Elif Shafak – Keynote Speaker

British-Turkish bestselling author, public speaker and women's rights advocate

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Elif Shafak Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • How To Remain Sane in An Age of Division
  • The Art of Storytelling
  • Optimism/Pessimism
  • Solutions for a Fairer, Better World
  • New Narratives, Social Change and Citizens of the World
  • Globalism, Internationalism, Nationalism
  • Bridging East & West
  • Story Telling
  • World Peace
  • Diversity
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Gender Equality


  • English


Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 18 books, 11 of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 55 languages. Her latest 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. 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.

Elif 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 twice TED Global speaker, twice 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.

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