The List of Youth Speakers and Inspiring Young People to Invite to Your Conference or Event

In response to tech conference Tokion‘s lack of women speakers, women bloggers everywhere banded together to create a list of women speakers for any conference, hosted at Personism. The ever-growing list contains hundreds of inspiring women in design, the arts, entrepreneurship, activism, non-profits, business, and everything else that would certainly be an asset for any conference or gathering of minds.

There’s another group of people often missing at these conferences though: young people. Sure, there is no end to youth conferences, but look at the big ones like TED or ideaCity – how many of the participants are under 30? IdeaFestival is testing out a “IF Kids” section, which was apparently quite successful in the 2007 festival, but might be a little condescending to young adults who aren’t actually kids but who aren’t quite old enough to blend in with the other adults. And even if those big events were more inclusive socially, many deserving young people won’t be able to afford them. Tickets are upwards of US$500 a piece, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to get them before they sell out. Factor in travel, visas, accommodation, and all other costs and you see a very pricey proposition that turns away many young people from otherwise being the biggest contributors.

What young people need are more opportunities to be represented, more exposure to wider groups of people (and not just their peers). Young people should be taking the stage more often in those big events, they should be the ones being listened to by big minds such as Al Gore or Richard Branson. It’s their voice that should be heard, particularly since all the big chances will be handled by us anyway.

Inspired by Personism’s list, I am now creating:

The List of Youth Speakers and Inspiring Young People to Invite to Your Conference or Event

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you want to be on this list, or know anyone (below 30) who should be here, leave me a comment with their name, country, the field they’re involved in, and a brief description. Please also include a link to a website or webpage about them. It doesn’t have to be their personal/business website – a profile or a news article works too, just as long as it has information (and preferably contact details too) about themselves.

Don’t be afraid to self-promote! So many of us deserve better but are too shy or modest to ask for it. I will scan the list for scammers and spammers though.

You may notice that (at least in the early versions) this list is skewed towards a certain geographical area. This is partly because I’m from that area so I know more people there, but also because people in non-Western countries tend to be underrepresented in big events like these. See the diversity of countries as a good thing – you’ll get a very varied set of backgrounds and opinions, information and knowledge will cross borders, and everyone benefits.

