2017 WINNER: 


Reluctantly Brave helps clients navigate uncharted territory to get to their right answer. The business world has changed, markets are constantly being disrupted and companies need to work smarter to constantly adapt with speed. A new type of consultancy is necessary for this new world: Reluctantly Brave. Diversity is central to Reluctantly Brave’s ability to find the best, most imaginative solutions fast. Bringing the best out of diverse, inclusive teams means they can harness the transformative power of collective thinking for their clients. (Young) Braves are at the heart of this. They are 16-24 year olds, from a huge range of backgrounds, training as strategists through working with an interdisciplinary team, incubating their skills and receiving mentoring from Partners. They work on a range of projects, providing valuable strategic insight for the likes of Starbucks, Kellogg’s and ghd.

We spoke with Alice (Visual Strategist)  and Dawood (Leader and Imagination Officer) from Reluctantly Brave after they won The Community Organisation Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards 2017. Here’s what they had to say:

What were your thoughts on the other shortlisted nominees within your category?

They’re all amazing, the whole awards ceremony was very humbling for us as we’re a business. We were so surprised we’d won. We feel reinvigorated about the work that we’re doing, it’s easy to question your values or be questioned and it was so nice to be surrounded by so many people who supported us. As a business, we value cultural capital over capital and the National Diversity Award’s certainly captured this ethos. The nationwide extent of The National Diversity Awards was truly beautiful to witness.

What were your thoughts after winning The Community Organisation Award for Age?

We thought we might have a chance of winning because we were so different but were pretty shocked we actually won. We were so happy and to be honest, surprised. that The National Diversity Award’s was very diverse in itself. It wasn’t just about colour or gender but, refreshingly, a diversity of opinions.

What reaction have you received from supporters/fellow employees since winning the award?

There’s six of us here so we we’re all thrilled! We’ve sent it out to our database and clients in the hope that winning the award will inspire them to approach business from a slightly different angle. Some of the feedback we’ve received was very much validation on how businesses can be run and can be diverse. It’s proof rather than a constant need for us to justify ourselves and our vision. It’s validation of the fact that we can operate as a team and gain excellence together. Winning the award has given us the confidence to have some ‘swagger’ and get on with what we’re doing rather than worry.

Now that you have won a National Diversity Award, what are you going to go from here? What are your next steps?

We’re looking to create a movement forward, a movement that propagates an inclusive, caring and compassionate capitalism. Our next steps are to grow internationally. We’re growing into the US, and now have (Young) Braves across 18 universities across America. We believe as a business we are in a position to profit our local communities that we are embedded within and try to get businesses to look and learn from our operating model. From our perspective, gender and mental health are our  priority areas looking forward with (Young) Braves..

In your own words, how do you feel the work you are carrying out is making a difference?

The difference it’s making is threefold. Firstly, getting young people with a lack of opportunities employment within the creative industry –  an incredibly elitist environment, Graduates from top universities are coming to us and coming into contact with people and perspectives they’d never considered – it’s grounding. The third change is within ourselves, we are a better team that gets better results with (Young) Braves.

Why do you think it is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?

Why wouldn’t you? The world isn’t the way it was, the real world is diverse and inclusive. The world cannot move forward without change, we are the future, together.

Who or What is your inspiration?

Malcolm X, if you educate a man you educate and individual, if you educate a woman you empower a generation.

Oscar Wilde, Buddha, Jesus, Abraham, Mohammed and The Victorian Philanthropists.  

What were your thoughts on The National Diversity Awards Ceremony? Did you enjoy your evening?

We loved it, it was so much fun, we were sat next to complete strangers who were all fascinating. We are so happy, honoured and thankful to win a National Diversity Award (and were blown absolutely stunning Liverpool Cathedral).


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