CEO Today - June 2023


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STAY CONNECTED! Follow us on: CEO TODAY Copyright 2023 Circulation details can be found at The views expressed in the articles within CEO Today are the contributors’ own, nothing within the announcements or articles should be construed as a profit forecast. All rights reserved. Material contained within this publication is not to be reproduced in whole or part without the prior permission of CEO Today. Disclaimer: Images used in this edition have been done so under the creative commons licenses. For details, see links below. Editor’s Note. June 2023 6

7 Welcome to the latest edition of CEO Today Magazine! We are thrilled to present a compelling lineup of articles and features that offer invaluable insights into the world of business, leadership, and entrepreneurship. This month we speak with visionary leaders as they share their experiences, strategies, and vision for the future. Prepare to be inspired by their remarkable journey and the invaluable lessons they’ve learned along the way. Additionally, we delve into the realm of executive coaching, exploring the transformative impact it has on business leaders. Discover how executive coaching can unlock your true potential, enhance your leadership skills, and drive organizational success. Furthermore, we unveil the universities that are nurturing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Discover the academic institutions that have consistently produced successful business founders and learn how they cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship within their campuses. Our front cover features Tom Bairstow, the Founder and CEO of the renowned creative studio NorthHouse. Since its establishment in 2011, NorthHouse has gained worldwide acclaim for delivering unparalleled visual arts, combining video, projection, mixedreality, and digital design for global live shows and installations. Tom’s visionary leadership has led the company to undertake groundbreaking projects such as the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee - Party at the Palace, Coldplay’s World Tour, Dubai Expo, and the SuperBowl Half Time show. We hope you find this edition of CEO Today Magazine enlightening and empowering. As always, our mission is to provide you with the latest trends, expert perspectives, and actionable advice to guide you on your path to success. Wishing you an engaging and informative read! Mark Palmer Editor Best wishes, 84. Scaling Artificial Intelligence 18. TOM BAIRSTOW: For King, Country and the World WEB3 The next Evolutionary Phase of the Internet 78. 100. The Most Expensive Cars Owned by Premier League Footballers

CONTENTS. June 2023 18. TOM BAIRSTOW: For King, Country and the World 24. Leadership advice for KING CHARLES 28. FELICITY GERRY: The View from the Bar 32. SAMMIE MCFARLAND: From a lifestyle start-up to a charity scale-up 36. NATHANIEL FRIED: Scaling and Selling in the game of Intelligence 42. DAVID SOFFER: The Serial Scaler 46. JASON KINGSLEY: Why My Multi-Million-Pound Business is rooted in the Chivalric Code 52. EMBRACE EQUITY 58. Unlocking Leadership Excellence 66. Closed-Loop Recycling & How to Implement in Business 72. Complexity to Simplicity: How Integrated Business Planning aligns people, process and technology 78. web3: The next Evolutionary Phase of the Internet 84. Scaling ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 90. Tech-Savvy OOH Advertising: An Insider’s Story 8

46. 100. 24. 18. 9 The Most Expensive Cars Owned by Premier League Footballers

10 The Stories Everyone’s been Talking about News. June 2023 10

Khoros Appoints Lindsay Sanchez as Chief Marketing Officer Sanchez adds a passion for team development and agility to Khoros’s customer-first mindset Khoros, an award-winning leader in digital-first customer engagement software and services, announced it has named Lindsay Sanchez as Chief Marketing Officer. Sanchez brings extensive marketing and sales leadership to Khoros as it drives its next phase of focus and innovation. With a proven track record of leading strategically, building and transforming GTM strategies, marketing programs, operations, and teams, Sanchez is known for her ability to roll up her sleeves and drive results. Her perspective on how operating systems impact business outcomes, combined with her passion for hiring and mentoring cross-functional teams, makes her an invaluable addition to the Khoros leadership team. Sanchez’s background in team sports, coaching, and mentorship has also instilled in her a mindset of challenging the norm to foster exceptional ideas and drive success. In addition, her experience with public enterprise software providers and a transformative conversational AI start-up further underscores her deep understanding of the enterprise software market and its evolving dynamics. “I am excited to welcome Lindsay to Khoros,” said Chris Tranquill, CEO at Khoros. “Her agile and customer-first approach, along with her exceptional leadership skills, will be instrumental in Khoros’s next phase of growth and innovation. We are confident that Lindsay’s strategic vision and passion for team development will help take Khoros to new heights.” Sanchez expressed her excitement about joining the company and working with the marketing team, saying: “I am thrilled to be at the forefront of addressing the challenges B2B brands face as they transition into a digital-first environment. I look forward to working with our talented marketing team to drive customer loyalty, increase brand awareness, and enhance overall customer engagement for our customers.” As the company continues to innovate and focus on delivering exceptional solutions to its customers, Sanchez’s appointment to CMO continues to solidify its position as a leader in digital-first customer engagement. Khoros’s award-winning customer engagement platform helps over 2,000 global brands, including one-third of the Fortune 100 companies, create customers for life. With over 20 patented technologies, Khoros connects every facet of customer engagement, including digital contact centers, messaging, chat, online brand communities, CX analytics, and social media management. Combined with our top-rated services, the Khoros platform enables brands to connect with customers throughout their entire digital journey. To learn more about Khoros, its leadership team, and its industry-leading digital-first customer engagement software and services, visit THE MONTHLY ROUND-UP

