December 4th 2019 | Prospero House, 241 Borough High Street London SE1 1GA


David Ripert, Chapter President - UK, The AR / VR Association - Conference Chair

David plays an active role in the VR and AR industry, as Chapter President - UK for the VR/AR Association, the largest trade body in the industry, with 4,200 global members. He is also CEO of Poplar, a platform that empowers the World to easily create AR experiences. Poplar activates a new generation of global AR creators and provides collaborative tools that make AR affordable and quick.

For 6 years, David oversaw the EMEA arm of Google’s global YouTube division dedicated to working with creators, media companies and brands, identifying new and rising talent, driving innovation and building creator spaces for them to collaborate, learn and grow. He was previously VP of content at Dailymotion for 4 years in New York and Paris, after some years at Netflix in Los Angeles, where he started his career in film and TV 17 years ago.

David is a board member of Save the Children UK and Sadler’s Wells in London. He is a judge at the Webby Awards and a Founder's Network Member of Tech Nation.

Jeremy Dalton, member of the Advisory Board, Immerse UK and Head of VR/AR, PwC UK - Opening Keynote

Jeremy leads PwC's VR/AR team, helping clients understand, quantify, and implement the benefits of virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

He has worked with organisations across multiple industries and is a regular contributor of thought leadership in the space. His specialism in these immersive technologies has led to him giving talks all over the world about their potential, from Twitter’s headquarters in London to the SXSW technology festival in Austin, Texas.

As part of his mission to educate, connect and inspire, he sits on the advisory board of ImmerseUK, a UK government supported cross-sector network for businesses, research and educational organisations that are engaged with immersive technologies.

Jessica Driscoll, Head of Technology - Immersive, Digital Catapult - Closing Keynote

Jessica provides technical leadership across all immersive technologies, including virtual, augmented, mixed reality as well as new forms of human-computer interface and advanced data visualization. She has experience of working with a wide variety of immersive technologies from training and development applications to entertainment in a range of industries including NGO's, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Pharmaceutical and Construction to name a few. She has also worked in BBC R&D on a range of award winning CR&D projects including testing virtual production workflows and capacity building in the immersive industry in the UK. She has an MA in Digital Culture and Technology and is interested in the interplay between humans and technology and is also an award winning VR Producer on work which explores these themes.

Alison Alexander, CEO, Cornerstone Partnership

Alison has a long career in working with and for young people. At 17 Alison was representing young people in care to senior executives across England – advocating for changes in the system to improve young people lives – including her own. At 19, whilst living independently, Alison took on an advisory role for the Canadian child welfare system. This led to her advising child welfare systems and young people in Canada, America, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Holland on how to give young people in care a voice.  

Alison launched the first International Youth In Care Network.  A network drawing young people form care together from across the globe to share experience and offer each other assistance.  At the age of 21 Alison left her international work behind to work in Children’s services. 

23 years later after numerous roles in the public and voluntary sector around the South East of England Alison become Director of Children’s Services in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Over her career Alison has authored a book that won a Pavilion Award on Mentoring for careleavers;  and specialised in transform education provision; youth services; health and social care. 

More recently Alison was the first Director of Children’s services to transform children’s service through transferring the entire statutory function, along with children’s health services out of the local authority.  As Director of Adult Services Alison strengthen partners with the Health sector to improve service quality. 

In the last four years Alison was MD of the Royal Borough, working in a highly political environment, transformed the council including significantly changing the constitution; size and shape of elected members and transferred 80% of the councils functions into a broad range of partnerships – actions driven through her commitment and passion to improve services children, families and the wider communities receive from public services. 

Alison is using her experience as CEO of Cornerstone to increase the number of local authorities using the highly innovative Virtual Reality to improve the lives of children touched by the care system.

Caroline Bengo, Lead Facilitator & Clinical Specialist, Cornerstone Partnership

Caroline is a qualified social worker with over twenty years’ experience. She has worked in both statutory and voluntary sectors and has extensive experience of working with a broad range of families including birth, foster and adoptive from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

Since 2011 Caroline has been a practice tutor for the CYP-IAPT parenting modality, is now associate clinical tutor and has been a tutor for the supervision programme. She has a post-graduate diploma in systemic psychotherapy, is a VIPP-SD intervenor, has been trained in the Incredible Years and Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Programme and is a BABCP Evidence Based Parenting Trainer.

David Edge, Associate Director, Virtual & Visualisation Leader, Arup

David is an Associate director of Arup and the Creative leader of Arup Virtual, a studio that specialises in experience design, their ethos brings together human computer interaction, extended reality, advanced visualisation and serious games design.

He is driven with the opportunities in applied innovation in communication of the built environment by integrating data, emergent technologies and specialisms enabling better decision making, operational simulation and design outcomes.

He has led major visualisation and commissions such as the London 2012 Olympics and legacy and passenger simulation in High Speed two. His work has been featured extensively at exhibitions and on the media worldwide.


Phil Gurnett Human, Factors and Simulation Training Officer, Clinical Education, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

Phil qualified as a Registered Nurse in 2003 having worked prior as a Healthcare Assistant. He has clinical experience working in Emergency Care and Cardiology. Within Cardiology he worked as a ward manager and Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Phil’s first exposure to Simulation Based Education was as part of resuscitation training and he has since gone on to complete an MSc in Medical and Healthcare Simulation. 

