Festival of Thought Speakers
Meet our team who speak internationally into fields ranging from Politics and Business to Science, Philosophy and Theology. Each Festival comprises a unique selection from our team, tailored to speak into the questions facing the local business comunity and those who work there. Here is the team for South Africa in April 2018.
Politics • Business • Culture
Michael Ramsden was brought up in the Middle East and later moved to England to study Law. Michael worked for the Lord Chancellor’s department investing funds. He taught Moral Philosophy and lectured for the International Seminar for Jurisprudence and Human Rights in Strasbourg. He has been a Scholar-in-Residence at the Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre in Switzerland. Michael has lectured at the White House and has addressed leaders at NATO HQ in Brussels, Members of the European Parliament, as well as banking professionals and investment managers on the recent global financial crisis.
Theology • Culture • Politics
Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing is the Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa Director of RZIM. She leads a team of pioneering apologist-evangelists and speaks around the world on how the Christian faith answers the deepest questions of life.
Over the last twenty years, Amy has spoken on university campuses, including Oxford, Cambridge, Vienna, Hong Kong, Phoenix, Massachusetts, in the Speakers Rooms and Chapel at the UK Parliament, on Capitol Hill, and to West Wing staff at the White House. She also speaks in banks, businesses, and consultancy firms, as well as churches and conferences.
Amy gained a first-class degree in Theology and a DPhil (doctorate) from the University of Oxford and is an Associate Tutor at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She is also the co-founder of REBOOT, a youth apologetics initiative aimed at helping young people think deeply about faith, which now runs in countries all over the world.
Amy is married to Frog and helps lead Latimer Minster, a church plant and community on a farm in Buckinghamshire, and they have three children.
Science • Business • Culture • Theology
Professor John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science. He is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum and an Associate Fellow of Said Business School, Oxford University. In addition to over seventy published mathematical papers, he is the co-author of two research level texts in algebra in the Oxford Mathematical Monographs series. He is interested in the interface between science, philosophy and theology. His books include God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?, God and Stephen Hawking, and Gunning for God.
Culture • Science • Theology
Mahlatse Mashua is Director of RZIM South Africa. Mahlatse grew up in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province and went on to study Biochemistry at the University of KwaZulu Natal and Theology at the University of Oxford. Mahlatse has been at the forefront of research into the social attitudes and concerns of modern-day South Africa, especially on University campuses. His speaking and writing focuses on the generation of insight and effective responses to issues in these contexts. Mahlatse speaks regularly on campuses, workplaces and political environments across the country and beside his own appearances on mainstream radio, has hosted a public debate between Professor John Lennox and Eusebius McKaiser. Married to Lusanda and living in Cape Town, Mahlatse is uniquely equipped to provide insight to the issues facing 21st century South Africa in the areas of race, identity and reconciliation.
Business • Theology • Philosophy
Andy Moore co-founded Festival of Thought at Canary Wharf, London and continues to share its leadership globally. Andy has a background in business having previously worked as an advisor to Private Equity houses in London and in Financial Operations for a NASDAQ-listed multinational. He continues to serve on the Board of Trustees for several charities in London. Andy is a Chartered Accountant in England and Wales and is nearing completion of a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. A keen sportsman and business savvy, Andy speaks keenly into themes of integrity in the workplace, corruption and morality.
Politics • Business • Culture
Max Jeganathan was born in Sri Lanka but moved to Australia with his parents as a refugee when he was a baby. He graduated from the Australian National University with degrees in Law and Political Science. After practicing law, Max worked as a political and policy adviser in the Australian parliament for seven years, most recently as the senior social policy adviser to the Leader of the Federal Opposition. Max has recently completed a degree in Theology at the University of Oxford. Max’s research interests relate to the relationship between faith, the role of government and Christian moral frameworks. Max speaks globally at businesses, universities, conferences and debates.