THE UNIVERSITY THAT PRODUCES THE MOST ENTREPRENEURS • London School of Economics and Political Science produces the most business founders, with more than one in ten (11%) of their alumni starting a company • The University of Oxford is another top university for prospective business founders, with 10% of alumni founding a business • 12 out of 20 top universities for future business owners are located in London • James Andrews, personal finance expert at money., comments on the considerations new business owners should make when starting a new business. While ambition and determination are key characteristics for becoming a business owner, tailoring your education to build skills, knowledge and potential networking opportunities is vital for prospective entrepreneurs. Each university has a unique reputation, whether that’s based on prestige or academic success, but is there a university that produces more business owners than others? To investigate this, business loans experts examined alumni pages on LinkedIn for each university to see how many graduates were listed as company founders, along with the number of founders that studied business, determining which university produces the most business owners The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the top universities for prospective business owners, with 11% of graduates going on to become company founders. Of the 268,186 listed alumni, 29,767 went on to start their own businesses. Economics was discovered to be the most popular university subject for new business owners at the university, with 8,705 business owners (29%) studying the subject, followed by business studies with 6,907 (23%). 17% of graduates that studied business at LSE went on to found their own business, the second highest of any other university in the UK, only behind the University of Oxford (18%). London’s universities are the best for future business founders, with 12 of the top 20 universities located in the capital. The capital is the biggest hub for startup activity in the UK, with 38% of student startups being founded at London unis. The University of Oxford is another top university for potential business owners, with 27,300 out of a total of 278,988 alumni (10%) establishing their own businesses. Business studies was found to be the most popular subject to study for prospective business owners at Oxford, with 3,162 students studying in this field, followed by economics (2,823 students) and political science (2,601 students). Furthermore, 18% of students who studied business at Oxford went on to start their own company, the highest rate of any university graduate that studied the subject. 10% of graduates from the University of the Arts, London go on to form their own business. Marketing was the most popular subject for entrepreneurs at this university, with 1,936 business founders studying this topic, followed by business studies (1,901 students) and mass communication and media studies (987 students). Among all of the universities studied, the University of the Arts, London had the most marketing students go on to start their own businesses, followed by the University of Cambridge (1,491 students), LSE (1,403 students), and London Metropolitan University (1,133 students). The University of Cambridge had the most students start their own businesses in total, with 32,179 of the 359,917 listed alumni doing so, while Harper Adams University was deemed the worst for new business founders, with only 289 of their 11,829 listed alumni going on to create a company. THE MONTHLY ROUND-UP

FIRST-OF-ITS KIND ENTREPRENEURSHIP MBA, BACKED BY EX-DEAN OF HARVARD, LAUNCHED IN RESPONSE TO AI REVOLUTION • Edtech company, Oneday has launched a platform that allows students to create their own revenue- generating business whilst earning a fully-accredited MBA degree at the same time • With knowledge-based jobs increasingly being taken over by AI, the platform predicts entrepreneurship will continue to rise as the technology breaks down barriers to starting a business • Over a quarter of Brits (26 per cent) think their jobs will be impacted by AI in the next five to ten years but more than two-thirds (69 per cent) agree it would make it easier to start a business Edtech company, Oneday has launched a platform that allows students to create their own revenue-generating business whilst earning a fully-accredited MBA degree at the same time. Co-founded by Ranbir Arora and Taras Polik, Oneday’s new MBA is overseen by Stephen Kosslyn, ex-dean of Harvard. The platform allows students to participate in an 18-month programme, where they receive one-on-one access to a seven-figure entrepreneur, to assist them with the launch of their own revenue generating business, and earn a fully-accredited MBA degree at the same time. The launch comes as knowledge-based jobs are increasingly being taken over by AI. New research from Oneday has revealed over a quarter (26 per cent) of Brits think their jobs will be impacted by AI technology in the next five to ten years. Previous data has even estimated that AI could replace 300 million jobs.* Oneday predicts this fundamental shift will see the already increasing levels of entrepreneurship** continue to rise as it will allow humans to focus less on admin tasks and more on providing creative solutions to the world’s issues. The advent of AI also means starting a business will become more economically viable by democratising access to resources, reducing startup costs, and streamlining critical business functions. In fact, more than two-thirds of respondents to Oneday’s survey of 2,000 adults think AI would make it easier to start a business by cutting admin time (42 per cent) and helping to develop their idea or product (38 per cent). 46 per cent of Brits have even started integrating AI tools, such as ChatGPT, into their current job roles already. The research also demonstrates the number of Brits who have already considered starting their own business, yet have so far struggled to get up and running. A third (34 per cent) cited lack of confidence and not knowing where to start (34 per cent) as the main hindrances, as well as funding (54%). Oneday’s focus on providing practical, real-world experience prepares budding entrepreneurs for the challenges and opportunities of the modern business landscape. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) also think the current school system should teach students about the role of AI in the workplace - with nearly a quarter (23 per cent) agreeing it was the most important skill schools should be teaching students. Ranbir Arora, founder and CEO of Oneday said, “It’s clear to see that AI is fundamentally taking over routine knowledge work jobs, and at Oneday, we see this as an exciting opportunity to reposition our society into solving new problems for humanity through creating new businesses, instead of teaching students how to do things we already know how to do.” “Our mission is to provide what the current education system currently doesn’t - practical, real-world experience that will teach entrepreneurs the necessary skills they need to take on the modern business world.’ Oneday has so far raised £8.25 million and helped over 2,000 students build their businesses. The MBA is just the latest offering of a broader education system the company is developing around entrepreneurship. For more information on Oneday head to: https://www. THE MONTHLY ROUND-UP



