About this event
The Bettany Centre together with the Cranfield Sustainability Group are proud to host VentureDay 2022: Building Resilience for a Sustainable and Profitable Future. On Thursday 9 June, we will be welcoming the many business founders, investors, and supporters who make up the Cranfield entrepreneurship network back to our Cranfield campus!
Following our successful VentureDay Compact 2021 which focussed on thriving in the 2020s, Bettany Centre in collaboration with the Sustainability Group at Cranfield will be exploring the intersection of sustainability and entrepreneurship and how businesses can build resilience in today’s uncertain climate while responding to huge planetary crises.
This year we will unpack social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities facing businesses today, and equip you with the latest research and thought leadership to inform and inspire you to lead your business well.
With the UK facing its biggest upheaval in half a century, there is plenty to talk about. The Bettany Centre in collaboration with the Sustainability group at Cranfield is hosting our usual panels of distinguished contributors to share their thoughts on some of the key topics of the coming decade.
|08:45 - 09:00||Registration Cranfield University, Vincent Building|
|09:00 - 09:30||Welcome and introduction to the day
Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng - Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor
Dr Stephanie Hussels - Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship
Dr Rosina Watson - Head of Sustainability Group
|09:30 - 10:30||Panel: Snakes and Ladders: Building organisational resilience|
|10:30 - 11:00||Tea and coffee|
|11:00 - 11:50
|1: The Future of Work
2: Aligning purpose across the board with organisational purpose while maintaining an
entrepreneurial culture for scale up
|12:00 - 13:00||Keynote address
Christopher Baker-Brian, Co-founder & MD, BBOXX
“Opening the Bboxx”: Our $200m journey to solve Africa’s renewable energy challenge
|13:00 - 14:00||Lunch and networking|
|14:00 - 14:50
|1: Becoming a B-Corp – Benefits, tips, and tricks
2. Getting social: How should you spend money and time engaging stakeholders
(external and internal comms)
3: Net zero: Why should it matter for business and how to turn it into a business advantage
|15:00 - 15:50
|1: The current world of fundraising for growth firms: Impact vs Return
2: Net zero: Why should it matter for business and how to turn it into a business advantage
3: Driving innovation through technology in a changing world
|15:50 - 16:10||Tea and coffee|
|16:10 - 17:10||Keynote address
Shelley Lawson, Co-founder & Strategy Director, Frog Bikes
First steps on the road to Net Zero
|17:10||Close followed by drinks reception|
Vincent Auditorium, Cranfield Campus
This year sees the return of our in-person VentureDay conference on campus where you can connect with like-minded business owners, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and long-time associates in the Cranfield entrepreneurship and sustainability networks.
Keynote speaker: Chris Baker-Brian
Chris Baker-Brian is the co-founder and Managing Director of the Product Division at BBOXX, a venture backed company developing solutions to provide affordable, clean energy to off-grid communities in the developing world. The company employs over 5000 full and part time staff in fifteen countries around the world and has connected over 2 million people to electricity and other utility services over the past 10 years. Bboxx has raised over $200m to date from investors including Mitsubishi Corporation, Kholsa Impact and Bamboo Capital Partners. As Product Division MD, Chris leads the development of a wide range of rural electrification solutions, as well as a range of software products to support BBOXX’s growing global operations. Chris has an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College.
Keynote speaker: Shelley Lawson
Shelley co-founded the global children’s bicycle brand Frog Bikes in 2012 with husband Jerry, and as Marketing Director and later Strategy Director has helped the company achieve rapid sales growth and profitability. It is now one of the most sought after bike brands in the industry. Since opening a factory in 2015 Frog Bikes now builds almost all of its bikes in South Wales, and sells 60,000 bikes through bike stores in 50 countries worldwide. In 2018 Frog won a Queen’s Award in recognition of its export sales. Shelley’s main focus in recent years has been sustainability, working to reduce Frog’s emissions and employing circular principles in the bikes’ designs and in Frog’s business processes. She is determined that SMEs have a leading role to play in industrial decarbonisation.
