Dr Simon Timson is the LTA / British Tennis Performance Director. He leads the performance team responsible for creating a pathway for champions that sustains success at the top of the world game and nurtures future generations of world class players. Previously as Director of Performance at UK Sport (2013 – 2016), Simon led the high performance system to unprecedented success at Rio 2016 where Great Britain became the first nation ever to be more successful in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games after hosting. TeamGB’s 67 medals represented GB’s best medal haul since 1908. Paralympics GB enjoyed their best Games since 1988 winning 147 medals, and setting 49 Paralympic and 27 World Records. British winter sport also achieved historic Winter Olympic and Paralympic success in Sochi 2014.

Simon was the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Head of the England Development Programme and, Science and Medicine (2006-2012). He helped drive a period of unprecedented success for the Test, ODI and T20 Teams during which all three reached the top of ICC world rankings. Prior to this Simon was Performance Director at British Skeleton (2000-2006) and led the Team to Olympic medals in 2002 and 2006 whilst also identifying 2010 Gold medallist, Amy Williams. He is now Honorary Vice-President of the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association. Simon has a PhD in Psychology and co-authored the best selling book, The Talent Lab.


Paul J. Taylor is a psychologist who has spent the last 20 years unpacking the ‘black box’ of how human interactions works. Combining experimental, archival and field methods, Paul’s research has revealed both the nature of ‘interpersonal sensemaking’ and what happens when this sensemaking breaks down. He has particularly focused on interactions in ‘crisis’ environments, translating what we know about interaction to verbal and nonverbal strategies that promote cooperation. His work has received numerous awards, including a Metropolitan Police Commissioner commendation and the European Association of Psychology and Law’s mid-career excellence award.

Alongside his research, Paul directs the UK Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (www.crestresearch.ac.uk), which was commissioned by the ESRC with funding from the UK security and intelligence agencies. The centre brings together the international expertise of over 100 staff to understand the psychological and social drivers of security threats, the skills and technologies that enable their effective investigation, and the protective security measures that help counter the threat in the first place. Paul is Professor of Psychology at Lancaster University, UK, Professor of Human Interaction at the University of Twente, NL, and outgoing editor of the British Psychological Society’s journal Legal and Criminological Psychology. Read more at: www.pauljtaylor.com


Emma Sky is Director of Yale World Fellows and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics. She is the author of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, which was one of the New York Times 100 notable books of 2015, and Shortlisted for the 2016 Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize, the 2016 Orwell Prize and the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction. She is widely published in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politico, the Atlantic, Survival, US Institute of Peace, Army Magazine.

Emma served as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010; as advisor to the Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2006; as advisor to the US Security Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in 2005; and as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004.

Prior to that, Emma worked in the Palestinian territories for a decade, managing projects to develop Palestinian institutions; and to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians. In addition, Emma has provided technical assistance on poverty elimination, human rights, justice public administration reform, security sector reform, and conflict resolution in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

Emma was educated at Oxford (UK), Alexandria (Egypt), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and Liverpool (UK).

Emma is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.


Sir David Dalton has been an NHS Chief Executive for over 22 years, serving at Salford Royal for 16 years. Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is an integrated provider of hospital, community and primary care services, including the University Teaching Hospital. The Trust has a turnover of £470m, employs 6600 staff and provides local services to the City of Salford and specialist services to Greater Manchester and beyond. Salford Royal is one of only two Trusts in the country to be rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

He was knighted in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for his services to Healthcare. During 2013 he was a member of the ‘Berwick Review Group’, which advised on patient safety improvements for England. He co-chaired a review of the ‘duty of candour’ in 2014 to support openness in reporting harmful events. In 2014 he advised the Secretary of State on the opportunities for providers of NHS care, including the publication of the ‘Dalton Review’ which recommended actions to assure the delivery of high quality healthcare through sustainable organisations.

Sir David is currently developing a new integrated care service (hospital, community, primary and social care) for the city of Salford, with its triple aim of improved population health outcomes, better user experience and lower cost. Under David’s leadership, Salford Royal has adopted a disciplined approach of applied ‘improvement science’ coupled with deep staff involvement. He is now developing the concept of ‘standardisation of best practice’ by creating a digital enterprise and seeking to apply this at scale, across multiple organisations.

He was founder chair of AQuA, NHS Quest and most recently, Haelo: each of which support organisations in their improvement activities. He established NWeHealth and currently services on the national review group advising the Secretary of State on IT and digital developments. He is Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network – with the twin purpose of improving population health and creating a new relationship with industry across Greater Manchester. He is a Governor of the Health Foundation.


Professor Elizabeth Stokoe – is Professor of Social Interaction in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. She uses conversation analysis to understand how talk works – from first dates to police interrogations; from medical communication to hostage negotiation. Outside the university, she runs workshops with doctors, mediators, salespeople, police and other professionals using her research-based communication training method called the “Conversation Analytic Role-play Method”. She is one of thirteen WIRED 2015 Innovation Fellows; has given TEDx, New Scientist, SciFoo/Google and Royal Institution lectures, and her research and biography were featured on the BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific.


