Meet David Bull
My career has been filled with amazing opportunities and experiences, the chance to make a difference and to meet wonderful and inspirational people. Today I divide my time between pursuing my interests in landscape photography, astronomy and family history, and working as an independent consultant, helping leaders and organisations to solve problems, meet challenges, find new opportunities and make the greatest possible difference in their chosen field.
I’ve worked for, and had the privilege to lead, many brilliant organisations. I helped one of the first fair trade initiatives in the 1970s, wrote books and campaigned for change with Oxfam, lobbied at the UN, led an international environmental NGO in Africa and helped refugees escape persecution in the 1980s, and played a leading role in the world’s foremost human rights organisation in the 1990s. For 17 years I was CEO of Unicef UK, as it grew rapidly to become one of the UK’s leading charities with an annual income in excess of £100m. Along the way I learned a lot about how organisations work, about strategy and fundraising, about leadership and about how to make a difference.
One of my senior colleagues used to describe my office as a “solution factory” – the place to share problems and find a way to turn challenges into opportunities. I hope, through my consultancy work, I can continue to help leaders and organisations to find the answers they need in order to support even more effectively the people and communities they exist to serve.
In 2016, my wife and I moved to the Welsh border, an area we have always loved, close to the book town of Hay-on-Wye and the mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and surrounded by green and beautiful landscapes and dark skies (when it stops raining!). Here I am finding more time to pursue my pastimes in between working with some wonderful organisations.
I have mentored the CEOs of some great international development and domestic charities, supported a local disability charity, identified projects for a global communications initiative, advised a wealthy philanthropist, developed a new strategy for a wonderful NGO working for children in Ghana, and supported an advocacy campaign to help redefine the vision of Global Britain, not to mention advising a blockchain/cryptocurrency business to help them make a difference for the financially and digitally excluded. I am also a Trustee of two extraordinary charities – one an innovative international development NGO based in Cardiff; the other seeking to mobilise $1billion of new investment in child nutrition.
I believe in solidarity with those who face injustice. I believe in a fairer and more equal world, an environment that can sustain lives and livelihoods into the future, and organisations that engage all their people to work together to make their shared dreams real.
I believe that organisations succeed best by building strong, inclusive, empowering cultures that enable people to take responsibility and release their talent. I believe in the power of individuals, communities and society to make the world a better place by working and organising together.
We are living in challenging times, but in many ways life on earth has never been better and that is because people with vision and determination have worked together for change.
I’m proud of the UK’s strong and vibrant third sector and encouraged that many businesses and social enterprises are looking for ways to be sustainable and deliver a social purpose. I am here to help them wherever I can.