cambridge, uk


 Cambridge, UK

The Rising Festival 

 September 21, 2024


Expert Speakers






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About the Event



Join us at the Rising Festival, where diverse women unite to celebrate empowerment, leadership, innovation, and the power of authenticity and self-care. Since 2018, it's been a vibrant community for women, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Step into an atmosphere of collaboration, inspiration, and growth, prioritising self-care, as connections flourish, and insights spark change. In Cambridge's city centre, the Rising Festival defies convention, celebrating women's potential, ambition, and fostering belonging.

Join us, where empowerment knows no bounds. Let's rise together to new heights of success, fulfillment, and well-being.

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Why Attend
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All Sessions

Why Attend?


Welcome to the Rising Festival, an annual gathering dedicated to empowering women to embrace change, unlock their potential, and chart a course for a brighter future. This year's theme, "Reinvent, Renew: Forging the Path Ahead," encapsulates the spirit of transformation and growth that defines our event.

At the Rising Festival, attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable insights, connect with inspiring leaders, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and renewal. Through engaging panel discussions, interactive workshops, and meaningful networking opportunities, participants will explore strategies for reinventing themselves, renewing their sense of purpose, and forging a path forward that aligns with their aspirations and goals.

Whether you're seeking to overcome obstacles, explore new opportunities, or simply connect with like-minded individuals, the Rising Festival offers a supportive and empowering environment where you can gain the tools, inspiration, and support needed to thrive in both your personal and professional life.

Join us at the Rising Festival and discover the transformative power of reinvention, renewal, and forging your own path to success.

Connect & Network

Cultivate meaningful relationships within a supportive environment, where like-minded individuals come together to form lasting bonds.

Inspirational Insights

Join dynamic workshops and talks led by industry experts, igniting creativity and transformation to illuminate your path forward.

Personal Growth

Explore new perspectives, develop essential skills, and unlock your potential in a nurturing environment dedicated to self-improvement.

Well-being Focus

Prioritise your mental, physical, and emotional health with sessions and activities designed to promote self-care and holistic well-being.

Official Partners


Don't Miss

Who's Speaking

Festival Chair

Professor Dame Carol Black DBE 

Chair of the British Library & Centre for Ageing Better

12:15 - 13:00 | Main Stage

Professor Dame Carol Black DBE is a leading advocate for societal change, renowned for her impactful independent reviews on drug misuse, employment, and health. She chairs influential boards including the British Library and the Centre for Ageing Better. Recently awarded the Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) for her outstanding contributions.


Lily Cheng

Founder of the Rising Network and the Rising Festival

Passionate about driving positive change and fostering inclusive communities, Lily is an accomplished leader with a unique blend of experience in technology and community building. As the Founder of the Rising Network, she spearheads initiatives to empower women and champion diversity. With a proven track record in orchestrating transformative initiatives and forging strategic partnerships, she is dedicated to creating a more inclusive and equitable future.


Dorothy Byrne

President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

10:00 - 10:35 | Main Stage

A transformative leader with a distinguished background in media. Prior to her current role, she served as Editor at Large at Channel 4, where she pioneered impactful news and current affairs programs. Under her guidance, Murray Edwards College has become a beacon for women in STEM and launched innovative entrepreneurship schemes. Dorothy's vision and dedication continue to shape the future of education and empowerment.

Mary Hockaday

Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge

11:15 - 12:00 | Main Stage

Mary Hockaday, Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and Trustee of the British Library, is a distinguished media leader. Former Director of BBC World Service, she grew its audience to nearly 100 million. As Head of BBC Newsroom, Mary oversaw core news services, leading digital and visual journalism innovation. With a background as a correspondent and author, Mary remains committed to fostering excellence in media and serving on various boards and trusts.

Jaspreet Kaur

Educator, Poet and Author, Behind the Netra

11:15 - 12:00 | Upper Hall

Jaspreet Kaur, known as Behind the Netra for her poetry, is a spoken word artist, writer, and educator from East London. With a background in history and gender studies, she uses her platform to address social justice issues. Jaspreet's powerful performances have taken her to prestigious venues nationwide, including TEDx London, where she shares her journey of overcoming mental health challenges through the power of words.

Harriet Fear MBE 

Founder & Director, Harriet Fear Associates Ltd

Harriet, a career Diplomat for over 20 years, served in 17 countries with the Foreign Office. Recognised with an MBE in 2016, she led One Nucleus to become Europe's largest life science and healthcare membership body. As the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Life Sciences, Harriet undertook high-profile duties. She currently serves as Special Adviser to Cambridge&, Founder and Director of Harriet Fear Associates Ltd (HFA Ltd).

Dr Julia Wilson

Associate Director and Deputy Chair of the Sanger Leadership, Wellcome Sanger Institute 

Julia spearheads strategy development and partnerships at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, driving academic and industry engagement crucial for its mission. With oversight of research strategy, policy, and faculty planning, she elevates the Institute's scientific impact. Julia fosters partnerships across academia, industry, and government, ensuring high-impact research and enhancing the Institute's global profile. She holds key roles in prominent scientific committees and advisory boards.

