• Head in the Clouds. Feet on the Ground.

    20 years of impact through startups and adventures.

    Helping people and organisations do work that matters to them (& the world) - startups, exciting careers, impact business & digital nomads.

     

    Currently: Rebel Book Club.

  • accelerate your reading habits

    Non-fiction books + community + great cocktails in London, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton, Berlin & Barcelona

    build a tribe

    Can I help you make your community stronger?

    better health

    Are you interested in learning about, using or building a business with essential oils?

    get your idea out there

    Can I help you get started?

    learn about & tackle environmental crises

    A new club for people feeling overwhelmed by todays environmental issues.

  • current

    Not your average book club.

    Monthly > non-fiction books, meets & action.

    Never stop learning!

     

    Founded 2015

    Industrial Revolution > Green Revolution.

    A new club for overwhelmed people to learn about & help solve environmental issues.

     

    Launch event: July 2019

     

     

    Kickstart your Business

    Not-for-profit Virgin company for Entrepreneurs.

     

    Role: Business Advisor & Event Host

  • PAST projects

    Sustainable Tourism project in Umbria

    Helping professionals do work that matters

    Startup Leader at the Escape School, 2015-2018

    Sports academy creating future leaders .Met my wife there :)

  • currently supporting...

    Organisations & projects I support with donations or time.

    Works alongside rainforest villages to halt deforestation and climate change.

    The global movement for tribal people's rights

    Fighting for our world. Supporter since I was 10 years old.

    Not perfect, but the best we've currently got for the world we need to build.

    An affordable renewable energy utility company with great service.

    The most innovative media org I know.

  • milestones

    2005

    Started 'Career Break Cafe' blog after driving to Timbuktu  to help people plan long-terms trips mid-career

    2006

    Crowdfunded the renting of Vorovoro Island in Fiji (with 1000 new tribe members): Tribewanted was born

    2007

    Survived an island fire, a cyclone & a political coup in the first year of island life

    2008

    Celebrated 3 years island success - BBC tv documentary & book: 'Paradise or Bust'

    2009

    Travelled to Sierra Leone & worked with Right to Dream on setting up the Craig Bellamy Football Academy

    2010

    Spoke at launch party of Escape the City before setting up camp for a year on the beach in SL

    2011

    Became a founding member of THNK: The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership. 

    2012

    Supported the Ghanaian Paralympic team from Right to Dream with my fiancee at London 2012 

    2013

    Launched Tribewanted's first European project: Monestevole, a farm in Umbria, with Filippo Bozotti

    2014

    Advised entrepreneurs at Virgin Startup, wrote about 'Schools for Life', mapped the world's treehouses & made the first 'Escape to the Woods' festival

    2015

    Spent the winter hosting startups in Bali with Tribewanted (& pool hunting), started Rebel Book Club in London & led the startup tribe programs at Escape the City

    2016

    Full-tilt at Escape London - leading 2 more startup tribes & building our team. Rebel Book Club hits 20 books + 150 members

    2017

    Consolidated the Escape School - leading 2 more accelerators + getting our curriculums online. Mentoring at THNK & ZINC.vc + workshops with Virgin Starutp. Read 50 books in a year!

    2018

    Strengthened the startup programmes at the Escape School. Doubled size of Rebel Book Club. Moved our family to Ko Lanta in Thailand!

  • Lessons

    2005

    Its not what you start, its that you start. Selling online ads is hard.

    2006

    Braveness is rewarded but comes with significant responsibility. Don't complicate the mission.

    2007

    Tenacity is critical but being clear on priorities is not easy. Feedback can be good for the head but not for the heart.

    2008

    Ego can be the enemy if you're not careful. Power is better shared.

    2009

    New beginnings can revitalise.

    2010

    Taking on the biggest challenge not always the best business move but often the best life move.

    2011

    Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

    2012

    Inspiration can come from unlikely sources - stay open.

    2013

    Sometimes its good to pick low hanging fruit.

    2014

    Creativity should be central to most things.

    2015

    Mindsets shift with community. Scaling impact models not easy.

    2016

    Building a team (& family at the same time) is hard.

    2017

    Focus on the product. Easy to say, hard to do well. When we did it made a big difference.

    2018

    Sometimes your comfort zone is closer than you think.

  • Bio

    1999-2019: 20 years of startups and adventures.

    On January 14, 2006, Ben Keene received an email that changed his life. The weather outside was rainy, windy, and freezing and Keene was holed up in his loft office, the window fogged with mist. He had just taken a sip of hot tea when the message popped up, and Keene did a double take at the subject line: “A TRIBE IS WANTED”

    National Geographic

     

    From this point Ben spent 10 years building Tribewanted: crowdfunded sustainable-tourism villages on an island in Fiji (which was turned into as a 5 part BBC series and book), a beach in Sierra Leone and a farm in Umbria.

     

     

    Since then Ben has worked on a number of social enterprise and startup projects including Right to Dream (sports development and leadership in Africa), Escape the City (helping 1000s quit their corporate jobs to do something different), Virgin Startup (small business loans and support for startups), and THNK (a creative leadership school).

     

     

    Ben has shared his adventurous startup stories and learnings with audiences all over the world including at a CIA conference in Las Vegas.

     

    Ben has spent the last 6 months living on a Thai Island with his wife and 3 young kids, whilst working remotely as a business mentor and building Rebel Book Club, a growing community of 500+ subscribers in 5 cities.

     

    Skills:

    Persuading people to give their big ideas a go.

    Reducing financial risk.

    Creative, cheap ways to test ideas.

    Building community & momentum.

    Aligning social and environmental purpose with strong business models.

    Sharing stories.

  • book

    "Couldn't put this book down - What a story. In a world where most of us fail to attempt anything bold, exciting or different it is refreshing to read of an entrepreneur who does so half the world away in a profoundly unique, intact Polynesian culture. Great pictures, too!"

    If you doubt whether a website could be socially relevant to the real world,  an account of how it can and was brought about.

    "Ben has something of Richard Branson's boundless, relentless enthusiasm." The Guardian

  • For speaking, coaching, hosting, & tribe building!

  • hello