A personal update – please do let me know if anything strikes a chord or sparks an idea…
1) Just over a year ago, I stepped back from Cospa (which we founded in 2010). I remain a shareholder, incredibly close to the team, and wouldn’t hesitate to collaborate and refer opportunities in future (especially for cross-sector projects with potential to scale). I’m proud of the work which the agency continues to do (and wins awards for) and hugely grateful for the experience.
2) Stepping back has enabled me to take on some special projects, and work more closely with some organisations I have long admired, including the Careers and Enterprise Company, who I’ve been advising over the past year.
3) For some time, I’d spoken with colleagues about the need for someone to set up a Connector Unit (which spots and makes valuable connections between people and ideas). So I set one up, as a company, last year, and am still in the foothills of exploring how such an idea might evolve. Already we have had some fantastic testimonials about (in their words) “life changing introductions”.
4) With Freeformers and Business in the Community, I’m chairing a Reverse Mentoring programme, in which CEOs are paired up with a mentor in their 20s.
5) I continue to MC and chair numerous events across sectors. Recent examples include Tech London Advocates, MTV’s Staying Alive auction in Dallas and HM Treasury’s International FinTech Conference. Upcoming events include Like Minds in Exeter in September and The Great British Entrepreneur Awards (in five cities) in October and November.
6) With Business in the Community and Fujitsu, I’m hosting and executive producing my first podcast, connecting CEOs and younger employees to explore the future of work and responsible business. We are planning our first 12 episodes.
7) For several years, I have been a fan and supporter of The Marketing Academy. I have joined the team of this brilliant voluntary organisation (turning the marketing talent of today into the leaders of tomorrow) to help it fulfil its potential internationally.
8) Later this year, I’m starting a new and what I hope will be exciting new venture. Part social network, part club, part ideas accelerator. Online and event based, it will celebrate variety in ideas, backgrounds and opportunities, bringing people together to make things happen.
9) Tenner is now in its 10th year, the Clean and Cool Missions continue, as does StartUp Britain. Volunteer It Yourself is now an independent social enterprise. I remain on the advisory boards of Founders 4 Schools, Tech London Advocates, The Centre for Entrepreneurs, The Inspire Movement and One Million Mentors.
10) Aside from the new network (see above), I am working on a new live entertainment format which I hope to be able to share more of soon. Hopefully it will excite anyone who dreams of getting a project off the ground, and loves the buzz of helping others.
Home is Berkshire, and although often traveling in and outside the UK, I am frequently in Paddington and Covent Garden.
Hopefully interesting! Please let’s keep in touch.