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Tessa Clarke

Co-Founder & CEO of OLIO & Former Exec at Dyson

Speaker Themes

  • Sustainability

About Tessa

Tessa is Co-Founder & CEO of OLIO, the world’s only neighbour-to-neighbour food sharing app, with over 1.5 million users worldwide. Tessa’s passionate and thought provoking presentation style consistently gets rave reviews from audiences, and guarantees that they will leave thinking about the world, and their organisation, differently.

Speaker Biography

From humble beginnings on an isolated farm, via a high-flying corporate career, Tessa is now applying her hallmark passion and fearlessness to one of the largest problems facing humanity today – food waste. 

After studying Social & Political Sciences at Cambridge University, Tessa became a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. It was here that she honed her trade-mark strategic thinking and passion for business. After an extensive career in media she joined Dyson – of vacuum cleaner & bladeless fan fame - as their first C-level director responsible for taking Dyson digital. This included launching e-commerce stores in the major international markets, as well as running an in-house team of web developers and digital marketers responsible for all of Dyson’s digital marketing and CRM. Working closely alongside James Dyson and the rest of the senior management team for 4 years, Tessa saw up close and personal how one of the most innovative and iconic UK brands of all times is managed and grown.

It was when moving country on her 2nd maternity leave that Tessa had the ‘lightbulb’ moment for OLIO. The moving men had told her to throw away all her food, and unwilling to do this, she had set out onto the streets to find someone to share it with, and failed. Thus the idea for OLIO was born – a food sharing app that connects users with food they don’t want or need, with neighbours living nearby who would like it.  In just over 4 years, 1.5 million people have joined OLIO and 3 million portions of food have been shared. This is largely thanks to the 40,000+ volunteers who have become OLIO Ambassadors in their local communities, and the 5,000 Food Waste Heroes who are collecting and redistributing unsold food from local businesses via the app.

In 2018 OLIO’s pioneering work was recognised by the United Nations as an example of a truly scalable solution to the problem of climate change, and given a coveted “Momentum for Change” award. OLIO has also won numerous other awards including Chivas The Venture in the UK, The Europas, Sustainable Cities, Feel Good Brands and the Digital Agenda Impact Awards. OLIO is a member of the Mayor of London’s International Business Programme, is part of the select Upscale programme and in 2018 was accepted as an Unreasonable company.

Check out Tessa on the following podcasts:

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"You are a true role model for what success looks like inside and outside of the firm. You brought a unique perspective that we don’t often get to hear - of the resourcefulness, talent and peer network that entrepreneurship demands.  The impact you are having on your community, and the world, through Olio is truly inspiring and we wish you all the success. Your genuine candor and perspective this morning were appreciated by all of us on the call."

Rohan Sajdeh, Senior Partner and Managing Director, BCG

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