About us Patrons Lord John Bird MBE Lord John Bird MBE, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Big Issue was born into poverty and brought up in care. His life’s journey has included spells as prison inmate, artist and printer. Now an established iconoclast, activist and publisher, and a cross-bench peer appointed to the House of Lords in October 2015. John Bird is the force behind The Big Issue, the world's most successful street magazine. He is an inspirational business leader with an outstanding record of using enterprise as a tool for social change. Lord Bird offers an authoritative approach, whilst providing an original perspective on the interaction of politics, business and society. His diverse experience, combined with an exuberant personality and erudition make him a compelling and entertaining speaker. He has spoken at the United Nations in New York, Nairobi and Istanbul, at Downing Street and at Buckingham Palace. He is the recipient of a raft of accolades and awards, including the United Nations Scroll of Honour, an MBE and the 2005/6 Beacon Prize for Creative Giving. Lord Bird launched a Bill in the House of Lords in 2017, aimed at helping millions of renters get fair access to credit.