The Only Way is Ethics

The Only Way is Ethics is a lecture programme providing a glimpse of the many different paths available to drive forward social progress and change. 

The programme will run over three sessions in Michaelmas and Hilary. Each session will feature a keynote talk from an inspiring leader about how they have put 'purpose' at the heart of their career and a chaired Q&A with Gillian Aitken, Oxford University Registrar.

Session dates

In order to attend the session, you must book a place in CareerConnect. Click on the sessions below to secure your place. 

The Only Way is Ethics is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, and researchers across all Divisions of Oxford University. If you have any questions about the programme, please email us on

Guest speakers

Session 1: Thomas Muirhead

Now based in New York, Thomas Muirhead is a serial social entrepreneur.

A philosophy degree and MA in Journalism preceded his decision to want to “get on and do things.” He has founded numerous tech start-ups a number of which are squarely in the “purpose-led” space including Utopy an online purpose-led learning platform. He was CEO of a UK based international development charity,, for 6 years.

Thomas also has an active interest in a number of for-profit businesses including Novlr, an online platform he co-founded, serving budding writers.

Session 2: Sarah Giles

Sarah graduated from Bristol University with a degree in Spanish & Russian. She spent the next decade working in London and Moscow in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors. After completing a second degree in psychology, she spent a further ten years working for charities on refugee issues, community organising, and conflict transformation in the Middle East.

Moving to Oxford in 2010 with a young family, Sarah worked freelance in the charity sector before becoming the director of a social farming charity for people with learning disabilities and autism. After 8 years in this role, she joined Oxfordshire Community Foundation in 2021 as the philanthropy lead.

Alongside paid work Sarah has worked on a voluntary basis, most recently locally with Oxford Mutual Aid and nationally with the Black Swimming Association and the UK Sporting Association for People with Learning Disabilities.

Session 3: Edward Lane Fox and Anna Jay

Edward Lane Fox

Ed is a Director at The One Nine Three Group (193), an independent corporate and financial communications advisory firm. A former British Army Officer Ed spent five years as Private Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and as a member of The Royal Household’s senior leadership team. During his tenure in the Royal Household, Ed delivered initiatives across a broad range of national and global issues, including the Invictus Games, the Heads Together mental health campaign, the 2018 Royal Wedding and more than 30 overseas visits on behalf of the UK Government. He remains a member of the Invictus Games Foundation Board and chairs their HR Committee.

Anna Jay

Anna is MD of executive search consultancy Public Leaders Appointments which she established in 2017. She has almost 20 years’ experience leading senior and board level appointments across public, not-for-profit and commercial sector organisations and during her corporate career, she latterly worked in the public and charity sector practice in the Odgers Berndtson Group. She has also worked for the Eden Project and national charity, Church Urban Fund in senior fundraising roles.

 Anna’s business was founded on her values-driven and ethical approach and beliefs, she is committed to consistently identifying, attracting and championing diverse talent for leadership and board level appointments. She is a Fellow of the RSA and founding member of Cornwall Women’s Fund.

Future session: Cath Dovey

Cath Dovey is an Oxford alumna and co-founder of the Beacon Collaborative which offers a place for philanthropists to come together, share ideas and learn from each other. In her previous life, Cath co-founded Scorpio Partnership, the global wealth management strategy and research firm, where she led the firm’s high-net-worth and strategy research capabilities for two decades.

Cath chairs Rosa, the UK fund for women and girls, and is a trustee of Philanthropy Impact.

Future session: Sanjeev Gandhi

Sanjeev has balanced his commercial interests with social impact and other purpose-led initiatives.

Commercially he is currently a partner at Mitchell Gandhi LLP and has held a number of senior roles in the technology, media, investment management sectors. He worked as director of strategy at Yahoo! Europe and a similar role for BBC Worldwide.

In the not-for-profit space, he founded and, over 12 years, built Reach to Teach, a primary education NGO which secured $100m in funding from Larry Ellison of Oracle. He served as Chair of the Eden Project, is a trustee of the Fidelity UK Foundation and is on the T20 Board of English Cricket.

In-person sessions take place at the Careers Service building

The Careers Service address is 56 Banbury Rd, Park Town, Oxford OX2 6PA.

We are doing everything we can to ensure events are as safe as possible and to improve ventilation we may have windows open.  While attending events at The Careers Service we encourage you to:

  • Wear a face covering (unless exempt)
  • Test before coming to large events
  • Stay at home if you are unwell
  • Keep washing your hands
  • Be considerate of other people’s space

For full details, read the University health guidance.

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