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Spotlight on my year – in photos

It’s the first anniversary since I re-launched my healthcare policy consultancy. How so much has changed in our world from September 2019 to September 2020….as we adjust to the new reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to all our lives.


When I re-launched my consultancy, I was eager to focus on health policy and advocacy projects that truly make a difference. This has led me to steering some game changing projects that have the potential to fundamentally change the way we think about and deliver healthcare.


In all my years of consultancy, I can truly say I’m working on the most ground breaking projects of my career. I have always been fascinated by new ways of doing things that are for the benefit of all.

In this blog post, I give a feel and flavour for my first year back running my own consultancy through photos. It has been quite a journey. I hope you enjoy this post.

 

Laying the groundwork

After leaving my corporate role in August 2019, there was no time to take a holiday. It was time to set the foundations for my own business.

 

August 2019 took me on my first work trip to Switzerland to meet with the Women’s Brain Project (WBP). WBP is an international non-profit organisation studying sex and gender determinants of brain and mental health to achieve precision medicine. WBP is a global leading player in the field of brain research, supporting innovative science, precision medicine, unbiased artificial intelligence (AI) and promoting gender health equity to make healthcare systems more sustainable.

London City Airport, 15 August 2019
By the lake at Thalwil, Zurich, Switzerland, 15 August 2019

Then back in London, I attended an amazing workshop for entrepreneurs run by Daniel Priestley. An invaluable takeaway I will never forget is how we as entrepreneurs can use the UN Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration. 

“The SDGs can help to focus thoughts from a business perspective on how to make a difference and focus your energy.”

September 2019 – re-launch!

The work on my logo/branding, website and business cards, thanks to Aggie at Branderbee, had all been carried out in advance to re-launch my consultancy in September 2019.

October 2019 – visit to Berlin

In October, I had the great experience of attending the World Health Summit in Berlin on behalf of the Women’s Brain Project. The undoubted highlight was meeting Dr Margaret Chan, the former Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

At the World Health Summit, 2019
From left to right: Anna Dé, Margaret Chan, Maria Teresa Ferretti, Antonella Santuccione Chadha

November 2019 – visit to Sweden and launch of women entrepreneurs in Primrose Hill, London

Early November took me to Lund in Sweden, to visit Ziccum. Ziccum is developing new dry-powder versions of the world’s most urgently-needed vaccines. These new, gently air-dried formulations can be transported easily and cost-effectively, with no costly cold storage or refrigeration required. Ziccum’s technology can reduce dependency on the cold chain and therefore greatly improve vaccine accessibility and preparedness. 

I had the opportunity to check out their technology first hand.

The company’s patented technology, LaminarPace, develops dry-powder formulations of drugs and vaccines that currently exist in liquid or lyophilized form. By doing so Ziccum can increase the availability of vaccines in existing markets-and open up new ones.

The company is aiming to partner with organisations and stakeholders sharing the view of providing vaccinations to ALL and everybody and who has the capability to add value to this effort.

LaminarPace system

I’m passionate about being an entrepreneur and supporting other entrepreneurs, and in particular other women entrepreneurs is very important to me. Hence, I launched an initiative for women entrepreneurs in my local community – in Primrose Hill, London. Our first networking event was a great success.

 

My business was really taking off at this stage and I thought realistically we could have these events every quarter or so. Little was I to know that this just wouldn’t happen as planned, and it wouldn’t be my workload slowing things down.

According to the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship:

 

  • Only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is female and fewer UK women choose to become entrepreneurs than in best practice peer countries.
  • Advancing female entrepreneurship represents a £250 billion opportunity for the UK economy.
  • Looking across the entrepreneurial journey, UK women are less likely to go from intention to starting a business and half as likely to scale their businesses (calculated based on data from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2016 data, YouGov Banking Survey 2017)
  • Three opportunities to help more women succeed as entrepreneurs: increase funding directed towards female entrepreneurs; provide greater family support for female entrepreneurs; and make entrepreneurship more accessible for women and increase access to support.

The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, published 8 March 2019. 

