Who will be there?

Here are the speakers announced for The Story 2017 so far:

Nikesh Shukla is a writer. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was published by Quartet Books and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011. In 2011 he co-wrote an essay about the London riots for Random House with Kieran Yates, Generation Vexed: What the Riots Don’t Tell Us About Our Nation’s Youth. His second novel, Meatspace, was published by The Friday Project. ‘Like Douglas Coupland’s Generation X,’ according to the Guardian, ‘this novel captures a cultural moment.’ Nikesh is the editor of the essay collection, The Good Immigrantwhere 21 British writers of colour discuss race and immigration in the UK.

Kate Clanchy is a writer and teacher. She has won the Forward Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award for her own writing, but is just as excited by the work of her students in a multicultural school. Her essay The Very Quiet Foreign Girls Poetry Group was one of the most beautiful and inspirational things we’ve read in the last year, so we’re really glad she can join us at The Story in February.

Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the weird feelings people have about both. She’s the author of Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure and an artist in residence at Data and Society Research Institute. 

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross art form practitioner, a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of the Midnight Run — an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban, walking experience. Across his work, Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional african storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His three books of poetry are published by Flipped Eye and Akashic Books, and several plays by Oberon.

Lynsey Hanley was born in Birmingham and lives in Liverpool. She is the author of Estates: An Intimate History, and Respectable: The Experience of Class. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement.

David Conn is a sports writer for the Guardian, and is also the author of The Beautiful Game?  Searching the Soul of Football. His articles for the Guardian’s Inside Sport blog focus on the business and ethics of modern sport, including covering the recent Hillsborough Inquiry into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters in 1989.

Clara Gaggero Westaway is the Co-founder & Creative Director of Special ProjectsClara is an intrepid designer, inventor and creative director committed to enriching the lives of people through hopeful product innovation. Whether this means helping the elderly to engage with technology, reimagining the playground, or devising systems that help us focus on the present, Clara’s concepts bring empathy, optimism and clarity to where society needs it.

The daughter of a mechanical engineer and a fashion boutique owner, she studied industrial design in Italy before setting up her own fashion label in Berlin, only to get back into design engineering a few years later, this time in London. Her design method is defined by integrating seemingly disparate realms and elements: art and engineering, purpose and aestheticism, the physical and the digital.

When she’s not working at Special Projects, Clara is a design-thinking speaker and visiting senior lecturer at the Royal College of Art, at Queen Mary University of London and a faculty member of Oxford University Said Business School OSLP.

Helen Foulder is the Deputy MD and Iain Tait is the ECD at W+K London. Weiden + Kennedy are 35 years old in 2017, and are still independent. We’ve long been fans of their work and culture, and in particular the experiment started by Helen Foulder earlier this year to change the culture of the workplace at W+K. Advertising is notorious for expecting teams to work late nights and weekends, so in March this year Foulder started an experiment to change the culture at W+K London. They now have no meetings before 10 or after 4pm, and have a ban on sending or reading work emails after 7pm.

Almost a year after the experiment started, we’ve asked Helen and Iain to come and talk about the impact it’s had on their work and culture, and what W+K have learnt from 35 years of independence.

Ewen Spencer began shooting for visually driven style magazines, such as Sleazenation and The Face, with an emphasis on youth culture. His project Teenagers was shortlisted for the 2014 Discovery Award at Rencontres D’Arles and his four-part documentary film series Street, Sound and Style written directed and narrated by Ewen, was broadcast on Channel4 in 2015, posing questions later explored in a 2016 series, Oh My Mosch, considering British menswear’s obsession with flamboyant Italian menswear designers.

Cover artwork created by Ewen for bands such as The Streets and The White Stripes has led to significant advertising commissions and campaigns. Ewen’s new imprint, See W, created in partnership with Olivia Gideon Thomson, publishes photobooks, focusing on youth and subculture research, photography and writing.


Previous speakers at The Story include Nelly Ben Hayoun, Simon Munnery, Laura Dockrill, Alan Rusbridger, James Bridle, Gruff Rhys, Cornelia Parker, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Kati London and many many more. You can see lists of speakers at previous here – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.