Aerial view of London during a sunset with the Shard at the centre

Meet the Fellows

The Open Innovation Fellowship grants industry leaders in innovation the chance to build networks with like-minded experts and develop new strategies.

Fellows are leaders in corporate innovation, who are passionate about driving innovation that is open, effective and inclusive.

Through the programme, the Fellows are enabled to develop their own open innovation strategies informed and validated by industry experts.

The network connects corporate innovators to equivalents across sectors and provides them with peer-to-peer support groups, allowing them to unlock their organisation's innovation potential.

The Fellowship offers a much-needed human-to-human interaction and network of senior innovation leaders, which allows me to source solutions to the problems and create new innovations every day.
Sonal Lakhani 
Global Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives, Barclays UK

Fellows

Find out more about some of the Fellows in our network:

  • Manish Naik

    Manish Naik

    Principal, Digital Innovation, BP
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    Manish Naik

    Manish Naik

    Principal, Digital Innovation
    BP

    Manish is an MBA professional with 12 years’ experience in operations, consulting, innovation and programme management across various industry sectors. He is a quick learner with keen business acumen and strong analytical abilities. Manish has a proven track record in leading cross-functional and multicultural teams, across the US, UK, Europe and India. His current role is focused on scanning and evangelising digital innovations in the oil and gas sector.

  • Sonal Lakhani

    Sonal Lakhani

    Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives, Barclays UK
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    Sonal Lakhani

    Sonal Lakhani

    Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives
    Barclays UK

    Sonal is a senior leader of the Barclays Innovation team, where she heads up programmes and strategic partnerships. Sonal focuses on creating meaningful initiatives and programmes for the team. The purpose of these is to help build the supply of fintechs to the ecosystem, supporting companies to grow and scale as the clients of tomorrow; identifying early signals from startups and VCs for new markets beginning to emerge or accelerate; identifying and validating early-stage investment opportunities and venture investments creating an informational flow between the open innovation ecosystem and Barclays. She leads the global flagship programme, Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars, and Female Founder initiatives as part of her portfolio of work. Prior to working in Barclays Innovation, Sonal worked in capital markets with a focus on trading platform sales working with some of the largest asset managers, hedge funds and banks across Europe and the UK.

  • Ricardo Vidal

    Ricardo Vidal

    Head of Innovation, British Airways
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    Ricardo Vidal

    Ricardo Vidal

    Head of Innovation
    British Airways

    Ricardo is an international professional with more than 20 years of experience leading end to end transformation across multiple industries in technical and strategic roles. He possesses extensive experience in strategy and cultural change, customer journey definition, driving innovation, and delivering complex solutions, be it technical (digital transformation, new developments and new technologies) or functional (target operating models, strategies, process optimisation, workforce efficiencies and reorganisations). Ricardo is currently leading the innovation transformation at British Airways focusing on innovative change for their employees, customers and operations.

  • Tracy Walker

    Tracy Walker

    Director of Technology and Innovation, Unilever
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    Tracy Walker

    Tracy Walker

    Director of Technology and Innovation
    Unilever

    Tracy leads a global innovation team focused on engaging with innovation technologists, exploring technology trends and executing solutions that transform the business landscape. She is a believer of transformative, collaborative partnerships, and creating open and productive coalitions to solve the bigger issues. Passionate about planet and society and determined that technology has a pivotal role to play in tackling the climate emergency, Tracy and her team are also responsible for architecting Unilever’s overall sustainability technology strategy.

  • Nichola Bates

    Nichola Bates

    Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs, Boeing
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    Nichola Bates

    Nichola Bates

    Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs
    Boeing

    Nichola joined Boeing more than four years ago, following a decade-long career working with early stage and scaling startups, where she championed the role of the SME to government, particularly in the security and resilience sector. Nichola brings extensive experience of international business development and fundraising for growth, from strategy through to execution, with a wide network across governments and industry. Having also gained experience of working inside one of the world’s largest corporations, she has become even more passionate about the benefits of collaboration between startups and corporates. In her role as Managing Partner for Aerospace Xelerated, Nichola invests in and supports startups using AI and autonomous technologies to the benefit of the aerospace sector and related industries.

