Open Mind Summit is an annual Summit exploring the role of creativity and culture in improving young people’s wellbeing.

Launched in 2019 on World Mental Health Day (10 October) the sell-out event attracted over 100 like-minded individuals of all ages to be inspired, learn, collaborate and connect.  In 2020, in the midst of lockdown, the event moved online, and discussed ‘how can creativity help children and young people overcome isolation and loneliness’. Over the last 2 years, the summit has hosted a diverse lineup of young people, artists, activists and influencers, national organisations, educators, researchers and more with keynotes from Darren McGarvey and Steven McLeish.

This year, the online Summit will be on Friday 8th October and will explore the theme, Mental Health for All with three subthemes: Nature for All, Connections for All and Justice for All. The programme this year will reflect these themes, with 3 keynote speakers, a morning panel discussion and a range of workshops. There will also be an opportunity to get involved in shaping the future of Open Mind Summit and take part in our first ever community of practice session as we develop into a network.

Alan Clark founder of Open Mind Summit comments,

‘We’re so excited by this year’s line up with keynote talks from Angela Awuah, founder and director of Mental Health the Arts and Ollie Bray, Strategic Director of Education Scotland and Jo Musker-Sherwood from Climate Emerence, as well as an opportunity to hear more about 10,000 Miles, a celebration of connection and creativity and a showcase the work of two dance companies right2dance in Paisley, Scotland and yellowwheel in Melbourne, Australia and their experiences with connecting across the globe.’

Jo Musker-Sherwood has over fifteen years’ experience in the charity sector. As the Founder Director of Hope for the Future, she oversaw the charity’s growth from a small project to a national NGO impacting climate policy at all levels of government. Following an experience of activism-related burnout, Jo turned her attention to researching and developing strategies for emotional and ecological wellbeing. She is a coach in training, and currently researches, writes, mentors, and consults on emotional resilience strategies for those working in the environmental sector. You can find out more about her approach at

Ollie Bray is currently Strategic Director at Education Scotland where he overall strategic responsibility for National Improvement Initiatives and Professional Learning and Leadership. This includes major national initiatives including Wellbeing and Equality. Immediately before rejoining Education Scotland he was Global Director: Connecting Play and Education at the LEGO Foundation ( where he led the Foundations work related to education improvement through the use of technology and play.

Angela Awuah is founder and director of award-winning social enterprise Mental Health The Arts (MHTA), an early intervention creative arts academy in South London which works with young people on developing creative coping mechanisms using their gifts and talents. She has been a carer for over 10 years for a family member that was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her background involves campaigning, public speaking and youth-led social action. She has won several youth social entrepreneurship awards and has recently completed a MSc Degree in Public Mental Health.

Hazel Darragh, Senior Communications Officer at Kibble Education and Care Centre, adds,

“We’re delighted once again to be part of the Open Mind Summit, alongside Create Paisley and other partners, to explore the intrinsic link between creativity, culture and wellbeing. At Kibble, children and young people excel in all areas of the arts; an important means of self-expression, achievement, connection and confidence. This year’s event is set to be one of the best yet, with a host of key speakers, workshops, performances and inspiring conversation.”

The summit will bring together young people, educators, artists, researchers, youth workers and funders. In partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure, Kibble and the University of the West of Scotland.

Open Mind Summit is funded by Renfrewshire Council and delivered in partnership with Create Paisley as part of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Open Mind Summit is on 8 October on online platform Hopin. Tickets are just £25 and there are a limited number of bursary places available for creative practitioners and young people.