The Leadership Centre Celebrates its 18th Birthday!

Jul 15, 2022

On 15th July 2022, we celebrated our 18th birthday by bringing together the wider Leadership Centre family in London for the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eighty of our passionate colleagues from across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors joined us for an interactive, exploratory session followed by a drinks reception at the House of Lords.

Mark Rogers

The session kicked off with an introduction from the Chair of the Leadership Centre’s Board, David Lloyd, before Mark Rogers, CEO of the Leadership Centre, outlined the format for the afternoon. Guest speakers led sessions prompted by the three strategic themes in the Centre’s new strategy –’Innovate, Inspire, Invest’ – with their contributions shaped by the most significant leadership challenges we have heard are emerging.

Focussing on the theme of ‘Innovate’, Jake Garber, Founder of Canopy, and Mari Davis, Co-Director of Leading Communities, asked us to explore how working with social imagination might help leaders, organisations and communities to build better futures – “If we can’t imagine it, we can’t make it happen!” The fantastic session led us in an activity of mapping your own system using physical props, prompting a flurry of conversation on each of the tables.

Matthew Gordon

Matthew Gordon, CEO of Spectra, then took to the stage to share a story rooted in basketball bringing the theme of ‘Inspire’ to life.  Told through the story of NBA players, Matthew explored themes of inclusion and sustainable success, prompting us all to consider our own roles and beliefs in maintaining and disrupting cultural norms. Matthew challenged us to be curious about what is and isn’t working; to confront assumptions and perceptions about risk and ownership: and to ask ‘how can we change the game?’

The session was rounded off, very fittingly, with the story of Let’s Go Southall Active Communities Team. Jaspal Gill and Rajinder Singh, shared their experiences of leading a nationally supported systems change programme to reduce physical inactivity, vividly highlighting the importance of the ‘Invest’ strand of our new strategy. We heard from members of the community in Southall who shared their amazing individual and collective journeys, including the development opportunities created, and their model for engaging all those who live and work in Southall in making change. The session powerfully demonstrated what is possible when community leads alongside public services, politicians and local businesses.

Southall Active Communities Team

Following the session, The Lord Porter of Spalding CBE hosted a social reception in the Peers Dining Room at the House of Lords, where we had the opportunity present certificates to the most recent graduates of our programmes – Future Vision, The London Leadership Programme and 2025. The evening finished with closing remarks from CEO, Mark Rogers, and the buzz of new and old friends connecting after such a prolonged period of working and networking remotely.

Images of each of our graduating cohorts:

Thank you to everyone who made it such a fantastic and memorable event!


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