Programme of events
Minna Salami is a Nigerian, Finnish and Swedish writer and lecturer. She is the founder of the multiple award-winning blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism with contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. Her first book, Sensuous Knowledge, will be published in 2020 by Zed and Harper Collins. Translations of Sensuous Knowledge will be published by Schildts & Söderströms in Finland, Planeta de Libros in Spain and Verlag Matthes & Seitz Berlin in Germany. The book is also optioned by a Hollywood based production company.
Minna is listed alongside Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama as one of 12 women changing the world by ELLE Magazine. She is a contributor to the Guardian, BBC, CNN, The Independent, Al Jazeera, the New Internationalist and many other publications. She is a columnist for the Guardian Nigeria and the host of a monthly philosophy book club at Waterstones.
Anthea Lawson is an activist, writer and associate of Perspectiva. Troubled by the ways in which campaigning can replicate the problems it tries to change, she is enquiring into the inner life of activism and what it means for our efforts to change the outer world in which we live.
She was a reporter at The Times, before working for campaigning organisations including Global Witness and Amnesty International, publishing investigations into the arms trade and corruption in oil, logging and offshore finance.
Her book The Entangled Activist will be published by Perspectiva Press in 2020.
Mark Vernon is a writer, psychotherapist and associate of Perspectiva. He contributes to and presents programmes on the radio, as well as writing for the national and religious press, and online publications. He also podcasts, in particular The Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues with Rupert Sheldrake, gives talks and leads workshops. He has a PhD in ancient Greek philosophy, and other degrees in physics and in theology, having studied at Durham, Oxford and Warwick universities. He is the author of several books, including his latest, out this year: A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling and the Evolution of Consciousness (John Hunt Publishing). He used to be an Anglican priest and lives in London, UK. For more information see www.markvernon.com.
Co-initiator, The Alternative UK
INDRA ADNAN is Co-initiator of The Alternative UK political platform, part of a global network originated by Alternativet, founded by Uffe Elbaek in Demnark. They publish a Daily Alternative media and run community collaboratories around the UK, building Citizen Action Networks (CANs) to reconnect people to the local eco-systems of solutions available. Central to the vision of an Alternative politics is the interdependency of the complex individual, the community and the planet: I, We, World.
Indra is concurrently a psycho-social therapist, founder and Director of the Soft Power Network, a writer and events producer. She has consulted to the World Economic Forum, Indian, Finnish and Danish governments, NATO, the Scottish Executive and the Institute of Contemporary Arts amongst others. She writes regularly for The Guardian and The Huffington Post and her publications Soft Power Agenda, New Times and Is the Party Over? are available on www.indraadnan.com
Pippa Evans is an award winning improviser, comedian and musical performer. In 2013 she and Sanderson Jones started Sunday Assembly, the church for people who don’t believe in God which became a global phenomenon. Though no longer involved in the Sunday Assembly project, Pippa finds herself drawn to the Venn Diagram of secular spirituality, improvisation and inner work. How can we be fully ourselves in relation to others? Can we do serious work without taking ourselves too seriously?
Pippa has been working with Perspectiva since 2018 as their Captain of Serious Play – finding ways for people to explore Souls, Systems and Society experientially, rather than through text and speech. She lives in London with her husband Calum and her vast collection of mugs. www.pippaevans.com
Jonathan Rowson is a writer, philosopher and chess Grandmaster who was British Chess Champion from 2004-2006. HE holds degrees from Oxford, Bristol, and Harvard universities, was former director of the Social Brain Center at the RSA and an Open Society Fellow. He is co-founder and director of Perspectiva, a research institute that examines the relationship between complex global challenges between complex global challenges and the inner lives of human beings. His latest book is The Moves that Matter – A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life.
Author, Philosophy for Life
Jules Evans is an author, broadcaster and academic philosopher. He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London, where he researches the history and philosophy of flourishing. He was a BBC New Generation Thinker, is a frequent guest on Radio 4, and writes for publications including Aeon and The Times. He organizes the London Philosophy Club, the largest philosophy club in the world. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012) and The Art of Losing Control (2017) and the co-editor of Breaking Open: Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency (2020). His website is www.philosophyforlife.org
Founder, Bildung Acadamie
Parallel to the 2015 student protest in Amsterdam, a number of teachers and students together with Michiel created the Bildung Academie: a bottom-up, mission-driven movement creating and running own educational programmes and consulting universities, schools and business in order to realize personal and societal transformation.
Giles Abbott is one of the UK’s most celebrated storytellers. After losing his vision in 1999 he discovered the craft of oral storytelling, and he is now a multi-award winning artist with many commissions from Arts Council (England), grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and regular appearances at festivals worldwide. Giles is also an experienced teacher, and has coached senior executives from the world’s largest multinationals on the power of voice and rhetoric. He was Lecturer of Voice at Birkbeck College and taught SlengTeng accent-softening at UCL. Giles’ repertoire draws from myths from around the world, and he is equally comfortable telling tales to children as he is keeping adults on the edge of their seats.