Prior to Frog, Shelley studied English at Oxford University, then enjoyed a successful early career in strategy consulting at Accenture, working with blue chip multi-nationals including Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline. She then honed her practical marketing expertise and commercial skills at Tesco Stores Ltd, developing the Non Foods business and marketing Tesco.com.
Outside Frog Bikes, Shelley enjoys spending time with her children, running with her local club and wishing she could live near the sea and do more sailing!
Allen has spent his 36-year banking career within both the corporate and commercial sectors, holding senior positions with large institutions including NatWest, Santander and RBS. Most recently, Allen is now Head of Funds for the East of England at the FSE Group, responsible for Finance East’s Regional Growth Loan Scheme and Due Diligence services, heading up a team of Investment Managers and Grant Scheme Managers.
Andrew Ashe is co-founder and CEO of onebillion, a UK-based non-profit organisation with the mission of every child numerate and reading in their own language. A winner of the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, onebillion has developed onetab, a complete EdTech solution to take a child from zero to reading with comprehension, both in and out of school. Andrew first taught maths and reading as a volunteer teacher with VSO International in Papua New Guinea in the early 1980s. He later co-founded the language-learning company EuroTalk Ltd, pioneering new technologies for autonomous learning, where he began the non-profit EdTech work with marginalised children in India which led to the creation of onebillion as a non-profit that puts the needs of the child first. His long-standing belief is that every child deserves access to quality education and that technology can be used to deliver transformational outcomes.
Carol Foussat is the Programme Leader of the Business Growth Programme. She has been working on the programme since 2005 and has helped dozens of companies transform their businesses and themselves. Carol first came to Cranfield in 1998 to do the two year Executive MBA, specialising in organisational change and leadership - two topics she believes are totally inter-twined. She covers these subjects on the Business Growth Programme.
While running the BGP keeps her busy, Carol also runs a couple of BGP Advisory Boards for business owners who have been through the programme and want to continue the learning and development journey with fellow past participants. This coaching and mentoring work is also done for other companies.
Carol’s background includes corporate planning in British Steel, strategy at the Department of Trade and Industry, economic and strategy consulting at KPMG Management Consulting, business development, strategic marketing and strategy at the AA, strategy and website creation/innovation for Centrica, working with Intrapreneurs at Henley College and leadership assessment for The Thinking Partnership. Her achievements include setting up theaa.com in 2000, having responsibility for delivering 1,000,000 car insurance policies and 500,000 home insurance policies, chairing meetings with senior politicians, and assessing senior management at various companies including Virgin Media, and the FSA. And redesigning the Business Growth Programme! She holds a Cranfield MBA, where she received the Strategy Prize, and holds a Cambridge MA in Economics. She is accredited in various psychometric tools. She has two children, one dog and two small allotments which are never free from weeds!
Carol also runs an entrepreneur's club for ambitious owner managers.
Catherine is the Net Zero Business Engagement Lead for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Last year she led the Together for Our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign for Andrew Griffith MP in his role as UK Net Zero Business Champion ahead of COP26 last November. Catherine has over ten years’ experience in stakeholder engagement, having worked at Transport for London before joining BEIS in March 2020. During that time she led several high profile campaigns, including the stakeholder engagement campaign ahead of the introduction of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in April 2019.
Celeste currently works at Coutts as an Associate Director, Sustainability Manager. She has co-led Coutts through the B Corp Certification process and now actively speaks to clients, investors, prospects and suppliers about implementing and improving their own Sustainability strategies.
Charlie Walker is the Founder of Harmonic Finance & Harmonic Operations, a specialist Search and Recruitment firm for Start-Ups and Scale-Ups. A serial entrepreneur, Charlie founded his first business aged 24 which he scaled internationally to over £30 million t/o (reaching #5 on the Sunday Times International Track) before a successful 2015 exit.
