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The Team

Ann Don Bosco

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Name: Ann Don Bosco

Role: Co-founder

Current job/background: Insights Manager at Good Business. Good Business is a strategy consultancy that helps organisations be progressive. We work with clients including Coca-Cola, Kellogg's and the Gates Foundation.

Favourite things to talk about: The weather (just kidding). I like to hear people’s stories - from where they came from and how they got where they are, to much more whimsical pointless stories about everyday happenings.

Best conversation with someone you didn’t know: I had a conversation with someone on the tube a few years ago. He’d come to the country about 10 years ago. He told me he'd work in an office but it was too controlling for him He told me he wrote the most colourful poems. Eventually I asked him what we did now and he told me he was a Big Issue seller. He told me he had a sister here but that she was busy living her life and didn’t have time for him. The man was so nice and friendly but the conversation was one of the first made me realise that in London we can become so isolated  despite the hundreds of people around us.

Polly Akhurst

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Name: Polly Akhurst

Role: Co-founder

Current job/background: I manage the alumni relations for UWC, a group of international schools which bring to- gether young people from over 150 countries and a wide range of backgrounds to study and live together. My job is a good mix of strategy and comms - I work on ways to connect our 50,000 alumni living around the world, and I also head up the organisation of the global UWC Day!

Favourite things to talk about:food(especiallytheloca- tion of new good-value London eateries, drink (!), travel, entrepreneurship, dogs (two in particular named Jambo and Plato). And of course, like Ann - I love hearing people’s stories.

Best conversation with someone you didn’t know: My entire year abroad! I studied Italian at university and went to live in the small city of Ferrara. I knew no one, and found myself making friends with everyone! From the guys who ran the café that I taught English in, to the pizzeria owners and the woman who ran the photocopy- ing shop - I still go back to visit them all! If I hadn’t made the effort to speak to them, that year would have been a really lonely one.

Frank Born

frank picName: Frank Born 

Role: Socials Coordinator

Current job/background: Business analyst at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC). I work with global stakeholders and maintain global client information throughout the firm. 

Favourite things to talk about: I'm happy to talk about anything really, but if you don't know where to start, pick one of the following topics: travelling, education, politics, physics, the universe, the future and the purpose of life. There's always something new to discuss. 

Best conversation with someone you didn’t know: Best? There are quite a few! Some of the most recent ones were with a scientist in computational biology and his work on the cellular level of plans. Another was with a programmer who wrote a programme that can read job descriptions and which then automatically udpates his resume accordingly! 

Maria Portugal

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Name: Maria Portugal

Role: Designer - 10% of inspiration and 90% of perspiration

Current job/background: Student in design – it´s Probably Hard to Describe

Favourite things to talk about: Portuguese Food, Bad Movies, 80´s Music

Best conversation with someone you didn't know: The first conversation that I had with my current boyfriend.

 

Anna Machin.

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Name: Anna Machin

Role: Chief Chatterbox & Money Maker

Current job/background: Anna heads up the fundraising team at Student Hubs, a quickly growing start-up charity working to inspire university students about social and environmental issues. Take that, recession

Favourite things to talk about: Funny stories, favourite music and food

Best conversation with someone you didn't know: My first Conversation Dinner - I sat with a lovely lady who I had never met before and haven't spoken to since, but we had a great conversation for over three hours that I still remember two years on

Sam Oxley

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Name: Sam Oxley

Role: Photographer

Current job/background: I graduated from university with a degree in media production, and now work as a Client Services Manager

Favourite things to talk about: I like chatting about food, funny and awkward moments/experiences, tasty ales and crap TV

Best conversation with someone you didn’t know: I tend to remember conversations that have made me laugh. I remember I had a conversion with a guy on a bus, going into work when I was living in Newcastle. The discussion got onto who we preferred, Ray Mears or Bear Grylls. In the end we decided Bear Grylls would be more fun at a party, but if we were stuck in the outback, there'd be no doubt that we'd rather have Ray Mears about.

 

Varun Sarna

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Name: Varun Sarna

Role: Head of Marketing

Current job/background: Marketing for tech start-up, Bondable

Favourite things to talk about: hypothetical scenarios, cricket

Best conversation with someone you didn't know: A conversation I had with an elderly man from Trinidad. We began talking about smartphones and whether they were useful or not - he believed they were a distraction. We both agreed, but their existence was quickly justified by a cricket news app.. We ended up talking about the match that was happening that day and games that we'd played in.

Anne Pushpanathan

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Name: Anne Pushpanathan

Role: Finance

Current job/background: 3rd Year student of Mathematics

Favourite things to talk about: Lot of things! Music, books, video games, food & baking, the quarter life crisis, various TV shows that I’m obsessed with (Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, GoT), travel – I love hearing other people’s travelling adventures. Plus stuff to do with Maths and the economy because I am a bit of a nerd.

Best conversation with someone you didn’t know: My friend and I had just finished watching the Killers perform in Hyde Park; all the commuters on our tube carriage were fellow concertgoers catching the last tube home. I had a lovely music related conversation with the couple sat opposite us but the best thing was someone started singing “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” (from a Killers song) and the entire carriage joined in – we were pretty much all strangers but we were all singing and laughing together and it kind of shows how amazing being open and talkative can be.that we'd rather have Ray Mears about.