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Chris Underhill

Founder, BasicNeeds

Skoll Awardee


Chris is a serial social entrepreneur who works to bring new concepts of social change into being. He is an expert in global health and rehabilitation systems, runs his own mentoring practice, and is a trainer in the community-based facilitation technique, known as Animation. 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. This follows on from his most recent organisation, BasicNeeds, which he established in 2000, which delivers a holistic model for mental health in the most disadvantaged countries of the world. Recognized as a significant innovation in community mental healthcare delivery, the Model combines medical, social, economic and personal aspects into one successful programme and has benefited more than 697,000 people via the BasicNeeds global programme. Chris is senior Fellow of the Ashoka Fellowship, a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship 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.