Read this: Media Masters - Martha Lane Fox
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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard
welcome to media Masters a series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game time John better.com Pioneer Martha Lane Fox in 1998 she co-founded lastminute.com which eventually sold for 577 million in 2005 the same year she launched karaoke brand lucky Voice in 2015.
Everyone a charity which promote social change through technology mattress patron of several charities chancellor of the Open University and is on the board of Twitter the donmar warehouse and Chanel she's also patron of abilitynet making workplaces accessible for disabled people a form of UK Digital Champion for government in 2013.
She became the youngest female member of the House of Lords I was also awarded a CBE for services to the Digital economy and charity Martha thank you for joining me my pleasure.
Thanks for coming here.
Thanks for including kodi my cats in the podcast.
Yes, we're in our setup with hub collie, the Cat Jump on Oliver's equipment, so we should apologise that we should leave it in if she disruption.
Amazing interview skill is it let's start then you said that your signature song is I'm Still Standing which is appropriate.
You've had an amazing heisen incredible great personal adversity in your life and is particularly poignant for me because in 2004 I had a very very serious car accident to fill out of a car in Morocco spent nearly 2 years in hospital broke 28 bones had a stroke my life changed forever, so I'm Still Standing was practically the first song with a belt it out when I was able to go to lucky Voice to karaoke by that my friend and ironing thistles and started in 2005 and plenty of the podcast you can go through all of it, but it's so if you don't mind me asking they do you do you see your life in terms of what happened before the accident afterwards BC before Christ and after grass and this is not quite the right to an acronym.
Sort of partly just because I've had so much more things since 2004 that I can't remember very much before the accident but partly also because it's so dominating.
It's like another job in.
I had so I have to have managed around it all the time, but you know that's fine.
I am lucky.
I'm up right.
I've got lots of help.
I've got resources and so I can do a load more than many people who have probably much more afflicted in the same situation than me so I try and be thankful for what is going right rather than focusing and what is not going right that you said how busy you are the intro that I read the beginning with three times longer than most normal because insurance it's because I get to be in the public sector and the private sector which is something.
I enjoy a lot and also Soderling the policy world a bit through of being in the Lords and some of them were coded in government so I feel lucky.
I am generally and I used to feel so embarrassed about that because they were what do you do now and it's hard to answer that question when you've got so many different things in your life, but now I really just tried to Channel it and own it and think of it as a positive.
Where you can say hold on with it I can join up this.
Over here with that.
Over there that I never imagined might be connected.
So what is a typical week then perhaps we could discuss all these huge this properly this search plethora of responsibilities that you have how does it work so I worked fine first job and Consulting company the only proper job.
I've ever had so I meant to I want to go on to find out with then from then on I should have been my own bus which is an incredible luxury, and I realise that it enables you if you get things in the way that you want them to be able to construct your time as you want to I mean that's not a study to a new building and starting a business but now at the grand old age of 45 with the life of an 85 year old I can say ok this week.
I don't really want to work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays I want to write or I want to think what I want to hang out with my twin boys, so I'm going to organise my week in a particular way this week when next week.
I might have to be in a flat out for 5 days and doing 5 speeches, so I have a bit more autonomy than I think most people probably do but typically I try to be in the Lords know when there's something that I can contribute to so that's an Anchor in my week.
I'm part of the joint Committee on national Security strategy.
We have regular committee meeting so that something obviously have to turn up for I do, public speaking tomorrow ending big event with Michelle Hussain for example with too much skill she's written a book about skills and young women and confidence on Thursday I'm doing a week speech at the Royal Institution about climate crisis and change so you Anchor your week in those events and I've got to make sure I'm prepared and able to do that.
So yeah, it does depend week by week, but there are some things.
That's a bit more regular in I try and deliver on what I meant to every week.
I mean I've never had a job.
I've always been self-employed ever since I was 17 years old.
So you are right.
There is not freedom that autonomy but you're driven like I am so even though in theory.
You could take that Wednesday off.
Is flat out all the time cos we're not be a very driven and you've got a lot of things to get get on with I think asking the question of what am I contributing am I trying to even in a tiny way to move things forward and that's my motivating Factor because I do feel as though I've had all this lucky my life and I want to train you said you want to give a false impression here and I think it's really important especially as in a working parent mother or father this afternoon.
I'm not going to work.
I'm going to have a good 4 hours wear a blocked out of my diary and I'm going to spend it with Felix a mile in my 2-year-old so you I am lucky and I can have that flexibility my life now.
It means I will be working late into tonight because I want to prepare for something tomorrow, but that's a choice that I want to make so I think it is just about working out what your priorities are and then being quite rigorous and tough and enforcing them in your life, but also about 4 hours that you can about 4 this afternoon as a chance for you to reflect.
I don't know about you, but I
With two two and a half year old raped Labour Party and reading that stuff, but no I try to be present when I'm with my kids and not be thinking I should be doing sort of this but she not actually focusing on Peppa Pig I was at my best ideas when I'm Blake Ewing to board a plane or I'm in the shower or im getting through turning some shoes to the shop.
You know where I eat something.
That's just what you are keeping me busy at the moment, but it's not using my brain then.
I think I didn't expect me to Facebook so I really list of leading policymakers oppositions actually, I really love the theatre and I really love reading I was on the board of the Bailey's prize for fiction for a long time now.
You're bored at the donmar warehouse.
I often find that my best ideas come when I'm doing something completely different and often created so last week for example.
I went to see Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre and I was watching his production couple of things occurred to me about my
Speech for the next couple of days.
I thought well.
That's interesting Shakespeare has prompted me to rethink.
I think Shakespeare probably was promptly to rethink everything but yeah, I'm with you.
I find inspiration Comes by having a broad range of interest and focus not narrowing it down opening up almost but I think the word that it seems to me that all of the various aspects of your career.
He alive actually feed into each other and on benefit each other.
I hope so, I may think that it would be really hard.
I think to do completely desperate things that didn't feel as though they were going anywhere cohesive and I think for a period of time actually after the accident when I was still scrambling to work out my brain my body what I was able to contribute to the world.
I was a bit disparate nice doing things that didn't feel like they formed any kind of pattern now.
I'm tougher with myself and with the opportunities are always trying to say what you know does this move forward something I really care about an
At the minute those things are around in responsible technology in the work.
We're doing it.
Everyone everything around women equality do am I using my voice in a way that will help even if it's just symbolically show that women can have a different kind of role in the world to sometimes how its perceived or no? Is it something? I need to do because it's a business interest and clearly when you're on board to have to be understanding of the world's that you're trying to contribute to through the board so I have got a kind of decision tree that I go through and then obviously having had that incredible experience of lastminute.com so early in my life.
There's an underpinning of the digital world that I try and always bring to everything if you don't mind then let's go to your career briefly at in terms of a you know.
What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid when you smile and very quickly it became clear that that was not going to happen because I was not as good as I was in my own head although some people think that now with all the public speaking I do it.
It's there going to be movies trolling doing a performance is doing public speaking.
Spell looks better performance and especially and sometimes in East end up in other words.
It's so intimidating so you want and then I want to be newspaper editing my own newspaper article Mondays to Saturdays and then I wanted to be a prison governor because I got very heavily interested in criminal justice Leitrim teenagers, and then I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left university's overall.
I didn't have a kind of zakariya planners.
Just interested in different bits of the world and thought I don't know nothing about and is that clear curiosity that you have that solvency military this moved things forward move the needle in in everything that you've done.
Thank you for saying that that's a huge compliment to me.
I I think personally that there are two things that you should just keep it your call as a human being and the first one is keep your curiosity in your keep asking questions and in that text is as true of understanding the technical world as it isn't any aspect of your life in I'm not the technologist.
I can't code but I do ask questions and I am curious and interested in it's how it works middle.
So its role in the world, so I didn't curious did the first thing and then I think kindness and generosity is the second thing I need you can see yourself in a couple of things infamy there goes to you probably can try and continue to be a good human being mean.
I've read quite a few books on leadership and I'll let you having some of them a good some of them are not but I work for 14th of global leaders.
That's what we doing my my day job and one of the things that I've always found is the biggest motivating Factor isn't in these books and ATS temperament you know whether you've been told off hours.
It's been a good thing you can just get a sense of where the sun was a pleasure to work with work for Brent Myers meant to come guy came up with the idea is fantastic person a good friend always said the same thing he said when you interview people and you does it still today his main question isn't inovyn investor services should invest in someone isn't did think business plan a good one or do they understand the Cash Hurt actually would I want to work for this person because if you feel like you are somebody that can imagine working.
For the person in whatever capacity then there likely to be somebody that can motivate other people who do a good job and I think that's a pretty smart way of thinking about things but let me do the interviewers trick round double that question back on you because would you want to work for yourself because I don't like working for my terrible boss, but employing self-management lastminute.com you know I can these people are here because we're creating a good culture and I'm quite jolly and I'm quite good at giving feedback and I'm quite good at firing people in a kind.
Where all that stuff that you associate with management in quotation marks and then reason every night.
I was absolutely useless.
