University of London appoints Michael Hayman as Honorary Professor of the Purpose Economy

Wednesday 18 July 2018

The University of London today announces the appointment of the entrepreneur and author Michael Hayman (left) as Honorary Professor of the Purpose Economy, working within the School of Advanced Study (SAS).

The five-year appointment, made by the University of London’s Collegiate Council, will focus on the relationship between profit and purpose and how UK prosperity can be boosted by socially motivated businesses. Mr Hayman will also lead research into the factors that might accelerate the financial contribution and social impact of the purpose economy.

The School of Advanced Study is the UK's national centre for the promotion and facilitation of research in the humanities and social sciences. It brings together nine research institutes that provide a wide range of specialist research services, facilities, and resources.

‘I am delighted to be joining the team at the School of Advanced Study to investigate the opportunities afforded by the changing dynamics of the relationship between business and society’, said Mr Hayman. ‘The School is a highly respected research institution and I am looking forward to working with it to better understand the potential of purpose-led businesses. It is also a great honour to return to the University of London, a university of which I have had a long association and which I have seen deliver thought leadership and academic excellence at first hand.’

Mr Hayman is an entrepreneur, author, broadcaster, and a campaigner for business. He is co-founder of Seven Hills, a campaigns firm working with entrepreneurs, philanthropists, business leaders, and innovators. He is also co-author of Mission: How the Best in Business Break Through (Penguin, 2016), which examines how business leaders can harness the power of purpose.

In 2017, he collaborated with the University to launch GradVenture, a new pitching competition for aspiring student entrepreneurs. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Economics by the University for his services to entrepreneurship.

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Rick Rylance, Dean of the School of Advanced Study and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), said: ‘It is splendid to welcome Michael to the School. He gives us the opportunity to develop another strand to our work and engage more widely with major issues of our day. It will be an exciting period.’

Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Operations) and Chief Operating Officer, said: ‘We’re pleased that Michael Hayman will be joining the University of London as an Honorary Professor. He is an accomplished thought-leader in entrepreneurship and his work on purpose-led businesses fits well with the remit of the School of Advanced Study.’  


Notes to Editors:

  1. For further information, please contact: Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London +44 (0)20 7862 8653  /
  2. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled resources, facilities and academic opportunities across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. Last year SAS welcomed 786 research fellows and associates, held 2,007 events highlighting the latest research in the humanities, received 24.4 million online visits to its research resources and platforms, and hosted 194,145 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. The School also leads Being Human, the UK’s only nationwide festival of the humanities. Find out more at or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.
  3. The University of London is a federal university and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the university is recognised globally as a world leader in higher education. Its members are 18 self-governing institutions of outstanding reputation, and nine research institutes. Learn more about the University of London at