Meet our Social Leaders


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Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson

Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2011

The Calouste Gulbenkian Fellowship for an aspiring leader committed to innovative approaches to policy and practical work with people experiencing multiple needs and exclusions.

Update September 2011

Update September 2011

In some ways I can’t quite believe I’m already three quarters of the way through my Fellowship!  The year is going incredibly quickly and there is so much more I want to do.  However when I look back through my reflective learning log I can see just how far I have travelled on my leadership journey since January. 

Much of my development this year has been around confidence and contacts.  I have come to realise just how much expertise I already had in the areas of social enterprise, employability, Fairtrade and homelessness.  My Fellowship has given me the chance to update my knowledge. But more importantly, being seen as an expert in these fields has helped me to see myself in that light too.  And the network of contacts that I have been able to build through being a Clore Fellow has already enabled me to start using that expertise more effectively for social good.

I’m conducting my research into ‘social enterprise responses to homeless adults with multiple needs.’ (Catchy title competition: answers on a postcard please.)  The topic builds on my practical experience in this field, and also the interests of my sponsoring organisation, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.  It is also being supported by TSRC (Third Sector Research Centre) who will hopefully be publishing the final paper.

At this moment in time I am drawing to the end of my secondment with Barnardo’s.  This has been a fantastic experience in many ways.  It has given me the experience of working at a senior level within a large organisation, where all my previous experience has been with start-ups.  It has also given me the chance to act as a consultant, developing Barnardo’s strategy for helping vulnerable NEET young people into employment.  This has helped me see that my strengths in developing innovative initiatives and getting them off the ground can be applied within a large organisation as well as setting up new independent organisations.  

I have a number of goals for the remainder of my Fellowship;

Developing my writing on social enterprise and employabilityDeveloping my consultancy skills furtherDeveloping further consultancy workBuilding on the NEET strategy I’ve developed for Barnardo’sFinishing, and making practical use of, my researchBuilding a close network of mentors / supporters

Then it’s about taking everything I’ve gained from this year and using it to make the biggest impact on social exclusion I possibly can!

Twitter: @social_impact_

Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: Social Impact Consulting
Other leadership role 1: Director of Social Enterprise
Other organisation 1: Bangor University

Research: Social Enterprises & Homelessness. Sustainability or Social Impact?
Research topics: Employment; Housing; Impact; Social enterprise;
Secondment host: Barnardos

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