I don't think I was clear.
I think I basically managed to do tequila.
I think that that was not a very efficient way.
I think we had incredible culture, but arrogantly was much less to do with me and a lot more to do with what we were trying to do in the height of purpose of making us know., success, so I'm not sure as I'm as good as it as I thought I was I think that the people that work with me with say that hopefully I'm in.
Aspiring I work hard.
I hope I don't ask them to do something that I wouldn't do myself but I'm also I'm sure I know I can be Mercurial and I can be a little bunny jump in the O my God we should be going over there and doing this thing.
Oh my god.
It's an amazing opportunity and I think you know that people that were with me.
I'm sure it's need to keep putting things down and saying alone.
Just like this which is funny because actually in myself.
I'm quite a structured person and if you ask my husband to be like no you're so annoying all about the detail and getting the stuff done.
So got to be wrong, but I think it's both never heard.
I don't know I hope I'm nice to work for I hope they don't think I'm too ridiculous, but they probably do I don't want to buy the role journalistic integrity into this into the prayers master podcast but actually in your defence.
I think the very fact that you prepared to doubt your own leadership style means that you probably quite a good leader really.
I think that old type a alpha male commander control tough level of leadership it as it is not already dead is close today.
You know when people talk to me about the digital world and I have this debate with my best friend all the time.
She's a liar.
She's not internet isn't impacting her life as directly as a barrister and young people use Justice she was like the internet and it's not about the technology is about the cultural shift that are happening.
It's about love the style with she's been enabled mobile technology and I don't think it's the only reason but I think it's part of the reason that the style you're talking about is slowly dying because you just can't collaborate and work at scale and Pace with that mechanism of leadership and I find it really fascinating there's an interview with Jack Ma the Chinese founder of Alibaba massive huge enormous Chinese e-commerce company and he said in an interview that you know he thinks the most successful leaders have to have the empathetic part of their brain and even just tend 15 years ago.
Can you imagine the boss of some big FTSE 100 or S&P 500 companies saying that the most important thing in leadership was to be in touch with both your empathetic slide in your plan of I think he said empirical side.
I don't think.
That's something that people talked about so that feels like a very quick and rapid shift all leaders used to be praised for kind of knowing their mind and getting on with it was actually I think having a bit of self-doubt and you know being flexible and being a pragmatist is actually the mark of a good leader.
I completely agree with you and not sure always get it right but when I try and end all the meetings of people I'm working with biting.
What can I do? How can I help and what else can I do? How can I help you when I think just having that in your brain? Just is immediately deflates the sort of I'm in charge of new do stuff for me and it's more about well.
We working in this together.
I'm here to help you.
We've got to try and do a good job as a team not about in a my eGo your eGo anyone to go so that's just a trick to try and keep yourself a bit more humble.
I think so, how did last minute start then, when do the entrepreneurial flame start to wear Stata Burnley
Best friend, but there isn't that came back so simple Brent hoberman, you know it's 20 years ago that we started The Returned on the website with a business plan little bit earlier and he's an incredible and amazing entrepreneur doesn't matter stuff now for the top entrepreneurial landscape and we work together this small Consulting company had had the idea of lastminute.com he asked me to come and help him started and I said yes and then off we went and went there because you had a job that you had to ask but I was lucky.
I had a flat that I could rent a room out in so that I could barely money to cover me over so I you know when I hope I never forget all that stuff.
You know we had an incredible education we both came from him up middle-class backgrounds with able to make that leap without thinking.
Oh my god.
I'm not to be able to feed my family next week and so nothing is a bit disingenuous of people like me saying we're just you know took this massive risk where we took a bit of risk, but we also had a huge safetynet around us it's one of those ideas.
In hindsight, seems breathtakingly simple and I mean that as a compliment my friends idea.
So yes, but they're the best ideas on it was because the internet for what it was most effectively built for at that time right it used it to for immediacy for being as of clearing house in a way that you just could not do any offline Williams teletext used to ring up to find out whether a brother is still available and that I go back to life you was up to me exactly so the internet was being used for something so perfectly suited to its characteristics and that's hybrid mismatch a what are you strongest memories of the time there and they can be about anything.
That's a deliberately vague question do you have any kind of snapshot learning? I've got so many things as you can imagine.
I think about me a sitting in Brent fat with the original business plan blaring out of his bubble jet printer with the end of snows of the digital bits and so on so early on and I think about our first office that was UPS
Flights of stairs in park at off Regent Street and how we nearly killed our new chairman, who is the ex boss of KLM Airlines with an a big salon included I can hear him panting on my 72 year old man with just the first board meeting we've already killed him.
