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January 2011


Our January meeting was hosted by Nabarro.

Nabarro is a major corporate law firm operating in a number of industry sectors and legal disciplines. They have 125 partners leading approximately 400 lawyers offering a broad range of corporate legal services to major national and international clients.

Guest Speaker
Richard Wallis - Talis, UK
The Linked Data Journey
As you are all aware, data is the next big internet opportunity, however watch out, here comes Linked Data; where the real value is. Tim Berners-Lee first wrote his thoughts about Linked Data principles in July 2006. The idea is simple: you can add value to your information by linking it to that of others. Linked datasets can be published and value added by linking them using Semantic Web technologies like URIs, RDF and SKOS supported by traditional knowledge organisation meta-structures like ontologies and thesauri.
A number of significant organisations are engaging with and implementing Linked Data services including the BBC, UK Government, and the New York Times, but did not introduce these Semantic Web techniques and technologies overnight. By observing the journeys that these organisations have taken, Richard will share the approaches used, lessons learnt, and the resulting successful outcomes and also highlight a number of areas with significant opportunities in the future.
Richard Wallis has been with the UK's leading Library Systems and Semantic Web technology company, Talis, for over twenty years. Richard is an active blogger and regular podcaster in the Talking with Talis series. Talis started 40 years ago as a co-operative, working on data management and sharing, and has grown to become a global leader in Linked Data by building on its core strategy of shared innovation through technology.

Business Pitches
Alex Johns - GoJaspaDoing Great Business and delivering Strong Social Outcomes
The western world is in an economic downturn, governments are very short of cash and social and environmental needs have never been higher. Out of this cocktail is growing a movement of social businesses that do good as well as make money. Some social finance institutions have been formed and some mainstream finance companies are starting to offer products that are suitable for these social businesses. However, there is a gap between the social businesses that seek finance and the investors seeking deals. GoJaspa fills that gap. GoJaspa provides introductions to sources of finance and offers practical support for client businesses that do good, make money and wish to raise 2m+.
For example, Gojaspa is currently contracted to raise 15m for three projects (a high volume domestic solar business model in southern England, a socially transformational website and a fly-ash brick factory in South Africa) yielding a combined commission of 245,000. GoJaspa has a client pipeline of about 15 projects at any one time. GoJaspa will support Big Society projects using innovative mechanisms such as Social Impact Bonds and Social Share Issues.
GoJaspa is currently raising the final tranche of development and working capital.

Charlie Lass - AIControlPointTurning Your Crisis into an Everyday Event
Have you ever wondered what happens to a large organisation in an emergency, such as a flood, fire or the London bombings? How does the firm manage, control and inform its staff and stakeholders to minimise disruption and the costs to the business as well as its reputation? The solution is AIControlPoint, which delivers:
  • Immediate access to accurate information from anywhere in the world so that users can react faster and stop an incident from becoming a real crisis
  • A virtual incident room run from anywhere with automatic notification to pre-defined cascade lists. It even works on SMS, email, pager and mobile
  • A 24/7 virtual incident and training facility
  • Long-term monitoring of relevant issues as well as short-term incident management
  • Full audit trail of user interaction, messaging and incident development
  • Incident replay to enhance training and assess incident response
  • Hosted in the cloud or on a clients servers
Charlie has joined to capitalise on their Blue chip client list including: Society Generale, easyJet, Visa, Thomas Cook, TaylorWessing and Government depts. and drive their market penetration here in the UK and overseas.

Strategy Foresight
Nasir Hussain - Strategy Foresight Partnership LLPDefining and Managing "Wicked Problems"
Have you ever wondered how a company or government can find out "what they dont know and then what the implications are of what they dont know?" known in the profession as "wicked problems". The Management Consulting Association (UK) stated in their 2009 Annual Report:
"Organisations have no spare mental capacity. Theyre so preoccupied dealing with their present problems that its nigh-on impossible to engage them in a conversation about the future"
Strategy Foresight specialise in helping clients step outside the box and understand the uncertainty surrounding their organisations, developing strategies to address the wicked problems they face through structured modelling techniques. Their approach has been used in over 125 projects around the world for commercial organisations and governments, including a number of military clients that initially validated their approach and methods.
Strategy Foresight have invested over 1m and 1,000s of man-hours in the methods and supporting software tools to become one of the world leaders in the field of modelling uncertainty. They have worked in a wide variety of areas including: developing insurance products, engineering sportswear design, and constructing frameworks for VCs to improve deal flow.