The London Magazine

Akademy: The Intellectual Members Circle

Akademy is a private intellectual members’ circle which champions the world’s finest academics, creatives, artists, sports players, and business thought leaders through an exclusive calendar of carefully curated member events, interactive masterclasses, and intellectual lectures. These vary from art and culture, tech and nature, fashion and wellness, to politics and philosophy; it offers 360 degrees of global culture in London.

Its monthly calendar of events includes behind the scenes, unparalleled access for members to sold-out art exhibitions, out-of-hours showroom tours, private film screenings, sporting events, and lots more.

What was the idea behind Akademy? Was its creation inspired by anything in particular?

Akademy was founded based on the blueprint of Plato’s Academy (established in Athens c.387 B.C), which promoted conversation amongst leading philosophers, scientists, artists and mathematicians through a program of debates, lectures and seminars.

Can you talk me through how the founders joined forces and started this new venture together?

Akademy is the brainchild of two London-based, female entrepreneurs, Anastasia Belyak and Kamilia Shaimieva, both of whom share similar social circles, academic credentials, and business acumen.

The two friends very much represent the left and right side of the brain – Anastasia being creative and artistic, and Kamilia being analytical and methodical. Both are insatiable learners and have continually furthered their education with M.A. and M.B.A studies. A fascination with the psychology of learning and a belief in how intellectual stimulation helps people to ‘flourish,’ at every age unites them both.

In January 2020, they brought together their desire for betterment and fulfilment amongst their respective business and social circles in London, and as such Akademy was born. Its aim is to be a private circle that offers a community of global, elite members an opportunity for introductions to academics and experts, exclusive access to events, interaction with like-minded people, and most importantly, a place for positive thought-provoking debate and discovery. ‘Never stop learning’ is the founders’ motto.

Kamilia Shaimieva and Anastasia Belyak, founders of Akademy

How will Akademy stand out amongst the ever-growing crowd of London member’s clubs?

Akademy offers numerous benefits and privileges for its members from talks and presentations with leading professionals and opinion makers, a global Club including exhibition previews and premieres, VIP access to global art fairs, tickets and exclusive invitations to leading events, art and antique advisory including buying, selling and authentication, and exclusive trunk shows with international luxury brands.

Can anyone become a member? How do people apply for a membership?

Membership is based upon a shared ethos of values and ideologies, a recommendation by a current Akademy member, and a face-to-face interview. Applications are carefully reviewed by a prestigious committee for approval. A one-off joining fee and tiered membership structure apply to all new members. For more information about membership please email or visit the website. Once someone has been accepted by Akademy, they will then be asked to fill in a questionnaire that allows its founders and event organisers to fully understand their profile, personality, and specific interests.

Can you talk me through a list of upcoming events you have?

Akademy has just completed its June programme of events including pre-launch previews of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern and Van Gogh Alive at Kensington Gardens. Before this, other member events have included a private tour of Phillips Auction House by the Worldwide Deputy Chairman, a talk by a Royal Butler, and a private guided tour with an expert art historian around the Steve McQueen Exhibition at Tate Modern. The events schedule is currently being finalised for the Autumn season.

Are the events/lectures predominantly ‘in-house’ or can they also be accessed online?

A number of the events, masterclasses, and lectures included within the programmes are available online at the Akademy’s member’s site, together with additional tool kits, chat rooms and reading lists.

Where do you see Akademy in the next five years? What are the hopes for the future?

Akademy’s membership is currently growing organically through word of mouth. Within the next five years, our aim is to grow the Club’s profile in the UK and internationally, particularly in the US.

To find out more about Akademy, click here.

For more information about the founders of Akademy, Anastasia Belyak and Kamilia Shaimieva, click here.

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