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Ideas are at the root of The Good Life Experience. Writers, thinkers, movers and shakers come each year to give talks: Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, Ben Fogle, Vivienne Rickman-Poole, John Cooper-Clarke and Jeremy Vine have all been previous guests.

We welcome passionate people, expert in their particular field whether that’s beekeeping, whisky-making, novel-writing, wild swimming, cabinet-making, broadcasting...

Here’s a list of our contributing guests for 2019:


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helen sharman

Helen Sharman is a pioneer, a role model, and a truly inspirational speaker. She became the first British Astronaut when, in May 1991, she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and spent 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the MIR Space Station.
She was selected from over 13,000 applicants after hearing an advert on the radio on her way home after work. Two people were chosen for the rigorous training but only one – Helen – went into Space.
Helen was exactly the right person - calm, practical, friendly, professional and a team player. Expect to be completely entranced by Helen when she takes to the stage at TGLE 2019.


Dame Stella Rimington

Dame Stella is known to billions of people worldwide as the role model for the character “M” played by Dame Judi Dench in the James Bond 007 films. It's rumoured that her own personal style, and choice of clothes, influenced the film character of “M”… but no one will ever know for sure. Appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, Stella Rimington was the first woman to take the post and the first Director General to be publicly named in the Government’s new spirit of open-ness. She retired in April 1996.
Stella has been prolific in her next life as a novelist, with her string of best-selling thrillers, featuring MI5’s Liz Carlyle: At Risk, Secret Asset, Illegal Action, Dead Line, Present Danger, Rip Tide, The Geneva Trap, Close Call, Breaking Cover, and The Moscow Sleepers (2018).

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patrick grant
🎤 ‘HOW green are your trousers?’

Patrick Grant is a British fashion designer and director of Norton & Sons of Savile Row, E. Tautz and Community Clothing which is a ‘social enterprise with a simple mission – to make excellent quality affordable clothes for men and women, to create great jobs for skilled workers and by doing this help to restore real pride in Britain’s textile communities’. He is also a judge on television series, The Great British Sewing Bee.

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lia leendertz
🎤 ‘full moon walk‘

Lia Leendertz is a writer and journalist whose work regularly appears in The Guardian and Telegraph as well as Gardens Illustrated. Her books include My Tiny Veg Plot, The Twilight Garden and The Half Hour Allotment. Her new series of almanacs A Seasonal Guide… aim reinvent the rural almanac.

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selena godden

Salena Godden is one of Britain’s foremost poets, whose electrifying live performances have earned her a devoted following. Her latest poetry collection, Pessimism is for Lightweights, was published by Rough Trade Books in July 2018 in the first Rough Trade Editions series. Her self-produced live poetry album LIVEwire, released with indie spoken word label Nymphs and Thugs, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.

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jon savage

Jon Savage is the author of England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, Teenage: The Creation of Youth, 1875 – 1945 and 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded. In his latest book This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division, The Oral History, published in April by Faber, Savage has assembled three decades’ worth of interviews with the principle players in the Joy Division story. Jon will discuss the book with writer and broadcaster Emma Warren.


Raymond AntrobuS

Raymond Antrobus, born and bred in Hackney, is a prize-winning British-Jamaican poet, performer, editor and educator who has been hailed as the UK’s most exciting new literary talent in any genre. His debut poetry collection, The Perseverance, won the Rathbones Folio prize and the Ted Hughes Award this year: an Antrobus poem is now on the GCSE syllabus, alongside work by Carol Ann Duffy and John Agard. His poetry touches on family, d/Deaf experience and the no-man’s land between stereotypes: it’s been described “as personal as solitude, as universal as song”. Raymond, a former personal trainer, has been writing poetry for as long as he can remember. His first children’s book - Can Bears Ski? -  is out next year with Walker Books. 


