Sam Lakha


Sam Lakha is a Director and Board member at Volans and was part of Volans’ founding group in 2008.

Sam’s mission is to find ways for Volans to be part of conversations and on platforms that allow us to challenge the world of business and bring ‘constructive discomfort’ to a wide-range of audiences.

As well as the gubbins of running the business and driving our varied research, outreach and agenda-setting work, Sam is the front line of our partnership with the UN Global Compact around our Breakthrough Innovation Platform (launching September 2016 – watch teaser video here), a new showcase of where and how transformational change is happening right now.

This work stems from the Breakthrough Capitalism initiative that Sam has been heading since 2012 – a series of events, books and reports signposting a direction of travel away from ‘change-as-usual’.

Of those works, Sam was a principal author of The Stretch Agenda (2015), written as a play/dramatization that zooms in on discussions at a fictional board meeting table of an international holding group as it confronts critical social and environmental challenges. The inspiration for that project was a sensed need to engage the “Global C-Suite” – the top teams of the world’s 1,000 most influential (but not necessarily largest) businesses – to stretch their thinking and ambitions.

Sam’s day job – which she finds hard to justify as ‘work’ – involves everything from scouting for disruptive innovators, to finding and engaging exponential change-makers, and then building bridges and partnerships between them and incumbents.

Sam also works closely with John Elkington as a sparring partner, editor and critic (!) in relation to his writing and presentations.

What floats Sam’s boat? The sense that we are headed for Breakthrough – we are in motion; it’s happening now. And that engaging people is critical. Volans was fundamentally founded to help catalyze the conversations that will lead to breakthrough – and so Sam is deeply encouraged to now see, hear and feel the traction.

Sam’s focus is on joining-the-dots among people, ideas and tools – as there is no single solution – and helping identify the possibilities in the market that is changing before our collective eyes.

Sam is notably curious and intrigued by the mindsets and cultural dynamics driving Breakthrough Innovation and is convinced that business leaders *can* change the rules of our global system.

In her previous life Sam held roles with the Equal Opportunities Commission, BSkyB, Datamonitor, EDS and her family’s business. She holds a BSc. Hons. in Psychology, which remains a life-long intrigue and passion.

Sam’s other pass-times include walking, strategic people-watching, films and gently obsessing over her eclectic book and music collection.

Sam’s mother tongue is Gujarati. She is chatty in French and fluent in gibberish.


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