What was I doing before Do Something Different?
I was working in a small data mining consultancy, developing software to analyse large datasets in the retail, energy, social media and defence sectors. I also worked directly with clients on their projects, helping them extract useful insights from their data. I worked with some very smart mathematicians, and learned a lot.
Why did I join?
Do Something Different’s explicitly stated aim of making the world a better place appealed to me very much, as did the commitment to “make decisions as people first, and as a business second”. Many companies make statements about “corporate social responsibility” as a veneer, but at Do Something Different it is genuine and at the heart of everything we do.
What do I do?
I look after the data at Do Something Different. When somebody starts a programme, we ask them questions about their personality, habits and wellbeing, and we use the answers to personalise their programmes. At the end of their programme, we ask them the same questions, to see how they have changed. I look at this data to better understand how people interact with their programmes, and we are continually looking for ways to improve our Doers’ experience.
What do I most want to change in the world?
I would like to live in a society that is run for the benefit of all its citizens, rather than a privileged few. For all its faults Star Trek presents one vision of what might be possible, with Captain Picard remarking that in their society “the accumulation of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives; we work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity”.
What do I most want to change about me?
I would like to spend more of my time on things that are important but not urgent, rather than the other way around!
What am I doing differently?
I recently decided to learn to play rugby, so I started training with a local team. My friends and family were quite surprised when I told them, but I wanted to challenge myself. To begin with I had no idea how it worked or what the rules were, but bit by bit it started to make sense, and I’ve played in a couple of matches so far.