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18th  Anniversary Series

We turned 18. To celebrate this great milestone, we give a voice to some of the great talents, characters, and personalities that shaped us into the adults we are now. Tune in each week to hear straight from them.

Our founder’s trusty sidekick – the snow-coloured iBook G3 Dual USB that launched the company.

It takes a village.

Within International is 18 years old today, a remarkable thing for me to write when I look back on where it all started. Like many businesses, we began life in the less than auspicious surroundings of my parents’ spare bedroom in a wonderfully sleepy rural setting in Stapleford, Cambridgeshire.

It was 2006, and Tony Blair was Prime Minister; I had no idea that he would soon be working with his team at Number Ten Downing Street and then go on to work with Gordon Brown and Boris Johnson. Facebook and Twitter launched that year, and PlayStation released the PS3. It was the year ‘An inconvenient Truth’ was released, and 18 years later, we are still working on climate crisis projects that started in 2009 with HRH The Prince of Wales and have included more COPs than I can count.

From Stapleford we are now in London, New York and Bucharest, and half of our clients are not from the UK. We are from 13 countries speaking 12 languages. We have grown into a team of 20 across two businesses. We have employed over one hundred people, and I have made many lifelong friends.

 

I have a mantra in our studio: no solution is any one person’s idea. You may be the person who gets the ball rolling, but you can never deliver any significantly brilliant work alone. The same is true of our business. I started it, but the team I am now a part of and the teams I’ve been part of throughout made this place what it is today.

Then, there are those people who have shaped the business from the outside through their kindness, support and loyalty. It is this collection of remarkable people that I wanted to highlight in this short series of films to celebrate our ‘coming of age’. From our first ever client whom I still look up to today, to the people I have met in the more recent past that help us grow. The list is uniquely brilliant, and whilst we will only talk to 18 people, one for each year from 2006 to 2024, we could have interviewed hundreds.

This series celebrates the people who raised us up.

2006        2007        2008        2009        2010        2011        2012        2013        2014        2015        2016        2017        2018        2019        2020        2021        2022        2023        2024

2013

Dr Leyla Hussein OBE

“Where my heart is, it is actually in writing – it is fundamentally where I belong, and I would refuse to publish with anyone who tells me to tone it down.”

Leyla is a tireless advocate for women’s rights, standing for survivors of female genital mutilation. Through her passionate writing and advocacy work, she has established vital support services and raised global awareness of this critical issue. With years of activism and many accolades, she is widely recognised as an authority on these complex topics.

She discusses her journey with us, starting with a pro bono campaign for her charity, ‘The Dahlia Project’ – the UK’s first specialist therapeutic service for FGM survivors. Now part of our Advisory Board, we are proud to benefit from her guidance on hard-hitting topics, complex issues and brave actions, as well as always admire (and enjoy) her fierce intellect as much as her strong presence.

2012

Paul Edwards

“If you can combine that [honesty] with friendship and that real mutual respect, then I think it becomes an incredibly powerful business combination.”

Paul has known Within International for over a decade since first meeting with our CEO Ruxandra Radulescu, our Founder and Creative Director Will Hambling and our team during the global rebrand we delivered for DLA Piper. With his experience as former CFO of a global law firm, he is a true powerhouse in the financial world. And his thoughtfulness, sense of humour and consideration have cemented the strong relationship he has with each and every one in our studio.

In this latest episode, Ruxandra catches up with Paul about how their partnership has grown since those early days. From mentor to chair of the Within Advisory Board, Paul continues providing thoughtful guidance rooted in his balanced approach of considering both business objectives and people. They discuss the value of honest discussions between business partners and reflect on how building trust with clients remains key to any business success.

2011

Jon Brewer

“We each let the other do the work that we are an expert at (…) and I think that’s how we built a really successful relationship.”

Jon understands the importance of building strong, meaningful partnerships and the power of new business terminology – specifically when invented with our CEO Ruxandra Radulescu. His journey began in the competitive world of sports before transitioning seamlessly into the corporate realm. Chief Marketing Officer at Orrick, Jon has a deep understanding of market dynamics, making him an indispensable asset to every organisation he has touched. He is also currently heading the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), fostering a collaborative environment for legal marketing professionals.

Jon’s belief in the power of relationships and mentorship has been a driving force behind his success. His ability to trust and empower experts, coupled with his relentless pursuit of excellence, has always been the foundation and fuel of our relationship as a client first, and as a friend then. We are thrilled to have Jon as part of our anniversary celebration, recognising his invaluable contributions to our journey.

2008

Simon Frusher

The words as I recall were: ‘We don’t take any chances with His Majesty’, in terms of technology. That was that was fun and, obviously, a build up to the event itself which was fantastic.

Former Head of Audio Visual turned boatbuilder, Simon, is a pivotal figure in the evolution of Within—and it’s easy to see why. His journey with us began in the early 2000s when he was heading the audiovisual department at British Telecom. We collaborated with him on developing a groundbreaking streaming platform for a high-profile event organised by Prince Charles and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to raise awareness of global warming. Amidst the voting hiccups and the surprising live streaming capabilities at St. James’s Palace, one memory that stands out vividly in Will’s mind is Simon’s uncanny ability to stay calm under all circumstances (mostly high-pressure ones).

Today, Simon has channeled his passion and skills into a new venture—traditional boatbuilding. After decades in the multimedia and audiovisual industry, including significant stints in Hong Kong and Singapore, Simon decided to pursue a long-held dream. Swapping cables and screens for wood and sails, he’s now crafting stunning wooden boats with the same cool and calm. We are grateful to have had Simon as a part of our journey and eagerly anticipate the incredible work he continues to produce in his new field.

2007

Tom Marks

“I just love the way we have been aligned for so long—we happen to solve the ends of each other’s puzzles.”

It is hard to believe it has been 17 years since Will first met Tom at Melbourne Fashion Week, when they were both carving their paths in the creative industries. As two ambitious entrepreneurs, neither could have foreseen the trajectory of their respective companies. Fast forward to today and it remains remarkable how their parallel journeys have remained intertwined.

This is a sneak peek into one of their regular catch ups. Will and Tom reflect on the innovative, groundbreaking technologies their businesses have pioneered with MMAPT and Enter Agora. It is a testament to the friendship and trust between our two founders who have supported each other’s achievements every step of the way.

2006

Alison Cook

“I was thinking, no, we can’t do that. And you sat opposite me and you said, yes, we can do it.”

Brilliant communicator with a dedication to the public sector, we met Alison when she was Head of Policy Communications and Special Advisor to Ministers in both the Department of Health and Number 10. After advocating for surgeons, her talent for sharing complex topics with diverse audiences now inspires secondary school students. Our early work with Alison was foundational for our agency.

Not only was she one of our first clients, but she also helped shape our culture in ways that still resonate today. Alison inspired us to seek out brilliant partners and push the boundaries of what we believe is possible through creativity and determination. She reinforced our confidence to take on ambitious projects and deliver results that surprise even ourselves.

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