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

News - February 2016

In all 14 diverse individuals came together for the first Quaker and Business Group management committee of 2016. Having not realized that the Quakers had a conference centre in Birmingham, I was pleasantly uplifted to arrive at a very welcoming Priory Rooms centre.

New clerking team

This proved to be a humbling meeting for me as Wendrie Heywood and myself were both co-opted to the Management Committee as trustees, in addition to taking on the role of Co-Clerks with Elizabeth Redfern. Chris Wallace will also be a trustee and Assistant Treasurer to Paul Whitehouse. Since making contact with Elizabeth back in 2015, I have received warm encouragement and support from various Q&B members. I hope to be able to bring my own personal skills and energy to the group as well as developing on the strong stewardship offered by the existing management committee. Both Wendrie and myself would welcome contact and input from Q&B members as we undertake our roles.

One of my first actions will be to work alongside Alistair Heslop and the Development Working Group to engage members through new methods apart from the standard Q&B emails, minutes and reports. This was one of the main requests that have come out of the 2015 Member Survey. As such, members are actively encouraged to get involved with The Development Working Group to express their ideas of how the group can evolve going forward.

New research proposal into contemporary Quaker business practices

Q&B member Nic Burton, Newcastle Business School, spoke about research he is looking to undertake into contemporary Quaker business practices. Although information is available on historical Quaker business work, little research has been done on the effectiveness of the use of Quaker business methods for modern organisations. As this matter is close to the heart of the group, the Academic Research Working Group will help Nic go through his research and funding objectives. Q&B members can download Nic's initial research proposal - you will need to be logged in to the website to do this.

Q&B membership growing

Additionally encouraging news is that Q&B’s membership continues to grow with a total of 161 active members. A total of 18 new members joined in 2015. Honorary membership will also on occasion be given to commend individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Q&B over a number of years. Another criteria would be for individuals have achieved significant public recognition for work in their field.

Building on the success of QBC'15

Lastly, I would like to make special mention of the Quaker Business Conference held back in November 2015. The day looked at the purpose of Business and proved to be a real success with 92 people in all in attendance. The presenters spoke on a range of dynamic topics and helped shine focus on innovative ways of ethical business working in our complex and ever changing world.

Looking forward, our 2016 Gathering will be held on Saturday 25th at Dorking Meeting House. The event is being organised by Ivan Hutnik and the subject centres on the questions;

  • What would today's Cadbury look like?
  • Is there a distinctive modern Quaker organisational design?

Q&B members can download the paper on Ivan's thoughts - you will need to be logged in to the website to do this.

Marius Jennings