Glen grew up in New Orleans, USA, puttered (or worked?) his way through university doing a series of odd jobs, including house painter, bartender, electrician, waiter, puppeteer, lighting designer, stage combat instructor, and completely failed musician. After finishing up at the University of New Orleans, He decided to do a stint in physical theatre at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, following which he spent 10 years in San Francisco managing IT departments for internet start-ups, working for some of the biggest names you’ve never heard of, including Burning Man, advertising, online warranties, personalised medicine, and genetic research.
He moved on to get a master’s in the UK, followed by a stint in Uganda and Zambia working with entrepreneurs and turnaround companies, working in carbon-financed stoves, seeds, mobile banking, and solar lighting, returning to the UK in 2010 to work with social ventures and take over the Social Innovation Camp. This turned into Bethnal Green Ventures. In 2016, he went to work at Nesta, heading up their efforts to bring innovation to international development, and travels a lot, cramming his long legs into economy seats.
Glen also, in his copious spare time runs The Kitschies, the prize for progressive, intelligent, and entertaining genre literature.
He can wire a socket, diagram operational processes, maintain too many flavours of UNIX, plan cashflows, build things (from scratch or IKEA), use power tools, create operational metrics, tie his own bow tie, pack a truck like it’s a game of tetris, fix your computer (if you’re nice), mix drinks, tie five of the 85 knots in a necktie, cook, eat, clean a rifle, recover from jet-lag in less than a day, teach children, and write business plans.
He is a school governor in Lambeth, London and advises a range of start-ups, including:
- Appfrica Labs – Kampala, Uganda
- In the Picture – London, UK
- Konnektis – London, UK
- PlaqueChecker – London, UK