Sahar Mediha Al-Naas is an independent researcher, Public Speaker, Capacity Building Trainer, and a consultant on Gender & Identity, Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Based Violence. Founder and director of Libyan Women for Peace and Freedom. Based in the UK, Sahar holds an MA in Gender and Identity in the Middle East from the University of Exeter, with a focus on Libyan women’s political representation and participation in the public sphere in the post-Gaddafi era. Born in Libya, where Al-Naas completed her first degree, she moved to the UK in 1995 and has worked with women’s organisations in both Libya and the UK. Since 2011, Al-Naas has been working with civil society both in the UK and internationally. She has been travelling between Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Malta and the US to attend and organise conferences, workshops, seminars, and meetings, as well as working as an independent researcher. Sahar held a fellowship at MPV where she lobbied, planned and strategised campaigns for human rights issues and women’s issues. She is a Co-Author of: ‘Women’s Bodies in Post-Revolution Libya: Control and Resistance’, in Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World (2015), and author of Al-NAAS. ‘Sexual Violence and the Women’s Exclusion: The New Libyan Gendered State’ (2018). At present time Sahar works as Resettlement Coordinator at Refugee Support Devon.
My interests and expertise encompasses leadership studies, organization theory and philosophy, organizational development and international development. I have six years’ experience of running large-scale international development initiatives in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. In addition, I am collaborating with the Malaria Elimination Initiative – a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded research group based at the University of California, San Francisco – on malaria elimination programme management in Southern Africa and the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
I have extensive experience of running and teaching on leadership and executive development programmes internationally, including acting as a tutor for the London Business School EMBA core module ‘Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility’. I have acted as an academic and personal coach to a number of senior executives in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. My organizational and leadership development consultancy experience includes working with the UK NHS and a variety of other public and private sector organizations.
I am a fellow of the Leadership Trust Foundation and fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have held visiting positions at the Helsinki School of Economics, the Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm, Leicester University and the University of Humanistics, Utrecht.
Annette’s mother described her as a child who had an unnatural attraction to the word ‘why?’ There always seemed to be so much more going on that required further clarification. That curiosity about out-of-awareness aspects of life was further piqued at an early stage in her career as an arts manager as she watched actors working with ‘subtext’ or, the emotional undertone of characters. The words that actors spoke seemed superfluous as they brought their characters to life using an understanding of emotion. A simple inflection of tone; a look; a movement of a hand could turn a simple sentence into a complex array of meaning if the actor understood how the character was feeling. Annette spent increasing amounts of time in the rehearsal room watching directors and actors discussing characters’ motivations for entering a room, sitting in a chair or answering a phone call. The question on the tip of every actor’s tongue was ‘why would my character do this?’
It is no surprise that the overarching theme of Annette’s research, teaching and professional practice is the psychodynamic study of emotion in organisations.
Annette is currently working on a study of reflexivity in organisations. There is a lot of scholarly work on reflexivity and, on how important it is for individuals and organisations in order to open up opportunities for learning and change. What hasn’t been studied quiet so much is the emotions that get in the way of being reflexive and how reflexivity is defended against. This study will pay particular attention to positivity and its role in inhibiting reflexivity in organisations.
Annette is also about to start a collaboration with an arts centre in Dublin to explore boredom in organisations. Using psychoanalytic and arts-based methods, the study will look at the relationship between boredom and creativity. Annette hopes that the project will be more creative and less boring than it sounds.
Most of us have stories of disappointment in our work life and many of them revolve around failure to live up to expectations (our own or others’). Failure evokes blame and shame and the inevitable attempts to root out who is at fault to ensure the same mistakes are not made again. In Annette’s doctoral research she discovered that disappointment is associated with the loss of an imagined better and more positive future. Viewed from this perspective disappointment might be reimagined as a catalyst for organisational learning (what matters to people) and creativity (how we might help organisations find it). Annette earned her PhD at the University of Bath. Her doctoral dissertation was an in-depth, qualitative study of the inter-personal and organisational dynamics of disappointment.
