Russell Goldsmith
Russell Goldsmith 21 January 2018
Categories B2B, Technology

Podcast: UK's Tech 500 Power List

In this week's C-suite podcast, Russell Goldsmith was joined in the studio by technology PR agency Tyto’s co-founders, Ellen Raphael and Brendon Craigie, discuss their Tech 500 Power List, which highlights top technology influencers in the UK. Also in the studio are three of top technology influencers featured in this years list.


Recording the show. L-R: Jeremy Waite, Dr Sue Black OBE, Russell Goldsmith, Brendon Craigie and Ellen Raphael

Tyto Tech 500 Power List Top 10

  1. Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, The Sage Group plc
  2. Mike Butcher, Editor At Large, TechCrunch
  3. Steven Bartlett, Chief Executive Officer, The Social Chain
  4. Jeremy Waite, Global Leader of CMO Programs, IBM
  5. Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates
  6. Anne Boden, Chief Executive Officer, Starling Bank
  7. Dr Sue Black OBE, Academic and Social Entrepreneur
  8. Rajesh Argawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business
  9. Alex Hudson, Deputy Editor, Metro UK
  10. Goncalo De Vasconcelos, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, SyndicateRoom

The list was compiled by looking across a range of technology sub-sectors and influencer groups and the tech influencers were tracked across 20 sub sectors and nine different influencer groups in the UK.  Areas that made someone influential included:

  1. social media
  2. press coverage (appear at least six times in the last 12 months and not from a press release)
  3. industry events & keynote participation
  4. owned media, i.e. through their own influential blog or via the business they work for. 

Those on the list had to excel in all four areas quite frequently.

Single Mum on benefits to OBE & Government Advisor

Sue left school at 16, but went back to education 10 years later as a single mum with three kids living on a council estate and benefits.  She then became Head of Department at the University of Westminster and set up BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in Tech and ran the campaign to save Bletchley Park.  She is now an OBE and a Government advisor on Digital Services, having recently met with the Prime Minister at No.10 Downing Street to talk about her #techmums courses.

Within the podcast, Sue talks about her campaign to save Bletchley Park:

  • Discovered 8000 women worked at Bletchley Park
  • Recorded oral history of some of those 8000 women that worked there 
  • Found out that Bletchley Park was having financial difficulties but that the work that was done there had shortened WWII by two years, arguably saving 22million lives. 
  • Started campaign to save Bletchley Park by contacting all heads of computing the country, wrote to The Times and approached the BBC. 
  • Started to use Twitter at the end of 2008, which led to getting Stephen Fry involved
  • Slowly built a community through Twitter of those people who cared about Bletchley Park.  Eventually, the Queen came to visit, the Duchess of Cambridge
  • Finally, The Imitation Game, was produced, which Sue said was a real game changer

What does being influential mean?

Anne said that being an influencer brings responsibility to ensure that both sides of an argument are heard. 

Jeremy referred to the part of Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ TEDtalk where Simon said that goal in business wasn’t to sell to people who need what you have, but to work with people who believe what you believe.  So what Jeremy wants to discover in terms of influence is who those people are that believe the same things, because if you know who those people are, and you have got the influence, the important thing becomes what are you going to do with it. 

Sue feels she has a mission to help disadvantaged women in particular to feel more confident in their lives, and she believes technology is a great enabler in that area.

Women in Technology

Anne doesn’t believe things have improved over the 30 years since she started in Technology and said there were few women then and that’s still the same today.  She therefore feels that organisations need to try much harder to get more women into senior positions.

However, Jeremy said all his bosses at IBM are women and he is incredibly proud of that fact but the key issue for him is how to use his influence to inspire more women into tech.

Sue agreed to a point with Anne in that nothing much has changed since she set up her BSCWomen group, but apart from the stats, she feels that everything has in fact changed and that we will start to see an upsurge.

Power of Influence

Jeremy quoted the American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

He added that 5% of people in any given group can affect change within the other 95% but it’s incredibly difficult to measure exactly how many people someone like Sue has influenced. However, he said it’s about knowing which is the audience that you genuinely want to speak to, and that’s not necessarily the tens of thousands of followers you have on Twitter, it may only be two or three thousand of a really engaged audience. 

All previous shows of the series are available on this website as well as SoundcloudiTunesTuneIn and Stitcher.  There is also a growing community on Facebook and Twitter, where you can get involved in the discussion.  Finally, if you subscribe to the show, please can you give it a positive rating and review on iTunes in particular as this helps it up the charts!

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