Spotlight: Paul Miller

Paul_Miller

What drives you?

I want to see really talented tech people working on stuff that matters.

Biggest SocEnt trend you have seen in the last 5 years?

For one, the Cabinet Office and Nesta have been very supportive. I feel there is lots of enthusiasm in the government to create a market for social investment in the UK. At the same time, technology has made a huge difference: prototyping social ventures has become cheaper and faster. If social entrepreneurship were only about brick and mortar, it would be very cost-intensive but going down the tech road makes it easier and opens more opportunities.

Currently reading

‘Holacracy: The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy’ by Brian Robertson which outlines an alternative to more conventional ways to manage and structure organisations – we’re trying it out at BGV.

Background

“I used to work in a political think tank, but you could say that I got bored by trying to change things through writing. I realized that for the same price of writing a report, we could prototype a startup! So I went on to launch School of Everything for continuous adult learning. It was lonely and difficult to build a for-profit startup in adult education; definitely not a very glamorous topic at the time. Then came the 2008 crisis which derailed everything just as we needed the next round of investment. As part of that process, I realized that I could have done a lot better if I had had someone who had done this stuff before. You really don’t need much for your first venture, so we (me and Anna Maybank) designed Bethnal Green Ventures to help in that situation.”

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