Since becoming CEO of We Are What We Do in early 2009, Nick has significantly shaped the direction of the organisation. His vision is for a not-for-profit company that puts a stream of desirable things into the world, in demand by a mainstream consumer audience and with positive behaviours built into them, incidentally helping people to do simple, good things and addressing major social and environmental issues.
After graduating from Oxford University in 2002, Nick spent six years working on the ground in communities and nationally on social marketing campaigns, before joining We Are What We Do in 2007 and becoming CEO in early 2009.
Nick began his career as a teacher, working in the UK and abroad, and then joined Anti-Slavery International as a campaigner and fundraiser in 2003. As part of a two-year volunteer project, Nick spent seven months cycling from Cape Town to London and returned to write his first book, Blood, Sweat and Charity, published in 2005.
From 2005, Nick worked as a youth worker in Lambeth and Southwark and used that experience to go on to create a national youth engagement programme and employee volunteering scheme with T-Mobile in 2006.
Nick joined We Are What We Do in 2007 to develop their dedicated schools work, creating their children’s book, Teach Your Granny to Text & Other Ways to Change the World, and a series of national youth projects.
Nick’s background in community work and close collaboration with Founder and Co-Chair David Robinson, continues to give everything the organisation does a local focus, handing high-profile, global projects back to the people and partners that can apply them best in their neighbourhoods. Similarly, working closely with Co-Chair Giles Gibbons has given Nick and We Are What We Do the capacity to partner with and deliver work for the biggest brands in the world, including Google, Coca Cola and Starbucks.
Nick was named one of Britain’s 50 New Radicals by The Observer and NESTA in 2012, his latest paper The Incidental Effect: New Methods in Behaviour Change has been met with great acclaim and he has given talks all over the world, including at TEDx, Columbia University, the British Council, Google and the Royal Institute.
As a pragmatist, Nick is sceptical of the public’s engagement in anything unless there is something in it to entertain or interest them, and his talks follow the same principle. He is able to shed light onto contemporary social and environmental issues with an artillery of facts and statistics that question a lot of assumptions traditionally made by companies, brands, charities, community groups and local governments. He offers practical insights into behaviour-change work, elucidating what it is, why it’s relevant to every business, every organisation and every person and how it can be used to affect major global issues including obesity, global warming and the breakdown of inter-generational and inter-cultural relations.
With Nick at the helm, We Are What We Do has gathered a team of more than 20 people in London, Sofia and San Francisco, and has launched a set of award-winning products and tools all over the world, such as Historypin, Internet Buttons and Box Chicken.
As executive Director of Historypin he is also often speaks on the social aims, Linked and Open Data practices, and technology behind this global archive of social history.
Whatever business you’re in — if you want to make a difference, even change the world a little – then get to one of Nick Stanhope’s workshops. We Are What We Do don’t just talk about making a difference – they are doing something about it. Prepare to have your eyes opened.
Peter Downs, Australian Sports Commission
For a room of budding social entrepreneurs, Nick’s talk couldn’t have been more interesting. It was full of inspiring insights into the clever ways to embed positive behaviours into people’s lives and Nick’s use of WeareWhatWeDo case studies to demonstrate how useful and desirable things can effectively facilitate positive behaviours meant participants were left with tangible examples of the process of coming up with exciting products that can have a positive impact. Nick’s friendly and open style created the perfect environment for audience engagement, and his willingness to chat through our social enterprise ideas was appreciated by all.
Laura Harrisson, Imperial College
Fantastic. Our Future Leaders were genuinely inspired and we’ll be using Nick with as many Npower audiences as we can.
Clare McDougall, Npower, Future Leaders Event
Nick gave an inspiring speech, full of insights into the transformation of society and the development of We Are What We Do into a value creating marketing agency, offering both a great business solution for companies and consumers and true value towards a better society. The participants received many insights into how to serve Beiersdorf consumers in a sustainable way.
Dirk Strametz, Beiersdorf
Nick inspired our audience with his provocative and entertaining insights on how to motivate consumers to act differently. His case studies prove the value of We Are What We Do’s unique approach to behaviour change, and his delivery and enthusiasm made an already interesting subject into a compelling argument that will help change the way we think about social and environmental issues.
Roy Sharone, Liberty Global
For the French speaking half of the audience to be as entertained and inspired as the English speaking half was remarkable! We Are What We Do is a brilliant organisation and they bring what they do to life very well. We look forward to the next occasion we can hear Nick.
CE, British Council, International Student Event
For our final debate on One Swindon we needed an inspirational, divergent, thought-provoking, core presenter, and the selection of Nick Stanhope of We Are What We Do fulfilled all the days’ needs. In a most encouraging way, Nick was able to lift the horizons of us all, to expand our belief in what is possible rather than what is not possible. The sharp, incisive delivery, peppered with real-life actions and successes is exactly what our audience needed to drive away the negatives from budget cuts, recession and redundancies. After the simple, smooth, seductive ideas, wrapped in the most successful presentations, to offer you our thanks would not do you justice. However, from us all, a “Thank You Nick” for the tremendous input and the lasting memories.
Tom Charnock, Chair of the Partnership Board Overview and Monitoring Group, One Swindon