Join the Changemakers in Turbulent Times programme

Do you want to explore what change means to you in the UK today?

Are you looking to connect with a network of people who are working for social change at every level across the UK?

Would you like to leverage your passion for more effective action, have greater confidence in yourself, and build the skills to drive meaningful, lasting change?

Changemakers in Turbulent Times is a unique, 6-week programme that supports people working for social change across the UK to re-energise, connect across sectors, and amplify creative responses to the challenges of our times.

Join our free, online, 6-week programme designed for people working for social change.

Connect across sectors and initiatives within a UK-wide network of changemakers.

Turn your ideas into action and make the change you want to see.

Create space to
build awareness of yourself and the
world around you.

Programme dates:
12th June – 17th July

Session times:
Online via Zoom
Every Wednesday

Apply by:
16th May (now open
to applicants UK-wide!) 

Why is this programme for me?

      • You are concerned by the growing challenges in the UK and across the globe.
      • You want to build greater awareness and confidence in yourself as changemaker.
      • You want to drive more impactful change at local and/or systemic levels.
      • You are looking for ways to meaningfully connect and collaborate with an inspiring UK-wide community that, together, drives substantial change.

What challenges does this programme address?

      • The UK is experiencing financial, environmental, and social crises. Division, polarisation and extremism are high amongst the British population, with 43% describing modern Britain as ‘declining.
      • While changemakers are working to bridge these societal divisions, they must be resourced. Many are isolated, chronically underfunded, and often overwhelmed by the growing challenges they see in the UK and globally.
      • More and more, community leaders are being asked to hold space for difficult conversations and challenging viewpoints without the skills or support necessary to prevent further division, polarisation, and harm.
      • Social change initiatives, and the teams behind them, often operate within low-resource silos, with few opportunities to meaningfully and organically connect or share resources across sectors.
      • Changemakers often encounter challenges that can arise from external factors, internal struggles, or a combination of both. Yet, many people are so caught up in fire-fighting that they don’t have time to sit back, take stock, and learn from others in order to navigate these common obstacles.

Plan for Peace - Changemakers in Turbulent Times - Testimonial

“For me, this is the model of how it should be done going forward. They’ve got it exactly right in terms of approach, content, how you bring people who work in the community together as one – and that’s what they have done. It felt as if it was one. A collective of people who want to bring about real change and be well.” 

2023 Changemakers participant

What skills & topics will we cover?

Develop Community - Plan for Peace

Stepping back and
reconnecting to your passion.

What positive change do you want to see in yourself, your community, the world? What drives you and those around you?

Plan for Peace - Community

Inclusive and open
communication and listening.

What does listening without rescuing, advising, or shaming look like? How can we open compassionate communication with those we don’t agree with, without compromising on justice and advocacy? 

Plan for Peace - Collective Action

Transforming conflict
and fostering cooperation.

What skills can you build in yourself to negotiate effectively through conflict in your community or organisation? What does it actually take to hold space for others? What is the wider impact on the people and institutions around you?

Anger to Action Icon

Resilience in the
face of challenges.
What can you learn from how you approach challenges? How can you build support for and resilience in yourself, and enable more effective changemaking?

Heart Led Leadership Icon

Generating collaborative
and creative solutions.

How do we deal with low resources, power dynamics, and resistance to change within institutions and communities? Can we find solutions to social issues by bridging sectors and divides?

Taking a Stand Icon

Putting ideas into action
and sustaining impact.

How do we take that next step, from ideas to action? What is needed to sustain the momentum and impact of this action?

Jo Berry

“Changemakers In Turbulent Times is designed very specifically for this moment, when we’re all being asked to respond to the challenges of our times in creative ways. We resource participants, help them build new connections and inspire and innovate meaningful, lasting change.”

Jo Berry
Head of Peacebuilding & acclaimed speaker

A Stellar Library of Guest Speaker Content

As part of this programme, you will gain exclusive access to online talks recorded specifically for our programme participants.
These cover the programme themes and are led by renowned speakers and social changemakers from across the world. They include…

Selina HalesSelina Hales
Scottish mum-turned-activist and founder of a Refuweegee.

