Professor Elaine Fox

Elaine is a psychologist and neuroscientist who has researched widely on the science of emotions. She has extensive experience presenting talks and workshops to corporate audiences as well as at general media events, literary festivals, and other public events.

Elaine’s work has been discussed in Nature, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Economist, The Guardian and the New York Times. This led to her appearance in an ABC documentary presented by Michael J. Fox entitled The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist in 2010 and, in a 2013 BBC Horizon documentary called ‘The Truth about Personality’ in which she attempts to shift the presenter Michael Mosley’s brain from pessimism to optimism.

Leading a large programme of research at Oxford University, Elaine combines psychology, neuroscience and genetics to deepen our understanding of resilience and wellbeing as well as the power of positive mindsets to transform individual lives as well as companies.

Elaine’s discoveries show that the power of positivity comes, not so much from positive thinking, but rather from the other, arguably more important components of optimism such as a sense of control, positive actions, and persistence.

She has published widely on the scientific aspects of fear and anxiety, and her work, which has appeared in many leading scientific journals, has been summarised for the non-specialist in her latest book Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: The New Science of Optimism and Pessimism.

Elaine has appeared at events such as: The Latitude Festival; The Wilderness Festival; New Scientist Public Events; The Cheltenham Science Festival; and other public events as well as corporate talks at leading law firms, investment banks, and marketing agencies.


Geoff Cousins

Armed with an entrepreneurial mindset, Geoff Cousins has the ability and skill needed to drive innovative strategies and deliver real results for businesses of all sizes.

During his career Geoff has held a number of C-Suite positions within the iconic Jaguar Land Rover Brands which include; Chief Financial Officer of North America for JLR and Volvo, Director of Sales, Manufacturing and Planning for JLR, UK Managing Director and Global Sponsorships and Brand Partners Director for JLR, and currently he is the Chairman of G&P. As a result he is well known and respected throughout the industry.

Geoff’s global experience and track record of personal business achievements provides a unique mix of big business process capability and innovative thinking that delivers transformational but pragmatic business solutions to entrepreneurs, innovation start ups and SME’s. His experience allows businesses and leaders to optimise performance, deliver results and lead transformation initiatives, while cutting through complex issues.

Geoff is currently the Non-Executive Director of Performance Communications, advising on strategy, operational performance and business growth initiatives. He is also the Managing Director of Geoff Cousins Associates, a Business Consultancy advising their clients on areas such as; Leadership and People Performance, PR and Marketing, Product Planning and Distribution, Strategic and Business Development and Executive Recruitment.

His most recent project is the creation of a cutting edge brain development product known as Zing Performance. Inspired by the latest neurological research, Zing Business improves human performance by enhancing the brain body connection. It does so by developing neural pathways to improve cognitive, emotional and social abilities.

Geoff is a visiting Professor of Global Governance at the University of South Wales where he delivers master classes on international business, chairs the course student conference and assesses group simulation exercises. He holds a number of external positions in the fields of charity and sports administration.

Jamil Qureshi

Jamil has worked with talent across the board as diverse as fighter pilots, medical teams, Formula 1 racing drivers, and the current England Ashes winning cricketers.

In 2006, he was appointed as the first-ever official golf psychologist to the European Ryder Cup team by captain Ian Woosnam. They made history in winning by a record-equalling margin. Jamil has worked with 22 golfers inside the top 50 in the world, including Colin Montgomerie, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, Paul Casey, Thomas Bjorn, Sergio Garcia and former World Number 1, Lee Westwood.

Ranked among the most influential figures in British sport in 2009. Jamil has worked successfully with three English Premiership football clubs, one of which reaching a record position from its halfway point in the season.

In business and industry Jamil has worked from CEO and board level to middle management in a variety of sectors. He has worked with business leaders and companies in over 24 different countries last year alone helping teams to fulfil their potential by orchestrating change and performance programmes. He has developed and delivered management and leadership programmes at board level for Coca Cola, Hewlett Packard, Emirates Airlines, Serco, Orange, and Royal Bank of Scotland. He has worked across LBG Group Operations on the ‘journey to world class’ and other areas within Lloyds Banking Group such as Wholesale, Retail, and Commercial.

