Simon Harbridge

clock • 2 min read
Simon Harbridge

What has been your personal highlight of 2020?

For me the massive positive of the year has been the demonstration of how drastically and really quite quickly changing our behaviour can benefit the environment; a lesson for us all and an opportunity to reconsider how we are living our lives and our impact on the planet. As Professor Piers Forster at the University of Leeds said: "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to really change the direction of society."

Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?

Brandon Flowers from The Killers, to perform. You can't beat a few good tunes from The Killers!

Greta Thunberg: I have a daughter who is similarly autistic and Greta is a hero for her in terms of facing the fear and getting out there. 

Elon Musk, to bring his mind-reading technology, so that Zoom is no longer even necessary.

What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?

Probably exercise during work hours at my convenience, either Joe Wicks, or golf and three regular meals prepared myself - a much healthier and balanced lifestyle.

Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?

Claire Boonstra, founder of Operation Education. I highly recommend her TED talk (Amsterdam). She studied civil engineering (which we have in common), and is a female leader in tech, saying: "If education is your only way out, it better make sense."

What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?

Microsoft Teams.

If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?

Sun Tzu. An amazing leader whose advice is still applicable to today's innovators. He said: "In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity."

I would compose a new treatise/masterpiece on strategy, on how to stay "serene and inscrutable" during coronavirus.

Do you miss face-to-face events?

Absolutely, (although not the travelling) but in the meantime and until it is safe to meet up, let's use the technology we have to keep talking, which is critical in these times of rapid change.

How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?

Let's face it, we've seen five years of digital transformation shoehorned into the last five months and there's no going back! What new office requirement?

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