In 2017 Phil took up the Role of Human Factors and Simulation Training officer with responsibility in delivering undergraduate and postgraduate simulation based education and to promote Human Factors education and practice in Healthcare. He has spent the past year investigating the application of VR in healthcare education and is currently rolling out VR simulation at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust.

Phil is passionate about inter-professional education, the application of Human Factors / Ergonomics to Healthcare and the use of new technologies in education.

Qualifications include: Dip HE (Nursing), BSc Hons Inter-professional Health and Social Care (Coronary Heart Disease), PG Cert Healthcare Leadership, MSc Medical and Healthcare Simulation, PG Cert Ergonomics, and Resuscitation Council UK Advance Life Support (ALS) Instructor

Jonathan Kennard, Editor, Training Journal

Jon is digital editor of TJ, with a decade's experience in learning and development and 15 years in digital publishing. 

Having studied maths at university, Jon gained digital media experience working for record labels and other media companies in the early 2000s, before becoming a freelance writer and social media consultant a decade later.

With one parent who worked as a university lecturer and the other a management consultant, coupled with his own professional development in media, Jon thinks L&D publishing for business is the job he was always going to do.

Based on his own unconventional career progression he says "you never know when or where you might discover something that changes the way you work and think, so always be available to learn". 

Christophe Mallet, CEO, BODYSWAPS

After nearly a decade spent between digital strategy consultancy and award-winning VR studio Somewhere Else, Paris-born Christophe co-founded BODYSWAPS® with one mission: to unlock human potential in the workplace with the help of immersive technologies. BODYSWAPS® is an immersive learning platform designed specifically for behavioral training. Leveraging VR & AI, BODYSWAPS® transforms organisations by empowering employees to and practice new ways of thinking and acting. The platform is currently used for psychiatric nursing, conflict management and safeguarding awareness training programmes.

Christophe is an international speaker and regular podcaster on VR and learning. He has recently delivered talks for the International Labor Organisation, the European Training Foundation and the European Immersive Computing Summit.

Dr Neil McDonnell, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow for Virtual and Augmented Reality, University of Glasgow

Neil is the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow for Virtual and Augmented Reality at the University of Glasgow. Following a career in the 3D Visualisation industry with The Soluis Group, and after co-founding the software arm of the company, Neil returned to academia to pursue his PhD in Philosophy. He has held academic posts in Glasgow, Sydney, and Hamburg, and has published widely on topics in philosophy, the use of immersive tech, and the intersection between the two. Neil is the University of Glasgow lead on the Innovate UK-funded Project Mobius. This project, led by project partner Sublime Digital, aims to use immersive technology, and analytics, to transform education.

Justin Parry, Co-founder & COO, Immerse

Justin has 20 years of experience creating and growing B2C and B2B products for start-ups and global organisations. He has developed and launched online platforms, websites and mobile products across the world and joined Immerse from his role as Global Director of Internet Yellow Pages for Yell Group.

Justin is Chief Operating Officer and leads the Product strategy for Immerse. As Co-founder, he designed and led product development of the Immerse Virtual Enterprise Platform. He now oversees the delivery of all technology and VR content across the organisation.

Chimeren Peerbhai, Global Product Lead, Babylon Health

Chimeren is an award-winning product director, who thrives on developing best-in-class products incorporating VR/AR, AI and ML. In her role as Global Product Lead for Internationalisation at Babylon Health, she manages high-performing teams to transform multifaceted problems into globally scalable solutions.

With over 19 years’ experience in product strategy and application development; she initially trained as a multimedia developer before founding a creative agency and later working for the some of the world's most forward-thinking medical companies such as GSK and Abbott. She also developed the first eLearning course on how to integrate wearable technologies into your product and marketing strategies, available on Udemy.

This drive in applying technology to some of the industry's most fundamental challenges has helped Chimeren to gain placement in 3 NHS Innovation Test Beds, win multiple awards and Innovate UK grants for new product development, as well as being selected to receive 1 of the 200 Exceptional Technology Talent UK Visas.

Paul Speight, Watch Manager and VR Training, Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service

Paul Speight joined Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) in 1988. After serving 16 years at many fire and rescue stations and attending many challenging incidents as a firefighter and Crew Manager, he transferred into the Community Safety team as Watch Manager.

Paul was given the references for Fire Investigation and road safety, his bid for funding enabled him to develop and create the VF4 crash car simulator for educating young drivers.

After the success of the VF4 car, Paul looked into newly emerging virtual reality (VR) and 360 filming technology which immerses participants in totally lifelike scenarios.  

The VF4-360 was produced as part of LFRS road safety educational package and it was not long before its use spread worldwide.

LFRS then changed Paul’s role to work specifically with 360 films to education the public, and virtual reality training for operational staff.

Paul shows how the UKs Fire and Rescue Services are embracing new technologies with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service now the lead service for VR as nominated by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)


Sam Trendall, Editor, Public Technology

Sam is editor of PublicTechnology, the UK’s leading source of daily news and analysis for anyone interested in how the public sector is using technology and digital platforms to transform citizen services. Sam has been a technology journalist for over 10 years and worked for various IT and business publications before joining PublicTechnology in June 2017.