The Diaspora Group was founded in 2012 by Lord Wei of Shoreditch and his management team
Lord Wei of Shoreditch
Lord Wei of Shoreditch, also known as Nat Wei, is a social entrepreneur who is interested in social reform. He is the youngest member of the House of Lords and is the only active ethnic Chinese member of it. After graduating from Oxford, Lord Wei worked at McKinsey & Company, where he came to know Brett Wigdortz, who founded Teach First in 2002. After his time at Teach First, Lord Wei worked on setting up various social enterprises, venture capital and joined the children’s charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) where he helped to set up Future Leaders, a programme seeking to attract, develop and place high potential teachers and future leaders of urban schools. He was also previously an adviser to the Her Majesty’s Government on the Big Society.
As the only current ethnic Chinese peer in The House of Lords, and the first member of Chinese ethnic origin to have been born and brought up in the UK, Lord Wei takes an active interest in British Chinese community issues, particularly in social reform. He is also interested in economic and cultural ties between the UK and China. In April 2011, when Lord Wei was visiting China, he was given an award by Phoenix Television for his achievements. He is the most senior ethnic Chinese politician in the European Union.
As such, Lord Wei currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group where he also heads up the Hong Kong sub-group as Chair. He also serves as Chair of the APPG for East Asian Business, which was launched at February 29th, 2012 in London’s Houses of Parliament by international leaders from government, industry and academia. The purpose of the group is to facilitate the development of relations between businesses in East Asia and the United Kingdom. He also serves as Treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade & Investment.
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Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart was born, raised and educated in Malaysia and Singapore and is of Indian and Chinese parentage. She came to London to study Law at Queen Mary College, London University and qualified as a barrister and solicitor.
She worked for large City firms in London and co-founded a small legal practice in Knightsbridge. She subsequently founded i-families.co.uk (previously Divorce & Family Law Information Service). She also writes regularly for magazines and Family Forums and has made radio and TV appearances on these issues.
She also worked with the Centre for Social Justice (Family Law Policy Review and Reform Committee) and co-authored the Report ‘Every Family Matters’ (July 2009) recommending policies on supporting marriages and strengthening families in UK.
She was selected as a Woman of Achievement by Women of the Year Nominating Council in 2009.
Sheela is an active contributor and is highly active in civic society, both within the local and wider community . She has held/currently hold the following positions: Vice Chairman of London British Red Cross, the Rainbow Trust, the English National Ballet, the Sea Cadets, ex-Chairman of the Buckinghamshire NSPCC; ex School Governor of Beaconsfield High School; Trustee of the charities Street Dreams and Drugfam, Law Society Mentor and Coach for Junior Lawyers and ex-Chairman of Beaconsfield Conservative Constituency Association, now the Hon. Vice President of the Beaconsfield Conservative Association. Sheela is also an adviser on the All Parliamentary Purpose Group on Life Transitions and on the Board of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese.
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He qualified as a Solicitor Advocate and now specialises in inward Chinese investment, Commercial Law, International Law and Litigation. He is a Consultant Solicitor Advocate to a British law firm and a Dutch international law firm based in Amsterdam, Beijing and Shanghai during his spare time.
He is equally fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese and has a working knowledge of Dutch.
From 2008 to 2011, Jackson volunteered as an Executive member on the “Integration of British Chinese into politics” project (the BC Project) where is role included researching issues affecting the British Chinese community and businesses; and to inform, petition and campaign the BC Project’s findings to the various UK governmental departments and Parliament. Whilst with the BC Project, Jackson worked very closely with the All Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG) and the All Party Parliamentary Group Chinese in Britain.
Jackson still works closely with leading British Chinese community leaders on designing social and civil projects to help the youth of the British Chinese community and advises various Chinese professional and student groups.
On the academic side, Jackson has been a Research Associate within the China in Comparative Perspective Network (CCPN) at the London School of Economics and Political Science since 2010.
Since 2011, Jackson has been working in the Houses of Parliament as an Advisor to The Lord Wei of Shoreditch where he also works closely with political groups and figures, advising on various issues relating to the British Chinese community and China – Britain related matters. He was involved in the setting up of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on East Asian Business where he also served as the Parliamentary Liaison Officer. He now also works very closely with the All-Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG) which Lord Wei is a Vice-Chair of.
Jackson is active politically within the Conservative Party, both nationally and locally. He enjoys playing football and exploring entrepreneurial ideas in his spare time.