John Paul LederachJohn Paul Lederach
One of the world’s best-known conflict transformation experts.

Mark Prince OBEMark Prince OBE
Inspirational speaker, former professional boxer and award-winning charity campaigner.

Dr Scilla Elworthy
Founder of Plan for Peace and three-times Noble peace prize nominee.

Lee Lawrence - Plan for Peace Guest SpeakerLee Lawrence
Award-winning restorative justice advocate, author, speaker, and social entrepreneur.

Rob DeeksRob Deeks
CEO of Together As One, community organiser in Slough, and passionate believer in youth-led change.

Ryad KhodabocusRyad Khodabocus
Heart-centred leadership and interfaith champion.

Aina J. Khan
Writer and journalist for The New York Times, NBC News, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera English.

“This programme deepens the social fabric of communities across the UK. The networks formed locally and nationally will act as catalysts for strengthening communities.”

Belong – The Cohesion & Integration Network
Evaluation & Learning Partner

Have questions? Read our FAQs below.

What is the Changemakers in Turbulent Times programme?

The 2024 Changemakers in Turbulent Times is a 6-week, online programme for changemakers across the UK, delivered by leading global peacebuilding and conflict resolution experts. 

The programme connects individuals and organisations that strive for positive, peaceful change across the UK. It facilitates collaboration across sectors, the development of vital tools like conflict mapping and holding difficult conversations, and opportunities to respond to some of the UK’s biggest cross-sector social cohesion challenges, like poverty, discrimination, and extremism.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for anyone working to make positive change in the UK. 

We bring together individuals who are passionate about, and experienced at, driving lasting, positive change at all levels, and across all sectors of work, personal backgrounds, leadership ranks and titles, and life experiences. This includes, but is not limited to, grassroots activists, non-profit founders, policymakers, community & faith leaders, entrepreneurs, health & social care workers, and educators. We also invite those who have ideas about the change they want to see, and are looking to take the next step in turning their ideas into action. 

Our programme is for those who are interested in and working to address a range of social issues. For example, community conflict and violence, racial discrimination, climate change, and poverty, amongst others. 

We invite changemakers from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and ability. Applicants must be aged 18+. 

We are also committed to making our programme accessible to those who consider themselves to have a disability or health condition.

What are the dates of the programme?

This is a six-week programme that takes place from 12 June – 17 July, 2024. Applications are open from April 22 – May 16, 2024.

On what days/times will the programme run?

Sessions will take place online, via Zoom, every Wednesday from 10am-12:30pm.

Can I apply from anywhere in the UK?

Yes, our programme takes place online and is open to anyone who lives or works in the UK.

How do I apply and when is the deadline?

Applications are open from 22 April, 2024. The deadline to apply is 16 May, 2024. You can apply using our simple online application form, or you can get in touch to send us a video application at:

What’s the time commitment required?

Participants are required to commit 2.5 hours a week for the duration of this 6-week programme. Sessions will be held online, every Wednesday, from 10am-12:30pm.

We know that many participants are working full-time or have other personal and professional commitments, which is why we have kept core participation requirements low. There will be additional, optional, opportunities to deepen your experience (see next FAQ).

Are there any opportunities or time commitments outside of the core sessions?

There are other, optional opportunities to deepen your Changemakers experience. While these are not compulsory, we encourage everyone to participate where possible.

  • Community Connect sessions: Held online, 6-7pm, every other Thursday. These start the week before the first core session (Thurs 6th June).
  • Small working groups based around interests.
  • And more!

I can’t attend all of the sessions, should I still apply?

Please only apply if you are confident you can attend all six sessions. Participants must do so in order to receive a certificate of completion. We do, however, understand that personal and professional circumstances can arise that impact attendance. Session recordings are available if a session is missed or disrupted. 

