Jake’s Mentors

Portfolio CSR Mentor, Thomas Cummings


Tom Cummings has served as global head of Learning and Organisation Effectiveness for Unilever and ABN Amro Bank; project leader/adviser on planning and learning in companies such as Shell, Compass Group, Fortis, Marakon and BUPA and others. Tom has created and co-designed business transformation and learning vehicles such as Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Center for Strategy Research, Leading Ventures and Common Purpose Netherlands.

He is the co-author, together with Jim Keen, of Leadership Landscapes.


Tom is on the board of directors of the Tällberg Foundation.

He has led the Tällberg Leader Program since 2006. This work has involved him as a designer and catalyst in hundreds of projects and board retreats across many cultures. He works with people who wish to engage with complexity and want to learn how to move between and across different perspectives. The approach helps to integrate experience and anticipate challenges.

His work encourages leaders to be present and mindful of their personal impact while sustaining a perspective on their legacy in the wider world.

Tom and Karim have known each other for 35 years, ever since they were fellow classmates at The Netherlands School of Business (Nyenrode) in 1980.


The Netherlands School of Business, where Tom and Karim were classmates

Portfolio CSR Mentor, Karim Ajania

Karim is a former school teacher and headmaster of a Massachusetts state charter middle school.

He has also taught at New York inner-city schools in Harlem and the South Bronx and taught at schools in Zimbabwe, England, Lithuania, and several other countries. This includes a stint teaching at The Doon School in the lovely hill station of Dehru Dun in northern India, which is the old school of the Indian Prince Jayasinhji Jhala, the Vice Chairman of the Bored.

Karim is Executive Director of The Educationalist which is an international speaker series.

He is also the Founder and Editor of The Brick Project, a multicultural forum for teachers and students, which was the subject of his doctoral thesis at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also the Founder and Director of a middle school program in the San Francisco Bay Area which builds community with children in Africa called Pencils for Africa.

He is also the Co-Founder, together with Noble Peace Prize Recipient Desmond Tutu, and the Editor-in-Chief of the African Peace Journal which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. African Peace Journal is currently working on a series on the plight of African land and boat refugees with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.

Together with Founder and Director, Prince Jayasinhji Jhala, Karim is Director of The Halvad Revitalization Initiative, which works to reinvigorate a 15th Century citadel in Gujarat, India.

In the great British tradition Karim is also a keen and avid colonizer. Karim oversees a colony of authors and scholars as Editor of the Café Philosophie, a colony of artists and artisans as Editor of Salon de Refusé, and a colony of inventors and engineers as Editor of Frugalis Creativus (‘frugality and creativity’ from Latin) which includes patented education technology applications.

He was born in Nairobi, Kenya and was sent off to school at age 7 to London, England where he attended Chiswick and Bedford Park Preparatory School. After moving back to Africa for several years he returned to London at age 13 to attended Drayton Manor Grammar School in Hanwell.

Karim holds advanced graduate degrees from MIT and from Harvard University.