In the thick of it, is a place Tom Bairstow, Founder and CEO of creative studio NorthHouse, is commonly found. Whether on the cusp of a new business collaboration, on the eve of an allimportant global event, or leading his team in innovative thinking, Tom’s company, created in 2011, has caught the attention of the masses around the world by delivering unparalleled visual arts combining video, projection, mixedreality and digital design for global live shows and installations. Some of their most impressive projects have been Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee - Party at the Palace, Coldplay’s World Tour, Dubai Expo, and the SuperBowl Half Time show. Yet even more recently, Tom and his team have just finished delivering the two most historic events in the UK this year, the King’s Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle and Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool. The London-based studio’s ground-breaking creativity and technological implementation has seen them develop projects in every continent, from Dubai and Saudi Arabia to the US, Canada and South America - but Tom’s humble roots are further North than London, in Yorkshire, where he grew up. TOM BAIRSTOW For KING, COUNTRY and the WORLD By Liz White

19 Tom Bairstow, Founder and CEO of creative studio NorthHouse CEO INSIGHT “Growing up, I was very music orientated but also had a deep fascination for the magic of moving images, animation and filmmaking. This progressed into playing in touring bands and learning a lot about the live music industry. Seeing the connections that people made with the whole audiovisual experience - and with each other - was such a lovely aspect of the touring circuit, and the live performance element felt so real and raw. “I increasingly felt like I wanted to find a way to bring the worlds of live shows, music, art, design and film together. I wanted to be a part of the whole live show experience. Fortunately, around this time, in 2009, there was an increasing amount of LED video screens being used in live shows and I leapt at the opportunity to bring all the worlds together.” Back then, there were few opportunities in Yorkshire within the creative and music industry – Tom’s school had recommended he should become either an engineer or architect, and he very nearly became an air conditioning engineer. Tom relocated from Yorkshire to London in 2010 in a bid to find opportunities for work and soon found himself as a freelancer developing shows for the likes of One Direction, Olly Murs and Little Mix. By 2012 Tom had set up NorthHouse and started to build a team, bringing in assistance through freelancers and full-time employees. Tom recalls: “For a few years, I progressed as far as I could as a solo freelancer before the workload became too much for one person where I took the giant leap to bring in my first employee in January 2014, a good friend who helped me to get a bit more perspective and see the potential in NorthHouse. “Soon after, we brought in another full-time artist and a fantastic junior artist, which suddenly pushed the quality of our work to a higher level. At this point, I started to realise it really is all about the team and where I started to feel my role shifting. “We expanded, engaging with freelancers and soon picking up huge projects including Take That’s tour, Rugby World Cup, Super Bowl Half Time show and Coldplay’s World Tour (A Head Full of Dreams). I found myself doing less on the ‘tools’ and more on creative direction, leading the team, client relationships and general running of the steadily growing business.” Tom’s management style revolves around creating a great space for the team to explore where everyone’s voice can be heard, encouraging honesty and directness with kindness. Tom explains: “We’re not the kind of studio to throw meaningless content on a screen. We’re very focused on the concept, deeper purpose and narrative. We always need to be creating art and driving innovation forwards and we thrive on collaboration.” NorthHouse entered 2020 with a healthy growing business and numerous successful projects under their belt, however the Covid-19 pandemic hit NorthHouse hard, as 20

