Programme Mentors

We’ve drawn from MadLab’s multi-tentacled network of artists, scientists, technologists, and creative entrepreneurs, and assembled an exceptional group of national and international mentors. 

Mitch Altman

Mitch Altman is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for inventing the TV-B-Gone remote control – a keychain which turns off TVs in public places – of which more than half a million have been sold. He was also co-founder of 3ware (a successful Silicon Valley startup) and did pioneering work in Virtual Reality at VPL Research in the mid-1980s. He promotes hackerspaces and Open Source hardware wherever he goes. 

Mitch contributes to various magazines, wrote a chapter for O’Reilly’s recent “Maker Pro” publication, and for the past several years has been giving talks, and leading workshops around the world, teaching people to make cool things with micro-controllers and teaching everyone to solder.

He is a co-founder of Noisebridge hackerspace, and President and CEO of Cornfield Electronics.

Daniel Charny

Professor Daniel Charny is a London based creative consultant, curator and design educator. He is Creative Director at From Now On, a research studio and creative consultancy.

Charny holds a number of creative leadership roles including Creative Director of the British Council’s global Maker Library Network and non-Executive Director of the Central Research Laboratory, a hardware incubator in West London. Charny is the co-founder and director of Fixperts, a creative social campaign and design education programme.

He has been deeply involved in design education for over two decades including 14 years teaching at the Royal College of Art. He is a regular contributor to conferences, think-tanks, design juries and professional advisory boards. He is Professor of Design at Kingston University and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His curatorial projects include the influential Power of Making exhibition and public programme (2011, V&A Museum).

Emma Cheshire

Emma Cheshire is the co-founder/CEO of Dotforge and the Dotforge Impact accelerator– an early stage programme for social enterprises based in Manchester UK and backed by the RSA.

Prior to this, Emma was head of industry development at Screen Yorkshire. Back in 2011 whilst at the Arts Council, she was also  instrumental in backing MELT – a ground-breaking investment programme matching artists with businesses to create innovative new products and services.

Marc Dusseiller

Dr. Marc Dusseiller is a nomadic researcher, biohacker and artist. He is part of the Center for Alternative Coconut Research and co-founder of SGMK and the Hackteria network.

From Marc’s website:
“… Marc is a transdisciplinary scholar, lecturer for micro- and nanotechnology, cultural facilitator and artist. He performs DIY (do-it-yourself) workshops in lo-fi electronics and synths, hardware hacking for citizen science and DIY microscopy. He was co-organising Dock18, Room for Mediacultures, diy* festival (Zürich, Switzerland), KIBLIX 2011 (Maribor, Slovenia), workshops for artists, schools and children as the former president (2008-12) of the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society, SGMK. In collaboration with Kapelica Gallery, he has started the BioTehna Lab in Ljubljana (2012 - 2013), an open platform for interdisciplinary and artistic research on life sciences. Currently, he is developing means to perform bio- and nanotechnology research and dissemination, Hackteria | Open Source Biological Art, in a DIY / DIWO fashion in kitchens, ateliers and in developing countries. He was the co-organiser of the different editions of HackteriaLab 2010 - 2014 Zürich, Romainmotier, Bangalore and Yogyakarta”'aime

Cedric Honnet

Cedric Honnet is an interHacktivist, Arts&Tech addict, and Embedded Systems Engineer based in Paris, France. Cedric’s first passion was music and DJing, which led him to study electronics engineering and computer science. He's the co-founder of Tangible Display and the maker of (wearable tech). He has also worked as a firmware engineer at Sifteo in San Francisco. Cedric has created wearable musical instruments, virtual reality bike systems, interactive art pieces, smart implants and various other Open Source projects, some of which can be found here.

Nicola Triscott

Nicola Triscott is a cultural producer, curator and writer, specializing in the intersections between art, science, technology and society.

She is the founder and Director of The Arts Catalyst, one of the UK’s most distinctive arts organisations, distinguished by ambitious artists’ commissions that engage with science, including notable projects by Tomás Saraceno, Ashok Sukumaran, Aleksandra Mir, Otolith Group and Critical Art Ensemble, and the international dimension of its programme of exhibitions, events, research and publications. Nicola has curated many exhibitions and events for The Arts Catalyst.

