13 Oct 2020

My experience as Comms and Events Associate at BGV

By Will Spurr

I remember my first day at BGV very clearly. I was one of London’s newest Londoners (I’m some way down the list by now). I left the house in a hurry, arrived wet from unexpected June rain on Whitechapel Road, took a flustered photo for my co-working pass and poked my nose around the office door. By the end of the day, I had helped run a workertech unconference, learnt my knee from my elbow on all things tech for good, survived a Monday morning meeting and had a lightning round of intros into the team. A day like that remains etched in the memory. Once I managed to screw my head on and take stock, I began to discover the size and shape of my role, and began to learn about and learn from the awesome people that make up the BGV team. 

At six-and-a-half feet, growth spurts are nothing new to me. However, the speed and energy with which I was able to develop in my role was a first. For example, in my first few weeks I was tasked with creating a video/podcast/blog series on the (then) crop of eight teams on the programme. Within a week, I was given two cameras, a lighting kit, Adobe suite access, a podcast microphone and several other gadgets. With help from the team, I then had to learn how to actually use them all. With a few rusty starts, I managed to pull together a spit-and-sawdust series. Over a year later, whilst I write this, I finished a collaborative project with Tech Nation and EY to deliver a 75-minute video series on tech for good. BGV provided me with the space, tools, advice and encouragement needed to learn like this, and I feel much better rounded as a result. 

Whether the work was organising demo days, fuelling the tech for good community, helping Nelly manage the programme or shooting ideas and newsletter drafts back and forth with comms-maestra Dama, no two days were ever the same. When lockdown rolled around, we were able to transition neatly into remote working. Whilst we all missed Friday pub trips, it is a testament to the adaptability and drive of the BGV team, as well as the strength of the tech for good entrepreneurship movement, that they continued to deliver a world-class startup programme in the midst of a global pandemic. If there is one part of my job that makes me particularly dewey-eyed, it is the opportunity to work with so many amazing tech for good aficionados. Especially the founders and the BGV team. 

When it came to social, political and environmental problems, we thought that 2019 would be the low-point. Hoo-boy. 2020 is a steaming mound of something unpleasant. In the same vein, it provides fertile ground for the emergence and acceleration of startups delivering genuine positive impact at scale. The FTSE of 2030 will be filled with tech for good ventures. That, or it won’t be worth even talking about a stock exchange. This is why the work BGV does is so precious. It is also why there are several more bright times ahead for BGV. 

I’m reminded of a line in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. ‘Ask anybody, they’ll all tell you. The evening’s the best part of the day.’ I am looking forward to squeezing as much as possible into my final few months with BGV. I’m feeling like I am breaking stride in the world of tech for good. I look back at the skills, experiences and opportunities I’ve picked up over the past 16 months and I know it wouldn’t be possible without such a supportive and passionate team. I’ll keep a close eye on BGV – I don’t doubt there’ll be plenty more busy good vibes; balanced guiding values and brilliant generous visionaries ahead. 

If you’re keen to join the BGV team, then check out the two Associate roles