RTC dinner on IT and the Arts (24 November 2009)

Why Should the ICT Industry Care About the Arts

We should all care about the arts but, moreover for ICT, technology is moving central stage – new media, new content, new ways to find and to reach audiences and supporters, new ways to connect and engage with them. Do many in the ICT industry know or care?

Vernon Ellis

Vernon Ellis has spent all his working life at Accenture in a number of major operational roles. From 2000 to the end of 2007 he was International Chairman. Latterly this became a part-time role whilst he took on a number of other roles, mostly in the not-for-profit arena, including Chairman at English National Opera. At the beginning of 2008 he became Senior Adviser at Accenture and has taken on other Chairmanships, particularly in companies developing their online presence.

Vernon joined Accenture in 1969 after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He became Managing Partner for the UK in 1986 and for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India in 1989. Over the next eleven years he led the very challenging integration of the European partnerships whilst at the same time managing massive growth in the region. Under his stewardship, the EMEAI practice grew in fees from $300m to over $4b and this was accompanied by very significant increases in profitability so that this region became the most profitable. In his role as International Chairman, he played a key role in the transition to corporation and then to public company quoted on the NYSE, managed Geographic dimension of Accenture, chaired Partner Income Committee, and established and chaired Accenture’s Corporate Citizenship activities worldwide, including the global Foundations and Accenture Development Partnerships.

Over the last eight years, Vernon has been Chairman of the Board of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, and a member of Advisory Councils or Boards for: the Centre for European Reform, IMD, INSEAD, and the Said Business School, University of Oxford. He has also been a Barclay Fellow at Templeton College, Oxford. He was Deputy Chairman of the Mayor of Seoul’s International Business Advisory Council from 2004 to 2006 and was on the Boards of Enablis (Canada) and WorldLinks (US), both NGOs in international development, the former created out of the G8 Digital Opportunities Taskforce, on which Vernon was the UK private sector representative. He has been involved in a number of World Economic Forum initiatives and task forces. He is on the Advisory Board of Bridges Community Ventures.

He has long had a passion for the arts, particularly music, and through his Foundation, hosts regular musical events at his London home to support musicians and various musical enterprises. He holds a number of related board positions: Chairman: English National Opera, (where he has overseen a major and very successful turnaround, financially and artistically), Classical Opera Company and the Sacconi Quartet Trust; Trustee: Royal College of Music, Florestan Trio Trust, Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Leopold Trio, Young Singers Welfare Foundation. He is also Chairman of Martin Randall Travel, a new venture in the US for classical music downloads and Country Greenhouses Ltd.