Welcoming Eleanor Lisney to join TSIC’s Advisory Board

As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are in the process of building out our Advisory Board. We are excited to announce our first Advisory Board member – Eleanor Lisney.

I met Eleanor back in December 2016 through a RSA event and was amazed by her activism, creativity and resilience. We stayed in touch over the years, collaborated on one project and I am excited as we turn a new page in TSIC’s journey, that we invite Eleanor formally as an Advisor. We are so grateful for her time. Here is our interview with her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My background is a bit mixed: I was born and bred in Malaysia, I have lived and studied in the UK, France and US. My studies were in Literature and Information studies, with a specialization in Information Architecture. Apart for the time when I was a full time expat mother and a spell working as a relationship manager for a repository in the West Midlands, I have been working and campaigning for disability and women’s equality. I have worked as self-employed in advisory capacity to Westminster government, Disabled People’s organisations and as access advisor too. I co founded Sisters of Frida, a Disabled Women’s collective and Culture Access, a disabled lead organisation to support access and inclusion to culture. I have been involved in writing UN shadow reports, working with international Disabled Women’s organisations (I am a moderator of the International Network of Women with Disabilities)  and have attended UN events both at Geneva and New York with women’s civic society organisations. Most recently, I was instrumental in writing a report on the impact of COVID19 on Disabled women. I have also organised a ‘Disabled and Proud’ Festival in November. I realise the importance of strategy but see the need for narratives to build the power of the message. Being on the APPG for Creative Diversity events and East Asian/Black and People of Colour groups have shown me the importance of representation as a Disabled Woman of Colour.

Why did you accept the invitation to join TSIC’s Advisory Board 

I am impressed by TSIC’s approach in the collaborations and developing strategies that involve inclusion and diversity. I have been part of a project on co production with Disabled People Organisations in East Africa and I enjoyed working in partnership. I also like the fact that TSIC believes in delivering local minded solutions, in the support the growth of local entrepreneurs who want to influence purpose driven change in their markets. I am wary of international solutions which disregard local expertise for ‘theory rich’ experts.

What do you hope to achieve through the role?

I hope to impart my passion and knowledge from the diversity of my own experience and skills. I have insisted on inclusion in the intersectional aspects of all the sectors I have worked in – whether in academic institutions, or in advisory panels such as the British Council or in grassroots organisations such as the Greenwich Disabled People Against Cuts.

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