Lead Partner for International Development Consulting, PwC
Andy started his career straight after school by working as an Engineering Design Apprentice. After completing an HND in Computing, Andy spent the next few years working in IT consultancy, project management and IT management. In 1998 he joined Price Waterhouse in London as an IT Security Consultant.
Andy was then admitted into Partnership on the 1st of July 2006. Andy is now the Lead Partner for the International Aid Development Consulting practice in PwC.
Working primarily with the Department for International Development (DFID) and other international donor organisations, they use the Global network of PwC member firms and associated subject matter experts to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world. Andy is also part of a team that is responsible for the development and delivery of Leadership, Culture and Talent programmes within PwC and with Clients, with a focus on helping individuals to be the best that they can be, and helping our clients create working environments that encourage people to be the best they can be.
Andy co-developed a programme called 'Building Strength in Leaders', this programme leverages both positive and cognitive psychology to help leadership teams build strength in preparation for and following traumatic business change. At the heart of the programme is a workshop that Andy developed a few years ago for the PwC Global Talent programme - Genesis Park., this workshop is called “Genius. Power. Dreams” (www.geniuspowerdreams.com) and aims to help individuals and teams understand and respect their unique strengths and talents, understand how to use them more often, and finally to consider their legacy of life.
Andy is the sponsoring Partner for the firms inclusive business network, GLEE@PwC. This is an inclusive business network for gays, lesbians and everyone else, it’s open to everyone including clients and those in our extended networks and you don't have to be gay or lesbian to join it, you just need to be passionate about valuing and exploring difference as something we all have in common. (www.pwc.co.uk/glee)
He is also a Trustee for Diversity Role Models, Action Breaks Silence and Opening Doors London.
Founder, Northern Powern Women
Simone Roche is a business women and leading gender equality campaigner, living in Liverpool. She started her career in the Royal Navy, before moving on to management roles within the events and hospitality industry, working for a number of leading North West firms including Aintree Racecourse, ACC Liverpool Arena and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympics. She is currently the Managing Director of events curation business, Event 1st.
Simone has been an active campaigner on women’s issues and rights throughout
her career and most recently founded NorthernPowerWomen, a collaborative campaign to accelerate gender diversity from the North. The movement aims to create visible role models for women, accelerate gender pay parity and celebrate and recognise businesses and individuals as role models and mentors for equality. The second Northern Power Women Awards took place in March 2017 to showcase role models and celebrate the many ways women contribute to the Northern
Powerhouse. and were attended by over 520 business leaders.
Simone is also the licencee of TEDxWhitehallWomen a TEDx talks project focusing on the perspectives of women working in Government and beyond, including from within the charity,
public and private sector. Simone lives on a houseboat in Liverpool with her husband.
Marketing Manager, Oxfam
A Marketing Manager for Oxfam GB, Jill began working for the organisation because she believes ending suffering is a human right. She works across a range of public engagement projects, to enable Oxfam to reach its goal of ending extreme poverty. Jill is based in Oxford (UK), but will be travelling to Sierra Leone at the end of September to see projects in action and is looking forward to sharing this with the group. In 2016/7, she voluntarily mentored a group of school students to create a business and trade for the duration of the Young Enterprise programme, an interest that came from her own experience managing a Young Enterprise company.
Jill enjoys being active, watching her team Liverpool FC play at Anfield and is currently leading a project to reduce the carbon footprint of her office. Read about her failed attempt at the 28 day Palm Oil challenge from 2016 and make sure not to ask her about her favourite thing in the world, The Palio in Siena, if you are short on time.
Lydia Bethan Brown
Global Health Specialist
Lydia developed a passion for global health, fragile states and sustainable development whilst studying and working in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Lydia worked for two years as Project Manager at UN House Scotland, creating their intern program and encouraging learning surrounding the SDGs and current affairs through the organisation of conferences. She has also spent six months working in East Africa, most recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, coordinating health projects and now speaks conversational Kiswahili. She just completed her role as Fundraising and Communications Manager for the Turing Trust, an NGO working in 2 African countries. Lydia joins World Merit from Brussels where she will be joining the United Nations Regional Information Centre.
