Advisory Board

Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen

Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. He is author of Mindblindness, The Essential Difference, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, and Zero Degrees of Empathy. In 2016 he appeared in the BBC2 documentary Employable Me, revealing the remarkable strengths in people with autism and discussing how to promote inclusion.

He has received awards from the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association, and received the Kanner-Asperger Medal from the German Society for research into autism. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Vice-President of the National Autistic Society, and President of the International Society for Autism Research. He was Chair of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Autism (Adults) and is co-editor in chief of the journal Molecular Autism and a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator.

Stephen Brenninkmeijer

Stephen Brenninkmeijer (Founder and Principal of Willows Investments) is a private investor with interests in impact investing and education. For 30 years he was involved in the family retail business and now holds governance positions within the organisation. He has been involved in impact investing since 2002 and founded Willows Investments in 2008 with the aim of supporting promising ventures with a social mission.

He serves on the boards of Social Stock Exchange (UK), responsAbility AG (Zurich) and Sutton Trust (UK). He is on the supervisory boards of the European Climate Foundation (The Hague) and Pymwymic Group BV (Netherlands). He is a trustee of The Mentoring Foundation (UK) and is on the advisory board of Econnoa GmbH (Germany).

Rebecca Hill

Rebecca Hill has a background working for major global professional and financial services organisations including latterly for EY where she was a global director specialising in business strategy focusing on people and organisational change and where she developed well-honed coaching, mentoring and facilitation skills. She has substantial experience of building and leading diverse teams and projects remotely and in person.

David Pollock

David Pollock is Founder & Managing Director of Consilium Capital, a specialist corporate finance firm and placement agent wholly dedicated to sustainable and impact finance. Consilium Capital advises and raises capital internationally for companies and investment funds focussed on achieving risk-adjusted market returns to investors and measurable positive impact on the environment and/or on society.

He has over 30 years’ experience in financing of companies and investment funds through public markets, private equity and debt issues both in developed markets and emerging markets.

Former Head of International Equity Capital Markets and main Board Director at HSBC James Capel (now HSBC Investment Bank). Former executive at Morgan Grenfell in capital markets.

Chair of William Pitt Group, Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs).

Ruth Rainbow

Ruth Rainbow is a resourcing specialist with over 20 years’ experience recruiting for technical talent in candidate short markets. Currently part of the resourcing team at Virgin Media O2 leading the contingent, change management and supplier teams – she has previously managed outsourcing operations across Europe and spent 5 years living in Australia leading head-hunting teams for international corporations.

A graduate from the LSE and Mum to 2 neurodiverse boys, Ruth is passionate about the specific skills that the neurodiverse community can bring to the employment market. Her particular interest lies in seeking ways to bridge the gap between specific talent shortage and assessment pathways – for the benefit of both the individual and the employer.

Ruth also serves on the board for UK based charity Resources for Autism.

Ben Smith

Ben Smith leads Esmee Fairbairn Foundation’s work in social investment: shaping the organisation’s social investment strategy, managing a £45m portfolio and designing opportunities.
Alongside this, Ben is Vice Chair of NatWest Social and Community Capital and teaches the Social Finance Module on the MSc in Social Enterprise at University of Westminster.

Ben started his career in the private sector, working in first management, then strategy, consultancy. After making the transition from the private sector and prior to Esmee, Ben established and managed UnLtd’s social investment department, where, most notably he designed, structured, fundraised and managed two new social investment funds and prior to that, led a large Big Lottery Funded social accelerator programme.

He has spent time working in France, Italy and India as well as studying a Masters in Education which focused on supporting the development of sustainable and investible ventures within Higher Education.
Ben is a former Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University’s School of Management, Board Member of Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall and Aston University.

Jen Stebbing

Jen Stebbing is a business strategy and communications consultant who draws on a deep and varied experience helping organisations and leaders multiply their positive impact, engage stakeholders, and communicate clearly. Jen’s ability to define, agree and implement strategy while collaborating with stakeholders has been central to the success of her professional career. This includes five years working for The Queen at Buckingham Palace; three in the press office at Westminster Abbey; an editorial management role with the Evening Standard and Independent Newspaper group; a major events planning role at Sky News; helping to launch London’s first TV channel, LondonLive; and several years as a strategic communications consultant for several other high value projects and roles, across a range of sectors.

Jen’s most recent role saw her lead the development and operational implementation of a strategic business plan for a climate solutions company, Ecosphere+, that uses naturebased carbon credits to help organisations reach their climate and sustainability goals.

Jen brings clarity and perspective to organisations through mapping clear routes to sustainable growth, and ensuring businesses are able to define and communicate their mission and message to multiple stakeholders, building markets and influencing their customers.

Jen has lived and worked in six countries, on four continents. She believes in the power of cross-cultural connectivity and diversity in business. Jen is a Trustee of Tariro UK, a charity that supports young people in Zimbabwe to help them learn, to develop and to grow. She is on the advisory board of Auticon, an IT and compliance consulting business that exclusively employs adults on the autism spectrum.

Meeta Thareja

Meeta Thareja is an entrepreneur who brings over 17 years of international experience in service and customer experience development. She has worked with brands such as Adobe, Intel and Sony Ericsson on leading- edge market development programmes for the companies in India. In 2012, Meeta co-founded MetaValue – a strategy and growth consultancy supporting organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. MetaValue is a leading supplier to the Cabinet Office on two flagship funded programmes – Mutual Support Programme and Delivering Differently – to create innovative service delivery models that allow local Councils to improve services for local communities and be more sustainable. The company is also a preferred supplier on a number of ERDF funded projects to support the growth of SME and start-up businesses in the UK. MetaValue is committed to making a positive social impact on the communities in which it operates. As part of this, the company contributes its time, resources and money to social impact causes, donating 1% of MetaValue’s annual turnover to social transformation initiatives.

Meeta also serves on the Board of Souvnear – an online B2B portal that connects rural artists, small manufacturers and product designers across SE Asia to collaborate, create and sell products to the US and European markets. She is also an Independent Advisory Panel Member for The Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration, Princess Royal Barracks, Surrey. Meeta was one of six entrepreneurs named Asian Woman of Achievement – Entrepreneur (2014) and is part of Women of the Future Network (a national community for high-potential UK businesswomen).