We’ve touched a few times recently on the growing trend amongst organisations to eschew public social media in favour of building their own private digital environments, creating and curating a safe engagement space for their respective communities.
Today, we have possibly the strongest example yet of this in the UK with the launch of vocL, a new digital mentoring platform directly connecting emerging young leaders with experienced CEOs, business leaders and entrepreneurs.
I’m sharing the press release below but before I do, I just wanted to say that I am so proud to be one of vocL’s “business leaders spearheading the launch” (and keeping some illustrious company, no pressure); but prouder still to have Engage on board as vocL’s digital partner.
The ‘new app’ quoted below? All built on our engagement platform and community app technology, and now the vehicle for a bold vision and some amazing voices.
Here's the release in full:
BUSINESS LEADERS LAUNCH NEW PLATFORM TO PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS VOICES
- Senior business figures including Juergen Maier CBE, Sir Charlie Mayfield, Katherine Bennett CBE, Paul Drechsler CBE and Valerie Todd CBE launch a new organisation to develop and mentor the next generation of business leaders.
- vocL will focus on developing emerging leaders so that the next generation of business talent have their voices heard in the UK’s national conversation
- vocL’s cross-generational mentoring platform aims to empower business people to develop a more influential and authentic voice through mutual learning and growth. It will be facilitated via a new app available from today.
Senior business figures have today launched a new organisation to support emerging young leaders create an independent voice in the UK’s national conversation. vocL will champion Britain’s business community, launching a new digital mentoring platform directly connecting emerging young leaders with experienced CEOs, business leaders and entrepreneurs.
The senior leaders, a founding cohort of ‘Associates’, plan to galvanise business and civic leaders to champion a better quality of debate focused on the critical issues facing Britain today. A new online platform will facilitate this conversation by developing the next generation of leaders to make their voices heard in an increasingly complex and fast-paced political and economic landscape.
vocL will support the next generation of business leaders to communicate their views on a wide range of issues including climate change, international trade, supply chain challenges, new technologies, responsible business, and the recovery from the pandemic.
The proposed Mentees and Associates will interact on a new app available from today, which will host news content, podcast, video and the functionality for young business leaders to directly connect with some of the country’s most senior business leaders. The plan is to enrol 150 mentees in the first two years. Mentees will be put forward by businesses across the UK, and will be expected to show high potential in their careers over the coming decade. The app can be downloaded and content engaged with at vocL.uk
Juergen Maier CBE, Co-founder and Chair of vocL said, “Our platform enables invaluable access to otherwise inaccessible business leaders, communication experts, and journalists, to guide our mentees in mapping out unexplored areas of development, expanding their leadership skills, and strengthening their knowledge base. It is also a space where cross-company networking takes place, allowing people to connect with each other, debate matters, and bring important issues to light.”
Henrietta Lindsell, Co-founder of vocL said, “vocL is a safe space where the next generation can talk with other, like-minded, business leaders from different generations about some of the most pressing issues facing business and society today.
“We want business leaders to have a more prominent voice in the national conversation. There are major challenges ahead for Britain; tackling climate change, recovering from Covid, and stabilising our supply chains – the strategic and pragmatic voice of business needs to be heard authentically in these conversations”
The founding Associates consist of experienced figures from a variety of sectors, spanning manufacturing, retail, financial services, as well as entrepreneurs, amongst others. The team hopes to challenge existing orthodoxy when it comes to the next generation of business leaders and how they get their voices heard in the public arena.
vocL will be run as a Community Interest Company, reinvesting profits back into the organisation to support its mentoring programme and community initiatives.
Sir Charlie Mayfield said, “The aim of vocL is to support the next generation of business leaders to find their voice on key issues that affect business and society more generally. We want to encourage more debate and more voices within that debate, especially those who may feel discouraged or less prepared to engage in it. Businesses play a key role in society. I hope the dialogues we stimulate will contribute to that by encouraging freer and more diverse exchanges.”
Katherine Bennett CBE, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult added, “We want to help business leaders and the next generation to create this new space for vocalising their opinions. Critically, we are creating an agile digital platform for those voices to be heard and we want to grow vocL as a movement that becomes inclusive and socially responsible. If we can create the conditions for a better quality of debate whilst equipping the next generation, we will be on to something really special.”
Notes to Editors
Full list of business leaders spearheading the launch of vocL as Associates and Partners:
- Juergen Maier CBE, Co-founder & Chair vocL and Vice-Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership
- Henrietta Lindsell, Co-founder vocL, Chair of Lindsell Foundation
- Phil Smith CBE, Chair IQE
- Sir Michael Rake, Chair of Phoenix Global Resources, Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Katherine Bennett CBE, CEO HVM Catapult
- Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chair QA Limited, Chair Be the Business
- Paul Drechsler CBE, Chair London First and ICC
- Ben Brabyn, Non-Executive Director Global Fund Media Ltd
- Keshini Navaratnam, Managing Director Alexandrite Global Communications
- Valerie Todd CBE, HR Director Siemens UK
- Allan Cook CBE, Chairman HVM Catapult
- Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO Ampa/Shakespeare Martineau
- Phil Wedgwood, CEO Engage Solutions Group
- Dan Lloyd, Digital Partner TLT Solicitors
- Angela Noon, CFO Siemens UK
- Ed Johnson, Mentoring platform Partner, Co-founder & CEO PushFar
- James Timpson OBE, CEO Timpson limited
vocL is a community of socially conscious inter-generational business people who recognise that they should play a more significant role in the national conversation.
vocL particularly wants next generation business leaders to be heard and have a positive impact on society. We provide mentoring schemes through which established business leaders and communications experts enable the next generation to best achieve this.
vocL is a Community Interest Company (“CIC”), with a primary focus on enabling business to improve its value and contribution to society.