liz berry

Liz Berry re-tuned the ears of poetry-lovers across the UK when her first collection, Black Country, a loving homage to the dialect of her West Midlands upbringing, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2014. A former primary school teacher, she is acutely aware of all that is not mentioned, omitted from conversation: in 2017, after the birth of her first child, she realised that the literature she loved said almost nothing about the disorientating experiences of so many new mothers. “The Republic of Motherhood”, first published in Granta, won the status of an anthem among women, shared widely online and in print. Her advice to poets is ‘be tough on your poems but kind to yourself... Listen to poems being spoken, let their electricity light you’.


henry normal

Henry Normal is a comedian, poet and former television producer: he co-wrote The Royle Family with Caroline Aherne and The Parole Officer with Steve Coogan, with whom he set up the production company Baby Cow in 1999. In 2016, he threw over success in television and film for his first love: poems. As a young poet, he had accompanied Pulp on tour: as a poetry lover he later founded poetry festivals in both Manchester and Nottingham. Henry’s own books and performances are popular for both their entertainment and emotional depth. His Radio 4 shows - A Normal Family, A Normal Life, A Normal Love and A Normal Imagination - combine comedy, poetry and stories about bringing up his autistic son.


Susannah Herbert

Susannah Herbert is a reformed national newspaper journalist, who runs Forward Arts Foundation, the charity behind National Poetry Day. She noticed that people turn to poetry when they need words that really matter: a good poem creates a space for high quality attention, a place to listen and to feel. In 2018, inspired by Cerys Matthews’ relish for words, she invited Cerys to curate Tell Me The Truth About Life, an anthology of 100 “poems that matter” for National Poetry Day’s 25th anniversary.

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mark shayler

Mark Shayler a visionary, public speaker, author, writer and enthusiast who runs an innovation and environmental consultancy called Ape. He is the author of Do Disrupt: Change the Status Quo. Or Become It. He will be curating a series of talks at The Good Life Experience 2019.



Dr Ahmed Kazmi is back by popular demand. Dr Ahmed, as he is affectionately known is a practicing GP and dermatology doctor with an interest in holistic care and wellness. When he isn't seeing patients he moonlights as a stand up comedian and cabaret artist on the international fringe and comedy festival circuit. Last year he performed at TGLE and proved laughter really is the best medicine with his comedy show Doctor in the House and Cabaret Consultations. This year he returns to give an intimate, candid and light hearted seminar on understanding depression, a subjective he says, is vitally important and sadly often deeply misunderstand. 6.45pm Saturday 14th September in the Drawing Room.

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Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet. His gritty poetry has won the admiration far and wide and his collaboration with New Order in New York's Carnegie Hall in 2014 received five star reviews. Mike's Ode To St. Anthony, a poem dedicated to the Factory Records boss Tony Wilson and put to classical music by the composer Joe Duddell, went to Number 1 in 3 Official UK charts in August 2015. The video features dozens of dozens of Mike's Manchester friends and colleagues, including Steve Coogan, Christopher Eccleston, Shaun Ryder, Mark Radcliffe, Terry Christian, John Cooper Clarke, Philip Glass, Miranda Sawyer and so many more. Oh and Iggy Pop. It's spine-tingling stuff.

Mike has worked in thousands of schools and his books have become schemes of work in educational establishments throughout the UK and his poetry is regularly heard on BBC Radio and TV. He has read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs. He’s passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach and to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it.


