Informing the Campfire Community every day

You are here

Pete Lawrence - 03 Apr 2019


I am pleased to announce our speakers for Campout 2019, our five day camping end of August event just outside Frome in the glorious Somerset Countryside and it's exciting to bring together such a broad and inspiring range of people we can learn from.

We will be adding sessions around the campfires in due course as well as announcing some other attractions. The central aspect of the event is that we are trying not to programme too much ourselves, so as to allow attendees and Campfire members to programme and organise their own event after a successful trial of the concept in summer 2018.

Early Firestarter (early bird) price tickets have already sold out for the event which is scheduled for August 28-September 1, but we have a good quantity of tickets remaining for purchase at the moment via Eventbrite

Those who want to come and talk with you include :

BRETT HENNIG (Sortition Foundation) is flying over from his home in Budapest to give a keynote speech. His recent book 'The End of Politicians : Time For a Real Democracy' is as on the button as is possible, with UK government and parliament in chaos.  

The future of democracy has arrived. It is time for the end of politicians. Hear why and what we can all do about changing politics...

JACQUI WALKER arrived in London from Jamaica in 1959 aged five, a child of the Windrush generation. She was taken into Local Authority care in 1965. After gaining her first degree in English, Drama and Education at Goldsmiths College, London University Jacqueline taught in the most deprived, inner city schools before becoming an Adviser Teacher. In 2009 Jacqueline’s first book Pilgrim State (with some small grtant assistance from the Arts Council), was sold at auction and published by Hodder Headline, winning the Association for Social Policy award for ‘Best Publication of 2009’ for its innovative blending of narrative and documentation. She has been a political activist all her life, originally working with the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Commission for Racial Equality and other anti-racist movements and vice Chair of Momentum, the Corbyn supporting activist group. She continues to be creatively and politically active, particularly around issues relating to race. Her one woman show, ‘The Lynching’, written as a response to false allegations of antisemitism, reviewed in the Observer by Alexi Sayle as his 'choice for drama', has toured across the UK, in Europe and the US. A documentary filmed, acclaimed by Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, based on the making of the play was released in 2019 and has been viewed by over 70,000. Campfire's report on WitchHunt is here:

ROGER HALLAM (Co-founder Extinction Rebellion)

Campfire has been an active supporter of Extinction Rebellion since its inception last year and considers to be one of the most important social movements of modern times. It was co-founded by activist Roger Hallam and in this recent interview, he talks about the days of the 'standard model' of conventional campaigning being over, discusses the strategies that will work for Extinction Rebellion ahead of their April International Rebellion action. "We've realised it's not going to change because too many people are making too much money out of destroying the world"

The 10 Working Principles of Extinction Rebellion https://Rebellion.Earth/who-we-are/#p...

  • 1. We have a shared vision of change
  • 2. We set our mission on what is necessary
  • 3. We need a re-generative culture
  • 4. We hopefully challenge ourselves, and this toxic system
  • 5. We value reflection and learning
  • 6. We welcome everyone, and every part of everyone into Extinction Rebellion
  • 7. We actively mitigate for power
  • 8. We avoid blaming and shaming
  • 9. We are a non-violent movement
  • 10. We are based on autonomy and de-centralization

SOPHIE DOCKER (OpenEdge)  'What you do next will change the world’

Sophie says :

"I would love to offer something on conflict, communication or difference 'Otherness' at the Campout, a talk or workshop.  I was thinking of something along the fire theme and possibly something that I can post about on the network. Just re-reading Arnie Mindel's book 'Sitting in the fire' about the healing power of conflict."

"We are doing some exciting things with OpenEdge and I am also doing some events/talks/workshops about power called 'What you do next will change the world.'"

KATIE BROCKHURST (Social Media for a New Age) 

Katie is a Campfire member, writer and social media guru. She has supported Campfire's crowdfund by joining the Mentorship Circle and offering a very enticing perk with her day-long Social Media session.

