Crossing The Threshold
#9 - Charlotta Martinus - Coming Home to Ourselves

#9 - Charlotta Martinus - Coming Home to Ourselves

February 4, 2021

This week we’re joined by Charlotta Martinus, Founder of The TeenYoga Foundation, who’s doing incredibly transformative embodied work to better support young people to live healthily.

Of course, we talk about yoga, using yoga in schools and the incredible positive impacts it has for youth. We chat about the medicalisation of youth, the adolescent mental health crisis, and why holistic, preventative approaches consistently show themselves to more effective (of course, no?)

We discuss the shift of the parents role as their children grow up, the impact technology has on youth and the global trend towards increasing disembodiment that youth are indoctrinated into.

Charlotta gives sheds a light on how Yoga goes way beyond it simply being a body practise; how it much more a life philosophy, and therapeutic practice and helps youth to 'live their truth'. 

Charlotta is pioneering yoga in schools around the world, showing it's remarkable evidence base for helping young people relate more healthily to trauma and their mental health more generally.

Charlotta has worked with young people her entire life, initially as a school teacher and then as a yoga teacher and now training professionals to bring yoga to young people. Her book, TeenYoga for Therapists, came out in 2018 and she has trained 1300 students in TeenYoga; the gold standard training world wide.

The charity, Teen Yoga Foundation, raises money to research the impact of yoga on young people and has also funded training courses in Africa and funded yoga in disadvantaged schools around the world.

Charlotta has also been involved in lobbying parliament in bringing yoga into schools. Her teacher in India and her two teenage sons continue to be her inspiration.

Check out her book 'Teen Yoga for Therapists' (with a foreword from Sir Anthony Seldon)

thanks as alwayy to Nic at Green Barge Audio for editing and producing this podcast.

#wellbeing #yoga #mentalhealth #therapy #adolescence #education

#8 - Hector Aristizábal - Our need for Initiation, Ritual & Theatre

#8 - Hector Aristizábal - Our need for Initiation, Ritual & Theatre

January 6, 2021

We’re excited to share this conversation with the truly inspiring Hector Aristizábal. Hector is an award-winning artist, author, family therapist and theatre director - to name just a few of his many hats! His lifetime’s work has been to heal the lives of young people and their communities in the US, his home country of Colombia and in over 50 countries using the powers of creative expression, theatre, ritual, rites of passage and many other therapeutic approaches. There’s so much to learn simply from listening to his stories.


Hector was born in Medellin, Colombia during a long and violent civil war. During the conflict Hector was arrested and tortured by the Colombian army and later his brother was tortured and murdered by paramilitary forces. Hector escaped Colombia but it took him many years to heal from the pain and trauma of his brother's death and the violence he himself had experienced.


He moved to Los Angeles where he founded and directed ImaginAction ( to help people use the transformative power of theatre around the world, including Columbia, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Nepal, Ruanda, India, Palestine, Syria & more.


Hector’s work draws on training in Theatre of the Oppressed, Dragon Dreaming, Social Presencing Theatre, The Work That Reconnects, Drama Therapy, Emphatic Listening and more… He carries a strong vision for social justice building on the ideas of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal.


During the last years Hector’s main work and interest has been on the use of theatre, storytelling, drumming and dance in combination with psychotherapy in the creation of “modern rituals” as a way to address the needs for healing and social transformation in our communities. He has recently moved back to Colombia using these modern rituals to support with the peace process, bringing together individuals from diverse and often conflicting parts of society to heal their collective trauma.


We recommend reading Hector’s powerful story in his book ‘The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation’. He shares powerful lessons about how we can relate to the challenges we all inevitably face in our lives and what happens when we use initiation to  our shared humanity.


Hector's organisation ImaginAction have also launched a new podcast series that's well worth checking out if you liked this conversation. - 

Thank you as always to Nic and Green Barge Audio for editing and producing this podcast.

#7 - Dr. David Blumenkrantz & Dr. Neils Kohlschütter - Rites of Passage, Mentorship & Community-Oriented Education

#7 - Dr. David Blumenkrantz & Dr. Neils Kohlschütter - Rites of Passage, Mentorship & Community-Oriented Education

November 5, 2020

This week Max sits down with his mentor Dr David Blumenkrantz and friend Dr Neils Kohlschütter, who is the CEO of the Schweisfurth Foundation for sustainable food and agriculture. Both have pioneered ways of engaging with youth that lead to genuine community and societal healing and we are excited to share some of their stories and wisdom in this episode. 

