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Elif Shafak

speaker location icon London, UK

Turkey's best-selling female author

Knowledgeable and inspirational speaker on issues of equality, identity, new humanism and spirituality in the 21st century, the politics of Turkey, the Middle East and Europe

Influential social media activist with over 1.7 million Twitter followers

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 50 languages. Her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and chosen Blackwell’s Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow.

She is a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker, each time receiving a standing ovation. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. Shafak has judged numerous literary prizes, and chaired the Wellcome Prize and is presently judging the Orwell Prize

Speaking topics:

  • The Art of Storytelling
  • Global politics and Major Challenges Today
  • Digital World and the Power of Words
  • The Future of Europe
  • The Future of Liberal democracy
  • Rise of Populism, Nationalism, Tribalism
  • Feminism, Women’s Rights, LGBT Rights
  • Culture, Arts and Literature
  • Faith and Secularism and Spirituality
  • Turkey
  • The Middle East

 

 

 

Our Comment

"An eloquent and deeply inspiring speaker, Elif has a powerful way of weaving world affairs into the art of storytelling. She engages with different audiences remarkably well, moving from personal-human stories to intellectual, political and sociological analyses. Creativity, innovation, storytelling, coexistence, multiculturalism, "east meets west", a new spirituality in a new age, women, and the future of Turkey, the Middle East and Europe are among the many themes she talks and writes about."

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