Here are brief biographies of our seminar speakers, Peter Hyson (Change Perspectives Ltd) and Baroness Uddin:
- In the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a confused Alice seeks directions from the Cheshire Cat. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," says the Cat. "I don't much care where - " Alice replies. "Then it doesn't much matter which way you go," retorts the Cat. "-- so long as I get somewhere," Alice adds as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," says the Cat, "if only you walk long enough." In one sense, that might summarise Peter Hyson's life and career to date! For much of it, he’s not necessarily been totally clear where he’s been heading. He’s not one of those people who while they were still in short trousers fixed on a goal in life and single-mindedly pursued it until it was grasped and held aloft in a triumphant fist! The middle distance has often only emerged slowly out of the very definite mists of time. More specifically, that’s manifested itself in his work as a professional swimming coach, a senior teacher, a Church of England vicar, in working with the most senior leaders in leadership development and managing change and, more recently in writing novels and scripts and in TV production. A Handbook for Coaching with Meaning and Spirituality is currently with Routledge. And throughout all those areas, people have been grappling with the question that so perplexed Alice: the area of spirituality, quest for meaning and the drawing to something or someone outside of and greater than ourselves.
- Baroness Uddin was the first Muslim woman in the House of Lords. Born in Bangladesh and brought up in England, she is an advociate of social reforms and equal rights. A formidable champion for women, Lady Uddin was invited to the House of Lords in 1998 for her contribution to the advancement of women's and disability rights. She began her professional and political career in the 1970's, in the East End of London, developing a number of leading edge and well-regarded services and organisations. Many of these have since come to be accepted as benchmarks for sustainable development and community engagement. Baroness Uddin has served on the Government's Select Committee on European Affairs and has chaired several Government task forces, under the auspices of the Prime Minister's office, the Home Office and the FCO. She also chaired the Government's Taskforce on Ethnic Minority Women Councillors.