Keynote Speakers


Tim is an environmental scientist, author and adventurer with Masters degrees in environmental science and environmental law. He is committed to finding pragmatic solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss and uses his public speaking engagements, films and books about his expeditions and sustainability work to promote progressive thinking in these areas. Tim is founder and leader of 25zero, a climate-change awareness-raising project that focuses on the world’s rapidly melting equatorial glaciers, and Global Ambassador for WWF-Australia. Tim was named Australian Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year 2013 and Conservationist of the Year 2016, the only person ever to receive both awards.


Tim has undertaken unsupported expeditions to some of the world’s most remote regions, including to the South Pole, the Arctic and across the Great Victoria Desert. He has authentically retraced the 1913 polar journey of Sir Douglas Mawson as well as Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 “double” - sailing a replica James Caird boat 1500kms across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and traversing South Georgia’s mountainous interior - using the same rudimentary equipment, technology and rations as Mawson and Shackleton had 100 years before.


After over two decades of polar travel and  work as an environmental scientist, Tim is a well-known public speaker, applying the lessons he has learned throughout his expeditions to talk about leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, change management and goal setting for both organisations and individuals. 

David Begbie is Director of the Crossroads Global Village and a senior spokesman for the humanitarian aid and development organisation, headquartered in Hong Kong. 


Over the past 23 years, David has spoken widely about the work of this organisation, representing them for the press, educational institutions, business corporations, consular and United Nations events. He is also the director of Crossroads’ experiential programs which have seen over 200,000 participants engage in simulations, including attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His role includes strategic leadership in the development of a new initiative, an experiential Global Village showcasing global needs and solutions. 

David holds a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies and a Master of Arts in NGO Leadership. 


He grew up in Asia, living in the region for the past 40 years. He makes his home in Hong Kong with his wife and two sons.


Equipped with a degree in Economics and a post graduate in Drama, Sally spent the next 10 years working in the theatre touring throughout the UK and Europe. Taking a ‘gap’ year brought her to Thailand teaching English as a Foreign language and a stint on Radio Thailand with a weekly current affairs programme. A year as a volunteer teacher in Myanmar resulted in a switch to humanitarian work. 

Sally has over twenty five years’ experience working with The Border Consortium (TBC) coordinating and delivering humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced people as a result of the conflict in South East Myanmar. She is currently the Executive Director of TBC, with field offices in Thailand and SE Myanmar working with and through local partners in support of food security, nutrition, shelter, and building capacity for community management to 86,000 refugees living in camps along the Thailand / Myanmar border and to support recovery of conflict affected communities in SE Myanmar. Sally was awarded an MBE (Member of British Empire) in 2010 for community services to Burmese refugees in Thailand.


Nelson Graves is the founder of News-Decoder, a global educational news service for young people. He is an experienced educator and administrator, and was a correspondent, bureau chief and regional managing editor at Reuters for 24 years, holding posts in Washington, Paris, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Milan and Tokyo. He later served as admissions director at Johns Hopkins University’s graduate program in international relations in Italy, and has worked with schools around the world as a teacher and trustee. 


News-Decoder partners with schools around the world to accompany students through the editorial process, including identifying story ideas, conducting reporting, consulting experts, developing multimedia content and publishing for a global audience. News-Decoder helps students develop journalistic skills and behaviors that make them better global citizens.