Catalyst Bootcamp Mentors & Speakers

This content refers to the 2017 Catalyst Bootcamp


Catalyst Bootcamp Empowering & Skilling Young Women for Sustainable Futures

  • Are you Dreaming of a Green Career but not quite sure how to achieve it?
  • Would you like practical tools to help you deal with Stress and Anxiety?
  • Could you use some help to build your Self-belief and Confidence – to get your voice heard?

The Catalyst Bootcamp is an inspiring, empowering & skilling programme for young women – 14 -24 years – who want to create a more sustainable future. This 3-day residential on 22-24th August at Bristol University campus will provide you with the inspiration, confidence and skills to be the ‘change you wish to see in the world.’

The Boot Camp Mentors will be running projects around seven core sustainability themes. The Speakers will provide Career guidance and inspiration, while the Facilitators will ensure everyone gets what they need from the event.

For full copy of programme Programme FINAL

Boot Camp Mentors

Sara Venn

FOOD: Sara is a horticulturist, garden writer & food activist who founded Incredible Edible Bristol in 2014 following a long and successful career in the nursery sector of the horticulture industry, growing for large regenerative projects, show gardens and retail. Sara works with communities of all types to create gardens that are both beautiful and productive on pieces of lost and unloved land across the city, teaching the skills of good horticulture at the same time. 39 gardens have been supported by Incredible Edible Bristol to begin and flourish, and many more are in the pipeline. Sara is also a passionate advocate for well being through horticulture, especially in cities where many find access to gardens difficult.

Wellbeing Bootcamp Mentor

Chloe Tingle

WELLBEING: Chloe is a 25-year old engineer who has spent the last 3 years researching menstrual hygiene around the world. She has worked in Uganda and Nepal on menstrual health programmes, understanding the taboos in these societies. Today her focus is on tackling period poverty in the UK and exploring the taboos which still exist in the UK. She has been the CEO of No More Taboo since she was 23 years old and loves all things sustainability!
Sustainability is key to our survival, I believe girls are the ones who have the potential to change the world, if we just get the opportunity

Resources Bootcamp Mentor

Nicci Peck

RESOURCES: Nicci has been the CEO of SOFA Project for the last three years with a wealth of management experience in both the commercial and the charity sector in Bristol and Bath; prior to that she devised & managed projects for a national charity helping the long-term unemployed into work; this field remains a huge passion to this day. Her career path there encompassed living and working in Germany and Israel, as well as being a buyer in high street retail, property management for a glorious five years, running a pub in Bath and even a stint painting & decorating. You name it, she’s probably done it, or at the very least, seen it. Read more about Nicci’s Career Path

Bootcamp mentor

Vicky Stone

TRANSPORT: Vicky has over ten years’ experience of working in the environmental sector, beginning her career as a Landscape Architect, then as an environmental education officer and now an urban designer working for Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity. Initially as an ‘Active Travel to School’ officer, focussing on pro-environmental behaviour change through education. She worked with schools all over South Gloucestershire and later Bath and North East Somerset, running a programme of classroom sessions, assemblies and events in order to motivate and inspire children and parents to change their travel habits and reduce car use whilst making journeys to school. Now she works in the Design & Engineering Team, re-designing neighbourhoods & streets to create people-centred places that encourage more walking, cycling & public transport.


Nikki Jones

ENERGY: Nikki’s life-long interest has been in international development. For her Master’s dissertation she chose to study the economics and political economy of the oil and gas industry and from there she began writing professionally on the subject. However, always an environmentalist and realising that there is an energy revolution going on, she began writing more widely on energy. Over the last 18 months she has focused on public lectures – getting people to understand their energy usage and its implications.  Read more about Nikki’s Career



Catalyst Bootcamp

Matt Harcourt

NATURE: Matt works at Avon Wildlife Trust on a project connecting young people to nature and the amazing wildlife we have in the area.  After college he started working in the business sector but realised his heart wasn’t in it and he missed being outside, so left for an adventure and enroute met many inspiring people who encouraged him to do something he was passionate about.  After gaining experience in several professions (forestry, carpentry and outdoor education) he moved to Bristol and as a mature student studied Conservation Biology at UWE.  At the same time he started volunteering for Avon Wildlife Trust, mainly with community projects and was able to share his skills and wildlife knowledge with others, and a combination of with perseverance, good timing and luck now has a job he loves !



