Adele Barlow has led communications for some of Europe's top tech start-ups helping people to navigate the future of work. Recently she ran content and comms for Makers, a UK coding training provider helping to make the tech industry more inclusive, before launching Copy & Co, a boutique agency creating content for progressive organisations all around the world.
She has delivered popular startup marketing lectures for General Assembly, the Centre for Entrepreneurs, and the Guardian, and has written a regular column for the Huffington Post, as well as guest features in Real Business and City A.M. She has led strategic content partnerships for major international brands including Saatchi & Saatchi, Virgin, and Microsoft, as well as a collaboration between Obama’s digital agency, Blue State Digital, and Peace One Day, a global peace organisation supported by the United Nations.
As one of London's most entrepreneurial storytellers, she created the UK's first Women in Software Power List in partnership with Makers and Computer Weekly, and before that she spearheaded The Escape School, the education arm of Escape the City. She is the author of multiple books and the founder of indie publishing house Outbound Books. Before moving to London, she started an award-winning social enterprise in New Zealand that produced digital campaigns for charities. She is now based in London and Hong Kong.
In my final year of university, I co-founded an award-winning startup with Pamela Minett, connecting students with charities. We were supported by some big companies and it taught me about marketing on a zero budget, startups, grit, and how the way you manage others relates to the way you manage yourself.
A couple of years later, I left New Zealand and moved to London for law school, but dropped out. I didn't know many people in the UK and so I went to a ton of meet-ups, gave startup marketing workshops, and took on some marketing projects. They led me to interesting places, including the United Nations HQ in Manhattan.
In 2012, I joined Escape the City as one of their first team members. I wrote hundreds of blog posts and produced over 150 events, learning first-hand how much my generation was struggling to connect the dots in the new world of work. I spearheaded the Escape School with Matt Trinetti and Rob Symington, developing a suite of products like the Startup MBA.
I also started writing regularly about the future of work for the Huffington Post. Eventually, I wanted to write longer pieces, on questions like: was an MBA really worth the investment? Why was law the hardest industry to leave? And how could recent graduates set themselves up to find fulfilling work? I launched an indie publishing company called Outbound Books.
These days, I'm still experimenting with books. I wrote my first fiction novel and am practising what I call 'agile publishing'. I'm passionate about helping more women share their professional wisdom and stories. This is my friend Dana holding a book we created together.
For a few years, I worked mainly with Makers, a coding bootcamp helping people to change careers into tech. It was with Makers that in 2019 I started the UK's first Women in Software Power List, in partnership with ComputerWeekly, celebrating rising stars in the coding community.
Over my career, I've led strategic content partnerships for major international brands, and for scrappy startups and government agencies. I'm inspired by businesses that exist for a purpose beyond profit alone, and I love helping founders who have inspiring goals.
In 2021, based between London and Hong Kong, I'm launching Copy & Co, a boutique agency creating content for progressive organisations all around the world. Makers is one of my first clients, and I'm excited to share the stories of founders and companies from different corners of the globe.