Our company name was inspired by the idea of boxing clever – using savvy, fancy footwork and skill to defeat bigger opponents. 

Especially in uncertain times, we believe that anybody can compete with the big players if they take the opportunities to up skill and are exposed to new ideas. We use our experience as journalists and workers across the creative industries to discover and programme best speakers for the right formats to give you honest insight into business and careers. 

Simone Baird

Simone is a co-founder and the CEO of Clever Boxer. Until November 2014, she was head of Guardian Masterclasses and grew the business dramatically in a little over two years, expanding into Australia and corporate training markets. She then left to focus on Clever Boxer, working with Frieze to launch Frieze Academy, The Idler, VEON, and Courier magazine project managing their first festival-sized event, Courier Live, in September 2018. Simone has been a journalist for 20 years and was previously Features Editor of Time Out, the London arts and entertainment magazine, and also Cabaret Editor. Additionally, Simone is the founder of Trashed, the online and in-print publication for young creative people, and she has been creating and running talks and workshops in London since 2002.

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Lee is the chief operating officer of Clever Boxer. Until September 2018 he was a multi-site general manager in the nightlife and hospitality industry in Manchester, London, New York and Ibiza for over 20 years. He has joined Clever Boxer to grow the large-scale live event production and programming and expand our international network..



Eddy is a journalist, copywriter and editor. Eddy writes for the Guardian, Shortlist and Time Out, and regularly runs talks and masterclasses on copywriting for businesses and the public for Clever Boxer and Guardian Masterclasses. Eddy is also available for corporate training.

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Paul Jenkins

Paul is responsible for Clever Boxer’s logo design. He founded and runs design studio Triple Double (link), working with the likes of Airbnb, The Design Museum, National Saturday Club and Unilever. His experience spans branding through to design education and digital design. He brings a ‘user first’ and ‘common sense’ approach to all projects, working closely with his team and his clients with a ‘one team’ mentality. He is also a huge basketball fan and player.

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Sonya Barber

Sonya is a London-based writer, editor, speaker and woman about town with an enviable contacts book. She is the author of East London: An Opinionated Guide and was the News & Events at Time Out for 7 years. On top of hosting and curating talks for Clever Boxer, she writes about events, restaurants, bars, travel and more for titles including the Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, Stylist, Time Out, Metropolitan, LondOnTheInside and The i Paper.

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Alan Rutter co-founded Clever Boxer with Simone Baird and departed the company in 2018. He has worked as a journalist, digital consultant, product owner and trainer, and is the founder of Fire Plus Algebra – a consultancy that helps people use technology better. He delivers workshops for General Assembly and Jolt, as well as data visualisation training for government departments, universities, charities and tech startups. He previously worked as an editor, product owner and trainer for brands including Condé Nast, Guardian Masterclasses and Time Out.

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