One of television's most motivational personalities, Pete has inspired and motivated audiences on ITV’s ‘Fat Chance’, BBC 2’s ‘Confidence Lab’, BBC 3’s ‘Fantasy Retirement’ and Channel 4’s ‘Going for the Burn’, alongside many other appearances. Pete also enjoyed a highly successful run as GMTV’s Resident Life Coach, taking part in the hugely popular ‘Inchloss Island’ segment.
As founder of the Habit Busting, Fear Busting and Lighten Up Weight Loss programmes, Pete has also been recognised as a successful author of books that enable people to lose weight, beat habits and boost self-esteem. His most recent books are “Shut the Duck up” "LIFE DIY", “Sort Your Life Out” & "Why am I not Losing Weight?”.
Demonstrating his impressive ability to supercharge his clients’ performance, Pete has a passion for understanding the way the human mind works. Using this exceptional skill, he is able to maximise potential and unlock talent. Learn to unlock your true potential with one of the most successful life coaches Pete Cohen and transform your life now.
On September 1st 2015 Ben Smith embarked on a challenge of a lifetime which saw him run 401 marathons in 401 days around 309 different locations of the UK. The aim was to raise £250,000 for two anti-bullying charities, ‘Stonewall’ and ‘Kidscape’.
From the age of 10 Ben became a victim of bullying and suffered daily physical and emotional abuse for years. Over 8 years, Ben became more and more reclusive and unsure of himself. He changed from an enthusiastic outgoing child into a very shy and under confident one. The daily physical and emotional abuse finally broke him, and after suffering a nervous breakdown at the age of 18, Ben tried to take his own life.
But things started changing when Ben discovered running - “ I got into it as a way of reducing stress in my life. I was overweight, depressed and needed something to focus on ”.
Ben started running a few miles, building it up and completing a few 10K races, before completing his first half marathon in 2012. “The feeling I got from running was a sense of accomplishment I had never felt before, I was hooked. Having never been very good at sport at school you could say I had started from nothing which made the achievement even sweeter. Around 2 years ago I decided to plan a challenge that at the time, I honestly didn’t think I would be able to do; this is where The 401 Challenge was born.”
The 401 Challenge is about showing people that no matter what you go through there can always be a positive outcome if you really want it. Ben now uses his experience to inspire others to turn their lives around.
• Vanessa is a Board member of Action for Happiness (AfH), the leading social movement that focuses on proactively building skills for psychological wellbeing and resilience. She leads the translation of psychological research into practical action for individuals, organisations and communities as well as Action for Happiness’ consulting work with organisations. She is the architect of the 10 keys for Happier Living, which have engaged and inspired people around the world to take action for themselves and others and have been used in a wide variety of ways, including in school curricula.
Gelong Thubten studied English Literature at Oxford, and became a Buddhist monk 24 years ago. He is based at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in the borders of Scotland. Thubten teaches on Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness internationally. He is a Trustee of ROKPA INTERNATIONAL, a humanitarian aid charity, and a Director of Samye Foundation Wales and Samye Yorkshire, UK. Thubten, who has spent over five years in intensive meditation retreats, specialises in teaching mindfulness in secular situations such as businesses, hospitals, schools, universities, prisons and addiction counselling centres. He has worked with clients such as the NHS, Google, Facebook, HSBC, Morrisons, Clifford Chance and Linklaters. He has lectured on Buddhism and meditation at the universities of Oxford, Helsinki and Cardiff, and is the main trainer in mindfulness for the National University of Ireland.
Gelong Thubten is writing a book on mindfulness with Ruby Wax and the neuroscientist Ash Ranpura. He is interested in the scientific research on the effects of mindfulness on the brain and body, and will share some of this during this presentation.
Neil is the founder & Chief De-Stressing Officer at The Stress Management Society; a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals and companies recognise and reduce stress. Since it's inception in 2003, their dream has been to create a happier, healthier, more resilient and sustainable world.
As a leading international expert on Stress Management and Wellbeing, Neil has extensive expertise in hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming and strategies to promote wellbeing, He is the author of Amazon number one best seller ‘NLP: A Practical Guide’ and ‘The 10-Step Stress Solution.
Kim Macleod is the Amazon No 1 bestselling author of From Heartbreak to Happiness an inspirational tale of life after loss.