  • Gerard Kelly

    Gerard Kelly

    Director, UK Innovation, National Grid
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    Gerard Kelly

    Gerard Kelly

    Director, UK Innovation
    National Grid

    Gerard leads the UK Innovation team at National Grid Partners. He’s passionate about sustainability and is motivated to be part of the drive to net zero by developing the innovative technologies and impactful business models to help his company get there. Gerard has more than 10 years’ experience in the energy sector leading multi-disciplinary teams in startup and corporate environments. Gerard is a Chartered Engineer, holding an MBA from INSEAD and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

  • Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson

    Director, UKIMEA Region Board Member and Digital Leader, ARUP
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    Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson

    Director, UKIMEA Region Board Member and Digital Leader
    ARUP

    Jim is the board director responsible for providing strategy and direction for the digital transformation of the business in UKIMEA. He leads and support work to develop improved and new service offerings using digital and data-driven innovation across multiple business sectors and locations. He joined Arup in 1986 as a civil engineer. Between 2007 and 2011, he led Arup Geotechnics, Arup's specialist ground engineering consultancy practice working worldwide across all their market sectors. He subsequently went on to lead large teams for a variety of clients delivering major infrastructure projects and was also the leader of its Leeds office.

  • Gráinne Allen

    Gráinne Allen

    Director of Food & Innovation, McDonald's UK
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    Gráinne Allen

    Gráinne Allen

    Director of Food & Innovation
    McDonald's UK

    Gráinne has been Director of Food and Innovation at McDonald’s since January 2021. She has more than 30 years in the food industry and has a unique level of experience in all aspects of the food industry, particularly in the fields of innovation, strategy and change, having run many multimillion-pound product strategies in retail, manufacturing, food service and brand. 

  • Neel Patel

    Neel Patel

    Group Manager, Public-Private Innovation, Venture Innovation, Citi Ventures
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    Neel Patel

    Neel Patel

    Group Manager, Public-Private Innovation, Venture Innovation
    Citi Ventures

    Neel leads Citi Venture’s global public-private innovation initiatives. He is responsible for developing partnerships that leverage Citi’s expertise to help clients meet their policy goals in the areas of sustainable economic development, social equity, inclusion and fluency with emerging financial technology. Since 2005, Neel has held a variety of senior finance roles at Citi across London, Budapest, Dublin and New York. Prior to Citi, he worked in professional services and industry, with roles at Andersen, Deloitte and International Power. Neel is a chartered accountant and holds a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.

  • Claire Hadden

    Claire Hadden

    Director, Brand and Innovation, Greene King
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    Claire Hadden

    Claire Hadden

    Director, Brand and Innovation
    Greene King

    As the Brand Director for Innovation and the Premium, Urban and Ventures division at Greene King, Claire is establishing an innovation function, with ownership of the creation of all new concepts within the portfolio. The remit is to identify and drive execution of transformational ideas, products and business models that will achieve sustainable growth and differentiation, future-proofing the Greene King business. Innovation at Greene King will include new pub and hotel propositions, ideas, methods, sales channels and ways of working. Previously, Claire spent 17 years at Diageo across North America and Europe in the Brand Marketing and Innovation functions.

  • Jonathan Lewis

    Jonathan Lewis

    Head, Commercial Innovation, Channel 4
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    Jonathan Lewis

    Jonathan Lewis

    Head, Commercial Innovation
    Channel 4

    Jonathan joined Channel 4 in the autumn of 2012 and has performed a number of roles within Channel 4’s commercial team over the last nine years, previously leading Digital Advertising sales and strategy. Recently, he has expanded his responsibility, driving growth and innovation across all areas of Channel 4's commercial business, building upon existing successful innovations in areas such as digital and social (4Studio) and linear addressable advertising. He is also developing new revenue streams to deliver Channel 4's Future4 strategy. Jonathan is a multi-faceted commercial leader with experience delivering transformational results for both digital and broadcaster businesses.

