Who Are We

We believe in a new kind of leadership. Leaders who look different. Act differently. Are different.

Our mission is to build a world where anyone, regardless of their background, can learn to lead. We believe the way to get there is through real world coaching experience alongside the next generation of diverse leaders.

The Circl story

Circl co-founder Charlie started his career working with young adults from underrepresented groups. He quickly learnt that there were many aspects blocking their access to professional careers, including a lack of communication, leadership and people skills. This was mainly owing to the fact that time in education is entirely focused on exams - teachers recognise the importance of people skills, but have little time to teach them.

Meanwhile Adrian Blair, Circl’s other co-founder, was leading teams at Just Eat, Spotify and Google. During 20 years of leadership at high growth tech businesses he constantly found that professionals need leadership development and meaning in their work. He also found that traditional leadership training was theory-based and offered practice only in artificial situations (e.g. trying out skills on colleagues).

When they met in late 2018 , the idea for Circl was born.

Meet the team

Our team includes talent development specialists, leadership coaches and learning & development experts. We have come from different backgrounds with different professional experience but we all believe strongly that business can be a force for good and can make a positive contribution to society.

Charlie Stainforth

Co-Founder & CEO

Charlie started his career at a Pupil Referral Unit, working with young adults from underrepresented groups. Following his work as a founding member of Elevate Education UK, he worked as Head of Partnerships at career coaching organisation, Future Frontiers, where he started exploring the mutual benefits in connecting professionals with young people.

Adrian Blair

Co-Founder & Chair

Over 7 years as Just Eat Global COO Adrian managed a team of 2,000 across 4 continents and played an instrumental role in propelling the company from a startup to the FTSE 100. Before this he led teams at Spotify and Google in California and London. As CEO of Tech company Trustpilot, Adrian oversees Circl’s development as Chair of the Board.

Aiko Sato

Programme Lead

Ashley Fontaine

Programme Manager

Joana Miranda

Delivery Manager

Natty Siripha

Delivery Officer

Eve Sharka

Projects Officer

Kajol Desai

Youth Partnerships and Community Manager

Jessal Suresh

Marketing Executive

Richard Swindells

Chief Finance Officer

Caroline Evanson

Coach and Facilitator

Ronke Kokoruwe

Coach and Facilitator

Marlien Ligtenberg

Coach and Facilitator

Keshav Bhatt

Coach and Facilitator

Sarah Weiler

Coach and Facilitator

Suraj Shah

Coach and Facilitator