Annette has consulted to and coached senior executives in over 100 organisations across the public, private and not for profit sectors in Ireland, the UK and the USA. She managed her own consulting business for 17 years following many years as a senior manager in the cultural sector. Some examples of the types of engagements she has undertaken include:
She designed and facilitated a high-profile national consultation process for the Arts Council of Ireland that had met high levels of sectoral cynicism and fatigue with previous efforts. The process involved a 6-month engagement with over 100 small and focused meetings involving approximately 1000 participants. She achieved 100% buy-in to a single shared vision for the sector, which was successfully implemented.
Annette was engaged by Dublin City Council to complete a comprehensive review of the Dublin Writers Festival. The process involved the design and delivery of a broad consultation process with artists, audiences, stakeholders, staff, volunteers and curators. The resulting report advocated significant changes to the policy, programme and structure of the festival. Her recommendations were accepted in full and have been successfully implemented.
Annette has also curated and programmed artistic programmes and conferences and, worked with the boards of directors and senior management teams of many of Ireland’s National Cultural Institutions helping them to refine their vision, clarify strategy and define their operational goals. She has coached CEOs, senior leaders and senior management teams in areas such as relationship management, team building, role consultation, mediation and staff development.
Prior to establishing her consultancy business Annette was artistic director of Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford (a multi-disciplinary arts centre in the South-east of Ireland), programme administrator of the Dublin Theatre Festival and general manager of the Soho Theatre Company in London.
Between 2015 and 2018 Annette was assistant professor of management and organisational behaviour at University College Dublin’s College of Business where she taught a wide range of management subjects to students aged 18 to 60 at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive levels. She has also taught in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Annette introduced innovative arts-based and psychodynamically informed experiential learning to her teaching of leadership education. She currently teaches management to students of cultural policy and arts management at University College Dublin.
Annette speaks regularly to business groups on topics such as: Do organisations have feelings?; beneath the surface management; how to disappoint and other lessons from ‘negative feelings’; the tyranny of satisfaction; how to manage difficult people. Her current research projects include a study on the ‘politics of boredom’.
Annette’s research has been published in the British Journal of Management and she writes a regular column on organisational behaviour for Accountancy Ireland. She is widely quoted in the media and you can find her website at www.annetteclancy.com and follow her on Twitter @annetteclancy.
Between 2000 and 2010 Tanmayo Murray-Clark worked in senior roles at Transport for London. As Director he was jointly responsible for designing, implementing and operating the innovative and successful London Congestion Charging and low emission schemes to tight timelines, budgets and scrutiny. As MD for Planning he was jointly responsible for over 300 staff developing London-wide policies and large scale transport projects.
In 2010, after a 34-year career, Tanmayo moved to Devon and made a 180-degree switch in direction by retraining as a core process psychotherapist. The MA training with its roots in Buddhist teachings on mindfulness and presence, his five years of seeing individual clients, ongoing spiritual enquiry and working in the voluntary sector have generated a grounded experience and capacity in Tanmayo to support individuals and organisations in thoughtful, heartfelt and practical exploration.
Jonathan acts in an advisory capacity for leadership-related projects in commercial, governmental and activist organisations. He has been Professor of Leadership at renowned universities around the world; is a key-note speaker on leadership, power and change; principal investigator for complex research projects; and coordinates Pelumbra’s growing portfolio of programs. His writing covers a spectrum from scholarly philosophical articles on ethics and wisdom, to applicable lessons drawn from historical leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Horatio Nelson.
Miriam has been running large scale events and programs for over a decade on behalf of international NGOs, creative arts organisations and Pelumbra. Recently she has stepped down as Director of Peace and Global Studies at a Quaker school to focus on her work in Youth Leadership and as a Coach in Personal Development. In her spare time she works with TEDxExeter and leads campaigns for conflict-free minerals in consumer electronics. She is a member of the Civicus UN young leaders community and is based in the UK. Her key interest lies with working with young people, providing them with resources to expand their strengths and leadership in an ever-changing world, particularly through peace. How can we learn to face our obstacles with peace in our hearts and minds?
