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Paul Golding: Chief Innovator

I drive transformation or innovation initiatives via Cognitive Transformation.  This is the hands-on application of AI, Machine Learning and cloud computing.

I am not an “innovation theorist”.

I am a hands-on technologist who happens to also specialize in innovation strategy.  I am an IEE prize winner with patents in AI, Blockchain, Computer Vision, Computational Aesthetics & more. I have achieved various notable industry firsts.

I have executed deep-tech innovation projects for clients throughout Europe, MENA and The Americas:  Microsoft, Google, Motorola, O2 UK, McLaren, Vodafone, 3 UK, Acision,, Navteq, B&Q, Credit Suisse, Acision, Naspers, IBM, Telefonica, Ericsson, Prosper and others.

UPDATE: As of July 2020, I work for a start-up building a new type of database, but I am still available for advisory roles and engagements. 


I apply modern product innovation techniques to drive transformation using cognitive technologies like AI.

I’ve been formulating and executing technology-led strategies for over 20 years in Europe and Silicon Valley.


I am not a slide-maker, nor hand waver. I have ongoing hands-on deep tech experience.

I have over 30 patents in  fields like AI, Computer Vision, Blockchain, Mobile and NLP. 



I  have a track record of creating novel solutions across a wide set of industry problems from digital art to fintech to racing cars. I use design-driven innovation to reinvent businesses via the application of advanced computation (e.g. AI).

Business Minded

I learned from the legendary Tom Peters about the language and art of business. There is nothing new to add via trends like “business model canvas”. This is just to say that I am not a technologist for technology’s sake. I mean business.  

Hands On

I am not an “innovation theorist” with “big idea” Powerpoints. I produce tangible outputs that include building, designing & architecting solutions. My track record in technical execution is unparalleled.


Coming from a signal processing background,  data-processing is my “first language.” I fuse data-driven analysis (bottom-up) with design-driven innovation (top-down).

Find Order in Chaos: Cognitive Transformation

Most “digital transformation” is speeding up processes rather than reinventing them. The same mistake is being made with the adoption of cognitive technologies, like AI.

Many orgs are unwilling to acknowledge the chaotic reality of  rapidly changing technology and continue to make the same mistake of fitting technology to process rather than process to technology.

If your processes can’t adapt at the rate of change of technology, then it doesn’t matter how great your strategy is because it will eventually fail in the face of smarter competitors and increasing technical debt.

Failing to explicitly acknowledge organization uncertainty is a recipe for disaster: chaos is the new normal.

The only hope is to make organization intelligence synonymous with computation intelligence. The premise is simple: that machines can find order in chaos. This is the crux of cognitive transformation.

This is an actual clustering visualization from a project I worked on in e-commerce. There’s meaning in this data. Modern orgs/markets are similar — they contain clusters of behaviour and opportunity that are discoverable via cognitive computation and strategy.

My approach:

I interpret your business into its essential principles, mostly via critical reasoning and interview-based research, not some faddish “framework”.

This includes understanding where the real value exists irrespective of existing corporate narratives and dogmas, and as seen in terms of information processing rather than more traditional framing (e.g. SWOT analysis).

Using design-driven innovation, which is a form of conceptual blending, I re-interpret these core competencies through the lens of cognitive technology, like AI. From here, a landscape of future possibilities emerges that can be selected from and transposed into meaningful digital strategy for your business.

Where necessary, I draw upon an extensive network of talent from across the globe. If requested, I can assist with building solutions, often within the context of an innovation lab (which may need to be created).

1. Establish the true mandate.

What do you *really* want? This is always the starting point. Everyone says “we want to innovate” but seldom do they articulate the real constraints. Via a series of conversations with executive sponsor(s), I tease out the true mandate, which is often tricky. If I don’t see a meaningful mandate, I walk away. I have no desire to get paid $$$ for delivering slides that will never translate into value. Life’s too short for vanity projects.

2. Capabilities discovery

Clients know their business the best, but often via a biased, dogmatic or historical lens. I tease out current capabilities so that I can begin to fit them into a different framing – i.e. one of advanced computation. This step includes a kind of “digital what-if”, like if X is the digital future of Y (e.g. some pivotal capability or market characteristic) then how might that impact our view of capabilities.

