Beyond Bedales Sustainability Careers event – 3 December

By Cheryl Osborne, Careers Advisor

Next Friday, the Professional Guidance team are hosting the next Beyond Bedales event in the Reading Room at 6.30pm. This time our guest speakers are involved in careers in sustainability, an area many Bedalians are keen to explore.

The panel comprises a mix of Old Bedalians and current parents: Emma Cusworth (Director of Corporate Affairs, Green Finance Institute); Kemi Williams (Department of International Development); James Bidwell (Co-founder/Chair of B Corps, Re_Set and Springwise; Roxy Rocks-Engelman (Sustainability Manager, Cafédirect) and Scott Emerson (Fashion Design BA graduate at Istituto Marangoni; plant dyed, biodegradable fashion). Read more about the panel members below below.

The event is open to all students and we would strongly encourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in the sustainability sector to attend. There will be a Q&A session after the guests have spoken.

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Kemi Williams (Current Parent and Old Bedalian) – Department of International Development

Kemi Williams is the Development Director at the British High Commission in Tanzania.  She joined the team in Dar es Salaam from her previous position as Deputy Development Director in Kinshasa. Previously Kemi was the Deputy Head of the DFID Pakistan office and has also been Human Development team leader in DFID Nigeria and Country Director for Girl Hub in Nigeria and Rwanda.

Kemi has over 30 years’ experience of development work in various countries including DRC, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Pakistan and now Tanzania. 

She has a first degree in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, a Masters of Arts (MA) degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at Sussex University and a Master of Science (MSc)  degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Birmingham. She is married with two grown up children.

Her profile can be viewed on LinkedIn and she would like you to follow her on Twitter.

James Bidwell (Current Parent) – Re_Set

James Bidwell is co-founder of Re_Set, a leading next-generation strategy consultancy for innovation and sustainability whose mission is to ensure its clients thrive in a disrupted world. Re_Set empowers and equips businesses and governments to make a positive global impact and create a new vision of success.  He is also the owner and Chair of Springwise, the world’s largest source of global innovations. Committed to positive change, Springwise is essential reading for CEOs, innovators, investors, educators and corporates from all sectors. Both companies are members of 1% for the planet and certified B Corporations, part of a growing community of businesses committed to redefining the role of business in society as a force for good. 

James specialises in leading positive and transformational change in business and has held many Board level and CEO roles.  He outlines his philosophy in his book, Disrupt! 100 Lessons in Business Innovation, published by Hachette and now an Amazon best seller. He was listed in the Financial Times Creative Business Top 50, and named as one of London’s 1000 most influential by the London Evening Standard.  During his time as Marketing Director at Selfridges, he was described as the “ring master extraordinaire” and “a theatrical agitator”.

James is also a high-profile speaker and commentator. He speaks regularly on navigating disruption, the rapid pace of change, the role of innovation in helping solve the climate crisis and how to achieve cultural shift. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Bristol and Cambridge Judge Business School, a participant in the London Business School Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme, and committee member and judge at the World Retail Congress and mentor at Red Bull Amaphiko Academy. 

Committed to protecting and securing the future of the natural world, James chairs the UK Steering Committee for 1% for the Planet, an international organisation, whose members contribute at least one per cent of their annual sales to environmental causes.

Emma Cusworth (OB) – Green Finance Institute

Emma Cusworth joined the Green Finance Institute in January 2021 as director of corporate affairs, where she is responsible for driving the organisation’s strategic brand and communications activity. Emma is also leading the GFI’s collaboration with the City of London Corporation on GHS@COP26, a hybrid 5-day platform for mobilising private finance in the transition to net zero.

Emma has 20 years’ international experience in strategic communications, content and integrated marketing for financial services firms with a particular focus on sustainability. She joined the Green Finance Institute from Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM), where she was head of strategic communications. She spent three years at LOIM, which included a one-year secondment to its dedicated sustainable investment team focusing on communications and stewardship.

Prior to this, Emma spent 10 years as a freelance financial journalist specialising in sustainable investment. She regularly contributed news and feature articles to leading publications including the Financial Times, IPE, Financial News, Portfolio Institutional and Professional Pensions and developed her own sustainability-related blog, The Responsible Capitalist. Emma started her career in corporate communications and investor relations within a number of leading consultancy firms.

