March 4th, 2011

GLD Spreads Across the Pond to the UK

London -

A warm hello to all GDLers, my name is James Byrne the latest addition to burgeoning GLD team, and the first of hopefully many from the U.K.

My Background

I am currently undertaking a Masters degree at the University of Warwick in International Technology Management with my research area in the Commercialization of Disruptive Clean Technologies at the Bottom of the Pyramid. In the past I have worked in the I.T industry and have had relationships with several Clean Tech start-ups.

The route to becoming an Industry Insider

Since finishing my undergraduate degree in summer 2009, I have been trying to find a route into the Clean Tech industry. I began by attending as many events that I could in the U.K. and in a number of developing countries during the time I spent travelling over the last year. I realised increasingly that my presence at these event was something of a rarity, with the majority of attendees 40+.

I fervently believe in the need for young people to be engaged in the industry and make connections with other young people that will grow over time fostering careers in the process.  The lack of young people at these events and my own desire to befriend peers in the industry gave inspiration to try and do something about it. After months of trying to connect with young people and figure out what form this would take, I happened across the Green Light Distrikt.

I reached out to Chris a number of months ago about getting things going for GLD internationally and following his recently setting out of the vision for GLD. I have taken up the exciting offer of contributing to GLD.  I along with George Phillips a fellow Brit and friend who is also joining the ranks as an industry insider will be pushing forward with:

Green Light District’s First international cluster – London, UK

Viewing the success of the model which has been pioneered by Chris in Boston and other US cities, we will be taking the GLD Vision and replicating it in the U.K. mainly based around the City of London.

We envisage the plan for the next couple of months as –

  1. Attending/blogging on as many industry events as possible, connecting with people and spreading the word about GLD to increase traction with young British cleantechies by providing valuable content regarding the UK clean tech space.
  2. Look to bring in another three industry insiders in the U.K. hopefully from a range of backgrounds to give a good spectrum of the U.K./European clean tech scene.
  3. Profile the most interesting local companies and present a view of what is happening in the U.K. the opportunities, problems and best innovations.
  4. As we start to generate more interest in GLD UK to hold some informal events, with a mind to some CleanTech Kingpins events further down the line.

I would like to finish with a message to all young people in the U.K. interested in Clean Tech or working the industry to get in contact and be a part of what hopefully will of huge value to the future of Clean Tech in the U.K.

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About James Byrne

James, 24 from Cheshire in the UK, completed an MSc in International Technology Management at The University of Warwick in October 2011. During the last year undertook research into creativity in the Front End of Innovation for disruptive cleantech. James is currently working on several projects which include driving GLD forward in the UK. Further since graduating he has lectured on disruptive business model innovation at UoW. Moreover he is looking for opportunities in a technology and innovation management related role. James is contactable at