Public Statement

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021

Public Practice has announced that Finn Williams will step down as Chief Executive in July 2021 to take up the role of City Architect for Malmö, Sweden.

Finn co-founded Public Practice with Pooja Agrawal in 2017, establishing a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to improve the quality and equality of everyday places by building the public sector’s capacity for proactive planning. Public Practice has since recruited 149 built environment experts as Associates for year-long placements across 44 public authorities – adding the equivalent of more than 30,000 days of built environment expertise into the public sector.

The Board of Public Practice will make an announcement on the appointment of a new Chief Executive in the coming months, following a recruitment process. Nikki Linsell has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, promoted from the role of Director of Operations that she has held since the organisation’s founding. As COO, Nikki will lead the delivery of Public Practice’s strategy and support the incoming Chief Executive.

Jules Pipe CBE, Chair of Public Practice said:

“The whole team at Public Practice should be immensely proud of their progress in delivering Finn’s and Pooja’s vision: to improve the places around us through strengthened public planning.

“On behalf of the Board and our partners, I would like to wholeheartedly thank Finn for his commitment and leadership that has helped steer the organisation to a place where it is relevant, successful, and poised to expand its offer to an ever greater number of local authorities.

“In the coming months, we look forward to appointing a new Chief Executive to work with the talented Nikki Linsell as COO, and the whole brilliant team, to take forward ambitious plans for Public Practice.”

With a strong core team, an influential reputation and a sound business model, Public Practice is now well-positioned for the next stage of its development. From 2021/22 Public Practice will be scaling the programme beyond London, the South East and East of England with the aim of being able to support any Authority in England within the next four years. The organisation is currently working with national partners on expansion plans and expects to release further details over the coming months.

Finn Williams will continue his involvement with Public Practice, joining its Board as a Non-Executive Director and continuing to act as an advocate for its mission to improve the quality and equality of everyday places.

Finn Williams, Co-Founder of Public Practice, said:

“We founded Public Practice with the ambition of transforming the status of public service and empowering proactive planning. Over three years in, we’ve made more progress than I ever expected. But there is still a long way to go to make sure the best planning and design serve the communities that need it most.

“I’m proud to be handing over the leadership of Public Practice at a point when it’s perfectly positioned to take on this challenge at a national scale. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to work with such a brilliant team, Board, Partners and collective of Associates and Alumni, and I look forward to seeing them go on to greater things.”

Nikki Linsell, Chief Operating Officer of Public Practice, said:

“It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside Finn these last three years, turning such an ambitious idea into a successful reality. He has installed an industry-defining vision of what a public planner can be and do that will continue to be Public Practice's focus into the future. The team and I are excited to embrace the new year with plans for scaling nationally, with new cohorts, in new regions and a continued commitment to building, diversifying and championing the role of public planning.”