The Conduit
The Conduit
Our Story So far
Our Story So far

We have over 3,100 members!

Our membership is 48% women and 52% men.

Our Executive Committee is comprised of 6 women and 4 men, while our Board has 8 men and 3 women.

The Conduit may be based in London, but our people are global.

Our members come from 89 different countries - that's almost half of the world's countries!

Only 46% are from the UK. What’s more, our staff come from 30 different countries.

We are proud to have a membership that covers all age groups.

Our members’ ages break down as follows:

41% are in their 20s & 30s
30% are in their 40s
28% are over 50

Impact Fellow

Bisi Alimi

Impact Fellow

Bisi Alimi

LGBT Activist and Founder & Executive Director of the Bisi Alimi Foundation

This year we’re proud to have appointed 22 Impact Fellowships. Our Impact Fellows are exceptional individuals with enormous potential to change the world for the better, but who lack access to a community – like The Conduit – that can help them to develop and scale their initiatives. One of our Fellows is activist, Bisi Alimi, who gained international attention when he became the first person to come out on Nigerian television and has been fighting for LGBT rights in his home country ever since. Bisi became an Impact Fellow after hosting our first ever drag cabaret as his alter ego, Ms Posh, and has since co-curated the line-up for our Pride party.

I’d love more interaction between The Conduit and the community I come from. I want to bring those worlds together so that everyone can see we’re more the same than we are different."
*Photo: Graeme Fullwood

Partnerships for Employment

Fawzia

Partnerships for Employment

Fawzia

3rd Floor Kitchen, The Conduit

“Having found myself homeless, I joined Brigade Restaurant (they help vulnerable, homeless people) where I learnt kitchen skills and how to cook, and gained my level 2 in hospitality. It was at this point that I joined The Conduit. The transition period went very smoothly; everybody at The Conduit – Co-Founders, CEO, GM, Admin and Kitchen staff welcomed me very warmly and were very accommodating to my needs. I never felt out of place here. I gained so much knowledge being here."

Collaboration for Women's Empowerment

Stephan Chambers & Rafia Qureshi

Collaboration for Women's Empowerment

Stephan Chambers & Rafia Qureshi

Before every Conduit event, we hold an icebreaker exercise so that attendees can get to know each other. Sometimes this leads to a new friendship, partnership or project, as in the case of members Stephan Chambers, Director of The Marshall Institute for Philanthropy & Social Entrepreneurship at LSE, and Rafia Qureshi, Executive Director at The Womanity Foundation, who, after meeting at one of our events, have developed The Catalyst, an intimate initiative for highly engaged philanthropists interested in investing in the empowerment of women and girls. The initiative is a partnership between The Womanity Foundation and the LSE Marshall Institute – and we’re honoured that it started at The Conduit.

From Friendship to Community

Manisha Patel and Stephanie Brobbey

Manisha and Stephanie became friends after meeting at a Conduit event on social mobility. Along with the facilitator at that event, Stephen Bediako, they decided to establish a group to continue the conversation and explore other themes around identity, and ethnicity, with fellow members.

“The purpose is evolving as we grow, but the idea is to uplift one another and our community, and support greater inclusion” said Manisha.

Manisha and Stephanie aren’t alone in making great connections and friendships through Conduit meet-ups: read about Alexandre Terrien and our Under 33s here.

Did You Know?

We have community talent partnerships with Brigade and the Good Hotel, social enterprises who work with people at risk of, or who have experienced, homelessness and long term unemployment, respectively, training them in hospitality skills. These have led to 7 hires, including chefs and members of the Front of House team, with a target of reaching 10% of our total team.

Looking Forward

Moving into 2020, we are looking to achieve a gender balanced board; improve the ethnic diversity in our senior leadership positions; expand the impact fellowship scheme by enabling members to sponsor other members and address socio-economic disparities; improve our data on the ethnic diversity of our membership and work to better reflect the diversity of London.

Power of Community

91% of Conduit members feel part of a community.

Sharing Interests

10% of our members participate in Conduit WhatsApp groups based on shared interests with other members, from coaching to mental health, Under 33 to sustainable fashion.

Making Connections

Lizzie Cho

Lizzie Cho

Making Connections

Lizzie Cho

Director of Nova New Opportunities

"From finding a new board member for Nova New Opportunities, to recruiting a new ‘book’ for the Human Library, to developing an opportunity to hold a workshop in Mallorca, the connections I’ve made at The Conduit have demonstrated how, when we lead with compassion and collaboration, everyone benefits."

Staying Invested

Catriona McGill

Staying Invested

Catriona McGill

Technical Development Manager, Desolenator

"I've had some of the most thought-provoking conversations of my whole life at The Conduit. Each Conduit member (and staff member) I've met has been in equal parts inspiring and committed to action. Through the Conduit network, I've met government ministers and connected with investors who are sincerely interested not just in our potential revenues, but also the value of our social mission. Every time I visit The Conduit, I'm reinvigorated by the potential we have, as individuals and as a community, to make an impact."

Finding Support

Robyn Scott

Finding Support

Robyn Scott

Co-Founder, Apolitical

"Building innovative social change organisations is an always difficult and often lonely quest. The Conduit's like-minded community is a powerful source of support and inspiration. Through being Impact Space members, we've met two mission-driven investors who've invested in Apolitcal and we've built numerous important relationships through events we've hosted or attended. I've also benefited from countless serendipitous encounters: because of the sense of shared purpose, Conduit members are typically quick to make connections and enthusiastic to receive them. We met Anand Giridharadas at a Conduit event and are now in discussions with him about featuring him in an Apolitical event for senior government officials."

Finding My Passion

Simona

Finding My Passion

Simona

Speakeasy to 3rd floor kitchen, The Conduit

"I’d always wanted to be a chef but had no experience, so it was difficult to find a position. I joined The Conduit to work in the Speakeasy but I let my manager at the time know that I was interested in any opportunities in the kitchen that came up. He took up my case and when [Head Chef] Leo joined, he was kind enough to take me on! It was the best thing that has ever happened in my career - I’m finally doing something that I love. I’m working with one of the world’s most amazing and creative chefs, and he teaches me something new every day, so I’m able to keep growing. I’m so grateful to the team for believing in me."

Feeling Inspired

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE

Feeling Inspired

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE

President techUK & Digital Leaders, Co-Chair Institute of Coding

"Why The Conduit?
Simply put - I am inspired by the company I keep...
Knowing that I have a place at The Conduit where every person who shares that space cares about coming together to solve real world issues is compelling. It means we get to make a real difference with real world problems."

Looking to meet some new faces?

There are many ways you can get to know your fellow members, from checking in with your dedicated Community Manager (do you know who yours is?) to joining fortnightly Community Drinks, run by the Membership & Community Team, forming a pub quiz team to attending our Programme and After Hours events.

Looking Forward

As we move into 2020, we’ll remain focused on finding innovative ways to connect our community, create collaborations and inspire action, including investing in new technology. Expect a new approach to the Community Table, more interest group meet ups and thematic dinners, an improved members platform and maybe even an app...

Our 3rd and 4th floor kitchens are now both

100% single-use plastic free! Our next challenge is to reduce our suppliers' use of single-use plastic when wrapping and delivering produce.
60+% of our menus across the building are vegetarian and in April we launched a monthly vegetarian day, where all dishes are suitable for veggies and vegans.

We have saved over 72,000 kgs of glass

through serving drinks on tap with reused bottles. That’s the equivalent to 36.5 black cabs!

From Sea to Table

Pesky Fish

From Sea to Table

Pesky Fish

Working directly with sustainable boats across the country, Pesky’s 100% transparent chain enables us to source fish straight from the skipper and into our kitchen in as little as 5 hours. With catch and at-sea data, they provide real-time information to our chefs about the fish that’s available on any given day, before delivering it via train and bicycle courier. Supported by their revolutionary supply chain model, Pesky are helping fishermen to achieve higher, fairer prices for their catch by cutting out the middlemen. We’re proud to support their ambition of creating a better, more sustainable industry for fish, fishermen and consumers.

