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 to sparking children’s curiosity for inspiring young people about the world began when he taught teenagers in east London schools between 2004 and 2008. He has innovated the use of technology to bring faraway peoples and environments to classes around the world with Digital Explorer. Over the year's Digital Explorer's work was steadily recognized in mass and industry media coverage and through a number of awards it received. At Encounter Edu Jamie plans to grow this Digital Explorer programmes which in the last ten years 4.2 million students.

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 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 UNRWA's Syrian crisis regional response and advocacy unit. Before embarking for the UN, she began her communications careers at 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 build Encounter Edu's public recognition.

Helen Bainbridge - Projects and Operations Manager

Helen oversees the account management and delivery of Encounter Edu programmes. With 25 years of experience as an Account Director, Project Manager and Corporate Development Executive across corporate and non-profit organisations, she brings a wealth of client management experience. She is looking forward to Encounter Edu’s next ambitious phase of scaling the live-education model to classrooms globally.

Maddy Street - Learning Designer

Maddy has worked in primary education for over decade both as a teacher and subject lead coordinator for English and Maths both abroad and in London. Passionate about conservation and sustainable development, she brings to the team a wide experience in designing lessons and resources to inspire STEM learning and spark student curiosity for wildlife, science and the environment. She joined Encounter Edu upon completing her Masters in Education, Gender and International Development from University College London. She’s thrilled to be part of the Encounter Edu team due to its dynamic and new approach to education.

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.

Riccardo Guido - Senior Digital Producer

Riccardo joined Encounter Edu as a digital designer and video producer. A jack of all design trades, over the last 10 years, he has worked in the UK on a wide range of graphic design and video projects for the London School of Economics, Japan Foundation, and charities for the homeless. He studied Communication Design in Italy where he won a scholarship at the TEC de Monterrey in Mexico. For him, Encounter Edu presents as great way to expand his knowledge and expertise in the environmental education sector.

Daniel Metson - Digital Producer

Daniel works on Encounter Edu’s graphic and print production. He developed his multi-disciplinary talents while working in the med-tech industry where he created engaging learning materials to improve global healthcare education. He was drawn to Encounter Edu’s education work with young people understanding of environmental issues through the integrated Encounter live education model.

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