‘Powerlist 2014: Black Britain’s most influential’


Britain’s showcase of some of the most influential Black people in the UK was held at the Tate Modern on London’s Southbank last week.

Full credit must go to Michael Eboda’s Black Powerlist now in its sixth year, which seems to get bigger and better every year.

Once a year Eboda brings together an eclectic group of influential individuals to celebrate their achievements and show the world that here in the UK there is a deluge of talent. A pool of talent that ensures the UK remains a multicultural powerhouse.

It is extraordinary that on a annual basis the likes of Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam rubs shoulders with Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogo , Matthew Ryder QC, newly appointed Baroness Doreen Lawrence, footballer Jason Roberts, educationalist Dr Nicola Rollock, Bishop John Francis, the list went on and on.

During his speech to the packed audience Michael Eboda lamented at the lack of Black CEO’s on British boards. He said:

We’ve got to do something about it and so I want to announce a mentoring scheme for senior Board members."

He added:

It’s not just about mentoring. If we get this right, any board looking for talent of the highest quality will come choose talent from this group."

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and of course sought to network as much as I could. But two things struck me about the Powerlist and its potential: First, it is almost impossible to pick 100 of the nation’s most influential Black people. Of course the media love the ‘top 100’ of anything, but I think in the introduction it should say this is mere snapshot of Britain’s influential Black people.

Secondly and perhaps even more importantly, it is what you do with this group. These individuals, many at the top of their game all do great stuff, but imagine for a second if they talked to each on a regular basis, better still, imagine if they collaborated almost en mass to ensure, for example, better school achievements for Black students, more opportunities for Black business entrepreneurs, and of course my own arena, greater political empowerment..

In one extra ordinary moment the Powerlist would be transformed into a Powergroup. Now that would be something to truly celebrate.

Simon Woolley