Lydia also enjoys a daily 5km run, reading Africa based novels and walks with her husband and Border Collie, Shadow.
Philanthropist, Global Adventurer & World Record Holder
Bernie was born in 1959.
Educated at Campion School, Liverpool, UK. Bernie went on to study Mechanical Engineering at University Edinburgh.
Bernie spent two years in the motor industry & then has worked in the financial sector for the past 30 years in North America & the UK.
In 1987 Bernie commenced his journey in philanthropy when he raised £200 / $265 for his late mother & father who he lost to emphysema & cancer within six months of each other 30 years ago.
Over the past 30 years he has raised over £40 million pounds sterling / $53 million dollars US for UK & overseas charities. Achieved through creative corporate partnerships recognized, celebrated & awarded throughout the third sector.
He is an ambassador & director for Wallace & Gromit Children's Charity, Memusi Foundation, School For Social Entrepreneurs, Save the Children, Barnardo's & World Merit.
Bernie is the creator of "Merchant Giving" & "Donsis" a ground breaking micro-donation Services which connects business to charity & in doing so makes charities more sustainable my donating millions to charity.
He is an author, film maker & founder of the worlds first visually impaired ukulele orchestra "Ukulele Light Orchestra".
Bernie has produced & directed films highlighting his charities needs collaborating with some of the UK's best producers filming on location in Tanzania, Kenya, Costa Rica, Arctic, Antarctic, North & South America, Sahara, & throughout the UK.
Bernie's sporting achievements have included running 41 consecutive marathons (1,075 miles) in 20 days! He has completed over 180 marathons around the World. He has completed the Marathon Des Sables, a one hundred and sixty mile, six day, self sufficient race across the Sahara Desert. He cycled across America a journey of 3,000 miles in 14 days (214 miles per day). Cycled from the UK to Africa & from Africa to the UK in 26 days raising funds to build new schools in Kenya. An is an accomplished climbed having climbed Mt Everest, Mt McKinley & Mt Kilimanjaro several times.
Bernie is a World record-holder running the longest distance ever recorded in 7 days & has received countless awards for his philanthropy over the last three decades. He received The President's Certificate of Appreciation from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for the millions of pounds / dollars raised for Barnardo's & The Honours Award for the millions raised for charities & in his home City of Liverpool, England.
Bernie was invested by Her Royal Majesty The Queen Head of the Commonwealth as an Ordinary Officer of the Order British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 for his services to charity.
Bernie plays the ukulele & has performed in Africa & the Sahara Desert. He formed the Worlds first visually impaired ukulele orchestra & invented the world's first ever music braille song sheets.
Most importantly Bernie is a Dad to his two fabulous sons Lewis (23) who has Masters Degree (Distinction) in Computer Science at Liverpool University, England & now developing life saving apps for the World Health Organization & Macaullay (21) who has recently achieved a first class Bachelors Degree in Computer Science at Bangor University in Wales.
Sustainable Development Consultant & Childrens Author
Arlene Gormley is a development professional with extensive experience in designing and implementing community based education programs. Arlene believes the way to combat extreme poverty and socio-economic inequalities are through education initiatives.
Arlene is the co-founder and director of Feeding Dreams Cambodia and a consultant for sustainable community development with a focus on empowering youth, vocational training, non-violent communication and life skills. Arlene designed and implemented Dreams Training Centre.
In May 2016 Arlene graduated from MA in Sustainable International Development specialising in inter-generational trauma experienced in post-conflict societies, focusing on Cambodia.
She has recently published a picture book, "2030 Not a Fairytale" introducing the SDGs to pre-school children.
Senior Manager at Boma Investments LLC
Rhett's work focuses on supporting Boma portfolio enterprises and leading programs for Early Stage Social Impact Investment sector transformation. By applying his experience in entrepreneurship, coalition building, and systems thinking, Rhett accelerates the creation and adoption of tools, systems, and business models for the Social Impact Investment's new collaborative economy.
