We harness the dynamics of difference to deliver the best results, fast.

Our core team can call on a world-class network of 60+ experts and 130+ (Young) Braves from our award-winning program. We create the perfect group for each challenge by combining our core expertise with the best blend from among all of them. Our co-creative, inclusive approach brings the most imaginative work out of each collective - the analysts, brand experts, school kids, artists, our clients, whoever.

An expedition that gets you to your destination and builds your capacity to lead going forward.


Dawood Gustave: CEO + Imagination Officer 

Dawood’s imagination leads Reluctantly Brave with creative oversight and strategic direction. He brings tireless, dynamic exploration to clients’ challenges,  across innovation, brand strategy and culture.

He has brought this to bear for many, including Anglo American, Balfour Beatty, Kelloggs, Louis Dreyfus Company, Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury’s and Starbucks.

Dawood’s range of experience is crazy. From the streets of Peckham to menial work to study History at Oxford in his 30’s. He obtained scholarships to study for the Bar at 35 and in his 40’s worked with London’s most deprived kids at Kids Company. He is now advising multinationals on strategy and creativity. His multiple perspectives uniquely place him to understand, work with and appeal to a vast range of audiences.

This is recognised by the many awards and scholarships he picked up on the way, including being a included in the Financial Times’ top 30 Global BAME leaders list for the past 2 years, being touted in The Independent’s “Happy List” of people making Britain a better place and named as one of London’s 1000 most influential people.

On top of that he’s a painter, fitness machine and dedicated disrupter of fashion.



James Pattinson: Ordnance Officer

Ordnance is at the heart of strategy - understanding where you need to be and what you need to get there.  James is at the heart of strategy for Reluctantly Brave and our clients.

James was an award-winning Brand Manager at P&G for 7 years. Working in prestige fragrance he developed global brand and portfolio strategies across the business. He honed his brand strategy ‘agency side’ for a multitude of leading organisations, at BBH and Landor among others. He met Dawood at Oxford, 15 years his junior, and the inspiration from that friendship led them to found Reluctantly Brave, with Jonathan, based on the dynamism of inclusivity.

Brands James has developed include Lacoste, Hugo Boss and Gucci fragrances, the BBC, Boots Opticians, BP, British Gas, Crabtree & Evelyn, EDF Energy, Kellogg’s, Louis Dreyfus Company, SSE and Unilever.

As well as being a keen swimmer, skier and drawer (not the furniture),  James enjoys mentoring young people.


Adam Papaphilippopoulos: Operations Officer

Adam is the most versatile of our partners, spending half his time managing Reluctantly Brave and the other half as a creative strategist for our clients. Every company needs both spreadsheets and poetry. Only the best combine the two.

He has been combining the two for quite a while, having been a Hogan Lovells lawyer for several years, then a philosopher and a writer. Before all that he was a multi-scholarship holding Oxford law graduate and post-graduate, but got there via cleaning toilets and working as a brickie’s mate.

This combined experience has given him the ability to juggle business case and beauty that is so essential to exploring, guiding and shaping clients’ futures. Through his career he has advised many companies in several different capacities, from Citi and DVB, to Louis Dreyfus Company and Starbucks, Hard Rock Café to First Love Foundation.

In his spare time Adam is a wine geek, contemporary art enthusiast, sage of the innovation world (according to Hyper Island, if you believe them) and subject of a University Challenge-based internet meme.


Jonathan Pattinson: Liaison Officer 

He has a wealth of personal experience of diversity breeding innovation, working from children’s’ residential care homes, to managing the charity Bottletop, to BSkyB and the Clinton Foundation.

More recently he applied this knowledge in branding and innovation for clients such as P&G, Pepsi, Nestle and Danone at Life Integrated and Futurebrand. With Reluctantly Brave he has overseen all our client relationships, from Boots Opticians through GSMA to Sainsbury’s.

Jonathan has been Great British Chinese Kickboxing champion, represented Britain at the World Games and his favourite colour is orange. We are not sure which is more frightening.


Massai Lawrence -  Creative Strategist

Massai is one of our original Young Braves. Born and bred Londoner with a knack for tech and gaming culture. Creative Strategist and Young Braves developer. He knows the culture and heritage of Reluctantly Brave and has been involved with a range of projects from Kelloggs to Jagex.

Massai wants to take branding to the next level and incorporate urban intelligence into spaces where it may not yet be expected. Being half Japanese, he is striving to perfect his language skills and bring his culture to many aspects of business.

As well as strategy, Massai is also into making short film and music videos.



Elsa Fridman Randolph - Imagineering Strategist

Elsa heads up our award-winning (Young) Braves and College Braves programs and drives community building for our clients. Prior to joining Reluctantly Brave, Elsa co-founded a learning design organization, rethinkED, and ran its online publication for four years. She also worked as a storyteller and community manager for various education innovation startups. She’s a graduate of Central Saint Martins’ Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries M.A. program where her research centred on the dynamics of actionable stories and their impact on engagement, participation and community building. Elsa believes in the power of the imagination to facilitate co-creative processes and to drive impactful solutions. She’s Franco-American.



Aaron Findley -Manchester Project Lead

Aaron is a calm and collected creative. Often finding the balance between thinking before you speak and speaking before you think.

He is based in Manchester working on secret projects, and leads a team of (Young) Braves that work with him delivering results. He has worked on Brands such as Lacoste, Michelin, Nivea and Kelloggs. Aaron has also worked out in Netherlands with Blast Radius.

Aaron has lived in the Manchester and beyond almost constantly since moving up to study Psychology in 2009. Developing an in depth knowledge of the city he has helped Reluctantly Brave strategise their conquering of Manchester’s creative spaces.  

Aaron also works with adults with brain injuries when he is not with Reluctantly Brave using his psychology degree to navigate the challenges that arise.