Today, after several months of quiet planning, I’m announcing that I will be stepping down as Director of mySociety, although I will remain in the post for the next few months to ensure a smooth handover. An open call for my successor will be published within the next two weeks.
Why now? Quite simply because the coming year will be the most stable period, in terms of effecting a leadership transition, that mySociety has ever had. I want to seize the opportunity to hand over before I start to tire of a job that has been the great privilege of my life.
Thanks to our generous donors and our commercial team’s success we have an unprecedented window of financial security, a terrific team of wide-ranging talents, and a clear three year plan that’s already starting to roll out (I’ll be writing more on this plan, soon). In short, we’ve got a good map, a solid car, and we’ve got enough money for fuel. When could be a better time to change the driver?
For those of you who are our partners, whether charitable or commercial, and wherever you are in the world: don’t worry – this switch isn’t going to change any of our plans to support you and your use of mySociety’s open source technologies. In fact I expect my successor to double down on serving your needs.
And what will I, Tom, do next? I really don’t know – I’ve not got a job lined up, and I’d really like some time off to think about it before I make any big decisions. My main reward – very rare for any founder – is that I get to hand over an organisation that is stable, harmonious, mission-focused and with bags of talent onboard. I greatly look forward to seeing what mySociety’s amazing staff and volunteers achieve next.
Update: the job advertisement for the mySociety CEO position can now be seen here.
Best wishes on next steps. A wonderful legacy.
You have created such a crucially valuable organisational entity and service to the British electorate which surpasses anything else our democratic process has ever inaugurated, and leave a lasting legacy which we are all (and should be) eternally grateful for, appreciative of, and indebted to you and your perfect project team for. I wish you every happiness and every success and every peace for every aspect of your life to come. Thank you – one and all – for the My Society services.
It is hard to think that somebody who has given so much in this field could walk away from it, especially as we have only just started to scratch the surface of the challenges and opportunities.
I like your idea of Digital Public Service Corporations and wonder if this is the sort of thing you were envisaging,
if so I’d be delighted to discuss further.
Pix reminds me of when I took over the baton during the Olympics and dashed to victory.
What a wise thing to do – enjoy the resting, pausing and thinking.
Very well done, Tom. Keep on trucking.
Congratulations to you na MySociety for becoming a stable organization, and can’t wait to see what’s next for mySociety and for you.
When you look at an 11-year run at a non-profit, you often ask whether it made any difference in the long run. For most people, that is often hard to figure out. In this case, the answer is a really easy yes. Tom has made an amazing contribution.
Thanks for all these kind words. I hope to talk to many of you when I actually move on, which won’t be for several months.
Tom, congratulations on all that you have achieved. I am so proud of you the little boy I used to babysit has done so well. Good luck for the future. Cathy
Tom – We believe that we might have something of interest to you. In 2012 we had some dialogue with Paul Lenz and Jessica Musila from mySociety when we launched our Shadow Election project in Kenya. Much has happened since then and globally we have over 130,000 Facebook fans. After many learnings we are now embarking on a new direction towards crowdfunded social advocacy, and we are also looking for a new leader to take it forward. No particular rush as we are setting up some proof of concept experiments here in Finland, however, would be great to get your general feedback, and later we can see if there are some mutual interest points. I have heard good things about you and your work at mySociety from our Shadow Election partner Duncan. Find out more here Shadow Election But otherwise all the best for the future!
Indeed what a legacy !
MySociety remains the single most inspiring organisation as far as “civic hacking that matters” is concerned and by all means you and your incredible team helped advance democracy and transparency through platforms in ways that few have.
Pausing and reflecting without an immediate job deadline is a great thing to do for sanity and making sure you “put the user back at the centre” … travel if you can
My guess is that you will eventually land in a situation where you will be able to impact even more forcefully the systems that run this world to make it better
Looking forward to seeing you in Brussels one of these days!
I’ll save more praise for when Tom actually steps down, but I just wanted to share how great an inspiration mySociety has been to similar organizations around the world, and that I look forward to what Tom will do next!
You created a revolution in constituent-parliamentarian communication, among many other things.
Enjoy your new career, whatever that may be.
Well done Tom: now we know it’s really possible. Thank you!