List last updated: 26 Jan 2008

Tiara Shafiq Malaysia / Bangladesh / Australia Youth, Alternative Education Maintainer of youth/alternative education blog EducateDeviate
Suzanne Lee Malaysia Photography Self-made professional photographer and traveller
Poh Si Teng Malaysia / USA Journalism Co-founder of Malaysia youth socio-political magazine theCICAK
Tharum Bun Cambodia IT, Communications Blogger on ITCs
Khailee Ng Malaysia Entrepreneurship Co-Founder of theCICAK and various web ventures
Daniel CerVentus Lim Malaysia Entrepreneurship Maintainer of Malaysian entrepreneurship blog Ideapreneur
David Askaripour USA Entrepreneurship Founder of youth entrepreneurship portal Mind Petal, web entrepreneur
Brett Farmiloe USA Passion Went on the “Pursue the Passion” roadtrip to interview leading people about their passions in life
Hayley Angell Australia Passion, Empowerment Life coach and speaker on youth empowerment
Jessica Kiely Australia Youth, Career Development Founder of FRANK Team, a company that empowers youth through speakers and newsletters on career development
Adam Smith Australia Youth, Education COO of Education Foundation Australia
Bec Heinrich Australia Youth, Education, Leadership CEO and Founder of Rising Generations
Tom Dawkins Australia Youth, Media Founder of youth media portal VibeWire
Simon Moss Australia Youth, International Development, Education, Poverty COO of youth-run development organization The Oaktree Foundation
Hugh Evans Australia Youth, International Development, Education, Poverty Founder of youth-run development organization The Oaktree Foundation
Jennifer Corriero Canada Youth, International Development Founder of TakingITGlobal
Effa Desa Malaysia Film, Activism Founder of Filmmakers Anonymous, organizes film festivals in Malaysia
Renee Dillon Australia Art, Crafts Organizes workshops for budding artisans
Victor Gan Australia Photography, Film Self-trained photographer and filmmaker
Craig Kielburger USA Children’s Rights, Activism Co-founded Free the Children at 12 years old
Aaron Gill Malaysia Web, IT IT entrepreneur
Michelle Gunaselan Malaysia Activism Writer at TELL magazine, co-founder of voter education initiative VoteED
Cally Highfield United Kingdom Art Artist, illustrator, and novelist of Rose Petal Tea
Hwa Yang Jerng Malaysia Philosophy Interested in Machine intelligence, Cultural phenomenology, History of ideas, Bridging/unifying the liberal arts, science, engineering, and commerce
Kenny Koay Australia Entrepreneurship Founder of j2k, a mobile phone plan distributor that provides employment opportunities for international students in Melbourne
Trisha Okubo USA Entrepreneurship, Media, E-Commerce, Fashion Founder of Omiru: Style for All, a style website dedicated to real style for real people. Style expert featured in Lucky Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Disruptive Innovator at eBay, currently focusing on social commerce projects
Kidchan Malaysia Arts, Graphic Design Self-made artist; interesting observations about Malaysia
Darren Lee Malaysia Internet Technology, New Media, Web2.0/Social Networking Founder of Intrivent Global, Internet Technology Evangelist, New Media Specialist in the field of Web 2.0/Social Networking
Bryce Ives Australia Youth, Media, Arts First General Manager of SYN Melbourne, Australia’s largest youth media project. Crrently the online producer of the ABC’s Heywire
Nikki Brooker United Kingdom / Australia Youth, Politics, Peace First young person in the UK involved with campaigning to establish the UK Youth Parliament, then a trustee and co-ordinated the London Region. Also involved in Peace One Day
Reynato Reodica Australia Youth Policy, Youth Rights Executive officer of the Youth Action Policy Association, peak body for all youth workers and young people in NSW Australia
Brandon Bear Australia Youth Health, Sexual Health Working in sexual health and drug and alcohol health promotion in the field of harm minimisation for 5 years
Joshua Rayan Malaysia / Singapore / Australia / Indonesia Media, Communications Founder of Words Wizards, a creative communications agency that has become a branding specialist for many corporates
Yvonne Foong Malaysia Health, Neurofibromatosis Advocate for neurofibromatosis awareness, writer
Carol Chew Malaysia Politics, Youth National chairperson for Beliawanis, the young women’s arm of Malaysian political party MCA
Joel Clark Australia Youth Empowerment, Leadership, Poverty, Education Founder of nonprofit organisation, Community Spirit Tours, and wide-covering youth advocate with a number of organisations
Josh Lim Malaysia Media, Advertising Founder of blog advertising company Advertlets
Adelyn Lim Malaysia Children, Health, Cancer Founder of children’s cancer organization ROLF Kids
Joel Neoh Malaysia Youth, Entrepreneurship Winner of The Firm and founder of YouthMalaysia
Jennifer L. Pozner USA Women, Media, Writing, News Founder of Women in Media & News, a women’s media analysis, education and advocacy organization dedicated to increasing women’s presence and power in the public debate
Christine HappySlip USA / The Philippines (?) Media, Video, Web Creator of one-woman YouTube show HappySlip
Zadi Diaz USA Media, Web, Production Co-founder of online production company Smashface Productions
Alicia Curtis Australia Youth, Leadership, Mentoring Assists schools and businesses harness the leadership potential of their young people
Donnie Maclurcan Australia Politics, Community, Social Entrepreneurship Founder of Australian community project Project Australia
Miriam Lyons Australia Youth Policy, Festivals Director of Center for Policy Development, director for various festivals in Australia
Matt Noffs Australia Youth, Drug & Alcohol Dependency Development Manager at the Ted Noffs Foundation
Billie Jean Edwards Australia Youth, Indigenous Issues Young Indigenous leader
Joey Le Australia Cultural Awareness, Personal and Professional Development, Leadership, Mental Health for Young People, Youth Health Issues Former Chair of NSW Youth Advisory Council. Currently working as a medical doctor with an interest in psychiatry and adolescent health
Danielle Begg Australia Social Policy, Youth Activism, Psychology Co-established youth advocacy group Australian Teens Advocating Change (ATAC), aimed to promote multiculturalism, the prevention of substance abuse and a positive image of youth in the media through community service announcements and nation wide tours
Jimmy Kyle Australia Youth Empowerment, Indigenous Youth Program manager of Koori Connect, which engages indigenous young people on a range of cultural activities and events aimed at improving community connection, school retention and providing vocational learning opportunities
Sarah Chunys OAM Australia Mental Illnesses, Youth Health Motivational speaker on the subject of adversity/getting through tough times and mental health issues including suicide
Josh Shipp USA Youth Empowerment High-rated youth speaker, CosmoGIRL columnist, has a TV show in development
Peter Draw Singapore Art, Drawing, Children, Happiness Social Cartoonist
Xavier Clarke Australia Indigenous Youth, Social Issues AFL star and co-founder of Indigenous youth support group Unity Foundation
Linh Do Australia Youth, Environment Youth founder of Change A Million Light Bulbs and Change&Switch
David Toovey Australia Youth, Social Justice Current director of the Oaktree Foundation