Rhett is an educator, international public speaker, published author, and social entrepreneur. He is co-founder of global coalitions in the areas of emerging technologies and business models for social change, including Blockchain for social impact and collaborative supply chains for organic agricultural.
As an educator, Rhett teaches on many topics for businesses, youth and adults in 'Impact Empowerment and Design Thinking for Sustainability,' 'Investing for Impact: Practical Approaches.'
In his free time Rhett is engaged in his passion of connecting youth and adults to the natural world through wilderness skills, wild edible plants, and awareness education.
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE is one of the Trustees of World Merit. He is now in his 35th year as a member of the Liverpool City Council where he is now the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group. When first elected in 1975 he was one of the youngest Councillors in the UK. Now he is one of the longest-serving Councillors of any Party. Cllr Kemp is a former Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Local Government in the UK and is now the national spokesperson for Lib Dem Councillors on Health & Social care issues.
He lives near the world famous Penny Lane with his wife, Erica, who is a former Lord Mayor of Liverpool. He has three children and 4 grandchildren.
Dr Martin Z. Wilderer
International experienced CEO, Board Advisor and Mentor
International experienced CEO, Board Advisor and Mentor with a passion for Innovation, Technological Advancement, Digitalisation Strategies, China and businesses creating Positive Impact.
Martin has built a company in power engineering from scratch to €300M revenue, recently excited a data analytics company and is currently advising Rise Beyond and Nixdorf Data Center on Exponential Growth Strategies and Doing Business with China, respectively.
Martin is fascinated by technological developments, digitalisation, disruptive business models, the rising speed of innovation and it's implications for the business environment and leadership. He is passionate about using business as a force for good, and aiming for leadership agility in the increasingly dynamic and complex environment we face today.
Martin’s career took him across Water Technology, Power Engineering, Electro Mobility/Automotive, and Data Analytics, all connected by engineered products and using global grand challenges to create passion and business drive.
Having started in the corporate world and manufacturing, he was more recently involved in the thick of early stage companies, impact investment, business modelling and growth dynamics. Martin is engaged both in capacity of a CEO as well as board advisor on the topics of growth hacking, international business/China Strategy and using Sustainability as Business Driver.
Martin is a global citizen, born into a German and Czech nationality, having spent significant time in Asia, 11 years of which in China experiencing a period of enormous growth with all its opportunities and challenges. Martin is interdisciplinary trained, holding a master in mechanical engineering and business administration, and a PhD in Industrial Ecology. Martin was significantly influenced by an executive programme at the Singularity University on Technology Disruption.
Recognised with various awards, most outstanding for corporate responsibility being “Top Young Outstanding Person” of Changzhou in 2012 (常州市十大杰出青年), a prize for role models not commonly given to foreigners in China; Honorary citizen of Changzhou (Jiangsu, China) and Wujin (Jiangsu, China). He received various awards for entrepreneurial excellence. He was invited to be a member of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO), a network of 24,000 CEOs of major organisations around the world, acts on the board of the London Chapter and actively engages in mentoring.
Martin is married, has three kids, enjoys outdoor sports, especially triathlons.
CEO of International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges
Miroslav Polzer is founder and CEO of International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI) www.glocha.info, a United Nations accredited civil society organization based in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (Austria). Some of the IAAI flagship initiatives that Miroslav helped to develop are: GloCha multistakeholder partnership for Agenda2030 Action, Global Challenges Youth Music Contest, #GiveYouthAChance Call for Resources for Youth Climate Action, Youth Entrepreneurship 2030, Blockchain for Youth Climate Action). In addition to his civil society leadership function, Miroslav Polzer works also as an independent management consultant, advising companies and public authorities on implementation of sustainable development goals on local level through multistakeholder partnerships and social entrepreneurship business models for young people. Miroslav Polzer has a Masters degree in Business Economics and a PhD in Environmental economics earned at Karl Franzens University in Graz (Austria). Before joining IAAI full time, Miroslav was head of Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office (ASO) Ljubljana, promoting international scientific cooperation between Austria, Slovenia and Western Balkan countries on behalf of Austrian federal ministry of science and research from 1996-2011.