Team Top2

Talking more and teaming up

Sharing more from both sides

We'd love to learn more about your development priorities, share our thinking and explore ways of teaming up. We'll bring the right experts and practitioners into the conversation from the outset, some of whom are introduced below.

Please first email YCN Director Nick, sharing some initial context — and we'll fix a time to dig deeper.

Nick Defty, Founder and Director
Nick Defty, Founder and Director

Nick established YCN in 2001, and has since collaborated widely on the design, development and delivery of our efforts — both direct into teams, and through the continual evolution of our cross-organisational programmes. A current area of focus is our NeuroAware programme, and new cognitive profiling tools — which Nick is developing in partnership with Dr. Anne Cockayne.

More on NeuroAware
Abi Adamson, Associate Facilitator and DE&I advisor
Abi Adamson, Associate Facilitator and DE&I advisor

We've collaborated with Abi since 2021 on DE&I tools and learning experiences; both across our platform and directly into our partners teams — from KFC and Spotlight, to Koto and Epic Games. As the founder of The Diversity Partnership, Abi brings energising expertise to the fore; helping us ground our work in academic excellence and contemporary work culture.

More on Abi's practice
Owen Thomas, Writer & Development Researcher
Owen Thomas, Writer & Development Researcher

Since 2020 Owen has been leading editorial and research projects across all aspects of our programming. Alongside the continual refinement of our digital resources and tools, Owen supports the onboarding of new members to our platform — curating and promoting pathways to pique and sustain curiosity throughout their teams.

Listening that helps Owen focus
Raul Aparici, Associate Coach and Facilitator
Raul Aparici, Associate Coach and Facilitator

Raul draws on his experiences and accreditations as a coach, pyschotherapist and facilitator; coupled with an abundance of curiosity and a desire to help people make the most out of their current situation. Raul contributes content and runs regular sessions on our platform, and we've most recently teamed up on global leadership development programming for Campari — where he worked alongside multi-cultural cohorts, virtually and in-person, to drive conversation, reflection and change.

More on Raul's practice
Sarah Naidoo-Banks, Associate Coach and Facilitator
Sarah Naidoo-Banks, Associate Coach and Facilitator

Sarah is an accredited business psychologist, coach and mediator; brilliantly blending the best of these disciplines in her work with leaders and teams. Alongside her regular contributions to our content and platform, Sarah's recently supported work with managers around the world for Dr. Martens, defining leadership capabilities and rolling out the tools and training to embed them — as well as kickstarting a new partnership with the Very Group focussed on supersizing the skills of apprentices.

More on Sarah's practice
Louise Hedges, Associate Coach and Facilitator
Louise Hedges, Associate Coach and Facilitator

Louise brings significant experience coaching and leading teams towards personal, cultural and commercial growth — and a deep understanding of trust as a lever for change. Alongside her contribution to our cross-organisational activity and digital content, our work with Louise directly into partners has included sales leadership programmes for the hospitality group Ennismore, upskilling senior marketers at The Guardian and a collaborative Skills School for SuperAwesome.

More on Louise's practice
Katy Kent, Associate Coach and Facilitator
Katy Kent, Associate Coach and Facilitator

Katy worked for six years in our central team, before evolving and accrediting her expertise as a coach and facilitator. Katy has lead on the delivery of many of our tailored team and leadership development programmes for longstanding partners including Cubitts, Campari and Cleo while also taking dozens of curious and collaborative cross-organisational groups through our Open Manager Cohorts programme.

More on Katy's practice
Kate Lloyd, Associate Coach and Facilitator
Kate Lloyd, Associate Coach and Facilitator

Kate came into her second chapter as a coach and facilitator from the world of advertising, where she spent almost two decades at two of London’s largest advertising agencies — AMV BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi. She draws from her leadership learning in a creative context to deliver development into our own community of growing and creatively minded companies — most recently including partnerships with Elliott Wood, DesignStudio, Divido and HumanAfterAll.

More on Kate's practice
Toby Mildon, Associate Facilitator and DE&I advisor
Toby Mildon, Associate Facilitator and DE&I advisor

Toby is a man on a mission to help companies become more inclusive by positively re-engineering their processes and creatively addressing cultural barriers. We've teamed up to develop inclusive workshop formats for leaders and teams, and digital tools and resources that turn conversation into action — reframing unconscious biases to consciously inclusive steps. Today Toby is supporting ongoing collaborations with partners including KFC, WARP Snacks and VCCP.

More on Toby's practice
Matt Cook, Associate Facilitator and Culture Consultant
Matt Cook, Associate Facilitator and Culture Consultant

Matt's depth of expertise in culture and people has been key to our ongoing collaborations with growth-minded partners, whether global art fairs like Frieze, burgeoning branding studios like Koto or fintech maestros like Cutover. Our work with Matt is grounded in helping organisations identify, define or re-define the cultural cues and language — forming the foundations for performance and development programmes to be build onto.

More on Matt's practice
Caroline Laycock, Associate Coach and Facilitator
Caroline Laycock, Associate Coach and Facilitator

Caroline combines deep experience as a change management consultant, and hard-earned perspectives from facilitating hundreds of development sessions, to support leaders and teams in optimising their effectiveness at work. We've been lucky to collaborate with Caroline within our platform, and digital content — and to take tailored programmes directly into partners such as SuperAwesome, Otherway and Chobani.

More on Caroline's practice
Dr. Sam Akbar, Clinical psychologist and Associate
Dr. Sam Akbar, Clinical psychologist and Associate

Drawing on her work as an NHS clinical psychologist and trauma specialist, and building on the ideas in her best-selling-book Stressilient, we've partnered with Sam to widely share her thinking on proactive resilience building at the individual and team level through our platform, video content, digital tools — as well as work direct with teams across all sectors.

Read Sam's purposefully portable book