Don’t forget to list your recommendations!


26 Responses

  1. Hey Tiara, thanks for the list! I do the IdeaFestival blog. You’re right, IF Kids is brand new, definitely a work in progress.

    One thing we’re doing right, I believe, is making the festival affordable. There’s the not inconsequential problem of travel, but the events themselves are largely – though not entirely – free to attend, and I’m quite sure that IF will continue with that philosophy, hoping that youth in particular and a wide range of people in general will choose to come. The policy sets us apart from other “name” conferences.

    I’m taking your feed. Thanks again for the list of speakers. I’ll definitely pass it along! All the Best,

    Wayne Hall
    IF blogger

  2. […] online community. The best part is … it’s all 100% free! check them out here: Join Hey Nielsen! The List of Youth Speakers and Inspiring Young Peo… saved by 1 others     subjecter707 bookmarked on 01/03/08 | […]

  3. Hey Tiara

    Love your idea about the YOUTH LIST.

    Could you consider putting me on your list? I work in the area of creative education in the youth and young professional industry. Specialising in career development and entrepreneurship empowerment for youth and young professionals.

    I have spoken and presented at numerous events and conferences, both in Australia and in other parts of the world.

    Other recommendations I have for you:
    Adam Smith – CEO of Education Foundation
    Bec Heinrich – CEO & Founder Rising Generations
    Tom Dawkins – CEO & Founder Vibewire
    Simon Moss – COO Oaktree Foundation

    If you need th contact details for any of these just let me know 🙂

    Thanks again & happy new year

    Jessica Kiely

    The Frank Team

  4. Hey Tiara,

    Thanks SO MUCH for including me on your list — I greatly appreciate that! I wish you success and happiness in the New Year.


  5. NAME: Hwa, Yang Jerng
    COUNTRY: Malaysia
    FIELD: Philosophy
    DESCRIPTION: Interested in Machine intelligence, Cultural phenomenology, History of ideas, Bridging/unifying the liberal arts, science, engineering, and commerce.

  6. Hey, great idea for this youth list.. i do have someone in mind.. he is my older brother, just a little over 30 but i don’t think that should be a problem. he is still very youthful. 🙂 He is a trained as a medical doctor having received his degree from the University of Edinburgh. His details are below.

    Dr Iskandar Rizal Hamzah
    Field: Education
    Vice-Chairman of Cempaka Group of Schools

    A notable achievement of my brother is introducing the first one to one notebook learning environment in Cempaka Schools throughout Malaysia, exposing kids to technology and its applications in the 21st Century. This program emphasizes on developing creativity and innovation within the student body.

    if you need more info just email me

  7. Name: Trisha Okubo

    Country: USA

    Field: Entrepreneurship, Media, E-Commerce, Fashion

    Description: Founder of Omiru: Style for All (, a style website dedicated to real style for real people. Style expert featured in Lucky Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Disruptive Innovator at eBay, currently focusing on social commerce projects.

