How to Lead Now (BookMachine Unplugged Live! 2023)

How to Lead Now: Millennials in management and Gen Z in the workforce

Management and leadership have never been so complicated. From navigating the world of hybrid working to supporting your team’s wellbeing beyond the yearly appraisal, all these challenges come on top of an exhaustive list of priorities. 

But there’s a new generation of leaders and they like to do things differently. As Millennials step up to senior publishing roles, and the next wave of Gen Z talent emerges, what lessons can we learn – and opportunities can we harness – to lead contemporary publishing teams effectively?

Join our panel, including an established board member, emerging leader, and a Gen Z expert, for a spirited discussion on what new generations want from their jobs, their companies and their careers.

Be inspired by insights on leading, managing and influencing teams and colleagues in a contemporary workplace and find out about new ways of setting the agenda on how to do business, and steer your team.

The speakers


Mags Abraha, Publisher, Jacaranda Books (host)

Magdalene Abraha FRSA is a writer, cultural curator and multi-award winning publisher. Magdalene started her career in journalism and was one youngest ever columnists for the Independent Newspaper where she covered politics, music, art and popular culture. She was also Bookseller’s Rising Star and awarded the LBF Trailblazer award for her contribution to the publishing sector. Elle Magazine named her as one of their Trailblazing Women and she was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for her work in media and publishing as well being awarded the BBC1xtra Future Figures award 2022. Magdalene Abraha is also the creator and producer of the ‘groundbreaking’ book series A Quick Ting On, which is the first non-fiction Black British book series of its kind. She has worked in publishing houses such as I.B Tauris, Bloomsbury and is now a publisher at Jacaranda.


Amy Mae Baxter, Commissioning Editor, Avon

Amy is Commissioning Editor at Avon (HarperCollins), and founder and Editor-in-Chief of Bad Form, a multi-award-winning books magazine by and about writers of colour. She was named a Bookseller Rising Star in 2021, and a Big Issue Changemaker of 2022.


Sanphy Thomas, Managing Director, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Sanphy has been Managing Director of Jessica Kingsley Publishers since 2018, during which time the publisher has twice won Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards (2020 and 2022). In 2019 her remit expanded as she took on the role of Director of Specialist Publishing at John Murray Press, overseeing the publishing strategy for Sheldon Press, NB Publishing, Hodder Faith and John Murray Languages which includes the Teach Yourself and Michel Thomas brands. Prior to working at Hachette, Sanphy had a career in academic marketing, having worked at SAGE, Macmillan and Taylor & Francis, a background she feels has been invaluable in providing a foundation for market-focussed publishing and commercial leadership.

Jake Richings copy

Jake Richings, Director, Authentic Engagement

Jake is Director of Strategic Consultancy Authentic Engagement. He has worked with well known brands like General Assembly and The Co-operative Group to better engage young people in their careers and progression routes. Jake has been described by HustlersGlobal as an “Incredibly authentic, dedicated and knowledgeable leader in the GenZ space”.

Thank you to our event partner: Bureau at Design District

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