I’ve been working with the web, data, science, art, media, and creating new businesses for over 20 years. This has led me to create data-driven companies that have employed 100’s of people, delivered £100Ms in impact, tackling challenges from climate change to government transparency to open banking. I’m driven by creating impact@web-scale: resolving issues that require the web-scale co-ordination of constituencies across the private and public sectors.
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Gavin explores the impact of the web on business, society and culture.
He has co-created over a dozen data-driven organisations to bring multidisciplinary leadership to the digital age. These have addressed data infrastructure, policy, science, communications, innovation and skills across fintech, climate change, supply chain management, modern slavery, the circular economy, digital media, telecoms, machine learning, blockchain and the internet of things. He co-chaired the development of the Open Banking Standard and was founding CEO of the Open Data Institute.
He is currently convening federated partnership programmes to help address the Sustainable Development Goals.
Gavin was the Open Data Institute’s founding CEO, working with Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Under his leadership, it unlocked over $100M of direct economic impact, incubated over 50 companies, launched franchises across 20 countries, trained 6,000 people, recruited a world-class board and team, and grew its turnover to $7M/y in under three years.
In 2015, at the request of HM Treasury, he co-chaired the development of the Open Banking Standard, laying the foundations for regulation and catalysing international innovation. He served on the Data, Science and Evidence advisory board of the Ministry of Justice and the Smart London Board reporting to the Mayor’s office.
He has been creating businesses for over 20 years, leading projects with organisations such as Arup, Cap Gemini and the World Bank. He has been recognised as one of the most influential people in data: winning awards for his innovation and expertise, and providing Parliamentary Select Committee evidence. He is a regular international speaker on the topic of the web of data and its impact on society.
His previous ventures include: organising the world’s environmental data and standards into an open web-service, AMEE, raising over $10M from leading VCs; building the world’s leading digital music distributor, CI, the first company to deliver digital products to iTunes, and sent Amazon 25% of its download store at launch; creating an award-winning streaming media company, Tornado, selling it in 2003; joining Branson’s Virgin Net as employee #5 in 1995 to deliver Virgin Net (now Virgin Media).
At Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory, Gavin helped develop systems designed to map and interpret the Universe. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, created courses and lectured in Engineering and Music at Glasgow University, and has degrees in both Astronomy and in Electronic Music (on which he has published research & released album). He converted a century-old ship to live aboard and built a cooperative historic harbour on the Thames to put it on.
Commercial – active
- founder — d::gen network, a federated network of experts creating impact@web-scale
- chairman — Provenance.org, blockchain-based product tracking
- chairman — Rinse Group, at the centre of a vast musical community for over a decade
- non-executive board member — CupClub, circular-economy IoT packaging
- regular invited speaker at innovation, data, startup, web, and cleantech/environmental events and conferences
- regular invited mentor for startups and incubation programmes
Non-commercial – active
- non-executive director — anti-slavery registry, TISC reports
- advisory group member — flagship project on data sovereignty across Europe, DECODE (Decentralised Citizens Owned Data Ecosystem)
- trustee — Longplayer Trust, helping to sustain a 1,000-year music performance
- co-founder and chairman — Hermitage Community Moorings, the first official residential harbour development on the Thames in the last century
- regular speaker at arts, science, music and tech events
Commercial – previous
- recognised as one of the “UK’s top data leaders and influencers” in 2016
- founding CEO – Open Data Institute, a world-first created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prof. Nigel Shadbolt, unlocking over £60M ($100M at the time) for the data-driven economy
- founder – CEO and Chairman – multi-award-winning AMEE, raising over $10m from leading international venture capital funds (O’Reilly, USV, and Amadeus)
- two companies I created were part of the first ten ‘Silicon Roundabout’ companies (Wired)
- founding CEO – Consolidated Independent to create the digital supply-chain for music, and become the market-leader in digital distribution in 3-years
- founder-team member/CTO – Asset TV, a secure video network where investment professionals share information
- founder / CEO – award-winning cross-media company, Tornado Productions (sold to a larger media group in 2003)
- founder-team member and pioneer of streaming media in the UK and Europe from 1995 helping to set up Richard Branson’s “Virgin Net“, and the International Webcasting Association (IWA) in Europe
- mentor to innovative UK startups in “Tech City” in both web and space/satellite industries
- have led projects with UK Govt, BBC, Channel Four, Rolls Royce, Tate Modern, Shell, Radiohead, and UNICEF
Public & non-commercial roles – previous
- co-chairman — Open Banking Working Group, creating the Open Banking Standard that led to new UK regulation
- advisory board member — Greater London Authority (GLA) ‘Smart London’ programme
- advisory board member — Ministry of Justice Data, Evidence and Science Advisory Board
- advisory board member — UK Government’s Midata – “Energy Sector Board”, shaping policy with utilities and consumer-rights groups
- founder-team member of Global Cool, a charity tackling public communication and mitigation of climate change
- founder of exequo, a non-profit streaming media company for the 3rd sector
Academic / Research
- BSc (Astronomy): Specific research on Quasars
- Masters of Music (Computer-Music): Published research on 3-D Sound and Virtual Reality Audio
- Experimental Officer at Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory: Radio Astrophysics, Quasars, image processing, and website
- Created and lectured IEEE approved courses in Electronics and Music at Glasgow University
- Music performed and research published and presented internationally (across five continents)
- Contributor with the AmbientTV collective, the Acoustic Space Lab in Latvia, and Nesta/PAL workshops.