Network News

Network News


“There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something”.
Henry Ford

September used to mean the start of a new school term.  Even now, many years later, there is the whiff of the new pencil case in the air as a fresh season begins.

Across my network, I’ve been picking up on the news of changes afoot.  Of people moving places.  Here is what I hope is an interesting selection…

Rishi Saha has moved on from his role as head of Digital Communications at Number 10.  He has joined  Hill and Knowlton as regional director, based out of Dubai. 

Another person leaving Number 10 for foreign shores is Tim Chatwin, who is joining in San Francisco. 

On a more positive note for our political friends, one of the latest additions to the Government’s digital team is Liam Maxwell, who has an excellent reputation.  Earlier this summer, the Guardian reported that he is to be “chief information officer on new ideas for the Government’s use of technology”.

In the world of social enterprise, old friend Jonathan Jenkins is leaving Unltd (the foundation for social entrepreneurs) to become CEO of the Social Investment Business.  Unltd retain the talents of Jo Hill as their current head of ventures, who I’ve enjoyed working with on several projects over the years.  It was over a breakfast meeting that Jo, Jonathan and I cooked up the idea for Unltd’s Super-Connectors, and over a coffee several years ago that Jo and I first imagined what became Speednetwork the Nation and then Speednetwork the Globe.

Coffee, I’m afraid, has a habit of fueling ideas and conversation.  So I do wish that certain Government departments would refrain from taking the austerity measures one step too far in their refusal to serve so much as a glass of water at meetings.  These meetings, which are often populated by volunteers, suffer as a result I’m sure.  I’ve resorted to bringing my own.

Back to the subject of moves…the brilliant Mary Abdo and the scarily clever James Crabtree are leaving London for Mumbai.  Mary has been leading The U (the citizen’s university) and James is off to lead the Mumbai bureau of the FT.  Mary, I’ve no doubt has already been bombarded with interesting opportunities and I’m really envious of their Indian adventure!

Returning to the foundation front, and Nicola Pollock (head of grants at Esmee Fairbairn) is leaving to become the director of the John Ellerman foundation.  To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t heard of it (my fault!), and I’m sure that Nicola will be doing some great things to raise its profile in the years to come.

Finally, the latest person to leave our shores is the incredibly creative Alex Tew.  He has gone to join Michael and Xochi Birch at their wonderfully named Monkey Inferno.  Described as a Personal Incubator (PINC!) it is, in their words, somewhere “where we dream up cool internet projects, develop them, then nurture them into successful businesses.”  Sounds fantastic! And when the co-creators of Bebo, Birthday Alarm and the Million Dollar Homepage start plotting, you can be sure that another great plan is not far away.  I’ll try to keep you posted!

Are you on the move?  Would you like to be?  Let me know – you never know what might happen!


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