    Thanks for putting together this list, Tiara!

  8. Hi, I’d like to myself:

    Joshua Rayan, founder of Words Wizards — a creative communications agency currently serving clients both in Malaysia and Singapore, looking to expand into Australia and Indonesia. Started from a bold idea born in a bedroom and today has become a branding specialist for many corporates.

  9. Nickname: Kidchan
    Country: Malaysia
    Field: Arts, specifically graphics design

    Description: She’s a self-made artist who is really great when it comes to artwork, and she comes up with the most surprising observations about art in Malaysia. I’m not sure how good she is as a speaker, but a friend who took her 3-week classes mentions that she’s great.

  10. Great idea, hope this goes well for you.

    I would like to nominate Reynato Reodica, hes is a young person who is the executive officer of the Youth Action Policy Association. This is the peak body for all youth workers and young people in NSW Australia. He can be contacted at He has been involved since he was 14 and now is responsible for the day to day decisions made by all youth services and is a tireless advocate for the rights of young people across NSW and Australia.

    Also, if there is an interest in young people speaking on health promotion and sexual health peer education, then I would be happy to go on the list. I am 20 and have been working in sexual health and drug and alcohol health promotion in the field of harm minimisation for 5 years now.

    Both Rey and myself are confident speakers and have spoken at international conferences in the past

  11. Aiks, who nominated me la? You ke? LOL

    I’m hardly successful or inspiring.. but thanks anyway babe. Do shoot me an email or Facebook message if you need any help with this endeavour. You seem to be quite the busy bee la.

    I’ll try to help you out where I can but I’m super busy myself this year, going to launch our new product at the end of this month, its called ezypzy. Would like to invite you to be one of our first few beta testers if you don’t mind and tell us what you think of it. Will send you the link once its ready for you 😉

  12. Hi Tiara,

    It’s just amazing that I found your post and realized how similar your thinking is to mine. Determined to increase the presence of young speakers at conferences, I created the world’s first speakers bureau dedicated to representing speakers under the age of 30. Although adult speakers provide valuable experience, there are many young leaders qualified to be speakers.

    NotJustTheFuture Youth Speakers Bureau represents young people and connects them to conferences, schools, and other venues where they can share their ideas and knowledge on things they know most about.

    I invite you, and everyone here who wants to be a speaker, to visit our website at

    Please email me if you would like to further your efforts in giving people under 30 the opportunity to speak out!


    Founder, NotJustTheFuture Youth Speakers Bureau

  13. NAME: Aaron Garth
    COUNTRY: Australia
    FIELD: Philosophy, Religion, Justice, Youth, Advocacy
    DESCRIPTION: Interested in seeing a generation of young peoplle rise up to there fullest potential to change their world.

  14. Hi, I nominate Andrew Loh. He’s from Malaysia and is currently studying in Swarthmore College in the USA. His interests are in the fields of Education, Civil Rights, Youth Advocacy, Politics and Democracy. He encourages his peers to find their own challenges and take charge of their education and to make sure what they learn is accurate. He also actively encourages young adults to look elsewhere for educational opportunities and he leads by example. He tries to raise awareness in youth about current affairs, both international and local via his blog at and contributing articles to The Cicak.

  15. […] The List of Youth Speakers and Inspiring Young People to Invite to Your Conference or Event […]

  16. Hi Tiara,

    how there,
    I find important your ideas and many said yet.
    I am in CNDH-Burundi organization trying to lead a forum of youth for innovation in the country,where we will try to act for development,social innovations,education,peace building,women and youth empowerment,AIDS campaign.
    I want also to be added to that youth list,
    GATETE Jean-Yves

  17. Hi Tiara,

    My name is Daniel Lister, I hope you are well. I came across this page through a google search, I am a speaker who is looking for more opportunities to speak, you said dont be afraid to self promote…so here I am self promoting. I am currently doing speaking and workshops with young people in Oxford, London etc although I can work with any age, I am currently arranging workshops with the pupils and teachers at one school in Oxford, anyway heres my details.

