I am the Founder and CEO of TIE. Born in South Africa. Grew up in Canada. Had an exchange in Thailand and moved to London UK where I worked in advertising.
I believe in the power of business and leadership to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. In 2005 I moved to Brazil and launched TIE. My goal was to unleash the potential of future leaders through self-discovery and experiential learning. And positively impact communities around the world.
TIE’s clients are some of the world’s biggest companies, and we help their people develop the vital competencies, innovative thinking and confidence necessary to drive their companies into the future. As each year passes, customers and employees alike are more worried about the purpose of the corporation. And TIE is helping companies and their leaders learn how to reach the societal and environmental demands of our age.
In direct response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 around the world, we went virtual, adding more opportunities to TIE's portfolio. We also launched our TIE Accelerator programme in August 2020. Here we allow individuals with the opportunity to make a real impact in their lives through life changing learning opportunities, whilst making the world a better place, without being sponsored by their companies.
An entrepreneur at heart, fascinated by leadership development, purpose, and sustainability, I have made it my mission to see just what is possible when you connect private sector skills, with the social sector, to make change.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (9)
Power of Business and Leadership
Diversity & Business Education
Cultural Intelligence & Intercultural Competence
Intrapreneurship (Corporate Entrepreneurship)
University of Winnipeg: B.A., History and Economics 1999
Western University, Ivey Business School: H.B.A., Business Administration 2001
Thammasat University: Business Exchange Programme with the Richard Ivey School of Business, Honours Business 2001
Simon Rogerson, Co-Founder and CEO | Octopus Group
At Octopus, we think that to learn and grow as a person, you need to take chances and do new stuff. We love how TIE works because they attract caring people who have valuable skills and are willing to be thrown into the deep end. Then they match those people with projects where they can make a big difference. That’s how TIE gets such fantastic results.
Susan Min, Account Director | VMLY&R
Professionally, I think I’ve grown into being a more conscientious, well-rounded team member, striving to listen effectively and combine others’ input with what knowledge I may have in a given area. Moreover, I think I’ve grown into becoming more comfortable [and confident!] in taking a leadership position, leveraging my skills productively and believing in the contribution I can make.
Deborah Ahenkorah, Founder and CEO | The Golden Baobab
The test of true partnerships is in the tough times and I’m so grateful for TIE’s tenacity since the pandemic hit. The organization has shown a commitment to their community of social impact organizations when we have needed the support the most. The resulting new program is brilliant and innovative while still completely authentic to the TIE brand. You know an organization, its work and its brand is powerful when you will miss them and feel their absence if they stopped operating. I believe what TIE has shown this year, when so many social impact organizations need help getting on their feet, is that its work and innovative model is indispensable.
Sir John Hegarty, Co-Founder | BBH London
It isn’t just charity. It’s a process of our people taking their skills and coming back with skills themselves.
Elisa Birtwistle, Director | Futures Company
I’ve realised that all of the wonderful experience and confidence I’ve built in doing my job means I very rarely feel the rush of being completely and utterly out of my comfort zone. TIE will allow me to be inventive in a new context and test myself in areas in which I have less experience.
Conor Fox, Director | Hestian
The marketing leadership from TIE has been invaluable. One of our main products, The Maeve stove, which the launch campaign was organized with help from TIE, had sold 500 stoves over two years before TIE’s help. After the TIE event (30 days after the start of the TIE project), Maeve sold 10,000 stoves. 4 years later we are close to reach 400,000 households. It seems that almost everyone in Malawi is now aware of the stove and its benefits.
Carter Murray, Global CEO | FCB
What we do matters. And no place is this more demonstrated than with this program, which allows our people to flex their muscles as marketers to help others and learn invaluable entrepreneurial skills along the way.
Ryan Fisher, Managing Director | Wieden+Kennedy
At the onset of this project I knew I wanted to make a difference, do a bit of good, and experience a totally different culture. What I maybe hadn’t considered was the impact this experience would have on me, my outlook and the direction that my life/career would take afterwards. The time I spent in this Brazilian city would sow a seed for the type of working experience that I craved post the project. An experience you don’t get from working in an environment where everything you need comes pretty easily.
Media Appearances (5)
Perceiving the world differently...and how to make it useful
The Foundation online
Every day the sun comes up over the houses at the end of our road, to the left of the front door. And every day it goes down over the trees to the right. It’s obvious that the sun goes around us, and even if you still thought think the Earth was flat, it’s still clear that the sun is doing the moving.
Ten questions for The International Exchange
Octopus Group online
The International Exchange (TIE) connects people from the private sector with social initiatives around the world. We asked CEO and founder Philippa White to tell us how TIE got started, and her hopes for the future.