CEO INSIGHT it did many businesses around the world. Tom added “In early 2020 I felt like we were really flying. A lot of work lined up with our client list multiplying at a rapid rate. But of course, when Covid hit, it wiped out the live events industry. It was such a tough time for everyone on both a human and business level we each had to try and navigate our way through in our own ways. “I learned a lot during that time. As a team we supported each other immensely. I did everything possible to keep the company afloat and ensure I could provide a job for all of my team - and on the flip side, the team really helped to support myself and NorthHouse. As a team we developed a vast range of new skills and tools that would eventually lead us into some really interesting new areas. “I look back at that time as such a pivotal moment for us. It became so clear to me how I’d allowed NorthHouse to cruise along in quite a safe lane before Covid with a steadily growing roster of regular clients. But once that had all been stripped away during lockdown, it was terrifyingly refreshing to almost start all over and feel super hungry for new areas of work all over again. BBC Studios/ NorthHouse 21

“It elevated my want and need to network and connect with people all over the world and dream up a huge range of concepts in the real and virtual world. I also spent the time really knuckling down on my abilities on the financial side of things. There’s definitely something to be said about being pushed out of your comfort zone and lockdown certainly did that.” Throughout the pandemic NorthHouse dug deep and created a show which became a masterpiece in augmented reality, a success that showed their innovation could take them anywhere. Tom said: “We came out of the first lockdown with an incredible augmented reality awards show we designed - The Green Carpet Fashion Awards - that was truly revolutionary. I couldn’t be prouder of what we achieved and what my team created. This cemented itself as a flagship project for how we progressed from then on.” By 2022 NorthHouse were turning away four projects for every project they took on and when they finished projection-mapping onto Buckingham Palace for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee’ Party at the Palace’, Tom had reached the limit of the work he could take on, hitting burnout like never before. Burnout is common in the industry and according to, work/life balance is the biggest source of burnout for planners and suppliers in the industry alike. Tom feels the pressure of a work/life balance but is a grounded, down-toearth family man who strives to create equilibrium not just to benefit himself and his own young family but for his team as well as making NorthHouse a positive and comfortable work environment. He also looks to support and encourage those coming into the industry too, feeling strongly that sharing business insight and helping others is a big part of who he is and what NorthHouse stands for. Tom is an Ambassador for Media at Big Creative Education College, London, working to create industry-standard briefs and help students succeed in the industry. Tom adds: “I’m enjoying taking this outside of NorthHouse, giving talks at schools and universities, mentoring and coaching, helping students to find a place and lifestyle within the creative world.” Tom continued: “Although I hit peak burnout more than ever before, I was incredibly proud of what we had achieved. It came with the realisation that our full-time team had to grow to continue at this level. We were dealing with an even higher volume of requests for big projects all over the world that we simply could not keep up with. I had to act fast but in a very calculated manner and gradually doubled the team with a combination of Director and Manager levels down to Junior.” “Going forwards, we’re focused on creating the best experiences and always pushing the boundaries on every show and installation we do.” 22

Tom sums up where they currently stand: “In June 2023, we’re now operating a team of 14 full-time members and a huge roster of talented freelancers that join us for various elements of the projects. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next five years takes us with such an emphasis on creating incredible experiences that connect people and finding ways to help people to grow and develop within the industry. Of course, I have financial goals and a business strategy for where I see NorthHouse developing, but it’s more about the team, the work we create and the opportunities we get to explore.” After delivering sensational results again, other industry leaders are looking towards Tom and his team to see what is new, and what will they deliver next to lift the industry bar even higher. Presently, Tom stands on the cusp of breaking into the WANA region - after their staggeringly successful show with Coldplay at the 2022 Dubai EXPO, triggering unprecedented interest from the Middle East. “We’re in talks with various people about some incredible potential projects. We were in Dubai for a week with Hans Zimmers’ team playing a part in his live show and we’re developing some really interesting multi-media art installations and immersive experiences in the UK and Europe and in talks with some incredible artists about tours in Europe and the US. So, the future is looking really exciting with such a diverse mix of projects. “Going forwards, we’re focused on creating the best experiences and always pushing the boundaries on every show and installation we do. Of course, wrapped up within this, there’s always a hunger for exploring the latest tech and constantly developing our skillsets and offerings, but the root of it all lies in just creating the very best work! “As the business owner, it’s often difficult to know exactly where to be best positioned in a growing studio. I’m an artist and a creator at heart and I thoroughly enjoy diving into deep concepts and narratives to define an identity for a show or experience. However, I now find myself really enjoying building a brand, something special that people want to be a part of and become a leading global agency. Creating something with meaning that’s known for quality in all aspects of creation, service and culture. I really enjoy looking after the team, finding great talent and helping them to develop and grow, providing a great space to create, to connect and see how this all blossoms.” And how NorthHouse is blossoming. The company has been nominated for three BAFTA awards, winning one alongside BBC Studios for Best Live Event, and Tom has just returned as a VIP speaker at Disney’s conference in Los Angeles about NorthHouse’s work for Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl last December. Tom is now mastering the recipe for scale-up success by combining talent, business acumen and technological innovation. All this should come as no surprise, as Tom’s home, Yorkshire, is known globally for producing the perfect brew, yet this brew is infused with a drop of Hollywood magic. CEO INSIGHT BBC Studios/ NorthHouse 23

