Consultant for hire

  1. Things I do well
  2. Businesses I’ve started / developed
  3. Contracting
  4. Education
  5. Miscellaneous

Things I do well

Product / service development

  • Idea generation
  • Requirements analysis
  • Product specification
  • Product / project design & management
  • Workflow & wireframing

Event facilitation

  • Difficultator: the opposite of a facilitator – someone who goes around an event asking the questions everyone else is too polite too, challenging group think, and bursting bubbles. But in a nice way.
  • Regular judge, mentor for hackathons or programmes.
  • Chair / MC

Speaking / provoking / seeding ideas

  • Regular panels on politics, democracy, food systems, social impact of tech
  • Speaks on food, democracy, the future, … happy to enthuse about lots of things really.

Writing

  • Somewhere between a prophet and fool, often wrong, often alarmingly correct, always going to take an interesting and readable angle which invites the reader to think they’re smarter than everyone else.

Key interests

  • Triple bottom line impact
  • Better business models
  • Better economic models
  • Decision making, collaboration, and politics
  • Agri-food systems
  • Clean energy
  • Biotech
  • Social impact of AI / information society
  • Future-casting


Businesses I’ve started / developed

Represent – Founder / CEO

International. Started in 2015.

Modernise democracy. Make petitions better, add an open-data YouGov, design it around the citizen, make it super-easy and you have Represent.

FoodTrade – Founder / CEO

UK. 2011 – 2016

Mapping the food system to help bring data-economies of the large players to the SMEs. Raised £150k, Wayra, Wired, etc. Didn’t work. Stupid economics. Seeded a lot of ideas and helped others a great deal. Highlight: giving advice to the House of Lords and seeing the awareness of the scale of change sink in.

Online Personal Assistant  – Founder

Founding Director.

International. 2008 – 2009.

To help SMEs efficiently and economically outsource their workload.

  • Managing an international team — Finding, inspiring, and keeping an excellent, internationally distributed team, on a wage that makes the business viable, was of critical importance to the business.
  • Marketing — The market for outsourced personal assistants is a very new one, and consequently requires concept education and nurturing, as well as service marketing.

CitySafe Ltd.

Product Manager, CTO.

London. 2004 – 2008.

CitySafe’s pioneering and user-friendly approach to emergency management redefined integrated emergency response.

We designed, developed, and implemented London’s incident response and co-ordination application, and emergency notification systems – in less than 30 months.

From the company’s inception I was responsible for the technical growth and stability of our products and their design and usability, in addition to all user-training, account management, sales presentations and support in both the commercial and Government sectors.

Developed and embedded products that serve clients’ diverse priorities and objectives, whilst meeting varied regulatory requirements and budgets, thanks to systemic and strategic thinking, and an ability to manage limited resources with great effect.

Notable Achievements

  • Created a mission-critical application in daily use by the emergency services and local authorities
  • Managed the Government procurement process, including Prince2 project management
  • Recruited an excellent team of developers, and retained them when times were lean
  • Ensured all applications were compliant with regulatory requirements
  • Worked with SysAdmins to ensure comprehensive locational and operational redundancy
  • Runner-up in the bid to deliver all the UK’s emergency training, a process which included Government procurement compliancy, Catalist partnering, and final presentations to the board
  • Setup and managed client liaison and feedback groups
  • Performed needs-analysis with public sector clients, established working protocols and business process workflow, and created and delivered products to meet their requirements and exceed their expectations
  • Created free, online business resilience training programmes using Moodle and Drupal
  • Award winning innovation

Project approaches

  • Frequent, clear communication
  • Business driven, agile development
  • Frequent, phased iterations
  • Structured client feedback sessions
  • Nurture participation and innovation from all levels

Personal Skills

  • Strong business sense and understanding of its relationship with project development
  • Clear communicator, traversing the language and concept barrier between ‘geek’ and ‘non-geek’
  • Understand requirements quickly, and fast to foresee potential problems
  • Good relationships with clients and personnel

Specific knowledge

  • GIS: MapServer, OpenLayers — we were doing online maps years before Google made it commonplace
  • Postgres — with PostGIS due to their advanced geographic capabilities
  • SMS Messaging — legalities, capabilities, weaknesses, and opportunities
  • Online training — using Drupal, Moodle, and a custom built application to deliver engaging content

Reuters

Consultant. London. 2007.

