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Emma Swinn MBE

Visiting Research Associate


Emma Swinn MBE is the co-founder and co-CEO of The Philosophy Foundation, an award winning charity that brings philosophy to schools and other learning communities, including prisons, business and community spaces. Emma’s work in developing and sustaining The Philosophy Foundation was recognised when she was named as one of the top Women in Social Enterprise (WISE100) in 2017; she was also highly-commended for her leadership role in the Social Enterprise 100 Awards that year. She is President of SOPHIA: The European Foundation for the Advancement of Philosophy with Children a non-Executive Director of Thinking Space CIC and is on the Advisory Board for the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the LSE. 

Research interests 

  • Philosophical conversations, skill development and metacognition
  • Philosophy in schools / with children and communities
  • Education and learning

Emma has written the case studies on teaching critical thinking skills and developing metacognition through philosophical enquiry over the past two years in a joint research project between Kings College and The Philosophy Foundation. She is interested in the links between metacognition and affective skills and their impact on learning.


The Philosophy Foundation’s method of Philosophical Enquiry, philosophy in schools and communities as part of the Widening Participation programme.

Expertise and public engagement

Emma presents at National and International Conferences on The Philosophy Foundation’s work and philosophy in the public sphere.

Emma presented The Philosophy Foundation and KCL’s research at the FAPSA conference in Australia, 2018 and at Bologna University Conference on Philosophy in School 2018.

She has been interviewed by Nigel Warburton for Aeon Films about The Philosophy Foundation’s work:

Selected publications