I don’t have good technical skills, should I still apply?

All sessions are delivered online, via Zoom, and we use Google Drive as a resource hub. Both platforms are straightforward to use and we have a helpful team available to support! 

If you’d like to talk to us about this or about any other access needs you have, please contact:

I don’t have access to the internet and/or a computer, can I still apply?

We are committed to making our programme as accessible as we can. We have a small number of internet devices and laptops available for loan throughout the programme. Please get in touch if this is something you’d like to chat about.

Do I always need to have my camera on?

As our programme is held online, it relies on everyone being able to engage and interact with one another. We encourage participants to have their cameras on, at least during discussions or activities, as it greatly improves this experience and aids those who rely on lipreading. However, it is not a requirement and we welcome all participants to apply, including those who cannot rely on visual cues, are more comfortable with their cameras off, and/or may be juggling other priorities, like childcare. 

English isn’t my first language, should I still apply?

This programme is held in English and participants must be able to understand and speak the language. However, please do not let concerns about your language ability hold you back from applying.

If you can follow a TedTalk in English on YouTube, and speak in English with a group of friends about things that are important to you, you should be able to follow the programme. 

There will be minimal reading and writing required. There will be some supporting course materials in English, but reading these is not a requirement. ‘Closed captions’ are enabled on the Zoom platform to enable anyone who needs that support to access it during the live sessions.

If you would like to chat about this, please get in touch:  

Are there any costs involved?

We are pleased to offer full funding for every place on the Changemakers in Turbulent Times programme. Participants will incur no fees.

Who is the programme led by?

The programme is led by a team of people with many years experience between them of working for social change and peacebuilding, in the UK and globally. The programme will be led by Jo Berry and Ruby Kellard, who you can find out more about here. You will also have access to recordings of talks from a range of inspiring speakers, predominantly from the UK, but also from the US. 

I’d like to have a chat with someone about the programme - who should I contact?

We’d love to hear from you! Please email our Programme Manager, Ruby Kellard:

John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach is a living legend in the field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding, working with and championing the power of the grassroots to bring about lasting change. He has won many prestigious awards, including the Martin Luther King Order of Peace Medal in 2006.

He is Senior Fellow at Humanity United and Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame. He works extensively in conciliation processes, active in Latin America, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia. He is widely known for the development of culturally appropriate approaches to conflict transformation and the design and implementation of integrative and strategic approaches to peacebuilding. He served as the director of the Peace Accord Matrix research initiative at the Kroc Institute and currently a member of the Advisory Council for the Truth Commission in Colombia. He is a widely published author and editor of 24 books and manuals, including Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies and The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace.

Rob Deeks

Rob Deeks is a renowned social cohesion expert in the UK and CEO at Aik-Saath- Together as One, the multiple award-winning young people’s charity based in Slough that is widely credited with having ended bitter intercommunal violence in the area. For 20 years, Rob has supported young people to move their ideas and aspirations forward, leading to his involvement in diverse spheres of work, including race, identity, conflict resolution, specialist services for young carers and young people from various backgrounds, and the arts and heritage.

Under his leadership, Aik-Saath- Together as One has won numerous awards, including The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2006 and The Guardian Charity of the Year in 2009. Rob is a prominent local figure in community events and has spoken in Parliament on issues such as the value of multiculturalism and what deprived urban areas need from central government to support their young people.

Mark Prince OBE

Dr Mark Prince is a much-loved inspirational speaker and former professional boxer turned award-winning charity campaigner. All too familiar with overcoming adversity, the once drug-abusing youth became a world-renowned fighter, to later reinvent himself once more as a campaigner after the death of his son by knife crime.