Charlie is passionate about impact and mission-driven business, and is a regular panellist and facilitator on the topic. He sits on the board for ethical start-up accelerator Unrest, and is judge for the British Business Awards 2022.
Claire Banwell Spencer
Claire joined the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship in July 2021 as the Head of Entrepreneurship Growth Portfolio. She is a dual qualified Barrister and Solicitor with an MBA from Cranfield University. Prior to undertaking her MBA Claire worked as a Corporate Lawyer working both in-house and in private practice. Since completing her MBA she has followed her passion for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Claire has worked across a wide range of sectors from law firms, corporates, academia to start-ups. She provides a strong focus on: innovation, product/market development, fundraising, strategic partnerships and decision making, project management, risk mitigation, ideas generation, and leading and driving change.
Daniel Summerbell is Co-Founder and Chief Solutions Officer at Carbon Re. With a background in process engineering across a range of industries in the US, Canada & Europe, he began a programme of research into the cement industry in 2014. While a Knowledge Transfer Fellow at the Institute for Manufacturing in Cambridge he co-led the spin out of Carbon Re, a joint venture between Cambridge University and University College London. This venture has raised £1M in investment funding, and is currently applying AI to cement industry performance, with pilot clients in India, South East Asia, Europe, and North America.
David is an investor, mentor and entrepreneur. He is a partner at Boundary Capital (investing in companies that have a positive impact on people’s lives) and former CEO of TTP Ventures (early-stage tech including instrumentation, semiconductors, healthcare). His industrial career has spanned R&D (telecoms, hybrid vehicles, medical devices) to strategy (helping multinationals in the automotive, IT and materials sectors make better use of technology). A physicist by education, his published work includes string theory and parallel computing.
Debbie is the Regional EcoSystem Manager for NatWest’s Enterprise team covering the Midlands and East of England – responsible for building and nurturing strategic relationships and regional stakeholder engagements. Entrepreneurial support is provided through a series of NatWest events, signposting and delivery of their 8 programmes to support businesses from idea-stage through to scale-up. Prior to this Debbie supported entrepreneurs with 121 coaching and programme delivery on the NatWest’s Accelerator– a 6 month intensive business programme to help scale-up stage (sector agnostic) business owners maximise their potential and overcome challenges.
As an entrepreneur herself, Debbie successfully scaled and exited a chain of Hair and Beauty Salons before starting a career in coaching and is still involved in Salon Industry support organisations and is a passionate ambassador for Apprenticeships, Women In Business (including investment) and is a NatWest Climate Champion.
Professor Emma Parry
Emma works with clients to advise, design and oversee delivery of impactful, future-focused solutions in these areas, with particular expertise in workforce wellbeing and productivity, cross-cultural ways of working, and understanding operational environments across borders.
As head of Cranfield School of Management's Changing World of Work group, Emma is regularly called upon to speak at key events as a leading expert in her field. She has worked extensively with the Ministry of Defence and the UK Home Office to transform people management in UK defence and security. Other organisations who have benefitted from her work include the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the US Society for Human Resource Management, and ex-service personnel support charity the Forces in Mind Trust.
Voted the UK's No.1 Female Business Influencer in 2019 by Global Woman, Fran Boorman is an award-winning entrepreneur, having built a high-performance business around her two young children. Fran's enterprise became the fastest growing in its sector with a nationwide team of over 1000 people due to a unique mentoring culture that she developed leading to increased diversity and inclusion.
In 2018 Fran founded a ground-breaking new training company, www.Goal17.global. Goal 17 is recognised as delivering the UK's leading mentor training programme and were featured in Forbes after just 8 months of trading. The company is best known for their social impact programs where they pair corporate mentors with disadvantaged and homeless young people. These programmes have been adopted by many of the World’s largest corporate brands and sporting organisations including many Premier League Football Clubs.