    NAME: Daniel “Focus”Lister
    COUNTRY: England
    FIELD: Young People, Motivation, Personal/Business Develpment, Entrepeneurialism
    DESCRIPTION: I am 26, I work with all ages but my passion is young people, especially inner-city. I do workshops and speaking. I work with them to set their goals and dream, and show them a way to achieve them. Then I motivte them into believing that they can achieve their dreams!

    Peace and Love
    Daniel “Focus” Lister

  18. […] originally from Malaysia (currently studying in Brisbane) the blog is targeted towards Malaysians, promoting young Malaysians and providing opportunities outside the traditional school system that they can participate […]

  19. Hi Tiara

    Do you consider me putting on your list?

    My name is Urjana Shrestha. I am from Nepal. I am a Social Entrepreneur. My field of interests are Architecture, Social Entrepreneurship, Youth Development, Environment, Sustainable Development, Fairtrade and Local Community Development.

    I am a Director of a Social Enterprise “Fairtrade Crafts from Nepal”. I am working alongwith my sister Srijana Shrestha who is also a Manager of our Enterprise. We were both actively involved in various social activities from the very young age and always believed in social entrepreneurship for the development of the society and in the poverty reduction. As the owners of the enterprise, we are both motivated and committed in creating the employment opportunities to the number of people in Nepal promoting
    their traditional talents in the global markets.

    Our social enterprise aims in:

    -Reducing poverty by creating job opportunities for the local people through the fairtrade crafts business.
    -Running profitable business expanding it to the international market.
    -The development of SMEs.
    -Providing International / Global recognition to the unique and exclusive Crafts from Nepal.

    Hope you would consider adding both me and my sister (Urjana Shrestha and Srijana Shrestha) on your list as we are both under 30!

    Thanks and Good luck!

  20. hi tiara..,

    i am one of the 100 entrepreneurs who attended the GK3..,how you doin fella?

    i would like to nominate myself in the list..,what is the procedure..,

    thanks a lot.., i am hoping to see you again soon!

  21. NAME: Cecil S. Nutakor

    COUNTRY: Ghana

    FIELD: Entrepreneurship, ICT human resource capacity building, politics, electronic commerce, Africa Poverty Eradication agenda, e-Learning…..

    DESCRIPTION: Founder and CEO of Equinox Intercom Limited ( one of 100 winners young social entrepreneur’s forum @ GK3

  22. Co Founder of Bright New Ideas, Focused on alternatives sources of Energy. Young social entrepreneur

  23. Hey Tiara,

    Thanks for listing me as a speaker. It’s funny, when your list originally came out, I had only done a few speeches.

    Now, I have some major audiences learning about what was taken away from the Pursue the Passion project.

    Thanks again for your support!

  24. You chose to DREAM. And you chose to DO.

    Now is your chance to INSPIRE the world with your story.

    Ashoka’s Youth Venture and Changemakers is partnering with Staples to launch our first global competition to recognize young leaders who are finding new ways to create positive change in their communities.

    In other words, we want to honor young leaders like you!!

    Enter your project in the Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition to showcase your innovation, find supporters, and win prizes.

    Tell us your story today at

    Now through October 15th.

    Winners will be announced November 12th.

  25. I consider myself to be a 23 year old social entrepreneur. I am currently a United States Peace Corps Volunteer serving in a small village in Kenya. I along with the community group I am partnered with are building a social enterprise to lift our small village out of poverty. This enterprise is called the KVDC and it essentially acts as a business incubation center that also conducts projects for the public good.

    If I am the type of person you are looking for please add me to the list.

    Country: Kenya
    Field: Rural Economic Development, Entrepreneurship
    Description: Advisor to Kilisa Village Development Community

  26. Liked the blog.Very informative and to the point.You will surely see me around your blog quite often as I like improving my knowledge.

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