Susanne was born and raised in Germany and experienced transition into another culture when she settled in the UK. She has also travelled and lived in many places in the world, identifies as a European and has an international belonging.
Between 1987 and 2008 Susanne was a professional artist, while also focused in being a wife and mother. Her professional focus was for many years on ceramics, making unique, hand-worked pots and life sculptures. She exhibited and sold mainly in Lancashire, Devon and Cornwall, though also had exhibitions in London and Hamburg.
When her children left home she trained at Karuna Institute and graduated with an MA in 2015, qualifying as a core process psychotherapist (registered with BACP).
Susanne practices a contemplative and compassionate therapeutic approach, recognising the uniqueness of each journey and of each person.
She works creatively in sessions, staying open for whatever is helpful for the client.
Her strength is being in relationship with the other, enabling clients to experience safety, for trust to develop and confidence to emerge.
One of the things she values in her work as a psychotherapist/counsellor is seeing the change in people, watching them become happier as the work progresses.
Her clients have included professionals in health care and academia, self-employed tradespeople, people in business and corporate life, as well as students and others in career transitions.
Phil LeNir is president of CoachingOurselves but thinks he is still just an electrical engineer working on the incredibly complex challenge of helping organizations develop their leaders. He co-founded CoachingOurselves with Henry Mintzberg after adapting Henry’s ideas on management education for use directly in his place of work.
Phil LeNir has a Masters in International Management and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal. He also almost completed his Bachelors in Music from Concordia University but quit during his second-to-last semester to start an internet company in 1994.
Prior to CoachingOurselves, Phil held senior management positions in software firms specializing in speech recognition. He developed a patent in speaker verification systems and was responsible for developing speech recognition systems used by, or some might say inflicted upon, millions of people each year.
Phil has authored numerous articles on leadership development and even one on a novel multithreaded computer architecture. He also wrote a book on social and informal learning for management development which, much to Phil’s surprise, has done well in Japan.
Lydia is a skilled international leader with vast experience as a leadership development practitioner and coach. With over 25 years working in a Not-for-Profit International organization at a senior level, Lydia brings a unique understanding of supporting leadership development in a cross cultural and intergenerational setting. She has been at the forefront of building leadership capacity and capability at both national and international levels in areas of governance, strategic planning, and educational programme development.
Lydia has mentored many young women into positions of leadership as well as coached many new managers working for charity organizations. She is also an experienced facilitator, trainer, and is passionate about providing learning and self-development opportunities to others.. Having worked with women leaders from different countries and cultural backgrounds, Lydia has profound appreciation and understanding of women and gender issues. She has worked closely with national and international organizations including the United Nations as well as Academic Institutions. Most recently Lydia has been working on a community project sponsored by Public Health, Westminster City Council promoting health and wellbeing including mental health wellbeing.
Lydia has a BA Honours in Sociology and Labour Studies as well as an MBA from Middlesex University. She also had an Advanced Certificate in Executive Coaching Accredited at Masters level by Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, (UWE).
She is a Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and MBA Association. She is a Partner of the “Out of the Box” an organization that provides consultancy to small NGOs in Africa and the Middle East
Born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Dr. Ian Sutherland is Dean of the School of Music at Memorial University. Internationally he has developed a dynamic career as an academic leader, educator, researcher, and consultant. He served as Associate Dean for Research and Director of PhD Studies at IEDC–Bled School of Management (Slovenia) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter (UK). Other appointments include: Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the Warsaw University of Technology Business School (Poland), Fellow of the Peter Pribilla Stiftung – Technische Universität München (Germany), Co-Convener of the Deans, Directors and Chairs Affinity Group of the International Leadership Association (USA). A leading expert in the art and business nexus, Ian was originally trained as a professional musician. Holding B.Mus. (Hons) and M. Mus. Degrees from the School of Music of Memorial University (Canada), he completed his PhD in Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Exeter (UK) under Prof. Tia DeNora. Today he brings these backgrounds together combining expertise in sociology, philosophy, creativity, music and leadership studies. A globally active speaker, facilitator and organizational development practitioner he has worked across numerous industries in more than 30 countries.