LEADERSHIP ADVICE FOR By, Bruce Martin, Agata Nowakowska, Hugh Scantlebury and Marco Fanizz

25 Few promotions come with as much pressure as Charles faces stepping into the role of the King – it is arguably the biggest CEO job around. With the world watching and waiting to find out what kind of a leader he will be, we spoke to CEOs and regional leaders to establish the top skills Charles will need as he takes on the crown. THE BIGGEST CEO BOOTS TO FILL ? Source: The White House CEO INSIGHT ESTABLISHING HIMSELF AS A LEADER The first step of establishing yourself as a leader is to decide on your vision for the organisation, which will frame everything that comes after. Drawing on his personal experience of stepping up to CEO at Tax Systems, Bruce Martin shares his advice: “Having made the move from CFO to CEO last year, I can begin to imagine how Charles is feeling in the lead-up to his Coronation – except he’s got the whole world watching! There is no qualification that solidifies you as a capable CEO – or King – so I don’t know if anyone would ever feel totally ready and prepared to step into such a role. But what I have learned over the past year is that it is all about authenticity. You can’t simply slip into the shoes of your predecessor and be someone that you aren’t. It is important to establish your own leadership style as soon as possible and be transparent about it. Set out how you are going to be different and set the tone for how you envisage taking the business – or in Charles’ case, the monarchy – forward.” Agata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA at Skillsoft, adds that establishing a strong vision is key to cementing yourself as a leader. “Successful leaders are able to craft a transformative vision and share it with a sense of passion, helping their team or country understand what they do and why it matters. Mobilising teams to execute the vision and sustain momentum is critical to effectively communicating a unified purpose,” she says. COMMUNICATION Once the vision has been decided, this must be effectively communicated with those it will involve and impact. For business leaders, this is the business’ stakeholders – employees, partners, shareholders, etc. – for Charles, this is the British public. As Hugh Scantlebury, CEO and Founder of Aqilla, states, “Communicating his vision and values clearly and effectively to the public will be key to establishing himself as a strong figurehead.” Addressing the conflicting public opinions around the Coronation, Scantlebury urges King Charles to take the opportunity “to change the public’s perception of him from having an unearned right to rule to being a capable leader.” Reflecting on the generational changes since Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, Tax Systems’ Bruce Martin reminds us that how the public communicates and expects to be communicated with has greatly changed: “In today’s modern times, people are looking for approachability from their leaders. They want to feel listened to, that their voices are heard, and that what they say is being acted upon by those in charge. And, if it is not possible to act on it, then this should be communicated transparently.” He continues, “Charles should also carefully consider the communication style that works best for him with the public of today - the Christmas speech is a British tradition, but with social media now being such an important method of spreading news, the Royal Family could take a huge step forward by utilising such channels - something we have seen them increasingly lean on in more recent years. Being relevant and relatable is crucial when establishing yourself as a leader, rather than a manager, and this will ring true for Charles too as he officially steps into his new role.” 26 27 CEO INSIGHT CONNECTING WITH YOUNGER GENERATIONS With under 30s making up approximately a third of the UK population, this age group will be an important one to get onside to establish the long-term success of the monarchy. As a historic institution, modernisation will be vital to achieving this. “One of his biggest challenges will be winning the hearts and minds of younger generations,” acknowledges Marco Fanizzi, Corporate SVP & GM at Commvault International. “My advice is that he listens and learns first of all. He is passionate about causes that younger generations also feel very strongly about… peace, justice, youth, and the planet. He now needs to really understand how he can communicate that, connecting with young people and inviting them on a journey with him to improve the world we live in.” The good news is that “Charles has already proved a desire to maintain tradition whilst continuing to modernise the monarchy,” recognises Aqilla’s Hugh Scantlebury. “The initiatives that he has implemented ahead of the Coronation are evidence of this. For example, The Big Lunch encourages community cohesion, and The Big Help Out promotes engagement in local issues. Such policies will connect with the younger generation who are passionate about such subjects.” FLEXIBILITY The last few years have been unprecedented times – no one could have predicted the COVID pandemic, to give just one example – so “great leaders must demonstrate the ability to be flexible, agile and respond effectively to changing environments,” says Skillsoft’s Agata Nowakowska. “Being open to change, new challenges and knowing when a rapid shift in direction is needed is important. With change also comes innovation. Developing the capability to envision, foster, and apply innovation is fundamental to leadership today. To successfully navigate rapidly changing work and business environments, leaders must constantly update their skills and capabilities so they, and their respective organisations, can evolve and grow. For the new King, adopting this mindset will help set his reign up for success.” If King Charles establishes himself as a solid leader with a clear vision that he communicates to his people, especially the younger generation, but with the flexibility to adapt to external factors, his reign is bound to be a success. 27 “One of his biggest challenges will be winning the hearts and minds of younger generations. He is passionate about causes that younger generations also feel very strongly about… peace, justice, youth, and the planet.” - MARCO FANIZZI 28 CEO INSIGHT

29 THE VIEW FROM THE BAR Felicity Gerry has scaled up the hard way, from working in riding stables, to the top of the international legal arena Can you tell me a little bit about your early life and education? My early life and education were defined by women. I was born in Dagenham, home of the women who walked out for equal pay, and when I was 7, we moved to Nottingham, a city of two-thirds women due to the lace industry. In Essex, I was schooled by nuns Sister Scholastica and scary Sister Frances on two sticks with horn-rimmed glasses. In Nottingham, I went to a progressive primary school where the female Head was cool and inclusive. In secondary school, Mrs. Purewal, who insisted on being carried in even when she was dying of cancer, pushed me ahead in maths. It didn’t stop me from being bullied. Thirty years later, I received an email from a retiring police officer who apologised for bullying me at school. She recalled I would always shout back. I suppose that has defined my career – I have always been the new girl who would never stay silent. Having left school and worked in a horse riding stables and, latterly a bar in Tenerife, at that point in your life, were there any career goals, or was it living one day to the next? I started helping out at a riding school when I was 12. It was a great escape from my parents’ divorce. I don’t really know what happened at school, but I went from being pushed ahead to lagging behind and the stables seemed like more fun, so by the

CEO INSIGHT time I was 15, I pretty much didn’t go to school, and I left with only 5 ‘O’ Levels. I suspect this later affected my applications to become a barrister, as I made 77 applications and only received 12 replies. Going to Tenerife was an opportunity to reassess my life and I came back determined to achieve. I enrolled in further education college, then studied law at University and decided that dressing up in black and going to court every day for an argument was the future I had been looking for, so I became a barrister. It was the closest to being the Wicked Witch of the West – like Elphaba, carving my own noisy niche. Please tell us about the moment you returned to the UK to finish your studies. When watching the ex-pat Brits performing a Christmas pantomime in the only venue with a stage which was where men would go to buy sex – a memory that has fuelled my work on reproductive rights, human trafficking, and decriminalising sex work. I knew there was a world elsewhere. What gave you the incentive to study law? My father made the ink to print newspapers and my Godfather worked on the Daily Mail and the Socialist Worker. I thought I was going to be a journalist and law would be a sound foundation. As I progressed through University, I was asked whether I would become a solicitor or a barrister, so I tried some work experience. Being a solicitor required accounting for time every six minutes, that was not for me as I can spend hours thinking and that wouldn’t look good on a billing sheet. Several mini-pupillages later, taking me to the House of Lords on a food labelling case and the Court of Appeal on gross negligence manslaughter, I knew that the intellectual rigor and advocacy of the Bar would suit me. I am sad that the last 30 years has seen the decline of legal reasoning in criminal law in the senior courts of England and Wales, but I am proud of the contribution I have brought, particularly in identifying the legal errors in joint enterprise law and the ignorance of Constitutional protections for Shamima Begum. This has increased with the comparative opportunities I have from my 17th floor corner office in Melbourne. As a female criminal barrister up against Old School Barristers, how did you navigate the early years? It was quite a surprise to discover the shouty judges and adversarial opponents, but I suppose I gave as good as I got. I had a great start from a defence solicitor in the youth court, and I was often instructed in complex prosecution cases involving serious sexual offending at a time when it was very difficult to get cases involving female victims prosecuted at all. I did my best to carve myself a role as an expert. On top of my court work, I had a column in a legal magazine, and I co-wrote The Sexual Offences Handbook, which contains all the laws on sexual offending since 1952. I now specialise in Murder, Terrorism, War Crimes and Modern Slavery law and I have a Ph.D. on trafficked women who commit crime. Despite being female, despite not attending an elite public school or leg ups from the Old Boys Network, you progressed through the ranks. What has been your strategy for scaling up? To be honest, I have had support from some old boys and girls – the application for Silk is 60 pages long and references are needed from senior members of the legal profession so I must have been doing something right and I am grateful to all my supporters, especially senior women silks and decent scholarly judges on the bench. My strategy is to identify my dream job and write my CV as if I am applying tomorrow, which identifies my relevant skills and allows me to work to fill the gaps. More than once I have faced blocks in my career but, being strategic about where I want to go usually allows me to circumvent them, although sometimes it takes longer than it should. 30 “Going to Tenerife was an opportunity to reassess my life... I came back determined to achieve.”