Having worked with the kitchen teams at the Conduit since opening, it's been a fantastic journey to enable the club's chefs to access catch directly from small-scale British fishermen around our coasts. Through Pesky; Ben, Merlin and the kitchen teams have had direct visibility into what's being landed whilst boats are out at sea, and have received the day's fish in as little as 6 hours from landing. Skippers and crew are achieving a much fairer price (compared to selling via traditional markets), by cutting out middlemen and merchants, rewarding them for the effort and risk required to sustain their day to day livelihoods." -Aidan Berry, Pesky Fish

From Farm to Table

Husbandry School

From Farm to Table

Husbandry School

The Husbandry School is the Devon based joint venture of Carole and Jonty Williams, who weave together ancient land management principles, social justice-driven philosophy and a pioneering education scheme on their forty-nine-acre plot. Their core principles include the management of material without waste and a focus on keeping heritage varieties alive. A firm favourite of our Executive Chef, Merlin Labron-Johnson, Husbandry School provide us with a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs, which often arrive at our door wrapped in sheep wool for insulation.

The cultivation of our produce is part of the daily timetable to re-engage and re-inspire students. These are school-aged children with complex additional needs that join us for long term therapeutic education placements. They learn alongside us to put the bizarre, unusual, nutritious and delicious into the kitchen and onto the table. It is a pleasure to work with chefs that share our ethos of sustainability, holistic practice and creating positive change." - Carole Williams, The Husbandry School

Drink Responsibly

Our bar team creates with a focus on seasonality, sustainability and local sourcing, opening up all manner of possibilities when it comes to reusing ingredients and discovering new flavours.

We preserve zest from citrus fruits to mix into cocktails for added zing, coffee grounds are combined with salt and vanilla for a delicious infusion, and leftover barista milk is shaken into our classic piña colada twist.

Looking Forward

1/3 of our fruit and vegetables are sourced from the UK, with the rest coming from Europe. Our chefs are working to a target of reaching at least 80% UK produce by the end of 2020, further reducing our carbon footprint.

We are working with Plastic Planet to reduce plastic in our supply chain and cut food waste. We plan to increase the number of vegetarian days and measure the carbon footprint of our dishes.

100% of our energy is matched to renewable sources, as certified by Ofgem, the energy regulator. We’re now discussing with our supplier whether we can purchase renewable energy direct from producers.

Did You Know?

We have one of the UK's longest living walls! Take a stroll to the 1st floor if you're looking for some clean air!

Wherever possible we avoid using tablecloths.

In fact, we can count on one hand the number of times we've used them over the past year. This has saved 168kg of tablecloths per week, and the 1,400 litres of water needed to wash them. That’s the equivalent of almost 73,000 litres a year – or 485 bathtubs!

Renewal and Reuse

Globechain

Renewal and Reuse

Globechain

During the development of The Conduit, we avoided the use of skips and waste disposal by using Globechain, the brainchild of Conduit Member May Al-Karooni. Globechain is an award-winning marketplace, that connects businesses to charities and SMEs to redistribute unneeded items and materials whilst generating data on social impact.

Since launching in 2015, Globechain has diverted over 5.1 million kilos from landfill, reaching over 14,000 communities within the UK, Africa, Ukraine, and Libya through reuse. Sectors including: Healthcare (70%), Education and Training (15%), Homelessness (5%), Agriculture (10%) and Medical (2%) benefitted from the distribution of the unneeded items from the construction of the Conduit. 73,818 kg was reused, saving charities £15,075 with over 3000 items listed, including: fire doors, glass panelling, ceiling tiles and excess building materials. The impact created from this reuse helped organisations around the world from fighting against FGM, child marriage, poverty as well as more local UK projects such as refurbing an old village school roof." - May Al Karooni, Globechain

Overcoming Prejudice

RAW Workshop

Overcoming Prejudice

RAW Workshop

Our tree trunk side tables were made with reclaimed wood by RAW Workshop, an Oxford-based not-for-profit organisation that employs, trains and supports people from their communities who face prejudice and barriers to work.

We were delighted to be commissioned by The Conduit to supply hand-crafted seating made exclusively from locally reclaimed wood. It's a great testament to the quality of our products and Crew, 80% of whom have succeeded in the face of issues such as physical or learning difficulties, mental health illness, recovery from addiction and criminal histories. As an organisation that believes in what people can achieve, no matter their life history or condition, we’re exceptionally proud to have partnered with a company like The Conduit who shares and supports our values. " - Rick Mower, RAW Workshop

Breathing Easy

Adaptavate

Breathing Easy

Adaptavate

The plaster covering our walls was created by Adaptavate, a company founded by Tom Robinson, a builder with a background in Sustainable Architecture. Breathaplasta is made with very fine particles of hemp from Margent Farm - also the source for our hemp coasters, trays and coat tags. Renewable and compostable hemp makes the plaster lightweight and breathable (hence the name), reduces excess moisture and takes pollutants out of the air.

