January 1999 was like any other January: cold and dark. It was Friday after work and a room had been booked at Toynbee Hall on Commercial Street in East London, a stone throw from the City’s square mile. The small group that met on that cold winter’s evening were an eclectic bunch: a mix of backgrounds, interests, views, qualifications, religious affiliations. They all yearned for something different and relevant. They were all there for what felt like the start of an adventure. Where that adventure might lead no one foresaw. It was unclear what the plan was – or even if there was one. No manifesto was written nor grand strategy drafted – the group was free of even these constraints. Free to evolve and to continue to re-invent itself. Free to remain relevant. The City Circle was born that night.