Scaling up further as an international barrister was another big step. What gave you the confidence to go global and what have been the major issues to trying cases across continents? My confidence comes from what I call my “informed bloody-mindedness” from incessant reading as well as the support from my interesting and marvellous family, who have supported my every career move. Major issues have occurred when I have moved chambers away from those who are not supportive, now finding colleagues and clerks in England and Australia who understand my international practice and support me to work globally. Sometimes the Bar is like school and the bullies are awful, but you must rise above it and move on, creating your own pathway. What do you want to achieve in the next few years? I have enjoyed teaching, writing human rights reports and submissions to governments on law reform and would like those opportunities to continue. After my experience assisting the lawyers for Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino woman on death row in Indonesia, I would like to secure the release of trafficked women in prison, especially those facing the death penalty and to continue law reform for women in prison. I would like to secure reparations for historic slavery of the Cook Islanders I have represented and changes in the law on I watched some mediocre men work in international criminal law long before I was given the opportunity, but I am there now, currently on a wonderfully diverse team for Mr Al Hassan in the International Criminal Court. Making a then Queen’s Counsel now King’s Counsel must have been a proud moment. At this point did you feel you had achieved what you set out to do and reached the pinnacle of your career? Oddly not. At that point, I had lost a case called R v Jogee in the Court of Appeal. The judges had said, “there’s nothing in this”. Knowing that hundreds, if not thousands, of people had been sent to prison on the wrong law, I thought, if there’s nothing in this, I am not sure I want to do this anymore. My family had an opportunity to go to Australia for a year and I decided to teach in a university which I continue to this day. Through a series of fortunate events, I met an Australian judge who encouraged me, and I decided to take that case to the UK Supreme Court. There was something in it and their Lordships admitted the law had gone wrong for 30 years. I still campaign for the release of those prisoners. Having thought the pinnacle was defending a murder trial at the Old Bailey, which I have now done several times, I have now lived in Australia for ten years, and I now work internationally, which is rewarding. complicity across the Commonwealth affected by the errors identified in Jogee. I am not sure how long this will take but I will continue to try. I am keen to contribute to the development of International criminal law and practice and am now on the ICCBA Training Committee and the IBA Criminal Law Committee. Finally, what three leadership tips would you give young CEO’s as they wish to rise through the ranks in their industry, as you have done so successfully? • Take responsibility, become an expert, read, and learn. All of which includes answering your correspondence: It will bring progress for you and for others. • Mentor those at the start of their careers, especially those who did not have an elite education. Seeing my students and juniors achieve are my most fulfilling moments. One of my juniors became a KC last month. • Give women opportunities. A diverse group makes for better outcomes and women can often bring a broader perspective to your decision making. 31 “Take responsibility, become an expert, read, and learn... It will bring progress for you and for others.” 32

From a LIFESTYLE START-UP to a CHARITY SCALE-UP a journey dictated by a pandemic Sammie McFarland the Coronation Champion Can you tell us a little bit about your early life and education? Growing up in Exmoor, southwest England, was a fortunate and rugged experience. I have cherished childhood memories of helping on the family farm during lambing and harvest. In my grandmother’s kitchen, I peeled apples, made jam, and baked, earning fuel for an old Mini so we were allowed to drive in the fields. As the eldest of 10 grandchildren, there was always mischief. Although I received a scholarship to Wellington School, my parents’ divorce changed plans, and I attended the local secondary school. Despite limited resources, my mother’s unwavering tenacity, working multiple jobs, ensured we never went without. In my teens, a mysterious virus left me chronically ill, causing me to miss most of my last two years of secondary school. The school didn’t want me to take exams, possibly fearing that my poor grades would affect their statistics due to my prolonged absence. However, I pleaded with the Headmaster and presented a letter explaining why I deserved a chance. Determined not to be held back a year, I taught myself from books while bedridden, while my mother and step dad worked. Growing up as part of a large family, I developed a love for children. I trained as a Nursery Nurse, working as a 33