Thanks to Breathaplasta, spending time at The Conduit is good for your health.

In Full Bloom

When hosting private events at The Conduit, we balance quality with our commitment to sustainability. The floristry industry, for example, can have an extremely high carbon footprint, depending on the flowers’ country of origin. That’s why we choose to work with suppliers like Kitten Grayson, who create arrangements from English-grown, naturally dried blooms and foliage, reusing and rotating the flowers in an everlasting cycle.

An average bouquet of Kenyan roses, Dutch lilies and Kenyan Gypsophila, for example, would have an environmental cost of approximately 31kg CO2. On the other hand, a bouquet of mixed outdoor UK-grown flowers would be only 2kg CO2.

Looking Forward

We are working with partners to instal new technology to better understand our energy consumption and carbon footprint, and introduce innovations for reducing them. As we introduce additional furniture we will continue to support local artisans.

To date, we’ve held an average of 4 events per week! That's over 200 this year!

90% of our members have said they’re inspired by our programming.

Next year, our target is to reach 100%...

A Year of Programming

Our events programme is designed to spark innovation, insight, community building, creativity and action. Over the past year, we’ve hosted over 200 talks, workshops, dinners and screenings around our 7 core themes, as well as a leadership development programme, and have brought the world’s leading experts and changemakers to The Conduit to share ideas and knowledge.

Arts and Culture

An Evening with Elif Shafak

We hosted award-winning novelist and activist, Elif Shafak to discuss her new book, ‘10 minutes 38 seconds’, as well as the current state of modern Turkey, multi-culturalism and social inequality. This was a rare opportunity to hear from one of the world’s foremost speakers on the power of storytelling as a force for change.

Climate Change and Sustainability

Climate Solutions Lunch

We held a climate solutions lunch with Costa Rican diplomat and ex-Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiane Figueres, and renowned British environmentalist and writer, Jonathan Porritt.

Education & Skills

Playing the Infinite Game

In collaboration with Big Change, we hosted a conversation with optimist and author Simon Sinek and Big Change’s Essie North about how adopting an infinite mindset is essential to building our future leaders and the steps we can take to cultivate this thinking ourselves.

Employment & Economic Opportunity

Fireside Chat with Michael Sheen

We hosted an intimate conversation between actor and activist Michael Sheen and broadcaster Emma Freud, as he discussed the inclusive power of sport to cut across issues from mental health to criminal justice, and shared why he led the bid to bring the Homeless World Cup to Cardiff in 2019.

Gender Empowerment

The Largest Untapped Reservoir of Talent & Investment in the World

We hosted a discussion with investors and entrepreneurs to hear what they gained by investing in women-led ventures, supported by data and real-time case studies. Speakers included Tamara Rajah, Founder & CEO, Live Better With; Nadia Sood, CEO, Oktober6 and Credit Enable; Rowan Finnegan , Co-Founder, The Conduit; and Anya Navidski, Founder & CEO, Voulez Capital.

Health & Nutrition

The Women Changing the Face of Healthcare

This event showcased three trailblazing and celebrated female entrepreneurs, whose work is changing the face of healthcare and saving lives across the globe. Speakers included Temie Giwa-Tubosun , Founder and CEO, LifeBank; Peter Drobac, Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship; Laura Stachel, M.D, M.P.H, Executive Director and Co-founder, We Care Solar; and Daniela Terminel, CEO, Global Health Corps.

Justice & Equality

The Future of News: Evolve or Perish

In this intimate conversation, Chief International Anchor for CNN, Christiane Amanpour, delved into the future of news, the global threat to journalists and the solutions to the challenges we are facing in the digital information age.

Leadership Development

Anatomy of a Great Talk

Maryam Pasha, Director and Curator of TEDxLondon and X Equals Productions, ran this workshop to help members take their “idea worth sharing” and develop it into a fully-fledged talk that will empower their audiences to take action.

