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Chris Underhill

Founder, BasicNeeds

Skoll Awardee


Chris is a leading exponent on global mental health practice, a social entrepreneur, a mentor, a trainer in community-based facilitation technique, and regularly speaks at conferences worldwide. His mentees currently work in organisational management, models of change in childhood deprivation, human trafficking, the psychology of gangs, Fair Trade, prisons and prisoners, leadership and executive search. He is currently co-founding citiesRISE, which is a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to promote mental health by catalysing collective actions across sectors within cities. Chris is the founder of BasicNeeds and previously founded Action on Disability and Development, and Thrive. He is the Chair of Spring Impact (formerly known as the International Centre for Social Franchising), a Global Director of Leaders Quest and the Chair of Carers Worldwide. He is a Senior Fellow with the Ashoka Fellowship, a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a Salzburg Global Fellow, and was selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur for 2014. In 2000 Chris received an MBE from the Queen for his services to disability and development.

Regional Focus

Central and Southern Asia, North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa