Retired IT manager who, on realising that democracy is slipping away, decided to do something about it. And now also deeply concerned about the mass migrations into Europe, and our inadequate and unjust responses to them.
My career has progressed through hardware development, software engineering and into project management, accompanied by a growth in inter-personal and business skills. I worked on the first swinging arm disc drives, and programmed in machine code at IBM in the early 1970s; then programmed Z80 & 6800 microprocessor boards I’d built in the early 80s.
In between times, I taught maths, guitar, car repair and computing at the White Lion Free school for several years. At this innovative school in Islington we believed that, when children govern their own learning, they make enormous leaps in understanding. We modelled on AS Neill’s famous Summerhill School in opposition to what we called the ‘factory theory of education’ – something that’s come back big time in the UK today.
In my project management role, I’ve worked in a variety of organisations including government departments, IBM, Logica, Vodafone and Reuters. Responsibilities have included quality management, commissioning a secure version of Unix, building a system to load Visacash cards slotted into Motorola StarTac phones, rolled out a new IT service to support UK Crown Courts and construction of a mobile phone test lab. This last job was by far the most exciting as we built a complete copy of the production mobile phone network in the lab.
In my current voluntary work, I want to help people and groups understand the whole picture surrounding a topic; and then work together to agree just and sustainable ways forward. A key to this is in ensuring that all have the opportunity to tell their stories and express their needs and desires. My ambition is to find ways of achieving a seamless connection between the immediacy and passion of face to face discussions like this with the reach and asynchronicity of the internet.
Recent roles include
- Partner at Talk Shop: Talk Shop is a ‘white label’ service promoting discussions of big issues – others find the venue and the people. We provide impartial discussion briefs, facilitation training and related support. I’m helping the organisation to grow, and facilitating events.
- Associate at Compass: Compass is a think tank and pressure group campaigning for the Good Society. Currently I’m improving the membership database and working on a platform that will allow people to network widely to find others to co-create their own solutions.
- Organiser at Barnet Participates – a group formed to answer the question ‘what does Barnet need?’ – see this video
- Team Member at Democracy 2015 – see this article in The Independent
On meeting Petros Polonos, I was impressed by his capabilities and his vision to offer low-tech solutions which will improve the quality of life in a way that empowers people. Although based in the UK I want to support this vision.