Announcing Polyglot Conference Global!

Organizing Team

Richard Simcott

Founder & Lead Organizer

Richard Simcott

Richard Simcott is a British polyglot, who has studied over 50 languages. HarperCollins described him as one of the most multilingual people in the United Kingdom, and the Goethe-Institut has named him Ambassador for Multilingualism.

He works as the Languages Director at The Social Element & Polpeo. 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 and The Language Event and manages a popular Facebook page called Speaking Fluently.


Alexander Arguelles

Programme Co-ordinator and Academic Liaison

Alexander Arguelles

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.


Anja Spilker

Local Organizer (Cholula 2021)

Anja Spilker

Born and raised in Germany, Anja from Alemania left her home country more than a decade ago to work, live and study in various countries. She is the founder and CEO of ZALOA Languages, a language institute that works with native speakers from all over the world. The headquarters are based in Mexico where Anja has lived since 2014.

In 2018, after having tested the efficiency of combining language learning with fitness workouts, Anja and her team launched the YouTube channel burn&learn that shows how to practice German vocabulary whilst doing physical exercises.

Anja is excited to invite you to join her and hundreds of other polyglots from around the world in Cholula for the Polyglot Conference 2021.


Simos Batzakis

Director of Photography / Video Editor

Simos Batzakis

Simos Batzakis is a director of photography and filmmaker based in Vienna. He studied electrical engineering, telecommunications and digital media in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Since 2006 he has worked on diverse film & video productions including feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, artistic performances and conferences in Greece, Austria and other countries.

Simos got in contact with the polyglot community in 2016 and since then has organised the video coverage of the Polyglot Conference.


Esther Payne

IT & Community Organizer

Esther Payne

Esther hails from the Doric speaking north-east of Scotland where she obtained a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from the Robert Gordon University. She then discovered she preferred people rather than programming.

Esther is a privacy and digital rights activist and IT professional with over twenty years of experience. She is a regular speaker at Open Source conferences around the world.

Esther enjoys meeting new people and discovering exciting new projects and the communities behind them.


Brett Sheffield

Technical Director & Local Organizer (Global 2020)

Brett Sheffield

Brett is a computer programmer, entrepreneur and technologist, working at the intersection of human rights and technology.

He lives with his wife on a little farm in central France where he drives tractors, writes software, and studies foreign languages.

Brett's dabbling in languages started early, but his quest for fluency is much more recent. After attending his first first Polyglot event in 2018, Brett realized that he could understand and speak rather more than he previously thought. This was a life-changing moment and Brett has been in love with language learning and the polyglot community ever since.