THEO SIMON (Green Party, Somerton and Frome)

Here is Theo's impassioned speech from Frome's Funeral for Extinct Species event in November 2018

JAMIE KELSEY FRY is a journalist, broadcaster, poet and educator. He has taken significant roles in many high profile international campaigns, often focussing on the issues and rights of indigenous activists. These sessions will broaden and redefine the loaded term 'activist' to incorporate all those who actively engage with issues they believe in. We will learn about the mechanisms and value of citizens assemblies, explore deeper communication and listening techniques, and explore ways of engaging and utilising the mainstream, alternative and social media. Click image to read more >>


Anyone who knows Lynne Franks will know that she is not only a whirwind of creative ideas and expansive concepts but someone who works tirelessly to make them happen. Having moved to Wincanton recently, the PR guru is making things happen locally at her Hub no 3 and doing a huge amount for womens' enterprise via her Seed project. Expect a Campfire session from the Seed crew...

MARY VALIAKAS (Founder, Campfire Athens Beacon)

Mary has been a central part of the Campfire Team for a year or so now as a member of the steering group and her Firecast on 'The Power of Soft Power' talks about her recent move back to Greece and the ongoing cultural shift from masculine to feminine archetypal values. She explains how the switch from capitalism to collectivism has led to Greece using its grey zones from falling apart to maximise the impact of self-organising systems and to bring philosophy home to the cradle of western civilisation. She's a key player in building bridges between Greece and the UK.

"Let's reimagine a modern democracy. We have the tools... when it comes together correctly, the impact could be huge. If one wave passes and we don't catch it, let's ride the next one!

MICHELLE PRESTON (Simply Women On Purpose)

CAMPFIRE SESSION TITLE: Connect, Create, Collaborate!

Michelle Preston, Positive Psychologist, Founder, Change Maker, and Woman on Purpose, will share the story behind her mission to support women to improve wellbeing and create a purpose driven life and will be in conversation with a local woman who is changing the world.

One of her projects, "Simply Women on Purpose" (SWOP) enables women to harness their personal power to drive forward change in their communities, their workplaces or in their own lives using the themes of "CONNECT, CREATE & COLLABORATE".

Michelle has been following a lifelong path of personal development and spent her adult life working with charitable organisations committed to the physical, social, emotional and psychological wellbeing of individuals and communities.    Working in the Voluntary Sector for 25 years allowed her to develop and deepen her understanding of the value and importance of cultivating happiness, health and wellbeing and how this can be maintained, enhanced and improved.

Michelle is committed to social change, social action and the ability of individuals to be happy, healthy and empowered to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of others.


Mac is an international speaker, writer and change-maker. Mentored by indigenous people over many years, he has acquired profound and original insights into questions preoccupying many contemporary leaders. Mac seeks to inspire the emergence of the leader in each of us, the leader who will take courageous action for a better world. Championing A New Story of Sustainability lies at the heart of this. He intertwines themes rarely associated with each other – the quest for meaning and purpose, organisational leadership, nature, identity and the role of ordinary people in shaping a future fit for generations to come.

Imagine if we placed the future of all children, human and non-human, at the centre of our institutions of power - in our governments, in our corporations, in our schools, in our halls of religion - can you imagine the impact on our world? 

Do we care enough? Mac believes we do.

JO BERRY : How to create a world where we have no "other."

Jo Berry is an international peace activist and the founder of Building Bridges for Peace, a charity dedicated to conflict resolution and promoting peace around the world.

In 1984 an IRA bomb, planted in the Grand Hotel in Brighton, killed Jo Berry’s father.  Jo knew she had a choice: to harbour feelings of hatred and anger, or to seek understanding and so bring peace back into her life.  She chose peace.

Following his release from prison Jo sought out a meeting with Patrick Magee, the Brighton bomber. And from that initial three hours spent together Jo and Patrick have formed a remarkable friendship, based on compassion and respect.

For the past 15 years they have travelled the world spreading a message of peace and understanding in areas such as Palestine and Israel, Rwanda, Lebanon and through the UK.

Jo also facilitates workshops in many parts of the world, working with victims of genocide, war and terrorism as well as working alongside others whose own legacy of conflict has been transformed into one of peaceful acceptance and compassion.

We are very pleased to welcome Jo to talk at Campout 2019

Jo Berry Wikipedia




More From Pete Lawrence