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Martha Lane Fox co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman in 1998, they took it public in 2000 and sold it in 2005. Martha was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in March 2013. She is currently chair of Go On UK, a coalition of public and private sector partners that are helping millions more people and organisations online. In March 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University. Martha co- founded and chairs LuckyVoice, revolutionising the karaoke industry. She chairs MakieLab and Founders Forum for Good. She is a Non-Executive Director at Marks & Spencer and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2007 Martha founded her own charitable foundation Antigone.org.uk and also serves as a Patron of AbilityNet, Reprieve, Camfed and Just for Kids Law. In 2013 Martha was awarded a CBE.

17 thoughts on “About me

  1. Martha should spearhead a national programme to “multilingualise” UK’s e-commerce web-sites. We are the world’s leading e-commerce retailer (12% of total retail sales); the world flocks (physically) to UK’s retail shopping, yet most are unable/deterred to access it via e-commerce. The potential benefit to the UK’s economy is enormous. Google’s “Translate” can probably do most of the work automatically. The Government could incentivate by setting up attractive VAT.rules etc.

  2. Ailbhe McNabola at the Design Council suggested I contact you with y inquiry. I would be grateful for your advice. I’m working on the issue of self-neglect – people who fail to maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness. People sometimes get called ‘service refusers’ when they don’t do what a professional wants them to do. This criticism needs a context – and so it becomes much more reasonable when we notice that fewer than half of the courses of medication prescribed by doctors get taken as instructed. We are all ‘service refusers’!

    Similarly, some people have domestic appliances but don’t use them and so their clothes and bodies remain unwashed and even the heating remains switched off in some situations. It occurred to me to ask how many members of the general public struggle with the technology that surrounds them at home. Is it just me that relies on my wife to programme the central heating and video recorder? I imagine some academics have thought about the growing gulf between the technology that we own and our ability to use it, but I don’t know a search term or who would be able to advise me.

    I’d be grateful for your suggestions if you have a moment.

  3. Hi Martha,
    I am Kathrin and I am working for a company which is organizing the worldwide largest student run business convention. As one of our panel discussions is going to deal with entrepreneurship we would love to welcome you on our stage on the 14th March 2013. You would be a perfect match as on the one hand the audience consists of 300 international students being highly motivated to found a startup and 300 corporates or founder. In the last years we were proud to present speakers such as Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Kenneth P. Morse to give you a short outline.
    I am looking forward to your reply. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at any time.

    Best,
    Kathrin

  4. There are young people who are excluded from the benefits of connecting and communicating socially online due to their learning disabilties. Most social networking is text driven, usually with an interface that can be difficult to comprehend.
    However, there is currently no research into who find social networking difficult, or even impossible, to use, nor into what can be done about this, nor about the potential benefits for young adults with learning disabilities of having access.
    Can anyone help in raising interest in this area, and getting something done about it?
    Thanks

  5. Hi Martha

    We would love to invite you to join State of Ambition as a champion of young people.

    We have set up a social enterprise to help realise 1million ambitions for young people aged 16-30 within 5 years.

    Why? Well, we want to create a State of Ambition – where ambitions are realised, relationships become more meaningful, talent is discoverable and communities are formed.

    For this State to happen, we want incredible inspirational people like you to become a champion of the movement. You can read more about why we’re making this happen at http://www.stateofambition.org/learn

    Thank you for listening Martha and hope we can talk more about this.

    With kind regards,

    Darshan and the team at State of Ambition

  6. Hi Martha

    I am coordinating the 2013 Entrepreneurs Festival being held in Manchester and I would like see if you were available to do our keynote speech at the Awards dinner on Friday 6th September 2013.

    It is an event that is being held by UKTI for 150-200 entrepreneurial delegates from around the world.

    Regards

    Troy Aiten

  7. Dear Lady Lane-Fox,

    I am the Chair of Healthy Cities: Healthy Women London, a prominent women’s healthcare event in September. I would be honored if you would be consider speaking at the conference.

    HEALTHY CITIES: HEALTHY WOMEN London is the first international, and fourth in a series, of one-day conferences that originated in the US. HC:HW aims to advocate,educate and illuminate for local-to-global solutions in urban women’s health. Keynote speakers Dame Mary Archer and Dame Ruth Carnall will join others to explore and debate solutions by and for women to improve health and overall wellbeing in the capital.Healthy Cities: Healthy Women London, Tuesday 17 September 2013, 9:30am – 3:30pm,Millennium Hotel London Mayfair, 44 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP.

    To Register: http://www.healthycitieshealthywomenlondon.eventbrite.com

    For the agenda and further information click here.

    I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Margie Gordon Schaye,

    Chair, Healthy Cities: Healthy Women London,

    healthywomen@nursing.upenn.edu

  8. Hi Martha
    Ihave just heard you on the radio extolling being online and am very cross. I was an early buyer of a computer from Raceonline via Remploy. Being disabled and isolated I thought it was a great idea.
    However my computer -the third from them before I got one that functioned – terminally crashed after 9 months use taking 7 years of work (photos) with it so I am left with a net minus.
    Remploy are defunct, I cant use my new Photoshop skills or fulfil my dreams of selling my paintings online and have a broadband account I cant use and struggle to afford. And as for library access these days?
    I would like to be back to where I was and progress but is there any way I can without a reliable affordable machine?
    I feel sad and rather bitter.
    Melusine Leigh

  9. Dear Martha

    I hope you are well. Although we do not know each other directly I have tried several times to get in touch without success. Being a man persistent man as I am, Ill try to email direct this this time, I am determined to get hold of you one way or another.

    The reason I would like to speak to you is that we would like you to be a keynote speaker at our digital conference, Digital Dynamics. It will be held in Birmingham on the 3rd of April 2014 at the NEC conference centre. It will bring together over 300 like minded businesses from the digital world and business communities to meet, share and learn about the online world.

    We feel from your experience, success and involvement in championing this industry, you would make the perfect fit to share your story with our delegates.

    Would you kindly let me know if this is something you can help us with

  10. Dear Martha,

    I read the BBC article last night and you said..

    “We are going to need a million more people who can work in the technology sector over the next 10 years. We don’t have them. We’ve got to help to encourage people to go into that sector.”

    My thoughts exactly, which is precisely why we started…

    Supacoderz – 12 Week Developer School

    http://www.supacoderz.com/

    Please help us get it off the ground! It’s a game changer!

    Regards,
    Pete
    Director
    Supacoderz Limited

  11. Dear Martha,
    I noted your comments about the lack of women in the technical workplace with interest. As a father of 3 teenage daughters at an all girl school I feel they do not get anywhere near enough access to highly successful role models such as yourself, who are able to make the case for women working in technology in an eloquent and motivational way. Would you consider visiting the school to speak to them? I expect the answer to be no, looking at the number of other requests to speak on this blog that have been declined, but there’s no harm in trying!

    Kind Regards.

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