Welcoming our new CEO

Liz: As regular readers will know, Raspberry Pi is a charity. We’re split into two parts: the Raspberry Pi Foundation is the charitable body, and it owns Raspberry Pi Trading, the part of the organisation that develops the hardware you all buy. All the profit we make in Raspberry Pi Trading goes straight to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, where it’s spent on our charitable aims.

Philip Colligan is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, working with Eben, who remains CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading. He’s been here for two weeks now, and he’s already got us all very excited about the direction he’s taking the organisation in. Here’s Philip to tell you what he’s been up to. Welcome Philip: we’re so glad you’ve joined us!

As I come to the end of my first couple of weeks as the newest member of the Raspberry Pi team, I wanted to write a quick blog post to say a big thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome.

Philip "please crop out my shorts" Colligan, mid-meeting

Philip “please crop out my shorts” Colligan, mid-meeting. (He’s the one on the right.)

In many ways, arriving at the Raspberry Pi Foundation feels more like joining a community than starting a new job. Ever since Liz announced my appointment on this blog at the end of April, I’ve been inundated with good wishes and offers of help from people from all sorts of backgrounds who have been inspired by Raspberry Pi. From volunteer activists to the CEOs of multi-national businesses, the openness and generosity I’ve experienced in these first few weeks has been humbling. Thank you.

It’s been a whirlwind of meeting people and learning as much as I can.  Some highlights:

  • Joining the judges of Astro Pi – our competition for kids to run experiments on a Raspberry Pi that we’re putting on the International Space Station (ISS).  It’s all possible because of our friends at the UK Space Agency and the UK’s first astronaut in 25 years, Major Tim Peake. Seriously though: a Raspberry Pi on the space station running experiments written by school kids. How cool is that?
  • Attending Picademy – our teacher training programme – at Pi Towers in Cambridge. Not only did I get to see the Foundation team in action (and they are awesome by the way), but I got to join an amazing group of 30 primary and secondary teachers as they came up with creative ideas to bring digital making into the classroom. Brilliant.
  • Hanging out at CamJam – the Cambridge Raspberry Jam – with my seven-year-old son. OK, this is cheating a bit because it happened a few weeks before I started, but it was a great introduction to the community of makers in Cambridge, and I am looking forward to meeting more of you at Jams across the UK and internationally.  My son loved it and can’t wait for the Pi Wars robot competition later this year.

And I’m already blown away by the incredible range of projects that are being powered by the Raspberry Pi. Nature cameras, weather stations, art installations, robot gardeners, beer brewing kits – I’ve heard stories of people all over the world using the Raspberry Pi to solve problems, have fun and learn new skills.

I’ve also been out and about meeting the other organisations that are part of this growing movement to get young people involved in computing and digital making – Code Club, Apps for Good, Coder Dojo, Freeformers and Computing at School – hearing about the great work they’re doing and cooking up plans for future collaborations.

All that and I managed to find the toilets and only set off the office burglar alarm once.  A busy first couple of weeks, and a great start to my induction into the Raspberry Pi community.

One of my main jobs over the next couple of months is to lead a process to map out the next stage of the Foundation’s development. A bit like the Raspberry Pi itself, we’re small but we’ve got huge potential.

And in much the same way that the community has shaped the development of the hardware and software, I want to make sure that the community shapes the development of the Foundation and helps us realise that potential. 

More to follow on that shortly. In the meantime, please get in touch and let me know what you think, show off your awesome projects or just point me at things I should see or read. 

@philipcolligan