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.