Elif Shafak Keynote Speaker

  • Insightful and inspirational speaker on issues of equality, identity, new humanism, spirituality and geopolitics in Turkey, the Middle East and Europe
  • Multi award winning novelist
  • Influential activist with over 1.6 million Twitter followers

Elif Shafak's Biography

Dr Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and acclaimed speaker. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels.

She is a bestselling author in many countries across the world and her work has been translated into 55 languages. Her 2019 novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje 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.   Her latest book is The Island of Missing Trees, published August 2021.

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.  Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. 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, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and is a two time TED Global speaker- each time receiving a standing ovation.  Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. 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 PEN Nabokov Prize.

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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Elif Shafak's Speaking Topics

Digital World and the Power of Words

Art of Storytelling

Global politics and Major Challenges Today

The Future of Europe

The Future of Liberal Democracy

Rise of Populism, Nationalism, Tribalism

Feminism, Women's Rights, LGBT Rights

Culture, Arts and Literature

Turkey

The Middle East

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Videos of Elif Shafak

Poems That Make Grown Women Cry (2016)
Poems That Make Grown Women Cry (2016)
The revolutionary power of diverse thought
The revolutionary power of diverse thought
TEDtalk: The Politics of Fiction
TEDtalk: The Politics of Fiction

Articles, Media & Podcasts

Books by Elif Shafak

How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division: The powerful, pocket-sized manifesto
The Island of Missing Trees
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World: (SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019)
The Forty Rules of Love
Three Daughters of Eve

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