private Nanny and later a Maternity Nurse. At 21, I started my own family and have two beautiful girls. Has living and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle always been a priority for you? Since managing poor health in my teens, yes. It was an incredibly challenging period for both me and my mother. It was a time when the convenience of Google was nonexistent and we had more questions than answers. However, I read a compelling article on food intolerances and proactive health in my grandmother’s Reader’s Digest, it was a light bulb moment. Inspired, my mother promptly arranged for food intolerance testing, which proved to be a revelation. No longer were we solely dependent on doctors; I could take charge of my own health and explore potential solutions. What gave you the incentive to start your own business in the wellness sector? In 2009 I finally broke free from an abusive relationship, my paramount goal became providing my daughters with a positive role model—a beacon of strength, both physically and emotionally with financial independence. My own personal pilates journey had revealed the health benefits that movement and breath work could bring. Sharing the joy was a natural progression that aligned perfectly with our family’s dynamics and my own wellbeing. My community based business had flourished into a trusted and thriving enterprise but as I learned more I wanted to connect and collaborate with other experts taking a holistic approach to wellbeing. I opened The Breathing Space (TBS), a dedicated wellbeing centre for female health, as a platform to connect women with specialised coaches and therapists. My plans encompassed expanding our reach through corporate training initiatives and retreats. Recognising the arduous struggle women often face in maintaining a work-life balance, especially with their predominant involvement in parenting and caregiving roles, I aimed to improve their work-life balance through accessible wellbeing by taking the knowledge and sessions to the workplace. By bringing transformative sessions directly to the workplace, I envisioned equipping employers with a deeper understanding of how to effectively support women in professional settings. Gathering empirical data to substantiate the tangible benefits for both employees and businesses, my dream entailed replicating this model successfully across different communities. The ultimate goal was to enhance wellbeing and productivity, while simultaneously providing women with the work-life balance they deserved. Unfortunately the pandemic hit during our first year. Can you briefly explain what happened to you and your family as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic? After contracting Covid, I was left feeling utterly drained, as if I had been hit by a bus, reminiscent of post-flu fatigue. Grateful that hospitalisation hadn’t been necessary, I understood that my body’s weakness was a consequence of battling the virus from my bed. As my period of isolation ended, our teenage daughter began to exhibit occasional coughing, we immediately took action and placed her in isolation. However, two days later, her condition took a turn. She developed a temperature which lasted for two days before subsiding. Soon after, her cough also dissipated rapidly. Yet, a series of alarming symptoms emerged: bouts of dizziness, diminished appetite, nausea during meals, physical weakness, pallor, exhaustion, floppy limbs and a vacant, unresponsive gaze. As parents, we felt utterly helpless witnessing our child suffer from a perplexing virus that remained shrouded in uncertainty. Enduring five to six weeks of prolonged illness, we gradually regained some strength and attempted short walks in the woods with our dog. Although arduous, we understood that our recovery would be a gradual process. We naively believed that the worst was behind us. Around six or seven weeks postinfection, we attempted a significantly modified exercise session in our garden. The doctor insisted it would be invigorating and further progress our recovery. Setting up a playful family exercise routine resembling an obstacle course, aiming to enjoy some movement and elevate endorphin levels. Compared to our usual exercise regimen, it was undeniably simple. However, after approximately 10 minutes, our daughter abruptly doubled over, expressing her inability to continue. She clutched her chest and urgently sought rest indoors. My husband and I persisted for a short while but soon I became drained of energy. It was as if my batteries had been forcibly removed, prompting me to halt activity and return indoors. For months thereafter, our meals 34

symptoms differed significantly. The establishment of Long Covid Kids (LCK) was not a deliberate choice; it was a guttural response driven by an understanding of my child’s profound illness. After connecting with other families grappling with similar harrowing experiences, it became apparent that LCK was a necessary solution to an urgent and escalating problem. What lessons of running a successful business did you employ to set up Long Covid Kids? Determination, focus, and genuine were consumed in bed, personal care became challenging and my husband became our carer as multiple symptoms including heart palpitations, cognitive impairment and extreme exhaustion consumed our lives. Despite my efforts to work and teach online classes, utilising every ounce of available energy to support my clients and sustain my business during the pandemic, I remained confined to bed, venturing out solely for teaching sessions before promptly retreating back to rest. On camera, I tried to maintain a facade of bravery, driven by my love for my work and the necessity to provide a semblance of normalcy to loyal clients, all while relying on my income to sustain us.In 2021 ill health dictated that I press pause on my career.Our recovery journey continues; neither of us have been able to return to exercise or the activities we enjoyed but we are learning to live with a disability that may or may not be permanent. Long Covid has changed our lives. At which point did you decide to found a charity and why focused on children as opposed to the entire population? Yes, I remember that moment vividly—early one morning, just three days after a nurse dismissed my daughter’s worsening condition. The nurse asserted she must be mimicking my symptoms and assured me my daughter would feel better once reunited with her friends. I felt an overwhelming mix of frustration, exasperation, and genuine hurt from the nurse’s dismissive remarks. I was acutely aware that my daughter’s deteriorating health had nothing to do with the ongoing pandemic experience, and it certainly wasn’t my fault, especially considering our motivation are vital attributes for any self-employed entrepreneur. Being surrounded by people with genuine goals is both motivating and constructive. I didn’t concern myself with the precise path it would take or develop a rigid plan but supported organic growth. This approach proved advantageous, allowing us to be flexible and adapt to evolving needs and health challenges. Throughout my career, my work with clients has always been driven by passion and a deep sense of purpose. Providing the necessary 35 “After establishing a thriving, trusted community business, connecting specialist expert coaches and therapists with women, I had planned to offer corporate training to reach a wider audience. Work-life balance is especially hard for women, who more often take the lead in parenting and caring roles. I wanted to close the gap between what women get and what they need by taking the knowledge and sessions to the workplace. I hoped to help employers understand how to support women in the workplace. The dream was that once I had data to evidence the success and benefits, both for their employees and their businesses, the modal could be successfully replicated, improving well-being and productivity and providing work-life balance for women in other communities.”

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