Five Minutes With… Ben Lindsay OBE

Resource type: Podcast

Recorded live at the launch of the new report Protecting Young Black Lives, Celebrating Black Professionals, we caught up with CEO and Founder of Power the Fight Ben Lindsay OBE to find out what he thinks the most important conversations we need to be having today are.

You can subscribe to Cumberland Lodge’s podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud, and other major podcast platforms.

If you want to find out more about the work of Cumberland Lodge, find out more here.

The views expressed in these podcasts are those of the speakers and not necessarily reflect those of Cumberland Lodge.

Episode transcript

00:00 – 00:23

Jack Verduyn (JV)

What are the most important conversations we need to be having today? And how can young people contribute to these conversations? These are the questions we ask our guests to answer in Five Minutes With…

We caught up with CEO and Founder of Power the Fight Ben Lindsay at the launch of the new report, Protecting Young Black Lives, Celebrating Black Professionals.

00:23 – 00:48


It highlighted six key insights, including the need to name racism as a safeguarding issue, to value the specific contributions Black professionals make in safeguarding Black young people, and to create safe and inclusive services both for Black young people to access and for Black professionals to work within.

In this episode, Ben talks about how we can collaborate effectively while challenging our own views, so we can live and work together to create a better future.

00:48 – 01:20

Ben Lindsay (BL)

I think some of the most important conversations that we can have in society today, it’s about how we collaborate, how we do partnership, how we have a connective approach to any social ill, and how we do that in a way which empowers the communities around us. So most people, particularly if you have a capitalist mentality, is like, I’m self-made, you know, and I don’t believe anybody is self-made, even the people who we think are self-made

01:20 – 01:52


have had support from somebody they’ve been given some type of opportunities. But the danger we have, particularly with young people, is that we are given this impression that everyone’s an entrepreneur, everyone does things on their own. And the reality is that’s not true. Reality is that if we are going to tackle any societal problem, if we are going to try and build on skills and gifts, to move in any space, we are going to need to partner, collaborate, and engage in some spaces that we might not be used to.

01:53 – 02:15


And I think the reality is that we have a very individualistic mentality for most things on this planet. But reality is if we are going to move forward, we are going to have to partner with one another. And that also means maybe partnering with people and collaborating with people that you wouldn’t normally do, people who have maybe contrasting views and perspectives.

02:15 – 02:42


But for me, one of the most important things we need to grapple with, if we are, what is the collective response to any issue. In my context, violence affecting young people is something which I’m very passionate about, but bringing multiple sectors and having multiple narratives and even contradicting narratives in that space is so important. Contradicting narratives, multiple narratives are something which we don’t like to engage in because people are comfortable with their perspective.

02:42 – 03:10


I just don’t think any movement can afford to have that perspective. We’ve got to be able to partner, collaborate, embrace and elegantly challenge, as I often say, different perspectives.


And how we can be involving young people in these conversations?


We have to go to where young people are at. If we’re going to work with involving young people in the conversations like collaboration and partnership, you have to understand what that means to a young person.

03:10 – 03:33


Case in point, how I connected with my friends outside of the school context when I was a kid was very much about going to the park, playing football, or if I wanted to make a phone call, I’d wait until after 6 o’clock when it’s cheaper and I’ll pick up the phone and phone my friends. That’s not how young people engage. And so much about it as well is negativity about them using mobile phones and stuff about young people.

03:33 – 03:57


But actually, the reality is that most young people when you talk about texting or WhatsApp or iMessenger or whatever it is, that’s how they connect with their friends. So there’s something about if we are going to engage with young people about collaboration and partnership, we are going to have to humble ourselves as adults and try and understand the different technological advancements, which are really engaging young people and not be afraid of it and look at it as always a negative.

03:57 – 04:23


That doesn’t mean that I’m against the safeguarding of these spaces, particularly around information you’re connecting with young people, but we’ve got to embrace it and not be afraid of it and come down like a hammer. So yeah, I think if we are talking about partnership, collaboration networking. Likeability is another thing I keep trying to say to young people is like, you don’t have to always be the smartest person in the room, but it’s important that you are likable can get you far.

04:23 – 04:45


I feel those are the kinds of things we need to engage with young people.


If you would like to read the Protecting Young Black Lives, Celebrating Black professionals report, it is available on the resources page of the Cumberland Lodge website.

You can keep up to date with all the work of Cumberland Lodge on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook @CumberlandLodge or on our website

04:45 – 04:51


Thank you again to Ben for joining us, and thanks for listening.