An Original Approach to Leadership Training
Article published by Market Leader, in January 2017. More at theinternationalexchange.co.uk
From Shoreditch to Uganda: advertising in a different context
The Guardian online
The opportunity to go to Uganda arose at work. You could apply do a placement with an NGO, through a programme called the International Exchange (TIE). TIE pairs the expertise of communications professionals with the needs of non-profit/NGOs to create sustainable change – contributing skills that these organisations need but rarely have the resources to pay for.
A Catalyst for Change
The Marketing Society online
He fought tirelessly against apartheid in the field of worker’s health, supporting trade unions in their battles for healthy workplaces, found himself sprayed with purple paint on one occasion when he was part of a team of medics supporting a protest march (it was a way to tag those fighting against the regime), and he was appointed as Nelson Mandela’s personal doctor during the first round of negotiations with the Apartheid government.
Event Appearances (5)
The Foundation Forum: Perceiving the world differently....and how to make it useful London, UK
Curator and Host
The Big TIE Debate: Does Purpose Pay? The Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) London
Bloomfest London, UK
WPP Fellows Weekend Chateau de Touffou, France (Ogilvy family residence)
Brief Curator and presenter
Young Lions Digital Competition Cannes Advertising Festival, France
Sample Talks (3)
The Power of Turning the World on its Head
It's easy to get stuck in a rut. Doing similar things every day. Thinking the same way. Meeting the same people. This is not the answer to finding new ways of doing things. Solving new problems. Or being inspired. Talking through experience, I talk about how breaking out of my bubble has lead me down the path I'm currently on. And how, along the way, I have fundamentally changed many other people's lives as well.
30 Days to Change the World
The private sector’s guide to making the world a better place. The purpose of this talk is to inspire professionals from the private sector, and through drawing on our experience of over a decade working in this area, help people see how they can realise the power of what they know and tangibly make the world a better place. All in 30 days.
Be the Leader the World Truly Needs Now
I did a business degree. It was a good one. But I didn’t learn about the power of the private sector to make a difference. Where were the regular discussions around transparency? Purpose? Trust? Authenticity? Shared value. Where were the discussions around leading with the heart? But the pandemic has changed the rules of the game. Leadership has been redefined. Leadership now requires a social component. The soft skills are becoming more critical: Cultural intelligence, conscious leadership, purpose, self-awareness, authenticity, trust and emotional intelligence. So the question is – how do you hone these skills to thrive as a leader in today’s world?
- Corporate Training
Going barefeet in Zambia: volunteering to change young livesOctopus Group
2019 Now that Claire Cunningham is back from her month-long placement with Zambian charity Barefeet Theatre, we asked her to share her experiences from week to week. In January 2019, we spoke to Claire Cunningham, Investment Administrator for Octopus Ventures, as she prepared for her month-long placement with Barefeet Theatre, a charity in Zambia.
Volunteering overseas: using your initiative to make a differenceOctopus Group
2019 Emma Ryan recently returned from a month-long volunteering placement with Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre. Read about her experiences below. Thanks to The International Exchange – an initiative that places volunteers with social enterprises in developing countries – Emma Ryan was given a month-long assignment with a charity in Laos in south-east Asia. To use its official name, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shares borders with China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Life in Laos: five unforgettable moments from my TIE volunteering assignmentOctopus Group
2019 Emma Ryan works as Head of Servicing and Legal for Octopus Real Estate. In June, Emma left the comfort of her desk to spend a month in Laos, on a volunteering assignment on behalf of The International Exchange. Here, Emma shares five of her most memorable experiences.
Felicia’s five most memorable moments from volunteering in MyanmarOctopus Group
2019 We asked Felicia Kodderitzsch, Business & Operations Manager for Octopus Cash to tell us her top five most memorable moments volunteering with educational charity Prospect Burma in Myanmar.
The power of data: improving education in MyanmarOctopus Group
2019 In 2019, three more Octopus colleagues are preparing to travel overseas, thanks to Octopus Giving’s volunteering partnership with The International Exchange (TIE). We spoke to Felicia Kodderitzsch, Business & Operations Manager at Octopus Cash, about her upcoming project in Myanmar.
From London to Malawi: turning disadvantaged youth into entrepreneursOctopus Group
2018 We wanted to give volunteers the opportunity to broaden their horizons and try their hand at putting their business skills to good use in completely different surroundings. Working together with TIE, which links charities with corporations that are keen to provide volunteers, felt like a great way for the people who worked at Octopus to gain new experiences and skills, before returning to work with fresh insights, motivation and a greater sense of purpose.
Using digitisation to help transform Brazil’s education systemOctopus Group
2018 Earlier this year, through a partnership with The International Exchange (TIE), we gave two Octopus people the opportunity to apply their skills and experience by spending time volunteering with a charity based overseas. This is Amira’s story.