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 (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).

Paddy Byrne

Paddy is a Senior Executive with over twenty five years experience at Board level within medium to large Technology/Services/Financial Services organisations helping to drive them to stronger performance and growth. He has successfully managed and grown businesses with annual revenues from £1 million up to £450 million.

Paddy was CEO of a business which was successfully sold by a Private Equity firm to an Indian pure play technology outsourcer. He also has a strong portfolio of Non-Executive positions ranging from Chairing an FCA regulated business through to being a non-executive for a Private Equity owned SaaS platform in the financial sector. Amongst his other directorships he is Chairman of a consultancy ranked 13 in the Sunday Times Top Track 100.

Edouard Muuls

Edouard (Director, Investment, Virgin Management Limited) is part of the team responsible for the Virgin Group’s existing and prospective investments, globally. Edouard leads the Group’s efforts in the telecom space, through which he sits on the boards of Virgin Mobile CEE, Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, Virgin Mobile Poland and Virgin Mobile South Africa. Edouard is also active across Virgin Group’s media & technology, financial services, sustainable energy and impact investing efforts.

Edouard has over 13 years’ experience in investment origination and execution of private equity investment, having previously worked at Kohlberg Kravis Robert & Co and Credit Suisse First Boston. Throughout his career, Edouard has worked closely with management teams and companies at all stages of development supporting their growth and expansion. Edouard is passionate about motivating these companies to realise their purpose to change business for good. Edouard has a M.Sc., magna cum laude, from Solvay Business School in Brussels, Belgium, and an M.B.A. with distinction from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

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 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).

Sir David Walker

Air Marshal Sir David Walker KCVO OBE served for 37 years in the Royal Air Force. His appointments included Equerry to HM The Queen, secondment to the Diplomatic Service in South Africa, and command of RAF Halton. His final post in the RAF was as Air Officer Commanding the Training Group responsible for flying and aeronautical engineering training for all 3 Armed Services, and all other training for the RAF. He then returned, on secondment, to Buckingham Palace as Master of the Royal Household.

After 9 years in this appointment he moved into the Financial Services Industry as a Senior Advisor first to the Chairman of HSBC, and then to the CEO of Barclays. He is currently on the Boards of Alexander Mann Solutions and auticon, and is a Senior Advisor with PwC. He remains an Extra Equerry to The Queen, is a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, and a Vice Patron of the Royal International Air Tattoo.