Philosopher / Author
Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and philosopher who practised in London, but now lives on the Isle of Skye, where he continues to write and make a living by lecturing. He is a Quondam Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford with a distinguished academic background in both natural sciences and humanities. He is the author of The Master and his Emissary, a critically acclaimed book which argues that the division of the brain into two hemispheres is essential to human existence, making possible incompatible versions of the world, with quite different priorities and values.
Psychotherapist, Wendy Bristow
Wendy Bristow is a psychodynamic psychotherapist working in private practice in Angel, London. Her background is in the media. She worked in magazines, first as a writer and editor and later freelanced about health, psychology and relationships. She also trained as an executive coach working with journalists. These strands came together in therapy training. She has a special interest in grief in all its forms. www.wendybristowpsychotherapy.co.uk
Professor of Glycobiology
Professor Pauline M. Rudd was the NIBRT Professor of Glycobiology atUniversity College Dublin (2006-2018). She has more than 400 scientific publications and given over 400 lectures and seminars at international meetings. In 2016 she was included in the Top 50 Women in Science. She has given over 100 public understanding of science talks and has contributed to a number of publications in the field of Science and Religion. She was a Founding Scientist of Wessex Biochemicals (later Sigma London) and after a long career break to raise 4 children, she became a member of the Oxford Glycobiology Institute (GBI) for 25 years. She is a member of Wolfson College. Amongst other awards in her distinguished career, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Sahlgrenska Institute, Univ. of Gothenburg and the International Glycoconjugate Organisation Award.
ROBERT ROWLAND SMITH
Author / Philosopher
Robert Rowland Smith is a British author and philosopher. His books include Derrida and Autobiography (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Breakfast with Socrates: The philosophy of everyday life (Profile Books, 2009), and AutoBioPhilosophy: An intimate story of what it means to be human (4th Estate, 2018). He is a regular speaker at public and private events, addressing a wide range of topics that includes philosophy, psychology, politics and art. Alongside his literary career, he works as a business adviser and practitioner of systemic family constellations.
12th Earl of Shaftesbury
Lord Shaftesbury graduated from the London Business School with a Master’s in Business Administration in 2008. After an early career as a DJ and music promoter in New York City, he inherited the earldom in 2005 and has since overseen the restoration of the family home, St Giles House. The project has won several national awards, including: the 2015 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Award for Building Conservation and the Historic England Angel Award, Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Site. The work has been documented in a book entitled, ‘The Rebirth of an English Country House’, which he co-wrote with Tim Knox the current Director of the Royal Collection. He is the first Shaftesbury for 50 years to live in St. Giles House, alongside his wife Dinah and their three children.
Research Scientist, Deepmind
William Isaac is currently Senior Research Scientist at DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company based in the UK. William holds a PhD in political science from Michigan State University and is a member of the MSU social science data analytics initiative. His current research interests include Bayesian inference, experimental design, and natural language processing.
William received his MPP from George Mason University in 2011 and a BA in Political Science from University of Alabama in 2007. Previously, William served as a research assistant at Resources for the Future consulting on projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.
Writer / Journalist
Caspar is a writer, journalist and editor with interests in science, environment, politics and culture. He has worked for BBC Radio 4, and been a regular or occasional contributor to The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Nature, New Scientist and The Ecologist. He won an IUCN-Reuters award for best environmental writing in western and central Europe, and was a senior editor of openDemocracy, where he commissioned, edited and contributed to analysis and debate on globalisation, security, the environment, and the politics of climate change.
Caspar is the author of The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary (2012), for which he received the Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors and the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award. His book A New Map of Wonders:: A Journey in Search of Modern Marvels was published by Granta and Chicago University Press in 2017, and was described by The Guardian as “a love letter to, and product of, the extraordinary, irreducible abundance of the human mind.”
Ed is a coach who specialises in working with entrepreneurs. He works with purpose led leaders to develop their own models of success in business and life. He is particularly interested in redirecting focus from shareholders to a broader set of beneficiaries. He uses coaching to generate honest conversations and change, working at the intersection of psychology and business. He holds degrees in Psychology from Oxford University and in Business from Harvard University.
Author, Gary Lachman
Gary Lachman is the author of many books on the links between consciousness, culture, and the western esoteric tradition, including Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, and A Secret History of Consciousness. He writes for several journals in the UK, US, and Europe, lectures widely. and his work has been translated into several languages. In a former life he was a founding member of the pop group Blondie and in 2006 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His website can be reached at garylachman.co.uk.
Philosopher, Eksäret Foundation
Tomas Bjorkman is an applied philosopher, social entrepreneur, financier and real estate developer with a great interest in science and philosophy. He has founded several companies and organisations, including investment bank AB and has also been chairman of EFG International. He founded the Ekskäret Foundation, with the purpose of stimulating sustainable development of individuals, organisations and society. He’s also the author of several books, including ‘The World we Create’, ‘The Market Myth’ and co-author of ‘The Nordic Secret’.