Founder of Naaut & Project Manager at NASA Frontier Development Lab.
Nush has been active in the tech ecosystem across the UK, Europe and the USA for over six years. Having a computing background, she’s moved across politics, the Olympics and is currently focussed on innovation strategy. Naaut is her space startup focused on innovation and frontier technology for our multi-planetary future. Most recently Nush is working with NASA Frontier Development Lab, an AI accelerator which brings together AI and space science researchers. In essence, it’s artificial intelligence research for space exploration and all humankind.
Her recent work has included curating Disruption Summit Europe 2017 and 2018, delivering CogX 18, the festival for all things AI, blockchain and emerging technologies, designing an innovation learning expedition for a global FMCG brand, producing the UK’s first audio-led virtual reality experience with SubPac, setting up TechHub Shoreditch, and curating the community of tech startups. Nush has been an active ambassador for the Poctech community at Google for Startups London.
Nush connects dots and people for innovation strategy and how technology can be deployed for impact. She is most comfortable in the fuzzy grey area between startups, scaleups and organisations. Born and raised in London she is passionate about space and humanity’s future endeavours as the era of technology accelerates our exploration of the solar system and beyond.
What does diversity mean to you?
I have navigated the field by morphing and shaping myself to fit in and now I am learning how to be authentically me. For me, diversity is a celebration of the range of experiences and perspectives that can make every organisation or startup thrive, as long as the culture of openness is present. Authenticity is key as well as an open culture from the bottom up and top down.
Why do you care about diversity?
I grew up in Balham in South-West London and it still shocks me that the diversity so blatant in old school pics from the 80’s never matched the diversity of the organisations when I started working in the ‘real world’. It made me think deeply of why there were two different spectrums across decades with little change.
How can we build more inclusive communities?
As a content producer I always ensure there is a range of voices on a panel as the audience has to connect with at least one person on the panel. An audience can and should be a diverse element of any event with all levels of seniority across a sector or topic. I always ensure that there are emerging voices, aspiring players as much as the Fortune 500 CEO.
The beauty of bringing them together for an event means they have to meet up for a briefing and that to me is where the magic of a network really opens up. So an outcome for me that has impact is connecting the speakers together who may never have crossed paths and that itself drives opportunities for communities to access people and other opportunities.
Being a content producer is much more than writing briefing notes or curating, it’s relationship management and connecting people and an audience for more than just the topic they discuss for 45 minutes on stage.
What inspired you to start your current journey?
It’s certainly been a journey, at heart finding my passion and flow has taken me on an adventure over the last few years that has shaped my non-traditional career path and I am finally ok with not fitting in the box. Dreams of wanting to be an astronaut seemed to capture my imagination as a young girl and connecting to that inner memory inspires me to continue to always be curious and connect the dots along the way across every experience and project I’ve worked on.
What is one thing you wish you knew five years ago?
Know what you want from every meeting and interaction you set up, it’s one thing scoring time with someone for a coffee, but mindfully know what you want to ask them and the outcome of what you are meeting about.
What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?
Trust in yourself. Time is a factor I could never control and it was incredibly frustrating to not see results overnight, just persevere and build a tribe and support network to build each other up. Be kind to everyone, you never know how you may need help in the future and vice versa.