Dr. Jonathan Rowson is co-founder and Director of Perspectiva. He was until recently Director of the Social Brain Centre at the RSA where, over the course of six years, he authored a range of influential research reports on behaviour change, climate change and spirituality, and curated and chaired a range of related events.
Jonathan is an applied philosopher with degrees spanning a range of humanities and social sciences from Oxford, Harvard and Bristol Universities. In a former life he was a chess Grandmaster and British Champion (2004–6) and views the game as a continuing source of insight and inspiration. His book, The Seven Dimensions of Climate Change: rethinking the world's toughest problem will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in early 2017.
He lives in Putney, London, with his wife Siva, an academic lawyer from South India and their two sons, Kailash and Vishnu.
His recent work includes Money Talks: Divest Invest and the Battle for Climate Realism and Spiritualise: Revitalising Spirituality to address 21st Century Challenges.
Tomas Björkman is co-founder of Perspectiva. He has a long career behind him as entrepreneur in a variety of businesses within financial services, media, property and banking – working all over Europe. He founded Investment Banking Partners AB and served as chairman of EFG Investment Bank.
In 2008 Tomas established Ekskäret Foundation in Stockholm. The foundation developed a conference facility on its island Ekskäret (eng: Oak Island) in the Stockholm archipelago, and the mission of the foundation is to facilitate personal development and social change. A special focus of the foundation is supporting the development of social entrepreneurs and the understanding of the complexities of social change.
He is also a member of The Club of Rome, co-founder and director of the publishing company Fri Tanke Förlag, and co-founder of the initiative Reinventing Learning and of the company Growing Minds.
Pippa Evans is Creative Director at Perspectiva, helping to ensure that our public events are accessible, innovative and vivifying. Pippa works with our Associates to bring their work to life in both private and public workshops or experiences.
Pippa is a musical comedian and improvisor. Her work has seen her tour globally, both as a stand-up and as a founder member of the Olivier award-winning stage show, Showstoppers! The Improvisational Musical. Pippa can often be found on Radio 4 preforming her songs on The Now Show, or joining in various panel shows such as Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.
In 2013, Pippa co-founded the Sunday Assembly, a network of secular and inclusive congregations, which now operates in over 70 cities globally. This work, combined with her fascination around the connective experience of improvisation, through her ongoing project Improv Your Life, led Pippa to an interest in the exploration of secular spirituality and our ability to communicate deeply with each other.
Anthea Lawson leads our Beyond Activism initiative.
Anthea Lawson is an activist who is thinking about activism. Troubled by the ways in which campaigning sometimes replicates what it tries to change, she is working with Perspectiva to enquire into the inner life of activism and what it means for our efforts to change the outer world in which we live.
She trained and worked as a reporter at The Times, then did investigations into the arms trade and corruption in the natural resource industries for campaigning organisations such as Amnesty International and Global Witness. Following an investigation into how the finance sector fuels grand corruption, she launched an award-winning campaign for transparency in company ownership, which – with the hard work of many other activists – has resulted in new laws in 42 countries. She is still campaigning to get a pelican crossing installed at the end of her road.
Dan Nixon leads Perspectiva's work on Paying Attention.
Dan has an academic background in Philosophy and a decade of experience as an economist at the Bank of England. In his role as the Editor of one of the Bank’s main publications, he was responsible for overseeing articles setting out the Bank of England view on the big economic issues of the day, ranging from the global financial crisis and the productivity puzzle through to conceptual pieces on money creation and the economics of cryptocurrencies. He has developed a growing interest in new economic thinking and broader philosophical questions about what the economy is for. His essay on mindfulness and economics, for instance, received widespread media coverage. Dan holds a First-Class BA in Mathematics & Philosophy (Leeds), an MPhil in Economics (Cambridge) and an MA in Global Studies (Sophia). He is currently completing an MA in Eastern & Western Thought at the University of Wales.
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. AUK 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 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
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 openDemocracy, where he commissioned, edited and contributed to analysis and debate on globalisation, security, the environment, and the politics of climate change.
More recently, he has been science and environment editor at Five Books.
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 The Guardian as “a love letter to, and product of, the extraordinary, irreducible abundance of the human mind.”
Dr Mark Vernon
Mark is a psychotherapist, writer and commentator, contributing to and presenting programmes on BBC radio, as well as writing for the national and religious press, and online publications like Aeon. He also podcasts, 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 A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling and the Evolution of Consciousness (John Hunt), The Meaning of Friendship (Palgrave Macmillan), Wellbeing (Routledge), and The Idler Guide to Ancient Philosophy (Idler Books). He used to be an Anglican priest and lives in London, UK.
