New Adventures 2019 - Clare Sutcliffe Confessions of an Overnight CEO

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I knew Code Club has made a massive impact on education of coding in schools but I had no idea how quickly it grew and unexpected it was. I had expected to hear lots of impressive figures about Code Club itself but it soon became obvious how proud Clare must be for being able to tell her story at New Adventures. On Clare's first visit to New Adventures she ended up meeting Linda Sandvik who would soon become her co-founder and they started up Code Club. Then the following year she met her Husband-to-be at the same conference. That must be one of the most incredible and unimaginable outcomes of visiting a conference. Here are a few notes I took while listening in awe of the work that Clare has done with Code Club.

  • Clare met Linda Sandvik at her first New Adventures and started Code Club shortly afterwards. Clare was a junior designer at the time.
  • 1000 clubs after first year
  • Clare met her husband at her second New Adventures (wow... who could have expected either of those life changing events going to a conference)
  • “Most rewarding hour of my week” from multiple teachers
  • Year 2 - started branching into other countries
  • Started clubs in other countries with people running them there
  • Met up in real life to discuss common issues
  • 2300 clubs by 2013
  • “If you knew everything you needed to know you would never do it”
  • Top tips
    • 1 - have belief in your idea and faith in your ability
    • 2 - communicate more than feels natural
    • 3 - don’t forget to develop your team members
    • 4 - when to dig deep and when to take a break
    • 5 - learn your own strengths and weaknesses
  • "Yes we design the tangible things [...] but we also design the mission and values of things"
  • Year 3 - 4000 code clubs in 120 countries
  • Projects in 8 languages
  • Late 2015 looked at merging with Raspberry Pi, "Britain’s best ever selling computer over 20M"
  • “Feels like your two best friends got married” were the kind of comments about the merger
  • Projects now in 28 languages plus a book
  • Clare has given evidence at House of Lords, met the Queen and Tim Berners Lee (who apparently uses a Raspberry Pi to measure temperature in pool)
  • Code club was in the Beano comic
  • Met original goal of 1200 code clubs and coding in schools is now the new normal which was the original aim
  • Clare moved on in March 2018, now does ceramics for creativity outlet and is helping homeless people getting into employment

Feel free to read the rest of my notes from New Adventures.