  • Katie Mills

    Katie Mills

    Head of Sustainable Development & Innovation UK&I, Schneider Electric
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    Katie Mills

    Katie Mills

    Head of Sustainable Development & Innovation UK&I
    Schneider Electric

    Katie has spent the last 10 years working in the early stage tech community, working with startups in renewable energy tech through to cyber security innovations. She has invested in more than 30 startups as an angel investor and sits on multiple boards as a strategic advisor to startup teams. She now heads up the innovation and investment for Schneider Electric UK&I. Katie’s remit is to help identify market gaps and potential investment opportunities for Schneider Electric UK&I, and position Schneider Electric as a key part of the UK innovation ecosystem.

  • Rupert Cryer

    Rupert Cryer

    Head, Engagement (National Resilience), Cabinet Office
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    Rupert Cryer

    Rupert Cryer

    Head, Engagement (National Resilience)
    Cabinet Office

    Rupert recently applied innovation best practice as part of the COVID-19 Task Force. He has also worked at Wayra (Telefonica’s startup accelerator) and Policy Lab, won EY’s Dragons’ Den for the Civil Service, co-founded Policy School and took SKYroom's innovation spaces from idea to implementation. Rupert was a main stage speaker at Adaptive Path’s Service Experience Conference in San Francisco and is a Policy Fellow at University of Cambridge, specialising in innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • Claire Holden

    Claire Holden

    Chief Innovation Officer, Hill + Knowlton
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    Claire Holden

    Claire Holden

    Chief Innovation Officer
    Hill + Knowlton

    Claire is focused on how Hill+Knowlton (H+K) and its clients adapt to an ever-changing world, creating new communication strategies and ideas that set the agenda as well as react to it. Claire looks at how brands connect to culture and communities, apply trends and technology, and evolve to be distinctive and future proofed. Claire is responsible for H+K’s Futures Council.

    Alongside her agency-wide role, Claire leads the Adidas account at H+K, which includes global communication strategy and campaigns, as well as local execution for its London newsroom. Claire has worked with several other London-centric clients including Westfield and the London Eye.

  • Nicholas McQuire

    Nicholas McQuire

    Director, Enterprise AI and Innovation, Microsoft
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    Nicholas McQuire

    Nicholas McQuire

    Director, Enterprise AI and Innovation
    Microsoft

    Nicholas is a globally recognised thought leader and former 20+ year technology analyst with a passion for artificial intelligence and enterprise innovation. He was named among the top technology analysts in the world in 2019 and 2020 by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations. Moreover, Nicholas is a board member with entrepreneurial and corporate experience and a proven track record advising C-level executives and enterprise IT strategists. He is also a member of the CIO100 and Next CIO judging panels which recognise the most transformational CIOs and next generation of IT leaders in the UK each year.

  • Roisin Hynes

    Roisin Hynes

    Head of Digital Innovation, Customer Solutions and BIOME Lead UK, Novartis Biome UK
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    Roisin Hynes

    Roisin Hynes

    Head of Digital Innovation, Customer Solutions and BIOME Lead UK
    Novartis Biome UK

  • Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith

    Head of Innovation Ecosystems, Fidelity
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    Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith

    Head of Innovation Ecosystems
    Fidelity

    A passionate disruptor, an obsessive innovator, an inquisitive researcher and a recovering technologist. With 20+ years experience across the technology and financial services industries, Aaron has an inherent desire to uncover "unknown unknowns" and to help those looking to change the future for the better.

  • Inara Khan

    Inara Khan

    Interim Deputy Director for Digital Elective Care, NHSx
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    Inara Khan

    Inara Khan

    Interim Deputy Director for Digital Elective Care
    NHSx

    Inara is Interim Deputy Director for Digital Elective Care, working on cutting edge digital pathway transformation and strategy. She focuses on understanding what technology works and how her team builds the evidence base to scale this. Prior to this, at NHS England & Improvement, she led the work on the faster diagnosis of cancer in the Cancer team and worked on the implementation of national innovation programmes in the Genomics team and Strategy team. She previously worked in local government and as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, having graduated with a masters in International Peace and Security, and a degree in War Studies.