Fran holds several Non-Executive Director roles and chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Enterprise focused on enabling more female entrepreneurship. She is a bestselling author, TEDx Speaker and regular contributor and regular contributor on BBC Radio.
Fran is currently working on developing a ground-breaking technology platform that will enable more people to mentor across societal barriers and use AI and Machine Learning to understand and enhance users’ experiences.
Fran is a former competitive skier and rugby player, loves hiking, trail running and adventurous travel.
Professor Jim Harris
Jim is a systems ecologist interested in system complexity, function and emergent properties - particularly resilience and how the principles learned from ecology can be applied to the “Five Capitals” of our socio-ecological system. Principally working in soil microbiology, restoration ecology and ecosystem service research focused on microbial ecology in relation to ecosystem processes. He has applied this particularly in the assessment and treatment of degraded systems, restoration ecology, quantitative assessment of ecosystem goods and services, and has pioneered work on catabolic profiling and the thermodynamics of soil microbial communities. This work has advanced our understanding of the effects of environmental and management practices on the soil microbial community, provided better tools for assessing ecosystem status, the effects of land management and importantly restoration programmes aimed at enhancing natural capital to achieve net environmental gain. His work on defining and assessing soil health via measurement of biological, physical and chemical properties has been widely adopted. The work has been funded by, NERC, BBSRC and EPSRC, local and central government, and industrial clients, including YARA, Systemiq and UKWRIP. He is Science Champion for CLIMATE SHAKE a programme supporting entrepreneurs in agriculture working to net zero and sustainability. He has worked extensively at national and international level in policy development: he has acted as Scientific Adviser to the UK Defra group at IPBES meetings in Colombia, Rome, and Bonn; a Lead Author in the IPBES Report on Land Degradation and Restoration; and past Chair of the International Society for Ecological Restoration.
Professor Joe Nellis
Professor Joe Nellis is Professor of Global Economy specialising in global macroeconomics, business environmental analysis, strategic thinking and management development.
He teaches across the full range of the School's portfolio including the Full-time and Executive MBA, General and Customised Management programmes. He is the longest serving member of the School of Management's Executive Board. He also holds Visiting Professorial appointments at various universities in Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, the USA and Ghana.
Joe has published 19 research and subject-based books and over 200 academic and practitioner journal articles. His research encompasses analysis of business developments in a changing world in terms of the macroeconomy, the role of government, the impact of technology, societal and demographic trends. He is a frequent contributor to a wide range of national and international conferences and is a consultant to a number of UK and international companies in the areas of strategy and business environmental analysis, strategy formulation and management development. He has also acted as a consultant to several central government departments and public sector organisations.
Cafédirect’s CEO, John Steel, is a business leader and social entrepreneur with a passion for making business a force for good.
Under John’s leadership Cafedirect has returned to growth, become profitable and yet maintained its sustainability commitments to its producers.
John is determined that Cafédirect, as one of the UK’s pre-eminent Social Enterprises, plays a pivotal role in leading the change agenda. In 2018 Cafédirect became the 1st coffee company in the UK to be B Corp certified and was recognised as the Social Enterprise of the Year.
John Steel first pursued a career in marketing, with organisation such as Nestle and Weetabix. Subsequently John held leadership positions in both large corporations and start-up businesses.
John is a passionate and genuine believer in the need for real change in the way business contributes to society and the wider world. He works tirelessly to share Cafédirect’s unique approach.
Jonny Easter is the Conservation and Sustainability Manager at Warners Distillery, a leading UK craft gin distillery based at Falls Farm in the village of Harrington, Northamptonshire. With a background in wildlife and conservation, Jonny has made the shift from the public sector into the private sector, with an aim to demonstrate how business and conservation can and should work together. Using the B-corp framework to shape the direction of their growing international brand, Warners are awaiting verification to join the B-corp movement, as they seek in balancing purpose and profit.
Katie is a leading voice in employee communications. She is an author, business owner, podcast host and international keynote speaker.
