Meet our Social Leaders


Full list of Fellows
David Russell

David Russell

Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2013

How is your Fellowship going?

This quarter has been dedicated to my secondment with Unilever, which I have been undertaking three days a week. I have been developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the commitments that Unilever have made to Enhancing Livelihoods, part of their Sustainable Living Plan. I have also set up a pilot Clore Social Venture Network with Owen Jarvis and Tom Doust, and have been working on two submissions for the Clore Prize Fund.

How has your leadership had an impact on those you work with?

Although I have stepped back from the day-to-day running of Survivors Fund (SURF), I am still continuing to play a leading role in our advocacy work for reparation for survivors of the genocide in Rwanda. We have experienced real momentum in that campaign with recognition of the issue in a discussion at the UN Security Council. There has been the dawning that what seemed a remote possibility when I helped set up that campaign in 2009, could finally, potentially, be coming to fruition.

In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship

I have recognised the importance of “giving”. Michele Lee flagged this up to me when I was offering her some strategic insights on the development of some of her new projects. The insights that she shared with me in return were on the thinking of Adam Grant, on the importance of giving.

What important lesson have you learnt so far in the Fellowship?

I have learnt that delivering social impact is a marathon, not a sprint. It is all too easy to get sucked into the race against time through accelerator programmes and the like. But ensuring that you are working on the right idea, in the right way, does some times simply take time. 

What have you learnt from your fellow Fellows?

Mark Walton gave me some sage advice at the inaugural Clore Social Venture Network. He advised me on how to address the challenges of developing Antonio Russo, my dairy-free iced desserts social business. He also recommended that I shouldn't underplay the value of the social impact that that business can potentially generate.

How would you sum up The Clore Social Fellowship so far?

The Fellowship programme that keeps on giving!

LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/david-russell-85b18022
Twitter: @TheSocialEnter
Personal website/ blog: www.thesocialenterprise.org

Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: The Social Enterprise
Other leadership role 1: Chief Executive
Other organisation 1: Antonio Russo Ltd
Other leadership role 2: UK Coordinator
Other organisation 2: Survivors Fund (SURF)
Other leadership role 3: Trustee
Other organisation 3: SPID Theatre Company, Congregation of Jacob Synagogue, Charities Advisory Trust, Network for Africa

Research: Spoken Truths (Unspoken Truths of the Social Sector)
Research topics: Charity; Leadership;
Secondment host: Unilever

Contact us
0207 812 3770
5th Floor, Kings Place, 90 York Way
London, N19AG

Charity: 1136727
Reg: 7222275
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