October 27-29, 2017

Reykjavík, Iceland



Richard Simcott

Richard Simcott – Founder and Co-Organiser

Richard Simcott, a polyglot from Chester, Great Britain, is a lifelong language learner who has studied more than 50 languages. HarperCollins has described him as one of the most multilingual people in the United Kingdom, and the Goethe-Institut has named him Ambassador for Multilingualism.

Richard manages a team of polyglots as the Languages Director at social media management agency The Social Element. He has many years of consulting experience using languages with diverse clients and offering his expertise on multilingual and multinational projects.

He is the original founder of the Polyglot Conference, manages a popular Facebook page called Speaking Fluently.

Alex Rawlings

Alex Rawlings – Co-Organiser

Alex Rawlings is a language specialist, polyglot and writer with a website called RawLangs. He was born and raised in London, where he currently lives, and is of Greek descent. Alex's book "How To Speak Any Language Fluently" will be published in June 2017. He also writes prolifically on languages and language learning, and has contributed to blogs run by the British Council, Memrise, the European Commission and others. He has also worked on language course creation with LanguagePod101 and Mango languages.

He currently works as the Language Learner in Residence for a language learning startup called Memrise.

Alex was named Britain’s most multilingual student in 2012 after being tested for fluency in 11 languages and winning a nationwide competition run by the publisher Harper Collins. Since then he has regularly participated in major media campaigns to support the cause of language learning in the UK and worldwide.

Alexander Arguelles – Academic Liaison Officer

Alexander Arguelles was reared and has roots in New York City, Chicago, and Berkeley, California.  He studied French and German literature as an undergraduate at Columbia and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago with a dissertation on Old Norse literature and the comparative history of religions.  He then did postdoctoral research in Germany on a fellowship from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies.  

Alexander has worked as a language specialist for the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization in Singapore and as professor at universities in Korea, Lebanon, and the U.S.  He is currently a professor in the college of education at the American University in the Emirates in Dubai.  

Alexander is the author of an English French Spanish German Dictionary and of numerous publications in Korean linguistics such as A Historical, Literary, and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language, A Handbook of Korean Verbal Conjugation, and a North Korean Reader.  Having devoted his life to studying as many languages as possible as systematically as possible, he has been the subject of investigative studies into polyglottery such as Michael Erard's Babel No More

Iris Senel – Visual Content Manager

Iris studied Design & Technology at Parsons NYC and during her studies, she held Multiculturalism as an Art Movement exhibition at Yale University. Her artwork got published by university's art magazine PRISM. She held a consequent exhibition at the Wadham College of Oxford University. The paintings were available for purchase during the year-long exhibition. She worked with Royal National Institute for the BlindSix Dots Foundation for the Blind and L’Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles in order to publish her dissertation about Braille writing system. As a designer, trained in the field for more than a decade, Iris helps businesses build a strong web presence through design, interactive visuals and consulting services.

Iris is the founder of Languages In A Bowl, a start-up that offers education in food-related fields in eleven languages. She currently organises food & language workshops, which is appointed to take place at the British International School Istanbul and Jour et Nuit Culture Paris. Iris teaches English, Greek and Spanish Braille systems and also produces Braille printouts for books, cards and elevators.

Joséph Luis Ávila – Merchandise Marketing

Joséph was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, but has lived in Chicago, USA for the past 29 years. He grew up bilingual, speaking Spanish at home and English at school. He developed a passion for languages in high school when he started learning French and Italian. In college, he studied several other European languages and completed a Bachelor's Degree in French. In his day job, he works in Social Media Management where he gets the opportunity to use different languages every day.