Her book, From Cascade to Conversation – Unlocking the Collective Wisdom of Your Workforce, and her show, The Internal Comms Podcast, are helping to advance the way organisations communicate with their people.
During her 30-year career, Katie has helped organisations inform, motivate, and inspire their workforces. Today, she is Managing Director of AB, the world’s longest-established internal communication agency, founded in 1964.
Her clients include some of the world’s best known and most complex organisations, such as LEGO, KPMG, Kimberly-Clark, Amazon and American Express.
Katie was named ‘Change Maker’ by the Institute of Internal Communication and sits on the Board of the International Association of Business Communicators.
Dr Kim Lafferty
Kim recently left GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British multinational with over 100,000 employees, after 12 years as Head of People Effectiveness in the People and Organisational Effectiveness Centre of Excellence. Her responsibilities included designing and implementing the learning and leadership development strategy, co-owning the ratingless performance system with the Head of Reward and ensuring all enterprise development programmes, tools and services supported GSK’s culture and future capability requirements.
Prior to joining GSK, Kim worked at the Center for Creative Leadership where she designed and delivered leadership solutions for blue-chip clients across three continents and supported several CCL research initiatives. Kim has worked in learning and development for over 30 years in various roles in Academee (a collaborative e-learning start-up), Management Center Europe (a training provider), Costain plc (a civil engineering and construction company) and Waitrose ltd (a food retailer).
Kim holds a BA(Hons) in Politics from York University, a MA in Management Learning from Lancaster University, a Diploma in Organisation Development from NTL, and a Doctorate from Cranfield University. She has lived and worked in Hong Kong and Brussels and enjoys travelling to unusual places with her family.
Lara Morgan is most widely known for building her own international business, Pacific Direct, over the course of seventeen years before selling a majority share 99% holding of the company for £20 million. She is proud mother of three and determined to be a voice for growth enterprise support as well as driving sales pride in Britain.
Lara is a down to earth and high impact, memorable and much liked speaker with a direct open approach. She does not buy companies but prefers to drive start-up investments and great innovations like Scentered for mindful wellbeing, KitBrix, GATE8-luggage.com, Yogi Bare and Global Amenities Direct. Her last exit was dryrobe.
Lara is particularly interested in product innovation, the accelerated growth possibilities brought about by export and motivating fast-growth business-owners. She has been an ambassador for UKTI, active mentor in a number of social enterprises and helps www.The-C-List.com She is a regular commentator on current affairs and business issues with Sky and BBC News, and has appeared regularly on BBC2’s ‘The Apprentice: You’re Fired’.
She has been a finalist in Ernst and Young Entrepreneur 3 times and was a finalist in the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award. She is the author of the recently published Amazon best selling business book, ‘More Balls Than Most’ and is a co-founder of Start Up Britain. Taking it all in her stride, Lara also manages to train for British Triathlon, coming 10th in the world in 2011 World Championships.
Professor Leon Williams
Dr Leon B. M. Williams is the Director of Centre for Competitive Creative Design (C4D) at Cranfield University with a specialised area of research in Prestige Design and Creative Innovation.
He has a wide knowledge base in 'technology development' but focuses his attention on the ever-changing disciplines that yield high impact for technological change and creative innovation. For this reason, precision engineering, novel materials, craftsmanship techniques and new technology development take high priority within his current research. However, most of his professional consultancy engagement focuses on problem solving for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors, as his research and development processes are valued for being rapid and pragmatic. He focuses on developing design-led strategic tools, creative insight and working solutions to large and small enterprises, simulating ideas whilst bringing them to reality using proven R&D methodologies combined with new rapid development mechanisms.
Highly motivated FD / CFO / non-executive director with wide ranging skillset, being both a chartered accountant and barrister-at-law, with significant experience developing high growth businesses. I have co-founded, grown and advised business of all types across a range of sectors from start-up through to successful exit.
