Speakers in the News: 22nd March

1) Campbell Macpherson

  • Campbell Macpherson is a multi-disciplined, international, senior business advisor with more than 25 years of experience in enabling the design and successful delivery of strategic change, especially within the financial services. Campbell advises organisations worldwide via his consultancy Change & Strategy International. Campbell is the author of ‘The Change Catalyst: Secrets to successful and sustainable business change’’. He believes change has never been more prevalent or more relevant – for individuals, for governments, for societies and for business. Additionally, the disruption we have witnessed over the last twenty years due to globalisation and the internet is nothing compared to the changes heading our way in the next decade alone.
  • The Change Catalyst was announced 2018 Business Book of the Year at the Business Book Awards dinner last Friday evening in London. It also won the award for the ‘Leading the Team’ category. In announcing the overall winner of the evening, Alison Jones, Head Judge, commented: “The Change Catalyst is a book that frankly absolutely anyone in business should read. It says something original with a fresh way of looking at things – and the writing is clear, clean, direct and simply beautiful. I found myself stopping and re-reading paragraphs just for the sheer pleasure of it.” Campbell has said he is both ”thrilled” and ”humbled”. He believes change has never been more prevalent or more relevant – for individuals, for governments, for societies, and for business. Additionally, the disruption we have witnessed over the last twenty years due to globalisation and the internet is nothing compared to the changes heading our way in the next decade alone.

2)    Mo Gawdat

  • Mo Gawdat is the former Chief Business Officer for X, previously Google X, and is a leading global expert in technology and innovation with the world’s most advanced organization for breakthrough technology. Mo joined Google in 2007, after many successful years at Microsoft, and managed Google’s business in over 50 countries, focusing on his biggest passion; Emerging Markets and the considerable challenges they face with embracing innovation. Prior to becoming Chief Business Officer at Google X, Mo served as the Vice President of Business Innovation. Remarkably, Mo started close to half of Google’s operations worldwide. The latest being his role on Project Loon; an ambitious attempt to use high altitude balloons to provide affordable internet access to the remaining 5 billion people for whom today’s existing technology has proven too expensive or too complex to reach.

  • International Day of Happiness fell on Tuesday of this week, and what better way to celebrate it than to discuss Mo’s ongoing quest to make one billion happy. He says the global moonshot #onebillionhappy “may be the most important mission of our time.” In an exclusive interview, Gawdat shared his three steps for launching a global moonshot for happiness:

  1. Start by making happiness a priority: To be happy doesn’t mean to be naïve or even challenging. Happy people on average are 12 percent more productive than those who are not. This means more growth, more productivity, and faster learning. It’s a wise choice for any leader. But the trick is this: If you decide to have a happy work culture, you must declare that happiness is a top priority.
  2. Develop happiness skills: Mo proposes an algorithm based on a practical understanding of how the brain processes joy and sadness. Put that in an equation and it’s elegantly simple. “Happiness is equal to or greater than the difference between the way you view the events in your life minus your expectations about how life should behave. Which means that if you perceive the events as equal to or greater than your expectations, you’re happy–or at least not unhappy.” This is the secret of happiness. 
  3. Tell two people who will tell two people: The final step is about creating a global movement of happiness using the power of exponential thinking. Gawdat says: “the final step is about compassion multiplied 10 [X]. You shouldn’t just prioritize your own happiness. Pay it forward. At the core of the #onebillionhappy is a very simple exponential function. If you believe in it you will tell at least two people who will tell two other people and so on. It’s not crazy, together we can make it happen.”

3) Rohan Silva

  • ‘Silicon Valley’ was once a term uttered in jest to refer to London’s fledgling tech scene based around Old Street roundabout. Now, London is the technology centre of Europe and one can point to Rohan Silva’s advocacy of open data as a turning point. As David Cameron’s technology adviser, he proposed an agenda of open data. This allowed private developers to build businesses around public sector information and commuters to use real-time public transport information. Since leaving Downing Street, Rohan has set up the collaborative workspace, Second Home. He is passionate about London’s thriving tech community and has been talking to audiences about how London can maintain this status in the face of upcoming political challenges.
  • Recently, co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, said that he feels things went downhill in the UK when Rohan left No.10.

 

4)   Sheryl Sandberg

  • Sheryl Sandberg is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. She oversees the company’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications.In 2013, she released the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, in which she examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.Prior to Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, where she built and managed the online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide. She was also instrumental in launching Google.org, Googles philanthropic arm.
  • In light of Facebook‘s data scandal, tech investor Jason Calacanis has called for Sheryl to step into Mark Zuckerberg’s role. Facebook has come under fire after reports that conservative research firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to data from 50 million Facebook profiles before the 2016 presidential election. Calacanis, CEO of Inside.com and an early investor in Uber, said Zuckerberg has been “MIA.” ”It’s a complete and utter failure of leadership,” he said on “Closing Bell. Sheryl Sandberg is a “better communicator” and a “tremendous leader”. “She’s better at understanding how to manage these issues,” he continued.

5) Nick Timothy

  • Nick Timothy is considered one of the UK Conservative Party’s brightest thinkers. He was a key figure in Prime Minister Theresa May’s first year in office, as her joint Chief of Staff. Nick’s Conservative vision has been termed ‘Red Toryism’ – a belief that Britain is a divided country and the market economy needs to work better for the benefit of all. His view was justified as the Conservatives won many first time working class voters. However, the Party was denied a majority by an upsurge in the youth vote and Jeremy Corbyn’s effective campaign.Nick identified housing as the key issue for modern Britain. Capitalism does not work for those without assets and declining home ownership will therefore naturally sway voters to Left-Wing parties. Nick has spoken to Real Estate institutions about the role they have to play in solving the housing crisis, particularly regarding controversial issues such as ‘land-banking’. More widely, Nick has also spoken about his own time in Downing Street and the global political picture.
  • Nick Timothy was interviewed this week for Cambridge University’s Varsity magazine. In his interview he discussed the disastrous general election, the outlook for young people today, and splits in Brexit Britain. 

Speakers We Admire