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Professor Charles Handy

Eva Hamilton MBE

Eva was born and raised in Ireland. At the age of 18 she spent time in Calcutta working in one of Mother Theresa's homes for the dying. This was a life changing experience and shaped her understanding of social problems as being more than material deprivation, but having strong, emotional and spiritual dimensions at their root.

On coming to England she joined Business in the Community (BITC) heading first of all HRH The Prince of Wales' ‘Seeing is Believing’ Programme and then pioneering a new multimillion pound Corporate Social Responsibility programme, ‘Business Action on Homelessness’ addressing the approach to how corporate Britain tackles homelessness

The latter was the subject of a three part BBC2 programme ‘Headhunting the Homeless’ which followed Eva's work over a period of a year and documented the way that she tackled the then indifference of corporate Britain to issues such as homelessness.

Her decades of experience running these programmes made Eva realise the importance of addressing the causes rather than the symptoms and inspired her to establish the Warrior Programme in 2007 with the aim of tackling the emotional and mental trauma that can be an underlying cause for homelessness for ex-servicemen and women. Eva is also a supporter of the ResponseAbility Alliance WILDERNESS WARRIOR Programme

In 2005 Eva was awarded an MBE by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Eva is an effective networker and ideas generator - pioneering new and radical approaches to dealing with some of the UK's most intractable social problems - for example: Key4Life supported by Sir Bob Geldof.

The organisational models that she has devised and initiated have been taken up by organisations throughout the UK and cross the public, voluntary and private sectors in encouraging innovation in the way that marginalised communities are empowered and supported.

Eva has successfully balanced a family of two young children, her full-time commitment to her campaigning and attention to her own well-being, physical and mental health. As a result of her own direct mental and emotional health experiences, she has been continually struck at how the emotional and psychological causes of social deprivation including, homelessness, prostitution and addiction were not adequately addressed by mainstream agencies and conventional approaches.



Charles Handy (born 1932) is an Irish author/philosopher specialising in organisational behaviour and management. He has been rated among the Thinkers 50, a private list of the most influential living management thinkers. In July 2006 he was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws by Trinity College, Dublin.

Handy has long been equally concerned with the good — or ills — in society (as reflected in organisations) that arise from game-changing developments in technology and demographics. The repercussions, says Handy, “will lead to a renaissance, which in one way is great, because so much creativity will bubble up. But it also heralds a very turbulent time. People are often frightened when there is no authority around.”

His 1998 book The Hungry Spirit warned of the dangers of the mercenary society that corporations had created. Handy sees modern turbulence as provoking even greater change in long-standing corporate hierarchies. He argues that companies that want to attract and keep the best employees must identify and pursue a “noble purpose” beyond the bottom line. “To exercise authority in the modern organisation it’s not enough to have the position; you have to have the acceptance of your authority.”

Handy has been described as a “reluctant capitalist”. His concerns about capitalism are long standing. Interviewed by Business Strategy Review in 2005 he noted: “I’m concerned that capitalism is eating itself. I think money is an essential ingredient in successful societies. Most families that break down do so because the economics go wrong rather than the love disappears. I never want to be heard to say that money is not important. But it is a means to another end. I think the danger with capitalism and with organisations and businesses is that money has become the end. We are just competing for who can get the most money — whether it’s a corporation, an industry or an entrepreneur. I find that deadening to the human spirit. You can never win that race.

“Of course if you are successful in business you will make money. But then you can only go on being a successful business if you continue to do something that is more useful to more people than other businesses and you need money to grow to do that. So I think the purpose of business is not to make money but to do something that is more useful to more people than anybody else.”

In the end, Handy — who graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with first-class honours in Greats, an intellectual study of classics, history and philosophy — believes that people have to answer philosophical as well as economic questions. He talks of “proper selfishness” — “You’ve first of all got to look after yourself. If as an individual you’re not at ease with yourself then you’re no good to anyone else. The same applies to corporations. If they are not healthy and thriving they are no good to anyone else. Having done that, to make it proper selfishness you have to use that selfishness for some greater purpose beyond yourself.”

Charles Handy, reformed oil executive, is 80. How, now, does he define success? “My definition of success is basically borrowed from Aristotle. He called it eudaimonia. I translate it as doing the best at what you’re best at, for the good of others. That sounds trite and easy, but it is very difficult to know what you’re best at.”

Extract from the London Business School Business Strategy Review