Trustees | Patrons | Founder Members
Ursula Owen, Publisher
Ursula is a key figure in the UK publishing industry. Since 2004 she has been project director for Free Word, a centre for literature, literacy and free expression in London. Ursula has fulfilled several roles in publishing, most notably as co-founder and editor of Virago Press in 1974, Editor and Chief Executive of Index on Censorship and a Director of the magazine, The New Statesman. Ursula has also been Cultural Policy Advisor to the Labour Party.
John Armah , Client and Commercial Director, Betapond
John is an experienced digital and social media executive with 15 years experience. At Betapond , he has helped devise some of the most innovative sustainability projects using social and mobile media including Shwopping for Marks & Spencer and Oxfam, and Waterworks for Unilever and Population Services International. Prior to Betapond he spent 10 years at FT.com. A specialist in monetising content, he was responsible for the commercial launch of FT.com in the US and sat on the FT Global Commercial Board. He specialises in advising companies and organisations on using social media to achieve their objectives.
Tariq is a lawyer with experience of working across a broad range of industry sectors, having worked in private practice at Travers Smith, with media law firm, Harbottle & Lewis and in-house for a range of clients. He has a wide range of experience working with the media sector in respect of investment and fundraising as well as assisting the development and start-up of companies. Tariq also has a background of academic work in the field of international affairs and international law, having completed a Master degree in International Law with a focus on Peace and Security.
Victor Keegan, Technology Columnist, The Guardian, ex-WFC Chairman
Victor Keegan commented on economics and technology in the Guardian for a number of years. In between writing articles and publishing his own iPhone apps, including City Poems, Gems of London and Shakespeare's London he has also written several poetry books. Victor’s contribution to WFC has been enormous. While Chairman, he guided the organisation towards the mobile space, enabling the construction of WFC mobile platform. He continues to advise WFC on an informal basis, particularly in the area of digital distribution and global content exchange.
Michael Adler – WFC Chairman
Michael Adler is the Emeritus Professor of Genitourinary Medicine/Sexually Transmitted Diseases at University College London Medical School. He is an advisor to the British Government, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations and the European Commission. He has served on numerous committees for the Medical Research Council and Department of Health. In the past he has been Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Committee on Genitourinary Medicine, and the Speciality Advisory Committee in Genitourinary Medicine.
He has considerable experience in working in the developing world, having carried out numerous consultancies, particularly in Africa, India, Bosnia, China and St Helena for WHO, UNAIDS, DFID, Marie Stopes International, LEPRA, etc. He has had a longstanding involvement with the voluntary sector, and was Chairman of the National AIDS Trust from 1991-2000.
In 2004 he was appointed to the Board of the International AIDS Trust (chaired by Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair). He was recently appointed as a Trustee for CARE International UK and LEPRA. During 2011/12, he was responsible for chairing a Department of Health Committee on Sexual Health in preparation for the London Olympics 2012 and the PROUD Trial Steering Committee for the Medical Research Council.
Mike Figgis, Film Director, Writer and Composer
Since 2008 Mike has been Professor of Film Studies at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. A prolific film maker, Mike made his feature debut with 'Stormy Monday' in 1988. His other work includes the Hollywood thriller 'Internal Affairs', the Oscar-winning 'Leaving Las Vegas' and the experimental split-screen drama 'Time Code'. Mike was the founding patron of the independent filmmaker's online community Shooting People, where he championed filmmaking with a small digital camera, likening the experience more to painting or novel writing than the movie industry.
David Puttnam, Film Producer and Member of the House of Lords
Lord Puttnam spent thirty years as an independent film producer; his many award winning films include 'The Mission', 'The Killing Fields', 'Local Hero', 'Chariots of Fire', 'Midnight Express', 'Bugsy Malone', and 'The Memphis Belle'.
David retired from film production in 1998 and now focuses on his work in education and the environment. He founded Skillset, which trains young people to become members of the film and television industries and in 2002 he was elected UK president of Unicef. His appointments include Chancellor of the Open University, Governor and Lecturer at the LSE, board member of BECTA and The National Leadership College, Chair of NESTA and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and a member of the Engineering Council Senate.
Greg Dyke is a British media executive, journalist and broadcaster. He is credited with introducing 'tabloid' television to British broadcasting, and reviving the ratings of TV-am. In the 1990s, he held Chief Executive positions at LWT Group, Pearson Television and Channel 5 but is most notable for his tenure as Director-General of the BBC from January 2000 until 29 January 2004.
