Recognised as one of the most outstanding musical voices of our time, award winning singer-songwriter Annie Lennox is also a dedicated activist and campaigner for human rights and social justice.
After her involvement with Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Foundation, Annie became a passionate advocate for women and children, particularly those affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. She went on to found the SING campaign in 2007, which has a particular focus on the reduction of viral transmission from mother to child and in 2008 she initiated The Circle.
Among her many associations, Annie is a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, an Ambassador for Oxfam, Amnesty International and The British Red Cross. She is a Skoll awardee and Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Scotland as well as London Ambassador for HIV/AIDS.
She received the Woman of Peace Award at the 2009 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and in 2011 was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her tireless charity campaigns and championing of humanitarian causes.
Livia Firth is the founder and creative director of Eco Age Ltd.
As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, Livia has travelled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh and Zambia, connecting with the people at the beginning of the supply chain.
Livia is a UN Leader of Change and has also been recognised with the UN Fashion 4 Development Award.
In 2014, Livia was awarded the Rainforest Alliance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability and the Honorary Award of the National German Sustainability Foundation.
Livia currently resides in London with her husband Colin, two children, one cat and four fish.
Livia is a founding member of The Circle and The Circle Italia.
Livia says of The Circle “I once read that each time women gather in circles together, the world heals a little more. I would push it further and say that they can change the world. This is what I love about The Circle – it is an ever expanding group of passionate women ready to act as this massive sisterhood… Together we have done some amazing things and, in the true nature of a circle, it can only expand and radiate further and further.”
Melanie Hall QC
A “tough opponent for anyone at the Bar, whatever their seniority” Melanie Hall QC has been described as “a force to be reckoned with for the most sophisticated of VAT disputes”, a “creative and independent thinker“, a “razor sharp advocate” and a “sensational litigator“. Her “tenacious court room style place her in high demand” though she is also described as “polished and charming“. Melanie has been an acknowledged leader in the field of VAT for many years. She is a tenacious and well-respected advocate, who is respected for her ability to communicate complex points of law to both clients and courts with simplicity and clarity. She has a particular reputation for rigorous cross examination, thorough legal research and effective and persuasive presentation. Her background as a commercial litigator and EU Law specialist is particularly valued by clients. Since Melanie acts for and is therefore respected by both HMRC and the private sector, each set of clients can take comfort from the fact that any legal opinion she expresses will be respected by the other side.
Melanie us a founding member of The Circle and founded and leads The Lawyers Circle with Miriam Gonzalez.
Gwendoline Christie is one of the most exciting and unique British actresses working today, having caught the industry’s attention with her scene stealing role in global hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” She is described by Stylist Magazine as one of “the most amazing, progressive, female character[s] on television.” Gwendoline graduated from Drama Centre London in 2005. She has also modelled for some of the most exciting fashion houses in her diverse career.
This winter, Gwendoline appeared in cinema’s most beloved sci-fi franchise “Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens” starring alongside John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o and Domhnall Gleeson, who have joined the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Gwen plays Captain Phasma, the villainous First Order officer. LucasFilms in tandem with Disney premiered the film worldwide on Friday, December 18, 2015.
Gwendoline was seen this fall as Commander Lyme, the leader of District 13 and a former Hunger Games champion, in the final instalment of “The Hunger Games” series entitled “The Hunger Games: Moningjay- Part 2.” Based on the bestselling trilogy of the same name, written by author Suzanne Collins, Gwendoline appeared alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. Directed by Francis Lawrence, Lionsgate premiered the film worldwide on Friday, November 20th, 2015.
Gwendoline is a series regular HBO’s “Game of Thrones” portraying iconic warrior woman Brienne of Tarth. She was introduced to the show in the second season and the size of her role has since been increased due to her popularity with the viewers. The series, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s novels, is now watched by over 11 million viewers and Gwendoline will begin work on the sixth season in April 2016.
Gwendoline’s notable theatre credits include: “Doctor Fauster” in 2010, playing the role of Lucifer, as well as the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” as Mag Wildwood in 2009 and the Queen in Shakespeare’s romance “Cymbeline” in 2007. Her feature film debut came in 2009 with a supporting role in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”, directed by Terry Gilliam, with whom she has recently worked again in the latest feature “Zero Theorem.”
Gwendoline resides in London, England.
Maryam says of The Circle “I’ve always been affected by the abuse of women and the inequality the women suffer. By supporting each other, we can empower those women who are voiceless. The Circle are a group of women who care and want to protect women’s position in the world.”
Antonella says of The Circle “In The Circle we are moved, we are outraged and we strive to be a part of change, following the example of a fantastic woman: Annie Lennox. In The Circle we fight social the inequalities and injustices that women face. In The Circle we expand to welcome more and more women who wish to be part of it and who bring new energies for great projects. In The Circle one feels good!”
Lucy Siegle is a writer, broadcaster and public speaker on environmental issues and sustainability. She is an authority on the environmental and social footprint of the global fashion industry through her book To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing out the World and as producer of The True Cost, the Netflix feature documentary. She co-founded the Green Carpet Challenge with Livia Firth. Over 14 years she honed her expertise as the Observer and Guardian’s eco agony aunt. She is well known on British TV for bringing the problem of single use plastic to widespread attention. Her book, Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (and you) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again is published by Orion. She is known as an expert, funny and lively chair of difficult discussions. Recently she chaired George Monbiot and others on climate and media at the Frontline Club, London, and toured with popstar and environmental campaigner Dougie Poynter appearing at the Cheltenham and Henley literary festivals. On 24th October she presents a special edition of ITV Tonight on microplastics and human health.