Quakers and Business Group
Promoting Quaker values in Business and the Workplace

News - October 2015

Management Committee Meeting, Friday 16th October 2015

On an autumnal Friday afternoon Q&B’s management committee met at Friends House in London. This was my first opportunity to attend one of the group's meetings. My first impression of Friends House was of an oasis in the midst of a hectic city. Sitting in the restaurant area prior to the meeting, you get to see a whole range of people from all walks of life engaging with one another.

I have had a growing interest in the role of Quakers in business having read Quakernomics, An Ethical Capitalism (Mike King) as well as Quaker Capitalism, Lessons for Today (Richard Turnbull). The progressive ideas of Quakers in business during the Industrial Revolution have had a lasting impact on workers' conditions.

Not coming from a Quaker background myself, I was intrigued by how the meeting was run according to the Quaker Business Method. This offers the opportunity for reflection and allowing participants the space to have an honest interaction of ideas.

The Q&B group made special mention of the sad news that Friend and group member Adrian Cadbury had died in September 2015. For me this emphasised how those families that had been involved in iconic Quaker brand businesses are still having an impact in the world of ethics today.

I was interested to hear that the Q&B mentoring service has received 20 requests for support from Quakers across the UK since June 2015. Some of these requests have resulted in support coming from a specific Q&B member. In other cases no specific on going advice and support was need. Encouragingly, five new members to Q&B have joined the group as a result of these requests. I am looking to utilise the service myself shortly, so I feel encouraged to realise how successful it has been.

One of the management committee members, Sally Bagenal, spoke about the great line up of speakers for the Quaker Business Conference 2015. The conference is being held on Wednesday 4th November 2015 at Friends House with tickets at £40 for Q&B members, £60 for non-members, and £50 for students, bursaries are also available. You can sign up here or via Eventbrite. I look forward to meeting more members of Q&B at the event.

A final point of interest was a discussion around doing an international version of Good Business: Ethics at Work, which is being looked into. This version would be aimed at business people unfamiliar with Western economy business practices. Having read this publication, the proposal of reaching a wider international community is exciting. It would offer businesses whether large of small, a valuable resource on the subject.

All in all the meeting sparked my curiosity further, so I look forward to attending the next meeting on 24th February 2016 in Birmingham.

Marius Jennings