Koy Thomson is currently chief executive of Children in Crisis, which works to protect children and shape resilient solutions to education in conflict affected environments. Koy trained as an ecologist and worked in the tropics, the Arctic and London graveyards. Armed with the knowledge that the poor were not ravaging the planet but bad policy and irresponsible business was, he joined Friends of the Earth as their tropical rainforest campaigner. He built bridges with development and human rights organisations, which eventually took him to the International Institute for Environment and Development.
Many years providing high level UN and government advice convinced him that the democratisation of policy making and the agency of poor people in shaping their futures was key. Seven years as ActionAid International’s director of policy put this into practice. But the missing experience was doing it himself in his own environment, and for 3 years he headed the largest urban cycling movement in the world, the London Cycling Campaign. Experiences of both success and frustration and powerlessness gave him a renewed desire to stand alongside those facing the toughest challenges in the toughest environments.