London Leaders training is delivered by a range of experts, all of which we are delighted to have supporting our London Leaders programme. This training has included:  

 Training in:   Expert training from: 
 Business Planning    Lloyds Bank
 Finance & Funding for
 Green Entrepreneurs 
 Thomson Reuters
 Point Carbon  
 Developing Leadership Potential    Three Hands 
 Media Engagement   Arc 7 PR Agency 
 Communications - making sustainability sizzle...   Futerra 
 Networking   Pop Up Business School 
 Public Speaking     Pop Up Business School 

Meet the Mentors

We're delighted to have been able to draw on the insights of a wide range of expert mentors to support, advise and guide our London Leaders.  

Sumeet Manchanda
Associate Director, Advisory Services, Commodities and Energy

Thomson Reuters Point Carbon  
With wide international experience, Sumeet specialises in the low carbon built environment, carbon markets and investment due diligence. At Thomson Reuters, Sumeet has provided private investors with market analysis, market entry strategy, investment product structuring and financial and technical due diligence services. This has included investment analysis of several new companies and products. Sumeet led the scoping work on green entrepreneurship for the London Sustainable Development Commission. Sumeet has previously managed policy and projects for London government in energy, waste and the wider low carbon economy – including three years on the investment committee of a public infrastructure fund. Before this, Sumeet co-headed the international consulting team at BioRegional, and led the One Planet Communities programme.

Reasons for becoming a mentor

I was very happy to become a mentor as I see a real need for support to London’s green and ethical entrepreneurs, without which many ideas and efforts may be lost. Also I share LSDC’s desire for tangible results for London Leaders. I’m keen to do my bit!

 John Steel 
 CEO, Cafedirect 

John, Chief Executive Officer of ethical pioneer and sustainability leader Cafedirect, is a food & drink entrepreneur determined to challenge the status quo and make business a force for good. John was previously Managing Director and then Chairman of Cornish Sea Salt, where he helped establish a provenance-led sustainable food business. He brings a mix of corporate and entrepreneurial experience in B2C & B2B including food & drink and online business initiatives, from start-ups to organizations such as Nestle, Weetabix & Premier Foods

Reasons for becoming a mentor 

The London Leader programme is an opportunity to innovate, challenge and change our great City.  Being a mentor I can use my skills and experience to help those on their journey to make a real and lasting difference.  

Erik Bruun Bindslev 

Founder & Managing Director, Merika

Erik Bruun Bindslev is a true change maker in the sustainable food and beverage industry. Erik’s career spans more than 2 decades in which he has built up a responsible and long-term approach to business. From his base in London he has for 12 years been advising a prestigious roster clients including HRH Price of Wales, Sir Paul McCartney and Family and Lady and Lord Bamford.
He holds an MBA from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausées in Paris and Buenos Aires and a BA in International Business from Copenhagen Business School. 
Erik is based in London where he is active in advisory and board positions in London and abroad. In addition, Erik is the backer and founder of two successful start-ups in London and New York. 

Reasons for becoming a mentor 

Having harvested my experience from a privileged positiion of driving growth and expansion for dozens of brands all around the world.  I know a lot about what can go right but maybe more importantly, what can go wrong.  These learnings can be an indispensable help to start ups in London. 

Being a mentor for entrepreneurs is one of the small ways I can help create a sustainable future for this great city of ours. 

 Andy Dewis 
 Vice President -  Sustainability,
 Schneider Electric 

 Biography to follow... 
 Stephen Lightbowm
Head of Communications  & Engagement, London  Health Commission 

 Biography to follow... 

Vicki Hird MSc FRES FRSA (Twitter: @vickihird)

Senior Campaigner - Land Use, Food and Water Security Programme

Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland 

Vicki Hird has been working on environment, food and farming issues for over 20 years. She is an expert consultant for NGOs and institutions (including work for RSPB, WSPA, The Sustainable Development Commission, The Plunkett Foundation, ActionAid, and HEAL ) and is the Senior Campaigner heading up the Land use, Food and Water Programme for Friends of the Earth. Previously she was Policy Director of Sustain. She has launched many major food and environment campaigns, has published numerous reports and articles on the sustainability of food systems and is a published author (Perfectly Safe to Eat? Women’s Press 2000). She has an academic background in pest management and is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and RSA. Vicki is on the Board of Pesticides Action Network, the Keo Foundation, Sustainable Food Cities Advisory Board, is a London Leaders Mentor and has sat on numerous government advisory groups over the years.          

