Jonathan Elliott, founder of Talk Action, has been organising community events and training for over 20 years. During the nineties he organised music festivals, raves and art projects across the UK. After studying politics at Queen Mary University of London, he decided to put his experience in to setting up this social enterprise. Jonathan has also spent time at the War on Want campaign office, the Alternatives to Violence Project and worked securing funding for an AIDS/HIV charity in Northern Thailand. His 'not-so-secret' ambition is for his rock band to go global!
Katie is Talk Action’s Marketing and Training Coordinator. She joins the company after spending most of her career at BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. Where she worked on high profile global brands such as BBC Earth and even organising events with 'SOPHIA', the most advanced A.I. humanoid in the world. Katie’s a keen cyclist and currently frantically training towards her first triathlon.
Trainers & Associates
Helen has twenty years’ experience in the voluntary sector in the UK. She has worked for and with a range of organisations involving volunteers including the Fairtrade Foundation, National Trust, Plan International, Natural England, Medical Justice and Reading Voluntary Action.
In 2006 she founded independent consultancy Just Ideas Sustainable Solutions Ltd which works with charities and public sector organisations to support them in many ways including volunteer engagement and management.
Helen is also a Senior Research Associate with IVAR (Institute for Voluntary Action Research), an advisor with Caplor Horizons and a rep for Big Local.
Miranda is an experienced researcher, trainer and coach who has worked in the voluntary section for nearly 20 years. Miranda specialises in evaluation, qualitative research design and leadership development. She is a qualified personal and performance coach, working with senior voluntary sector managers and leaders. Miranda is also a Research Associate with IVAR and co-founder of m2 (with Matthew Davis). Recent clients include Comic Relief, The Kings Fund, Clore Social Leadership, BBC Children in Need, Porticus and Environmental Defense Fund Europe.
Prior to setting up her freelance business in 2007, Miranda was Associate Director and Head of Qualitative Research at the IPPR think tank, where she led work on understanding public attitudes to policy change and was head of IPPR’s flagship programme on the role of government and public behaviour change. Miranda published widely at IPPR and as a media spokesperson regularly appeared on most news channels. Before IPPR Miranda worked in VSO’s advocacy team for several years, working on policy and campaigns on HIV. Miranda is Acting Chair of Richmond CVS.
Karen trained as a journalist, starting her career at BBC Five Live. Having moved to television, she then built up a career in children’s production at the BBC including making short films for Record Breakers and producing Blue Peter.
Karen offers training, consultancy and production to help charities, voluntary organisations and community groups to gain the digital media skills they need to tell their stories with the most impact. She is also Head of communications for a charity that supports seriously ill children, Camp Simcha
She then spent three years working for the BBC Academy, the largest and most prestigious training department in the UK media sector, running an innovative project to help BBC staff learn new skills by working with charities and other non profits and helping them with their media.
Karen has a Masters in Digital Media with distinction with a specialty in digital media for non-profits.
Chris Church has worked in the voluntary sector and as a consultant for over 25 years. He is an experienced advisor on community and sustainable development issues, with a wide range of experience at national, international and community level. He is an associate of the Community Development Foundation and a member of the London Sustainable Development Commission. Chris is chair of the UK Local Carbon Communities Network.
As Co-Director of m2 real change consultants, Matthew Davis has worked with Comic Relief, 10:10, King’s Fund, Growing Communities, Reprieve, Overeseas Development Institute, Environmental Defense Fund, Health Poverty Action and others.
Before becoming a consultant, Matthew worked for global environment NGO WWF for eight years, as Climate Change and Marine Campaigns Director, Communications Director for WWF's global species programme, and Head of Press & Campaigns.
For three years Matthew was a guest lecturer in environmental communications at Birkbeck University and he is also a published songwriter and young person's writer.
Matthew has been using consensus in a variety of settings for the last 18 years, and facilitating consensus courses for the last 10. He's facilitated consensus decision-making meetings with groups of 5 to 500 and co-authored several guides to using consensus.
Matthew has worked with Scarman Trust, Campaign against the Arms Trade, Centre for Alternative Technology, Friends of the Earth, housing co-operatives such as Two Piers Co-op and Argyle Street Co-op, the Camp for Climate Action, Transition Towns initiatives, and the Woodcraft Folk.
Perry is a fellow at NEF (New Economics Foundation) and developed the Crowd Wise method of consensus while Head of Democracy and Participation at NEF. He has used Crowd Wise at organisations including Urban Forum, AFC Wimbledon, Transition Lewes and the Fair Trade Foundation. He is an experienced facilitator and trainer in helping groups reach decisions using consensus.
Andrew Dodson trained as an Organisational Psychologist and currently advises Talk Action on its program development. Andrew has worked as a performance consultant to the NHS as well as conducting a number of reviews of different health policies in the UK. Andrew has worked for Oxfam and the Red cross, and has also been involved in international projects in Pakistan, Uganda, Haiti, Cambodia and Bhutan. Andrew currently works for The Evaluation Lab, a program evaluation and program development consultancy.
Talk Action Ltd Directors
Owen Espley has been involved with Talk Action since the beginning of 2007. As well as leading the board of Talk Action he is the Senior Economic Justice Campaigner at War on Want. He brings over a decade's experience of working on a wide range of issues including sustainable business, international development and the environment at local, national and international levels.
He is enthusiastic about building diverse coalitions and participative organisational development processes. His organisational development experience spans small activist groups to large national coalitions as well as mentoring civil society leaders in the Congo basin. For many years, he served on the board of the CORE, the Corporate Responsibility Coalition and is currently on the board of the Jubilee Debt Campaign.In his spare time, he is an activist with DIGS – a group organising private renters in Hackney, as well as enjoying cycling and watching contemporary circus.
Laura has been working in the charity sector and NGOs for over 10 years. She is a highly experienced facilitator and project manager having worked at Law Works, Action Planning and The Alternative to Violence Project. Laura has also been a journalist in Istanbul and after working with refugees in Calais returned to the UK to co-found Safe Passage. Safe Passage exists to help unaccompanied child refugees and vulnerable adults find safe, legal routes to sanctuary. The NGO now has offices in the UK, Sweden and Turkey and some high profile supporter including Hugh Grant who Laura has now chatted to at lunch!
David has been working as a debt, finance and pensions advisor for Citizens Advice Bureau for the past 6 years. He is also a qualified accountant and was lucky enough to work for Aveimore outdoor pursuits centre in Scotland - where some days he skied from the office back to his home!