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Laura James

Laura James

SSI fellow



My work delivers practical systems around emerging internet technologies in different contexts. I've created and shipped technology products in diverse settings and sectors, including commercial startups, civic technology, and humanitarian aid. I'm especially interested in how internet technologies can be sustainable, secure, resilient and useful for people both individually and collectively.

My work

My goal for the Fellowship is to connect emerging communities interested in different forms of maintenance (digital, physical, infrastructure, commons/public goods), and across regions. I plan to do this in two ways: 1. by using the fellowship to support the 2019 Festival of Maintenance 2. to connect the emerging UK cross-sector maintenance community with new American communities around

I'm an engineer and leader, building and growing responsible, sustainable and collaborative products and organisations, with a focus on emerging internet technologies. Recent roles include Entrepreneur in Residence at the Cambridge Computer Lab, Head of Delivery at lowRISC, an open hardware company, Technology Principal at Doteveryone, the responsible technology think tank, and establishing the Cambridge Trust & Technology Initiative, a multidisciplinary research network. I co-founded Cambridge Makespace, the Digital Life Collective, and the Festival of Maintenance, and helped develop Field Ready, a humanitarian NGO using open hardware and local manufacturing to meet essential needs. I was the first employee and VP Engineering at AlertMe, a connected home startup; Head of Knowledge at Evi, an AI startup acquired by Amazon to become Alexa; CEO of Open Knowledge, a civil society network opening up information for all; and COO at CARET, delivering mission-critical software for the University of Cambridge. I advise and supports a range of ventures, hold Masters and PhD degrees in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and am a Chartered Engineer. I serve on the boards of CoFarm Foundation and OpenUK.

Online Presence

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