Entrepreneurial, innovative, creative
Strategy, futures, systems
Collaboration, facilitation, brokering, networks
Risk, resilience and crisis management
Building and leading infrastructure for change
"mechanical engineering degree", "queen's univerity", "front-line aid worker in conflict and refugee situations"
In 1999 I moved to the UK and began working with systems. Over the next decade I promoted the Sphere standards for quality and impact measurement, and delivered over 80 contracts as an independent consultant. I worked for many multi-agency system change initiatives, three different UN agencies, and the Humanitarian Futures Programme at King’s College London. I designed and led training programmes, facilitated strategy processes, and advised on organisational development. I started a PhD at Kings, married a German, became European British, we settled in south London and had two kids.
"multi-agency system change initiatives"
I was selected to lead the Start Network as it emerged to become an explicit effort to improve the humanitarian aid system. The following 9 years were a culmination of my career experience to date. We explored different financial, organisational and technology innovations in creating a new economy for humanitarian aid including: pooled funds, parametric insurance, blockchain, tiered due diligence, impact and evidence – all built upon a membership network structure that provided the advantages of global scale to legitimate and empowered local organisations. We successfully transacted a pioneering insurance policy for drought in Senegal and received a pay out. We created the world’s first pooled ‘crisis anticipation’ fund, to deliver funding before an event occurred. We designed a credit facility. We explored other forms of social finance including impact bonds. We scoped out a family of funds structure for a network financing facility with support from the World Bank. The Start Network today is a known and respected entity in the humanitarian aid system. It was an exciting and delicate balancing act – working with incumbent structures and incentives. Finally, after 9 years we achieved a significant milestone – spinning off a new independent charity to nurture the future growth of the Network.It was time to hand over to new leadership with fresh ideas and energy. I began to write a book about system change.