James Alexander

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Director, Future Agenda, Disruptive Entrepreneur

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Synopsis

Co-founder and former CEO of Zopa, James was a pioneer in peer-to-peer lending. Putting those with a small amount to invest in front of reliable borrowers has proved a successful business model, creating what is now globally £100bn sector. James is now helping organisations make more informed strategic choices and deliver more impactful innovation as part of Future Agenda, the world’s largest open foresight programme and advisory in foresight, strategy and innovation. James tells a powerful founder story as a bridge into discussing and sharing practical approaches for disruption, innovation and foresight.

Biography

As co-founder of Zopa (‘zone of possible agreement’), James Alexander developed not just a profitable online business, but also a new way of borrowing and lending money. He has now taken those lessons in disruption, growth and strategy to a broad range of sectors, becoming the director of Future Agenda, an open source think tank on strategy and innovation.

Zopa was the disruptive pioneer in what has become Fintech. Its approach paved the way for other collaborative and crowdfunding concepts from AirBnB and Uber to Funding Circle. James continues to advise a number of Fintech players including Giffgaff Gameplan, Seedrs, Loot, Environmental Finance and LandBay.

James was also involved in the development of Smile, the Co-operative Bank’s online division, when he worked for LEK Consulting. He went on to become Strategy Director for Egg, launching their pioneering digital TV, aggregation and mobile services. He steered Egg through a period of rapid growth in the UK and laid the foundations for its entry into the US market.

Having served as CEO and board director of Zopa, James moved away from the business to become a Partner at The Foundation, a company that helps businesses develop growth and customer-focused strategies. On the speaking platform, James tells a powerful founder story as a bridge into discussing and sharing practical approaches for disruption, innovation and foresight.

Former trustee of RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, James is a committed environmental campaigner and chair of Environmental Finance. He launched the environmental movement #voiceoftheplanet at the World Economic Forum 2019 and was involved in dothegreenthing.org, an online social movement to mobilise the masses and pit creativity against the threat of climate change.

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