Category: User adoption

Oh What a Night!

Last night the 2017 annual Apps For Good awards took place at the Barbican London.

The finalists were as enthusiastic and energetic as ever! 

I was thrilled to be involved with the judging of The Internet of Things (IOT) category, the newest addition to the competition.

“It’s very hard to come up with good ideas for the IOT,” said fellow judge Christopher Histed, Master of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.  “A lot of people try, and I was very impressed at how good all of the ideas were,” he told me after the judging was complete.

Four ideas vied for the win:

  • Keep fit Determination—an app for gamers that promoted physical fitness by shutting games off at regular intervals to force gamers to leave the screen
  • Self Register—using the fingerprint as secure id, this team sought to capture college class attendance, student coursework and grades across multiple devices through a campus
  • SafeStep—sensor enabled mats to alert caregivers and family members of the elderly when someone has fallen or gone missing via a mobile app.
  • Micro:gate—GCSE science practical equipment made easy and cheaply.

Each of the four teams that made it to the finals, had 5 minutes to pitch to 5 Dragons.

Pitches included prototypes, powerpoint presentations and lively demonstration!

And the winner in the IOT category: SafeStep!

After judging, I then moderated a panel discussion with the Impact Award nominees.

Fellow of the Year finalists Adam Lee, Holly Dyson and Tasneem Rahman, graduates of the Apps for Good Programme who are still involved in mentoring and career related programmes, shared their insights on how the programme inspires, motivates, and prepares them.

“Even though my app didn’t win, I never stopped learning and pushing myself,” Rahman said.  “The programme has really helped my confidence and my public speaking abilities.”

Maria Parkes, Educator of the Year from The St Marylebone CE School, Michael Bristow Barclays’ VP/Head of Marketing Wealth & Investment Management and Apps for Good Expert of the year, and Colin Spark from School of the Year Dunoon (Scotland) Grammar  School, were equally enthusiastic about the programme.

“When we try to innovate at work, we often do so within the constraints of the companies we work for,” said Bristow.  “We can’t help it. We’re conditioned.  But the participants in Apps For Good have no restraints in their thinking, and their approach to problem solving.  It’s because of this, we get the best ideas,” he said.

“Try not to lose your innovative approach,” he said to the students.  “We must all remember to think like children,” he said to the audience.

The evening continued with all finalists pitching to guests via the marketplace.

Winners were then announced at the evening’s awards ceremony.

What a swell party it was!

I was terribly honoured to host the SalesForce/Ceturna roundtable for London’s Savile Row last

Over dinner in the elegant Mayfair Browns Hotel, we discussed how digital and craftsmanship can partner to drive brand growth and customer engagement.

Digital CRM and meaningful relevant digital communications from London’s bespoke tailors to their global consumers is now expected brand behaviour, however traditional product creation is.

Successful digital storytelling requires authenticity to be effective
at creating brand awareness and sustaining customer loyalty

Savile Row’s authenticity is the stuff digital storytellers dream about.

The partnering of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology is a winning combination.

I can’t help it. I get teary eyed with pride every year when the finalists compete in the apps for good marketplace and pitch their app concepts

Look at these 8 – 18year olds who as teams identified a problem that they felt could be solved with technology, researched the market, conceived and designed the app, pitched it to executives in true “dragons den” fashion, and then pitched it to executive guests from all industry sectors in an evening marketplace


The team who produced The School Council App–helping kids stay in touch with school issues and participate in local policy making


Pitching for My Allergy Basket. At 8 years old, these guys developed an idea to allow allergy sufferers to scan as they shop in supermarket to avoid hazardous allergic reactions to food


Helping you find your way–team Destination for You


Team Yum–promoting healthy eating


Torr–these Scottish girls propose an app aimed at helping hikers find trails and mountains to tackle

This year marks the 5th year of this not-for-profit’s work: creating nurturing and sustaining the educational curriculum that makes it all happen with the support of individuals, educators and corporate sponsorships.

For a complete list of winners visit the website.

I didn’t try to find Augmented Reality; it just found me!

This week’s theme has been Augmented Reality–All randomly

Which means to me, AR is coming of age and increasingly important

It started Monday at charity:water’s UK launch. I love this American based charity. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. As they enter their 10th year, they have funded 19,819 water projects in 24 countries helping 6.1 million people.



At the UK launch, oculus rift was used to provide a 360 immersive experience into 13-year-old Selam’s village life in Northern Ethiopia. More than a glimpse into her village and life there, you are transported; to empathize with her and her people. In the end, you feel the thrill of the water geyser rising up as the drill taps Into the underground water reserve.

Wow, who knew AR could be an empathy machine!

On Tuesday a Shea Collins, a marketing and branding colleague and I played with Interactive AR at Somo.

We manipulated objects in 3D–Pretty cool

And then Thursday I had lunch with Charly Leven of the agency Happy finish and via AR I was fully immersed in a world that few until now can understand. I could feel what it’s like to be Autistic.


Later we romped through Rihanna’s bedroom!

It appears to me that AR has finally found a use case: Immersive storytelling. AR is indeed a gateway to emotional storytelling

PS that day ended at the Worship Street `Whistle Shop were I was served—wait for it: the Augmented Martini! A dry martini with a gelatine ball that as it melts it augments the dry into a dirty martini. Ahhhh.


I have just realised that I’ve not been deleting emails but archiving them instead on my new iPhone5s. Finding the setting to change it took me a while.  I am amazed at how quickly we become accustomed to the layout and features of our phones.  Ever tried to find something on your husband’s/wife’s phone when they ask for help?  “Where do you keep the settings icon?”  

You can teach an old dog new tricks. But behavioural change is a completely different story!

I got a new IPhone 5s today. You can walk out of the store with it fully operational, and I did!

BUT re-downloading the apps, creating folders for them and basically making it thumb happy for me takes some time.

Plus reconnecting/relogging into them all is a chore! But I think I’m done…carrying the IPhone 4s with me just in case!

Am I the only who one thinks that Facebook is becoming an “opinion book” for those approaching middle age and up? Does anyone remember that is was originally designed to be the “snog, shag or marry” book back “in the day”. #userswillmaketechnogytheirown