Our Team

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Max Girardeau

Co-Founder | Operations Director

Max has a passion for supporting schools to enquiry into deeply the question ‘what is education for?‘. He loves collaborating with educators who share his excitement towards life-enhancing education practices that put liberation, health, nature and community at the heart. He has worked in school development for 5 years since graduating from Year Here, the social innovation fellowship where the idea for the The Visionaries was seeded. He is a trainee Trauma-informed schools practitioner, a qualified Mountain Leader and wilderness rites of passage guide, having trained with the School of Lost Borders. He spent 3 years growing The Outward Bound Trust’s outdoor learning programmes with over 100 schools across Greater London. Every year he runs the Forest Family Camp, helping urban families explore collaborative community living and deepen their connection to nature.

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Olusola Edebiyi

Programme Director

Olusola a.k.a ‘Sola’ is a community builder, holistic educator, professional storyteller and youth worker. Sola has over 30 years’ experience of working in and with schools. As a group facilitator his passion is for youth empowerment, creative learning and rites of passage. He is a lead facilitator for LIFEbeat and runs a monthly online African empowerment storytelling showcase; facilitates rites of passage programmes; co-led an inspirational cultural youth charity; is presently lead facilitator in two creative camp-based youth empowerment charities and is a creative entrepreneurial consultant with African school leaders and youth. As a Mythic Medicine Practitioner he describes himself as ‘playfully serious’ and draws on African Martial Arts, Nature engagement, Drumming, Storytelling, Creative Arts, Mindfulness and Visualisation.

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Adrian Kowal

Co-Founder | Producer

Adrian is a wellbeing expert, social entrepreneur and community builder. Adrian is the co-founder of an alternative primary school in Tuscany and co-founder of Evolve Wellness Centre in London, and Way of Nature UK just three of many successful social enterprises and ventures he’s helped launch. Adrian pines for a healthy mix of adventure (doing) and slowing down (being), both of which he brings into our work at The Visionaries through business strategy and holistic facilitation.

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Nikki Levitan

Co-Founder | Wellbeing Lead

Nikki’s passion is youth work and community organising, creating spaces for young people to self discover. At the heart of what she does is creating leaders in others and helping them spot their greatness. Nikki has worked for over 20 years with young people in both formal and informal settings. She is a professional coach and a Wellbeing Practitioner, supporting students and staff to prioritise the wellbeing of each person. Nikki’s dedicated work with young people focuses on their life skills, teaching emotional wellbeing, leadership and positive psychology. She is an expert in creating safe, non-judgemental spaces, working with people to identify and understand their driving values and their strengths.

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Dr Daniel Ford

Impact & Research

Daniel’s experience and research within education is both microcosmic, as a college teacher for 15 years, and macrocosmic, as an educational researcher. Daniel foregrounds learning with communities, through his training as an ethnographic researcher. With us and as the Director of Rewilding Education CIC, he seeks to inspire and support radical change in education, schooling, and learning. He is deeply committed to a more-than-human-centred approach. His recently completed Ph.D. entitled ‘Between the Factory and the Forest’ was an exploration of contemporary educational programmes seeking to provide young people with transformative experiences of the wild.

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David Heinemann

Systems & Strategy Lead

Social Activist, Systems Strategist, Facilitator & Learning Designer: as an accredited psychodynamic facilitator, qualified leadership coach and certified personal trainer David believes in helping (often young) people to help themselves, their communities, their organisations, and our world – preferably in that order. David’s core interest in culture and culture change started as a professional theatre director, but for the past 15 years he felt called to focus on facilitating collective and community intelligence, acting as a learning partner to numerous organisations focused on tackling the systemic challenges and opportunities of our era. Projects have included founding and leading Index on Censorship’s global fellowship for Human Rights Defenders (alongside creating Index’s Youth Advisory Board), launching peer-to-peer educators Enrol Yourself, and supporting the development of NESTA’s Good Help Bad Help project. Other recent partners and clients include Sport England, the Young Foundation, New Citizenship Project, The British Council, Compass and NESTA. In his spare time David runs a grassroots community fitness group as a disabled athlete. 
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Natalie Vickers

Wilderness Guide

Natalie has been listening and supporting children, youth and adults in what it is to be human for thirty years. Trained and apprenticed in complementary health and earth medicine traditions, she became a wilderness and vision quest guide through the School of Lost Borders in 2011. Natalie encourages all to find our unique ways to joy – through expression as well as compassion, doing that herself by dancing, creating art and tending her own family. Natalie creates meaningful spaces where youth are validated for their individuality and helps them to step healthily into adulthood. She promotes the reclaiming of our own traditions as well as inviting the new. Natalie is dedicated in offering nature’s wisdom through experiential learning and is the founder of Wild and Home,

We are very proud of all the amazing individuals that work so hard to bring the magic to the programmes we offer. They are what makes The Visionaries a transformative, joyful and enriching organisation to partner with. Our highly qualified team of facilitators are experts in education, wellbeing, leadership, coaching, nature connection and rites of passage. Many have been teachers themselves. All are highly qualified and driven to make a positive contribution to the lives of young people and their entourage. We know you’ll love them as much as we do!

All our staff are DBS checked, and take part in regular personal and professional development to ensure our programmes meet our high safety and quality standards.

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