Plenary Speakers

GIN Conference 2019

Committing to our World's Most Vulnerable People, Places and Resources

Confirmed speakers

Kesz Valdez

International Children's Peace Prize Winner 2012

Kesz Valdez, originally from the Philippines, is an International Children’s Peace Prize winner (2012). Kesz founded Championing Community Children at the age of eight. He has helped more than ten thousand children living in slums since 2005, distributing clothes, sandals, toys and candy and teaching children about hygiene, food and children’s rights. Kesz’s message of hope, love and education on the topics of hygiene and health along and his Wealthy Healthy Outreach Programs have helped treat over 3000 children’s wounds and handed over ten thousand toothbrushes to children since its start in 2005. 

Kesz is currently an International Baccalaureate student at United World College, Maastricht.

Ayesha Keller

Ayesha Keller was a coordinator and founding member of the NGO Better Days, which was launched in response to the "refugee crisis" in Greece. During her 1 year with Better Days, Ayesha helped to establish, crowdfund and run a transit camp in a local farmer’s olive grove. Ayesha was then involved in piloting new housing projects for refugees in Northern Greece. Better Days aims to provide high quality humanitarian relief while simultaneously working to change systems and innovate solutions to the largest and most difficult problems surrounding the refugee crisis. They support innovative independent projects designed as alternative responses to the refugee crisis in Greece. They have supported over 21 projects in the past 3 years.

Since leaving Greece, Ayesha has been involved in advocacy work around Europe, giving talks and supporting projects in other countries, such as co-founding the Citizens of the World Choir in London. Currently she is doing her MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany, with a focus on migration.

Harrison Wavell

As Schools and Colleges Programme Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Harrison Wavell focuses on developing school curriculum and learning experiences based on the circular economy. As part of this, Harrison supports a growing community of educators looking to inspire their students through the vision of circular economy.

Harrison began his career in education teaching English as a Foreign Language before working as an English Teacher at the International School of Choueifat, Abu Dhabi. Upon completion of his Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Portsmouth University, Harrison taught English, Creative Writing and Physical Education at Christ the King College on the Isle of Wight. Harrison has also had a number of roles in outdoor education teaching young people to sail, surf and kayak. 

Stylianee Parascha

Stylianee Parascha is a storyteller, designer, and activist. She has always been fond of the environment, growing up by the sea and by Mount Pelion, in Greece. Later, she became passionate about beautiful design and envisaged fashion as a positive space for people and the planet. She discovered upcycling (making deadstock useful again) as a means of waste management when working for a Greek brand, and has been using the technique to create beautiful things and educate consumers ever since. 

Over the past few years, Stylianee has been involved with the Fashion Revolution movement first by co-organizing an event in Thessaloniki, Greece and then by bringing the movement to Luxembourg and leading it locally. Launched as a response to the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013, Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for a fairer, safer, cleaner and more transparent fashion industry. Over 90 countries worldwide now take part in the Fashion Revolution. Fashion Revolution would like you to vote with your wallet, by buying consciously and asking brands: Who made my clothes?

Stylianee’s own fashion project is What.Eve.Wears, a sustainable fashion start-up with a social entrepreneurship structure. It focuses on offering a quality European product to the market, an ‘innocent’ product, designed in Luxembourg, made in Greece and made with love and respect. Stylianee also contributes regularly to various online and print media, focusing on topics that revolve around fashion and sustainability.


Photo: Guardian 

Muzoon Almellehan

Even before the war in Syria, I wanted to change society, but I knew I needed to get educated to do that. 

Children's education activist Muzoon Almellehan left Syria with her family in 2013, aged 14. She and her family spent three years in Jordan before resettling in the UK. During her time in Jordan, Muzoon campaigned for access to education for children, and for girls in particular. She encouraged other girls and boys to go to the school she attended in the Za’atari refugee camp so that they too could continue their education while away from Syria. Now living in Newcastle in the UK, Muzoon has continued her advocacy work, raising awareness of the difficulties faced by refugee children and children in conflict zones in accessing education. In June 2017, Muzoon became the youngest as well as the first refugee UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, travelling to Chad and Jordan to meet with children whose lives and education have been terribly impacted by conflict. Muzoon has also participated in high-level meetings in New York, Paris, Geneva and Germany. In the past year she has received the following awards and honours: BBC’s list of 100 influential and inspirational women in 2017, TIME’s 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017, Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 Class of 2017 and a 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Award.