Bonnitta Roy is founder of Alderlore Inc. a non-profit education center offering insight practices for individuals who are entering post-formal modes of thinking. At her home/farm Bonnitta hosts insight retreats for people who want to break away from limiting patterns of thought She teaches a masters course in consciousness studies and transpersonal psychology at the Graduate Institute. Her teaching highlights the embodied, affective and perceptual aspects of the core self, and the non-egoic potentials from which subtle sensing, intuition and insight emerge. Bonnitta is an associate editor of Integral Review where you can also find her articles on process approaches to consciousness, perception, and metaphysics.
Zak Stein is philosopher of education working at the interface of psychology, metaphysics, and politics. He has published two books, including Education in Time Between Worlds, along with dozens of articles. This writing was done as he worked co-founding a non-profit and think tank, as well as teaching graduate students at Harvard, and consulting with technology start-ups. Zak is a long time meditator, musician and caregiver, which has shaped him more than any professional engagements.
Dr Tom Chatfield
Tom is a British writer, broadcaster and tech philosopher. His eight books exploring contemporary culture—most recently "Live This Book!" (Penguin), "Critical Thinking" and "Think Critically" (SAGE Publishing).
Tom is interested in improving our understanding of digital technology, and its uses in policy, education and engagement. He took his doctorate and taught at St John's College, Oxford, exploring contemporary literature and public ethics—but spent much of his spare time playing around with computers, and wrestling with the collision of new technologies and old ways of thinking.
He is a regular on BBC radio and television, and speaks and broadcasts around the world on technology and culture. He lives outside London with his wife and two small children, and when not working or doing the school run, plays jazz piano and drinks too much coffee.
Indy is an architect, co-founder of 00 and a Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation and Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield.
Indy, on behalf of 00, has co-founded multiple social ventures from Impact Hub Westminster to Impact Hub Birmingham and the HubLaunchpad Accelerator, along with working with large global multinationals & institutions to support their transition to a positive Systems Economy.
He has also co-led research projects such as The Compendium for the Civic Economy, whilst supporting several 00 explorations/experiments including the wikihouse.cc & opendesk.cc.
Indy is an Advisor to the Earth Security Initiative and a director of WikiHouse Foundation.
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.
Ronan has worked in a variety of strategy and innovation roles and brings a rich knowledge of emerging political and social trends. He has been a scenario planner on the world of 2030 for the British Foreign Office and a freelance political advisor for several European political parties. He was formerly Head of Innovation at Corporate Edge, a Brand Communications Agency, and more recently Director of Futures, Strategy and Animation at RPC, an award winning City Law Firm.
In 2016 Ronan founded and convened Alter Ego, a new platform for progressive leaders exploring the connection between spiritual and political renewal. He has written widely about the prospects for a more visionary politics, recently guest editing a series on this theme for Open Democracy.
Ken Thomson is a Director-General in the Scottish Government, where he advises Ministers and leads teams working on constitutional change, organisational strategy and development and the Scottish Government’s relationships with Parliaments and other governments.
He contributed to work to create the Scottish Parliament in 1997, and was Principle Private Secretary the Rt Hon Donald Dewart MP as both Secretary of State for Scotland and Scotland’s first First Minister. Since then, much of his work has been on constitutional change.
Away from work, he challenges his own resilience and capability by cycling long distances and solving cryptic crosswords.
Simon is an independent insight expert with a reputation for solving problems and moving debates forward through the application of clear thinking and design and delivery of strategic qualitative research.
Working across the private and public sectors, he specialises in research questions which require a deep understanding of the perspectives, experiences and motivations of other people – consumers or colleagues, service-users or stakeholders, citizens or specialists.
Simon is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy Research at King’s College London, and an Associate of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London. He is a Chartered Psychologist and full member of the Market Research Society.
Joanna Cook is a lecturer in Medical Anthropology at University College London and a British Academy Senior Research Fellow. Dr. Cook is the author of Meditation in Modern Buddhism: Renunciation and change in Thai monastic life (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and the coeditor of The State We’re In: Reflecting on Democracy’s Troubles (Berghan Books, 2016), Detachment: Essays on the limits of relational thinking (Manchester University Press, 2015) and Southeast Asian Perspectives on Power (Routledge, 2012).