I enjoy working as part of a management team to take companies to the next level and am equally comfortable doing the work as I am guiding the board on strategic direction.
I have focussed heavily on investing in early stage companies as part of the investment panel for a leading SEIS and have been appointed as a non-executive director on a number of investee companies to assist them in their growth and development.
Oliver Woolley is CEO and Co-founder of Envestors, a FCA regulated digital investment platform connecting entrepreneurs with investors. Envestors has a network of 4,000 sophisticated investor members who have invested £126m into 223 entrepreneurs and was ranked the UK’s most active Angel Network 2011-21 by independent research agency, Beauhurst. The Envestors’ platform is also licensed to incubators, accelerators, universities and investor groups enabling them to connect their start-ups and scale-ups with investors and other sources of finance.
Oliver was a Board Member of the UK Crowdfunding Association (2017 to 2021) and the UK Business Angel Association (2008 to 2014) and is a Member of Court at Imperial College, London.
(Prior to co-founding Envestors in 2004, Oliver built a healthfood business (Woolleys Healthfoods) comprising three retail catering outlets in central London and three organic sausage shops and a factory in the south-east of England, which wholesaled to 200 establishments including Harrods. In 1997 he sold the business to Northern Foods and moved into early-stage investing).
Dr Orsolya Ihasz
Orsi Ihasz is a researcher in (responsible) innovation management and sustainability at Cranfield University and acts as an Enterprise Technology Lead to support entrepreneurial ventures geared towards finding solutions to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She also lectures on the Management and Corporate Sustainability MSc course.
Her current research contributes towards understanding the role of social system relations in the diffusion of (responsible) innovation in low resource context, with special focus on the WHO’s 'Be He@lthy, Be Mobile' digital health initiative.
Perry Timms is the founder and Chief Energy Officer of PTHR - a growing consultancy, setting out to create better business for a better world in its 10th year of operating. PTHR is a BCorp Certified Organisation and a Gold-Standard 4-day Working Week, an accredited Living Wage employer and a Climate-Positive organisation.
Perry is an international and 2x TEDx speaker and award-winning writer on the future of work, HR & learning. His 2017 book Transformational HR was named one of the Top 100 Business Strategy books of all time and published as a second edition in July 2021. His second book - The Energized Workplace - was published in August 2020 and was shortlisted for the UK Business Book of the Year 2021.
Perry is Adjunct Professor at Hult International Business School and Ashridge Management School; a visiting fellow at Cranfield School of Management, and Sheffield Hallam University.
Perry is a proud Chartered member of the CIPD and is a 4x member of HR Magazine’s HR Most Influential Thinkers making the top 10 in 2018 & 2019 and 2nd overall in 2021, and a Top 100 Global HR Influencer on numerous lists, a LinkedIn Learning instructor and Fellow of the RSA.
Professor Phil Hart
Professor Phil Hart joined Cranfield as Director of Energy and Power on 20 August 2018. Phil knows the University well having earned his MSc in Marine Technology and his PhD in subsea welding from Cranfield. He has held a series of senior roles within the energy and power sector in the UK, Asia and North America as an engineering director, chief technology officer and chief operating officer and president.
Working extensively in the offshore sector in renewables and in oil and gas, Phil has built a diverse portfolio of international expertise in marine energy systems and subsea engineering, developing intellectual property and technologies from fundamental research through to concept and then full commercialisation. He is a recognised industry leader in wave energy conversion technologies in the US and has advised the US Department of Energy repeatedly on innovation strategies for this technology. Throughout his career, Phil has worked with governments and industry, securing technology development funding from, among others, the United States Departments of Energy and Defence and from Shell, BP, Huawei and Petrobras. With these partners, Phil has created novel development and commercialisation processes, ensuring that technologies withstand competitive threats, hold value and gain market share. In doing so, he has become especially skilled in identifying market needs for new technologies, understanding industry sector dynamics, establishing product appeal and designing company-wide strategies to exploit these opportunities.