  • William Pryke

    William Pryke

    Head of Open Innovation & Tech Scouting, Openreach
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    William Pryke

    William Pryke

    Head of Open Innovation & Tech Scouting
    Openreach

    William is an experienced executive and Open Innovation (OI) specialist with more than 20 years exploiting disruptive technologies and delivering new solutions. Most recently, he was responsible for the establishment of the University of Suffolk – DigiTech Centre supporting academic collaboration with entrepreneurs, businesses and government. Formally, William is Head of the BT Infinity Lab, a group-wide accelerator programme supporting Consumer & Business which delivered a number of startup collaborations. Will recently joined Openreach to accelerate its OI programme.

  • Sarah Balachandran

    Sarah Balachandran

    Head of CX and Innovation, Capgemini
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    Sarah Balachandran

    Sarah Balachandran

    Head of CX and Innovation
    Capgemini

    Whether it’s planning an exciting Route 66 road trip for her family, supporting startup social enterprises or running the UK’s largest public sector specialist UX agency within Capgemini, Sarah holds three values close to her heart at all times: a relentless focus on user needs through user-centred design, bringing a creative spirit that utilises an amazing diversity and seeking out inspiring innovation in everything she does.

  • Greg Baker

    Greg Baker

    Global Head of Practice Innovation, Linklaters
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    Greg Baker

    Greg Baker

    Global Head of Practice Innovation
    Linklaters

    Greg is a qualified lawyer with 10+ years of practicing experience and a committed legal technologist. Currently, Greg heads up a team of practice-embedded innovation lawyers and a multidisciplinary innovation delivery team.

  • Verena Tse

    Verena Tse

    Innovation and Strategy Manager, KFC
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    Verena Tse

    Verena Tse

    Innovation and Strategy Manager
    KFC

    Verena is Innovation and Strategy Manager at KFC UK & Ireland. Currently, she is leading the automations and robotics pillar, hoping to change the way the in-restaurant teams work. As part of the Tech Innovation team, she also partakes in defining KFC UK & Ireland's innovation roadmap and breeding the innovation culture in other teams. Before KFC, Verena was with Uber and Gousto.

  • Rikesh Shah

    Rikesh Shah

    Head of Open Innovation, TfL
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    Rikesh Shah

    Rikesh Shah

    Head of Open Innovation
    TfL

    Rikesh leads Transport for London’s (TfL) award-winning market innovation activity to create new value for London by working with startups, corporates, academia, accelerators and venture capitalists. He set up TfL’s first Innovation Hub to help solve existing city challenges through new technologies.

    Rikesh was previously responsible for TfL’s world-leading open data programme which has 17,000 registered users and 700 apps powered by TfL data used by 42% of Londoners. An independent review valued the programme's worth to London at £130m per annum.

    Rikesh also sits on the Smart London Board to deliver the Mayor of London’s vision to make London the smartest city in the world, as well as on the Advisory Boards for Doteveryone, focusing on Tech for Good, and Citytech Collaborative in Chicago.

  • Ashleigh Monagle

    Ashleigh Monagle

    Digital Advisory - Innovation Consulting Lead, Mott MacDonald
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    Ashleigh Monagle

    Ashleigh Monagle

    Digital Advisory - Innovation Consulting Lead
    Mott MacDonald

    As a Digital Consultant, Ashleigh leads organisations through transformation with disruptive innovation that delivers positive outcomes. Often acting as an anchor for cross-functional teams, she provides both stability and connectivity when change is inevitable. These attributes have enabled fast execution and early benefits realisation for commercial success in more than 20 projects, including a 120% decrease in internal overhead cost. Ashleigh's distinctive approach to working combines being direct, collaborative and empathetic to develop fresh and innovative insight. She believes the best solutions and teams are grown in this way, providing the perfect environment for competitive advantage to flourish.

