Ben Curtis

Ben Curtis is the Research Director in the Centre for International Education with the UK’s National Foundation for Educational Research. Previously, he was Senior Advisor in the Behavioural Insights Team, the world’s first governmental unit dedicated to applying behavioural science to public policy. He led projects with the UK’s Department of Education and Department for International Development. For more than a decade he was a professor at Seattle University, where he taught global politics and policy and founded the university’s Poverty Education Center. He can be contacted at benjaminwcurtis@yahoo.com.


Rez Gardi

Rez was born in a refugee camp in Pakistan after her family escaped their homeland owing to the persecution of Kurds and she has now resettled in New Zealand. She is the first in her family to graduate from secondary school and university. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Law (Honours) focussing on International Law and Human Rights; and a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in International Relations and Criminology. She is now New Zealand’s first Kurdish female lawyer. Rez works in corporate litigation at New Zealand’s premier law firm, Chapman Tripp, and has previously worked at the United Nations Office in Nairobi as a human rights intern. She is passionate about supporting young refugees through a mentoring and support programme to try and address the underrepresentation of refugee students in tertiary education as she believes education is pivotal to changing the future for refugees. She represented New Zealand at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Geneva, the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Conference in Bangkok and was a youth delegate at the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges in Geneva. She is the youth advisor for the New Zealand Red Cross as part of their national humanitarian team and leads projects for refugee youth throughout New Zealand.

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Gül İnanç

Founder and COB

Gül İnanç is a lecturer at School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her areas of interest and expertise include: modern diplomatic history of West Asia, history and intercultural education for peace. She has three books and various articles on Turkish diplomatic history. Her recent published work focuses mostly on history education for secondary schools, intercultural and global cultural heritage education for peace and conflict resolution.

In 2004 she headed the team which re-wrote the history text book (3rd Vol) for high school education in North Cyprus. In 2007 she was the first Turkish scholar to teach simultaneously at the University of Cyprus (the Greek Cypriot state university) and Eastern Mediterranean University (Turkish Cypriot state university). Her current projects include creating student activity books/animated films/story books promoting global cultural heritage, deciphering the codes of contemporary religious art in the interfaith contexts and working with UNESCO on writing teacher’s source books for ASEAN countries. She has been awarded Koh Boon Hwee Scholar in 2016. She can be contacted at gul.inanc@initiativeour.org.


Graham Orpwood

Graham Orpwood is a professor emeritus of education at York University (Toronto) but is now based in the UK. His interests are in mathematics, science and technology education and in educational assessment and in using his experience to contribute to the improvement of education elsewhere in the world. He can be contacted at gorpwood@gmail.com.


Michael J. K. Walsh

Michael J. K. Walsh has been an educator for twenty five years. His career in the classroom began as a TEFL teacher in Athens (Greece) then as Director of Studies of Inlingua Monza (Italy). After completing his PGCE in History at the University of Cambridge he worked at TASIS – Hellenic International School (Greece), Francis Holland School (UK) and Rochester Independent College (UK). Following his D. Phil in Art History at the University of York he became an Assistant Professor at Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus and is currently Associate Professor of Art History at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Michael is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Historical Society and can be contacted at michaeljkwalsh@hotmail.com.


Arash Bordbar

Arash is a 23 year-old refugee from Iran living in Australia. He travelled to Malaysia at the age of 17 and registered with UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur. He spent five years in Malaysia before being resettled to Australia in May 2015. Arash is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Western Sydney. He has experience volunteering and working for organizations supporting young refugees, in Malaysia (HELP College of Arts and Technology , UNHCR, Sahabat Support Centre and more recently in Australia (Auburn Diversity Services Young Leaders Group , Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network Youth Ambassador , Settlement Services International volunteer ). Arash is an advocate for gender equality, sexual rights, and access to education and employment opportunities. He participated in the Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Australia and the Global Consultation in Geneva. He participated in the Global Refugee Youth Consultation in Australia and Geneva in June 2016 and since then have traveled to Malaysia where he planned and ran a youth consultation and meetings with the various NGOs he used to work with. He has also traveled to Bangkok, Thailand for the APRRN6 (Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network) where he was elected as the deputy chair in the youth working group. He has been invited to various youth consultations in Australia where he shared his experience from Geneva and his various participation across the country and he was just recently awarded the Young People Human Rights Medal for the Year 2016 by Australia Human Rights.


Ekin Öz

Ekin Öz is a MA student in Global Studies at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She has graduated from Koç University with a major in International Relations. Her research interests include conflict resolution, global security and migration studies. During her undergraduate studies, she organized TEDxKoçUniversity for two years and started working on Peacemakers in Koç University. This project aims to address the most salient problems in conflict resolution each year. This year' s workshop focus is "Migration and Securitization: Views from the Balkan Corridor". She can be contacted at ekin.oz@initiativeour.org .