In 2006 as the big 40 loomed Kim Macleod decided that when she started calling HR – Human Remains - it was probably time to change career. She leapt into her own therapy and training business – Stress the Positive , with the desire to help people create more happiness and less stress in their lives. Five months later her husband Sinclair followed her example and quit his IT role to set up a web design business. Life was good, exciting and happy. And then tragedy struck - her 12-year-old son Calum died very suddenly from meningitis.
Overnight Kim’s world became black and bleak but her determination and desire to be happy again in honour of her son made sure that her story didn’t end there. She founded The Happiness Club in 2011 after being inspired by the launch of UK charity Action for Happiness. She created Scotland’s Happiness Day in 2012 and was awarded the first Happy Hero medal at the House of Lords for UN International Day of Happiness in 2013. Kim published her No1 bestselling book From Heartbreak to Happiness in Nov 2013 and has gone on to build a successful book publishing business Indie Authors World with her best selling crime writing husband Sinclair. Together they have helped publish over 60 books and created the Calum Macleod Memorial Publishing Prize in 2015 to celebrate what would have been their son’s 21st birthday. Over the last year, Kim has also been working with charity Dress for Success Scotland to create and deliver a life changing confidence boosting programme for women called Dressing from the Inside Out.
Kim, her family and friends have actively campaigned to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and have raised over £60,000 for Meningitis Now charity.
Trier, speaker, author, and some days trainee astronaut, Paula McGuire is the world’s least likely adventurer, with the world’s most inspiring adventure story.
She has a weekly column in The National newspaper and regularly contributes to online and in print publications on mental health, fear and adventure. Paula is also a regular contributor (and occasional presenter!) on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 4, has hosted her own weekly radio show, and appeared on local and national television broadcasts.
For thirty years Paula lived under a rock, somewhere on the outskirts of every social situation, suffering crippling anxiety that eventually robbed her of the most basic freedoms. After decades of medication and intervention, adventure became Paula’s personal therapy in 2012, when she became Paula Must Try Harder, trying the 17 Commonwealth sports, exposing her to constant risk and enabling her to fight her way back into the world.
Ever since, Paula has terrified herself daily in the name of recovery. She now spends all that nervous energy challenging herself to wild exploits and encouraging others to allow a little fear into their days. From life modelling and flying a jet to going shopping on her own, Paula’s adventures have covered the bizarre and the banal, and demonstrate the importance of risk-taking at any level, for the development of resilience and the effective management of stress.
Paula is currently touring schools and organisations giving inspirational talks, researching and writing her next book on fear, and is always looking for another adventure for her weekly newspaper column.
Chris works for The Mental Health Foundation, the leading UK charity for mental health prevention. After a decade of working on Scottish and EU policy, campaigns and research, Chris has recently taken on a new challenge; building our workplace mental health programme UK wide. This includes leading our corporate partnerships, with companies such as Virgin Trains and Royal Mail Group.
In 2011 Chris was selected as a founding member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland, an organisation created by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to foster interdisciplinary activities between emerging leaders in different fields.
Chris started working in mental health as a student union officer, at the time deep in his own experience of bipolar disorder. His experiences of bipolar as a student, and previous experience of severe bullying at school fueled a passion for addressing mental health, preventing suicide, and supporting people to speak out and make change.
“I’m acutely aware that my white male middle class privilege helped me to negotiate my own mental health challenges and lead a life that many people who experience mental health problems or adverse childhood events are barred from. That’s why I have dedicated my career to addressing inequalities in mental health”
Chris has two major interests to share at Change Your World
One is the power of digital technology and the online word to support positive mental health, and the other is the power of photography and photo-journaling in recording experience and supporting wellbeing.
As a first year student in Aberdeen in the early days of mass internet use, it was the kindness of strangers online that helped Chris find meaning and enabled him to carry on – a kindness he is proud to keep paying forward to the present day through informal peer support online.
“I’ve always been a visual thinker, a mind-mapper, doodler and photographer. The advent of camera phones and digital cameras gave me the ability to capture my life, and make sense of it in pictures” In 2009 Chris was introduced to the Scottish start-up Blipfoto, which allows users to upload a single picture with commentary every day. All these years on Chris has a picture for every day of the last seven years – including ups and downs, the birth of two daughters, and his travels around the world. “ The experience has taught me a lot about myself, and about the online world”.