I think about my stairs.
They would actually I think about the excitement when people started buying things in the product with just started flying and then I think that the amazing team and the fun that we had when it became clear that the building business was really building momentum and then I think about the IPO and Incredibly complex time that wasn't how we went from being.
Love you know the world's Darlington been seen that we ruined the whole stock market because the stock market crashed so I think about lots of moments and they're actually more in my mind because of the 20th anniversary had a party we got people of together again from that found in Brentford generously gave us all the party and
Yeah, the energy in the room.
I really I was blown away.
I thought how many people actually want to come and celebrate where they work 20 years ago and it turns out a whole number of people from those early days, and it really felt enormously well.
Just found a nice to be back with those people.
What were the biggest learnings from that time is there anything you have done differently and I don't mean in terms of technicality with him out of flow to the month late or whatever in terms of like your personal learner get me one of them up later compare the market has crashed.
I think personally I think all the time about tenacity about how to pursue opportunities about never to give up how to chase people calling a mobile phones into Stansted really didn't learn a lot about being a good entrepreneur from Brent I learnt a lot about myself about you know where I was capable than where I wasn't you know what I was good at less good at you.
I was good at the inspiring thing.
I wasn't sometimes too good at the Patience of the detail of really getting into the nitty-gritty of wire customer service processor.
I never grow sprouts.
What's the details that you can go for the top to the micro, but I'm not sure that's my particular skills you can literally do anything in the business.
You've got to choose where to put your focus, but there's any Media opportunity cost of if you're going to focus on the Sorting accounts out today if that's the the expensive looking at a sales pipeline here and I think you were learnt a lot about just momentum Building and PR and we bought via integration of companies in the lots of specific business things but as you can imagine over a 9 year period when going for this is 25 to 32 in you learn everything you learn everything about yourself about the world because he knew nothing before know you want Britain to build a generation of women Warriors in tech at how do we get that gender balance level playing field because it does seem to me to be quite a can of testosterone fuelled platform.
So unbelievably disappointing and dispiriting in are there more women as a percentage in the House of Lords than there are in technology 1000 year old institution vs.
Sign that didn't even exist 34 years ago.
So I'm not sure I ever actually going to get to level playing field because if you look at the trajectory now, we're actually going backwards and yet.
This is effective it's growing bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, but doesn't mean we shouldn't focus on it relentlessly and and there are lots of initiatives happening way more than I can ever remember those things teaching girls to code which is one part of it about the pipeline the company's reflecting on how they can much better recruit women the subconscious bias, they might have within the company and other leaders coming out and supporting it and missing that they're going to really try and address the balance each other.
It's Intel scale that and they have whether it's smaller companies like the amazing organisation wetransfer British start up living in La so lots of things happening.
It's hard work as no one thing it's got to be a car.
Every single axis of the entire career life cycle for both men and women but it's really really really important some progress has been made though however small and incrementally we are heading in the right direction now actually why haven't you mentioned anything backwards, but not making progress and that I am an optimist some work to show when it's going to be gender parity across various different axis and I looked at the things which interested me so politics is going to be about 75 years or full book about you know kind of you can imagine.
I might still be alive if I take the right drugs and put the right face cream on business think of it left nearly 50 years, but then in stem anything to do with the technology never because the trajectory is either flat or backwards, so I think we have to be realistic with that and I think that's why it needs leadership to governmental level as well to say hold on a minute these all the Industries of the future whatever you think about the robots coming for a jobs.
We're going to need to know.
Navigate to technology and so we might all need to code but we are all going to need her learn how to knit be a resilient human being in this world and that's got to be a true for men's for women and so we need to focus on it at that kind of social infrastructure level is difficult because like even This podcast only a third of the guest Sabine women and you know I really do try to get it.
You know inspiring Bhattacharjee the winner but the reality is that in most of the top media jobs.
They're up there all blokes I said this morning very have to be included on a think it's a bit of a stitch up in a list called Inspiron 5000 run by a program that started in the Netherlands 50 inspiring leaders in technology 50 women's boring you just from technology.
So look at the 50 women in that list because I guarantee you can take three or four for your podcast am and you can help address the balance and some of them are in media whether they're Alex Marylebone from Channel 4 of Nicola mendelsohn Facebook or other women it might not know.
So well, there are so many women out there.
We need to help raise their voices and help them also get seen more than perhaps.
They are at the minute.
It's only doing I'm speaking unique as a member of the House of Lords you're a member of the legislature.
So you're uniquely placed to do something about it.
Yes, I think there is more stuff the government to do a mint remember that doesn't make policy we can only suggesting to the government only really a recommending chamber.
