Collaborleaders – June 2009

With convivial hospitality, Arup hosted the 13th at abrahams event at their new London offices in the heart of Fitzrovia. An eager audience packed into the building’s slick atrium for ‘Collaborleaders’. Our chair for the evening, Sophie Howarth, director and founder of the School of Life, reflected on her on experiences as a writer working in isolation before tackling the perks and pitfalls of teaming up.

Composer and cellist Philip Sheppard, started us off with a lively upbeat insight into the art of collaboration, arguing that you must unlearn what you already know and leave your ego at the door!

Architect and engineer team Adam Caruso and Andy Sedgwick gave a frank account of their working partnership, which is dependent on a mutual understanding and respect for each other’sworking partnership, which is dependent on a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s expertise.

Jazz maestros Steve Lodder and John Etheridge illustrated the push and pull of an improvised musical performance where leadership is always in the balance. They took to their respective instruments, keyboard and guitar, and astounded us when Philip Sheppard joined them on cello for an impromptu jamming session.

Could there have been a tougher act to follow for our final speaker Tim de Lisle? Tim gave a very candid potted recent history of newspaper publishing by way of his progression from junior reporter on Fleet Street to his current role as editor of the Economist’s Intelligent Life, with some humorous references to some of the formidable editors he worked for along the way.

DJ Simon White finished the evening by playing collaborations in jazz and soundtracks from French New Wave cinema.

Laura Braun photographed and Hannah Postlethwaite illustrated Collaborleaders.