In my professional life I am a Partner in a management consultancy business where my main interest is in helping leaders collaborate more effectively across different organisations and cultures. I often say it’s a bit of a cross between being a marriage guidance counsellor and a boxing referee!
I’ve been a Fellow of The RSA for many years but was really little more than an occasional visitor to the House until 4 years ago when I decided to get involved and stood for election to the Fellowship Council. I was then 1 of the 2 Fellowship Council members to be elected to the Trustee Board - and that has been a major focus of my time ever since.
1)Why did you become a Fellow?
I joined the RSA more than 10 years ago because I believed in its aims – described then as ‘removing barriers to social progress’ - and I was impressed by the quality of lectures I’d been to at the House and of the other Fellows I’d met. I thought if I hung around with lots of smart people like that I could only learn.
2)What contributions do you think you could bring to the Fellowship?
I really enjoy working on the Fellowship Council and the Trustee Board. I’ve got involved in the review of the society’s Governance last year and in the project group that has been managing the refurbishment of the ground floor of the House and the Great Room. I’ve been making sure that the voice of the Fellowship is heard in these discussions and I think my experience in collaboration has been of some use in building new relationships between parts of the RSA.
3)What would you change in society given the chance?
I want people to really understand what it means to say ‘we are all in this together’. A society where some people (or nations) think they can isolate themselves from the impact that their actions have on others just doesn’t seem sustainable to me. We live in an inter-dependent world and we need to make the most of it!
4)What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
I was inspired to read that MIT and Harvard universities were getting together to put a number of their lecture programmes and course materials on-line with free access. Making high quality education available for free to people across the world has the potential to transform lives.
5)What did you learn last week?
Sadly I learnt (yet again) that the English football team couldn’t win on penalties – it’s funny that the most painful lessons are the ones you have to keep learning over and over again.
6)Tell us about another interesting Fellow you have spoken to.
Andy Gibson – founder of Mindapples – a great social enterprise which works with employers to teach people about mental wellbeing to improve their resilience and mental performance. Something we all need to work on.
7)What would you like to connect with Fellows about?
I’m particularly interested to hear from other Fellows who are school governors about how they can bring their RSA experience and contacts to bear to help the management and development of schools. I’m about to get involved with one of the new RSA Academies and I feel there must be a lot of knowledge we can share amongst the Fellowship here.