Currently studying Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, a National Champion public speaker, and now current President of Right for Education Oxford (R:Ed), a publication with a readership of almost 7 million across Sub-Saharan Africa and hundreds of millions of digital imprints, Matt Robyns-Landricombe has a bright future ahead of him. As a writer and an editor for R:Ed myself who has followed his work for some time, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to interview him.
I start the conversation with Matt by asking him how he got involved with Right for Education. He tells me that he started out as a writer and a translator in Michaelmas 2021. Matt thought that this was an incredible opportunity for him to explore topics that he hadn’t really encountered that much in the past, and work for an organisation whose values aligned so well with his own. He then served as the Vice President during Hillary Term 2022, before being appointed as the President of R:Ed for Trinity Term 2022. Matt sees this as a unique opportunity to work with a talented international content team, allowing him to play an integral role in the training and foundation of new R:Ed chapters across Africa.
I then proceeded to ask Matt about his goals as R:Ed’s president. He answered that one of his goals is to optimize R:Ed’s organizational efficiency. We spoke about the challenges that can arise with freelancers working remotely in any kind of office or context creation hub, as it can be difficult to have a comprehensive view of what everyone is doing at all times, something which is particularly important when collaborative work is required. The collaboration between writers, editors, translators, and the central chapter in Ghana is no mean feat, and requires consistent monitoring and communication.
Matt’s goal has been to create a detailed view of all operations and processes within the organization to ensure that the R:Ed’s output is timely and first-rate. Thus far this has been met with great success, and through the successful work of Matt and the Chief Translators – Nadia Najah Hassan and Jane Bentham – R:Ed Oxford has now also become a translation hub for all R:Ed articles worldwide. In addition, Matt states that his focus is on driving the entrepreneurship and economic self-empowerment side of the organization, as R:Ed have a new focus on economic empowerment. He comments that there is incredible untapped business potential across Africa, and that R;Ed’s new goal as an organization is to become a platform for the next generation of entrepreneurs. This term, R;Ed Oxford have been able to launch their first ever financial literacy and entrepreneurship section, covering contemporary topics such as greenwashing as part of this process of looking to a better-informed future.
As R:Ed expands, Matt is passionate about the new project he is undertaking: The R:Ed Network. The R:Ed Network is a network for volunteers across the globe; a platform for the multinational R:Ed team to share personal development tips, employment opportunities and business concepts. R:Ed is expanding at great pace, with new branches in Uganda and Nigeria being founded over the past month. R:Ed volunteers are a unique network of individuals across a variety of disciplines and specialisations. By tapping into the varying arsenals of experience that R:Ed volunteers have, the R:Ed Network can focus on facilitating the co-ordination of positive business projects in Africa that are beneficially tailored to local communities.
Matt proceeds to explain that it is very crucial that we are able to work together as people from completely diverse backgrounds. His positive attitude shone through as he stated that regardless of a person’s gender, sexuality, ability, education, socio-economic background or race, there is something very special and unique that each one of us can bring to the table. Nowadays, as we confront multiple crises on humanitarian and environmental levels, and we need modern solutions for the problems of the 21st century. For this, we need to put everyone in a position where they can share their creativity, insight, and ideas. It is important to ensure that there is a level playing field that enables everyone to contribute. In a great way, R:Ed helps us to strive towards this goal, empowering readers individuals and encouraging a love for learning and continuous self-development.
Managing an editorial team of over 50 people while conceptualizing new global initiatives is not an easy task, even though Matt may make it seem like one. His work is inspiring as he continuously strives to bridge the information gap and to empower individuals worldwide. Matt is definitely a charismatic leader and I cannot wait to watch his future endeavours.