We have an excellent and inspiring range of speakers and workshop leaders joining us for this Building Wellbeing Together Weekend! Learn more about them below, check out the full programme here and find full details about tickets here.
Please note: Speakers are listed alphabetially by surname, with key note speakers at the top and workshop leaders listed below.
Key note speakers:
Karen Creavin, Head of Wellbeing Services at Birmingham City Council
Karen started working for Birmingham City Council in 2005, initially as senior manager for the deprived Ladywood Constituency. While there, in conjunction with a colleague from the Heart of Birmingham PCT, she set up the award winning pilot 'Gym for Free'. This later rolled out as a city wide ‘be active’ programme. Karen was asked to project manage the city wide scheme on behalf of partners across the city. The scheme went live on 1st September 2009 and has now won national and international awards and acclaim. In her current role, Karen oversees nationally acclaimed projects within the service such as Active Parks, Big Birmingham Bikes, and Active Streets. She often does talks and presentaitons on the links between health, wellbeing and sport.
Chris Johnstone, Founder of the College of Wellbeing
Dr Chris Johnstone is a leading practitioner/trainer in the wellbeing field. After a first degree combining medicine and psychology, he graduated in medicine with distinction in 1986. He has pioneered the role of positive psychology and resilience training in the workplace, health-care and education, while also contributing to wider social change in his writings on the psychology of sustainability and empowered action. His books include Find Your Power and, co-authored with Joanna Macy, Active Hope. He runs online trainings in Positive Psychology and Resilience via http://collegeofwellbeing.com/
Nic Marks, Founder of Happiness Works
Nic’s work in happiness and wellbeing research methodology is world-renowned. His love of using applied statistics to ground wellbeing and happiness in hard evidence has led to worldwide acclaim and the realisation that happiness is a serious business. He is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index (which he gave a Ted Talk on) plus the National Accounts of Well-being and the Five Ways to Well-being which is used extensively within health and education institutions as well as within governmental policy. Nic is the founder of Happiness Works, an organisation that changes the world of work for the better through online tools and services and is a fellow of NEF (New Economics Foundation) and on the board for Action for Happiness.
Katherine Trebeck, Senior Economics Researcher at Oxfam
Katherine is Senior Researcher in Oxfam's Research Team where she is exploring an economy that delivers social justice, good lives, vibrant communities and which protects the planet. Her forthcoming book, Arrival (co-authored with Jeremy Williams), explores a new mantra for development that shifts attention from growth to quality and distribution of economic activity as we seek to 'make ourselves at home' in a wealthy world.
Before her current role Katherine was Policy and Advocacy Manager for Oxfam's UK Programme, and prior to this she led research and policy for Oxfam's Scotland office. Here she developed Oxfam's Humankind Index, a measure of Scotland's real prosperity developed through wide ranging community consultation (see her Tedx Talk outlining the need for the Humankind Index). She also managed Oxfam's Whose Economy? project which asked why, despite decades of economic growth, Scotland's poverty has not been addressed and inequalities have deepened.
Shamash Alidina, Museum of Happiness
Shamash has been practising mindfulness since 1998 and runs his own successful training organisation. He is the international bestselling author of the Mindfulness For Dummies series and has more recently written The Mindful Way through Stress. Based in London, he runs workshops and speaks at conferences all over the world and now uses webinars to show others how to teach mindfulness, too. He is also the co-founder of The Museum of Happiness, an organisation which has brought mindfulness and happiness practices to a wide public audience in fun and accessible ways. Shamash loves coaching people to live in the present moment in a calm and focused way, leading to greater health and wellbeing.
Sherry Clark, Happiness Works
In 1981, Sherry saw Bruce Springsteen for the first time and discovered what it means to be happy at work. Since then, she’s been drawn to places and projects where the big questions of life collide with the reality of making a living.
In her current role at Happiness Works, Sherry uses experiential learning to help organisations measure and improve emotional experience at work. Previously, she used the principles of positive psychology to design and develop the DIY Happiness programme, the Wheel of Wellbeing and King’s Health Partners’ happier@work initiative.
She’s a member of St Leonard’s Transition Town, currently transforming the local station into a community garden.
Duncan Fraser, Useful and Kind Institute
Duncan is the Founding Director of Useful and Kind Unlimited and of the Mindful Leadership Foundation and has worked as a therapeutic coach, facilitator and trainer with many senior clients enabling them to focus on their vision and to deliver it. He has twenty years experience as manager and leader having been CEO, Artistic & Community Director, trainer, funder, marketeer and broadcaster. He has advanced psychotherapy training and is constantly trying to find ways to use the latest learning in the service of others. In addition to working with top teams he has trained and supervised coaches and given coaching masterclasses. He is also a composer!
Alan Heeks, Hazel Hill Wood and Author of Natural Happiness
Alan Heeks is an expert in learning about wellbeing from nature. He has evolved his approach by creating two unique learning centres: Hazel Hill Wood a 70-acre forest retreat centre, and also a 130-acre organic farm. He has led many groups on natural happiness, and has two published books on this theme. His third book, due out in 2018, is Natural Happiness: The Gardener’s Way. You can learn more about Alan's work via www.alanheeks.com.
Rebecca Mellor, Creative Wellbeing
Rebecca Mellor is a socially engaged artist working across traditional and non-traditional art forms. The social enterprise, Creative Wellbeing, was developed as part of her creative practice in response to our social context and the variables which can affect individuals' lives. Rebecca exhibits, performs and delivers workshops internationally, and currently lives in Cumbria, UK. More information about Rebecca is available at https://rebeccamellor.co.uk.
Alex Nunn, Action for Happiness
Alex Nunn has been leading on communications and movement building at Action for Happiness since 2014, helping the movement grow to 90,000 members in 174 countries. He currently leads the Exploring What Matters programme which sees local volunteers deliver an 8-week intervention proven to increase happiness, life satisfaction, compassion and social trust that has reached over 2,000 people in its first 18 months and continues to scale. Alex comes from a social-change background and is intimately interested in the development of happiness, mindfulness and compassion in society.
Michelle Preston, Simply Happy
Michelle has worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years, which has provided her with countless opportunities to support and enhance the wellbeing of individuals, organsiations and communities. Her skills and experience have been further enhanced by studying Positive Psychology at Post Graduate level. Michelle created Simply Happy to provides positive psychology, coaching and consultancy to support, improve and enhance happiness, health and wellbeing. Last year she was awarded a Fellowship from the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in light of her "exceptional work….and longstanding commitment to supporting organisations that deliver social change."
Felipe Viveros, Gross National Happiness Centre
Felipe is a strategist and consultant specialising in campaigning, programme design and fundraising. He has worked with governments and organisations globally, including the Tairona Trust and TheRules. More recently he has become the European representative of the Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan, a renowned NGO that has pioneered the prototyping and implementation of a new development paradigm. Throughout his career Felipe has championed environmental campaigning and indigenous peoples rights. Previously he founded the Black Line Initiative, a groundbreaking environmental indigenous consultancy with the Kogi people of Colombia. He is an independent action researcher with a MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, Totnes.
Mike Zeidler, Happy City Initiative
Mike has worked in corporate responsibility, community engagement and social enterprise since 1993. As Assistant Chief Executive at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative, he brokered strategic regional plans bringing private, public and voluntary sectors together around practical projects. After directing the South West region for Business in the Community, he formed modoto ltd in 2003 to support change-makers and innovators with leadership challenges. In 2005 he founded the Association of Sustainability Practitioners, and then in 2010 the Happy City Initiative. He currently directs operations for all three organisations.