Sir Vernon Ellis delivered his distinguished lecture, 'Beyond Public vs Private: Creating Entrepreneurial Public Value', on 23 October 2014.
Many of the UK’s great public institutions – the universities, the great galleries, theatres and museums, the BBC and the British Council - share an entrepreneurial ‘mixed economy’ funding model. This combines a clear ‘mission’ or public purpose, with some public funding and growing levels of partnership, enterprise and innovation. And yet this model is often challenged both by those who would prefer a pure private enterprise model and by those who worry about sullying a traditional public service model.
The British Council has revenues of £850m, only 20% of which is public grant, and describes itself as an "Entrepreneurial Public Service". What does this mean in practice and is it something to be admired and emulated or something to be concerned about? Sir Vernon Ellis will discuss this topic in his Distinguished Lecture on 23 October.
Having spent all of his working life at Accenture, Ellis became Chair of the British Council in 2010, where he has led the Board and management through an extensive reframing of the strategy and organisation structure. He is also Chairman of Martin Randall Travel and of One Medicare – a company providing primary health care services to the NHS – and is a non-executive Director of FTI Consulting Inc and President of English National Opera.
He was knighted in 2011 for services to music and in 2012 was appointed Chairman of the Arts and Media Honours Committee and a member of the overall Honours Committee and the Philanthropy Committee.