Tom Gregory
🎤 ‘A boy in the water: How an 11 year old boy swam the channel

Author of 'A Boy in the Water', Tom wrote his poignant, life-affirming story of a determined boy, a visionary coach and a record-breaking swim on the daily commute between Farncombe and Waterloo.
In 1987 a ten year old was singing to himself underwater to pass the time. If he could swim the full length of Lake Windermere in under seven hours, he could think about attempting the swim between France and the White Cliffs of Dover the next year. In 1988, Tom succeeded in becoming the youngest person to swim the Channel, aged just 11 years old. It's a beguiling and beautifully remembered tale, A Boy in the Water is a tale of the extraordinary things that kids can achieve with enough determination, encouragement and good friends. It is also an inspiring portrait of endurance and trust - that the Tom’s beloved coach at the Eltham Swimming Club in south London would both push and protect them, as he helped each child imagine and exceed their wildest dreams.


richard king

Richard King is the author of Sunday Times Music Book of the Year 2012 How Soon is Now?, and Original Rockers, which was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize (2015). His next book The Lark Ascending - a history of the British countryside told through the relationship between music and landscape - is due for publication by Faber & Faber in June 2019. He will be discussing The Lark Ascending with writer and broadcaster Emma Warren.

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helen mort

Five times winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, Helen Mort received an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and won the Manchester Young Writer Prize in 2008. Her first collection, Division Street (2013), was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry Award, and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. In 2014, she was named as a ‘Next Generation Poet’, the prestigious accolade announced only once every ten years, recognising the 20 most exciting new poets from the UK and Ireland.

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Teddy Keen

For adventurous families, join author/illustrator Teddy Keen and prepare yourself for life in the wild with this one-of-a-kind adventure book! Teddy first discovered the famous lost notebooks and treasures of the unknown adventurer whilst deep in the Amazon jungle - before having them shipped home and painstakingly restored and edited together to create 'The Lost Book of Adventure'.

Part talk, part interactive adventure show, part exhibition, Teddy will be bringing the book to life, and unveiling some of the secrets of The Unknown Adventurer - who was he? What did he discover? Did he really use his finger as Piranha bait? Using this beautiful book’s unique combination of thrilling adventure stories, practical survival skills and amazing artwork, Teddy will show you how you too can become an adventurer. Ideal for young adventurers aged from 7 to 12.

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sid madge

Sid Madge is a brand strategist and founder of The Meee Programme. After nearly 20 years working at some of Europe’s leading creative agencies, he moved to north Wales to start his own branding agency – a bold move that sparked a major life change. During a school enterprise workshop, Sid was shocked by the levels of low confidence and low self-esteem. Young people and adults were looking to the future with fear and uncertainty. And shocking statistics around anxiety, depression and suicide rates in the UK were rising. He had to act.

The Meee Programme was born. For the past three years, Sid has been drawing on thinking from branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people believe in who they are. He’s run workshops for over 2,500 people and helped thousands more through his bestselling book ‘Meee in a Minute – 60 ways to improve your life in 60 seconds’. He’s launching two more books, ‘Meee in a Work Minute’ and ‘Meee in a Family Minute’, both due for release in the autumn of 2019.

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tom Hodgkinson
🎤 ‘How Ancient Philosophy Teaches us to Live Well’

Tom Hodgkinson is a British writer, commentator, retailer and holder of strong opinions, mainly expressed via The Idler, where he is editor. His books include Business for Bohemians, How to be Free and How to be Idle.

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peter francis

Peter Francis is the Warden of Gladstone’s Library, Britain’s only Prime Ministerial and residential library. The Library is dedicated to theology and liberalism. Peter is an expert on the life of the Library’s founder, four times Prime Minister William Gladstone.

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Robert Poynton
🎤 ‘Do Pause: You are not a to do list

Robert is the author of 'Do Pause: You are not a To Do list' (published April 2019) and will speak as part of this year's Do Book takeover. Robert lives in an off-grid, solar-powered house just outside the small town of Arenas de San Pedro in rural Spain. By way of contrast, he also spends a significant amount of time in Oxford, where he is an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. His work there is practical not academic - he designs and runs executive education programmes, helping senior leaders understand and work with complex change, via a playful approach developed from improvisational theatre. Many of his friends regard his entire career as one long pause. He is also the author of 'Do Improvise'.


Jen Goss
🎤 ’What if we all filled a few jars?’

