Olivia Ayorinde John, Founder of Speaking 2 Empower
A global dimension:
I was born in Sierra Leone, in West Africa, and was brought up in Paris, France. I had the privilege of growing up in a multicultural environment as part of an international school where both English and French were taught and where I also studied Spanish. This exposure has given me an open mind and a capacity to learn new languages and connect with people from a variety of backgrounds.
From job to business:
After studying business management and economics in Paris, up to Masters Level, I worked as a management consultant with one of the world’s biggest Technology and Management Services companies, Accenture. I started working in the Paris office and subsequently moved to the London office. Most of my working career was spent at Accenture, and I then moved on to become self-employed, delivering business change and project management consulting directly to companies such as Barclays, the Financial Conduct Authority and News UK.
Networking for purpose:
Academia and business management experiences have been key enablers for me to have a good understanding of the dynamics which impact society, organisations and individuals. I have leveraged business networking in order to meet like-minded people. It has been an opportunity to grow my knowledge and exposure. It has led me to feature on a radio show as well as benefit from the skills necessary to design my Speaking2Empower website and my Youtube channel.
Change for fulfilment:
I have experienced a lot of change in my life and career – moving from Africa to Europe, from France to the UK, from being a permanent employee to a business owner, from being single to being married with children. Throughout this journey it has been a case of keep moving or sink. I am now involved in a new adventure to be recognised globally as a public and empowerment speaker.
I am targeting the world and Africa in particular as I believe that a multiplicity of audiences can benefit from what I have to say. There are many opportunities for Africa to grow and tap into its resources whether natural or technological. Since starting an MA in African Studies and Economic Development at SOAS in London, I have been convinced that a new Eldorado is opening for the ambitious and dynamic on the continent. These opportunities can also be enhanced by its cooperation with those Africans who no longer live in the continent but who maintain close ties with their nations of origin.
Working for the future:
The youth are a critical piece of the development jigsaw. In December I will be flying to South Africa where I have been invited by Junior Achievements (JA) Africa to be a judge on the JA Company of the year competition. I am keen to understand what can be done in order to support Africa’s economic development and what the diaspora is already doing and what more it can do.
Olivia has been a project and change management consultant for almost 20 years. She now shares her experience and expertise as an empowerment speaker to empower people at all levels to pursue their dreams.