Dr Rosina Watson
Prior to starting her PhD, Rosina spent 3 years as Head of Corporate Sustainability at Home Retail Group (Argos and Homebase). She has 15 years experience in finance, M&A, strategy and commercial roles in Shell, ITV, Carphone Warehouse and Home Retail Group.
She holds a PhD from Cranfield School of Management, where her thesis investigated how companies can effectively engage their stakeholders in their sustainability-oriented innovations.
She has a first class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.
Rosina is Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at Cranfield School of Management. Her research centres on sustainable innovation, both in large corporate organisations and by entrepreneurs. She has a particular interest in how partnerships and collaboration can enhance sustainable innovation. She leads the Leading Corporate Sustainability module taught to students on the Masters in Management and Masters in Managements and Corporate Sustainability courses.
Rowan forms part of the Gresham House Ventures Investment team and originates and leads growth capital investment in small, high growth technology businesses. Rowan has a combined 15 years of experience in helping to build, grow and transform companies across the UK and South Africa and brings a unique combination of operational experience and investment strategy to his investee companies. Rowan is passionate about partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs, working with them to scale their business, where he has a focus on working specifically with software, B2B SaaS, Cyber Security and tech-enabled services companies. Rowan holds a number of NED board positions including Connect Childcare and IPV.
Rowan has previously worked as FD at both Nando’s Franchising and Crussh Fit Food Stores as well as at Bridge Capital Corporate Finance.
Rowan is a former competitive mountain biker and trail runner and is often found outdoors when not in the boardroom.
Dr Simon Biltcliffe
Simon Biltcliffe is an award winning CEO, international public speaker and business expert. An IoD Director of the Year, he is the founder and CEO of national print services agency, Webmart and the world’s first digitally driven print platform, Trade Print Management. From starting Webmart with just £10,000 of his own savings, Simon has turned the business into a £30 million turnover organisation with just 44 employees whilst implementing his unconventional business model and maximising everyone’s I.E.F (Intellectual, Emotional and Financial) return. Driven by his strong moral values, Simon implements capitalist principles in his business to generate the wealth of the organisation and Marxist principles to redistribute that wealth back to the company and the wider community.
Soulla is Chief Operating Officer at a Blueprint for Better Business, a charity whose purpose is to create a better society through better business. Blueprint helps businesses to be inspired and guided by a purpose that benefits society and respects people and planet.
As well as working with people in large corporates to stimulate and energise a different way of thinking and behaving in business, Blueprint also convenes forums and events, and works with investors and influencers from wider society, including NGOs, academics, business schools, coaches and advisors, to help create the environment for purpose-led business to thrive.
Soulla joined Blueprint December 2012. As well as overseeing the operations of Blueprint, Soulla runs workshops for teams in large corporates, manages a network of coaches and consultants to business and leads on a number of other projects.
Soulla is a trained coach and was previously a director at KPMG.
Stacey’s digital marketing career kicked off in 2006, working for a large independent digital and direct marketing agency. Having worked with a huge range of clients, across markets including financial services, ecommerce, travel, consumer tech and B2B, she joined the Infinity Nation team in 2019, heading up client services and consulting with prospective clients.
Stacey has a real passion for digital marketing and team mentoring. As COO, Stacey oversees client and delivery operations across 30+ SME ecommerce and lead generation brands – ensuring that the team understand the why and the what when engaging on client briefs, in order to craft the best tailored digital marketing strategies to meet the client’s goal.
Dr Stephanie Hussels
Stephanie has a passion for early stage and growth companies, with special regard to family businesses. She is the Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial hub at Cranfield University, and the Director of the Business Growth Programme (BGP), the longest established owner-manager programme in the UK. Aside from her work with start-ups, she regularly cooperates with charities and firms on how to encourage and implement intrapreneurship.
