Generating Genius: the vision

Distinguished education academic and social commentator Dr Tony Sewell founded Generating Genius in 2005. His vision was to work with high-achieving students from disadvantaged communities throughout their secondary school careers to help them acquire the skills they need to win places at top universities. Generating Genius alumni, now undergraduates, in turn become mentors to course participants, feeding their experience back into the programmes. ‘The programmes we offer are intended to be challenging,’ says Dr Sewell. ‘The students are expected to maintain a high standard of self-discipline, behaviour and academic performance. ‘We do not believe in prizes for all. Whilst one can learn from the experience of the journey, ultimately there is often only one winner. ‘By bringing together academically talented students from some of the most challenging social circumstances, our programmes are able to offer a unique educational experience, one geared both to the students’ high abilities and to their need for peers who share their academic abilities and their love of learning. ‘This is a nurturing programme where students have a sense that they are on a journey from 11 to 18. This rites-of-passage programme is based on intellectual and social challenges. They learn that poverty, race and gender are not barriers to academic success.’

Generating Genius trustees and executive team

Dr Tony Sewell, founder and director

Tony began his career as a London school teacher. He has spent many years as a teacher trainer working at Kingston and Leeds universities and has published widely on the experience of boys in education. He has also been an international consultant in education for, among others, the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat. He works in both the UK and the Caribbean and helped to set up the Science, Maths and Information Technology Centre in the department of education at Jamaica’s University of the West Indies. A trustee of the National Museums of Science and Industry, he makes frequent appearances in national broadcast and print media, including BBC Radio 4′s Any Questions?, BBC2′s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight, the Guardian and the Daily Mail. Contact him at tony@generatinggenius.org.uk


Gideon Woldeslassie, project manager

Gideon graduated from City University in mathematics and finance. He also holds a PGCE in secondary school mathematics teaching from Reading University. He is a keen traveller and recently worked as a volunteer teaching maths and English to underprivileged children in Malaysia. Gideon has worked for Generating Genius on a part-time basis since 2010 and joined the team full-time in September 2012. You can email Gideon at gideon@generatinggenius.org.uk.


Professor Averil Macdonald, chair

Averil holds the chair of science communication at the University of Reading and is regional director of the higher education STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme for London and the South East, which is based at the University of Southampton. She is a trustee of the National Museums of Science and Industry, chair of the Expert Group for Women in Science, which reports to the Department for Business, Industry and Skills, a member of the governing council of the Institute of Physics and UK representative on the European Physical Society Forum for Science in Society.


Shuvo Saha, chair elect

Shuvo runs Google’s fastest-growing UK business – the fast-moving consumer goods and automotive sectors –and also leads the company’s work as a sponsor and supporter of Generating Genius. He has 16 years’ experience in marketing, sales, digital strategy and consulting. He studied electrical engineering at Imperial College London before working in UK, European and global marketing roles at Procter & Gamble. Following this, he spent several years in consulting for major brands such Vodafone, BSkyB, Nestle and Marks & Spencer, before joining Google in 2006. Shuvo has a passion for education, and as a trained facilitator he has led many learning and development programmes throughout his career.


Dionne Lewis, trustee
With a background in psychology and a passion for education, Dionne has acquired a wealth of knowledge of, and experience in, the education sector, undertaking roles which combine the integral psychological and social aspects of teaching and learning. She has held a range of appointments working directly with young people in a variety of educational settings in mainstream and special schools at both primary and secondary levels. Dionne is currently an assistant head of school at a state-maintained secondary in inner-city London and is also the lead co-ordinator of the PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) and AIM Higher programmes. In this role, she has developed cross-curricular learning programmes in collaboration with corporate and community organisations to engage students in extending their aspirations to attend university, widen accessibility to a range of careers, promote community engagement, and provide a platform for young people to recognise their talents and gifts in academia.


Veronica Martin BA (Hons) BSc, trustee
Veronica spent 15 years in the advertising sector of the media industry (The Voice newspaper and Time Magazine) before dedicating herself to using her sales and marketing skills to benefit non-profit organisations and charities. As a professional fundraiser specialising in winning resources and support from charitable trusts and foundations, her achievements include helping to raise over £250,000 for the Brain and Spine Foundation via the Michael Watson Marathon Walk, part of the London Marathon. Among the other charities with which she has worked are Clubs for Young People (CYP), Drake Music, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Prolific Foundation, Art of Community, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Elizabeth Finn Care. She is a fully certificated member of the Institute of Fundraising.


Tibor Gold, trustee

Tibor has a master’s degree in physics from Oxford University and a law degree from London University. He is a fellow and past president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and an honorary fellow of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. He is a visiting professorial fellow in IP law at Queen Mary, University of London, and a former tutor at the Intellectual Property Academy, Singapore. Tibor won the World Leaders European IP Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and the following year he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to intellectual property. He served for 16 years as a magistrate dealing with children’s and youth issues.


Susan Delgado, director of communications

Susan, a graduate of University College London, has wide experience as a journalist across a range of market-leading business and consumer publications, most recently as assistant editor of Times Educational Supplement. In addition to expertise in the schools sector, she also has a track record in health policy journalism and is a former editor of YoungMinds Magazine, the leading title on child and adolescent mental health. She is a former production editor of The Voice newspaper. You can email her at susan@generatinggenius.org.uk