Leadership tips for the new mayor, from London’s next leaders

Future London Leaders Round 11 came to a lively conclusion on 16th March with a series of fast-paced proposals for the next Mayor of London. Their ‘Key Question’ was:

What are the most critical leadership criteria for a new Mayor to deliver a liveable London during his/her first term?

Candidates’ creative presentations included ideas ranging from ‘the strategic need for a tall buildings strategy’ to the leadership required to resolve the ‘overcrowding and homelessness crises’ in the capital.

Candidates, mentors and guests voted on the presentations in three categories, with the winners announced during the grad celebration. Winning ideas were:

Favourite idea

Louise CavesLouise Caves, Strategic Partnership Manager, A2 Dominion:
Putting health at the heart of new communities

The communities in which we live significantly influence the health and well-being we experience, with life expectancy in some London boroughs 10 years below others. As London delivers over 50,000 new homes per annum to meet growing housing demand, there is a real opportunity to put health at the heart of new communities; creating places where the built community and digital environments support and encourage people to be healthy.  This presentation explores the leadership qualities and approaches the new Mayor of London will need to cultivate a team and partnership that can bring a vision for healthy new communities to life.

Most feasible

Huw JonesHuw Jones, Housing Projects Officer, LB Lambeth:
Is infill the answer?

With rapid population growth driving a shortage of housing, London’s new Mayor will need relentless creativity to fix a problem which has been 40 years in the making. Failure risks increasing inequality between London’s property-owning class and those left behind in rented accommodation. Ultimately, people need to be able to afford to live in the city where they work. But alongside the challenges, solutions are emerging which can reduce the cost and speed of construction; encourage new developers to step forward; and better use the value of land to build more homes in London. This presentation looks at what’s involved in bringing those solutions forward.

Best pitch

Rhona BrownRhona Brown, Senior Housing Policy Officer, GLA Housing & Land:
Why courage is the most important leadership skill for a new mayor*

The new Mayor of London will face a different set of challenges depending on which candidate is victorious in May. However, in my presentation I will make the argument that whoever he is (and I use the pronoun advisedly), the most important leadership quality he needs to have is political courage. I will suggest some particular areas of housing policy where I think a courageous intervention from the Mayor would be most welcome and what form those interventions should take. *Title adapted for this forum…


Presentations were followed by graduation, with candidates receiving completion certificates and celebrating with drinks and canapés before decamping to a nearby SME / Business Improvement District member (a.k.a. the pub).

Future of London congratulates all the new graduates for their hard work, energy and commitment throughout the course. They now join our 225-strong alumni cohort, and we look forward to keeping in touch as they progress through their careers and work to deliver a truly liveable London!

Congratulations to FLL Round 11 graduates: 

  • Shehzad Ahmed, LB Harrow
  • Rhona Brown, GLA Housing & Land
  • Louise Caves, A2 Dominion
  • Simon Chambers, LB Southwark
  • Huw Jones, LB Lambeth
  • Andrew Munk, LB Hackney
  • Peter Quigley, Peabody
  • Russell Roberts, LB Ealing
  • Marcelle Smith, LB Lewisham
  • Tracey St. Hill, LB Tower Hamlets
  • Dan Taylor, LB Wandsworth
  • Jayne Turnstall, Hyde Group

Thank you to FLL Round 11 Mentors:

  • Karen Barke, LB Hackney (FLL Round 4)
  • Esther Everett, London Legacy Development Corporation (FLL Round 10)
  • Amy Gilham, Turley
  • Debbie Jackson, GLA Regeneration
  • David Joyce, LB Lambeth
  • Neil Kirby, LB Southwark
  • Sherine McFarlane, Genesis (FLL Round 1, Leaders Plus Round 1)
  • Tricia Patel, Pollard Thomas Edwards
  • Simon Powell, GLA Housing & Land
  • Eshwyn Prabhu, LB Islington (FLL Round 2)
  • Pete Smith, LB Croydon (Leaders Plus Round 2)
  • Oliver Steele, Mott MacDonald
  • Barney Stringer, Quod
  • Neil Wightman, LB Lambeth

Sponsored in part by Lovell and Re and hosted by Lewis Silkin, the Future London Leaders programme is exclusive to Future of London members. It has been designed to identify and nurture the professional development of London’s most promising public-sector practitioners with a focus on regeneration, housing, infrastructure and economic development. For more information, please visit the FLL webpage, and/or contact Visakha Sri Chandrasekera.