Traverse welcomes new talent to board: Izzy Obeng and Maktuno Suit join as non-executive directors

05 October 2020

Traverse welcomes new talent to board: Izzy Obeng and Maktuno Suit join as non-executive directors

The Traverse team are delighted to announce that Izzy Obeng and Maktuno Suit have joined our Board as Non-Executive Directors. Izzy and Maktuno will strengthen our governance team ensuring we help our clients with evidence-based and inclusive decision making, delivering a more inclusive society with better outcomes for all.

Colleagues across Traverse are looking forward to getting to know our new team members, and learning from their experience driving positive change.

Chief Executive Terry Parker says “We had over 560 applications to join our Board and I am delighted that so many people see the value of working with Traverse. I am excited to have two such inspirational and talented people join our Board and help us build our for-purpose company”

Izzy Obeng is an entrepreneur and professional speaker leading Foundervine – a non-profit training consultancy connecting purpose-driven companies to impactful start-ups. Foundervine work in partnership with world-leading companies, government, and educational institutions to help diverse founders grow. Their ambition is to address the social and economic inequality faced by women and underserved communities when starting a business or social enterprise. 

Since 2018, Over 2,000 young people have been skilled by Foundervine programmes, over 300 startups launched with 62% female participation. Izzy has been featured in the BBC, The Telegraph, The Times, Forbes and in 2019 was named by Tech Nation as one of the 50 most influential black voices in UK tech.

Prior to Foundervine, Izzy launched the Queen Mary University of London start-up incubator and delivered large-scale talent development programmes at KPMG UK. She now divides her time between the UK and West Africa, delivering start-up and scale-up acceleration programmes designed to transform the digital innovation ecosystem.

Maktuno Suit is a business transformation expert who loves helping companies to transform themselves for the future - to find their purpose and reimagine their value to customers and the world, alongside changing their internal systems and culture.  He currently works as Global Transformation Director for marketing agency Iris Worldwide and works as a strategic advisor for start-up founders . Maktuno has a diverse background as a management consultant and spent several years working as a psychotherapist - helping to design and market services and interventions to meet the needs of groups with complex needs.  

He is passionate about inclusive practice and how it can lead to better strategic decisions and more effective products and services - that create the most good for the most people.

Maktuno is currently recording a podcast called 'The Polymath Position' that celebrates and applies diverse, multi-disciplinary thinking to tackling societal issues.   __________________________________________________________________________

Maktuno and Izzy will be working with the Traverse team to maximise our social impact, taking the lessons from across our projects and sharing the learning. To find out more about how a social impact mindset can strengthen your organization join us for one of our Traverse  Thursday sessions:

•    Evidence in Crisis Roundtable, 22nd  October

In the context of incredibly rapid policy development and the shift from narratives of evidence to data, how do we ensure that the messy, complex, subtle realities of social research plays its part. Join us to explore how definitions of ‘rigour’ are evolving to encompass legitimacy, relevancy and whether or not evidence is compelling.  To attend please email pete.welsh@traverse.ltd

•    Building Capacity for Commissioners, 4th November

Several years of tightening budgets, coupled with growing demand for services, has posed a significant challenge to commissioners at all levels. This is a call for commissioners across central government departments, local authorities, trusts & foundations to reflect on how commissioning practices can maximise social impact. To attend please email: Barbara.lozito@traverse.ltd

•    Co-production, lived experience and power, 19th November

Co-design, co-creation, co-production – we’ve seen an explosion of interest in participatory methodologies. But too often these methods have failed to live up to their potential to change the lives of service users, and the nature of service delivery. This year we’ve set ourselves a challenge of including people with lived experience as paid partners in at least 5% of our projects. Join for a challenging discussion of what researchers and commissioners need to do to achieve genuine co-production. To get involved sign up on Zoom here.  Or for futrther details contact jessie.cunnett@traverse.ltd  

Our new non-executive team will also be challenging us to keep up the momentum on inclusive practice, both in our client work and our own internal practices. For decision making to be truly based on inclusive evidence we need to radically improve the diversity of the social research sector, and its practices.  Our recent Inclusive Practice Share brought together professional researchers and commissioners from across the public and third sector to agree a set of commitments to improve our practice, find them here

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