Jen Goss lives on a smallholding in West Wales with her family, following a lifelong dream to live by the sea and work the land. Her produce - and that from surrounding hedgerows - provides ample supplies for Our Two Acres, her catering company. Jen is a TGLE favourite, and will return this year to talk and also host a Feast in The Pavilion along with Anja Dunk. Together with Mimi Beaven, Jen & Anja authored Do Preserve: Make your own jams, chutneys, pickles & cordials.

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Amanda Blainey
🎤 ‘Do Death: For a life better lived’

Amanda is the author of 'Do Death: For a life better lived' (published 5 September 2019). Amanda is a public speaker, writer and social activist in the growing death movement. She founded Doing Death a multimedia platform and podcast that allows us to explore the subject of death and dying. In addition to working with patients in a UK Hospice she is involved in ‘The Hospice Biographers’ charity that records the life stories of terminally ill people. She also runs a regular Death Café - a pop up space for people to discuss any aspect of death and dying. Her hope is that by shifting old paradigms and opening up authentic conversations, she can help people to accept death as part of life and inspire them to live in a more enriching and meaningful way.

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james sills
🎤 ‘Do sing: Reclaim your voice. Find your singing tribe.

James Sills is a folk musician and singer and has dedicated much of his recent life to inspiring people to sing, whatever they believe that their ability in this area is. He is the author of Do Sing, which will be launched at The Good Life Experience 2019, and host of podcast Sing, Sing, Sing.

James will also lead dawn and dusk choirs for small numbers at TGLE. Find out more here.


Michael Townsend Williams
🎤 ‘Do breathe: Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done‘

Michael is the author of ‘Do Breathe - Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done’. From a life of 'doing' in the world of advertising to a life of 'being' as a yoga and mindfulness teacher, Michael Townsend Williams now works on the integration of both. His business, Stillworks, coaches individuals, teams and organisations on Mindful Productivity and Mindfulness. He is also co-creator of the iPhone app BreatheSync, which brings your breathing into sync with your heart to reduce stress and improve focus. He believes the world needs to calm down and we would all get a lot more done if we did.

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katie elliott

Katie Elliott is a writer and public speaker and the founder of Little Challenges which offers ‘ideas, inspiration and practical tools to help make the messy business of being human just a little bit easier’. She is also the host of the Adventures in Behaviour Change podcast.

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hilary gallo
🎤 ‘What we learn when we make fear our friend’

Hilary Gallo is a lawyer, coach, negotiation expert, sometime jewellery designer and the author of Fear Hack and The Power of Soft. As Hilary puts it ‘my focus is on enabling people. What binds my work together is a belief in our power from within’.

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jess lea-wilson
🎤 ’Do Sea Salt: The magic of seasoning’

Jess Lea-Wilson is brand manager of the globally renowned Welsh salt producer Halen Mon. She is the author of Do Sea Salt: The Magic of Seasoning. She knows a lot about salt and is also a champion of sustainable food production and a public speaker.

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Karen Scofield Seal + Dr. Charlie Bavington
🎤 ’Kelp the World - The Environmental, Societal and Economic Benefits of Seaweed’

Karen Scofield Seal is CEO and co founder of Oceanium which is a biotech company dedicated to developing seaweed based products including compostable bio-packaging. At The Good Life Experience she will be speaking with Dr Charlie Bravington, a bio-chemist based at The European Marine Science Park in Oban.

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James Greenwood

James Greenwood is a vet, potter and television presenter. He studied at Bristol University and has practiced as a vet since 2007 while also appearing on BBC 2’s The Great Pottery Throwdown and the hit CBBC series ‘The Pets Factor’.

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laura mucha
🎤 ’Love Factually’

Laura Mucha is the author of Love Factually. The Science of Who, How & Why We Love which Richard Curtis says is better than his film of (roughly) the same name. She is a children’s writer, mainly of poetry and has studied psychology, philosophy and the flying trapeze as well as training as a lawyer before being hit by a car at the age of 29 and deciding on change of career.

