than 30 years and is one of the world's leading thinkers in digital and blended learning. She researches and publishes widely on the themes of innovation and change in Higher Education and the exploitation of new technologies of all kinds in the service of learning. She is internationally renowned for her significant contributions to education futures, including research, innovation, programme design, teaching methods and the use of new technologies.

Tom Sykes is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth and a Senior Research Fellow on the PONToon project with responsibility for knowledge transfer. He is a widely published author, editor, journalist and literary historian whose most recent book is The Realm of the Punisher (Signal Books), a 'political travelogue' of the Philippines which, according to the Times Literary Supplement, 'conveys in an affectionate, unpatronizing tone the many layers of injustice that run through the Philippines, and uses interviews and site visits to try to explain the eccentric ways and popular appeal of its more muscular leaders.' His journalism has appeared in Private Eye, New Statesman, The Scotsman, The Telegraph, New Internationalist, Monocle, New African, Red Pepper, Morning Star, Travel Africa, South East Asia Globe and numerous other print and digital media around the world. His forthcoming book, Imagining Manila (Bloomsbury/IB Tauris), critiques three centuries of Western Orientalist writing about the city of Manila from a postcolonial and anti-imperialist standpoint.

Claire Udy is a political activist and Portsmouth City Councillor representing the Progressive Portsmouth People's Group. She attended a PONToon workshop on video editing and has been a supporter of the project since its inception. In the symposium she will discuss how the forms of technology PONToon has pioneered can aid female empowerment and activism.

Gillian Youngs was Professor of Digital Economy at Brighton University until 2016 and continues to research diverse aspects of the internet's impact on society and economy, developing out of her early focus on globalisation. Gillian is an applied theorist and is actively engaged in knowledge exchange, business and policy related processes, including through the Knowledge Transfer Network of the UK's innovation agency Innovate UK. She contributed to the development of the core theme of 'Internet of Place' for the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton (DCCB) which launched early in 2015 and in which University of Brighton is lead academic partner. She serves on both the Steering and Stakeholder Groups of the DCCB. Gillian adopts an interdisciplinary approach to digital economy drawing on her research background in critical international relations, globalization studies, international communications and new media. She studies macro trends in the globalization of the digital economy, digital empowerment and inclusion including in relation to women, and new socio-technical literacies and applications in online production and consumption.