On the surface, the FRE Flyers is a new kind of sports club, inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. At its core, the FRE Flyers is the prototype for a healthy society: A place where assumptions and stereotypes of “other people” are melted in the warm glow of real meetings.
Chris will tell the inspiring and ongoing story of the FRE Flyers, including what happened when 30 East London kids went on a road trip to Nijmegen with the GB Hockey squad and how they have now reinvented that most English of institutions: the tennis club.
Chris also intends to squeeze the festival theme: “Doe Het Zelf, Stay Connected” into a set of shared experiences, where he will explore the challenges of staying connected with yourself when you are truly seeking to innovate.
Chris is the founder of 14A Conversations. Following an early career in Parliament and Higher Education, he has worked for more than 20 years in the fields of governance, group facilitation, mediation, coaching and change. Over this period, he has chaired / facilitated more than 2000 group meetings; learning events and conferences.
Chris chaired the Board of the Chip & PIN Programme, one of the UK’s most successful complex multi-stakeholder projects of recent years, involving all the major banks, retailers and many other stakeholders. He was Deputy Chairman of International Inspiration, the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic International Development Programme, which reached more than 12 million children in 20 countries, and sits on the Board of the new Foundation, which has been formed to continue that work.
Chris is the Lead Facilitator of UK Sport’s Elite Coach Programme, working closely with some of the top coaches in Britain’s highly successful Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports system. He sits on the Board of the Youth Sport Trust and is a Member of the UK Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport. He hosted the 2012 global Beyond Sport Summit and Awards introducing guests including Muhammad Ali, David Beckham and Jamie Oliver, and will host the 2013 Summit in Philadelphia. He is the Founder of the FRE Flyers, an amazing Olympic legacy programme for young people in the East of London.
Away from sport, Chris has led events and projects for a broad spectrum of groups: from the inaugural World Cities Forum to the National Health Service’s Medical Directors’ Conference. He has spoken recently at conferences, ranging from the 'Pacific Coast Builders’ Convention in San Francisco to the UK Arts Marketing Association. He has helped organisations as diverse as Companies House; BBC World News; Dixons Retail; The National Assembly For Wales and Grosvenor Estates with strategically significant development and change programmes. From 2007 to 2011, he sat on the Board of the ALIA Institute and he has worked alongside teachers and thinkers including Margaret Wheatley (Leadership & The New Science etc) and Wendy Palmer (Leadership Embodiment).
Chris is bringing together his knowledge and experience of Group Dynamics and effective group leadership in a body of work called “Me We”. He will complete a book in 2014, and has delivered a number of extremely well received workshops for group leaders from a broad variety of backgrounds In late 2013, he will be running a MeWe workshop in Holland.
Chris lives in Greenwich (UK) and Nijmegen (Netherlands). He and his wife Lenneke have 3 girls and a boy between them. His Dutch is improving (slowly), and he also speaks French, and basic Spanish and German.