Dr. David Blumenkrantz is the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Youth & Community, Inc., based in Connecticut, and is the designer of the Rite of Passage Experience (ROPE).

Since 1966, David has dedicated his career to exploring, experimenting with and experiencing various cultures and communities in order to refine concepts around youth and community development. It was from his personal experiences through his own community-based cultural rite of passages that formed the basis for Rite Of Passage Experience ROPE and its guiding principles. While living with and learning from indigenous peoples throughout North America for nearly 20 years, he experienced firsthand their ancient ceremonies and rituals to strengthen and heal individuals and communities. He brings this wisdom to modern Western communities through his pioneering community building approach.

Neils and Max are both mentees, of sorts, to David. His approach has inspired them to adapt and integrate community oriented rites of passage into their work at the Schweisfurth Foundation and at The Visionaries respectively.

In the episode we explore;

  • The importance of mentorship
  • What is a Rite of Passage?
  • A community oriented approach to youth development
  • Why our relationship to food matters
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Revaluing the wisdom of youth
  • Why all this is of particular importance now

You can find out more about David and Neils and their incredible work by following these links;

Thanks as always to Nic Sims at Green Barge Audio for the editing and production of this episode. Check them out

#6 - Adele Bates - Behaviour and Education Specialist -

#6 - Adele Bates - Behaviour and Education Specialist -

October 9, 2020

This week Nikki sat down with Adele Bates, a leading Behaviour & Education specialist who helps pupils with behavioural needs to thrive in their education. She is the author of "Miss, I Don't Give A Sh*t," forthcoming from Sage & Corwin and a TEDx Speaker 2020.

The conversation sheds an important light on benefits for girls and women of any age of connecting more consciously to their menstrual cycle. Adele highlights how doing led her to become empowered and how she now shares this revelation with others.

Adele is a graduate of the Red School Menstruality Leadership Programme she teaches on Menstruality through work in schools and avidly lives by her menstrual cycle to inform and empower her life.

For Adele's tips and resources check out

You can follow her on Twitter @adelebatesZ


Adele has two Free Video Series on 'Managing challenging Behaviour in the Classroom' &

'Supporting Staff to Manage Challenging Behaviour in the Classroom'.


She also has a 6 part mini Behaviour CPD downloadable training -

Find out more about Red School below;

Red School's gift -

Wild Power -


This podcast is edited and produced by Green Barge Audio

#5 - Jonny Benjamin - Award-Winning Mental Campaigner, Film Producer, Speaker, Writer - Building Mentally Healthy Schools

#5 - Jonny Benjamin - Award-Winning Mental Campaigner, Film Producer, Speaker, Writer - Building Mentally Healthy Schools

September 14, 2020

this week we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jonny Benjamin MBE, who is an award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger.

At the age of 20 he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar, and later began making films on YouTube about the condition that have been watched by millions of people.

Jonny now speaks publicly about living with mental illness and has written articles and given various interviews on TV, Radio and in print around the world to help educate and break stigma. He has also produced and presented documentaries on BBC Three and Channel 4 on the subjects of mental health and suicide.

His 2014 social media campaign with Rethink Mental Illness to #findMike, the man who talked him out of jumping off a bridge when he was suicidal, went viral and led to Jonny becoming a prominent spokesperson on the subject of suicide.

In 2016 he launched ThinkWell, a mental health programme for schools, which has so far been reached thousands of young people in secondary schools across the UK.

He has also written 2 books. The second book, currently titled The Book Of Hope, will be a collection of quotes, poems and stories by himself and others to inspire recovery and hope. It will be published in 2021.

Most recently, Jonny has setup a new mental health charity, Beyond, which aims to provide better mental health support to young people around the country.

Find out more abotu his incredible work here:

All editing and production comes from Green Barge Audio - Find out more about them and their work at

#4 - Olusola Adebiyi - African Storyteller. Author. Facilitator - What story are we telling?

#4 - Olusola Adebiyi - African Storyteller. Author. Facilitator - What story are we telling?

August 15, 2020

This week we were blessed with the chance to sit down with Olusola Adebiyi AKA Sola Story. Sola is an African storyteller, author, director and founder of Narrative Mindfulness Ltd. He is a  lead facilitator of the incredible youth organisation LIFEBeat. This man wears many hats with serious style and is an incredibly captivating orator as you’re about to find out. 

