Born in a beautiful part of northern England, Ken Dunn’s love of the natural environment led him to study earth sciences. After the Duke of Edinburgh Gold, his selection for a dramatic British expedition was formative. As a young geography outdoor education teacher he went on to lead many young people to far flung corners of the world, working in some dramatic, hostile and fragile environments.
His vision for positive environmentalism and his passion as a change maker won him numerous awards but a visit to Africa in the year 2000 was to ultimately change his life and the lives of many others. The focus from expeditioning to countries changed to that of partnership impact visits working with communities, which saw high octane activity and fieldwork being replaced with community development projects where practical action and enterprise shine through.
After a successful 23 year career, Ken left school leadership to establish his social enterprise Connecting Communities Worldwide, and now offers this work through a registered charity - the thought provokingly named charity, Africa's Gift, dispelling the notion that Africa is just a place that receives.
His work is extremely powerful and has been recognised and supported regionally, nationally and by the United Nations. He now facilitates over 20 meaningful global and ethical partnerships which are transformational for all those involved.
Having saved his brother’s life from a snake bite and pulling his wife from a swimming pool with heart failure, Ken is at pains to point out to all that life is precious and precarious, a gift to be embraced firmly and not left to drift by.
Ken’s message is punchy but uplifting and invites every young person to use their talents and energies to engage in positive action and consider carefully the power of money as the best things in life are not material things!
Ken also offers talks entitled 'From Waste to African Wonder'. See first hand through extraordinary artifacts and hand made crafts how one person's waste can be transformed into items of wonder. Ken Dunn introduces a wide array of ingenious items made in Africa from waste materials one of which is absolutely astounding and is transforming lives and protecting habitats.
"Ken Dunn has spoken on a number of topics to large audiences of parents, teachers, children and the wider community, relating to both the environment and charity support. He is a brilliant speaker, providing suitable information across all the age ranges. I cannot speak highly enough of Ken. He enthuses everyone with his talks, which are interspersed with amusing anecdotes and interesting, relevant images and video clips. Ken is inspirational! Our school children have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ken on a number of themes such as keyhole gardens, tree preservation and safe and sustainable cooking methods in Africa. Everyone who listens to him will want to hear more!"– Pam Tonge, Headteacher, St Norbert's Catholic Primary School
"Ken Dunn is an uplifting, entertaining and enlightening speaker who talks passionately about themes such as the environment, charity work and the plight of communities in Africa. His subject knowledge is huge and he has invested a huge amount of time into what he would describe as his ‘life work’. Ken would be a huge asset to any group who is looking for a positive, one-of-a-kind speaker."– Marc Doyle, Vice Principal, Darton College
"It is with great confidence that I recommend Mr Ken Dunn to you as an engaging and motivational speaker. Ken has provided experience, energy and inspiration to audiences at Chaucer on many occasions over a number of years. He speakers enthusiastically about the environment, a topic upon which he is very knowledgeable. His passion is clearly evident when speaking about Africa and the people there, where I believe he has found his true vocation. Ken not only has the knowledge but has actually done something to improve the environment both in the UK and abroad and speaks from the position of real practitioner.
The experiences and good works Ken has undertaken over many years has enabled him to amass a wealth of photographs, video and anecdotes which he uses to entertain and captivate his audience. Ken has inspired a range of audiences at Chaucer, including staff, parents and students and in both small and large group situations. Ken's enthusiasm is infectious - watch out! We hope to welcome him here again very soon."– Gillian Ward, Assistant Headteacher, Chaucer BEC
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