Educating a new creative class

Our Trustees

Where would we be without our trustees? Leading professionals across the creative, communication and education industries give their time to sit on our Board of Trustees. They meet six times a year to discuss our direction, strategy and any big decisions we need to make. They guide, advise and make sure we’re always doing our best for the students, schools, agencies and organisations we work with. Two of our trustees first joined us as students taking part in our projects. Since then they’ve graduated onto our Scholar’s Council, where they’re helping us shape our foundation’s future.

Robin Wight CVO (Founder)

Robin Wight CVO
Founder

Robin is our colourful Founder. It is Robin’s passion for nurturing future creative talent and his personal drive that has been central to the Ideas Foundation. Robin is the Wight in WCRS and has been the brains behind iconic ads for BMW, Orange, Canon, 118118. When not championing the IF Robin is a gentleman farmer and a Lt Colonel in the TA.

Jon Akwue (a Trustee of The Ideas Foundation)

Jonathan Akwue
Chair

Jonathan’s a Managing Partner at DigitasLBi. He co-founded the Great British Diversity Experiment. And he’s a Trustee of the Black Cultural Archives. In the past he’s also been a lecturer, youth worker and DJ.

Ethan Bennett (a Trustee of The Ideas Foundation)

Ethan Bennett

Ethan graduated from the School of Communication Arts after taking part in our programmes at Oaklands College. Now he’s a creative at Droga5. He and his creative partner, Matthew Butler, have mentored students at the Amos Bursary Trust.

Professor José Chambers MBE, Trustee (photograph)

Professor José Chambers MBE

José is the Chair and Founder of the Ideas College. She is a development fellow of the Comino Foundation, a charity which supports innovation in education. She was Assistant Vice Chancellor at the University of Winchester until 2010, and she’s still a member of its Centre for Real World Learning.

Naomi Desalegne, Trustee (photograph)

Naomi Desalegene

Naomi is a junior experience planner at Dare. She graduated from the Ideas Foundation Scholars’ Council and she’s got a degree in graphic design and media from the University of the Arts London. She’s also a creative mentor. Naomi chaired our most recent event at Number 11 Downing Street with Ethan.

Chris Harris (a Trustee of The Ideas Foundation)

Chris Harris

Chris is a big advocate for access to marketing and creative careers for young people from less privileged backgrounds. He’s worked as a Marketing Director in the Automotive, Financial Services, Luxury, Travel and Telecoms sectors and represents brands on the Board. When he’s not working, he’s usually travelling (especially to Italy) or fixing something (he’s an enthusiastic DIY-er).

Mark Lainas (a Trustee of The Ideas Foundation)

Mark Lainas

Mark is Managing Director of Ogilvy Change and Chief Innovation Officer for Ogilvy and Mather. Mark was last seen in the building explaining how marshmallows were helping to drive behavioural change for the National Citizen Service. Mark knew from an early age that he wanted to follow a creative career. Mark is dyslexic and is keen to encourage neurodiversity in the sector. Mark’s worked with an impressive range of clients over his careers– Coca Cola, Dove, Nestle, Tesco, and Kelloggs.

Bea Omobuwajo

Bea Aroyewun

Bea manages to make spreadsheets look like works of art (she’s our treasurer).  Bea’s worked in finance at Waltham Forest council, but she heard about us while working as a management accountant at Engine.

Richard Robinson (a Trustee of The Ideas Foundation)

Richard Robinson
Vice-Chair

Richard is Managing Partner of Econsultancy and an expert in modern marketing and digital transformation. Richard is an award-winning diversity advocate and has been included by both the FT and Management Today in their respective Top 30 lists of men championing women in the workplace.

Jenny Wilkinson (a Trustee of The Ideas Foundation)

Jenny Wilkins

Jenny was headteacher of one of our first pilot project schools in Hackney. She’s now helping the alternative creative school for 13-19 year olds, the Ideas College, with its development. And she supports real-world learning charity, Hackney Pirates and 21 Billion Education Business Partnership.

Pauline Wilson, Trustee (photograph)

Pauline Wilson

Pauline is our newest trustee. She is Operations director at Virgin Holiday and often arrives at our board meetings with suitcase in tow. Pauline is also a director of Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean.

Scholars Council

Our Scholar’s Council is getting a refresh with creative input from BBH. Watch this space to see how you can get involved.

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