Secured £250,000 internal funding – one of only a handful of products from the lab to receive support from the board – after being approached by Reuters Innovation Labs to create and develop an idea based on risk management and crowd intelligence.


Exclusive Analysis

Product Designer & Owner

2002 – 2005.

Designed and developed a market-leading intelligence analysis application, aggregating data from over 500 news sources and analysing it to create global risk-contour maps for use by the insurance industry.

In less than 18 months this enabled them grow from a 2 to a 40 man company with a global network of intelligence analysts, since the easy-to-use system allowed the team to focus on core competencies, and not the technology.

  • Pioneering global risk maps — designed a Flash application to allow clear visualisation of an abundance of complex data
  • Statistical risk modeling — establishing how best to represent data, and ensuring the risk model can fairly represent the impact of everything from imprudent economics and IEDs to climate change.
  • Simple intuitive user interface — allowed clients to quickly adopt the service into their daily routine, and minimised the training load on the company.
  • Data mining — comprehensive and geographic search allows analysts to support reports with detailed information
  • Managed outsourcing — as the company grew, more of the work was outsourced under my sole responsibility

Prospect Magazine

Website development. 2005.

Designed and delivered a complete content and subscription management system to take Prospect Magazine into the internet era.

The site is published directly from a Quark XML output, thereby streamlining their production process. The site handles a large number of subscription permutations and processing.

The site also includes classifieds and paid advertisement systems.

It received excellent feedback and strengthened their offer to subscribers.


Usology

Internet application consultancy and development. 2000 – 2005.

Formed as the online media arm of IodineMedia, Usology started out creating interactive kiosk CD-ROMs, delivering online video-based media training, and tracking distribution of viral marketing.

Helping many internet-novice clients, I worked to establish their requirements, and together with a team of outsourced programmers, delivered high quality, affordable sites and applications.


IodineMedia

Film and digital media production. Founder. 1998 – 2001.

Recognising a revolution in digital media production, I formed a partnership with writer / director Michael Keillor. We specialised in fast turn-around concept projects for the advertising industry (with frequently less than 24 hours from commission to delivery), and as the internet spread, moved in to comedic viral videos.

We also won a number of awards for our drama work.


WhyNot?

Freelance Management & Leadership trainer. 1997 – 1999.

Having started out filming the events for this management training and team-building company, I quickly moved into facilitating exercises and reviewing performance with the teams. This was a fantastic insight into the world of team-work and objective performance analysis.


Contracted work

  • Kublax — Redesign and restructuring the user experience and interface. Worked with the design, development and management team to deliver Jquery, XHTML, and CSS build for the new online personal finances management application.
  • Universal Music — New employee induction site and compliance training. Needs-analysis, product design, development, delivery and maintence.
  • Pilsner Urquell — Innovative user-experience improvements.
  • National Trust – Aberdulais — Bringing information to life in a display demonstrating how much power has been generated, and impact saved, by the hydro-electric energy plant.
  • Old Speckled Hen — Promotional site user interface development, HTML & CSS.
  • Gift Genie — Designed and specified this facebook application which suggests presents for your facebook friends’ birthdays.
  • CocoClub, Verbier — Established CRM systems and processes to offer better service, lowered costs, easier & more communications.
  • Jobs Go Public –Product design and prototyping for a new market niche.
  • Classic Travelling — Complete design & build.
  • Mountainbox — Complete design & build.
  • And other complete sites, including
    Jake Meyer,
    Ride2Recovery,
    Farthing Corner,
    London Speech Workshop, and
    Ski Gulmarg.

Education

Edinburgh University, 1996

  • MA Psychology, Criminology, Artificial intelligence
    Voluntarily withdrew to pursue business interests

Sherborne School, Dorset, 1990-1995

  • A-LEVELS: A grades in Geography, Physics, and Economics
  • AO & AS French & Maths
  • 8 As, 6 Bs at GCSE

Miscellaneous

Other activities