Of Imagination, Nature, and Connections: A conversation with Andy Middleton | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

In this episode, I speak with Andy Middleton. Andy is the Founder and Director of the TYF Group, an innovative and visionary social enterprise. TYF’s mission is to train revolutionaries – giving normal mums, dads & kids, business teams, and community groups the confidence, skills, and reason to revolutionize the way they play, think, and connect with nature. TYF’s goal is to reach 100,000 people face to face in the next five years through experience in education, adventure, retail, and consulting. Andy is also a Founding Partner of the Do Collective, where he connects and orchestrates the potential power of a virtual consulting team of hundreds of the world’s best thinkers and doers. In this episode, we discuss:

  • How often people who say it’s not possible just lack imagination (including when we talk of creating new paradigms for learning);
  • How when learning is place-specific and contextualized, there is unpredictability, and that’s what allows the experience to be magical;
  • How we can bring together groups that don’t always talk to each in order to reach the tipping point necessary for change.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, which creates learning and action experiences where all learners have a common purpose; positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective — any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Benjamin also works as the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at an International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, which, as the school of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the most prestigious and high profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities, before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and now Thailand. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin’s outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.

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