The Fifth Risk

As I write this it’s unclear whether the current British Government will survive. Amidst the chaos, spare a thought for the civil servants who have to keep the show on the road. They’re incredibly important. For a description of why their expertise matters, read Michael Lewis’s new book The Fifth Risk. It’s terrifying. There’s no […]

What impact investors can learn from journalists

Image by C.A.D.Schjelderup from Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved. It’s struck me for a while that there are similarities between really good investors and great investigative journalists. The most obvious similarity is that they both ask good questions but I think there’s more to it than that. As a journalist you have to uncover a […]

Drinking problems (and some solutions)

Image by Samir Weres. Some rights reserved. “It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.”  “What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”  “You ask a glass of water.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy I’ve been thinking a lot about our relationship with alcohol recently. This article in the Economist about alcohol misuse in America particularly peaked my […]

Should we say hello to aliens?

It’s an interesting, and possibly civilisation-ending, question. Should we go out of our way to let other alien civilisations know that we’re here, or try to remain very, very quiet? It’s an example in Steven Johnson’s excellent new book Farsighted — an expansive sweep of all the techniques that are available today to help us make better […]

Is tech for good reaching the mainstream?

It’s ten years since we began running Social Innovation Camps, the precursor to Bethnal Green Ventures. We created them because we wanted to help people use their technology skills to have a positive social and environmental impact. Our eventual aim was to help tech for good become mainstream. So how far have we come? Are […]

Stop hating, start helping

Image by hipxxhearts, some rights reserved. If there’s one thing guaranteed to make me angry, it’s investors hating on startups. I’ve been at Web Summit in Lisbon this week and I’ve heard quite a lot of it. Usually it’s investors talking to other investors, make a negative comment about a particular idea or rolling their […]