Our advisory board consists of a diverse group of local friends and international experts who have generously committed to supporting our community by advising on their areas of expertise as and when needed and coming together several times per year to provide oversight and guidance on the long term development of our project.
Amica is a founding member of Assemble, an interdisciplinary collective whose work focuses on the social and material processes through which cities are made, producing architecture, art, urban design and research. Amica works across the practice leading much of Assemble's research lead and interdisciplinary work, with a special focus on the lives of young people. In addition to her work with Assemble Amica teaches at the AA Architecture School, is a founding trustee of Baltic Street Adventure Playground, and a trustee of Theatrum Mundi, an independent research charity founded out of LSE Cities in 2016.
Jerszy is an artist and designer whose work spans from playing with industrial and post-industrial objects, actions, interventions and installations, covering a range of mediums and materials, objects, film, performance, music and writing. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world including the Design Museum in London, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel and Berlin and the Palais de Tokyo. He has taught in many contexts including ‘The Dirty Art Department’, a fascinating Applied Art and Design Masters at the Sandberg Institute/Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam which he founded and continues to direct.
Ela is an anthropologist, one of the longest-standing members of the international community of the Alpujarras, and a tireless advocate for intercultural integration, tolerance and unity. For many years she has acted as a bridge between the many different communities that co-exist in this area, both formally in her role as an official translator and informally as an individual who is known and loved across political, cultural and national boundaries. Although she is far too humble to ever state the fact, there is little doubt that Ella has played and continues to play a significant role in making Orgiva the model of respectful integration that it is.
Chloe grew up on the farm which neighbours our project - El Valero - tending sheep and vegetables. This experience catalysed a lifelong passion for nature, ecology and sustainability, passions she is currently pursuing at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. Her position at the border of two cultures - the english of her parents and the Spanish of her surroundings - gives Chloe a unique perspective on both and a belief in the value of intercultural exchange. She describes growing up in our valley as 'the best thing that ever happened to me' a statement that inspires us to enable other young people access to the same opportunity.
Eddie is the manager of Felix Rd Adventure Playground in Bristol UK. This role is the current manifestation of a life that has been dedicated to enabling, supporting, thinking about, writing about, and even making music about play, childhood and their position in and relationship to society. The result is an incredibly rich and nuanced understanding of play, authentic playwork and community organising which draws upon a very wide range of theoretical and intellectual influences but is always grounded in and focused on concrete experience and care for the lives of children and the world we share with them.
Danny is a youth worker, writer, community organiser and educational activist. In addition to his ongoing work with young people, Danny has been instrumental in the development of the now flourishing movement for Democratic and Self-Directed Education in the UK. During his time as CEO of the Phoenix Education Trust Danny oversaw a process of review and renewal which led to the extension of Phoenix's work in mainstream schools as well as the creation of the Freedom to Learn network, a collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders which promotes human-centred and rights-respecting practice in education in the UK.
Melania Horcajuelo Torres
Melania was born in Madrid, Spain, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She is an enthusiastic self-motivated professional specializing in Alternative Education. She started her career founding Nidia Preschool in 2010. In 2014 she co-founded Madrid Active School (MAS), where she works as Director and teacher, and she is the coordinator and mentor of the MAS Volunteer Program for trainee teachers. MAS is a NEASC accredited International Pre/Primary school focused on Active Learning. It is a small school with a family atmosphere that offers its students an academic program based on personalized teaching, holistic education and self-directed learning.
Tessa is a mother of three young children and a co-founder of Las Tortugas Curiosas, a democratic eco-school based in La Herradura on the costa tropical which opened its doors for the first time in September 2021. Las Tortugas Curiosas shares many of our core principles, not least a commitment to open hearted collaboration with other groups working to create viable democratic alternatives to school. She has a varied background which includes 5 years as a bank manager with the Royal Bank of Scotland, working as a psychologist in a low secure hospital with offenders with mental health issues, and ongoing explorations in child and developmental psychology.