Dr Soraya Jones

Director of Engagement for Homerton Changemakers, University of Cambridge 

15:15 - 14:00 | Outside Hall

Driven by a passion for innovation, diversity, and entrepreneurship, Soraya is deeply involved with initiatives like the Homerton Changemakers Programme and as Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of East Anglia. Former CEO of Cambridge Wireless, she transformed it into a leading tech cluster, showcasing her leadership in driving impactful change. With a diverse background, Soraya continues to shape future leaders and sits on various boards.

Sarah Reakes

MD of Kiss Communications

15:15 - 16:00 | Main Stage

With over 20 years of marketing and brand strategy experience, Sarah has left her mark on blue-chip multinationals like Colgate-Palmolive and Nestlé, as well as leading advertising agencies like Publicis and JWT. Her journey began with United Biscuits in the UK and has taken her across the globe, shaping campaigns for household names. As a pivotal member of KISS since 2011, Sarah continues to drive impactful projects, offering fresh insights and strategic direction across various industries.

Alison Cork, MBE

Interiors expert, Entrepreneur, Author  TV presenter

Alison Cork, a trailblazer in women's entrepreneurship, made history in 1994 as the youngest female founder of a public company. She founded the Alison at Home Interiors brand, Make it Your Business and launched National Women’s Enterprise Week to support female entrepreneurs. As an ambassador for the British Library Business & IP Centre, she supports female-led start-ups. Alison's dedication to fostering female entrepreneurship and her pioneering spirit inspire others in the business world.

Jas Rai

Chief Operating Officer, The British Library

Jas is the Chief Operating Officer of the British Library, having previously served as its Director of People. With a background as a Non-Executive Board Member, Trustee and Chartered Fellow of CIPD, Jas excels in aligning business and people strategies in various sectors. Experienced in HR transformation and talent management, she drives impactful strategies to achieve business goals. Jas's recent launch of the British Library's three-year People Strategy demonstrates her commitment to driving organisational change.

Shikha Gupta

Mindset & Manifestation Coach, The Skihka Way

Shikha Gupta, a Mindset & Manifestation Coach based in Denmark, empowers women to achieve transformative results. With expertise in meditation, manifestation, stress coaching, and Vedic teachings, she studied under an Indian Guru for many years. Shikha offers practical methods for busy lifestyles, promoting balance and alignment of mind, body, and soul. Her mission is to cultivate love, gratitude, and support while guiding individuals to become masters of their own lives.


Stay tuned for exciting speaker announcements!

"I am grateful to be
surrounded by strong, powerful, inspiring women!" - Previous Attendee


View all sessions HERE

Quick Links

"I am so pleased I came to this year's Rising Festival. Not only did I have a great opportunity to meet and listen to extraordinary and successful women, I have also made new connections throughout the day. Coming out of the Festival made me realise that being a woman is great and if they can do it...I can too!" - Previous Attendee

Schedule AT A GLANCE










Full Details of ALL Sessions can be found HERE



Hello, and thank you for joining us here at the Rising Network. I'm thrilled to have you here as we embark on a journey of personal transformation together. The Rising Festival isn't just an event; it's a transformative experience where we celebrate our strengths, and honour the unique gifts that each of us brings to the world and our collective resilience.

Our mission is clear: to empower each other to break through personal and professional barriers while prioritising our well-being. As the founder, creating this nurturing space for women to connect, learn, and grow has been my greatest passion.

Immerse yourself in a day filled with inspiration and growth, featuring captivating speakers and interactive workshops. Together, let's cultivate our minds, bodies, and souls as we embark on this transformative journey.

Whether you come with a friend, colleague, or alone, you'll leave with new skills, insights, and connections that will propel you forward.

I invite you to prioritise yourself and seize this opportunity for personal transformation. I can't wait to see you there!

Event Tickets

Standard Ticket


Standard Price

  • Full access to Main Stage
  • Access to all Breakout Sessions
  • Lunch & refreshments
  • Goodie bag

VIP Pass


Guaranteed Seating

  • Enjoy the benefits of a Standard Ticket, plus:
  • Reserved VIP seating
  • Ability to pre-book your preferred sessions for guaranteed seating
  • Exclusive 45 minute 1-2-1 mentoring/coaching session
  • VIP networking opportunities
  • VIP Goodie bag

Get Involved


Partner with us to unlock unparalleled exposure and influence. Expand your reach, forge impactful connections, and make a lasting impression by joining forces with our dynamic community. Benefit from increased brand visibility, access to a diverse audience, and opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Take the next step to elevate your brand and make a meaningful impact today!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Elevate your brand's visibility and engagement by sponsoring our festival. Benefit from extensive exposure to our diverse audience and showcase your commitment to empowering women.

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Partnership Collaborations

Join forces with us to create memorable experiences and amplify your reach. Partnering with us opens doors to new opportunities for growth, innovation, and community building.

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Media Partnerships

Enhance your media presence and support our mission by forming a partnership. Gain access to exclusive content, interviews, and promotional opportunities to connect with our audience.

Featured Coaches 

Share your expertise and connect with potential clients as an official coach at our festival. Showcase your skills, mentor others, and contribute to the growth of our community.

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Get in Touch to Learn More 

I'm Excited to Get Involved at the Rising Festival 2024!

Thank you to our Supporters


Venue: Find Us Here

The Rising Festival will take place at St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BD.

St Barnabas Church is on the corner of Mill Road and St Barnabas Road with access via the front entrance on Mill Road (CB1 2BD).


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