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steve chapman

Steve Chapman has never fitted in. He is an artist who gives away his work. He specialises in working in creative and counter-intuitive ways to help people to free themselves ‘from the stuck loops of common sense’.


kim shaylor

Kim Shaylor is one half of Gone Rogue which curates and exhibits art focused on the relationship between art, fashion and mental well-being.

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natalie lee

Natalie Lee is best known as @stylemesunday on Instagram where she has just shy of 70 000 loyal followers. But there’s much more to Natalie than that. She hosts The Everything Project podcast and worked with Dove to create their world-renowned Warrior Woman Project.

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joan Iyiola

Joan Iyiola is a British/Nigerian actress based in London. She is best known for playing the title role in The Duchess of Malfi at The RSC to huge acclaim. She is co-founder of Mono Box which provides cost effective, nourishing training for actors and theatre makers.

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tina malcolm

Tina Malcolm is a conscious, creative and inspiring professional who uses her personal journey to inspire those that need help.

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brian beaton

Brian Beaton is part of the team that runs the employment team at House of St Barnabas. The House is a members’ club that aims to break the cycle of homelessness. Through his Humour of Sense workshop he uses comedy to support people in difficult situations.



William Rolph is a sustainable designer and co-founder of Two Fields Zakros with his brother Harry. Together, they believe that living and farming in harmony with nature is the only sustainable way. They produce small batches of extra virgin olive oil using microbial farming methods. It's their belief that through great food, thoughtful craft and being outside, we can all connect to the environment and create positive change.

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Vivienne Rickman-Poole

Vivienne Rickman-Poole is a wild swimmer, artist, educator, author and film maker. If that seems like a long list, it is, because Vivienne has many strings to her bow all of which connect to her deep love of outdoor swimming and art. Watch her star in the video for Elbow’s iconic song (Real Life) Angel.

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Jasmin O’Hara

Jasmin O’Hara is a British human rights defender who works in international refugee support. She is the co-founder of the Worldwide Tribe charity where she uses story-telling techniques that are often associated with fashion and brands to connect people to her work.

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Gemma Germains
🎤 I’m Not Normally Like This

Gemma is a cyclist, designer, writer, and researcher. She’s a sometimes speaker, Sagittarius, GSOH looking for discrete fun.

Ever wondered what it’s like to do a conference call with drug-induced psychosis? Now’s your chance to find out. From accessing help when you can’t stop cleaning to really weird vocal tics; I’m Not Normally Like This is a celebration of mental health in all it’s wild, terrifying glory. “One part storytelling and one part workshop, I’ll even help you create the same mental health map that got me through the craziest days; because you never know when an eye infection will explode into a mini-break from reality.“

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Karen O'Donoghue

Karen O'Donoghue is the founder of Happy Tummy Co. Karen’s attitude to food comes from a deep respect for the land. As the daughter of two horticulturists she prefers as little intervention as possible between the time a food is picked and the time it reaches your mouth to keep your tummy in optimum gut health.

Karen will also host a Food Workshop, ‘Bake for Good Gut Health with Happy Tummy Co.’ on Saturday morning. More information here.

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Blanche Girouard

Blanche Girouard is a teacher, writer and broadcaster with a long association with The Good Life Experience. In 2019 she is curating a series of talks on the theme of How To….

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Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews is a broadcaster, festival founder, author and musician. She hosts a much loved radio show on BBC Radio 6 where she champions endless interesting music and a weekly blues show in Radio 2. Her books include Hook, Line and Singer. She co-founded The Good Life Experience and has been made an MBE.

TGLE 2019 will host the official launch of Cerys’ book, ‘Where The Wild Cooks Go’.

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🎤 ‘HOW TO stop working

Josh Cohen is Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths and a psychoanalyst in private practice. He is an author of several books and a journalist who writes on modern literature, cultural theory and psychoanalysis.

