ThoughtBox connects schools with a global network of changemakers to offer talks, workshops, field trips and work experience
ThoughtBox 'New Generation Thinkers' (NGTs) are carefully selected leaders of organisations who are making a difference in the world. They are working within the fields of our curriculum topics – Social Perspectives, Cultural Identities and Environmental Engagement.
Our NGTs all have big stories, big hearts and big ideas. They fire up imaginations and excite young minds. You can meet our NGTs below.
FORMAT: Our changemakers live in a range of countries and as such are offering different things to our school networks, depending on location:
TALKS: School assemblies, short talks and presentations for KS1-KS5
SKYPE Q&A: Discussions and interviews for KS1 - KS5
TRIPS: Enquire about workplace trips for KS1- KS5
WORK EXPERIENCE: Enquire about work-experience visits for KS4 & KS5
COST: Included as part of our The BIG Think programme or available on request for individual enquiries
Anne Thwaites is the Founding Director of ‘We are Food Pioneers’, a project building community through shared food experiences. Anne and her team run a number of pop-up cookery events working with a wide range of community members all cooking and sharing meals together. Anne will be happy to offer schools a short talk about her work and the ethos behind community cooking. She can also support active workshops and cookery events within the local community.
The Woodland Presents are working to make small British woodlands thrive by connecting people with trees and timber in new and meaningful ways. They run a maker-space, courses, events and a community woodland group in South Devon. Al and team are happy to offer talks, to support schools in using their woodland meeting room and share information on courses in their WoodLab and holding meetings in The Nest.
Lelo Munis is a Tanzanian ecologist, conservationist, expeditionist and avid cyclist. He has spent time guiding wildlife safaris, leading treks up Kilimanjaro, working as a volunteer in several civil societies, teaching Ecology to international high school and college students and solo cycling across the world. Lelo is keen to share knowledge and to inspire more connected and compassionate relationships to the natural world. He is happy to arrange Skype calls, video links and discussions.
Tonny Wamboga is a true changemaker, working to elicit positive change in his home country of Uganda through creative thinking and sustainable innovation. His work with Tusafishe supplying local communities access to clean drinking water will form part of the upcoming ThoughtBox curriculum on water, where you can learn more about the changes already happening and what you can do to support his inspiring and creative initiative.
Richard and Nicola Eckersley run the UK’s first Zero Waste shop. Their Devon-based shop sells a wide selection of organic food with no packaging. They are already proving an inspiration to high streets across the country, with several other towns now starting up Zero Waste shops. Richard and Nicola will be happy to offer schools talks about their work and the ethos behind Zero Waste. They are also interested in offering work-experience placements and school visits focused around sustainable living.
Ali Knowles is the creative mind behind an inspired therapy model known as ‘The Ollie Concept’. A storyteller and therapist, she uses the tales of Ollie and his Superpowers to help young people understand that they have total control of what they think and feel. Ali offers school talks, counselling, workshops and training and is about to open the 'Ollie School' in which she will offer bespoke NLP training for people wanting to become Ollie Coaches.
Abhijit Sinha is the Founding Director of Project DEFY, helping communities across India create their own schools called Nooks, where individuals customise what they learn, when they learn and how they learn. Each participant has a role in being both student and teacher. Abhijit is keen to connect with schools to share new ideas and learned experiences that support innovation.
Mervyn Benford is a former Head Teacher, with many years on the Oxfordshire’s Education Committee. He worked as a primary Ofsted RGI and advises Swedish schools on peer assessment as effective accountability. Mervyn offers school talks to support young people in becoming self-sufficient, self-supporting, innovative, resourceful and resilient in an uncertain future.
Luke works with young people on international Peace Education programmes to support them in becoming active citizens and advocates for peace, justice and human rights. Through PeaceJam, Luke runs conferences and workshops to support collaboration and connection by engaging in Nobel Peace Prize winners from across the world. He is keen to share ideas that work.
Justin Robbins and his colleague Karen are thought leaders in every aspect of communication. Their mission is to raise the standard of communication in schools through a whole school approach to engagement. Justin and Karen offer training, consultancy and talks to schools about their work in communication.
Avril McDonald is the award winning author of the 'Feel Brave' series of books, helping young people to manage tough emotions and reach their potential. Avril is a former teacher, business woman and a fellow of the RSA. She offers training, workshops, school talks and assemblies.
Saif Ali, founder of Integr8UK, is working to empower refugees by creating unique opportunities to enable them to integrate and lead a purposeful work-life within the UK. Saif offers truly inspiring talks about the importance of changing the narrative towards refugees.
Adele Bates is a 'Creative Educator', delivering key educational provisions not provided within mainstream schooling. Her varied work sees her leading workshops, trainings and education conferences around topics such as Equality and Diversity, Relationship and Sexual Health, Human Rights, LGBT+ awareness, Public Speaking, and Menstrual Cycle Awareness in Education.
Alberto Gomes is the Founding Director of a Global network of peace practitioners known as DEEP. The DEEP Network is a global community that advocates positive changes through a range of projects, teachings and practices towards more a sustainable and peaceful world. Alberto is happy to contribute ideas and support projects in local communities working for positive change.
Dinah Gibbons is an exciting and inspiring changemaker, working to empower change within her local community. Building on her years of experience as a midwife, she held the UK's first ever festival of body acceptance called Bodykind. This was a chance to explore ways of feeling more comfortable in the skin we're living in.
Kyle Perkins is a young and inspiring changemaker working to support young people in his local area. Director of his own Parkour (free-running) company, Kyle works as a mentor and guide for young people, supporting them to make the leap (both physically and emotionally) from where they are to where they want to be.
Chukumeka is the Founder of Action to Prevent Suicide, working as a suicide prevention trainer as well as a Community Development Worker and Equality & Diversity Adviser for the NHS. He is a dynamic and enthralling speaker, and is happy to connect with schools and organisations to support young people in talking about the taboo of suicide and focusing on positive mental health.
Ben Yeger is the Founding Director of Moving Conflicts. Ben creates and facilitates non-violent and collaborative interventions, transforming conflict from barriers into opportunities for change. He offers talks about his experiences in the Israeli army and work with Combatants for Peace, as well as offering student workshops and teacher training to support work-place conflicts.
Anna Thomson is a food nutritionist working to support a more connected and more conscious approach to eating in the family home. Using extensive knowledge from her practice and experiences raising young children in Japan, Anna has started an organisation to work with families to feel more confident in their food choices.
Célia Demoor is a peace-builder and changemaker, working on a range of projects with DEEP France, supporting marginalised communities and bringing people together in active support of empathy building. Célia is keen to connect with schools around the world to contribute shared ideas, offer film screenings and support the peace-building initiatives of DEEP.
Etienne Salborn is the Founder of SINA - the Social Innovation Academy in Uganda. Offering a self-created approach to learning, SINA educates disadvantaged youth to become job creators and social entrepreneurs using a self-organized and “free-sponsible” approach. Etienne offers schools skype and calls with SINA scholars and entrepreneurs to share projects and inspiration.
Ed Kirwan is an educator & filmmaker who documents lives that are distant from the majority of society to help others see their own lives in new and powerful contexts. He understands how empathy allows people to gain an appreciation for their current life situation and can often encourage people to elicit positive change within themselves.