Launch event of women entrepreneurs, 20 November 2019, Venue: The Princess of Wales Photography: Lars Christiansen

 

Event coverage in cfi.co and On the Hill magazines 

December 2019 – UK General Election

It was the UK General Election in December 2019 and to watch the results I went back to my academic home at LSE.

LSE Election Party 2019
LSE Election Party 2019
Election results were clear. Here shown in visual form…

January 2020 – a new year, a new decade! It starts with travel!

The new year started well. There were some talks of this emerging coronavirus, but that seemed far away.

In January, it was a month of constant travel all across Europe.  The highlight was attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

From left to right: Daniela Fazzotta, Anna Dé, Antonella Santuccione Chadha of Women's Brain Project

FEBRUARY 2020 – FINAL BUSINESS TRIP AND THEN STAYING CLOSE TO HOME

The atmosphere was already starting to change. My last business trip was to Brussels in February. I went to a number of meetings, including an event in the European Parliament on “Brain Health as a Global Priority – time for the EU to act now.”

 

Then no more travels and all my work was from home. I did have the opportunity to attend a great event in London at the end of the month organised by the International Longevity Centre

European Parliament event, Brussels, 18 February 2020
Prevention in an ageing world: Global launch, London, 28 February 2020

March 2020 – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and lockdown starts

Early March started well with a fantastic meeting at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices here in London.

Then the UK was put into lockdown….

Primrose Hill, London at the start of lockdown

April 2020 – the Webinar! 

At this point we were deep in lockdown and webinars became a key part of my life….

I also tried to use this time to put a plan of action in place to transform my technology!

 

Highlights included:

 

Participating in a WBP Webinar

May 2020 – facing fears!

May was a very challenging time….clients (rightly so) were scared…I was scared….everyone was scared. It’s easier said than done, but I chose to invest in my clients and in my business, regardless of budget cuts. I just had to keep the faith that things would eventually turn around. In the meantime, the passion for my business and projects just continued to grow.

 

Walking past London zoo, 28 May 2020

June 2020 – lockdown eases and my own health

In early June, there was a slight easing of lockdown in London. This was a great relief to many of us. I took my first trip out on a bus to deliver masks to my brother and family.

 

6 June 2020, mask from Sew Much Fun

I started not feeling so well in June. I had to have an operation on my eye. I was very fortunate that I could have this sorted out swiftly. Still it was a red flag to me that health is the top priority.

19 June 2020

July 2020 – secret garden

At the end of July, I came across a secret garden….just moments from Regent’s Park, London. This quickly became my special place of quiet solitude and contemplation. With so much uncertainty and also the demands of entrepreneurial life, it’s essential to have some down time.

St John's Lodge Garden
St John's Lodge Garden

August 2020 – all systems go!

As of August, all I can say is that I’m in a very fortunate place….my consultancy with a focus on global health policy is thriving and I’m excited for the future. Nevertheless, we’re living in very uncertain times so nothing is a given. I’m truly blessed with the projects I’m steering, whether on vaccine access through cracking the cold chain, or enhancing precision medicine and transforming brain and mental health through a gender lens, that we will make a significant difference to lives of many people worldwide in the years to come.

8 August 2020, mask from Sew Much Fun

Staying inspired!

This quote strongly resonates….it’s so true. In my re-launch year I tried my best to make a difference and I then found the rest just follows….

Thank you

Thank you to Adriana and Sara who during the course of my re-launch year have worked with me as policy consultants. I greatly appreciate their hard work, dedication and advice.

Adriana Mancilla Galindo
Sara Katchi

Getting in touch and events for your calendar!

Moving forward, I will continue to work from home, as well as from my new club – The Conduit. The Conduit is a home for a diverse community of people passionate about positive impact, located on Conduit Street in the heart of London. 


You can contact me by email at: anna@anna-de.com


The 2020 International Forum on Women’s Brain and Mental Health: The Gateway to Precision Medicine Across our Lifespan will take place virtually on 19-20 September 2020. We hope you can join for this very important event.


The plan is that we will have our next event for women entrepreneurs in Primrose Hill, London, on 23 November 2020. However, if this is not possible due to the COVID-19 situation at that time, we will reschedule into 2021. 


Stay safe and I hope to see some of you soon!


Anna

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