Our Team

Rishi Bhattacharya
Rishi BhattacharyaCEO & Founder
I am the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Impact & Influence. I have 25 years of communications experience, as both an advisor and a journalist. I have worked for two international communications agencies for a total of 15 years, from providing C-suite advisory to running complex programmes for some of the world’s largest companies. I have advised CEOs through phases of growth and fundraising rounds, as well as through crises. I have also worked across sectors from financial services, to energy, and from technology to impact investing. I advised on the launch of the SDG500, a ground-breaking $500m impact investment platform established by Bamboo Capital Partners, dedicated to financing the Sustainable Development Goals, in Davos in 2020. Before moving into communications, I was a broadcast political journalist in the UK during the Blair years. I am on the board of trustees of Chawton House, Hampshire, UK, which promotes the study of early women’s literature and is linked to the author Jane Austen.
Nicola Forsyth
Nicola ForsythDirector
I am a communications consultant with more than 12 years’ experience creating corporate and consumer campaigns, offering strategic corporate counsel, media relations support and social purpose and sustainability communications consultancy. I have worked in-house and in agencies supporting some of the world's biggest brands, as well as challenger brands, fintechs, tech firms and charities. This includes HSBC, TSB Bank, OVO Energy as well as being head of content for Green Traveller, a sustainable travel website. While working for agencies - including Edelman, Teneo Blue Rubicon, Third City and Seven Consultancy - I also advised clients including Centrica, Shell, Aviva, Zurich, Ferrero, Barclays, Lloyds Bank, Guide Dogs, Royal Voluntary Service, Ombudsman Services, moo.com, ING Bank, Credit Karma, Wollit and Nesta Challenges. I was also the county co-ordinator for Help for Heroes, SE London, as well as being the Festival Manager for the Oxjam Festival in Lichfield.
Paul Hughes
Paul HughesAssociate Creative Director
I have worked in the creative industries, particularly television, for more than 25 years. I am an award-winning TV executive and media consultant and my career has ranged from being the Managing Editor of ITV Westminster during the Blair years through to running the digital TV switchover for Scotland. I have advised some of the world's biggest companies on media strategy and most recently was the Head of Programmes for STV, Scotland's main commercial broadcaster. I have a very broad understanding of the industry having worked in a vast range of roles that include; researcher, journalist, presenter, producer, camera, editor, content acquisition (including drama), programme editor, writer, executive producer and leadership roles. I have a rare mix of creative, editorial and technical knowledge that offers clients a great deal of expertise and efficiency. I am a member of the Royal Television Society Education Committee and I am a guest lecturer and mentor for media, television, drama and journalism students.
Dr Michael Zdanowski
Dr Michael ZdanowskiDirector
I am a communications expert in the low carbon energy, industry, and sustainability space, and advise companies and organisations on communicating the transition to a net zero world. During my career at leading communications firms, Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Madano, I have advised leading global organisations including FTSE 100 firms helping them tell their story against a background of profound political, economic, social, and digital transformation. I have spent my 15-year career at the intersection of public policy and media building leading national and international campaigns across the energy, industry, and technology sector. I have built specialist knowledge of the low carbon space advising clients on complex assignments in hydrogen, solar, EVs, blockchain for energy, carbon capture and storage, energy recovery and resources, logistics, energy infrastructure, mining, nuclear as well as oil & gas. I am comfortable working in diverse, multicultural, international environments and have delivered work in four different continents living and working in Brussels, Moscow, and Prague as well as spent time on secondment in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Riyadh. I am proficient in German, Polish, and Russian. Over the past four years I have been a judge on the UK Social Mobility Awards working with London-based charity Making the Leap.
Nicole Machado
Nicole MachadoAccount Executive
I am a communications expert - specialising in social and digital - with over five years of experience. I focus on promoting campaigns that aim to increase awareness and generate action on social causes. I am also currently pursuing a Master's in International Public Relations and Global Communications Management at Cardiff University. Combining creative expertise (in graphic design, animation and film) with strategic thinking, I provide communication solutions that are data-driven, analytical and creative. As social media lead for the University of South Wales Students' Union, I have worked on campaigns highlighting issues such as mental health, food poverty, hidden homelessness, period poverty, sustainability and Black Lives Matter. Working within the higher education sector has given me insightful knowledge and understanding of the power of growing activism among young people. I am also currently the External Relations Officer of the Cardiff PR Society.
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