Jamil also lectures on the prestigious WorldProgram, in the US, UK and China through Ashridge and Fordham Business Schools and Qing Dao University. He is also a world recognised speaker on all aspects of the psychology of performance, psychology of leadership, leadership attitudes, improving people, cultural change techniques, and employee engagement. He is one of only a few external psychologists ever to be allowed to study astronauts on the NASA Space Programme.

Jamil used to be a regular at London’s prestigious Comedy Store and spent two years working with TV’s award winning mind reader, Derren Brown!

Jim Steele

As a professional speaker and corporate performance coach, Jim is a thrilling performer.

Following a 10 year career within a multinational corporation, Jim has spent the last 20 years working with highly successful individuals and teams from both the corporate sector as well as within the world of professional sport. Realising that there are definable strategies of mind-set and behaviour that can propel an average performer towards excellence, Jim has developed his own unique take on peak performance focusing not just on what makes us tick, but what makes us tick faster, stronger and for longer.

Jim’s passion for excellence has led him to address audiences Worldwide, and his energy, insights and great sense of humour creates a massive impact whenever he in on stage.

As well as being one of the most in-demand motivational keynote speakers in the UK, Jim can also act as a conference host or facilitator. He can do five or ten minute “energisers” between sessions to keep the energy and spirits high in the conference, and he can reinforce the key messages during the day.

Katherine Grainger


Katherine Grainger is Britain’s most successful international female rower. In 2012 she won the Olympic gold with Anna Watkins in the double scull, breaking the Olympic Record in the process.

Katherine is the only British female athlete from any sport to win medals in four consecutive Olympic Games.

Her international rowing career took off in 1997 when, still a student, she became Under-23 World Champion setting a new world record. In the same year she was invited to join the GB Rowing Squad and won her first senior medal at that year’s world championships. Since then she has been world champion six times. Uniquely in the UK, she has won world championship medals in all available boat classes: the single, pair, double, quad and eight.

Katherine has won 3 Olympic silver rowing medals at Sydney, Athens and Beijing.

She was awarded an MBE for services to sport in 2006, and a CBE in 2012.

Katherine received her law degree from Edinburgh University and then went on to complete a Masters in Medical Law and Medical Ethics at Glasgow University. She also has a PhD in criminal law from King’s College, London.

Katherine was named ‘Dame Katherine Grainger’ in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List for services to rowing and charity.

Mark Bawden

Mark spent 20 years as a performance psychologist, which saw him work across elite sport, education, health and business. He is the co-founder of Mindflick® – an organisation focused on blending cutting-edge performance psychology and people development; throwing in plenty of passion and innovation for good measure.

Mark has a philosophy of positive psychology, where practitioners focus on developing strengths, become immersed into their sports and work in close alignment with coaches. The intention is to develop strategic solution focused interventions.

Mark is a Chartered Sports Psychologist with over 15 years’ experience of working in elite sport, education, health and business. His doctoral research was on the “yips”, a phenomenon (which he experienced as a promising young bowler), where sports performers apparently lose their ability and skill to perform their sport overnight.

Mark’s current focus is on a tried and tested concept which he has developed called “Superstrengths” – the natural aspects of our game that provide us with a competitive edge over our opposition and which can be developed into a world’s best attribute. Mark takes his experience of working with England Cricket and as a backdrop to his speech where he examines what today’s athletes and elite teams are doing to get their performance edge. In particular, examining what allows individuals and teams to have the freedom to play to their natural strengths is an important consideration in achieving “performance leaps” both at a collective and individual level. As well as his interest in the mind, Mark is also a huge music fan and has an obsession with collecting 60’s/70’s vinyl and listening to Pink Floyd!

Marc Woods

Marc had his left leg amputated because of cancer when he was seventeen. The day after he had his stitches out he went swimming and within a year he was swimming quicker with one leg then he did when he had two.

Marc’s dream was to simply be the best that he could be and just 18 months after he finished his chemotherapy he was selected to represent Great Britain.

He has now retired from swimming having competed internationally for 17 years, winning 12 Paralympic medals from five Games and a further 21 from either World or European Championships.

In the past he has held the individual world records for 200m, 400m and 1500m Freestyle, as well as the team world record for 4 x 100m Freestyle.

