Martin Davies, would you like to introduce yourself and share a little about your background?
Hi, I’m Martin Davies. I’m a Dad of two fantastic teenage daughters who keep me grounded. With 30 years of experience in IT, I’ve worked for a variety of companies in a number of different roles throughout my career. I’ve always loved the outdoors and still get out when I can – cycling, running, or anything else I get the opportunity to do. Many years ago I worked with Raleigh International – I’ve always enjoyed helping others to develop themselves. More recently I’ve been developing my coaching skills and practice too. I’m ambitious in life; I love making connections and I’m inspired by the drive and motivation of other people to do all the exceptional things that they do.
One of the wonderful things about Salesforce is their emphasis on supporting charities and encouraging employees to utilise their skills to benefit others. Could you tell us a bit about your experiences with this and how you came to discover Astriid?
Salesforce are huge advocates for business making the world a better place. Every employee gets seven paid days a year to volunteer for charities of their choice. Over my last seven years, I’ve volunteered time with a number of charities including Fareshare, Camara, The National Trust, The Prostate Project, and School21. It’s so good for perspective, motivation, balance and doing something very different to my day job – I love it! It was through work that I first heard about ASTRiiD; from the start, it was a compelling idea for me, as long-term illness is something that resonates with just about everyone.
Coming from a technological background yourself, what do you, Martin Davies, think makes Astriid unique as a platform? Where would you like to see it go next?
Technology is the enabler for a great idea that has the potential to have a major impact on the lives of so many. The technology is there to make ASTRiiD accessible, easy and quick to use – and hopefully make many connections in a friction-free manner.
Alongside your work with Salesforce and Astriid, you also have experience in Executive Coaching. With this hat on, if you could give one piece of advice to chronically ill jobseekers, what would it be?
With my coaching hat on, I am of the firm belief that individuals have the answers and they don’t need me to tell them what to do… they might need a little help to clarify their goals and I’d encourage people to get some external help to do that. What David (founder of Astriid) said many, many times, was that he refused to be defined by his illness, and wanted to be known for his skills, experience and what he had to offer. And absolutely everybody has lots to offer.
Martin, we know that you’re something of an intrepid explorer yourself, having pursued canoeing challenges and various expeditions in all corners of the world in the past. Could you tell us about some of your future ambitions, as well as your ambitions for Astriid?
The possibilities for ASTRiiD are hugely exciting: 200 connections, 2,000, or 200,000? Every connection makes a real difference to someone’s life; if we can really get the model flying in the UK, maybe it will translate to other countries as well? For me, I want to continue to find effective ways to use the skills and experience I have to help those who are less fortunate than me. That should keep me busy for a couple of decades more!