Conrad Humphreys – is an experienced leader who has spent over two decades as a professional yachtsman. With a sailing career spanning three round the world races and a business background as a sports marketing consultant. His sailing career has included three round the world yacht races. He competed as the youngest entrant on the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race). As skipper he led his team to victory in the BT Global Challenge by dominating the race and winning 4 out of 7 legs. Conrad is the fifth British yachtsman to complete the legendary Vendee Globe, single-handed, non-stop around the world without assistance.

Most recently, Conrad was the professional skipper for Channel 4s recreation of Captain Bligh’s 4000 mile voyage of survival. Using traditional navigation equipment only and surviving off the same meager rations as Bligh, nine men were cast adrift 35 miles to the south of Tofua near the Kingdom of Tonga in a replica boat. Their mission, to survive and safely navigate across 4000 miles of open ocean to Kupang, Timor and to re-create one of the world’s greatest survival stories in British history.

As a motivational speaker Conrad has worked with many of the world’s leading companies and specialises in designing innovative leadership programs for executive teams. Conrad is the founder of Sport Environment www.sportenvironment.com


Dr Sam Vine – is an Experimental Psychologist, with a broad range of interests in the area of skill learning, expertise and performance under pressure. I am particularly interested in how we can use an evidence-based approach to training, to design better learning and performance environments. I work with athletes, the military, heavy industry and medicine. I am interested in using technology to improve the training and performance monitoring process (e.g. virtual reality and eye tracking technology).


Liam FitzGerald-Finch QGM – is a former British Army Officer who has served in major conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a high threat bomb disposal operator and team commander.

Liam joined the regular Army in 1999 and worked in several roles prior to becoming an Ammunition Technical Officer and subsequently one of the most qualified and experienced bomb disposal operators.

Liam has commanded Improvised Explosive Device Disposal teams within the high-threat counter terrorist arena and has significant experience of working in austere conditions and under exceptional stress including two combat tours supporting warfighting troops with intimate bomb disposal support. Liam was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 2009 following a particularly busy night’s work in Afghanistan. In his role as a team commander, Liam also managed and operated in support of the UK police firearms response and for various other UK counter terrorist capabilities.

Liam retired from the Army in 2012 and joined the United Nations Mine Action Service and lived in Libya, post revolution, before moving back to the UK and forming a specialist consultancy service providing training, advice and weapons investigative services. He lives in Herefordshire with his wife and their two children.


Steven Shorrock – is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist interested in real human and system behavior, with experience in aviation, rail, onshore process industries, healthcare and government administration. He has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology, an MSc (Eng) in Work Design and Ergonomics, and a PhD on human error analysis and prediction. For over 20 years, he has worked in academia and in internal and external consultancy, on including high-profile infrastructure projects, and collaborative safety and just culture projects spanning over 30 European countries. He has developed a range of HF tools used internationally and co-written a number of white papers (EUROCONTROL/FAA/UK CAA). He currently works at EUROCONTROL, primarily as Safety Culture Programme Leader and as Editor-in-Chief of HindSight magazine (bit.ly/HindSightMagazine). He is also an Invited member of ICAO Human Performance Task Force and Adjunct Associate Professor at University of the Sunshine Coast (Centre for Human Factors & Sociotechnical Systems). In a private capacity, he blogs at http://www.humanisticsystems.com and has recently co-edited Human Factors and Ergonomics in Practice: Improving performance and wellbeing in the real world (CRC Press) (https://hfeinpractice.wordpress.com).


Rob Davis – is the Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Avon Fire and Rescue, Director, responsible for Preventing, Protecting and Response within the service. He has been a Firefighter for 27 years, undertaking most FRS roles; including operational response, Hazmat advisor, national inter-agency liaison officer for counter terrorist incidents, flood advisor, trainer/instructor, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) technician, technical fire safety and unitary manager. Rob has attended numerous emergency response incidents within his career.

Rob introduced the subject of Non-Technical Skills to Avon Fire and Rescue and started a training programme for all commanders in the understanding and application of NTS in the command setting. This led to tactical decision making being adopted by the service for all Officers and Firefighters.

In addition, Rob is one of the Team Leaders for a UK NGO and recognised United Nations organisation, involved in search and rescue response and disaster risk reduction activities around the world. Rob has responded to the Mozambique floods (2000), Sri Lanka tsunami (2004), Pakistan earthquake (2006) and Haiti earthquake (2010) as a Team Leader.


Professor Vincent Walsh – is Professor of Human Brain Research at University College London. In 30 years of research, he has published over 350 papers on brain stimulation, creativity, decision making under pressure, human vision, learning, and sleep. He is the series editor of Progress in Brain Research and serves as an editor for Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Brain Stimulation and Current Biology. In applying his knowledge, he’s worked with numerous businesses and organisations such as BP, CIPD, Google, GSK, Lloyd’s Register, Team GB, YouTube, and he currently heads psychology and mental skills at Fulham FC.  Vincent is also the Chief Scientific Officer of sleepdeep®, an innovative new start-up that has developed the world’s first range of sleepwear that is physiologically evidenced to improve sleep quality.