Trainer Bios

Brandon Oelofse

Manager and Senior Trainer RNTC- The Radio Netherlands Training Center

Brandon Oelofse is currently Manager and Senior Trainer at RNTC and trains globally. He is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker and his work has been represented at numerous festivals, including Cannes and the Oscars. He has directed television series, commercials, short films, documentaries, new media content and is well known for his work as a music video and adverts director in South Africa. He is a company director of Vuselela Media, a South African non-profit organisation that develops grassroots journalism in disadvantaged communities. The company produces a number of national television shows, using media for change. In 2014 he co-authored “Making the Media Work for You” – a guide for civil society organisations on how to access the media and use it for change. Brandon currently chairs RNTC’s Media for Influence, Media for Behaviour Change and Media for Counter Radicalisation and Violent Extremism studies. He collaborates with the Dutch Foreign ministry, Spark and others on Counter Extremism communication in the MENA region and runs training of journalists and communication experts in the field of radicalization.


Maria Cervera

Associate Director, Curriculum and Online Learning KQED

Maria leads the product design, development, and implementation of KQED Teach and KQED Learn- two online platforms serving students and teachers in the development of media literacy and media making skills. Before coming to KQED, she worked in Canal Once, Mexico’s public media station, creating award winning educational children television shows. Her work focuses on designing learning experiences that make thoughtful and meaningful use of technology. Maria holds an M.A. in Learning Design and Technology from Stanford University and an B.A. in Communications from Universidad Iberoamericana.


Burgess Brown

Community Manager Listening Post Collective

Burgess is a media developer and urbanist who serves as the Community Manager for the Listening Post Collective. There, he provides direct support, learning and collaborative opportunities for innovative journalism projects across the country working to better address the information needs of underserved communities. Prior to joining the Listening Post Collective team, Burgess was the Project Lead for the Listening Post Macon and the Special Projects Coordinator for Georgia Public Broadcasting Macon. He has a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism and a master’s degree in Theories of Urban Practice from Parsons School of Design at the New School. Burgess is from Macon, Georgia and is currently based in New York City.


Simon Burt

Media Strategist M&C Saatchi World Services

Simon leads the M&C Saatchi Media dissemination team from London. He has five years of commercial experience, including with Publicis Group – the world’s largest media planning and buying agency, across media planning, buying, distribution, partnerships and strategy for a range of commercial and public-sector Clients. His experience on behavioural and social change communications has spanned supporting campaigns across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia with a highly nuanced understanding of audiences, media landscapes and media partners. Simon works closely with our communications strategists to ensure that campaigns are delivered directly to the audience by the most fitting vehicle.


Khuram Zaman

CEO Fifth Tribe

Khuram Zaman is the CEO of Fifth Tribe, a leading digital agency serving the Washington DC Metropolitan Area based out of the 1776 Startup Accelerator. In his professional capacity, he has provided digital marketing services to clients as diverse as the Department of Defense, Kaiser Permanente, Oxfam America, Ernst and Young, and The Hult Prize. His writing has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and Business2Community. In 2017, Khuram came in 1st place and won $5,000 for a dataset on ISIS Religious Texts in the Kaggle September Dataset Competition. In 2016, his work in data science drew recognition when his dataset on pro-ISIS tweets became the best performing dataset on Kaggle for the whole year. He gave a keynote address entitled “Innovation Culture: Multiplying Impact Across Sectors” at the Fall 2016 Business Analytics Form at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2015, his company was appointed to Private Sector Committee along with Goldman Sachs and IBM to the Global Community Engagement Resiliency Fund (GCERF). In December 2014, Khuram and his co-worker won 1st place at the Hedaya Hackathon during the Global CVE Expo where they developed and prototyped a crowdsourcing and social media platform to counter violent extremist messages. Khuram is the co-founder of Tekfeuds, an annual event that uses Oxford-style debate on technology issues. In his free-time, Khuram serves as a mentor at the Peace Tech Accelerator and Georgetown University’s Summer Launch program.


