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Founders

The Mobile Collective was Founded by:

Margaret Gold

Margaret is a mobile industry veteran, and is possibly best well known as one of the founders and organisers of Over the Air ( a grass-roots mobile developer event and hack-a-thon). She is also an innovation & business launch specialist who has worked with a wide range of start-ups, corporate ventures and spin-offs. Before focusing on the more entrepreneurial side of the equation, Margaret worked for a boutique innovation consulting firm that helps FTSE100 companies identify and develop new product & service opportunities and launch them to market. Past projects include the Mobile Application Centre at Imperial College, Vodafone Betavine, Mobillcash (now Boku), and Luup.

Margaret has worked with Imperial College to launch the Mobile Applications Centre, bringing together talent, expertise and engagement from across the College to work with partners in academia and industry in developing pioneering mobile applications. Before that she worked with Vodafone to design, launch and grow the Betavine mobile developer community (which reached a global audience of over 3,000 members and supported the development of over 600 beta-applications).

Before launching her own consultancy business, Margaret was a senior consultant at Edengene, a boutique innovation consultancy where she worked with FTSE 100 companies such as Boots and E.ON (and organisations such as the Carbon Trust) to develop and launch new products and services to market. The idea-generation & facilitation methodologies, and proposition development tools from this period of work have directly shaped the underlying Mobile Collective methodology and ultimately led to the development of the ThinkCamp series.

Brian Fuchs

Brian Fuchs is Co-ordinator of the Mobile Applications Centre in the Department of Computing at Imperial College. He has been active in the development of computing support for research in the US, UK, and Germany for many years. He currently acts as a developer and researcher in several projects with a strong mobile component (TfL Mobile Demonstrator, Vortix, Totalcare, MusicShare, SpamJam).

Brian has developed computing support for research in the US, UK, Germany and the EU for many years. At the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science (1999-2006) and the Hans Nixdorf Center for Information Management (2006), he participated in the design and implementation of several services and applications for a variety of e-Science domains (ECHO, VLMA, eSciDoc). In addition to managing the Group’s research programme and development activities, he has taken part as a developer and researcher in several projects that aim to provide support for research (PhiloGrid, Patterns of Reference, DVE) as well as projects with a strong mobile component ( TfL Mobile Demonstrator, Totalcare, Direct Assessment of Digital Music Distribution).

From 1999-2006 Brian was a researcher at the Max Planck Insititute for the History of Science in Berlin, Germany, where he designed software for Cultural Heritage and Virtual Research projects. He is the author of the Berlin Viewing Environment, the multimedia presentation system used to access on-line resources at the ECHO Project (http://echo.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de) and the Archimedes Project (http://archimedes2.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/archimedes_templates).  He is also Programming Director for VLMA (http://vlma.sourceforge.net), an open-source tool for sharing virtual Museum collections. In 2006, he participated in the eScidoc “Scholarly Workbench” Project (http://www.escidoc-project.de/homepage.html), a joint project of the Max Planck Gesellschaft and FIZ Karlsruhe, where he designed natural language processing tools for historical texts.

When did we start?

Margaret has been interested in collaboration for yonks, but in 2009 / 2010 had some clear ideas about some of the opportunities being missed by the current Telco approach to mobile developer communities and by the corporate approach to crowd-sourcing competitions. These ideas started getting worked out in more detail with Brian Fuchs of the Mobile Applications Centre at Imperial College, especially with regards to collaborative projects between academics, corporates and entrepreneurs.

The real boost happened when Margaret got chatting with Jonathan Macdonald, who also had some very similar ideas about how virtual teams can come together around great ideas and make them happen. Around the same time Margaret met Roland Harwood of 100%Open, who had been developing an Airlock Methodology for Crowd-sourced innovation and brought in a fresh view point about getting ideas to market. Margaret, Brian, Jonathan & Roland, along with good friend James McQuarrie decided to form a Consortium to apply for Technology Strategy Board funding in the Fall of 2010 under the working title ‘the Mobile Collective’.   The grant funding was unfortunately not awarded, but the title stuck.

Jonathan and Roland continue to help the team as advisers to the Mobile Collective (busy men that they are with their own businesses). In the winter of 2011, Giles Gibson joined this team of advisors as an excellent sounding board and a hands-on participant in the delivery of the NHS Innovation, MC mHealth ThinkCamp & the Citizen Cyberscience Summit.

Why are we doing this?

We deeply believe the following:

  1. The future of work will be collaborative, and project-oriented (not corporate entity oriented)
  2. Innovation is ultimately about action & execution, not ideas
  3. Some of the biggest disruptive changes to come in the decades ahead will be born out of mobile technologies and mobility devices


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