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29 February 2024 - 29 February 2024

6:00PM - 7:30PM


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Join us online for one of this year’s signature Global Week events. 

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Headshots of the host, Professor Joe Elliott, and the five event speakers

Join us online on the evening of Thursday 29 February from 6pm (GMT).

We will be joined by a panel of outstanding Durham alumni community members who have each excelled in their chosen professional and personal pathways. 

From the worlds of performance sport and the fast paced and dynamic environments of entrepreneurship and global business and networks, each will share their powerful Durham journeys, career and life learnings and insights around ‘Developing a high-performance mindset’.

Read more to see our esteemed panel for this not to be missed signature, Global Week alumni event on Thursday 29 February 2024.


Professor Joe Elliott

Headshot of event host, Joe

Joe Elliott is Principal of Collingwood College. He joined Durham University in 2004 from the University of Sunderland where he was Acting Dean of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning.

Joe is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a member of the REF 2014 Education Panel. His research and teaching interests include dyslexia, achievement motivation, working memory difficulties, SEN, behaviour management, cognitive education, and psychological assessment. 


Guest Speakers: 

Ian Baggett

Headshot of event speaker, Ian

As founder and CEO of Adderstone Group, Ian has made a significant contribution to economic development and regeneration in the North East of England. His charitable foundation has contributed more than £803,000 in donations and support to initiatives including delivering supplies to war-affected regions of Ukraine and helping ex-offenders find employment.

In 2023, Ian was appointed by Durham University Business School as a Professor in Practice. On accepting the role, Ian’s stated aim was to help inspire pupils from the region to choose Durham University and students already at Durham University to stay on in the region and build great careers, businesses, and lives. Adderstone Group is responsible for housing more than 1% of the population in Newcastle’s urban core.

Ian has been involved in more than 50 start-up companies, creating more than £1.1bn in economic output and thousands of jobs, resulting in a North East Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2007. He is on the Board of OpenWorks Engineering Limited, a security-technology business whose technology has been used to defend three successive US presidents, and of Turbo Power Systems Limited, where he supported a management buyout and delisting from the Canadian stock market in 2017.

After a period in the Royal Navy, Ian worked as a trainee surveyor with Sanderson Townend and Gilbert (now Sanderson Wetherall) before committing full time to growing Adderstone, his business. Ian holds a BSc (Hons) in Geography, and a PhD in Political Geography from Durham University and is a published academic author. Whilst an undergraduate, Ian wrote his dissertation on student accommodation, which doubled up as a business plan enabling him to borrow £13,000 from Northern Rock to fund his first development. Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, has represented Team GB at tennis and is a successful veteran of the UK Ironman.


Katharine Ford

Headshot of event speaker, Katie

Katharine Ford is a multi record-breaking British ultracyclist, epilepsy campaigner and Non Executive Director in the sport industry. Appointed President and Chair of the World UltraCycling Association in 2022, she was the first woman in the sport’s 43-year history to lead the global governing body. 

Katharine studied Sport at Durham, completing her degree in 2010. To date she is still the youngest British female and first ever Scot to officially complete the 3000-mile Race Across America, across all its categories, aged 22 years and 2 months and while still an undergraduate student at Durham. In 2017, she set the 100km, 200km, 300km and 6 hour Women's track cycling world records, also becoming the first Briton to ride 12 hours on an indoor velodrome. 

She is currently serving as the first Independent Chair of British Dodgeball, and an Independent Director of The Commonwealth Games Scotland Youth Trust. She has previously served on the boards of Disability Sport London, The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, Sported’s Scottish Board of Advisors, and as an Observer on the UK communications regulator OFCOM’s Content Board. 

Katharine is an ambassador for the Edinburgh Sick Children's Hospital, Epilepsy Action and Epilepsy Research UK. She was selected to carry the Olympic flame ahead of the London Games in 2012, in recognition of her epilepsy advocacy work and her work within the sports industry.


Iynna Halilou

Headshot of event speaker, Iynna

Iynna is passionate about partnering with start-up founders and providing them with the tools and network to be successful. As a Partner at venture capital firm, the MBA Fund, she supports founders from the top startup-producing universities to create successful companies.

Iynna is also a Principal at Defiance Capital, a new venture capital firm backing founders in Health, Climate, and using AI across the US and Europe. She was previously an investor at Moxxie Ventures, where she backed software companies working in the fields of AI, climate, the future of work, and health.

Before this, Iynna’s experience includes building the global division of New York’s largest seed fund and tech accelerator, and running Muhammad Yunus-backed social impact accelerator Yunus & Youth, and led Operations for the award-winning edtech startup Enza Academy. Her career began at the United Nations, where she worked with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications & Media.

Iynna founded the global division of Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, where she helped over 1,000 clients to enter the US market. She has spent a considerable amount of time supporting companies from Scandinavia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Korea, the UK, Belgium, and Turkey.

After studying International Relations and Spanish at Durham, Iynna gained a Masters in International Development from NYU, and an MBA from the Wharton School. Iynna has been recognised by as a Top Rising Star VC by Business Insider, and recently won a British Council Study UK Alumni Award. Originally from Africa, she has lived and worked all over the world.

In her free time, Iynna co-runs Elpha, the largest ‘women in tech’ platform with over 100,000 members globally. She is a fitness enthusiast and an avid runner - currently in training for her next marathon. She loves cooking different cuisines and hosting dinner parties for her friends.


Josh Waddell

Headshot of event speaker, Josh

Current Durham student Josh Waddell is already a World Champion in para-fencing, having become world champion at U17 level, and now has his sights set on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Waddell, who has cerebral palsy, has fenced for over a decade and the sport that began as a hobby has now become transformed into something more serious on a global stage. Josh is an outstanding athlete, whose fencing career started at the age of 7 when he met his current coach Laszlo Jakab at a sports event for young disabled people. Lazslo is Head Coach at Durham University Fencing Club, which has a long-standing reputation for being one of the leading programmes in British University Sport, and is currently the #1 university fencing club in the country.

After becoming England’s top junior, Josh won his first junior international medal at the age of 14 and has now been competing on the senior circuit as a part of the men’s senior team from the age of 15. Josh is now in training to compete as part of the British team in the Paris Olympics this summer. He is taking time away from being a student at Durham to train full-time for the competition. Josh was the 2019 Under 17 World Champion. He is also the current under 23 World champion and a double 2022 European champion team member.