Marc has written three books. Most notably Personal Best, a combination of his inspirational life story and personal development advice, and more recently Beyond the Call which, supported by research from New York University, looks at how to create conditions within an organisation that make discretionary effort more likely.
Marc’s speech, titled ‘Path to Gold’, takes you on an inspirational journey, providing brilliant insights into personal responsibility, leadership, teamwork and motivation.

It is a journey that took him from cancer patient to multiple Gold medallist.

Mark Foster

Mark Foster burst onto the International swimming scene, at the age of 16, representing England at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. He then went on to represent his country for 23 years and became one of Britain’s most decorated male swimmers.

Throughout his remarkable career, Mark won 51 major international medals, competed in five Olympic games, was six times World Champion, eleven times European Champion, two times Commonwealth Champion and broke the World Record eight times.

Mark’s post swimming career has seen him reinvent himself as a successful motivational speaker. His relaxed and natural ability to engage with a variety of audiences, from all walks of life and about a wide range of subjects, makes him highly sort after. Recently Mark has begun working with Jim Rees the Ultra Cyclist and Executive Coach and together they founded The Long & The Short Of It. Their programme focuses on the mental and emotional discipline required for elite competition and applies these disciplines to the corporate workplace to improve performance. Mark has also been a regular blogger for the Huffington Post on current issues, sport and lifestyle and has co-written sports columns for several newspapers both in print and online.

Mark has also become a familiar face on television with his award winning partnership with Clare Balding from the aquatics centre during the Olympics in 2012, making him a household name. Since 2012 he has graced the TV screens with regular commentating slots at the Commonwealth and World Championships. More recently, Mark formed yet another popular media partnership commentating from the pool at the Rio Olympics with Rebecca Adlington and Helen Skelton. This high-energy partnership became one of the most popular commenting teams during the Rio Fortnight. Other TV appearances include: Countdown, Question of Sport, Come Dine With Me, Who’s Doing the Dishes, Celebrity Masterchef, The Chase as well as a host of other charity shows and campaigns such as Sports Relief and Dancing On Wheels.

Mark has always retained his passion for swimming and in May 2013, he set up The Mark Foster Swimming Academy. The Academy runs twice a year across the country and helps aspiring young swimmers from the ages of eleven to eighteen, improve their performance by applying an all-round fitness regime both in and out of the water. Aside from his work with the academy Mark also supports a number of charities including the International Children’s Trust, The Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs Home, Sports Aid and is a patron of The Anaphylaxis Campaign, the UK charity for people with severe allergies. In addition, Mark mentored the swimmer James O’Shea to help him compete in the 2012 Para-Olympics.

Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed is a British journalist, broadcaster and highly acclaimed speaker in the field of high performance.

He has written five bestselling books on the subject of mindset and high performance – Bounce, Black Box Thinking, The Greatest, and his celebrated children’s books, You Are Awesome and The You Are Awesome Journal – and has worked with many leading organisations to build a mindset of continuous improvement.

He is also a multi-award-winning journalist for The Times and a regular contributor to television and radio. In his previous career, Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade.

In his bold and inspiring new book (September 2019) – Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking – Matthew argues that individual intelligence is no longer enough to solve today’s complex problems; to truly succeed we must harness the power of ‘cognitive diversity’. Rebel Ideas uncovers the best-kept secrets of the world’s most successful teams, bringing insights from psychology, anthropology and data science, whilst drawing on a dazzling range of intriguing case-studies.

Matthew’s work explores a thought-provoking approach to high performance in the context of a complex and fast-changing world. By understanding the intimate connection between mindset and high performance, organisations can unlock untapped potential in individuals and teams, driving innovation and agility to secure a future-proofed environment. A TEDx video of Matthew speaking about growth mindset can be viewed on YouTube.

Matthew is also co-founder of Matthew Syed Consulting (MSC); the company has worked with an impressive portfolio of clients to build growth mindset cultures and drive higher performance in individuals, teams and organisations. Matthew Syed Consulting’s cutting-edge thought leadership programme and digital learning tools are becoming a catalyst for real and lasting change within business and the public sector.

Matthew also works very closely with the education sector to help improve mindsets in schools and young people. He is an active founding member of the charity Greenhouse Sports and an ambassador for the PiXL Educational Foundation.