Keeps things real. Gets stuff done. Also quite possibly the most amazing organiser in the world.
Helps people to discover fully sustainable solutions. Also takes a terrible selfie.
We are Karen and Robert Barnard-Weston and we’ve been social and eco-entrepreneurs for a little over thirty years. We also had a hand in establishing the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility consulting and education, having consulted to a wide range of multinational corporations, governments, intergovernmental organisations and NGOs since the late 1980s. Robert teaches ethical business practice at three UK universities.
As well as co-launching five children, we have co-founded an eco-hotel, an eco-artisan bakery business, an industrial-scale composting company and the UK Farmers’ Markets Movement. All are still thriving.
Last year our youngest child went off to university, leaving us, for most of the year, ‘empty-nesters’. As we talked and walked the dogs, we explored many possibilities (should we sell the house, buy a camper van and re-live our younger days travelling together? What about writing that novel or learning to sculpt?)
Talking with our colleagues, our customers, our students, our employees, our friends, our millennial daughters and sons and their friends, we realised that several things were coming together:
More and more people want to build careers which provide meaning as well as money
They also want to know how to reconcile professional life with family life
Tech and data are changing daily experiences quite fundamentally – and exponentially
When tech and data are combined with explosive human passion, pride, productivity and personal progress, we can change anything we want
There are plenty of great social and environmental challenges for us all to work on…
Slowly we began to realise that Bloomfield House still had a role to play – it could be the place for people to explore and learn, debate and define, take heart and take action.
So we didn’t sell the house or hit the road. We began work on creating courses, seminars, trainings, masterclasses and celebrations - all aimed at building better futures.
And Bloomfield Groups were born…
OUR PARTNERS, SPEAKERS, FACILITATORS, CLIENTS AND OTHER CO-CONSPIRATORS IN BUILDING BETTER FUTURES
It has been - and still is - our privilege and pleasure to work with some of the greatest luminaries in the fields of sustainability, social justice, personal and organisational development. We have been very fortunate to have learnt our trade along with them. When we first started on this journey, not only were there few people doing this stuff, there wasn't even a name for it! Eventually, terms like 'Corporate Social Responsibility' began to emerge and those of us who had been busily working in the field under many ad hoc titles found ourselves being co-branded as a profession.
Today we are, if anything, more picky than ever in the selection of our colleagues, clients and co-conspirers. We continue, however, to bring world class players to the table for each project we take on.
We are about (it's like herding extremely busy, very clever cats) to announce the full schedule and forthcoming line-up of speakers, facilitators, inspirers and activators for the new season of Bloomfield Groups events. To give you a taste, some early drafts are posted below - please forgive the grainy photos: we're working on getting round to all of them to shoot better ones!
You can also get a sense of the quality and range of our many rich and rewarding client partnerships over the years by visiting our clients page here.
Prishani is a leader who inspires great leaders. She has achieved a succession of remarkable breakthroughs in making the world a healthier, happier, more just and sustainable place. She has worked in over 20 countries and engaged with many luminaries. Including former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, leaders in the Vatican, the UNDP, the World Bank and many CEOs, Boards and Executives from companies in a wide range of sectors. Prishani is motivated by inspiring the kind of leadership required for a thriving planet. She is passionate about developing systemic responses to the challenges facing society and the more than human world.
A pioneer and innovator in sustainable city development, Niraj is an extremely rare type of individual who combines public with private sector expertise, localised start-up agility with international impact, entrepreneurship with penetrating policy wisdom, whole system thinking with laser-like attention to detail. Now working with a diverse range of middle-income countries on attaining their UN Sustainable Development Goals, Niraj started his career in the Fast Stream of the UK Civil Service and has since worked in banking and in consulting. His academic achievements are similarly wide-ranging, combining undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in science, management and sustainability.
Bob Hudson has enjoyed a long and distinguished career building fairness, sustainability and true compassion into the UK’s healthcare culture and practice. Working at the most senior levels and in very challenging times, he has remained deeply committed to the improvement of population health, the reduction in health inequity and the development of health systems that enable people and communities to flourish. Bob's work has taken in the management of acute hospitals, community and mental health services, national strategy development and has included CEO roles of both commissioning and providing organisations. He took up the post of CEO at Public Health Wales, the national public health agency for Wales, in 2009. Since his recent retirement from senior management positions he has begun exploring high-efficacy interventions as an independent specialist, while occasionally putting his feet up for a change.
Inspired and inspiring, Rachel may have done more to advance sustainable healthcare than anyone else in the world. Rachel is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare in Oxford. She has a Human Sciences degree (Oxford) and a Master’s degree in demography and epidemiology from the London School of Economics. She worked in public health initiatives in the UK, Georgia and Kazakhstan before helping to develop The Cochrane Library during the first decade of its life.
(He takes an even worse selfie than Robert :)
We first met Shaun when we were working on developing an EU-funded eco-tourism programme in Uganda. Shaun is a superlative tourism professional who is passionate about international development and sustainability. He has experienced most angles on the tourism and travel sector, working across four continents. He has been an eco-lodge owner and operator, head of a national tourism board, and a government advisor. For the last ten years he has worked as a tourism development specialist with the World Bank Group.
Gavin explores the impact of the web on business, society and culture.
He has co-created over a dozen data-driven organisations to bring multidisciplinary leadership to the digital age. These have addressed data infrastructure, policy, science, communications, innovation and skills across fintech, climate change, supply chain management, modern slavery, the circular economy, digital media, telecoms, machine learning, blockchain and the internet of things. He co-chaired the development of the Open Banking Standard and was founding CEO of the Open Data Institute.
He is currently convening federated partnership programmes to help address the Sustainable Development Goals.
DR JEAN BOULTON
Jean is one of those rare people who combines right-brain and left-brain brilliance in an integrated system of understanding and action. She has built an exceptional career combining high-level scientific rigour with compelling narrative approaches to building better futures. Beginning with a PhD in complexity physics at Cambridge University, Jean went on to study and practise in organisational complexity and improvement. Focusing on sustainability and social justice, she applies this unique model to systems at all levels from local community wellbeing to international development. Her co-authored book Embracing Complexity deals with the importance of understanding the emergent properties of whole systems through the lenses of chaos, complexity and Gaia theories.
PROFESSOR PAUL CLARKE
Paul Clarke is Global Director of the Pop-Up Foundation, and catalyses profound social and environmental improvements everywhere he pops up . He is Professor of Education at St Mary’s University London, a writer, broadcaster, and teacher. Amongst his many innovative sustainability projects which extend across every continent worldwide Paul leads the Millemont Naturally Smart Centre at a Chateau de Millemont South West of Paris, works in the Western desert with indigenous communities in Central and South Australia, and works with with coffee farmers in Guatemala, Uganda and East Timor. Paul has spoken at many conferences, TEDx, BBC, and the UN and runs the popular Naturally Smart People podcast on iTunes.
Andrew Jamieson is an astonishing person. As a young and already extremely accomplished man he recognised the profound need to pursue a career that combines prosperity with purpose. Already a qualified barrister, he turned his back on the law and became a highly successful entrepreneur in the field of classical music. While also bringing beauty and solace to countless thousands in this way he has spent thirty years learning the depths of healing offered by the great psychological schools and traditions. An authority, inter alia, on Jung, Andrew both practises psychotherapy and teaches other professional psychologists. He is particularly recognised for his groundbreaking work on eldership and the powerful life changes through which every one of us must pass.