  • Annemarie Naylor MBE

    Annemarie Naylor MBE

    Director, Innovation, Seetec
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    Annemarie Naylor MBE

    Annemarie Naylor MBE

    Director, Innovation
    Seetec

    Annemarie is Director of Innovation for the Seetec Group, where she is responsible for research and development giving rise to new business. She has worked at the regional and national level in the public, private and third sectors, where the roles she has undertaken have involved her research, policy and advocacy as well as strategy development. She is also the founder of her own civic engineering business, Common Futures.

  • Tom Winstanley

    Tom Winstanley

    CTO, Head of New Ventures, NTT DATA
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    Tom Winstanley

    Tom Winstanley

    CTO, Head of New Ventures
    NTT DATA

    Tom has worked on the interface between business, experience and technology for more than 20 years in a range of industries and customer-facing business and technology roles with clients across Europe, APAC and North America. He enjoys the variety (and similarity) of challenges their clients face and building innovative solutions with his teams across the NTT DATA Group and wider NTT Group R&D community. Twice Tom has been a founding member of a digital practice, heading consulting and supporting the scale out of the organisation to deliver differently. He considers himself an information junkie and an honorary lecturer in University College London's computer science department.

  • Scott Heath

    Scott Heath

    Head of Innovation, Thales
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    Scott Heath

    Scott Heath

    Head of Innovation
    Thales

    Scott has worked in the rail transportation sector for nearly 10 years, initially joining Network Rail after completing an MSc in Programme and Project Management with a specialism in Innovation. He moved to Thales in 2019 to help manage its European Commission co-funded R&D as well as delivering the innovation roadmap. From 2021, he has assumed the responsibilities of the former Head of Innovation, leading an R&D and Technology team based in London.

  • Gursheel Mendhir

    Gursheel Mendhir

    Head of Innovation and Emerging Products, Virgin Media O2
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    Gursheel Mendhir

    Gursheel Mendhir

    Head of Innovation and Emerging Products
    Virgin Media O2

    Gursheel spearheads Virgin Media O2’s move beyond commoditised telecommunications products, to fulfil the ambition of being a complete digital experience provider. Her team imagines and creates the future of telecommunications via their cross-functional incubator focused on launching ambitious digital products in entirely new markets. They experiment with disruptive technologies and potential partnerships with startups and other companies to enable product launches.

  • Ana Maria Norbury

    Ana Maria Norbury

    Director, Global Service Design, Baker McKenzie
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    Ana Maria Norbury

    Ana Maria Norbury

    Director, Global Service Design
    Baker McKenzie

    Ana Maria leads the global service design team and plays an instrumental role in leading Reinvent, Baker McKenzie's innovation programme. The service design team uses design thinking methodologies to design and implement innovative solutions that continuously improve the client experience and to grow a culture of innovation across the firm.

  • Dan Francis

    Dan Francis

    Innovation and Digital Director, BDO UK
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    Dan Francis

    Dan Francis

    Innovation and Digital Director
    BDO UK

    Dan is the Director of Innovation and Digital for BDO UK. His previous experience extends across digital products and propositions, change, strategy and innovation in large and small companies, for brands such as American Express, BP, Sainsbury's, Barclays and Google.

  • Katherine Crisp

    Katherine Crisp

    Senior Innovation Specialist, UNICEF
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    Katherine Crisp

    Katherine Crisp

    Senior Innovation Specialist
    UNICEF

    Katherine has extensive experience across different sectors and disciplines, which she leverages to support the design and scale of social innovations. At UNICEF, she is leading the implementation of a global innovation portfolio management approach, building on her experience of designing and scaling youth innovation programmes.

    Katherine initially qualified as an engineer before working as a strategy consultant. Her work spans sustainable livelihood development in India, new service and financing models for disabled children, and designing a strategy to eliminate homelessness in the local area. Katherine is a Fellow of the RSA and vice-chair of governors at Windmills Junior School.