TechCamp trainer Linda Roth.

Linda Roth

Vice President The Wilson Center

Linda Roth is an award winning journalist and strategic communication executive. She is the president of Fern Strategies, a consulting firm a specializing in storytelling, content producing, media training and crisis communication.

For more than a decade, she was Wolf Blitzer’s most trusted producer at CNN, relied upon to manage nearly every aspect of his editorial projects, trips and top newsmaker interviews. As one of the top producers on “The Situation Room” and as the executive producer in charge of CNN’s Sunday political talk show “Late Edition,” Roth covered every major story of the
last two decades, encompassing politics, government, conflict, natural disasters and human interest. She has interviewed presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, CEOs and celebrities.

Roth’s journalistic honors include Emmy, Peabody and Headliner awards. She is also dedicated to promoting free press and media development, conducting interactive workshops and teaching best practices to working journalists, communicators and university students around the world. She is listed on the State Department’s Fulbright Specialist Candidate Roster as an expert in communications and journalism.

In his televised goodbye segment to his long time producer, Blitzer said, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. She’s a legendary producer here at CNN.”


Matteo Bergamini

Founder & CEO Shout Out UK

I completed my undergraduate degree in Politics & History at the UNIVERSITY OF BRUNEL in 2014 and my Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015. During my time at university, I launched my own company called SHOUT OUT UK. We are a multi-award winning independent youth news platform that provides young people with the tools necessary to engage in politics and a platform to shout out and be heard. In 2015, my company went on to launch our first investigative documentary ‘Anonymous: A Million Men’. The documentary includes interviews with Russel Brand, Conservative MP Chloe Smith and the secretive organisers of the Million Mask March itself. The film was later acquired by Shorts International for worldwide distribution. On the 28th April 2015, in collaboration with Channel 4 and ITN, my company, Shout Out UK, launched Britain’s first ever Youth Leaders’ Debate. The event gathered 7 leaders of the seven largest British parties’ youth wings to debate on political issues. After 10min the #YouthLeaders was trending in the top six on twitter. After the Youth Leaders’ Debate, we began expanding our profile of interviews, starting with an interview with the then United States Ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun. On the 8th May 2015 I was invited to become an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellow, after I managed to win a bid for a research/marketing grant, in cooperation with the Crick Centre, a research group based in the University of Sheffield. The subsequent videos we made ended up racking up a collective viewership of half a million. In March 2016, I was declared the winner of the Harrow Business Den 2016 and have since launched a Political Literacy Course, after Shout Out UK became an accredited AQA centre. In less than a year we expanded into various boroughs in London and beyond, launching in both Dartford and Cambridge in September 2016, and then in Yorkshire from 2017. We have also secured endorsements from academics and journalists like Fatima Manji from Channel 4 News.


TechCamp trainer Becky Palmstrom.

Becky Palmstrom

Senior Manager, Content and Production Ni Nyampinga, Girl Effect Rwanda

Becky Palmstrom currently heads the Content and Production Department of Ni Nyampinga, Rwanda’s first teen girl magazine, radio talk show and drama. Using digital and traditional media and the power of brands, Ni Nyampinga is part of Girl Effect, which strives to unleash the potential of adolescent girls for the benefit of everyone. In Rwanda, all content is made and produced by young Rwandan women. Becky’s journalism career has spanned three continents, producing and writing for outlets like New Internationalist BBC and NPR. Her investigative work has taken her across South East Asia to follow the trafficking of men onto Thai fishing boats. She is a line producer for The Ghost Fleet, a documentary film soon to be released by Seahorse Productions & Oceans 8 Films. With her work for Human Rights Watch, BBC Media Action and Film Aid International, Becky has focused on how to make basic storytelling tools more accessible and available. She has run participatory video projects in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, youth journalism programming in Burma/Myanmar and lifesaving radio and mobile initiatives to respond to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. Becky is passionate about storytelling and believes that digital technology can ensure more voices are brought into the conversation.