Baroness Kennedy, Queens Council and Broadcaster
As a Barrister, Helena Kennedy is a member of the Doughty Street Chambers in London. She has acted in many of the most prominent cases of the last 30 years and has spent her professional life giving a voice to those with the least power, championing civil liberties and promoting human rights. She was elevated to the House of Lords in 1997. Baroness Kennedy has held many key positions including Chair of The British Council from 1998-2004 and has a trust in her own name, The Helena Kennedy Foundation, which provides bursaries to help the most disadvantaged in society move into higher education.
Roger Graef OBE Filmmaker, Criminologist and Writer
Roger Graef OBE is best known for his ground breaking documentary films that have influenced policing and criminal justice policy. They include 'Thames Valley Police', which helped change the way the police deal with rape victims and 'In Search of Law and Order', which took a unique look at changes to juvenile rehabilitation. He was a founding board member of Channel Four and a governor of the British Film Institute and in 2004 Roger was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement.
Gerald Fox Filmmaker and Artist
Gerry Fox is an artist and filmmaker who has won major awards throughout his career for his films about the world's leading contemporary artists including Gilbert and George, Claes Oldenburg, Marc Quinn, Gerhard Richter and Bill Viola. His awards include a BAFTA for Gilbert and George, The Royal Television Society Best Arts Film and The Prix Italia. The films and are still shown internationally on public and cable television, and in major film festivals and cinemas. Gerald is also an installation artist, exhibiting work nationally and internationally. Most recently Gerald co-wrote and directed the feature film, 'Mother's Milk', based on a novel by Edward St Aubyn.
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Alice Bragg (Founder and CEO)
After graduating from Cambridge University with a BA Hons in History, Alice developed scripts for director Anthony Minghella, eventually writing a screenplay for him in 2005. Her passion for participatory theatre took her to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro where she studied the work of Theatre Practitioner, Augusto Boal, and the West Bank and Israel where she explored the relationship between theatre and politics as part of a Middle East Politics Msc dissertation (SOAS, 2007). Alice has been teaching young people theatre and film since 2006. She has driven forward the vision of WFC, managed its growth, and raised a significant proportion of its funds up to this point.
Vanessa Goes (Brazil)
With a background in teaching human rights through theatre to young people living in favelas, Vanessa has found time between earning a wage to run four training programmes in Rio, one of which was sponsored by UNESCO. She has also built relationships with WFC’s key operating partners, the internationally acclaimed Committee for the Democratisation of Information (CDI) and Cinema Nosso, director Fernando Meirelle’s film school for disadvantaged young people in Rio.
Nidal Atrash (Palestine)
Nidal Atrash (Palestine) is a full-time professional cameraman and editor, living in the occupied Palestinian town of Bethlehem. Nidal worked with WFC CEO Alice Bragg to develop the technical methodology behind cell phone film making and has become one of WFC’s key tutors, teaching over 90 young Palestinians from refugee camps and under-resourced areas to speak to their own communities and the world at large. Nidal has been the driver of key partnerships and expansion of WFC in the West Bank area
Mark Ellison (USA)
Mark has never accepted any payment from WFC: he has invested his time, energy, ideas and resources into developing the concept and technical communication structure to enable WFC to function across multiple borders and with diverse stakeholders. Mark’s unwavering faith in WFC, coupled with his ability to problem-solve, has enabled the organisation to overcome obstacle after obstacle. Mark has been the organisation’s rock and his determination has enabled it to succeed.
Simcelilie Kalimashe (South Africa)
After attending WFC’s inaugural training programme in Cape Town, Simcelile took ownership of WFC South Africa and made it his own. A 21 year-old resident of the notorious Khayelitsha township, Simcelile drove WFC forward from the moment that CEO Alice Bragg gave him 50 Rand (five UK pounds) to buy airtime to connect online. With this 50 Rand, Simi contacted donors from the USA, recruited young people from the steeets and pushed WFC to invest time and energy into building South Africa into the flagship programme country that it is today. Simi is now the principal director of WFC’s model production team in Cape Town, making content that has touched the lives of more than a million of his fellow South Africans.
Rebecca Morahan (UK)
From the outset, Becca’s knowledge of co-operative organisations and international networks, - learned during her time working for Twin and Twin Trading, an NGO and trading business - has informed and grown the concept and operational vision for WFC. Between freelance work and studying, she has made time to offer guidance and support in the practical application of the vision. Becca has remained an unpaid mentor and strategic consultant to WFC.
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Noel Clarke, acclaimed director of cult film "Kidulthood" endorsed our riot project because he beleived that our films could get young people heard.
Tendeka Matatu, acclaimed South African film director provided weekly creative mentoring sessions for our young people.
Founder of Dig Balls film production company and acclaimed film director endorsed our project and provided creative support for our young people in the development stages of the project.
Acclaimed film director of films such as 'Unknown White Male' embarked on mini project with our beneficiaries, making a short film about them and what effect the project had on their lives.
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