Hi! I'm Rebecca Mills. I work with those driven to create positive impact at scale, helping them do the most good they can do.
Through the transformation agency, The Lever Room, I founded in 2008 I help people to build ventures + strategies that create a better world.
I'm known for my abilities to create practical yet transformative solutions that are win-wins for people, nature and our climate. My methods are proven to create prosperity for entrepreneurs and established businesses, cities and sectors.
As a strategy, sustainability and innovation specialist, I'm fortunate enough to have played central and founding roles in a number of initiatives at the global forefront of the 'impact' space. Along with my consulting work, I enjoy the value I can bring through governance.
In simple terms, I help people create ventures that have meaningful impact (for themselves and the world). I share my knowledge, processes and global networks with those I work with.
I hold a Certificate in Disruptive Innovation from Harvard Business School and a Master of Science and Technology (First Class, First Division) from Waikato University.
I've worked across scales and countries, and also across government, not-for-profit and business sectors. Through a career, which kicked off as a biosphere scientist, I have come to believe that there is a need to use system thinking (understand the entire system, and interactions between the various components,) in order to create the most impactful solutions.
The sheer depth and breadth of my work allows me to undertake systems based evaluations both rapidly and accurately. My experience in business, science and government allows me to uncover leverage points (I call them acupressure points), which unlock regenerative, highly profitable outcomes which match the needs of those I work with.
Example Projects and Initiatives
The notes below show some examples of my work. Please feel free to contact me if you would like a greater level of detail.
- I dedicated 2 years of my life to help shape and build the startup which is now known as The B Team. The B Team is a global initiative (founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz), which simply and ambitiously put, seeks to change the way the world does business. As the first person working full time on the start up, I was fortunate enough to spend time working closely with the global advisory board I helped bring together. Working with fellow advisors I framed initial discussions and thinking that defined areas of focus for the B Team. These focus areas are now communicated as 10 ‘challenges’, which together create the Agenda of Plan B http://bteam.org/planb.
Sitting on the B Team board are:
• Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
• Jochen Zeitz, Founder of Zeitz Foundation
• Oliver Bate, CEO of Allianz Group
• Marc Benioff, Founder, Chair and CEO of Salesforce
• Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders
• Sharan Burow, Sec Gen of the International Trade Union Confederation
• Cathy Calvin, Chair of the UN Foundation
• Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom
• David Crane, former CEO of NRG
• Arianna Huffington, Chair and President of Huffington Post Group
• Dr Mo Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of Celtel
• Guilherme Leal, Co Founder of Natura
• Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of Dow
• Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and CEO of Econet
• Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of Tom’s
• Arif Naqvi, Founder and CEO of Abraaj Group
• Dr Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala, Former Minister of Economy and Finance of Nigeria
• Francois Henri Pinault, CEO and Chair of Kering
• Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever
• Mary Robinson, President of Mary Robinson Foundation
• Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group
• Zhang Yue, Chairman and Founder of Broad Group China
• Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman of the Yunus Centre
• Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International
- I led the impact evaluation and sustainable design process for a number of large-scale masterplans across London and South East England during a period of rapid growth in the region. The (now acclaimed) regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, and the Sustainability and Energy strategies for London 2012 Olympics are examples of such masterplan projects. I’ve also led the assessment of large coastal and renewable energy projects (including geothermal, hydro and wind) in New Zealand, although its fair to say my work in New Zealand has been more sector and region based. In both countries I have also worked at a national policy level, representing England in various climate adaptation discussions.
- I’m interested in the idea of New Zealand being a ‘innovation nation’ and have focused on scalable models and strategies which seek to regenerate while providing a template to be shared with others. Related to this, I’ve played a central role in building bridges to connect world-class talent, impact capital, and high-tech innovation to the New Zealand startup ecosystem. There are a few examples of this and one of them is the curation of people and ideas for a festival primarily designed to spark conversations about integrated and innovative solutions to global problems.
- In 2017 I was invited to produce the closing workshop for the global experimental knowledge lab 'The Unschool' where I also judged a startup disruptive design challenge. I've also acted as a mentor for numerous entreprenuerial programmes including the globally renowned ‘Unreasonable Labs’ 5-day accelerators for early-stage entrepreneurs devoted to solving the world's biggest problems.
- My work coaching young people resulted in me being the first person in New Zealand to be nominated as a 'Global Shaper' by the World Economic Forum. Once selected I went on to curate and build New Zealand's first hub, in Auckland.
- I'm advocate of role of gender and cultural diversity in creating great ventures and was stoked to be featured alongside such amazing female entrepreneurs in this video.