An Insight into Social Impact

Our first year saw the launch of our Insights page, featuring event reports, interviews, guest articles and more. Highlights include speaking to Fatima Bhutto about her latest novel, The Runaways; interviewing our Head Chef, Ben Lines, about building a sustainable menu; exploring the world of ocean conservation from champion free diver, Hanli Prinsloo; and learning about building a successful movement from some of the world’s experts on social activism.

Guest Chefs

Guest Chefs

Our guest chef programme features several globally acclaimed chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants, notable for both their culinary talent and social impact. Over the last year, we’ve welcomed chefs from Germany, France and the US, with influences stretching from Japan to Mexico.

Our first guest chef was Massimo Bottura , one of the world’s most creative and socially responsible culinary figures. In September 2018, he served members and their guests a menu from the acclaimed Osteria Francescana in Modena, named the World’s Best Restaurant.

Conduit Conversations

In June we launched our podcast, Conduit Conversations, hosted by our co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Paul van Zyl. Since launch we have had 4,000 listens.

The world I want to see is a world in which everyone, matter where they are in society, should be inspired by purpose.”
Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO of Oxfam
Wikipedia is not anti-expertise; it's about recognising that expertise is much more widely distributed in society than we previously thought.”
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
The challenge is to keep thinking that it's possible to change things. There is always something that's possible.”
Baroness Lola Young
Humanity is capable of so much more than we're seeing right now. It's not 'what do we do' but 'who do we want to be'.”
Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC
I believe we're going to see unicorns that don't just make a billion dollars but that touch and improve a billion lives.”
Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of Global Steering Group for Impact Investment
I think civil disobedience is needed now more than ever before. The very future of humanity is at risk.”
Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General of Amnesty International

Did You Know?

The majority of our events are inspired by members. In fact, 43% of speakers have come from within our community!

Looking Forward

There’s plenty more inspiration to come in our second year, including series two of Conduit Conversations, more culinary talent from across the world popping up in our 4th floor Restaurant and working groups to bring the community together around key issues. Upcoming speakers include Al Gore, Mohammad Yunus, Jacqueline Novogratz and Marie Forleo.

32 companies have been selected onto the Conduit Connect platform so far, with 12 of those being Conduit members and 40 members participating in the selection process.

To date, Conduit Connect has raised £4.1m for 3 companies.

They’re on track to reach their target of £5.7m by the end of 2019.
10% of our members have participated in the selection committees, joined the investment platform or given their time and input to the companies.

Investing for Change

CoGo

Investing for Change

CoGo

CoGo is an app-based platform helping consumers to find businesses that align with their values, and entities to understand their customers’ values, and return on sustainable investment.

The Conduit Connect was fundamental to the success of our seed round. The team successfully connected us with not only the right investors, but investors that we wouldn’t have been able to access otherwise. The success of our seed round allowed us to also make a success of our UK launch, our user base is growing every day, driving more consumers every day towards value aligned businesses” - Ben Gleisner, Founder & CEO, CoGo

Partnering for Impact

Chivas Regal

Partnering for Impact

Chivas Regal

Chivas Regal, one of our impact partners, partnered with The Conduit to design and produce an intensive Accelerator Programme for their 20 Chivas Venture finalists from around the world. It was a packed three days of workshops, from a session on measuring impact to coaching around pitching under pressure, with members of the two communities coming together to form a global, like-minded group of peers, mentors and investors.

Looking Forward

We launched Conduit Capital to deploy the resources available within the Conduit community (knowledge, networks and capital) to scale high impact solutions globally. Underneath the Conduit Capital sits the Conduit Connect, as well as upcoming strategies focused on investment funds and philanthropic initiatives. Members can also keep an eye out for a new investor dinner series, coming soon.

Outside Digital Agency

Thanks

Having had a glimpse of what we have been up to over the last year please get in touch with membership@theconduit.com with any of your thoughts and feedback.

By Community, For Community

This report was designed & developed by Outside, a social enterprise cofounded by Under 33 member Vincent Sanchez-Gomez. Outside is an impact driven digital agency / startup studio based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Outside designs and builds digital products (websites, mobile apps...etc.) as a service, while also actively investing in elevating the emerging technology community in Nepal.

Thanks to all of our members and our team for making this a great first year!