Home | News & Insights | 2023 | Cambridge Ahead appoints new co-chairs to Young Advisor Committee

Cambridge Ahead appoints new co-chairs to Young Advisor Committee


Cambridge Ahead, the business and academic member organisation dedicated to the sustainable and inclusive growth of the Cambridge city region, is delighted to announce the appointment of Jacqueline Platt and Jason Mellad as co-Chairs of its Young Advisory Committee.

The Young Advisory Committee has been created by Cambridge Ahead to give younger workers a voice in shaping the city’s future. It conducts research amongst its peers and has worked with a wide range of local community groups to define and put forward ambitious ideas to city leaders.

Jacqueline and Jason take over from Rob Carter, who set up the Young Advisory Committee five years ago through Cambridge Ahead, leading it to become an exemplar Cambridge model of how to bring younger voices into decision-making.

The Young Advisory Committee supported local environmental groups and local authorities to shape and launch the Cambridge Nature Network and the creation of the annual Cambridge Nature Festival.

This year the Committee led the creation of a vision for good growth at the neighbourhood level, called the ‘City of Quarters’ project. The project aims to make Cambridge a more vibrant, inclusive, sustainable and accessible place to live and work for all - addressing the real needs of younger people in Cambridge whilst crucially also finding ways to incorporate wider community views into this work.

Jacqueline Platt is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Assurance practice with 10 years’ experience across various geographies focussing on the life sciences industry. She specialises in supporting clients with large financial controls transformation projects and financial and controls audits, serving predominantly multinational groups that operate in a regulated environment (listed on LSE or NASDAQ) as well as fast-growing companies looking to IPO. She has been a member of the Cambridge Ahead Young Advisory Committee since it was founded five years ago and has been vice chair to Rob Carter for the last year.

Jacqueline commented of her appointment: “Since arriving in Cambridge six years ago I have been growing my personal network and getting involved with an organisation like Cambridge Ahead has been a brilliant catalyst to get to know our city and the people and organisations in it. The opportunity for collaboration, shaping our future and strengthening the dynamic ecosystem that being involved with Cambridge Ahead brings is extremely valuable. Stepping into the Young Advisory Committee chair role is a privileged opportunity to lead an exceptional group of motivated individuals who are giving a voice to the next generation in Cambridge; influencing the city we want to inherit in a collaborative, inclusive and sustainable way.”

Jason Mellad is a scientist and entrepreneur, passionate about translating innovative technologies into better patient outcomes.

As CEO and Co-Founder of Start Codon, a UK-based accelerator located in Cambridge, he aims to discover the most disruptive life science, biotech and healthcare founders and help them translate their innovations into successful ventures. This is achieved through a combination of seed funding and a bespoke venture-building programme, which taps into the exceptional resources of the Cambridge cluster as well as the global network and knowledge of Jason and the Start Codon team.

Previously CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix (now Biomodal) and Business Development Manager for Horizon Discovery’s diagnostics division, Jason has also served as an associate for Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer office of the University of Cambridge.

Jason said: “Cambridge Ahead’s ambition of ensuring sustainable growth and quality of life across the region is something I care deeply about. This is why I was delighted to be asked to take up the role of co-Chair of the Cambridge Ahead Young Advisory Committee. With Cambridge being one of the most unequal cities in the UK, it’s all the more important that we engage with young people and empower them to speak up and contribute to decisions that will have a lasting impact on their futures, their community and the environment. I’m thrilled to have this unique opportunity to work with the Young Advisory Committee to help drive greater justice, equality, diversity and inclusion across our region.”

Paul Schofield, Senior Partner of Deloitte LLP in Cambridge added: “Deloitte are proud to have been founder members of Cambridge Ahead 10 years ago. The Young Advisory Committee is a brilliant part of the Cambridge Ahead offering, and I am delighted that Jacqueline has accepted the co-Chair role, alongside Jason. Like many other businesses, a high proportion of Deloitte’s Cambridge workforce are under 35 and the Young Advisory Committee fulfils a valuable and still quite rare function in ensuring that younger people’s needs, views and ideas are better represented to decision-makers in the region.”



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