John Lehal advises business and charities on strategy, reputation and growth. After a long consultancy career, he now provides senior counsel to CEOs and Boards to address the strategic challenges they face. John is active as charity trustee, serving as Vice-Chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation and Treasurer of Bedfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Service. He serves on the Executive Committee of Labour Business. John launched and grew Insight Consulting Group for eleven years. Having founded the agency in 2006, John ran the consultancy until it was acquired by Four Communications Group in January 2017. Following the transition, John was CEO of Four Public Affairs before embarking on a freelance career. John frequently speaks at conferences and seminars on issues relating to politics and public policy. He is a regular commentator and media pundit on issues relating to business, Brexit and politics.
Pop Up Projects are a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, established in 2011. Since 2015 we have been an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation – NPOs represent “some of the best arts practice in the world, and play a vital role in helping meet the Arts Council’s mission”.
We firmly believe that access for all children and families to the broadest range of published, live and digital literature is a universal right.
In all our work we facilitate access to rich and meaningful literary experiences for children and young people, schools (primary, secondary, SEN) and families – especially in diverse, deprived, isolated and otherwise challenged communities.
We achieve this principally through our work with schools, particularly Pop Up Festival, during which we work with whole schools and key stages to place authors and their contemporary books at the heart of literacy/English learning and teaching. We also facilitate artist-led participatory and collaborative activities, connecting and resourcing exceptional artists to co-create great literature and stories with children and young people. We often work in partnership with libraries, museums, galleries and other arts / cultural spaces.
Children’s authors are exceptional role models and often gifted teachers; by harnessing their story-crafting skills we develop imaginative approaches to cultivating change in reading and writing attitudes, behaviours and skills. We work with over 300 published authors – from star names to first-time published – and every major children’s publisher in the UK. Our work invests in the literature economy by commissioning authors (and never asking them to volunteer) and by purchasing books at a modest discount (because books aren’t free) so that publishers earn a little.
We are also heavily involved in nurturing and investing in diverse talent. Projects like Pathways into Children’s Publishing aim to ensure that the next generation of children’s authors is more ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse. We are champions of translation and multilingualism, giving voice to the under-represented and facilitating international connections and cultural exchange.
Everything we achieve, we achieve through collaboration and partnership working locally, regionally, nationally, internationally.