Co-founder of Make A Difference "MAD"
Fiona is the co-founder of MAD, an organization that works with entrepreneurs from over 40 countries to catalyze leaps in social innovation. (MAD is an acronym for Make A Difference, and a nod to the fact that it is the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, actually do.)
Through MAD she has supported the growth of social entrepreneurs across Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe; developing international incubators, accelerators and fellowship programs on behalf of development agencies, impact investors and NGOs around the globe.
Prior to adopting the MAD lifestyle, as a single woman under 30 she “business backpacked” through Africa (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) working with entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses that provide vital community services whilst also stimulating local economies.
An adventurer at heart, Fiona is happiest when she is exploring new countries and concepts. Forming deep connections and relationships with local leaders across the globe, she loves to identify patterns in the seemingly disconnected. e.g discussing the merits of; Universal Basic Income with the chief of a Masaai tribe in Kenya, rebuilding Gaza with rubble from demolished houses with a Gazan female engineer, environmentally friendly menstruation products with girls in a Malaysian rainforest, digital education with members of the Amazonian Kichwa tribe and the feasibility of sanitation innovations providing an income for community schools in Uganda. It’s working with these leaders from too-often overlooked markets that Fiona continues to learn and be inspired.
Keen to ensure that impactful projects are funded, she sits on Social Innovation review panels for the Swedish Development Agency (Sida) and the European Union. And in an effort to cultivate the next generation of conscientious leaders she is the social innovation advisor for ECIU – a collaboration between 12 European universities where learners, teachers and researchers cooperate with cities and businesses to solve real-life challenges – pioneering a degree that really makes a difference.