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Charlie Gladstone
🎤 ‘How to Get the Best From Everyone (Including Yourself)‘

Charlie Gladstone is an entrepreneur, author and land owner. He has founded or co-founded The Good Life Experience, Pedlars, Glen Dye Cabins & Cottages, The Glynne Arms and Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. He hosts The Mavericks Podcast and co-wrote The Family Guide to the Great Outdoors with his wife Caroline.


🎤 ‘HOW TO keep fighting’

Andrew is going to tell us how to KEEP FIGHTING! Andy was born with severe haemophilia (a genetic disorder that stops your blood from clotting). From an early age, he was injecting himself with the ‘miracle’ blood-clotting product ‘Factorate’, not knowing that this NHS treatment was contaminated. At 8 he contracted HIV. By 16 he had developed full blown AIDS. It was 1993. A successful treatment had yet to be discovered. Andrew spent the next four years in and out of hospital, fighting for his life. His weight went down to six and a half stone and both his hip bones crumbled. Anti-retroviral drugs were invented just in time to save him but he still had HIV and had now also been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. In 2006, he founded ‘Tainted Blood’ – a support group for the thousands of other haemophiliacs who, like him, had unknowingly been infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. For over 30 years, Tainted Blood sought recognition and compensation for the infected haemophiliac community. Now, finally, the government have agreed to a public enquiry – the ‘Infected Blood Inquiry’ – which is currently in process. Andy is now married, with two children. I will be talking to him about how he kept, and keeps on, fighting – for his own health and welfare and the health and welfare of the infected haemophiliac community.

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Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food writer and climate change activist. He is an idealistic eco-chef and author of The Natural Cook: Eating the Seasons from Root to Fruit. Tom’s work focuses on food sustainability without compromising on creativity and taste.


🎤 ’HOW TO get want you want out of life’

Nina Grunfeld is a writer, journalist, public speaker and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Life Clubs, a workshop-based system for self-development. Her best-known book is, perhaps, The Big Book of Me which lead to her Daily Telegraph column Get A Life.

Nina will host Life Coaching sessions inside Hawarden Castle at TGLE 2019. Find out more, and book your place, here.

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Dr Freddie Baveystock
🎤 ‘Rediscovering my purpose

Dr Freddie Baveystock will be talking as part of our My Story: How I Made Change Work series. His professional career started at Oxford University where he taught American Literature. He then spent many years working in branding for some of Europe’s top agencies before making a radical shift in career and training as a state school teacher.

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🎤 ‘how i made change happen

Louise Edwards will be talking as part of our My Story: How I Made Change Work series. She is passionate about making the world a better place and so -in her spare time- she founded RAVEN (Refugee And Volunteer Empowerment Network). Her vision is ‘a world where refugees are treated with dignity’.

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🎤 ‘How I Made Change Happen

Jane Lindsey will be talking as part of our My Story: How I Made Change Work series. From her home and workshops near Loch Lomond in Scotland Jane runs a thriving online business that -like all interesting small businesses- twists and turns as her life does. Jane suffers from Addisons Disease and this has informed her lifestyle and her business.

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🎤 ‘changing the way we do business, meet & collaborate

Penny Lee, founder of Walking Whisky Wellness, ‘a business conference in disguise’, has always been inspired by those doing things differently. Being surrounded by and spending time with those who dare to do different helps all of us who are looking toward that direction.

Bringing together industry experts and great creative minds for some truly beneficial walking and talking, sharing of ideas and making worthy connections. With the mission: To do business differently. Networking doesn’t have to be sufferable but rather sharing great times makes for the most worthy and deeper lasting connections.

We keep it small, very small. Small gatherings is another preference to give people real space to think and connect. It’s about stripping things back to business how nature intended. Fresh air, excellent food, really good drinks and really interesting people doing interesting things and that’s it. And when you put them in a really interesting place, then magic happens.

