On Thursday 28th January Julia Bayer, Forum For Jewish Leadership (FJL) Alumnus and Economic Trade Officer at the Israeli Embassy, organised and chaired an evening on Politics, Business and Philanthropy at the BT Tower in London.
FJL exists to provide intelligent and ambitious future Jewish leaders with an in depth understanding of the theory and practice of Jewish Leadership as well as Jewish perspectives on a host of legal, political and social issues associated with the modern world.
The evening consisted of a panel discussion with Sir Vince Cable, Helen Lewis, Isabel Hardman, Mike Hodgson and Adam Cannon and revolved around the theme of ‘Business, Politics and Philanthropy’ exploring the way in which these outstanding individuals have developed their careers whilst giving back to the community too.
Organiser and panel moderator Julia Bayer said the evening originated when she happened to come across an article written by David Brooks, the esteemed New York Times Columnist, called ‘The moral bucket list’.
The article explored the idea of man’s two virtues – the resume virtues’ and the eulogy ones. He described the resume virtues as the skills one brings to the marketplace, whilst the eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at one’s funeral. She went on to say that ‘Whilst we all know that in life it is our eulogy virtues that are more important than our resume ones, today we live in a culture where often this is easy to forget, our career success is frequently put at the expense of other aspects of our life, family, friends and charity work. Ultimately, though, if we were forced to question, what mattered most if our time was cut short, would we still act in the same way?’
The panel gave an insight into both their professional and personal lives, emphasizing the danger in allowing you career to define your worth. Sir Vince Cable spoke about his varied career path, from science which he studied at Cambridge, to life as an Economist, Author Parliamentarian and culminating in his cabinet position of Business Secretary in the last government. He then went on to discuss his turbulent start in his personal life, which framed his stance on inequality and drove him to be an active supporter of the PKD Charity which focuses on health and well being.
Mike Hodgson, Head of Innovation Engagement at BT revealed the lessons learned during his time in Silicon Valley, how to recover from failure. In addition he told the audience of his initial reluctance to develop the israeli focus at BT. However upon landing in Tel Aviv, his stance instantly changed and 10 years later, he knows Ben Gurion security guards on a first name basis.
Adam gave the audience an insight into his role as Editorial Legal Director at the Telegraph Media Group and his involvement in both the Jewish world (Executive board member of BICOM) and non-Jewish world (Executive committee of the Media Lawyers Association.)
Isabel gave the audience an insight into her gap year. during which she worked in a church and her current thoughts on the junior doctors strike, whilst Helen explained her networking scheme ‘Schmooze and Booze’ which she set up post university, her career and her involvement as chair of the violence against women charity Nia.
The evening culminated with dessert and drinks on the 34th floor of the BT tower.