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Meet the 2020 Acumen Fellows in the United Kingdom

Meet the 2020 UK Acumen Fellows and discover how they are bridging divides in the UK and building a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future for all.

September 03, 2020

Meet the 2020 UK Acumen Fellows and discover how they are bridging divides in the UK and building a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future for all.

From Belfast to Bristol, Acumen’s inaugural Fellowship in the United Kingdom connects 22 bold and generous leaders from across sector, discipline and place. Whilst the Fellows come from all walks of life, they are united in their commitment to bridge our divides and build a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future for all.

The 2020 Fellows are inspiring their communities to build a better future and redefining how we measure success across the UK; they are building brave new solutions, connecting our communities, empowering our youth, standing with our vulnerable, protecting our environment, and serving us all. Fundamentally, the Fellows understand that the challenges they are committed to solving are far too large and complex to be dealt with by any one individual or organisation, and invested in solving these challenges collectively.

Over the course of a year, the 2020 Fellows will come together to learn with - and from – each other in a series of residentials and virtual seminars connected by group practice. Following the first year of the Fellowship, they will join Acumen’s growing community of over 700 social innovators & builders accompanying each other from across the globe to create a world based on dignity.

Read more about the 2020 Cohort in the UK, and their powerful work to bridge our divides.

2020 FELLOWS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM:

Abadesi Osunsade

Abadesi Osunsade

Abadesi is included in Tech Nation’s 50 most prominent and influential voices in Tech. She graduated from the London School of Economics in 2009 and wrote for the Financial Times before joining London's tech scene. Since 2016 she has delivered over 200 talks and workshops through her work at Hustle Crew, a careers community on a mission to make tech more inclusive. She teaches leaders how to apply a lens of bias and privilege to every decision they make and create more equitable cultures.

Adam Grodecki

Adam Grodecki

Adam is the Founder and CEO of the Forward Institute, a non-profit building a movement for responsible leadership. He set up the Institute with the support of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he was a consultant for five years. He is a Governor of Ark Academy, a school doing amazing work for 1600 children in a challenging part of London. He’s also an Advisory Board member of the Evidence Initiative (a project of the Economist) and advises the British Army on leadership and culture.

Duro Oye

Duro Oye

Duro is the CEO of 2020 Change, an award-winning social enterprise that helps young Londoners from low socioeconomic backgrounds fulfil their true potential. 2020 Change aims to create long-standing change by delivering programmes on personal development, training and the social capital needed to thrive in the workplace. Through the flagship ‘I AM CHANGE’ programme the organisation helps to develop the self-confidence that empowers each candidate to become the best versions of themselves.

Eifion Williams

Eifion Williams

Eifion is CEO of Circular Economy Wales, where he leads on directing circular economy benefit towards the rebuilding of resilient communities. Eifion’s vision for community rebuilding is a combination of circulating resources and circulating the subsequent wealth it generates. Eifion, a fluent Welsh speaker, graduated at Aberystwyth University, helped establish the UK’s first Zero Waste villages and is founder of Wales’s complementary currency, ‘Celyn Mutual Credit’, having secured a Churchill travel fellowship to look at this emerging sector across Europe.

Eloise Nutbrown

Eloise Nutbrown

Eloise is working to protect the rights of marginalised communities through the development of public policy and political leadership. As a Policy Manager at the Scottish Convention of Local Authorities (COSLA), her goal is to help bring about new ways of mitigating migrant destitution and to eradicate discrimination faced by Gypsy/Travellers. She has a Masters degree in Childhood Studies and has previously led policy, advocacy and campaigns programmes to reduce UK child poverty.

Fatima Iftikhar

Fatima Iftikhar

Fatima Iftikhar's work focuses on racism and structural inequality. She is a founding organiser of #CharitySoWhite, a movement with a vision for a charity sector which leads our society in rooting out racism. She co-founded #POCIMPACT, a community recognising, connecting and supporting People of Colour in the social impact sector. She co-ordinates the Workforce Integration Network at the GLA, a programme striving to create an equitable labour market for all Londoners. She is an Aziz Foundation Scholar, WCMT Fellow and Non-Executive Director of Doing Social. 

Fintan Connolly

Fintan Connolly

Fintan is the Founder and CEO of TakeTen, a social enterprise which seeks to address the impact of stress and anxiety in society. Their mission is to upskill a generation to be better able to deal with the stress & anxiety encountered in life. TakeTen technology and programme has been delivered to over 150,000 children & young people in UK schools. TakeTen is also used as a stress management resource for children’s cancer services. Previously, Fintan worked as a Community Pharmacist for 20 years.

Guppi Bola 

Guppi Bola 

Guppi (she/her) is a consultant senior strategist. Spends her time thinking about how the economy can be redesigned to support racial justice. She is co-founder of three intersecting projects; Decolonising Economics, Working on our Power and Resourcing Racial Justice. Her academic background in public health helps her to explore the root causes of social inequality and ill health. She uses this expertise to support campaigns and policies that help build an economy based on equity and justice. 

Jenny Thea Sealey

Jenny Thea Sealey

Jenny Sealey is the CEO/Artistic Director of Graeae theatre company Artist. A company founded on injustice and discrimination and uses theatre as a radical tool to campaign for change. Jenny has pioneered new theatrical languages and aesthetics of artistic access. Productions and outreach work, nationally and internationally are used to challenge the perception of possibility and are a force for cultural shifts and equality. She co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (Greenwich Docklands International Festival).

Joel Balkwill

Joel Balkwill

Joel is one of the founders of Spiral Skills, a Brixton based social enterprise which specialises in working with young people who have been excluded from mainstream education. Spiral delivers training programmes which harness the power of the community; bringing together local professionals, businesses and community organisations to create a rich variety of insights, expertise and role models to inspire and develop their skills. Spiral’s work ensures that young people on the fringes of mainstream education do not end up on the fringes of society.

