Lord John Bird MBE

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Big Issue

Lord Bird co-founded The Big Issue. The weekly magazine achieves its mass circulation by being sold on the streets of the UK by vendors who are homeless and vulnerably accommodated. The Big Issue, and similar magazines, is now published in 35 countries around the world.

"By buying and taking The Big Issue, you equalise two people who are in a sense unequal in the world." John Bird

Add to my shortlist


  • Starting the "Big Issue"
  • The John Bird Story
  • Empowering Others through Self-empowerment
  • Achieving the Impossible


He presents in English.

How he presents

John's diverse experience, combined with his exuberant personality, erudition and often trenchant views make him a compelling and entertaining speaker.


  • The Necessity of Poverty
  • The 10 Keys to Success
  • How to Change Your Life in 7 Steps
  • Some Luck

In Detail

John was brought up in an orphanage and served time in a young offenders' institution. During turbulent and difficult times, he slept rough as one of London's homeless. John was very much a part of the problems of society. Eventually, he realised that the only way to get out of the destructive circle into which he had grown up was to give himself a hand up, rather than wait for others to give him a hand out. Settling down in his 20's, John began to hold down regular jobs in factories and eventually, as a skilled printer. He never forgot the hardship and problems of his youth - and the ways in which similar deprivation afflicts thousands of others in similar positions at the bottom rung of society.


John Bird MBE remains an active voice in the realm of social change, often commenting on political policies and appearing at high profile fundraising and awareness events, as a motivational speaker he often lectures at corporate events and conferences on topics of leadership, personal development and business leadership.



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