Nikki Sola and myself went on a wonderful conversational journey through the fantastical, the political, the futuristic - exploring the important role that stories, our imagination and our creativity have in shaping a positive future.

Here are some useful links to explore Sola's work:

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Produced and Edited by Green Barge Audio. Check them out -

#3: Chris Taylor - Eco-revolutionary. Author. Poet. - Finding Your Purpose

#3: Chris Taylor - Eco-revolutionary. Author. Poet. - Finding Your Purpose

July 31, 2020

Eco-revolutionary. Author. Poet. Mentor to Gen Z world-changers. Commune farmer –– Chris Taylor embodies the term ‘changemaker’.

Since 1978, Chris has been involved in movements for global change. He now holds several coordinating roles within Extinction Rebellion, focusing on future visioning, living our values and rekindling a sense of the sanctity of all life.

Across decades, Chris has developed a unique approach to supporting radical change. Since 2007, he has been a full-time facilitator and coach for organisations and individuals who are working to transform the world from a materialistic, profit-driven paradigm to one prioritising life, community and wellbeing. He is motivated by a sense of social justice and a love for the living planet, as well as an understanding that civilisation as we now know it is likely to crumble within our lifetimes if we don't enact radical change.

His passion is working with young people, especially those seeking to make our world a better place. He supports them in finding their own unique purpose, within the context of a world in crisis.

Join us in Episode 3 of Crossing the Threshold, as we discuss how to help young people to find their purpose.

Chris is also a tai chi teacher and father to three adult children. He lives on a communal organic farm where he is learning the intricacies of a regenerative relationship with land, food and community living.


Chris’s LinkedIn:


Buy his book ‘Tao of Revolution’ here:

(also available on Amazon in US and UK)


The Oasis Foundation, where he does most of his work:


Produced and Edited by Green Barge Audio. Check them out -


#2: John Taylor, Principal, UAE South Bank - Rebuilding a healthy school community

#2: John Taylor, Principal, UAE South Bank - Rebuilding a healthy school community

July 17, 2020

John Taylor is the Principal of University Academy of Engineering South Bank, a medium-sized state secondary school in South East London. John, Nikki & I caught up whilst his school was partially reopening from lockdown at the end June 2020. What a crazy time to be a headteacher...

John shared the reality of seeing a school community through a pandemic. His stories highlight the multidimensional role a school plays in it’s local community, particularly during times of adversity. We were deeply inspired by John's vision and how he breeds a commitment to social justice amongst school staff.

We discover how John’s early childhood summers spent going to Forest School Camps have been instrumental to his outlook on life, his aspirations as a school leader and to model how we can live harmoniously as individuals and communities.


Twitter: @UAESouthbank

Instagram: UAESouthbank

Produced and Edited by Green Barge Audio. Check them out -


Show Notes

Books mentioned:

#1: Hannah Wilson, Associate Director, Whole Education - Values & Authenticity in School

#1: Hannah Wilson, Associate Director, Whole Education - Values & Authenticity in School

July 17, 2020

This episode Max sits down with Hannah Wilson (@Ethical_Leader), Associate Director at Whole Education (@WholeEducation). Hannah is a serious activist in the world of education. She is tireless in her drive to change the way we educate through ethical leadership and teacher training. Ex-headteacher and founder of numerous incredible grassroots networks such as #DiverseEd, Hannah is helping to pave the way for a more just and equitable education system.



Max and Hannah discuss integrity, ethics and bringing values to the heart of our schools. Together we explore the opportunities for educational reform presented by Covid-19, how this time can help us to reflect and transform the system. 


Hannah shares her visionary thinking online. Follow her:

Twitter: @Ethical_Leader

LinkedIn @Hannah Wilson


Produced and Edited by Green Barge Audio. Check them out -

Crossing The Threshold - Season 1 (Trailer)

Crossing The Threshold - Season 1 (Trailer)

July 1, 2020

So what's this podcast all about then? Listen to find out and hear a sneak preview of what to expect from the first few episodes! Sign up to The Visionaries' mailing list to get future episodes straight to your inbox at

Follow us on twitter (@VisionariesEdu) or Instagram (@thevisionariesuk) to keep updated with the podcast and the work we are doing to reform secondary education.

Produced and Edited by Green Barge Audio. Check them out -

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