…and so, hello 2016

I’ve debated endlessly in my head whether I should do an End of Year review for 2015, and finally decided I would even if it’s now a few days into the new year, because I’ve read some really inspiring ones and hope this will motivate me to get more out of 2016 myself. So this is more of a ‘Hello 2016’ post I suppose.

2015 was an interesting year. A lot happened, primarily with my side projects that are now much more than ‘side’.

In March, I was on a panel at Google’s Women Techmakers event in London. I enjoyed the panel, but found it even more fascinating to listen to inside stories about Google Cardboard and Deep Mind. I was also announced as one of the Libertine 100, and was part of a discussion on global and local marketing strategies for last year’s cohort of Google’s graduate course, Google Squared.

The biggest part of April was the Ada’s List Election Survey that the team worked on, to find out what women in technology thought of UK government policies in the lead-up to the General Election. It was covered in the Telegraph and Tech City News, amongst others.

In May, a project I’d be working on for the preceding 6 months came to fruition. Kavi Guppta and I released our e-book ‘Disruption in the Developing World‘, with proceeds going to Nepal earthquake relief efforts. It was an interesting experiment in the ‘pay what you want’ model, and for a good cause, especially given the subject material of the book itself. Women Shift Digital also asked me a few interesting questions in an interview for their site, and I found the process of coming up with answers more effort than it should have been! It was fun though.

In June, I was included in a list of Diversity UK’s Top 100 Asians in Technology, and amongst the top 5 women – an honour to be amongst some very inspiring company. My achievements, such as they are, are not a patch on most of theirs. I also spoke about Ada’s List at Innovation Stories, threading together anecdotes about innovation and community. Innovation Stories is great – if you want a shot of inspiration, try and get yourself along to the next half-day event, coming up in the middle of 2016 I think. Nadya Powell can tell you more.

In September, I made a trip to Oxford to be a mentor at their Smart City Challenge. Urban transportation and energy challenges in the modern age are especially interesting for me (housing and urban policy were some of my Master’s subjects), and there are a lot of startups making strides in this space, many of whom I met that day. I also made a trip to beautiful Bournemouth to speak at Silicon Beach. Matt Desmier is doing an ace job of making that event truly fun, and always gathers a nice motley crew of people to speak against the backdrop of the beach. I made some good friends there, something I don’t do at events very often. Funnily enough he published a summary of the event just today, so that’s useful timing for this post! He’s putting on Silicon BeachED in London in Feb – check it out.

In October another unexpected honour: I was named in the Drum’s Digerati (thank you for nominating me, whoever you are – I appreciate it!). Ada’s List celebrated our 2nd birthday at an event at Newspeak House in Shoreditch, with some excellent cake, bubbles and food for thought from our speaker for the evening, Aldijana Sisic, Chief of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. I also visited Canterbury to speak about innovations across the world at the Digibury Weekender, thanks to an invitation from Deeson.

Ada’s List made it to Fortune Magazine in November, which was nice. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation also organised the online Disruptive Innovation Festival, where Kavi and I got together again to record a podcast based loosely on themes from our book from earlier in the year.

And in December, Ada’s List got featured in the London Evening Standard. It gave me the experience of having my first *real* photoshoot with the co-founders, which was fun, even if my jaws started hurting from smiling by the end of it #firstworldproblems! If you read Contagious Magazine, then Issue 45 has a feature on innovation for which I was interviewed by Louise Potter (subscribers only). And I got in to support the What Women Want 2.0 campaign, who are looking to reprise a historical survey done 20 years ago, later this year. They’re crowdfunding now and can use your support if you’re feeling so inclined.

OK, that was 2015. It’s January, and hello 2016. Now that I’ve started, I hope I won’t dawdle on writing my end-of-year post this year. It’s only taken me 5 years of ‘maybe I’ll write one this year’ to actually do it. Stay tuned to see if I follow up in 2016. Same time, same place, next year.

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