Gemma David

Gemma David

RESILIENCE: Gemma is a Chinese Medicine practitioner, meditation teacher & PHSE consultant in education. Prior to setting up her practice, The Quiet Heart, Gemma spent many years working in large corporations as a Business Manager, and Human Resources Manager specialising in Learning and Development, Coaching and Brand Development. She is passionate about living with the natural rhythm of nature, and through her business, creates and delivers wellbeing workshops to women and children. The workshops provide a space for meditation, advice on nutrition and gentle movement, and are delivered with an overall emphasis on seasonal living and emotional wellbeing. Her aim is ‘to help you gently connect with your self, your body and to life. To hear what feels right’.  Gemma’s Career Path

Rhian Sherrington

CAREER COACH: Rhian is a Career and Executive Coach (ACC) who holds a Masters in Environmental Management and prior to setting up her own coaching and training business, enjoyed a successful career in behaviour change in the charitable sector and central Government. She is an award winning author, international speaker and founder of ‘Women in Sustainability’, a network and learning community enabling women to flourish in careers that are creating a sustainable world. Rhian’s Career Path

Katie Finnegan-Clarke

CAMPAIGNER: Katie is a dedicated social justice campaigner and innovator. After graduating with a First in Economic Anthropology, she went on to co-create and run the communications for Europe’s most successful alternative currency – the Bristol Pound. Under her management, the scheme secured 100+ international, national and local news articles and fourteen national TV and radio features. Since leaving the project, she has worked as a communications/campaigns consultant, trainer and partnerships manager for a wide variety of organisations including; 38 Degrees, Good Night Out UK, Uber UK, Hollaback! London, British Transport Police and Campaign Bootcamp.

Julie Ellison

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: Julie is a passionate advocate of social enterprise, starting her first social venture in the 1980s! After completing an MBA she specialised in social enterprise business support and was MD of Social Enterprise Works CIC. Julie is now delivering enterprise education to students in Higher Education and contributing to the development of an ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurship.




Inspirational Speakers & Facilitators
Jenna Holliday headshot

Jenna Holliday

Jenna Holliday Gender rights An adept gender researcher and practitioner with a keen ability to develop and implement strategic gender specific and gender-responsive programming. Jenna has significant experience working with UN Women and the International Labour Organization, developing policy with a particular focus on women migrant workers’ rights. Her current research focuses on how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be used to promote and protect the rights of women. Jenna’s Career Path

Martino Burgess

Marti Burgess Lawyer, Head of Corporate SME, Gregg Latchams specialising in food & drink. Marti co-founded Bristol club Lakota, now on the board of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, Bristol Music Trust (which manages Colston Hall), Bristol Jazz Festival Limited & Bristol Food Network CIC.

Rachel Quinn

Rachel Quinn, Senior Environmental Advisor, Skanska Construction Rachel has worked in many different types of construction from buildings, civil engineering and utilities work. With extensive experience across different areas e.g. water and contaminated land management, materials, carbon footprinting and ecology etc. Read more about Rachels Career

Mena Fombo

Mena Fombo Coach, facilitator & motivational speaker and activist. Campaigning for equality with focus on supporting young people & disadvantaged communities into confidently embracing their journey in life. Read more about Mena’s Career

Traci Lewis headshot

Traci Lewis

Traci Lewis, Social Entreprenuer Co-founded Catalyse Change CIC to empower & skill young women for sustainability. Traci has developed and delivered many successful environmental and sustainability change programmes – across the EU & SW England – for the Soil Association & with diverse range of people from organic farmers, Local Authorities to community groups. She now runs her own change agency Sustain-Live Consulting Ltd working with innovative businesses and social enterprises to achieve ‘One Planet Living.’ She lives in Bristol with her teenage daughter Kira and enjoys good food, festivals and camping in Devon.

Eleanor Shipman

Eleanor Shipman Participatory Artist & Founder of something good, something useful, a collective of artists, architects, sustainability leaders and anthropologists who facilitate creative community projects through participatory workshops, creative consultations and public art. Ellie’s background is in the third sector, working for charities such as Age UK, Cubitt Gallery and Spare Tyre Theatre Company before moving to Bristol and joining the Community Development Team at Bristol City Council. Ellie recently graduated from a Masters in Sustainable Development as a research year for her creative practice, and now works part time at the University of Bristol as Bristol’s Fun Palaces Ambassador, connecting health and sustainability researchers to local community groups to create their own Fun Palaces as part of a global campaign. Ellie’s Education & Career Path

Triodos Bank

Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson, Business Development Manager, Triodos Bank Amy began her environmental career at Eunomia Research & Consulting and went on the become Sustainability Manager at Bordeaux Quay, an internationally recognised ’eco-restaurant’, before her role as Network Director for Low Carbon South West CIC. She has worked as a Low Carbon Sector Specialist, building the low carbon sector in the West of England, and was a founder of the Go Green sustainable business programme, part of Bristol’s European Green Capital 2015. Her voluntary board positions have included Cabot Institutes Advisory Board, Environmental iNet SW, SustainabilitySW, The Design Programme & Bristol Green Capital Partnership. As Business Development Manager at ethical bank, Triodos, she promotes the importance of ethical investment and positive use of money to achieve social and environmental goals.

