Elise Ford Profile Photo

Strategist & Facilitator


Contexts of work








Congo [DRC]



Areas of Specialisation

Relationship systems
Community building
Strategic leaderships


Rural communities
Grassroots movements

Elise Ford Profile Photo

Elise Ford

I believe in the power we hold as individuals, when nourished and connected, to inspire change. I bring my skills as strategist, entrepreneur and facilitator to allow others to create the conditions for deeper community and better systems.

Elise is a nomad and explorer.  Through her journey in seeking to better understand and support social change, Elise has accumulated almost 20 years’ experience in senior positions across politics, international development and philanthropy.  She’s spent extensive time working in Europe, Africa and the United States, before finally landing back in the UK last year after 20 years overseas.  Through those diverse experiences, she’s grateful for the multiple perspectives and deep understanding she’s developed of the roles, relationships, opportunities and challenges within current approaches to solidarity and justice.

As a program director, she has co-designed and implemented new approaches to allow conflict affected communities to shape their own futures, including establishing a long-term participatory community peacebuilding program in Mali, and initiating a social lab on polarization in Zimbabwe bringing together unusual allies across the political spectrum.

As a funder, she has worked closely with many international organisations and their teams, providing guidance on strategy, partnerships and operations, to work within the constraints of the current system whilst working to challenge current practices and develop new approaches to change. 

As an influencer, she has worked with others to leverage a growing commitment to citizen-led change to generate greater momentum in efforts to decolonise aid and generate new forms of international solidarity.  

Elise currently serves as a co-host for a collective of activists that aims to re-imagine, co-create and co-lead spaces and action for a just, equitable and dignified peace.  Having worked with the community for the last three years, she’s been inspired by deeper, more proximate approaches to supporting social change, and the opportunity this holds for creating new ways of being and doing together.  She brings her training in relationship systems to enhance community experience, well-being and potential, and creates the conditions for people-centered and values-focused structures and operational culture.  She is deeply motivated by the potential of communities like this - to allow lived experience leaders to come together to build relationships and solidarity, to work together and dream together, and begin the plant the seeds for the transitions and alternative futures we need.

When not building community and travelling, she’s drawing unicorns and discovering new adventure playgrounds with her two young daughters and wife in Bristol.

Interested in working with us for a better future?