Key Speakers

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Bea Herbert

Bea is the Founder of States of Mind, a social enterprise that collaborates with young people to understand and address the underlying causes of their distress. Bea has spent her professional career working alongside young people in schools and communities to develop more person-centred and systemic models of support. Her most recent work has involved co-designing an early intervention programme with 6 colleges in Newham Borough and developing Selfology, an educational programme that places the power of psychology in young people’s hands to promote growth, self awareness and healing.

Vivian Hill

Vivian is the Director of Professional Educational Psychology Training at the UCL Institute of Education. She is currently the Vice Chair of the BPS DECP Committee and leads the DECP Medicalization of Childhood Behaviour working group and led the House of Commons debate on this subject. In March 2020 she was asked to lead the BPS COVID-19 Co-ordinating Group’s Isolation and Confinement work strand. Vivian has an ongoing interest in promoting children and young people’s mental health and well-being, their rights, and entitlements and in facilitating their voices in participatory research and in consideration of all issues that are relevant to them. 

Chris Bagley

Chris Bagley is Director of Research at States of Mind and a lecturer, tutor and doctorate research supervisor at The Institute of Education, UCL. He is a teacher, Educational Psychologist and writer. As a practitioner, Chris has spent many years working with the most marginalised young people and families and in particular, those subject to school exclusion and the youth justice system. He has published a number of academic articles in Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and Educational Psychology in Practice, alongside opinion pieces in The Independent, Byline Times and The Psychologist. Chris co-delivers 'Participatory Action Research' projects, led by young people and supported by doctorate researchers at the Institute of Education with a focus on evaluating education systems and actioning change.

Twitter: @hiddendepths

Kenneth J. Gergen

Kenneth J. Gergen is internationally known for his contributions to social construction theory, technology and cultural change, the self, and relational practices. His major writings include Realities and Relationships: Soundings in Social Construction (Harvard University Press), The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life (Basic Books), and Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community (Oxford University Press). Gergen is a major figure in the development of social constructionist theory and its applications to practices of social change. He also lectures widely on contemporary issues in cultural life, including the self, technology, postmodernism, the civil society, organizational change, developments in psychotherapy, educational practices, aging, and political conflict. Gergen has published over 300 articles in journals, magazines and books. Gergen lectures throughout the world and has received numerous awards for his work, including honorary degrees in both the U.S. and Europe.

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez, Professor of Special Education, obtained a PhD from the University of Lisbon. He taught at Portuguese and foreign universities (Belgium, Brazil and China) and ended his teaching career in 2015 as Full Professor. He participated in international projects for UNESCO, UNICEF, and the NGO Humanité et Inclusion on Human Rights and Social and Educational Inclusion themes. He is a guest lecturer in countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America. He has published 32 books, dozens of articles in specialized magazines. He is the founder of the NGO Pró-Inclusão, was its President (2008-2020) and director of the magazine “Educação Inclusiva”. In 2017 he received the “Distinguished International Leadership Award” by the Council for Exceptional Children - DISES (USA) and in 2020 he was awarded the Gold Medal of Human Rights by the Portuguese Parliament. Since June 2015, he has been a National Counselor for Education.

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Scherto R. Gill

Scherto R. Gill is Senior Fellow at GHFP Research Institute, and Associate Lecturer at University of Sussex. She is a director of a UNESCO Programme on Collective Healing and Transformative Education, and a co-chair of the G20 Interfaith Forum Education Working Group. Scherto's writings contribute to topics including human-centred education, positive peace, deep dialogue, ecology of well-being, narrative pedagogy, and relational governance. Her most recent books include: Beyond the Tyranny of Testing: Relational Evaluation in Education (Oxford University Press); Ethical Education: Towards an Ecology of Human Development (Cambridge University Press), Understanding Peace Holistically: From the Spiritual to the Political (Peter Lang), and Human-Centred Education (Routledge). She teaches on both Masters’ and Doctoral programmes and offers a wide range of seminars and lectures.

Yoni Suissa

Yoni Suissa is currently working as a Maths and Philosophy teacher at School 21 in East London. The school commits several hours a week to project-based learning, and Yoni was the first teacher to lead the States of Mind project independently. His interests include home-schooling, autonomy in the classroom, and the effect of compulsion on students in school.

Victoria Hirst

Vicky is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Manchester's Institute of Education. Her research is investigating an all-through school in west London as it develops a wraparound, holistic model to support pupils, their families and the wider community. The research involves creating an ethnographic case study of the model which explores the challenges - and opportunities - of doing this work in the current political climate. Vicky began her professional career as a secondary school teacher and has taught in Wolverhampton and London. She currently works part-time for The Reach Foundation in research and evaluation.

Ella Gregory

Ella has personal experience with CAMHS and as a result is dedicated to reforming approaches towards young people's mental health. Ella is the co-creator of States of Mind’s new online course. She believes that transforming how we talk about and view our minds and feelings can influence the rest of our lives by helping us to connect, solve problems and thrive.

Sophie Christophy

Sophie Christophy is the CEO of Phoenix Education, a charity that works to embed collaborative and rights based culture, rather than authoritarian, controlling and coercive culture in schools and the education system. In 2016 she coined the term 'Consent-Based Education', a paradigm shifting approach to education and learning and a foundational guiding principle of practice at the Cabin, an education setting that she co-founded in 2018. She is an unschooling parent, children's rights activist, and independent feminist scholar.

Luke Billingham

Luke Billingham is a youth and community worker at Hackney Quest, a long-running grassroots charity in Hackney, and a researcher on an ESRC-funded project looking at the public health approach to violence reduction. At Hackney Quest, Luke is involved with mentoring, exclusion prevention, youth voice and community development projects. Prior to taking up the researcher role, Luke spent four years helping to set up Reach Children's Hub, an innovative new charity providing cradle-to-career support for children and young people based within Reach Academy Feltham, in South-West London.

Changemakers' Lab

Changemakers' Lab brings together students aged 14-18 to work for change in the education system so that it better reflects their needs and rights. They work together to research, understand and articulate meaningful campaigns for change in their schools and the education system, enhancing their activism through solidarity and collaboration. 

Change Collective (changemakerscollective.uk)

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State of Mind's Student Leaders

Tumi Ogundamisi, Reegan Mason and Christevie Ngoma are student leaders of States of Minds' 'Breaking the Silence' project. They co-led research alongside The Institute of Education, UCL with a focus on exploring the impact of the education system on the mental health, identity and personal development of young people. To promote educational reform Tumi, Reegan and Christevie have shared their findings and insights around education reform at the Educational Psychology national conference and are in ongoing dialogue with the Education Select Committee.

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Tumi Ogundamisi

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Reegan Mason

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Christevie Ngoma