Meet our Social Leaders


Full list of Fellows
Maria Adebowale

Maria Adebowale

Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2014

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Fellow

Update Autumn 2014

How have you found this quarter?

This quarter has been a really powerful time for learning and staying attuned to the Clore Social Leadership framework.

It has been an almost magical time for serendipity, and opening doors for conversations, tools for change, co-creation and reflections. 

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

I have had three key realisations. One is that leadership from the sidelines is an authentic place to be. I have also recognised that as this point in time my leadership role is about creating a platform for story telling and sharing my thinking on environment and urban place making. The final key realisation is that peer to peer learning is crucial for collaborative social impact.

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

I am really valuing being values led and also a 'sunny spring' which came out in the Four Seasons Profiling Questionnaire at the January residential.  I also understand the legitimate fear of the power to create change. 

What inspirations have you had from your fellow Fellows and people you have met through the Fellowship?

The inspiration awards go to (drum roll please)...

2013 Fellow Ruth Ibegbuna and Nick Ellerby, at Oasis Human Relations, helped me realise that peer to peer learning is an honest pathway for collaborations.

Jonathan Fields, from the The Good Life Project, has taught me that legacy is really about what you do each day.

Alan Chandler from the School of Architecture at University of East London showed me how exciting thought leadership can be.

Liz Lowther, Programme director at the Clore Social Leadership Programme helped me to recognised that a business model that works, doesn't need changing.

A special mention has to go to my fellow Fellows, particularly Baljeet, Daniela, Michael, Eugenie and Gareth.

I’d also like to thank my mum…

Could you describe your Clore Social experience in a few words?


Twitter: @mariaadebowale
Personal website/ blog: www.mariaadebowale.com

Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: Living Space Project
Other leadership role 1: Patron and Matron
Other organisation 1: United Kingdom Environmental Law Association and Women Environment Network
Other leadership role 2: Board member
Other organisation 2: Shared Assets
Other leadership role 3: Board member
Other organisation 3: Trust for Conservation Volunteers

Research: The place factor: modernising the environmental sector and disrupting the way it is funded
Research topics: Charity; Community development; Environment; Governance; Private sector; Public sector; Social enterprise;
Secondment host: The Berkeley Group

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Reg: 7222275
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