Emma has lived and worked in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and East Africa, and read Management Sciences at U.M.I.S.T., University of Manchester.

Roxy Rocks-Engleman (OB) – Cafédirect

Roxy Rocks-Engelman is the Sustainability Manager for Cafédirect and Chair of the British Coffee Association’s Sustainability Committee. Roxy has a Masters in Sustainable Development and has worked with mission-led businesses that work with cooperatives in both the FMCG and garment sector.  Cafédirect is a UK based, coffee company, which was set up as a social enterprise to empower smallholder farmers. Cafédirect was the first coffee brand to be Fairtrade certified and was also the first UK Coffee company to certify as a B Corporation. Cafédirect purchases coffee directly from 20 coffee cooperatives in Latin America and East Africa and has smallholder growers on their Board. Cafédirect set up a charity, Producers Direct in 2009, which is now an independent charity that is farmer-led and has over 1.3 million smallholder growers in its network.

Scott Emerson (OB) – Fashion Design BA Graduate at Istituto Marangoni; plant dyed, biodegradable fashion

Scott Emerson graduated in June 2021 at Istituto Marangoni with a First Class Honours in Fashion Design BA. He was selected amongst the Top 10 best fashion designers of his course and was given the opportunity to showcase his 6-look menswear collection at London Fashion Week Sept 2021.

Scott has always been fascinated with the relationship between fashion and identity. He was interested in exploring post-war youth rebellion subcultures and how each subculture has a striking visual aesthetic. Their personality was reflected in their style. In 2021, fashion has become so fluid with mix and matching so he feels sole character is lost – we have been exposed to high consumerism and fashion trends.

Plant dyeing started out as a hobby in the first lockdown. He used various plants from his back garden and kitchen from acorns & spinach to avocado & onions. During that summer, Scott joined an Artist in Residency programme at Gallery NK in Kensington, where his inspiration turned towards waste and trash around London. He then began to fuse this with subculture fashion and plant dyeing when going into his 3rd year at university and from then on he used plant dyeing throughout his entire collection.

Professional Guidance at Bedales – Autumn update

By Cheryl Osborne, Teacher of Biology and Careers Advisor

This term has been a busy one for the Professional Guidance department. Firstly, students from Blocks 3 to 6.1 have signed up to the online Unifrog platform. Unifog describes itself as “a one-stop-shop where students can easily explore their interests, then find and successfully apply for their next best step after school”. Students in these year groups are receiving support from their tutors to access the platform and complete tasks, such as recording their activities and hobbies, during Tutor Time. As well as this, Block 4 receive half a term of careers sessions with me during Badley Time, during which they have used Unifrog to investigate their wider interests and personality traits, search careers that match their strengths, start recording their employability skills/competencies, look at CVs and learn about apprenticeships and how to find one.

At the beginning of term, Block 5 completed their MyFutureCareers assessments and interviews to aid them with their A Level choices. I followed up on this later in the term, offering students support sessions on Wednesday afternoons. Students in 6.1 have been shown how to use Unifrog to search for degree courses, alongside advice about what they need to be doing over the coming year to prepare themselves for life after Bedales.

Many 6.2 students have been completing university applications, working closely with both their students and Head of Professional Guidance Vikki Alderson-Smart. Students have already started receiving offers and a number have had online interviews for courses that require them. Sarah Oakley has been supporting overseas applicatons and the Art, Design, Music and Drama departments have been working hard helping students with conservatoire and foundation applications.

Work with each year group will continue next term. Vikki will start interviewing all 6.1 students to find out what their post-Bedales thoughts are. These discussions will be on-going with their tutors.

Whilst we would hope that 6.1s will be able to visit universities next year, we will also be advertising virtual events. Two such events are the UK University & Apprenticeship Search Virtual Fair on 27 January, featuring a vast array of exhibitors and ten vital webinars (students and parents can find out more and sign up here) and a Meet the Russell Group virtual event on 10 February. This event will feature all 24 universities and essential webinars for students considering applications to these institutions (students and parents can find out more and sign up here).

We wish you all a restful Christmas.