In May 2006, Mark’s son passed away, a teen victim of knife crime. Driven by the desire to prevent knife crime, Mark founded The Kiyan Prince Foundation in 2007, which used his platform and experiences in sport to create positive change. Awarded an OBE for his services to tackling gang crime in London, Mark has solidified the legacy of his late son and influenced a generation. Mark is a qualified personal trainer who continues to work predominantly with youths. Highly regarded for his authority as a speaker on knife crime, he has been the executive producer of Put the Knives and Guns Down and spoken for the Metropolitan Police Operation Trident Program. He has also spoken with Mayor Sadiq Khan on London’s knife crime epidemic and been a guest speaker at the National Governor Prison Association Conference and the National Black Crown Prosecutors Association Conference.

Lee Lawrence

Lee Lawrence is a social entrepreneur who works to help marginalised people find their voice, manage conflict and achieve justice. In 2014, he founded Mobility Enterprises with the hope of aiding those who would otherwise struggle in their daily life by providing public transport for the disabled. In 2016, he founded the Cherry Groce Foundation which exists to enhance the wellbeing of disabled people.

At the age of eleven, Lee witnessed his mother Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce unlawfully shot by police, sparking the 1985 Brixton uprising, and leaving Cherry with physical injuries and disabilities which eventually lead to her death in 2011. After his mother’s passing, Lee dedicated his time to pursuing justice.

In 2014, an inquest began into his mother’s death – although his application for legal aid was denied, Lee obtained over 133,000 signatures from the public to support the to support the decision being overturned which lead to legal aid being granted. Lee campaigned to obtain justice, successfully receiving a full public apology and accountability by the Metropolitan Police.

Since then Lee has dedicated his time to pursuing justice through his work as an inspirational speaker, restorative justice ambassador, and social change advocate, and sharing his story in his award-winning book ‘The Louder I will Sing’. Working with organisations, institutions, educational establishments, and communities.

Selina Hales

One of Scotland’s best-known activists, Selina Hayles is the founder and CEO of Refuweegee, a community-led charity in Glasgow providing a warm welcome to forcibly displaced persons. Her passion is to create social change through Refuweegee.

Currently, the organization provides personalised aid to meet each individual Ukrainian refugees’ needs. They also have educational workers support the children in schools and prepare teachers to deal with the trauma they’ve experienced. Selina is an all-rounded leader who occasionally holds up the positions of volunteer, trustee, cause founder, project manager, fundraiser, researcher, operational director, business development manager and social entrepreneur. In 2022, she was nominated for the Scottish Influencer of the Year’s Inspiration award.

Ryad Khodabocus

Ryad Khodabocus is an Integrative Health and Wellness consultant, specialised in lifestyle medicine and energy psychology. He is a certified HeartMath® Coach, Trainer and Practitioner. He researched in Emotional Intelligence and holds a master’s degree in Psychology of Health and Management. He created the P.E.A.C.E system for health and wellness inspired by his work in peace and reconciliation.

Ryad heads a non-profit working around peace and reconciliation and community development for the last 15 years. In 2018, he was awarded as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century as agents of reconciliation in the UK, supported by the Prime Minister’s Office. A multiple award winner, Ryad is popularly known for his spirit of integration, cultural and collective intelligence and has penned over 500 newspaper articles. In 2020, Ryad’s charity won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the only one to win in Luton for the county of Bedfordshire in that year.

Dr Scilla Elworthy

Dr Scilla Elworthy is a three times Nobel peace prize nominee and visionary whose peacebuilding experience spans many countries and conflicts. She has worked with notable peacemakers such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, advised heads of state in nuclear non-proliferation talks and is a vocal advocate for business as a force for peace.

Aina J. Khan

Aina J. Khan is a British journalist who has worked as a reporter or correspondent for The New York Times, NBC News, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera English. She has reported from the UK, the US, the occupied Palestinian West Bank, and Tanzania.

In 2021, she became the first International Fellow at The New York Times. She is also a writer. In 2019, she was selected to take part in the BBC Writer’s Room, Northern Voices Writers scheme. Her first short play about a British-Pakistani teenager’s love for Michael Jackson’s music and traditional Pashtun dancing, Pashto Thriller, debuted at the Bradford Literature Festival in 2019.