I have been active in the mobile telecommunications industry for the past decade or so and covered various angles: I have acted as a senior executive, entrepreneur, investor, advisor and mentor to companies and entrepreneurs large and small in various sub-sectors, from games, music and video to value-added services, marketing and SMS.
I am currently a the Global Head of Business Development – Games at Research In Motion (or BlackBerry as you may recognise that name more easily) where I arrived via their acquisition of social infrastructure leaders Scoreloop where I was the the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel. I am also a co-founder and director of smartphone game and app studio Blue Beck and an EMEA Board Member of MEF.
I have previously been looking at business and corporate affairs (including licensing, etc) for mobile games publisher Hands-On Mobile and, following a buy-out of the business outside the US and China, headed corporate and business affairs at Connect 2 Media (I co-founded this company, raised money, added via the acquisition of Rayfusion and rebuilt their product portfolio). Prior to all that, in 2002, I helped launch some of the world’s first mobile artist channels for their fans; artists we worked with included Britney Spears, Duran Duran, Eve, DJ Bobo, and Nena. By (original) profession, I am a lawyer and I have worked with Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund (now part of Freshfields) in Brussels and Luther & Partner in Hamburg. My focus there was corporate, corporate transactional (M&A, restructurings, IPOs, etc) and media and telecommunications. Check my LinkedIn profile for a full run-down of my bio.
Despite law school, I had my first e-mail address as early as 1991 (though they weren’t many to communicate with which made it less thrilling), and the passion for new technological frontiers never left me since… It was not only e-mail (and of course studies – focus on corporate, commercial, European and international law as well as arbitration) though: I was also a member of the International Board of ELSA – the European Law Students Organisation – where we obtained consultative status with the UNESCO and the UN as well as a special relationship with UNHCR. We also lobbied hard for the establishment of the International Criminal Court and ran more than 40 conferences per year.
I have recently focussed increasingly working with young people on furthering insight on future developments. I am a Governor of the Fallibroome Academy, one of the best-performing comprehensives in England and am a co-organiser of TEDx Youth @ Manchester, which, in 2009, was the world’s first TEDx event specifically addressing young people. I have also been a co-curator of the MLOVE Teen Camp. I have recently been inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (better known as The RSA) in recognition of my contributions to technology, social media and education. The RSA calls itself “an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges”, and this is something I wholeheartedly embrace!
On a more personal side, I am a passionate (although unfortunately fairly amateur) golfer, an expert skier, and an avid reader of almost everything in print (digital or physical): from Dostojevski, Wilde, Balzac and Zweig via Rushdie, Lenz, Murakami, Coupland, Douglas Adams and – yes – Grisham to Clay Shirky, Clayton Christensen, Douglas R Hofstatter and too many more to mention.
Boring but necessary disclaimer:The opinions posted on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the ones of any company I am affiliated with. Specifically, you should not assume that any of my opinions equate to or allow interpretations of anything related to Research In Motion.