Chris Wilkie 

Plan Zheroes surplus food campaign 

Following a long and varied career in the BBC (including production, research and media asset management), Chris worked with Age Concern, Citizens UK and provided business coaching to a range of small business owners. 

He trained as a mentor while working as a senior manager at the BBC. More recently he has mentored members of the Plan Zheroes team as they make the transition from being a small team of volunteers to becoming a registered charity.

Reasons for becoming a mentor 

Having supported Lotti Henley (London Leader in 2011) as co-founder of the Plan Zheroes surplus food campaign, I would like to pass on the knowledge and experience I gained, to help future London Leaders make full use of the support and amazing network that the programme offers.  In addition, I would welcome the opportunity to provide advice on areas such as project management, communications and funding. 


Richard Featherstone 
Development Manager 

London Re-Use Limited 
Richard is a founding member of the national charity, the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN). He was chairperson for the first 10 years and is now lifetime President. His first-hand knowledge and experience in the re-use sector was forged when he managed a large-scale appliance and furniture reuse centre in Leicester city centre for 14 years between 1989 and 2005. Having moved to London, he has worked since January 2005 in LCRN to lead the development team building the infrastructure of the London Reuse Network with a multi million pound investment programme secured in 2010. 

Richard is widely considered to be a leading authority on the subject of re-use. He has undertaken numerous pieces of work on the subject, especially through WRAP tenders or specific local authority contracts. 

Reasons for becoming a mentor

The London Leader programme is what London needs; it is an excellent forum for innovation from individuals who care about making improvements in our City.  Being a mentor will give me an opportunity to share my experience, both tactical and technical, to those embarking on their challenge.  

Jono Adams 
Associate Partner 

SecondNature Partnership 
Jono has spent many years in the sustainability space advising on how to identify and realise the commercial opportunities available to corporates and organisations. With experience of working in senior positions for large multinationals such as Airbus and KPMG, as well as advising Government on new policy models related to areas such as energy and waste, he now brings to bear this experience at SecondNature, a boutique consultancy where he advises business on sustainability strategy and embedding these ambitions into practice.

Reasons for becoming a mentor 

I thoroughly believe that London can achieve the 'green growth' ambitions that it has set itself by supporting aspiring entrepreneurs looking to develop the disruptive business models so fundamental for the transition to a more sustainable economy. London Leaders is a great way to nurture this extraordinary talent and I am delighted to be involved. 


Andrew Dakers

Spark! London's Original Education Business Partnership

Andrew’s career has spanned IT at the BBC, business change management at GlaxoSmithKline, campaigning for WWF-UK and leading Public Affairs at Business in the Community. Andrew has been a parliamentary candidate (2005 and 2010) and, as a local councillor (2006-10) was a member of London Borough of Hounslow’s Pension Fund committee. He spends his evenings chairing the project to regenerate the historic heart of Brentford town centre. He has worked in Fiji, India, Uganda and the USA, and gained an MSc Development Management from The Open University in 2002.

Reasons for becoming a mentor

As a 2012 London Leader, I am passionate about the programme and keen to ensure that future London Leaders are fully supported in their journey to grow and develop their projects as I have been through 2012/13.  With a varied CV and plenty of experience of different social enterprises grappling with the challenges of growth and financial sustainability I hope I have insights to share and can provide a useful sounding board for advice.


Clive Hall
Founder and CEO Eventure Media Ltd, Founder of London Cleantech Cluster and Chair of London Community Resource Network

Clive followed a successful financial career in large and medium-sized corporates, culminating in the sale of a 3i-backed business which the team had more than tripled in size in 5 years and a year spent advising investors on potential investments in the same sector, with setting up his own business creating events and providing support services to organisations that provide clean technology products and services. Rushlight Events has the largest coverage of cleantech businesses across the UK and Ireland and, through the Rushlight virtual incubator for the last 7 years and via the Rushlight Awards, a range of early stage cleantech businesses have been supported. During the Olympics, the London Cleantech Cluster was launched and that now has a significant mentoring programme matching mentors and mentees across the whole of the UK. Last year, Clive became Chair of the London Community Resource Network which, through its subsidiary and with the support of LWaRB and WRAP, is creating the London Reuse Network, which is the infrastructure behind the development of reuse right across London, providing a template for similar activities in other locations around the world.

Reason for becoming a mentor

I have known several of the past London Leaders and mentors and realised that, through my own corporate experience and contacts with finance, potential partners and the market, I can help to provide a clear strategy and to activate that strategy in an effective way. It fits very well with my current activities with our incubator and the London Cleantech Cluster.