Participation People’s CEO and Founder Antonia Dixey has built a solid reputation as a charismatic public speaker and expert consultant, who is passionate about giving young people a voice on services and issues that affect them. She is uniquely qualified to share her insight on how businesses and young people can work together to co-produce solutions and is driven to create a future that offers inclusive and accessible opportunities for all.

Antonia’s story

Antonia started in the charity sector with St John Ambulance, managing the national youth participation programme. No easy task for an organisation that is over 900 years old. She then moved to the statutory sector and was the Involvement Manager for London Borough of Tower Hamlets, during an era of extremes of polarised wealth and deprivation.

During this time Antonia recognised how many organisations were disconnected with the young people they serve, and the need for a specialist organisation that could offer insight and perspective on the wants and needs of the next generation.

Founding Participation People

Thirteen years ago Antonia set up Participation People, an organisation which sets out to youth-proof businesses, charities and local authorities by gathering the data, thoughts and feelings of young people to give them a voice and opportunity to create change.

Today, she manages an organisation of 25 people, delivering programmes across the UK that champion creativity and problem-solving, inspired by Antonia’s infectious sense of fun.

Examples of talk topics and consultancy project themes

1. Practical steps to youth-proof your business and improve performance.
Antonia Dixey offers practical steps for youth-proofing your business, ensuring it resonates with younger generations and remains competitive in the evolving market.

2. Unlock the power of Gen Z – get your marketing and engagement campaigns right the first time.
Antonia’s expertise in engaging with Gen Z and Gen Alpha audiences provides a roadmap for communications and marketing professionals to connect with the next generation of consumers.

3. True Diversity in the Workforce must include young people – how to reach and retain them.
As a dedicated champion of inclusivity, Antonia explores the importance of including young people in the diversity and equity conversation, highlighting how it can drive meaningful change in organisations.

4. Managing Young Employees to drive productivity and profitability.
Antonia Dixey delivers actionable strategies and real-world examples for integrating youth perspectives into decision-making processes, helping businesses stay relevant and impactful.

5. Why Senior Executives NEED Young Mentors: delivering BIG business impact through cross-generational mentoring.
Antonia discusses the transformative impact of cross-generational mentoring, illustrating how senior executives can benefit from the unique perspectives of young mentors.


What Antonia’s clients have to say

“Antonia is one of a kind! She set up her own company focussed on empowering the participation of young people and has managed this company against a backdrop of large-scale cuts in public and social policy for over a decade. This requires amazing business savviness!

What struck me about working with Antonia is this: not only is there immense personal passion and commitment to empowering young people – there is 1) the academic knowledge to back up the work Participation People do and 2) there is a flexible and collaborative approach to delivering the work.

She understands the pressures facing organisations today and what this means for how Participation People needs to work with organisations. She is also thinking about the challenges that are emerging in the near future when it comes to young people’s participation. So if you’re looking for someone who brings passion, academic knowledge, commitment and strategic understanding then I would recommend getting in touch with Antonia.” Rajwinder Kaur (She/Her), Digital | Inequalities | SEED Justice


“Antonia is an exceptional leader who empowers those she coaches to make things happen that weren’t going to happen. She is fun to be around and exudes charm and confidence. The passion she has for her work is an inspiration.” Andy Evans, ESG Reporting Manager at Travis Perkins ELC


“Antonia is an innovative, engaging facilitator and project manager, with a genuine interest in community and youth engagement, which is evident in all that she does. She is committed, enthusiastic and very clearly understands issues faced by young people in society today, and through her unique facilitation style and techniques, has the ability to quickly support and challenge participants on key issues in order to further enrich outcomes produced.” Josh Harsant, Head of Children and Young People’s Voice at Barnardos


“Antonia is a shining star of a woman in leadership and one that I have been inspired and empowered by. Antonia’s passion, expertise and commitment to participation is creative, fun and engaging. Antonia’s skills in leadership, strategic development, mentoring and listening and acting on the voice of young people is truly commendable.

I worked with Antonia in my time with the participation team at Kooth in her role as the CEO of Participation People and I was immediately struck by how exceptionally positive and supportive she was in the approach to her work. Antonia is a leader that I will never forget and am truly grateful for the time and support she has given me which is something you may not always come across. It’s hard to put into words what her approach feels and looks like unless you have been in a room with her and experienced it but she made me feel like anything was possible. She was also realistic and challenging in ways that made you think, re-learn and believe that what you wanted to happen could happen.

I am inspired by the ease in which Antonia can manage and create opportunities for change in complex situations and have that ‘bigger picture’ thinking to both zoom in and zoom out. The skills in which she possesses to handle such situations is honestly – a work of magic. As a leader and innovator for transformational change in the community, Antonia earns my highest recommendation.” Carina Miles, Engagement Lead at Kooth PLC 

Speaking examples

Why you need a cross-generational mentor

‘Youth Proof’ to future-proof your business

Top tips for young professionals on International Women’s Day

Talk to us

If you’re looking for youth leadership speakers, Antonia is available for keynote speaker opportunities, panel discussions and can optionally interview a young person on one of the topics outlined here or a chosen theme. Or if you’d like to enlist Antonia’s help for a bespoke consultancy project, for more information and bookings, contact us now.

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