John Harrison

John Harrison

John is the community manager of Emmaus North East, utilizing community, work and solidarity to support and empower people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion to discover a purpose, meaning and connection. Emmaus is a movement with the belief that those who are socially isolated and excluded have power and can develop alternatives, promoting social justice locally and globally. He previously worked in international development, most recently in Liberia. John is a Churchill Fellow and is currently working towards an MA in international development. 

Kajal Odedra

Kajal Odedra

Kajal is a writer and activist. As Executive Director for Change.org UK, she has grown the platform for people power to over 19 million users in the UK. She has supported some of the biggest people-powered campaigns in the UK - from Laura Coryton’s campaign to end the tampon tax to Richard Ratcliffe’s fight to free his wife Nazanin from prison in Iran. She is a trustee for Save The Children UK. Her first book, Do Something; activism for everyone, was published with Hodder and Stoughton.

Kevin Munday

Kevin Munday

Kevin is the Chief Executive of City Year UK, an education and social action charity that supports 18 to 25 year-old volunteers to undertake a year of community service in schools.  They act as mentors, role models and tutors, supporting students from disadvantaged communities to enjoy and succeed at school. Over the course of their year they also have the opportunity to develop as leaders, with the passion, values, experience and skills to lead change in their communities long after their year of social action.

Last Mafuba

Last Mafuba

Last is the founder and CEO of Inini Initiative, a social enterprise that promotes community cohesion by supporting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants understand and navigate their new social terrain. Her role is to design culturally sensitive strategies specific to this group that minimise barriers to integration. Last holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in International Development Law and Human Rights both from the University of Warwick.

Lucy Loveday

Lucy Loveday

Dr Lucy Loveday is a qualified GP & experienced medical educationalist. Lucy is on a mission to empower and facilitate young people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds to connect with nature in a transformative way within mainstream healthcare. Lucy is leading the launch of a 'Green Prescription' project in collaboration with The Woodland Trust.  Resilient Young Minds is a programme that uses the natural environment as part of a multi-component approach to address health inequalities whilst promoting sustainable behaviours for planetary health.

Marcellus Baz

Marcellus Baz

Marcellus is the founder and CEO of Switch Up CIC and Nottingham School of Boxing. The two organisations utilise sport, mentoring, and counselling to transform the lives of young people and transition them into employment, training, and further education.  Marcellus was born in a deprived area of Nottingham, UK, and groomed into criminality before dedicating his life to supporting communities affected by crime and violence. In 2016, Marcellus was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Award and a British Empire medal.

Marie Yates

Marie Yates

Marie is the director of Canine Perspective CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing a new approach to recovery and resilience building to survivors of rape and sexual violence. Marie works with rescue dog canine co-tutors who are fundamental to the learning process. Over the years, the organisation has grown to support people who have experienced trauma in numerous different ways, as defined by them, and works to galvanise a movement of resilient leaders.

Natalie Creary

Natalie Creary

Natalie is the Programme Delivery Director for Black Thrive. The cross-sector partnership works to dismantle the structural barriers that create and sustain mental health inequalities for Black African and African-Caribbean communities in Lambeth. Her work and research explore how race, age, class, gender and sexuality interconnect and shape the health and wellbeing experiences of Black communities. She has also completed postgraduate studies in Health Psychology and lectures on health inequality, quality improvement methodologies and health promotion for Middlesex University’s MSc in Public Health.

Saba Ahmed

Saba Ahmed

Saba is a Community Development Worker for Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre.  She is committed to working with and building up a network of organisations, groups and individuals within the Liverpool 8 area.  Acting as support, she encourages positive and creative social action within neighbourhoods as part of an initiative called L8 A Better Place. Saba supports activists to realise their potential and ignite confidence in their ability to make change happen. 

Talia Kensit

Talia Kensit

Talia is the Founder of Youth Realities, addressing teenage relationship abuse through creative education and support for young survivors. Talia set up Youth Realities when she was 19 years old, in response to relationship abuse she experienced aged 15.  Talia supports young people to become more aware of relationship abuse and empowered to make healthy, informed choices. Sitting on the Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership and worked with the Youth Violence Commission in Parliament, Talia advocates for better, more accessible Relationships and Sex Education and support provisions in schools and communities.

Tom Harbour

Tom Harbour

Tom is CEO of Learning with Parents, a charity working to ensure that every child is supported at home to fulfil their academic potential. Learning with Parents is addressing the educational attainment gap by motivating and empowering parents in the most disadvantaged communities to engage in their children’s learning. They do this through their online programmes and policy work. Tom is a qualified teacher, holds a degree from the University of Cambridge and has a Masters in Education Leadership focused on parental engagement in disadvantaged communities.

Yasmin Khan

Yasmin Khan

Yasmin is the CEO of Staying Put, a domestic and sexual abuse charity, its mission is to listen to the voice of survivors, believe in them and act to protect them. She has over 20 years’ experience of leading on women’s rights/gender-based violence, services to young people aiming to raise aspiration, education training and working around mental health. She is passionate about equality of opportunity and human rights issues and regularly campaigns for change. She is educated to postgraduate level.

Follow along on our Twitter and Facebook over the coming weeks as we highlight their inspiring work.

Sign up to receive updates from Acumen Academy UK at http://bit.ly/ukfellows and if you would like to make a nomination for an individual you think would make a great Acumen Fellow in the UK - please email uk@acumenacademy.org.

We want to thank our funding partners - TNL Community Fund, The Rank Foundation, and Segelman Trust - and our thought partners - the Centre for Knowledge Equity (CfKE) - and our other amazing partners for their support as we take forward this exciting new programme.

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