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Isaiah Wellington-Lynn
Peer Award for Polymathy
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Isaiah Wellington-Lynn joined the Amos Bursary as an Associate in 2014 and was promoted in 2015 as a UCL Amos Scholar. Although he grew up in a low-income, lone-parent family in one of London’s most under-resourced areas, he strives to never allow his background to limit his potential.

He graduated in 2020 with a high First-Class BSc Anthropology degree from UCL and previously studied abroad at Harvard University where he had to crowdfund $100,000 in 4 weeks (#StratfordToHarvard) after his private scholarship fell through. He has also represented the England team in basketball and has spent his summer holidays since 2015 working at JustPark, Columbia University and NYU, J.P. Morgan, Airbnb as a Kleiner Perkins Fellow, and Europe’s leading early-stage venture capital firm, LocalGlobe, and as a product designer on an award-winning User Experience Design Spotify Podcast project.

In his spare time, Isaiah regularly mentors several young people both within the Amos Bursary and beyond and volunteers at a social mobility charity. With a fellow Harvard friend, he also co-founded a non-profit venture in Boston, Redefining Boundaries Inc ©, to tackle imposter syndrome for black technologists who he felt were often underrepresented in the UK and US technology scene. He believes “The Amos Bursary is the future. It’s such a privilege to give forward to the organisation that has given me so much in the context of opportunities, friendships and guidance.”

Jonathan Mildenhall and Isaiah Wellington-Lynn
Jonathan Mildenhall and Isaiah Wellington-Lynn

Isaiah hails Jonathon Mildenhall as “one of the most inspirational people in my life because he embodies what it means to not only dream the impossible, not only live the impossible, but most importantly, he also embodies how to make the impossible accessible to others. 

What I find so refreshing and impressive about him is that although he now has all of the things that society marks as the pinnacle of success – a beautiful family, a Beverly Hills compound, a powerful community and an influential reach – he is also deeply mission driven in all of his pursuits. He is indeed one of the most present, compassionate, kind, emotionally and intellectually sharp, generous, thoughtful, considerate and spiritual beings I know. He believes that his presence and purpose on this planet are bigger than him. 

And if that were not enough, Jonathan has earned everything he has achieved through redefining boundaries, exercising grit, prioritising humanity in business and relying on the crux of what makes us human: vivid storytelling. 

Jonathan speaks like me, has lived a life where he has felt like an anomaly in many spaces, and not only does he recognise the nuance in his privilege, but also where he can grow and where others’ privilege and expertise can champion a topic he is passionate about. He knows he is not perfect and accepts his mistakes, but allows those experiences to give him an insight into a reality he previously may not have been privy to. And for me, it’s that humility that makes Jonathan’s story and success so admirable and so inspiring.”

Humility is a hallmark characteristic of Isaiah himself as amongst other accolades he has been named a Rare Rising Star, listed in Forbes 30 Under 30, ranked one of Britain’s most promising Future Leaders, and he has received several other prestigious awards and scholarships in addition to having articles written about his journey and experiences in the Financial Times, Telegraph, and The Sunday Times”.

A true polymath, Isaiah is currently a Founding Faculty Member at a brand new university, London Interdisciplinary School, an Anthropologist and Strategist at Airbnb-alumni founded TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, a Product, Design and Research Mentor at Accel-backed Boston startup, Koodos and most recently returned to Oxford University to pursue a PhD in Anthropology.