New year, new challenge

Vicki Hearn reflects on her eight years at the Trust

November 2018

New year, new challenge

28 Nov 2018

Vicki Hearn

Vicki is CEO of Social Tech Trust. She's passionate about the power of tech to achieve social transformation, and the value of cross-sector collaborations for making this happen.


After eight years, I’m moving on.

I’ve led the Trust through an extraordinary period of change over the last four years, culminating this year in establishing Social Tech Trust as an independent charity so that we can pursue our purpose of transforming lives with tech, building upon our ten-year legacy.  We have clarity of vision, a strategic pathway to 2021, a healthy financial runway, a fresh cohort of funded ventures who rallied to our call of ‘Tech to Unite Us’, new collaborative initiatives already blossoming, and bold plans for future sustainability.  Many, many reasons to be cheerful.

Having guided the Trust to reach our new ‘base camp’, I’ve had the chance to pause on the col while contemplating the next peak to be climbed.  Drawing breath has allowed consideration of onward routes and my desire for a new quest.  As you might imagine, my decision hasn’t come easily – but, with the Trust’s encouraging prospects, I’m convinced it can continue its ascent without me.  Time is a precious gift and now is a bit of a moment in time for me.  I have other passions to pursue and know there is more I can yet achieve, if I am of good courage.

Reflecting on the past eight years, there’s so much I’m proud of.  The Trust, too, has been courageous: playing a key role in developing the social tech movement in the UK; transforming the lives of over 10 million people by supporting the growth of hundreds of socially motivated organisations with the grant funding so vital to foster innovation; co-creating partnership programmes; commissioning research; and consolidating knowledge so it can be shared.  A personal highlight has been our inspirational Social Tech Guide, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last year, providing a platform to shine a light on initiatives from across the globe that are using tech to transform lives and communities; this year, we furthered our exploration of the relationship between tech and society through our podcast series Our Lives + Tech, to critical acclaim.

It’s been a real privilege to meet, work with, and be energised by so many impassioned people who are committed to tackling societal challenges by bringing human-centred design, creativity and endeavour to their tech solutions.

Being part of the team at Social Tech Trust means living our values – we are purposeful, open and entrepreneurial.  This has always been so much more than just a job; it is something I’ve poured myself into.  The passion that the team exudes is palpable.  We always punch above our weight; we work agilely from an evidence base, and with a continuous improvement mindset, delivering with thoughtfulness and quality to enable positive change for individuals and communities at scale.  I have been so very proud to lead this team for the last four years.

One of the hallmarks of effective leadership is succession planning and I’m delighted to be passing the Trust’s CEO baton into the very capable hands of Ed Evans, my Deputy for over two years, to take on the next leg of our journey.  Ed is ideally positioned to lead the organisation forward as a new, exciting, chapter unfolds – and, with such an accomplished team and the unwavering support of our Board, I have no doubt that the Trust will continue to go from strength to strength.

Onward!