Penny will be talking about the change in the way we do business, meet and collaborate.

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Michael Nicholson
🎤 ‘Botann - Rebooting the welly

Michael Nicholson will be talking as part of our My Story: How I Made Change Work series. When Hunter moved production for its famed wellingtons from Scotland, Michael Nicholson decided to launch a mission to get wellies made in Scotland again. He hasn’t yet succeeded in all of his mission; but he is making wellies.


Helene Mark
🎤 ‘how i made change happen

Helene will talk to us about her mission to change early years education in the UK. Having worked as a HR Manager and a COO for the past decade she has witnessed the skills necessary to succeed in modern workplaces. With Outdoor Owls - a new type of Scandi-inspired outdoor nursery she plans to open in London in January - she wants to connect city children with nature and the world around them. Come rain or shine, her nursery aims to take children outside at least 5 hours a day.

"For me, early years education is much more than getting ready for school - it's about getting ready for life. Let's start by moving the children outside the traditional classroom walls and into nature and the world around them"

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Catrina Davies
🎤 ‘Homesick; Why I live in a Shed

Catrina Davies will be talking as part of our My Story: How I Made Change Work series. Catrina is the author of Homesick; Why I Live in a Shed. The book is a memoir of a personal housing crisis and the radical solution that Catrina found.

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Rob Doyle’s first novel Here Are The Young Men was published by Bloomsbury and selected as a book of the year by The Sunday Times and Irish Times. It was also selected as one of Hot Press’s ’20 Greatest Irish Novels Since 1916’. As if that wasn’t enough he is an essayist and actor who appeared in the 2017 feature film Hit the North.

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Nicole Flattery

Nicole Flattery’s collection of short stories -published by Bloomsbury after a fierce bidding war- was Show Them A Good Time and was described by The Guardian as ‘an addictive mix of deadpan drollery and candour’.

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Julie Anna Douglas

Julie Anna Douglas is a writer and children’s poet and is the author of A Treasure Chest of Story Telling Inspiration. Her aim is to help children unlock their imagination and create their own amazing stories and adventures.

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Charlotte Runcie

Charlotte Runcie is the Daily Telegraph’s radio columnist and arts writer. For several years she lived and worked in Edinburgh, where she ran a folk music choir, and she now lives in the Scottish Borders. She has a secret past as a poet, having been a Foyle Young Poet of the Year with a pamphlet published by tall-lighthouse. Salt On Your Tongue: Women and the Sea - a lyrical exploration of the sea in art and in life – is her first book. She will be discussing it at this year’s TGLE with journalist and short-story writer Anna Wood.

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dan richards

Dan Richards is the co-author of Holloway (with Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood) and the author of The Beechwood Airship Interviews and Climbing Days; His latest book, Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth - the focus of his slot at this year’s TGLE - follows a route from the Cairngorms of Scotland to the fire-watching huts of Washington State, from Iceland's Houses of Joy to the desert of New Mexico, and from the frozen beauty of Svalbard to a lighthouse perched in the Atlantic. Along the way Dan uncovers landscapes which have inspired writers, artists and musicians, and asks: why are we drawn to wilderness? And how do wild places become a space for inspiration and creativity?

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anna wood

Anna Wood is a journalist and short-story writer. In addition to hosting conversations with Helen Mort and Charlotte Runcie, she’ll be reading a selection of her published and unpublished stories at this year’s TGLE.


emma warren

Emma Warren is a writer, editor, and broadcaster, and a bringer together of things that don't usually sit together.

