WOW Blogs: Issue 4 – Julie Hawker

Julie HawkerJulie Hawker

Julie Hawker is Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic a social enterprise which is very highly regarded for its work in addressing digital inclusion as a priority.

Cosmic work in partnership with organisations locally in the South West and across the UK to enable them to benefit from digital skills, working smarter, engaging with society and delivering value to all sections of the community. Cosmic is one of the UK’s leading ethical digital businesses with more than two decades’ experience in bringing the value of digital innovations to our partners, helping them to benefit as part of the connected, digital world.

For the past 18 years Julie has led the company to growth and development of a strong team of highly skilled and dedicated individuals. Cosmic has won numerous awards for its work over the years recognising its commitment to social impact as well as quality services and support. In 2013 Cosmic won the national “BT Get IT Together” Award at the Technology 4 Good Awards, and most recently in 2015 Julie won the Social Enterprise UK award for “Woman in Social Enterprise”.

Julie has been involved at strategic and policy level in the development of regional and national partnerships (including work with the local LEPs and previously the SWRDA), and support for wider economic and social impact through effective use of digital skills and social enterprise. She continues to champion these key components of the Cosmic business model with organisations and people she meets every day.

What do you love most about the work you do?
I love working with my colleagues at Cosmic – they provide daily inspiration, support, passion and challenge – all of which provides the right cocktail to keep me on my toes and thinking about the years ahead and how we can go on to bigger and greater things.

Who inspires you?
My colleagues, my children, and all of the people we work to support. A lot of people waste a lot of time waiting to be inspired by the great-and-good of the world thinking that it has to come from ‘on high’. But in my experience if you have an open mind, then inspiration comes from every direction and every day – embrace it!

What would be your 3 top tips to someone looking to do what you do?
1) Be ambitious – particularly at this time there is so much to be gained from striving for the big and audacious goals both in business and social impact.

2) Be resilient – develop your self-confidence and self-awareness so that you can withstand the knocks, failures and criticisms along the way. As long as you can reflect and improve – its all good!

3) Be authentic – be yourself always, and remind yourself regularly that being honest and ethical starts with you. If you can hold true to your own ethos and values then others will follow you willingly.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Cosmic. I’ve been involved for over 20 years now and the success and impact we’ve achieved in that time is something which makes me feel incredibly proud and honoured to have been at the helm.

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