Knowledge Equity Fellowship

Exterior of Saïd Business School

A new programme from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Centre for Knowledge Equity.

The Knowledge Equity Fellowship is a pioneering and ambitious new programme designed by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Knowledge Equity to transform the systems change entrepreneurial field.

Launched in October 2020, the programme is an innovative way in which universities and business schools can attend to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion by connecting traditional learned and technical knowledge with lived experience – the knowledge of those directly impacted by unjust and inequitable systems.

Meet the inaugural fellows

Derek Bardowell Headshot

Derek A Bardowell

Derek is a writer, philanthropy adviser, and former youth worker who argues for the centrality of racial justice in the funding sector. He started his journalism career in 1994. He has written for The Times, The Guardian, and British GQ, contributed to anthologies such as Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture and The Weeklings: Revolution #1, and appeared regularly on BBC radio.

Derek moved into the non-profit sector, where he directed award-winning programmes for the Stephen Lawrence Trust. Since 2009, Derek has led funding portfolios for Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Laureus Sport for Good, and the National Lottery Community Fund. He has been responsible for distributing over £150 million to good causes in 34 countries.

Derek's first book, No Win Race (Mudlark/HarperCollins 2019), tackled race and racism in modern Britain through sport. It was a Sunday Times and Financial Times Book of the Year, shortlisted for Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the Indie Book Awards and longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Derek is currently working on a new book titled Outsiders Within (Dialogue Books/Little, Brown/Hachette UK), which reimagines philanthropy. He hosts the podcast Just Cause, exploring the intersections of race, culture, and social justice, and he is also a founding member of Future Foundations UK, which supports minoritised racial groups who work in philanthropy to connect and lead change.

Derek is a trustee of the Thirty Percy Foundation, a member of the Black Writers Guild, and a Churchill Fellow.

Headshot of Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Maria is a city and an urban place-making strategist who focuses on collaborative design, policy, and philanthropic models that are inclusive and equitable. She is the CEO of the Foundation for Future London, opening opportunities for diverse people, places and partners of East Bank - London's new arts, culture, and innovation quarter in the heart of East London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. She believes that the fundamentals of an inclusive city are co-design and funding that is shaped by inclusive social, economic and environmental principles.

Maria started her career in environmental justice and is the founder of the award-winning inclusive placemaking consultancy Living Space Project. She has written articles for the Royal Institute of Architects, Academy of Urbanism, the United Nations for Human Rights Commission and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and is author of 'The Place Making Factor - A Catalyst for Disrupting Environment and Social Grant Making' which explores the role of centred philanthropy in unlocking siloed approaches to funding.

She acts as an advisor to numerous place-focused organisations, including the UK Environmental Law Association, Heritage National Lottery Fund, the Environment Agency, and the Women's Environmental Network. She is also the Co-Chair of Mayor of London's Sustainable Development Commission, Social Value Committee and was voted a Top 100 Environmentalist by Reframe, and the Sunday Independent.

darshan headshot

Darshan Sanghrajka

Darshan is the founder of Super Being Labs. He has 14 years of experience using design, creativity, and tech for good to help tackle complex social problems, working with partners like Action for Children, Breast Cancer Now, George The Poet, UnLtd, Turn2Us, CAST, and many more.

Through working on multiple impact areas (systems for young people, systems for issues today, and systems for the arts), Super Being Labs is on a mission to design a world that truly enables the best of human potential. All of this has come from a melding of lived, practical and technical expertise. He believes we are all born as Super Beings - imaginative, creative, curious, funny, and kind to each other but over time those powers get dulled or taken away because the systems we live in cause people to be lost, hurt, divided, or manipulated, especially at a time where the relentless pace of social media accelerates that path.

Fixing all of this is the only way to create the conditions for unity, purpose, and breakthroughs. In doing his work, he also dedicated time to supporting movements that advance social justice and democracy, especially where they intersect with the digital world - whether that involves doing the design work, writing thoughts on it, or giving talks to inspire collective action.

When not working on Super Being Labs, he is also the co-founder of Being ManKind, a project that uses storytelling to help inspire boys to shun damaging gender stereotypes and grow into kind, compassionate and empathetic humans - everything that will render terms like 'Man Up' redundant.

Outside of work, Darshan is a non-exec at Sporting Memories Network (a social enterprise using sporting reminiscence to fight dementia and isolation for the elderly), Chair for STCA - a community charity in Kings Cross, and on the Ventures Advisory Board at UnLtd - the foundation for social entrepreneurs. And when he gets time - he performs stand up comedy.

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