  • Fiona Dolman

    Fiona Dolman

    Director for Transformation, London Fire Brigade
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    Fiona Dolman

    Fiona Dolman

    Director for Transformation
    London Fire Brigade

    Fiona is an influential and experienced Director with a diverse career and proven operational and transformational leadership experience - from functional to enterprise level business change delivery - demonstrating a drive and energy that has created a pattern of market service improvements. Fiona has excellent collaborative working skills. She is able to simplify complexity, influence decision makers and build strong stakeholder relationships.

  • Anna Browne

    Anna Browne

    Head of Innovation and Legal Technology, Trowers & Hamlins
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    Anna Browne

    Anna Browne

    Head of Innovation and Legal Technology
    Trowers & Hamlins

    Anna Browne leads the Trowers & Hamlins Innovation and Legal Technology team. She is responsible for the firm’s international innovation strategy, internal technology efficiencies, use of legal technology in the business and client solutions. Anna is a qualified lawyer with a background in real estate finance. Anna trained at a city law firm and prior to working in innovation, Anna was an Associate at Trowers & Hamlins.

  • Tom Williamson

    Tom Williamson

    Head of Innovation, Scottish Power
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    Tom Williamson

    Tom Williamson

    Head of Innovation
    Scottish Power

    As Head of Innovation, Tom coordinates and leads on innovation policy and initiatives across the ScottishPower group. Tom has been at ScottishPower since 2009, previously working on Westminster political and parliamentary relations across the SP/Iberdrola group’s interests in the UK. Prior to joining the company, he spent five years working in Parliament, latterly as Director of the Parliamentary Resources Unit in the House of Commons.

  • Jonathan Munday

    Jonathan Munday

    Executive Director, Strategy, Sustainability and Innovation, NatWest
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    Jonathan Munday

    Jonathan Munday

    Executive Director, Strategy, Sustainability and Innovation
    NatWest

    Jon is an Executive Director at Coutts and serves primarily as a Strategy, Sustainability and Innovation Lead for Coutts and the NatWest Group Wealth Businesses. He has been with the NatWest Group for eight years, the majority of which has been spent with Coutts. Jon holds a BA degree from the University of York, a master's from Hult International Business School and a Postgraduate Certificate from the University of Cambridge. He is a keen runner and has taken part in events all over the world including the Marathon des Sables.

  • Dan Hufton

    Dan Hufton

    Head of Technology Innovation, AstraZeneca
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    Dan Hufton

    Dan Hufton

    Head of Technology Innovation
    AstraZeneca

    Dan leads a global innovation team focused on the identification, rapid assessment, implementation and adoption of emerging technologies and novel ideas to create business benefit, aiming to influence and transform the business and taking a strategic three to five year viewpoint. He is an ambassador for diversity and inclusivity and plays a leading role in driving change and ensuring AstraZeneca is a great place to work for everyone.

  • Cathryn Evans

    Cathryn Evans

    Head of Philanthropy, Crisis
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    Cathryn Evans

    Cathryn Evans

    Head of Philanthropy
    Crisis

    Cathryn is the Head of Philanthropy at Crisis, partnering with the charity's supporters to end homelessness in Britain. She led a project in the fundraising department to develop its strategic focus for innovation, and embed the culture and processes needed to achieve this. She has been working with others across Crisis to improve the pathways to market for new product development and get buy-in for cultural change. Before joining Crisis, she raised funds for the Liberal Democrats while they were in government and for Britain Stronger In Europe during the European Referendum campaign.

  • Tanveer Mohammed

    Tanveer Mohammed

    Head of Innovation, UST Global
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    Tanveer Mohammed

    Tanveer Mohammed

    Head of Innovation
    UST Global

    Tanveer heads up the Innovation Practice at UST Global, where he works on emerging technology across fintech, retech and healthcare sectors throughout the UK. He splits his time talking to various stakeholders across a variety of clients and technology experts across UST – bringing them together to accelerate innovation.

Become a Fellow

Apply now or speak to a member of the Open Innovation Fellowship team for more information.

Find out more

Become a fellow

Apply now or speak to a member of the Open Innovation Fellowship team for more information.