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#ACEVOFest21 speakers: Tim Naor Hilton

ACEVO’s digital leadership festival is back this year from 2-4 November. The full programme is available on the website and in this blog series, you will get to know our speakers a little bit better.

A narrated version of this blog is available at the bottom of the page

Tim Naor Hilton, CEO, Refugee Action

At #ACEVOFest21, Tim will help leaders understand when the best thing we can do is take up space and advocate, and when is the time for us to step aside and allow others to lead.

What makes you hopeful?

Seeing the growth of discussions and real meaningful commitments in pockets across the charity sector around how to deconstruct and decentralise power – there’s so much more to do but it feels like there’s a momentum starting to build up.

What do you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of 2020?

I feared that people seeking asylum would be in the crosshairs of this government’s culture war, but the extent to which that has happened has been on a completely different level: people unable to self-isolate in the middle of a pandemic, crammed into disused army barracks; extreme, discriminatory and illegal proposals and procedures that change what the whole concept of seeking protection and safety means – and all wrapped up as ‘beating criminal gangs’.

Can you recommend: a book, a series/film, a podcast?

I’ve read some great books this year, I’d recommend loads of them but the ones that really stood out are: Sudhir Hazareesingh’s Black Spartacus, new biography of Toussaint Louverture; Walter Rodney’s classic from 1971 How Europe Underdeveloped Africa; Sathnam Sanghera’s brilliant Empireland; Lucy Mablin’s Asylum After Empire; and Priyamvada Gopal’s magnificent Insurgent Empire.

I’ve also re-watched all 6 series of Lost with my 14-year-old daughter – it’s great entertainment but still as much nonsense as it was when I watched it the first time around… (did we ever find out why there was a polar bear on an island in the South Pacific?)

Did you incorporate a new habit in your day to day routine in the past 18 months that you can share with us?

An evening walk – never managed those regularly before!

What do you miss the most from working at the office and what you love the most from working remotely?

I’m writing this during one of those super-hot late July days so what I most miss about working in an office is the aircon!  I also miss those informal interactions and contact with colleagues that get lost when remote working where every interaction has to be planned in.  Working remotely though has massively increased connections between our staff and volunteers working in different parts of the country which has been amazing, and has made me feel so much closer to some than I ever did.  Oh, and being able to make proper coffees throughout the day…

What’s your favourite thing to do for your own wellbeing?

I’ve finally discovered that I might actually like swimming, but throughout the whole pandemic, the main thing I’ve done for my own well-being is reading, reading, reading.

Narrated by a member of the ACEVO staff

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