Tell us more about you and B Corp
I am the Partnerships & Product Manager at B Lab UK, the charity and non-profit that supports the B Corp movement in the country. We believe that business can be a force for good for People and the Planet. We encourage organisations to use our tools and to join our community to share and inspire action in how businesses perform for the environment and each other.
As the Partnerships & Product Manager I explore how products can scale awareness and engagement with the movement and create an ecosystem through which businesses are ready to make change. I look after our B Leaders, a community of consultants trained to help businesses on the journey, and I am currently leading the development of online training for people and businesses to get started easily (here’s a plug for our free online course that almost 4,000 people have signed up to so far!)
I’m based in Manchester, where B Lab UK is exploring a place-based approach for the B Corp movement. How might we inspire action if we create deeper connections and partnerships with people, businesses and networks in an area to galvanise action in a local community?
In my spare time, I am a Lego Serious Play facilitator, where I help groups of people to have deeper and more meaningful conversations using Lego and run PechaKucha Night Manchester, a speaker series in which speakers from different backgrounds share inspiring stories each using 20 images with 20 seconds per image!
What makes Greater Manchester(or the North) special?
I grew up in Bolton and went to university in Manchester so have always had an affinity with the region. For me, it’s about the people and the history. There is some incredible talent in the region and an irrepressible attitude towards making things better and looking out for each other.
Manchester has always been a pioneering place and home to a lot of firsts in the space of technology, culture and social movements. Of course, a lot of those earlier developments have led to the challenges we see today as we reconcile with the challenges brought on by industrialisation, but I am heartened by the commitment today of people striving to make positive changes for the future.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Previously I was a criminal lawyer and on a path to be in that kind of career for life. In 2017 I took a sabbatical to do a social innovation course called Year Here. The course provided participants with an opportunity to learn about social challenges and how to use design to make change. For me, taking that step was hard, but necessary, as it enabled me to develop emotionally, and take stock of what I wanted to do in the future: essentially to use the power of creativity and design to elevate and make a change to help others.
Where do you find your motivation?
I love making connections with people and showcasing their stories. PechaKucha is an incredibly energising space, bringing different voices and perspectives into the same room. Too often with events they are aimed at one particular sector, profession or person, whereas with ours we celebrate and encourage the diversity and multi-disciplinarity of our city to see what happens. I thrive in the energy created in those contact points.
In your opinion, what’s next for the North?
I hope it’s a doubling down on the collective mission to create meaningful change in our region to support each other and nature. There are incredible challenges in the region with high poverty and the current economic climate and 2030 looms ever larger.
In relation to the work we’re doing at B Lab UK, I hope what’s next is the fruition of a lot of the seeds we’ve been planting over the past few months. As we head towards the end of 2023 and into 2024, we have lots of exciting B Corp events and activities coming up in Manchester so we can shout more about what we’re doing and our ambitions – keep an eye out!