We promised an event that would keep you sitting on the edge of your seats, and Dame Julia came up trumps

We were so pleased that we were able to facilitate the BACS Talking Pod “What leadership means when business engages in the community” a unique event for a small audience that provides an opportunity to meet and ask questions in a sharing environment.

Kindly hosted by KPMG, we promised our attendees to be prepared to be sitting on the edge of their seats as Dame Julia Cleverdon, who has acquired a formidable reputation as a challenging leader and dynamic speaker on business leadership and corporate responsibility.

She has been acclaimed for achieving significant innovation and behaviour change in UK boardrooms while Chief Executive of Business in the Community from April 1992 to March 2008.

Under her leadership the business-led organisation grew in turnover from £2 million to £24 million, with 400 staff and 850 member companies committed to improving their positive impact on society. Julia inspired businesses to work together to tackle community need, stem climate change, promote diversity and harness the engagement of business in education.

With only a short time in New Zealand we were thrilled to hear the stories of how good business practice makes fundamental changes in areas of social need, Dame Julia delivered this with humour and aplomb and indeed we really did sit on the edge of our seats and left us all a bit wiser.

An example of the comments from attendees.

“The thanks go to you for the opportunity to meet and listen to such a smart and inspiring woman this morning! I felt privileged to be part of the talking pod – lots of interesting things to consider and also to reinforce that we’re headed in the right direction as an organisation.”

“Thanks for organising Julie – really enjoyed it.”

“Thank you. She was very inspiring and I enjoyed it immensely.”

“I found the talking pod really interesting and valuable from a personal and work perspective. Dame Julia weaved things together so well. I asked myself why is she focussed on the pouring her time/ energy into a small group of under privileged boys (not that this alone is not worth doing) but then the story wove together, 70% of youth in prison can’t read/write, disenfranchised and poor white/Pakistani youth potentially causing hell, can’t have a healthy High St without a healthy back street. Along the way she is pushing over or removing obstacles that others simply have become accustomed to walking around. This message is very applicable in NZ also except I feel/hope we are in a better position to act now on these issues, rather  than allowing the social and racial barriers to build too high as appears to have happened in the UK. It’s incredible the energy that Dame Julia has, wow she is so impressive and yet so apparently down to earth, thanks again.”


“It was a privilege to attend Julie…..what a wonderful women and powerful speaker!  Loved it…. “

“Thanks Julie, It was a great session and valuable indeed! Thank you for organising this POD. I have been inspired and on a roll.”

“It was fabulous. And to think I was worried about how to greet a Dame. She is a gem and I am proud to have contributed in some way.”

“It was a great event thank you for organising – would love to have listened to Dame Julia all day!”

“How fantastic it was to meet Dame Julia. Thank you so much for inviting me.”

“Well done on yesterday’s great success, a really good event and great to chat with Dame Julia.”

‘Thank you so very much, what a great morning!  I had soooo much to say but I didn’t want to start as I thought I’d never stop. Dame Julia was a delight & some fantastic one-liners.”

BACS Talking Pods are for BACS members and non-members. If you wish to receive our regular update click here.