24th June 2021
We are thrilled to welcome Dr Maria A. Nelson to our Board today. Maria complements our nine existing Board members, five of whom joined us in December 2021, further diversifying the group’s skills, life experiences and backgrounds, which will undoubtedly enrich our work.
The recent appointments follow a refresh of the Trust’s strategy, which seeks to demonstrate the potential of social transformation to drive tech; increase access to flexible and inclusive funding to enable ventures to grow and to increase the collaboration between social tech focused organisations.
Maria is Director of Innovation Practice at Digital Catapult, where she has built a team of 30 innovation managers and runs a portfolio of technology innovation and acceleration programmes, helping small companies grow, large companies innovate and innovation ecosystems flourish.
Maria is passionate about driving purpose led innovation by fostering collaboration between bright minds from industry, startups and academia, and believes that innovation thrives where three intentions combine: a vision to solve real-world problems, an ambition to turn ideas into reality, and the belief that together we can get there, one step at a time.
Commenting on her appointment, Maria said, “Technology innovation done right – that is, purpose-led and designed with users front and centre – is one of the biggest opportunities we have to address the current and future challenges we face as a society. I am thrilled to be able to contribute by supporting the Social Tech Trust in its work with social tech innovators and communities.”
On behalf of the team and Board, Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said, “We are all really excited to welcome Maria to our Board. She brings exceptional talent and experience of tech innovation, combined with a genuine commitment to our vision for social transformation to drive tech. This puts us in a great position to deliver against our strategy, which is driven by a deep understanding of social challenges and when coupled with tech expertise to deliver solutions, we can make a big difference to people’s lives.”
Before joining Digital Catapult, Maria was Innovation Programme Manager at Cisco. Maria has an extensive background in innovation management, strategic communications and programme management, and has published a book about creativity and innovation as core assets of contemporary economies. In her spare time, Maria translates poetry and lyrics, and has recently finished work for a world premiere recording of Polish Jewish poetry and music for a German record label. She lives in Broadstairs, Kent with her husband David and daughter Hannah.
Maria joins our existing Board members – Bill Liao, Anisah Osman Britton, Hannah Keartland, Nick Wise, Rob Tashima, Russell Johnstone, Sebastien Lahtinen, Sunil Suri and Nick Temple. We are enormously grateful for the support of Beth Murray, who retired from our Board in May this year, following four years as Vice Chair.