Good afternoon. I would like to thank Dr. Vidano, Dean Knapp and the team here at George Washington University for convening this important gathering to discuss building a global partnership to combat extremism online in all its forms. It is indeed ironic that one of humanity’s most liberating innovations - the Internet - is being misused in this way - as a vessel for violence and hatred.Read More
When my son was growing up, one of our favourite pastimes was to talk about Time Travel. What if you could observe Turner painting The Fighting Temeraire, listen to Socrates deliver his ‘Apology’ or watch George Best play at the 1966 European Cup quarter-finals?Read More
In Parliament when we start a speech or enter a debate, we must declare any interests or allegiances before we begin speaking. I start by saying “My Lords, I must first declare my interest as the Prime Minister’s Digital Advisor…” Well today, I must declare my interest as Ben Shields’ Mom and to apologise to him in advance if anything I write here will embarrass, humiliate or otherwise cause him undue stress or anxiety. I am sure he has your sympathies.Read More
Kevin Spacey recently said, “If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down”. After working in the tech sector for a quarter of a century, this quote summed up perfectly why in October 2012, I left my executive job leading Facebook’s international expansion and operations in Europe, Middle East, Russia & Africa to serve in government. I felt then, as I do now, an immense personal responsibility to inspire the next generation of young people to embrace digital technology and entrepreneurial culture, with all the incredible experiences it has to offer.Read More
Good evening your Royal Highness and distinguished guests.
It is an honor to be here tonight, and to have the opportunity to speak to you.
I would like to start by expressing my deepest admiration and appreciation for the life-changing work that the Prince’s Trust does for young people in the UK.Read More
Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you all for accepting our invitation to participate in #WeProtect and for joining us in a global commitment to protect the safety of children in the digital world.
We’re here today to take global action on one of the most complex, the most alarming, and the most challenging issues that we face as a society. Everyone in this room agrees that stopping the rise of online child abuse and exploitation is an urgent priority.Read More
A few weeks ago at the Mayor’s international business advisers committee meeting, I had one of those open- mouth-insert-foot moments. Sitting with a distinguished group of CEOs and chairmen of the world’s leading companies, discussing what London needs to do to become the most innovative and competitive city in the world, I blurted out, “I think it’s time we stopped teaching French in British schools and substitute science, coding or digital literacy instead.”
The room went silent. Quelle horreur! Facial expressions indicated judgments being made in real time, followed by muted suggestions that they should revoke my British citizenship. I think my American accent eventually saved me — they were probably thinking “those Americans never did appreciate culture…” and decided to dismiss my comment entirely.Read More
Bragging may not come naturally to the British, but as someone who has spent the past 25 years operating on both sides of the Atlantic, I have no hesitation in saying that the UK is now the best place in the world to build a global business.
This week I will be meeting with some of the fastest growing technology companies in the US and their advisors on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, whilst I am here in New York to launch HQ-UK – a new initiative, which demonstrates why we think the UK has the world’s most competitive package for the world’s fastest growing businesses. All of the businesses we are meeting are thinking about how to grow their operations internationally. It may surprise some just how strongly I’m going to maintain that there really is no option to compare to the UK. And I want to make it as easy as possible for companies to choose the UK. More on this later.Read More
My heritage is labour. I grew up in Northern Pennsylvania in the heart of industrial America. My father worked in a precision metals factory when I was born. With five children under the age of seven, it was difficult to make ends meet and with the help of a loan from the US Small Business Administration, he started a business in the basement of our family home where he worked nights and weekends and began the journey of a family to a brighter future.Read More
There are so many opportunities online today, is it any wonder that we see people retreating there? With so much social currency given to “likes” and “followers” and the pressure to appear relevant and popular is it any wonder that many young people risk falling into a very solitary, mainly online existence? I’ve heard it said that you are never as happy as you seem on Instagram, never as miserable as you seem on Twitter, and never as employable as you seem on LinkedIn. We laugh but it’s true.Read More
Everyone agrees that stopping the rise of online child abuse and exploitation is an urgent priority. The big question is: are there more innovative ways to go about it? Coming at this problem after twenty-five years of building global tech companies, and now as an adviser to the UK Government and the Prime Minister, I believe that there is a better way. My view is shared by delegations from more than 50 countries, 26 leading technology companies and 10 non-governmental organisations which took part this week in the UK Government’s two day #WeProtect Children Online summit at Lancaster House.Read More