12 October 2014

Whatever your vocation in life, there’s a good chance it relies on digital innovation in one form or another. Unfortunately, a lot of the digital pioneers behind the websites we use and the brands we love don’t always get the recognition they deserve. From designers and developers to entrepreneurs and agencies, these people are the innovators changing our digital landscape by thinking big and leading the way.

I’ve often said that it’s the digital community that drive Britain’s economy and I stand by that, especially after last week’s DEAs. On Thursday night, looking around the packed out room at the Palace, I’ve got to say, it’s a community I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of.

entrepreneur_of_the_yearThe dictionary defines an innovator as someone who “introduces new methods, ideas or products” yet I think it’s about more than this. Whilst I think the definition is right, I think it lacks something of the personality, ambition and imagination these kinds of people so often possess. And in fact, the person who introduces a new product or who acts as the face of it might not actually be the person who dreamt it up or grafted for months, even years, behind the scenes to bring it to life.

The Digital Entrepreneur Awards are a great event for putting true innovators in the spotlight.

So congratulations; not only to the winners, but to every company, designer, PR professional or coding genius who attended.  As one of the judges of this year’s entries, you gave me a headache of a decision to make!

I think it’s also safe to say everyone at that event was impressed by one young man in particular: Samuel Remi-Akimwale, who – in my opinion – stole the show, along with Diane Modahl who accompanied him onstage to present an award. It was one of those moments you realise the significance of as they’re happening. When Byron, our presenter (who deserves an award of his own for keeping everything moving so smoothly) asked him what he wanted to be, he replied, “A revolutionist – which basically means I want to change the world in a positive way”.

You can’t fault that kind of attitude – to have that kind of clarity and self-awareness at that age is nothing short of astounding. I certainly think we’ll be hearing a lot more about Samuel in the future. I also think it’s testament to the great work Diane and her team at DMSF do, supporting and encouraging these kids to map out their futures and have the self-belief to pursue their goals. Huge thanks to anyone who made a donation, no matter how big or small, to the foundation last night or in the future.

Here’s to next year’s DEAs! Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. I hope to see you all again in 2015.

Best of British.

diane_modahl_optimised

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