illuminate 2019

illuminate 2019

Climate change, inequality, and persistent poverty are just some of the major challenges our world is facing today. Whilst incredible progress has been made in recent years, new solutions are needed to help create a safer, fairer and more prosperous world for all.

From revolutionary medical technologies that could save the lives of millions to viral photographic campaigns that challenge stereotypes and build bridges between cultures, the possibilities of the arts and sciences to change the world are limitless.

The first illuminate took place on 6 July 2019, when students visited one of London’s newest architectural gems – the Aga Khan Centre – and listened to a world-renowned artist or scientist discuss how they are responding to some of the developing world’s most pressing issues.

Students were then set a question to answer as either a 2,000 word essay or a 5 minute video blog to be submitted by 8 August 2019. Entries were then reviewed by an independent panel of judges and the winner announced at an event on 14 September 2019.

Read about the event here.

2019’s Speakers

Jessica Fulford-Dobson – Acclaimed photographer, second-prize winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for her series ‘Skate Girls of Kabul’
Speaking about
Art with Impact: Blending Art, Story Telling and Journalism
Professor El-Nasir LalaniDirector at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, Aga Khan University, Pakistan
Speaking about
Stem Cells: Medical Technology Can Have A Profound Economic and Societal Impact in the Developing World

2019’s Competition

Photojournalism Competition Questions



How can the arts be used to challenge perceptions about people, places and cultures and offer an alternative narrative to the one presented by the media?




To what extent has social media had a positive impact on journalism?

Stem Cell Research Competition Questions



In 50 years’ time, what do you think all the possible applications of stem cell research will be? Justify your answer.




What are the ethical, legal and social issues around the use of stem cells and to what extent should governments regulate research?

Award Ceremony with Speaker, Cressida Pollock

Cressida Pollock will be presenting the prizes to the winners of 2019’s illuminate competition on 14 September at the Ismaili Centre, South Kensington.

Cressida Pollock is the former Chief Executive of English National Opera. She led ENO from 2015 to 2018 after being brought in to rescue a national performing arts institution from closure. A deep generalist who focuses on transforming organisations and systems, she has advised national and multi-national companies, governments and NGOs on strategic challenges and systemic change. She currently advises on philanthropic and commercial investment to shift the current trajectory on climate change and promote long term sustainable development. She holds an undergraduate degree from Cambridge and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a non-practising Barrister and member of Lincoln’s Inn.

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