Politics • Culture • Economics
Simon Edwards holds separate degrees in law, economics and education from the University of Queensland, Australia and recently completed post-graduate studies in Theology at the University of Oxford. Simon has a diverse background of Christian ministry, legal, government and teaching experience, previously specializing in commercial law and government practice in constitutional law.
Simon is a gifted communicator and regularly speaks on media platforms concerning historical evidence for the Christian faith from his perspective as a commercial lawyer.
Theology • Culture • Philosophy
Lara Buchanan holds degrees in History, English Literature and Education from the University of Cape Town as well as a Certificate in Theology and Apologetics from the Oxford Centre for Chirstian Apologetics and Oxford University. Lara has a special interest in the historical claims of Jesus’ resurrection as well the impact of Jesus’ life and teaching on human flourishing. Lara has spoken in various academic and financial institutions in Africa, Europe and across the UK. Her hope is to develop connections with people from other cultures and religious backgrounds and to explore the deep questions of life and faith together in the context of friendship and development.
Culture • Business • Theology
Racheal Mutesi is based in Uganda. Prior to coming to Oxford to study theology in 2014, Racheal completed her bachelor of commerce at Makerere University. Racheal has spoken extensively on university campuses across Africa into a range of topics including, the injustices of war, poverty and famine. Living in Kampala Racheal also volunteers as the regional coordinator for World Shine Ministries.
Theology • Culture • Media
Justice Okoronkwo is from Nigeria. Drawing on his background in Theology, Justice is a key voice into the region speaking powerfully on the effects of globalisation in developing Africa. Justice is also an Archdeacon in the Diocese of Jos and is invited to speak regularly across various churches and university Campuses in Nigeria and other West African countries. His passion is to reach and speak into the emerging trends based on ideologies like relativism, secularism and religious pluralism. Given his context in Jos Justice speaks from personal experience on the issues of whether faith is dangerous and whether there can be grace in grievance?
Business • Science • Culture
Daniel Rangel is an Itinerant Speaker with RZIM and focuses primarily speaking with universities and the corporate world. Daniel worked designing offshore drilling platforms as an engineer for various projects in the Gulf of Mexico and in the North Sea. He then became an international sales representative overseeing clientele across Latin America while living in Quito, Ecuador. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University before graduating from the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. Daniel is fluent in both English and Spanish and has a passion for people to understand and believe the Christian faith.
Politics • Culture • Philosophy
Dr. Tanya Walker is a political scientist and public speaker. Born in Tehran and educated at the Universities of Oxford and London, she worked in the political sphere both lobbying and advising on issues to do with individual and group rights in a liberal framework. Tanya returned to the Academy in 2006 where her PhD focussed on the dynamics of power in community, faith in the public sphere, and the complexities of multiculturalism. She is now the Dean of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics where her greater focus is in the area of faith and rationality, and she speaks internationally on its related themes.
Journalism • Culture • Business
Hassan John is a Nigeria born journalist and community development worker involved in peace-keeping initiatives and educational and entrepreneurial programmes for Internally Displaced Peoples.
In 2010 Hassan became a stringer and local producer for CNN, reporting on the ethno-religious convicts in Jos from the first bomb attacks on Christmas eve in 2010. Hassan broke the news of the abduction of the 276 Chibok girls by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State, Northeastern Nigeria. Drawing on his experiences and unique exposure to some of the most harrowing and tragic war crimes of our world, Hassan speaks powerfully into themes of corruption, peace-keeping and integrity.
Theology • Culture • Philosophy
Mike Day is an OCCA fellow and speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Originally from Cape Town, he spent two years studying Apologetics, Ethics and Theology in Oxford where his work focussed particularly on the Historicity of the Christian Faith, Identity and Personhood, Mental Health as well as Comparative Worldview Studies. Mike now continues to travel globally speaking to the following titles: ‘Can a Thinking Person Believe in God?’, ‘Can We Trust the Bible’, ‘Christianity and Freedom: Help or Hindrance?’ and ‘Jesus: Myth, Man, or More Than?’.