I think it has to be in much and I say much more ingrained in government policy.
I think we need a much better skill strategy a think we need more incentives for corporates.
I think we need to have a dedicated bunch of resources that go into this not going to happen by chance as to be intentful.
I'm building on the Proms with gender you know in terms of you know other forms of diversity at your on the record of saying that in is atrocious intake as well.
It's not just gender ethnic background and socioeconomic background.
We just not going to design such good products.
Services if they come from a bunch of white men who were in their early 20s or late 20s or early 30s or late, so it's just not going to be a world that is going to serve the challenges that we're facing so diversity is absolutely call to this what can listen to This podcast who would want to be part of the change.
What can they do practically that for example? I read recently and we stopped asking female job applicants their salary because even though it's a normal thing to do that you ask someone their current salary and and therefore you want to pay them a bit more to attract them because women are historically underpaid if you wanted him a tiny bit more for something.
That's 20% lower than what the man would be you actually perpetuating that even though it's done with the best of intentions, so the only way you can do it is to truly have salary and educational blindness.
Yes, I think that's absolutely their questions to be asking you know they've seen again and again it seems so many angles even if you just take the gender of job application to get different results of the order in which you interviewing Java job interviews know whether it receives the man man man man woman or woman were.
It makes a difference to the perception of people's abilities women in appraisal systems women underestimate, how much they've achieved in a given year by 50% and Men overestimate by 50% ethanol hard targets.
This is a cultural shift that we need so everyone can do something if you're working in a business in Europe raising your team think very carefully about how you doing it for men and women cos that then sets the bar in terms of bonus paid promotion all those things are you providing effective childcare caring responsibilities across the boards? It's not just for women in my husband and I share share child care for her children and it's incredibly important that we enable and facilitate that because it can't just always fall to a minute is that means they never going to get back into work in the same with same ways excuse me so I think you've got to look at every single bit of the working life cycle and imagine it from a much more share price of equality and bring them into that conversation and then judge companies and performance on whether they're doing the things that they set out to do.
Well this podcast about you.
Not me, but I will sound very proud of my own business two-thirds of my team are women and very recording this from the listeners point of your few weeks earlier, so your guest editor job of the Today programme is in it's only days away from the listeners point of view.
Are you going to take that time in the editor's chair to highlight some of these issues.
Are you? Can you give us a sneak preview, but yeah? Yeah, I do know you're something obviously most of the programs agenda has to be determined by the news of the day, but hopefully cos it's Christmas they won't be too many politicians screwing.
I probably will be some facts about can't find it for the program.
Completely you know what I have some watch shifted how I imagined my program over the course of the last 2 months because it just feels as though we are staring at a huge black elephant in the room.
I like this expression.
I heard someone talk about it.
Recently we have white elephants that we can't see your you know we haven't quite a dress, but there are black elephants.
They were describing word week.
See them we know they're there but we're still ignoring them and the climate crisis feels like the Black elephant that we are all staring down.
So I am really gonna try to make a lot of my program about why is this why we've got a failure of leadership? What are the things that are happening at are going to help innovate us out of this challenge and how can we keep the conversation as part of all of our daily priorities, but we had Alan rusbridger on the podcast recently.
He's a very passionate climate advocate and he was saying the problem with climate though in terms of journalism is it's not newsy is a cataclysmic threat to humanity itself, but it's not something that's going to come up with a news line on an on a Wednesday it's very difficult for journalistic and focus it into a terms of a story to big challenge yeah, maybe I mean they're telling Killian despite my earlier attempts and I think that's right it but if you think about even since Alan left the Guardian that I would argue the Daily News cycle of the California fires.
Tsunamis you're seeing in Southeast Asia that you know rising water levels there is always something there.
That's part of the point in as another report yesterday or the day before I'm sure you know about the effect on us economy.
So this is becoming used because it is news and I think that in a way you have to take a moral view and say as a leader that as true as a newspaper editors me as a member of Hounslow labour member whatever angle I'm coming at it from and just say what can I do? What voice can I use? How can I re engineer some of the stories that im telling the messages? I want to spin the things I want my organisations to do in order to make sure that we have the best shot at being here in the next 50-years people are making changes.
I recently bought a Tesla side.
I'm doing my part as well.
I'm also vegan and that was one of the reasons.
I wanted it to mention about yourself cos it's not just governments and corporations in need to change consumers need to change any cheap chicken factory farmed meat is one of the greatest threats to the dinar to the environment.
Items of oil and water wastage antibiotic overuse, but people want their chicken wings for 6 for a pound fish, but that's just did a lot for me in the last year and I agree, but we have we can't put the onus just on individuals.
