In his presentation Mark will describe his personal journey from addiction to award winning social entrepreneur, discussing the value of lived experience and listening to the ‘user voice’. He will outline the theory of involving people, from tokenism to sharing power and the barriers to involvement.

Overview of User Voice – who we are, what we do, our values and the impact we’ve had. Finally, the presentation will challenge the audience around involving people with lived experience in the solutions.

Mr Mark Johnson

Biography: Mark is an ex-offender and former drug abuser. After primary, secondary and tertiary rehab he started a tree surgery business. His policy was to employ other recovering addicts and ex-offenders. He won, among other accolades, a Pride of Britain award for his work. His best selling autobiography, Wasted, was published in 2007.

Mark went on to become a policy adviser to The Prince’s Trust, then the Government and the third sector. He founded the charity User Voice, to offer policy-makers access to the unheard and marginalised voices in society. More recently he founded, CanDo coffee while offering socially excluded people meaningful employment opportunities.

Mark is an Ashoka Fellow and Visiting Associate at the University of Durham. He was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to vulnerable people.

Mark is a renowned social commentator and public speaker.

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