James Stewart advises governments and companies on how to thrive in the digital world. A technologist by background, he helps organisations understand the opportunities available to them, and how to take effective steps to harness those changes.
As a co-founder of the groundbreaking UK Government Digital Service, James led the technical delivery of GOV.UK, the single website for UK Government, which has now received over 2 billion visits, and won the UK’s top design award in 2013. Having built the acclaimed team behind GOV.UK, he moved on to support the delivery of dozens of transformational projects across government.
James Stewart was instrumental in the move toward a more user-centric and platform-based architecture for government services, in the wide adoption of public cloud for government services, and in pioneering new approaches to cybersecurity.
Now working as an independent consultant, James works globally splitting his time between established organisations and startups. He’s a mentor with the GovStart programme, an advisor to Ada College and Made Tech. He has previously been a member of GitHub‘s Customer Advisory Board and represented the UK government at the W3C.
Prior to joining government James Stewart built a successful practice developing product strategies and online tools for a range of clients in the arts, medical and charity sectors. He cut his teeth working online at scale in 1999-2000 with the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel third world debt, where his work culminated in a then unprecedented online event linking presidents and celebrities with campaigners in around 70 countries.
James’ focus is encouraging people to take a broad view of what they’re doing, both in terms of building cross-disciplinary collaboration and working through the responsibility that comes with building products that are changing the world. Across both of these areas, there are recurring themes around becoming more adaptive organisations, building the capability to more rapidly respond to changing circumstances (from new security threats to market opportunities), taking an experimental/lean approach to test ideas quickly, and utilising more open leadership styles.
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