It's got to be the tripartite piece of government's businesses and individuals like any major societal change but I think the thing that I have begun to realise and my husband has given me confidence in this is so used to being on I can't really speak about the environmental getting on this cos I'm not an expert.
I am not in the detail of the science.
I couldn't tell you with absolute certainty what the Paris climate Accord was it all those things and I thought screw that I haven't very lucky to have a small voice in the world even if it's going quite marginal.
I understand a bit about the digital world use your voice for the things that matter and to me this is just increasing me the only thing that matters and for my angle.
You know it's like OK how can I in the Twitter board to keep?
What are we doing about the climate crisis? How can I say? I'm standing up in the Lords talk about the climate crisis.
How can I want a mouse to give a speech about innovation and technology say will you need to give him a rating around the climate crisis? So you just I think I think about your own networks your own influence and how to make the shifts to make sure that the next decade is as positive as possible another any colour of existential conflicts or Complex in principle between like the principles of free speech and those of said clamp change because you know I have some friends at a climate change Denier is and Twitter is one of their biggest platforms now.
You don't even know what they're doing is completely factual as well as morally wrong.
I don't want to deny them a platform for it.
So you've got out.
How do you how do you reconcile at being on the body Twitter round things that I'm doing you often feel it in the laws like how do I vote on this particular thing or in a where is it important to use your voice and same on Twitter you know it's the most conflicting thing that I do but
I've made a decision that I would rather be in the conversation at this particular point in my career in a bear in mind.
I'm only a non-executive director.
I'm not an executive be my role.
There is to challenge and provoke and I hope as long as I do that I'm doing a good job and I can sleep at night if I feel like I'm just going they're ticking the boxes not challenging and then I'll be you know I wouldn't feel like I was doing a good job and I hope if you asked any of my fellow board members they say you know she tries to keep us honest as much as the we listen to any of our board directors and you we have this debate all the time.
I might take a different view of freedom of speech and I think it's really easy to underestimate the European culture around this vs.
The West Coast culture.
I think it was all the things.
I find most fascinating when I first went on the board I came back and I said oh my god.
There's a completely different view of what three don't speak to you.
Don't actually think there are boundaries around it as I as a European in a British something on my Corsa boundaries something should just have a cliff Edge and I think Twitter is moving in that direction more and more but
The journey because they have this consecrated right in their amendments to the constitution right, so there is just a little about this point about climate denial as well.
It's important that the platform services these things I learnt journalists academics people can take them down and you know I think that's right to a degree.
I think it's it's not my job to say this is how we should do it my job is to say ok, but have you thought about this side of it if you could about this framework whatever it might be that's what I'm trying to do if I feel like I'm not contributing then.
I would step away from that, but I think what fascinates me now.
Is it in terms of the globalised environment which we operate is the decreasing power of the nation-state and I you know when I was a kid you can always complain to either the local council of the national government about what was going wrong now.
If something's going wrong.
It might be a fun with PayPal or it might be a probably Twitter you know something that's and legal to say in the UK on Twitter or in America about the Holocaust denial would be criminally legal intervention.
I need an answer would say rightly so much.
That's why I do feel sorry for these globalised corporations because ultimately they can't have varying standards and as a career nightmare, but I also think some of them are pretty big and can't deal with this stuff.
That's their job and I think that you know what's interesting is to think about are we going to have this for a patchwork of regulation or we going to find that this more value systems that should have come together is the us going to move a bit closer to Europe overtime what's going to happen in Asia and then anyone things.
I'm very interested in partly because of them work.
I've been doing insecurity and defences and then we've got this completely separate ecosystem around China Russia North Korea Iran which of building a cold different set of values again in technology so if that I think is also very important backdrop to this.
What's your next challenge what happened to achieve yet.
Oh my gosh.
I don't feel like I've finally achieved anything and you know if I think that my next challenge.
I break it down into chunks of stuff.
He wants to try and help.
Everyone build this movement for responsible technology.
No, I gave the Dimbleby lecture in 2015 on BBC One and I just talked about how I think that the I thought that I'd was turning a bit in a relationship with technology in that people were feeling more anxious and we needed to have some new organisations and institutions that were really fighting to still use technology, but you didn't know responsible way an inclusive way an affair away.
I was doing some amazing work helping think about what that looks like so what corporates can do with apples responsible technology toolkit what how can you actually use it to build better technology in the future are working with legislators and government to think about what does responsibility mean in terms of policy making and where encouraging individuals to think about you.