She lectures and publishes internationally, including books on art and technology in the Arctic, art and space, and ecological art.

Venya Krutikov

Venya Krutikov is co-founder and principal technologist of The Kazimier, an energetic multi-disciplinary collective, who produce, direct and visualize site-specific immersive performances for large audiences, based in Liverpool.

David Li

David Li is a programmer, hacker and maker. In 2010 he participated in building China’s first Maker space, Xinchejian, and the promotion of Maker Movement and Maker culture in China. He has since established the think tank institution Hacked Matter, with a focus on studying Chinese copycat industry and culture.

David began his promotion of open source business in 1990. He is a member of the Free Software Foundation, a member on the Apache Software Foundation Project Management Committee and the Director of ObjectWe.

Bill Liao

Australian entrepreneur, venture capital investor, diplomat, author and speaker with a distinguished record in the areas of business, development and community activism, Bill is co-founder of the CoderDojo movement, a free global network formed to assist young people to learn how to computer program, and Founder of Weforest, a global movement dedicated to planting trees and which now has seen 5 million planted around the world.  He is also the European venture partner for SOSV, a $200m international investment fund, and is currently running a Synthetic Biology Accelerator Program, IndieBio, in Cork, Ireland, focusing on entrepreneurs building technologies in or around the field of Synthetic biology.

Previously, Bill co-founded XING, a pioneering business social networking platform in 2003 and served as COO of Davnet a telecommunications carrier that went public in the late 90's.  Bill serves as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitt’s and Nevis, with an emphasis on sustainable development and the environment. Author of three books, he is a regular speaker at many events and venues such as The London School of Economics, The World Economic Forum, The Globe Forum in Sweden, The House of Commons, and TED, as well as TEDx.

Erinma Ochu MBE

Erinma is a social entrepreneur, civic innovator, and film-maker. She is the creative director and co-founder of social enterprise Squirrel Nation, which makes and curates films, events, exhibitions and pop up social franchises. Through her company she is currently developing FarmLab, a pop up urban farm. Her latest endeavour is crowdsourcing a recycled Robot Orchestra for Manchester as part of the European City of Science 2016, alongside Professor Danielle George.

Trained originally as a neuroscientist at University of Manchester, she went on to work in science TV and the cultural sector as executive producer on UK-wide minority talent initiatives funded by Arts Council England at B3 Media. She recently completed a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship during which she helped pioneer The Museum of Science and Industry's citizen science programme, including the globally successful game, #hookedonmusic, which provides insights into musical memory to further dementia research.

In summer of 2015 Erinma was awarded an MBE for services to Public Engagement with Science, Engineering and Technology. She is also a Trustee of Manchester Histories, and Deputy Chair of the BBSRC's "Bioscience in Society" panel.

Stuart Nolan

Stuart Nolan is a performer and research magician working with Illusion Design and The Mindreading Web. His Mindreading Robotics, IdeoBird and OuijaBird, developed as Magician in Residence at Pervasive Media Studio and The University of Bristol, were featured in the BBC Click Christmas Special, The Guardian, and US Wired’s Connectivity 2.0. He later developed Robomancy (Fortune Telling Robotics) as part of the Being There project.

A former NESTA Fellow in Applied Magic with a background in cell biology, interactive media, and experience design, he combines traditional disciplines of deception – conjuring, psychological and physiological illusion, memory feats, hypnosis, sideshow tradition – with bespoke technology and original research into how we are deceived by language, physical gesture, and technology.

Stuart performs internationally and is currently touring his latest work, Season of Sleeps, which premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennale. He once deceived over 700 organisations just to prove a point.

Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie P Rodgers is a full-time hacker, maker, artist, musician, circuitbender. He's also the former director of Artisans Asylum, a 40,000sqft hackerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts (near to the main Harvard campus), in which he continues to be actively involved as a member of the Friendship and Unicorn Creative Collective sub-space.