Kevin Drugan founded The Britain Foundation, a social enterprise which raises funds for charities through the hospitality and catering sectors. Find out what inspires him:
1) Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?
I guess I am a social entrepreneur specialising in hospitality & catering and employment, training & skills although in my more abstract moments I like to characterise it as 'tackling disadvantage, creating opportunities, harnessing potential'. At the moment I'm working on setting up an exciting new social enterprise group that will actually make lots of money and then give it all away to charity! I was recently awarded funds via the RSA Catalyst programme to help get this idea going.
I work in this sector because I was inspired by the Marist Brother Walfrid who understood the power and potential of social enterprise (even in the 1880s) to believe in a fair and just society where everyone is valued and that we support those less fortunate than ourselves.
2) Why did you join the RSA?
I joined because, ultimately, I'm a tinkerer. I like to try things to see if, and how, they work and then constantly play around with them to improve them. As one of the most powerful and influential creative and experimental forums for the advancement of humanity and thought in the world, the RSA is a natural home for a tinkerer. Sitting eavesdropping in the Gerard Bar is, at times, like listening in on a conversation between Da Vinci, Galileo, David Hume and Adam Smith.
3) What are you passionate about?
Apart from Celtic Football Club and food: social justice, inequality, poverty and deprivation.
4) What makes you angry?
Privilege and the sense of entitlement.
5) What would you change in society given the chance?
The notion that there is no such thing as society.
6) What is the most important lesson you’ve ever learnt?
7) What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
It's very personal but... I knew that my wife's great grandfather (Viggo Barfoed) was an eminent political cartoonist and journalist in 1930s Denmark, who regularly lampooned the Nazis and Hitler. He was obviously in great personal danger and almost certainly under surveillance by the Gestapo during the war, yet we recently discovered that he was a key member of the Danish Resistance and often sheltered Allied airmen and escaped POWs in his own home before they were smuggled out of the country. I think he displayed an awe-inspiring level of courage to stand by his principles and put his own life on the line for complete strangers, even though he knew that he was a marked man. I hope that I would have that level of bravery if need be.
8) Tell us about another interesting Fellow you have spoken to.
I recently spoke to Gerald Oppenheim. Gerald was a Senior Director in the National Lottery Charities Board (where we both worked) and its successors from its inception in 1995 until 2010. His knowledge, insight and analysis of the social economy in particular is always absolutely riveting, all-encompassing and spot-on; what he doesn't know isn't worth knowing. If I was Prime Minister, I'd bypass the politicians and put him in charge of the social economy.
9) What would you like to connect with Fellows about? Please tell us if there is anything you would like from other Fellows
At the moment, I'm particularly interested in connecting with Fellows who have experience of large volume hospitality & catering operations as well as experience of raising significant investment funding.
More generally, I am always interested in talking to Fellows who understand that social enterprise doesn't work if you don't make money and anyone who would like to invest in ground-breaking social enterprises.
You can contact Kevin:
RSA Fellows are shaping the solutions to today’s most pressing social problems. As a Fellow you can nominate anyone who would be a valuable addition to the network. If you are not already a Fellow and would like to find out more, explore RSA Fellowship.