Our panel of judges gathered at The Observer HQ for a lively afternoon of discussion to decide who made the final list of 50 New Radicals. The list was whittled down from more than a 1,000 submissions across 10 categories: community action; environment; health; employment/jobs; politics; media, architecture and the arts; science and technology; business; education; food.
The Judging Panel
Yvonne is an award winning journalist and broadcaster. She has worked in television current affairs and documentaries as well as for a number of newspapers. She has been Chief Leader Writer on The Observer since 2011. She has written three novels and several non-fiction books on education, gender and social policy. She is a Fellow of the Young Foundation, a trustee of Women in Prison and Maslaha and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
Geoff has been the chief executive of Nesta since 2011, and led its transition from the public sector to an independent charity. He was previously the first Chief Executive of the Young Foundation and has worked widely across politics, academia and the media. He remains a visiting professor at LSE, UCL and Melbourne University, and has written four books.
Professor Rahman is the head of genetics and epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research. She specialises in clinical genomics, completing her PhD in 1999. This year, she was named as the third most influential woman in Britain in the BBC Woman’s Hour power list. You can follow her latest work on her blog.
Pictured above: Peter Holbrook and Bobbi Byrne
John took over as Editor of The Observer at the beginning of 2008. Prior to that he was Deputy Editor for nine years with specific responsibility for the magazines and weekly features supplements. Before joining The Observer John was Media Editor of The Guardian for four years, consolidating its position as the landmark media section in the UK and later launching it as a stand-alone section. A native of Dublin, he has worked in journalism for over 25 years. He is a trustee of the charity Body & Soul. John received a BA at Dublin City University, before studying for an MA at California State University, Sacramento.
Kamila is a multi-talented writer. She is the author of five novels, and a regular reviewer and columnist for The Guardian, and has previously contributed articles to both Prospect Magazine and the New Statesman. Born in Karachi, she studied in the US in both New York and Massachusetts before moving to London. Her novels are internationally acclaimed and have been translated into over 20 languages.
Jane has edited The Observer New Review since 2005. She was previously the paper’s arts editor, a role she also held at the London Evening Standard. Jane has written widely across the industry, including for the Sunday Telegraph and Time Out.
Pictured above: Morna Simpson and John Mulholland
Jay is one of the UK’s most prominent restaurant critics. He has worked for The Observer since 1988, and his diverse career has seen him write for GQ, Esquire and the New Statesman. He is also a published novelist, and has become a recognisable face to millions through his regular appearances on the BBC’s MasterChef and The One Show.
Peter is a champion of fighting social inequality. He is currently the Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, an organisation that champions social enterprise in order to promote policy change. He was previously the founding CEO of the Sunlight Development Trust. He is an adviser to government and is director of the Big Society Trust.
Julian leads the Lankelly Chase Foundation, who combat disadvantage and help people who have been marginalised by society. He began his career in academia before taking on roles in the civil service and voluntary sector. He is a trustee of Clinks, the membership body for organisations that work with offenders and their families.
Steve is the Chief Executive of Local Solutions, a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable and excluded people. Based in Liverpool, he has spent his entire career in the NHS and voluntary sector, including eight years as chair of the Merseyside NHS Trust. He is a trustee of The Reader Foundation, which uses shared reading as a tool for social action.
Pictured above: Geoff mulgan, Nazneen Rahman and Yvonne Roberts
Founder of the online creative tech community Girl Geek Scotland, Morna has had a diverse digital career, including creating her own startup FlockEdu and contributing to the development of a BSc combining computing and design at the University of Dundee. She currently works as a European Project Manager for CogBooks, an adaptive online educational platform used by universities in both the UK and the USA.
Gemma is a television and radio presenter, who currently fronts the early breakfast show on BBC Radio 1. Starting her career as a fashion designer, she moved into presenting, including hosting the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage. She writes a monthly music column for Company Magazine, and was recently nominated for a Broadcast Digital Award for co-creating The Fox Problem, the first entertainment show broadcast via a Google Hangout.
Bobbi is a professional actress with Creative Arts Management (CAM) talent agency, noted for playing the lead role in hit theatre production Baby/lon, with The Big House Theatre Company in Hackney. However, her background is in social care, having worked in youth justice as a Targeted Youth Support Officer with Somerset Youth Offending Team. She is also a respite carer, a qualified basketball coach and has delivered lectures on leadership across the globe.
Pictured above: Julian Corner