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How Can Young People Shape Systemic Change?

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How can young people shape systemic change

Welcome to 'How can young people shape systemic change?' – a dynamic virtual event where voices converge to inspire transformation. Hosted by the influential Hannah Walton, one of the UK's top 100 Changemakers, this gathering features a line-up of distinguished speakers: award-winning youth activist Sophia Badhan BCAh FRSA, Young Advisor and trustee Sophie Mattholie, dynamic advocate Angel Akpovi, and climate champion Rosella Cottam.

Immerse yourself in an interactive storytelling playground, where systemic challenges take centre stage. Engage in imaginative thinking and creative storytelling to envision alternative realities that address societal issues affecting the youth. Delve into discussions on empowering young individuals to actively participate in decision-making processes and contribute to positive change.

Our speakers bring diverse perspectives, expertise and personal narratives to the forefront. Hannah Walton, a trailblazer in advocacy, sets the stage for insightful conversations. Sophia Badhan, recognised on a national and international level, advocates for meaningful youth co-production globally. Sophie Mattholie, a Young Advisor and trustee, shares insights into grantmaking and youth-led initiatives. Angel Akpovi, a passionate sixteen-year-old, represents youth interests and champions equality. Rosella Cottam, a researcher and climate advocate, contributes to the discourse on tackling the climate crisis and gender inequalities.

This event is not just a gathering; it's a call to action. Join us in this vibrant virtual space, where spoken word and storytelling amplify diverse perspectives. Be part of the dialogue shaping systemic change and empowering young voices to create a brighter future. Together, let's forge a path towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Hannah Walton, 24, is an award-winning advocate, named as one of the top 100 Changemakers in the UK. As a lived-experience young leader, championing social justice and education equity, Hannah is a role model. Hannah's impact includes collaborations with The Diana Award, #iwill Movement, BBC, UN Women UK, and founding initiatives like the One/Third Project and Lead The Way Youth Summit.

Sophia Kaur Badhan, 22, is a multi-award-winning youth activist and speaker studying European Politics at the University of Groningen. Passionate about youth co-production, Sophia has been recognised nationally and internationally for her contributions to global youth activism, receiving accolades such as The Diana Award.

Sophie Mattholie, 21, is a student, advisor and charity trustee. Working as a Young Advisor to The Listening Fund and trustee of The LUNA Project, she offers unique insights into grant-making processes and youth-led initiatives.


Angel Akpovi, 16, is a passionate advocate, winner of the Young Writers Exhibition Spoken Word Poetry competition and Miss Teen Nigeria UK. Active in the Nottinghamshire Youth Commission, she represents youth interests, emphasising the significance of young voices in shaping the future.

Rosella Cottam, 24, is a researcher, innovator, and advocate for tackling the climate crisis and gender inequalities. Currently a fellow at the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University, Rosella's work focuses on increasing youth-led participation in environmental justice and strengthening collaboration to address global issues.

Part of our 2024 festival strand


How should our society overcome inequalities of race, gender, sexuality, income and disability?