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

News - July 2015

AGM & Management Committee, Friday AGM June 24th 2016

We did conclude among ourselves to settle a meeting, to see one another’s faces, and open our hearts one to another in the Truth of God once a year, as formerly it used to be.
- Yearly Meeting in London, 1668

Twenty members filled Room 4 at Friends House, London, to attend the AGM- the first of the new charity after the dissolution of the old charity of the same name - which was brief and capably clerked by Paul Whitehouse.

Most of the group then stayed for a meeting of the management committee. This meeting was open to all members not just trustees.

To begin there was a discussion about the results from the Strategy Day held in May at Coventry Meeting House. These will continue to shape the way that Q&B operates and develops as an organisation.

‘Good Business: Ethics at Work, Second Edition 2014’

Hearing about the current and potential translations was exciting. We asked for a report from the Development and Working Group, on the possible release of the contents through a license or alternative usage of the structure to spread it wider than Quaker circles.

Events and gatherings

Cancellation of the spring gathering was disappointing, but the reasons and the analysis of responses were interesting. We agreed to take them in account for any planning for future events.

Our current pattern of events is a spring weekend gathering including the AGM outside of London, plus a business conference held during the week in London. Other options were explored - including using software such as Meet Up to test interest and willingness to travel to different places. We stressed that the travelling out to the various places encourages new members and different members to join in - both for networking and exploration of different areas of the country and Quakerism.

Our next event is the Conference 'The Purpose of Business', planned for November 4th 2015 at Friends House. An impressive line up - with a keynote speaker Colin Mayer Professor of Management Studies at Saïd Business School, Oxford University speaking on Quaker Capitalism, Graham Randles from the New Economics Fund talking about alternative business models, plus Giles Hutchins from the Guardian newspaper. The hope is that Q&B can provide a cradle for an ideas forum, to encourage discussions about such issues, across a wide range of people including schools.

The question was posed: Are these events more education or networking?

It was decided that this would be an ongoing and changing balance. Out of this discussion developed the setting up of an Events Working (EW) Group. This group will be taking a strategic overview, rather than organizing individual events - asking the wider membership for guidance on topics of interest and investigation, giving guidance and expertise to the organisers where required.

The possibility of more informal regional meet ups was discussed with the new EW group asked to bring forward proposals and guidelines for when these can be organised under the auspices of Q&B and when they should be independent.

Although it was confirmed that we don’t ask that we make a profit from these events it would be good to at least cover costs.

Other updates

The Quaker Bank project: money is now being pledged, but as yet there hasn't been a request for borrowing. There is an exploratory weekend planned at Charney Manor 11 – 13th September 2015.

The 20th Century Quaker Business History Project: we heard that the first PhD we’ve sponsored is going well, and that fundraising is happening for sponsoring a second PhD - curiosity about the work was expressed and updates requested.