In recent years Stephanie was the Director of the Cranfield’s full-time MBA programme. She teaches a wide range of entrepreneurial topics and quantitative research methods on executive, graduate, and doctoral levels. In addition to her experience at Cranfield, she has gained numerous experiences in teaching at foreign universities, such as the ESMT Berlin, IEEM Montevideo in Uruguay, the Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College (MBSC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Beijing Normal University in China and Muscat University.
Her scholarly interest focuses on entrepreneurial resilience, family business, and business survival. She has written several prize-winning case studies and is now frequently asked to give talks about case study writing and teaching.
Stephanie has also been an invited member of the judging panel for the National Business Awards, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Growth Investor Award, and the Case Centre Awards Competition. She has been an external mentor at JLAB, the John Lewis incubator and recently was appointed Senator at the Grand Assembly of the World Business Angels Investment Forum. Stephanie is a Trustee of the Cranfield Trust, a UK national charity taking practical action, to support the development of successful voluntary sector organisations.
Stephen is the Chief Strategy Officer at Sochitel where he is responsible for the innovation portfolio. He is passionate about developing and delivering new capabilities that will enhance the quality of people’s lives.
He previously served for over 20 years in the British Army. Originally a tank commander, he went on to develop and lead high performing teams to deliver innovative new capabilities. His last job in the Army was as the programme manager for a £6.4bn capability change programme.
Stephen has a civil engineering degree from the University of Bristol and an Executive MBA from Cranfield School of Management. In his spare time, he is a Social Mobility Foundation mentor and a business adviser for Enactus – a student entrepreneurship society.
Tim Munden has over 20 years experience of developing effective leaders, teams and organisations, in a business and not for profit context. As an award winning Chief Learning Officer at Unilever, Tim was responsible for developing the leadership capability to enable ongoing business growth and transformation, and the realisation of Unilever’s purpose, including working with the most senior leadership teams in the business. Tim launched Unilever’s own discover your purpose workshops, which over 56,000 Unilever employees have completed, deeply embedding purpose in the culture. Tim was also responsible for the development of Unilever’s approach to leadership in the 21st Century, and for employee wellbeing, areas the company is widely acknowledged as leading edge.
Tim’s purpose is “to nurture deeply human possibilities”; he works with leaders, teams and organisations to express their potential through deep development and transformation. Tim is the founder of Kairon, which meets organisation’s needs for transformational leadership, and leaders need for deep development and renewal. Tim also continues to work with Unilever, supporting the preparation of senior leaders for the biggest roles in the business.
Dr Victoria Hurth
Dr Victoria Hurth, Fellow, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge Judge Business School.
Victoria works at the intersect of academia and hands-on business to help companies transition to be drivers of long-term wellbeing for all (sustainability). Victoria focuses on five core pillars of organizations: purpose, governance, marketing, leadership and culture.
She has 25 years’ experience in marketing, management and sustainability, having previously worked for 3M and Accenture with companies including Marks and Spencer and Cancer Research and by developing theory as a full time Associate Professor of Sustainable Business and Marketing. From 2016-2021 Victoria co-led the process to create the first global ISO standard in Governance of Organizations (ISO37000) and currently co-leads the ISO working group (TC309/WG1) developing standards on Indicators of Effective Governance (ISO37006) and guidance for governing bodies in Selecting, Creating and Using Indicators (ISO37005).
Victoria is an UNCTAD review panel member for ISAR Honors, was a member of the UNCTAD/UNEP Task Force developing a methodology for SDG indicator 12.6.1 and their guidance on core SDG indicators for business and was a member of WBCSD’s working group on Governance. She is the academic lead for Common Ground Research Network’s Climate Change theme and a Scientific Advisory Board member for Scientist’s Warning Foundation.
Victoria has been a director of a social enterprise, a board member of a regional social enterprise group and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the organic standards company Soil Association Certification Ltd. She has published research papers and thought pieces in journals including: Nature Climate Change, Energy Policy, The New Scientist and Sustainable Development.