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The Dragon School Spectrum Talk – The importance of being ‘Socially Connected’

2011 January 22

I recently visited my prep school, The Dragon, for a reunion and got talking to an old master of mine about his current role at the school, as Director of Social Impact. Danny Gill was fundamental in my personal development as it was with through him that I got to see first-hand the impact of the apartheid in South Africa, whilst on a rugby tour to South Africa in 1995 (yes, we also got to see a couple of World Cup matches, including ‘that one’ with Lomu!).
He continues to ensure that the current generation of Dragons are aware of the social impact that they too can make in life.

So when Danny asked me to come back to the school and talk about the impact that the kids can make through being ‘Socially Connected’ I jumped at the chance. The title of the Spectrum lecture was ‘The Dragon Reaches Out’ - A Selection of Dragons & ODs will present elements of our Social Impact & Responsibility Programme.  I was to share the stage alongside a few other ODs, all of whom have made an impact in terms of their charitable activities and social enterprise (something that I was not claiming!).

My aim was to try and throw a web over all these activities and enlighten the audience as to how they can get involved through engaging online and what it means to be part of an alumnus like the Old Dragon network. I wanted to explain the privilege that the alumni represents and how a network of this type, when harnessed and facilitated through digital channels  (in the right way), can benefit others. This is something that I feel passionate about and have been developing, as we look to leverage social media and the activity and content being created by leavers and schools (children & teachers).

I’ve posted the slides and video below, but firstly I just want to reference the other speakers and the work that they are doing:

  • Tim Conibear – Founder of the Isiqalo Foundation
    • Tim is working in Cape Town, South Africa, with children from the local townships. They use sport and educational programs to help disadvantaged communities combat the social and health issues prevalent in South African township life.
    • More info can be found at : (They are in the process of a name change to the Isiqalo Foundation).
    • Tim’s presentation will shortly be on our YouTube Channel:
  • Jamie Dear – Director at OxFizz
    • OxFizz is an Oxford-based social enterprise pioneering a new form of philanthropy.
    • More info can be found on their website:
  • Ludo Bennett-Jones – Adventurer
    • Ludo raised money for various charities through his involvement in the Mongol Rally.
  • Rick Mower – Partnership Development Manager at Aspire
    • Aspire offer a range of high-quality services to private Clients and Companies across Oxfordshire. In doing so, they also tackle homelessness and the disadvantaged through excellence in enterprise and employment.
    • More info can be found on their website:

Dragon Spectrum – Socially Connected

Dragon Spectrum – Socially Connected

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