Change starts with people. We've got a small, agile team, a supportive and active board of trustees and a knowledgeable and influential advisory board.

Ben Rawlence Portrait

Ben Rawlence

Chief Executive

Award winning writer, activist, former speech writer to Sir Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy and co-founder.

Libby Pearson

Dr. Libby Pearson

Chief Operating Officer

Libby was a former Director of Student Experience and Academic Quality at Navitas,  where she designed and built the student experience of 10 European pathway colleges.

Emma Bald

Emma Bald

Director of Communications

Former project director and health sector lead at Central Office of Information and marketing consultant for broad range of businesses. 

Amanda Page

Amanda Page

Community Training Coordinator

Founder of Community Interest Company, Gap Learning, delivering a programme of courses for all ages to over 1000 learners and winning an ‘Excellence Award’ from Cambridgeshire County Council. 

Louise Grove White

Louise Grove-White

Development Officer

Experienced business development and project manager.  Previously worked for Prince’s Trust Cymru, National Museum of Wales and ran the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

Trustees

Chris Blake Portrait

Chris Blake

Trustee

Director of Green Valleys CIC renewable energy company and energy entrepreneur.

Councillor Emily Durrant Portrait

Cllr. Emily Durrant

Trustee

Former activist, participatory research and corporate responsibility consultant and now Wales’ only Green Party County Councilor. Chair of the Policy Forum at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

David Isaac

Trustee

Chair of Governors of University of the Arts London and Provost-elect of Worcester College Oxford.  Former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and former chair of Stonewall and many other charities.  Partner in law firm Pinsent Mason.

Dr. Bill Newton Smith

Dr. Bill Newton Smith

Trustee

Philosopher of science and for 20 years head of George Soros’s higher education programme, establishing over 20 universities around the world.

Elizabeth Passey Portrait

Elizabeth Passey

Trustee

Convener of Court (Chair) of the University of Glasgow, Chair of the Committee of Scottish University Chairs (CSC) and an Executive Committee member of the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), Chairman of the Agency Management Board of the Rural Payments Agency and trustee of the Wye and Usk Foundation, formerly a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and of Investec Asset Management, and hailing from a corn merchant family on the Welsh borders.

 

Mari Fforde Portrait

Mari Fforde

Trustee

Film maker, arts consultant and Governor of Clyro Primary School.

Prof. Owen Sheers

Award winning writer, professor of creativity at Swansea University and co-founder.

Academic Advisory Panel

Andrew Bloodworth headshot

Dr. Andrew Bloodworth

Academic Advisory Panel

Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences in Swansea University.

His research interests are in the field of sports ethics and in particular the ethics of anti-doping policy. Andrew is on the editorial board of the journal; Performance Enhancement & Health. He currently teaches on the Erasmus Mundus Masters in Sports Ethics and Integrity and on the BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University.  He is an external examiner at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Dr Natalia Eernstman headshot

Dr. Natalia Eernsterman

Academic Advisory Panel

Senior Lecturer MA Creative Education : Making Learning at Plymouth College of Art.

Artist, researcher and educator specialising in community learning for sustainable development through artful and performative means. She has run a range of research projects and has been published in the field of environmental science, as well as education and the arts. Her projects have been in collaboration with organisations such as the National Trust, Tate Modern and the Environment Agency.

Ian Rappel (BSc, MSc Econ, MSc)

Ian Rappel (BSc, MSc Econ, MSc)

Academic Board

A geographer and conservation ecologist by background, working in conservation for NGOs and in academia since 1993. He was CEO for Gwent Wildlife Trust for 5 years and is currently the Wales Development Manager for the National Association of AONBs, and holds advisory positions for the College for Real Farming and Bath Spa University’s emerging BSc in Wildlife Conservation. He lives in Talgarth on the northern fringes of the Black Mountains.

Kathy Hooper

Kathy Hooper MA (Psychology)

Academic Board

Kathy began her career teaching Home Economics and successfully engaged disaffected learners. She has advanced qualifications in Child Development and in Counselling. A senior inspector and examiner, her extensive experience of education in schools and colleges in the UK and abroad, led her to understand the potential barriers to young students’ educational success. She is noted for challenging and mentoring educational institutions to raise their game.

Kirsty Simon

Kirstie Simson

Academic Board

Kirstie Simson (UK) is an award-winning, captivating performer and a renowned teacher.  Called “a force of nature” by the New York Times, who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance” according to Time Out Magazine, London.  After thirteen years working as a professor of dance at the University of Illinois, in September 2020 Kirstie returns to her home in Wales, from where she will continue her work teaching and performing throughout the world.

Tom Sperlinger

Prof. Tom Sperlinger

Academic Board

Tom Sperlinger is Professor of Literature and Engaged Pedagogy at the University of Bristol, author of Romeo and Juliet in Palestine and co-author of Who are universities for? He has set up a range of programmes aimed at students who have not followed a conventional route through education, and is currently academic lead for civic engagement at Bristol’s new Temple Quarter campus.

Advisors

Andrew Nairne OBE

Director of Kettles Yard gallery, Cambridge and former Executive Director, Arts, for Arts Council England.

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Writer, broadcaster and food and farming specialist.

Dr. Havard Prosser

Former Chief Environmental Science Adviser, Welsh Government 2005-2010.

Dr. Jane Davidson

Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Wales, Trinity St Davids and former Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in the Welsh Government.

Edmund de Waal

Writer and artist.

Hugh Martineau

Sustainable Agriculture Consultant for Ricardo Energy & Environment.

Lord Chris Smith

Master of Pembroke College Cambridge, former Culture Secretary and former Chairman of the Environment Agency.

Mark Lynas

Author, journalist and environmental activist.

Nigel Gervis

Director, Ty Mawr Lime Ltd.

Peter Florence

Director, Hay Festival.

Peter T. Howe

Principal of UWC Atlantic College

Prof. Alan Lovell

Former Dean, University of Glamorgan, Business School.

Prof. Brigid Hogan

Chair of Cell Biology, Duke University, USA.

Prof. David Helfand

Chair, Astrophysics, Columbia University and President Emeritus, Quest University, Canada.

Robert Macfarlane

Writer and academic.

Sir Tim Smit

Entrepreneur and founder of the Eden Project.

Sophie Howe

Well-Being and Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

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