Cllr Alan Jarrett

Alan was elected to Medway Council in 1997. He has been a member of Medway Cabinet since 2001. Alan was deputy leader from 2001 to 2015 and has been the leader from 2015 to the present day.

His portfolio responsibilities are strategic leadership of the council, finance and communications.

Alan is interested in country sports and Tottenham Hotspur FC.

He is a business consultant and author of 11 books on country sports and the countryside, together with over 1,200 published articles in the national sporting press.

Richard Harris

Richard taught subjects ranging from Classics to History, Mathematics to De Bono’s Thinking Skills in independent and maintained schools, finally becoming a deputy head in a secondary school in Kent. Richard then taught in five universities, finally as Director of Teacher Education at the University of Hull. In addition, Richard has been a law lecturer in a university Centre for Policing Studies. His publications are in mathematics, education and in the law of education. Richard’s current job is being the South West Regional Secretary of the teacher trade union NASUWT.

Dr Beth Breeze

Beth worked as a fundraiser and charity manager before co-founding the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, where she now leads a team conducting research and teaching courses on philanthropy and fundraising, including the first MA Philanthropic Studies outside of North America. She researched and wrote the annual Coutts Million Pound Donor Report from 2008-2017, co-authored Richer Lives: why rich people give (2013), The Logic of Charity: Great Expectations in Hard Times (2015) and co-edited The Philanthropy Reader (2016). Her latest book The New Fundraisers: who organises charitable giving in contemporary society? won the AFP Skystone Research Partners book prize for 2018

Richard Dwyer

Richard has been head of additional learning support at Canterbury College for three years. Prior to that he was the college’s diversity adviser. He has also worked in a variety of fields from care to fine art for auctioneers; all of which have helped shape his views on various fronts. 

He is a practising artist and completed a PhD in Art History and Philosophy at UKC.

Sarah Dallas

Sarah runs communications for St John’s Waterloo and its annual Waterloo Festival, a celebration of arts, music and ideas. She is also co-founder of the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate, a quarterly forum for fresh ideas.

Previously, Sarah spent a decade at The Economist, launching the online Cities Guide and creating podcasts and video interviews, working in London, Paris and New York.  She also launched Time Out’s flagship website and worked as a book editor at Rough Guides.

Alastair Donald

secretary, Ideas Matter; convenor, Living Freedom

Alastair Donald is secretary of Ideas Matter and convenor of Living Freedom, its annual residential school for young people. As associate director of the Academy of Ideas, he is
co-convenor for the Battle of Ideas festival. Alastair is an experienced cultural programmer having worked in the UK and internationally to develop festivals, exhibitions and curated programmes. He is the co-editor of two books, The Lure of the City: from slums to suburbs (2011) and The Future of Community: reports of a death greatly exaggerated (2008) and is a founding member of mantownhuman, which published Manifesto: towards a new humanism in architecture (2008).

Jacob Reynolds

convenor, The Academy; head of policy, MCC Brussels

Jacob convenes the Ideas Matter charity’s annual event The Academy: a summer residential weekend which aims to explore the history, philosophy, literature and sociology of our current moment, through a series of lectures and discussions on a range of foundational themes. He also supports Debating Matters and helps convene Living Freedom, a summer school for young people interested in the philosophy of freedom.

He is the head of policy for the think tank MCC Brussels, an organisation seeking to shake up the “Brussels Bubble” and bring a real alternative to the heart of the European Union. He previously worked in consulting, working especially in behaviour change, strategy, and leadership. Prior to this, he read the BPhil in Philosophy at St Cross College, Oxford, where he specialised in political and continental philosophy, the work of Hannah Arendt, and studied aesthetics under the late Sir Roger Scruton.

Jacob is a regular guest on TV, speaking about a range of current affairs, and has written several articles for spiked on the subject of the Ukraine War.

Follow Jacob on Twitter @jacobreynolds

Rob Lyons

science and technology director, Academy of Ideas

Rob is a journalist, specialising in issues relating to science, technology, health, food and the environment. He is a columnist for the online magazine, spiked, where he worked for over a decade before joining the Academy of Ideas as science and technology director in 2014. His writing has featured in the Daily Telegraph, The Australian, The South China Morning Post, and numerous other publications. Rob is also a frequent commentator on current affairs on radio and television, and has appeared on Newsnight, Channel 4 News, BBC Breakfast and The World Tonight as well as other national and international programmes. He is author of Panic on a Plate: how society developed an eating disorder. He is also convenor of the Academy of Ideas Economy Forum.