Lord John Bird MBE

Founder & Editor-in-Chief, The Big Issue

The journey from illiterate young offender to transforming the lives of homeless people with dignity – through the power of the written word

9th January 2020

John Bird is founder and editor-in-chief of the Big Issue. Launched in 1991, the independent magazine is sold by homeless people to help them out of poverty. Their charitable foundation, launched in 1995, helps people in 74 countries by providing support and advice. He also started the International Network of Street Papers, which supports 100 publications with a combined readership of more than 100 million. In this in-depth interview, John reveals the costly mistakes which almost caused the magazine to fold in its first year, describes how he transformed the business in just three months following an ultimatum from a high street investor – and outlines his vision for “prevention, emergency, coping and cure” which he hopes will eradicate homelessness for good.

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