Top 15 Crowdsourcing Influencers – UK

Who are the top crowdsourcing influencers  in the UK?   The Crowdsourcing Week Team, along with our advisors are thrilled to present a new series on our picks for Crowdsourcing Week’s Global List of Experts. Over the next few weeks, we will share our lists of global innovators shaping the conversation on the crowd economy.    Next on […]

Written by Priti Ambani

Feb 19, 2014

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Who are the top crowdsourcing influencers  in the UK?
The Crowdsourcing Week Team, along with our advisors are thrilled to present a new series on our picks for Crowdsourcing Week’s Global List of Experts. Over the next few weeks, we will share our lists of global innovators shaping the conversation on the crowd economy. 
Next on our radar of geo-specific collection of crowd influencers and practitioners, is the UK and once again we have some stellar folks who have really expanded applications in the crowd-centric solutions space for business, government, non profit and more.
Here is our crack at our UK top 15, we had to cheat and wiggle out of the top 10 norm to include some big names in the space. Please add your own in the comments area. And don’t forget – we hope you can add your insight to our first annual Global Crowdsourcing Survey. Happy reading!

#1 Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales is the founder of the best known, collaborative, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, that is almost synonymous with online research whether for a school project or a doctoral thesis. Though American-born, Wells new resides in London and makes this list, as a pioneer of free speech and collaboration. 
 “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing. ~Jimmy Wales
Claim to Fame: Wikipedia- one of the best examples of online collaboration for greater good.
Website: Wikipedia
Twitter: @Jimmy_Wales

#2 Darren Westlake

Darren is the CEO and co-founder of UK based Crowdcube, an equity crowdfunding platform that offers people equity in unlisted UK registered businesses in exchange for their investment through its online platform. At 26, Darren started his first company and has since sold two companies.
Claim to Fame: In three years, the Crowdcube platform boasts more than 60K investors with more than £18 Million invested in registered businesses.
Website: Crowdcube
Twitter: @crowdcube
Latest Post of Substance: Launched: The New Crowdcube Venture Fund

#3 Samir Desai

CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle, that directly connects people who want to invest money with vetted, established businesses wanting to borrow money. The company has channeled more than £220 million to UK companies. Samir’s illustrious career spans finance and private equity in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Claim to Fame: Local councils, universities and even the Government have joined forces with Funding Circle to lend money to UK businesses.
Latest Tweet of Substance: Our CEO & co-founder @samirdesai01 at #Fintechcity on future of @FundingCircle and #p2plending in wider FS ecosystem

#4 Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Shuttleworth is the founder of Canonical Ltd that promotes and supports free software projects, especially the Ubuntu (African for human-ness), Linux-based operating system
Claim to Fame: Mark led Canonical to crowdfund for the Ubuntu Edge – the next generation smartphone with the Ubuntu open-source operating system, raising nearly $13 million of its lofty $32 million goal.
Website: Ubuntu
Twitter: @ubuntu

#5 Philip Letts

Philip is the founder of the innovative blur Group,  with an s-commerce platform and a unique expertsourcing model that uses crowdsourcing to connect service providers to businesses. 

Claim to Fame:  Philip Letts has built the blur group into a global company blur Group with presence in 141 countries
Website: blur Group
Twitter: @philipletts

#6 Jeff Lynn

As CEO of Seedrs, Jeff Lynn has helped people discover and invest in great startups through an online platform.  
Claim to Fame: Seeders recently raised the largest equity crowdfunding round in history – £2.58 million in 2 weeks.
Website: Seedrs
Twitter: @jeffseedrs

#7 Roland Harwood

Roland Harwood heads 100%Open, a specialist open innovation agency that helps large organizations connect with people to create shared value. Rolland is a business innovation expert and has held senior innovation roles in the utilities and media industries. He has also worked with start-ups to raise funding and commercialize technology.
Claim to Fame:  100%Open has worked with top charities to challenge traditional methods of raising money building on networks and innovation.
Website: 100%Open
Latest Post of Substance: It’s who you know knows…

#8 Jouko Ahvenainen

Counted as one of the NEXT 100 digital trendsetters, Jouko Ahvenainen, the Grow VC group chairman is a serial entrepreneur, investor and crowdfunding pioneer.
Claim to Fame: Jouko is a pioneer in the field of social media marketing, and played a significant role in developing the first social marketing intelligence solutions for mobile and media companies.
Website: GrowVC Group
Twitter: @jahven

#9 Peter Baeck

Peter Baeck is a digital, social/public services innovator and leading crowdfunding researcher at Nesta, UK’s innovation foundation.
Claim to Fame: Peter has lead on People Powered Health (PPH) – a one year Nesta program me that explored how coproduction for people living with long term health conditions, can be taken to scale within health services.
Website: Nesta
Twitter: Nesta_UK

#10 Bruno Pellegrini

Bruno is a digital media veteran and founder of the UK based marketing firm Userfarm that is a pioneer in video crowdsourcing. 

Claim to Fame: Bruno is acknowledged as one of the European experts in crowdsourcing, co-creation and social business.
Website: Userfarm

#11 Maya Bogle

Maya Bogle is the co-founder and MD of Talenthouse, an online collaborative platform for artists and brands that rewards creativity. She was ahead of the curve, in predicting the rise of crowdsourcing for brand engagement when she joined the Talenhouse team, before it launched in Fall of 2009
Claim to Fame: Maya’s passion and focus to help talent thrive while connecting them to relevant brands in integral to Talenhouse’s success.
Website: Talenthouse

#12 Simon Hill 

Co-founder and MD of Wazuko, an idea software and innovation management company, Simon Hill is helping companies take good ideas to great execution. 

Claim to Fame:  Making idea management social
Website: Wazoku
Twitter: @WazokuHQ
Latest Post of Substance: Teaching an old dog new tricks: Embedding innovation in education

#13 Nick Bennett 

Nick is the Strategic Creative Director and Managing Partner of Starcount, a social playlist that helps fans get all the latest updates from the stars they love, quickly. The online community and their votes helps stars get ranked, creating fan influencers. Nick has worked extensively in digital and advertising for 16 years for many UK and global brands
Claim to Fame: Starcount has created the world’s only definitive measure of global social media popularity by counting daily data from the 11 biggest global social networks.
Website: Starcount

#14 Klaus Woeste

Klaus is the Director, Management Consulting (People & Change) and leads KPMG’s CrowdConnection tool that helps brand leverage an online community for co-creation, innovation and market feedback.
Claim to Fame:  Klaus is a co-author of ‘The Social Banker’ publication by KPMG
Twitter: @kpmguk

#15 Simon Dixon

Simon is an ex-investment banker turned bank lobbyist who founded ‘’ when UK banks cut investments to SMEs. The platform offers regular citizens a new way to invest and control small and large sums of money they contribute to businesses. 
Claim to Fame:  Sir Richard Branson is an early backer.

View other top influencers by country lists here

About Author

About Author

Priti Ambani

Priti Ambani is the Global Media Director at Crowdsourcing Week, a thought leader and prominent writer on social enterprises, start-ups and web 2.0 businesses. Previously, Priti grew Ecopreneurist, a nascent green business blog into a notable social business resource as site director and managing editor. Working from the ground up, she has developed successful business and communications strategies for impact organizations that aim to create social, environment and economic wealth. Priti is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.Priti lives in the Washington DC Metro area with her husband and sons, is a lover of the outdoors, traveling and from-scratch cooking!

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