Meet the team

Our experience in education, communications, multi-media production and client work is what makes Encounter Edu tick.

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop - Executive Director

Jamie runs Encounter Edu, which he founded in 2008 as Digital Explorer. Jamie's commitment for inspiring young people about the most pressing issues affecting our environment began when he taught teenagers in east London schools between 2004 and 2008. To reach out to thousands of young minds he has innovated the use of technology to bring faraway peoples and environments into classrooms, anchoring broadcasts from some of the most remote locations on the planet. Over the years Jamie's work has been recognised with a number of awards and media coverage. Jamie's work leading Encounter Edu's free, live steaming events sees him reach students worldwide, fielding questions, conducting live experiments and hosting researchers working on the frontiers of science to illustrate how human impact is affecting our natural environment.

Oliver Steeds - Co-founder

Oliver Steeds co-founded Digital Explorer with Jamie in 2008. He lends strategic support to Encounter Edu, with the rest of his time dedicated to running Nekton which he founded in 2015. Nekton is a deep ocean exploration outfit to advance scientific marine research. His experience as director, explorer and public presenter have been a valuable contribution to supporting Encounter Edu partnerships.

Irina Prentice - Communications & Partnerships Director

Irina heads up communications. She brings 17 years of experience working with the UN and as a journalist covering conflicts, humanitarian crises and current events in the Middle East, USA and Europe. She worked for the United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), including setting up its Syrian crisis regional response and advocacy unit. Before embarking for the UN, her work as a journalist began at the American broadcaster, ABC News in New York and London. While at ABC News, she was nominated for the Livingstone Award for Young Journalists and was listed on three of ABC News’ Emmy Awards. She is delighted to be on board to grow Encounter Edu's footprint and business.

Megan Folan - Learning Designer

Megan, a former teacher in east London and Brentwood schools, specialises in geographical and environmental learning. In the classroom, she used case studies and field excursions to make it easier for students to relate to the STEM subject they were studying. She noticed that increasing real experience of a subject could stimulate engagement and further understanding. At Encounter Edu, Megan is looking forward to building resources that give teachers the ability to easily integrate experiences as they seek to inspire a student love for learning.

Carlton Brady - Learning Designer

With his experience as a former teacher in south London schools, Carlton specialises in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics subjects. During his teaching career, he was KS3 Coordinator for the Science Department and co-leader of the school Environmental Action Group. Carlton is passionate about engaging students both in his subject and towards social and environment issues. Prior to becoming a teacher, he had worked in science communication roles for two science discovery centres: We the Curious and Cambridge Science Centre delivering public engagement to wider audiences. His insight to education, public communication and passion for the environment are what attracted him to the role with Encounter Edu.

Simeon Goodwin - Digital Producer

Simeon works on Encounter Edu’s graphics and print production. A designer by trade, he has studied and worked across Northern Europe - including Liverpool, Reykjavík, and Amsterdam. After graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts in Design from Konstfack in Stockholm, he was drawn to work at Encounter Edu because of its commitment to sustainability, critical thinking, and inclusivity. He hopes to support and develop both production and communications while encouraging the use of positive design thinking throughout.

Vona Roberta - Communication Assistant

Vona is interning as a communications assistant bringing a wide range of skills she developed working as a culture journalist, campaign stylist, and start-up consultant. She studied Fashion Communication and developed her interests during extensive travel and connections to networks of up-and-coming innovators in design and tech. Inspired by the Encounter Edu mission, during this year-long internship, she plans to expand her knowledge in public relations and on campaign creation for startups.

Tatiana Van Vacas - Digital SEO Volunteer

A bright student and recent school graduate, Tatiana is volunteering at Encounter Edu to prepare for commencing her degree in social studies at the University of Sussex. A young global citizen growing up in France, UAE, Tunisia and Italy, she's interested in climate change, environment and the bigger issues that have been rising significantly within her generation. Through this internship, she hopes to acquire first hand skills in Search Engine Optimisation and the inner workings of the digital-heavy world of Encounter Edu's outreach.

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