3. Map a digital landscape

Irrespective of what a client tells me about their business, I develop an independent view of the landscape with the goal of unearthing foundational limits. For example, if the core of a client’s financial business is essentially aggregating data, then I will explore the limits of aggregation were we to apply any amount of resources. Are these limits informational, process, speed, or something else? I then explore these limits through the lens of computation and interpret the possibilities. Doing this over a range of core processes, I construct a digital landscape of possible business futures.

4. Develop a design framework

Via a process akin to design-driven innovation, I frame your industry category in terms of its product futures. This is an attempt to unveil the actual meaning of a current product and/or intended innovation in the mind of the market. For example, perhaps a financial loan product is really an “insurance policy” in the mind of its users. In which case, the “insurance qualities” of that product might become its design-driven purpose. This might entail looking more broadly at the theme of “insurance” and seeing how it might be re-imagined via the use of computational technologies, if applicable. This approach reveals a set of possible product strategies to frame the innovation.

5. Synthesis

Finally, I synthesize the digital landscape and design framework in order to describe a set of digitally-native strategic futures and tangible actions to get there. To be clear, I seldom make strong recommendations at this point as it causes a bias in the process. Rather, I aim to expose a set of proposals via what I call “pillars of change”. These are themes around which an actual strategy might be constructed. It is not my place to state a strategy, but rather to suggest what it could be via “digitally emergent” ways of operating.

Virtual Chief-Scientist "in Residence"

Besides hands-on consulting, I can provide more ad-hoc “virtual” Chief Scientist expertise to executive teams via video conferencing and occasional in-person visits.

I can interpret the meaning of cognitive technologies, like AI, for your business and also act as a “hype filter.”

Hiring a full-time Chief Scientist is probably a little radical whereas leveraging a virtual “Chief Scientist in Residence” is a lot more affordable.

As one client put it: “Paul is our tech guardian angel”.

About Me: Intrapreneur


The short version is that I’m a multi award-winning technologist with a list of prestigious clients that I have helped to interpret and build technological futures through the lens of advanced computation (like AI, IoT, Big Data, or similar). [See my projects.]

I am not a feel-good “innovation consultants” who holds fluffy workshops with sticky notes. My list of technical accomplishments is long, embarrassingly so, but always within a realistic business context.

Originally from the UK, I have a background in Electronic Engineering that I honed whilst designing silicon-chips for Motorola. I was the youngest engineer to receive patent of the year and my chip designs were pivotal to the launch of digital mobile.

Later (1996) I created Europe’s first mobile apps company and built numerous mobile services using PDAs and text-messaging gateways. By 2005, I wrote one of the worlds’s first mobile apps textbook (Wiley) that helped to define the mobile app category. My company designed the world’s first fully over-the-air mobile email system for Microsoft Exchange before Danger or Blackberry had done it.

Working alongside Google, Motorola, Sun, and others, I was one of only a few individual expert members of the Java Community Process that created the original mobile app framework (MIDP) in 2005, before Android.

I returned to industry to become a consultant, starting with Chief Architect for Motorola’s EMEA mobile services division.

I was tempted into academia, having earlier conducted PhD research (Augmented Reality) at the prestigious University of Southampton mobile labs, but I was too enthralled by business. 

Since then I have engineered my consulting career to work for some of the most interesting companies in their respective sectors (e.g. O2, McLaren, Prosper) whilst helping them to become more like “tech companies”.

As I often find myself innovating from the inside, I have come to consider my role more informally as an “intrapreneur”.



Passionate, bright and filled with big ideas and most importantly a whole systems thinker

Ivy Ross, VP Hardware (Google)

A pretty unique bundle. A deeply experienced hands on technologist, a strategic thinker that understands the challenges facing both large and small businesses

James Parton, Europe GM (Twilio)

Paul has a brilliant grasp of the technical opportunities open to the mobile industry and a real passion for driving breakthrough change

Derek McManus, COO (O2 UK)

His knowledge and experience is as vast as his drive and thirst for uncovering what is possible with the latest technologies

Jason Cale, Product Design (Facebook)

Unique, different, diverse, challenging, direct, open and a total disregard for the “norms” in any situation

Tracy Isacke, MD (Silicon Valley Bank)

Start your cognitive transformation…

Talk to Paul.

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