10th December 2014

Data, Insights and Ideas at the GeoVation Camp

Luke Hampson

Today, we bring you a guest blog from the chair of the forthcoming GeoVation Housing Challenge judging panel – Roland Harwood. Roland introduces himself and tells us how he’s looking forward to the hearing more about the data, insights and ideas from the finalists that will be invited to the GeoVation Camp.

Link to GeoVation Housing Challenge

“Thanks to all who submitted ideas and participated in the current GeoVation Housing challenge. In total, we received 43 ideas; with each one of them aiming to solve, what I feel is, one of the biggest challenges we face as a country and a society. I’m very pleased that this will be my 6th time as chair of the GeoVation judging panel and I just wanted to quickly introduce myself to you before the process begins.

My background is varied having worked as a scientist, a publisher, a musician, a civil servant, an investor, and now an entrepreneur. In each of these roles I have been responsible for developing new innovative products and services, from ultrasonic imaging devices for the electricity industry, to carpets made of recycled fishing nets for a company called Interface, to new flexible ways of charitable giving for Oxfam, to waterless washing machines for Proctor and Gamble.


image of Roland Harwood

Roland Harwood, Chair of the GeoVation Housing Challeng judging panel


In this challenge I will therefore be particularly interested in two things.

Firstly, I will be looking at the potential impact your ideas could make towards addressing the issues we outlined in the GeoVation PowWow output – based on data and your insights.

Secondly, I’m keen to see clear evidence that you have thought through what is required to make your idea a success. The camp process will help you develop a robust plan, including gathering as much detail as you can about potential target users, customers, partners and resources required etc. and both myself and the judging panel will be keen to see that all angles have been considered.

My fellow judges will bring deep expertise in both Geographic Information and also Housing related issues and will be introducing themselves in subsequent posts.

In the meantime, I wish you well and look forward meeting and working with the successful finalists (who we’ll be announcing later this week) at the GeoVation Camp in January.”