Anne Padley

Ann Padley, Bristol University Ann is a serial expat, design thinker, and educator. She specialises in service design and front end innovation, helping organisations turn to the people they serve – employees, customers, potential customers and partners – for insight. Through co-creation, facilitation and mentoring, she helps others develop skills in creative problem solving and approach challenges from new perspectives. Currently, Ann works as a Teaching Fellow in Design Thinking at the University of Bristol Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and as an independent Design Thinking Consultant. Prior to her move to the UK, Ann received her masters in Service Innovation and Design from Laurea University of Applied Sciences of Finland and enjoyed a career as a marketing & design thinking consultant in the US. Ann’s Career Path

Catalyst Bootcamp speaker

Rachel Savage

Rachel Savage, Brand Storyteller When Rachel Savage left her cosy job to become a freelance copywriter two things started to happen. First, she found herself struggling to find a suitable tone of voice for her clients – one that embraced all their passion and expertise into the written word. Second, a desire to create a business with a purpose planted itself firmly in her heart and wouldn’t go away. After a bit of soul-searching she discovered an amazing version of brand storytelling that enabled her to do both – and Brand New Story was born. Rachel’s career began at The Big Issue (South West) over 20 years ago. Since then she’s worked for Orange, The Environment Agency & Ecotricity – and written for many publications. In her spare time, mum of two Rachel devours spiritual & personal growth books. Rachel’s Career  

Catalyst Bootcamp speaker

Subitha Baghirathan

Subitha Baghirathan Author & Researcher Subitha is a Sri Lankan who has lived in UK for 35 years. Since Feb 2016, she has been working as a Researcher at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) specialising in health of older people of Black, Asian and other minority ethnic (BME) origins, particularly dementia. Before this, she worked in Bristol’s voluntary and community sector, mainly as a race and gender equality-focused Development Worker. She continues this type of work in a voluntary capacity. In 2009 she temporarily relocated to Saudi Arabia with her family for 2 ½ years. She set up her own small business teaching yoga and wrote a book about her experiences there – as a mother, feminist and minority ethnic woman. The Colours of Sand was published in December 2012 by Tangent Books, a Bristol-based independent publisher.

Catalyst Bootcamp Speaker

Dave Jarman

Dave Jarman, Bristol University Dave is a self-employed Innovation Consultant and Entrepreneurial Educator. Alongside this consultancy he is also a Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship and Co-Director of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Bristol Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Dave’s expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation education led to him representing the UK Higher Education sector on the subject of Enterprise Education to the UK government between 2012 and 2014; serving as both a regular advisor to what was then the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, and being an invited contributor to Lord Young’s ‘Enterprise for All’ report as the ‘enterprise tsar’ for David Cameron in 2014. Read more about Daves Career Path



Jessica Ferrow

Jessica is a freelance communications expert who helps businesses tell their sustainability story in an engaging and compelling way. Combining a degree in Law and French from the University of Leeds with a love for the English language and seven years’ experience in sustainable business, Jessica now works with companies such as IKEA and Vodafone to communicate their work on sustainability.  Before going freelance, in 2015 Jessica project managed Go Green Bristol, the citywide sustainable business behaviour change programme to celebrate Bristol’s status as European Green Capital.  Jessica is a British national but has lived and worked in several different countries including France, Norway, the USA and Vietnam, and recently spent time in Indonesia working to tackle ocean plastic pollution.



Jennifer Best

Jennifer’s passions have always been focused on learning how to cultivate and nurture circular economies, beginning with her studies in PPE at Manchester University, focusing on justice in war, but taking a strong interest in efficiency in the food industry.  A passion for Chinese culture and Mandarin language led Jen to Beijing to work with the EU-China Information Society Project, organising Chinese delegates to travel to Europe to learn about emergency response systems and satellite technology.  Despite a strong desire to settle in the Far East, Jen, with three friends, decided to set up a restaurant called Poco in Bristol’s bohemian quarter of Stokes Croft. Six years on and Poco has many awards to its name. In 2013 the restaurant was awarded ‘Best Ethical Restaurant’ in The Guardian Observer Food Monthly Awards. In 2016 Poco scored a hat trick and won ‘Restaurant of the year’, ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ and ‘English Champion’ at The Sustainable Restaurant Associations The Food Made Good Awards. Ethical sourcing and quality food and drink is clearly a big focus for Poco but Jen’s main passion lies with nurturing a community within her team and the surrounding food network in the city. She believes that sustainability is not just about treating the environment with respect, but holding the wellbeing of your staff at the forefront of concern as a business owner. She believes that if we can inspire and infuse our teams  with the passion and consciousness that we run our own business with then those values are nurtured and reflected throughout the wider community


Also read: 5 Good Reasons to Send your Daughter on the Catalyst Bootcamp this Summer

 The 2018 Catalyst Bootcamp is now available to book

Where is it? Clifton Hill House on Bristol University campus

When is it? 1- 3 August 2018

How can I book? Visit to apply online. Bursaries, sponsored by Bristol University, Pukka Teas, Skanska & Triodos Bank, are available on application.

All enquiries contact: Traci Lewis M 07870 268 654 @CatalyseCh FB catalyse change/

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