Leading a Better Way


Owain Smolovic Jones – Director of Research into Employment, Empowerment and Futures, The Open University Business School

Maria Chenoweth – CEO, TRAID

Paul Sesay MBE – CEO, Precedent Group


  • Big Thinking
  • Disruption
  • Personal Purpose

Facing up to the big social and business issues of today means leadership that stretches beyond any single person or organisation.

That’s because issues such as climate change and equalities require forms of leadership that work through and influence complex systems. This is leadership envisaged as a collective and purposeful practice between people rather than viewed as equating to the personalities and behaviours of senior executives. Approaching leadership as a collective practice and as a capacity to be developed, this session will hear about some practical ways in which every one of us can build organisations that embrace a collective practice of leadership to enact positive change.

This is leadership that can originate from anywhere but whose mission is to make imaginative and creative connections that hold the potential to enact systems change. You will hear about practices of participation, collective sensemaking, conflict and communication, ways of building leadership outwards towards ever more impactful alliances for change. Pulling together insight from the cutting edge of practice and from academic study, the session will draw specifically on the experiences of enacting leadership for racial equality in business and society. It will address leadership for social and environmental justice, leadership that connects causes, people and organisations globally. It will also consider the role of digital technology in enabling and empowering form of democratic leadership.

If you want to make change this is what needs to happen and this is how you do it.
How do we steer in a strategic direction, work in collaboration with and cooperatively with others that means we don’t continue to harm our environment, increase inequality and fail to ‘level -up’ our regions?
In this session we want to look at how good leadership is key to change, and galvanise the sentiment for change, the ideas / ambition for a better future and the vision of something different and translate them into a series of actionable plans, procedures and policies for business, and society, to adopt if one wants to ‘build back better’.

Turning inspiration into ideas that create and deliver change that solves problems and reimagines our systems



The Good Business Festival is passionately non-exclusive. It’s not about what you do or who you know. It’s not about agreeing on everything all of the time. It’s about everyone working towards a better world – no matter where you’re starting from.

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