How to feel more empowered by take that appears as opposed to overpowered by it so incredibly broad reaching in an infinite organisation so we're not building some things to show what we mean by change.
So then we hope partners will scale in when?
22 massive operational and execution across all those different things we work with partners to achieve the scale and so I really want to keep for helping as much as I can do everyone stay focused on that and do a good job and I think the moment is now to make sure that technology is seen as a positive Force because it is helping people with the right things in their lives.
You know would we don't need more pizza delivery services.
We need to energy to be deployed for the mandible people in situations that they going to make their lives feel marginally less cataclysmic you bad the name Maya when they are living through them, so that's enormously motivating for me and secondly.
I want to continue to be a strong voice in surprising places and I didn't specifically say about being a woman that is often is about being actually again to go back to this defence and security stuff.
I feel that it is been completely a fantastic to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about the defence and security world's not something that I thought I would naturally fall into a very often.
I am now the
Alone female voice speaking on the subject in the environment Simon but also voiced is saying different kinds of things about maybe the world of inner aircraft carriers is going to be less important than the world of people look a bit like me and can talk about coding so that's I think important to just keep provoking and challenging around.
How are making decisions about our assisted safety and security that's the second thing and then you know on a personal level as I said, I just feel as though wherever I can I want to make sure that in next 10 years or 15 years will my kids look at me and say my mum.
What did you do about the climate crisis that I can't stand in front of them and say I'm sorry I screwed that went out.
I just think we all have to think really carefully about how we are using my voice is a little difficult anything that you got Lee superhuman levels.
Mobile personal journeys, Welwyn you feel like more people in particular women of turn to Enterprise having an entrepreneur as result of like watching your journey that power.
You have to inspire.
That's very kind.
It's hard to be a bit hard to think about stuff like that when you're the person that is in the centre of it.
I am always really overwhelmed than happy to meet people who say that they've taken anything from my story it could be your woman in technology at maybe not be frightened of it through to maybe have a go on the internet through to you.
Help me start a business Awards people often go up to me.
I had the bad accident I hurt myself or whatever it was so even if it's a tiny spark of something.
I feel very privileged to be able to help people that and I think that again.
I don't want to sound pompous or Grand Tour arrogant, but if you can channel that positivity in your life.
It's incredibly empowering I used to think I was a bit of a frightened of its board thought it made me sound like a bit of a Rio Grande person to say yes, I have disability twins.
If you can recognise that there are bits of what you've done that can help the next Generation All Your peers or whoever it might be and it's a really important thing to own and drive and not be scared of I know you can pending on accessible workplaces and and have been for a while since you accident at that when I was on the city of York Council many years ago at Kent king was chair of the disability panel and someone in the air public gallery wants to challenge them to spend a day in a wheelchair.
Just go around the streets of York and it was he did and to his credit and it was shot.
He couldn't get in about 60% of the shops and this is the chair of the disability access committee of the council assume that every shop was accessible and only when you actually got in a chair.
Did he realise he couldn't get into boots and I think that there is no what happened to you has given you that sense of empathy because I hope them is empathetic person, but it's definitely you know when you're managing physical challenges all the time it definitely gives you a different sense of space and physicality around you and then also obviously.
You see things from a different end of the spectrum milutina charity patrons of notice about accessibility the workplace.
It's about how to use technology to better enable people to work or behaviours and more effective in whatever they want to do and a piece of that is obviously I'm using technology to help people being work more it's a very different relationship you have with the outside well when you have to walk with a stick I walk with stick outside sometimes I can be quite a good things to get people out of your way, but most of the time it just makes you feel a bit more anxious and vulnerable.
I don't really like being in crowds much.
How did you go on the Tube all that kind of stuff and I'm lucky I can walk and I can't imagine what you feel like if you're in a wheelchair and you get stuck in situation.
So yes, it's it definitely changes.
Just your perspective on movement and moving around it's not lack of empathy if you don't know what would there be blood going through I mean that you are often seem like middle-aged white successful men on the television, so well.
There's no this.
Rumination art challenges because I've never suffered any and I'm thinking exactly and to go back to touch for a minute.
I don't think the team.
There is no Family theme of mind me saying this but they said it publicly themselves, but one of the reasons they just missed the idea that there was going to be trolling and abuse in all this nastiness on the platform is because they were for relatively young white men who did not had an easy time of it didn't come up there were people that were recently went to gigs and we're breakers.
They didn't walk down the street like every single woman on the planet and late at night and feel a bit vulnerable and if you have that in your psyche because that's just the way the world is constructed.
I think you build the world in a different way, so that is why diversity is so important because you cannot underestimate how much your own bubble whatever that bubble is it hard to burst without having other voices in the room.