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jeff towns

Jeff Towns is an antiquarian bookdealer by trade, and a foremost expert on Dylan Thomas. His bus-shaped mobile bookshop can be found pitched up at the TGLE every year. On the Caught by the River stage at this year’s festival, he presents a talk on Idris Davies (6 January 1905 – 6 April 1953) - a Left-Wing Welsh poet, born in Rhymney, near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. Davies began his working life aged 14 as a coal miner, but went on to become a poet published by T.S. Eliot at Faber and Faber. Punctuated with audio clips, Jeff’s talk will follow the journey of how an extract from Davies’ 1938 poem - Gwalia Deserta (meaning literally "Wasteland of Wales"), travelled from Merthyr to New York and into Bob Dylan’s repertoire - via Dylan Thomas and Pete Seeger – and on to be recorded by Dylan and The Band, The Byrds, Cher, Judy Collins, John Denver, Ralph McTell and the Welsh band The Alarm.


Patrick Hurley
🎤 ‘Universal Basic Income can change the world’

A brief history of Universal Basic Income and a few ways in which it could revolutionise the way we live our lives.

Patrick Hurley is the Chief Executive Officer of Inclusive Economy Liverpool. Patrick is an experienced business development professional with a demonstrated history of working at a senior level in startup advice and local government administration. Patrick is a Co-Founder and Director of Ethos Magazine.


Vimla Appadoo
🎤 ‘The Future of Working’

As a Service Designer at Digital Bridge, Vimla is bringing her passion for Service Design and user-centred services to the forefront of tech innovation. At 21, Vim co-founded Experience Matters consultancy, winning the NHS CCG as her first client. Since, Vim has also founded Northern Collective: Women in Public Spaces, co-founded SheSaysMCR, managed DrinkaboutMCR and managed Manchester Social Entrepreneurs. She has been an advisor to the Youth Charter, the Big Youth Group and is a Regional Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust.


Architecture Unknown, Charlie Butterwick & Dan Kelso

The positive intersection of communities, design and construction as exemplified by the Scout Hut WikiHouse project.

At Architecture Unknown we believe design and construction should be an inclusive dialogue, one where bricks and mortar enclose more than just space. Our process targets the social impact of buildings and enables communities to construct shared understandings of place to which we apply our expertise, allowing our clients to invest in design and their own skills. We utilise the WikiHouse structural system to promote a completely collaborative construction environment that protects the planet and the people who live there with the ultimate aim of upturning architectural hierarchies to create meaningful and just communities.

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Owen Proctor-Jackson

What is SOUP? Its history and the current state of play for SOUPs in the UK.

Owen works in King's College, London's libraries, but in his spare time bumbles around volunteering for things he hopes will make the world a bit better. Currently, one of his main focuses in this regard has been SOUP, a grassroots community crowdfunding initiative that funds local projects through direct democracy, while also fostering local networks and engaging residents with their community. Having recently worked to establish a network of UK SOUP organisers, and shamelessly stealing their best ideas, Owen hopes to help bring SOUP to more communities across the UK.

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Lauren Coulman
🎤 ‘Designing Social Change Requires Humanity’

When designing social change, the personal, systemic and cultural context is essential in understanding how to address the root causes of social issues, build purposeful communities and fundamentally, create social impact that meets humans basic needs.

Noisy Cricket builds people-powered movements through bringing diverse voices together to create social change. Working purposefully and collectively on the root causes of social issues, founder Lauren Coulman and the team work to engineer strategic and cross-sector responses to systemic, cultural and personal challenges in our society, all with impacted people at the heart of the solutions designed.


Josephine Liang

Josephine is a food waste and sustainability campaigner and entrepreneur. As the Co-Founder of DayOld and Caulibox, she has worked with corporations (including Unilever & Sainsbury’s), local authorities (Westminster & Camden council) and higher educational institutes (London School of Economics) as well as numerous food enterprises in cutting food waste and advising on sustainable development. Josephine was awarded a special “Women in Food” award by the Mayor of London in 2019.


Ben Young

Standard Practice is a D&AD award-winning agency, devising and delivering creative projects which involve both people and place. Listed amongst creative review's top 50 creative leaders.

We believe that places work best when everybody is involved with building them.