It's real thing about you know what your blind spots.
You can't really answer that because otherwise they wouldn't be blind spot someone has to point out yet then two.
What is different thinking you know you cannot have all the ideas in the world and you have better ideas if you evolve the diverse set of Voices controlling.
They're actually it's an interesting question again a can of existential one that I don't know the answer to is there was obviously quite a bit of a sewer on Twitter and the dailymail.com engine at the below the line type stuff and I've always wondered.
I've always been fascinated with you know has there always been unpleasant people that have just now been given a platform so that they can you no say horrible things about female celebrities on a Daily Mail online comments or troll people on Twitter or is it something that the technology itself is created? I think it says although there is no, I don't believe you and being so nasty people it really even believe in this idea of a nasty person.
You clearly some people have massive mental health challenges and some people have you know very sociopathic tendencies whatever it might be but fundamentally I think the way your brought up your background what you face.
Do I lived experience tend to be the things that make you and so I think we all start from a good place not a bad place.
I think that what's happened with technology is that it has enabled a very light touch way of getting rid of some of your anger some of your kind of sometimes ignorance sometimes in our arrogance whatever it might be and I think that very often the people that you find commenting brutally on online articles or being so violent social media are people that you might find might be a bit rude to people in the shop or walk down the street and be a bit mean but actually in real life.
I don't think they'd say those things face-to-face the people the technology has allowed it to be a bit too easy to be unpleasant and I think the makers of that technology recognised it now and I think we have to very very careful in how were working with children around this stuff and the kind of behaviours were displaying but I don't think it's too late.
I think we can pull back from this.
I think that the inner the nature of human beings is still and fundamentally optimistic about people.
I think people have huge capacity for kindness and goodness.
That there is an element that the technology does disconnect you from the consequences you need it as long as I can remember and paraphrasing now so I listen to correctly but the end who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima someone says you how did you do it? Well? I just press the button in his defence he was trying to do that and I'm sure he didn't sit slightly with the consequences, but in the same is true that you don't face into the consequences of what you're doing very often online.
It's easy to find it something or something if someone's been a bit mean to me as soon as I've just sent back your board member to that.
You don't need to respond to this person be a grown up but that's not the way that the technology has been facilitated.
I think that the people that do making this stuff are beginning to recognise that and I certainly from Facebook from Twitter point of you.
Don't want things to be negative because I just want things to be positive so the next decade is going to be very important.
I think and realigning this stuff is that old Cartoon isn't the weather's her husband burning the midnight oil his wife's asking to go to bed.
It's like 11:30 and he said I can't come to.
Because there's someone wrong on the internet your postcode.
Can I correct them to put this in a longer-term context I studied ancient and modern history, so I try look back to 500 BC sometimes and I'm thinking about it wasn't Twitter there wasn't anything then they can get there is definitely not know but there were moments of huge change in shift and I think you know think really in 1998 with the beginning of the web in the UK that's only 20 years ago.
This is stuff.
That's going to take a long time to work to and sort out and I think the next 50 year time frame.
You have something's will not go so well of course and I'm not blindly in a naive about what we have to do to change things but I still believe in the Enormous power technology to be helpful in some of the biggest challenges that we Face if we deploy it in the right way and if we keep asking the right questions so I think we gonna just recognise that were coming.
Now it's on the consequences of unintended consequences of the things we built so let's roll back from them deal with them and move forward in a positive way last question exam mindful that they were running out of time and we have a lot of younger listeners that are very ambitious there aspiring journalists and students and so on and so forth and a lot of them listening to this will be inspired by your journey in want to become the next you 20 years from now.
What would your advice better than your seatbelt got a grain of envision technology that wear sunscreen Baz Luhrmann busy looking at meeting you dinosaur you can remember life before the internet but just because you use it all the time doesn't mean you understand it and I do really think that if I looked her in over the world than
Generation below us will face the inevitable eai is going to be doing a lot more of the actual coding and the building in the running of all this stuff.
What is it that is going to be valuable always and to my mind it's back to what we started talking about which is being curious learning about the world showing resilience in face of adversity being able to cope with ambiguity been kind to your fellow human beings you know robots and never going to be human.
That's going to take an incredibly long time and even the most optimistic people wearing about a I think that's that's an if perhaps sometime in the next near millenia, but what is definitely true? Is that there are human bits of the world that will always need to humans so I think if I was young and as ambitious.
I double down on being a great human Mothers Do hugely enjoyable podcast and they're great.
Thank you ever so much for having me that wasn't podcast in association with big things video.
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