Barney Smith Perform Green Executive Director.

Barney Smith

Founder and CEO

Barney Smith is a polymath and Smart Society Leader with particular expertise in Sustainable Development, Innovation, Technology and Executive Leadership.

Barney has held many senior roles in the public and private sectors: as a Commercial and Digital Director (including as CIO of a UK Government Department), Major Programmes Director, interim CEO and as a Non-Executive Director for a Digital Innovation Agency as well as providing independent Board assurance. He has led major change and business growth programmes, Smart City Projects, a strategic ICT outsource (£450m TCO) and has mentored small businesses and social enterprise startups. Many of the initiatives he has advised or led have resulted in national and international awards for example Bristol and Sunderland Smart City Initiatives.

With a deep understanding of the application of technology to transform places, organisations and peoples’ lives, for example through the application of 5G, Barney has been a regular panel member and speaker at conferences internationally spanning Smart Cities, Smart Health, Industry 4.0, Future Society and Infrastructure Investment. Barney has advised national and international institutions including the UK Cabinet Office, EU Commission and OECD over the past two decades.

Successes include:

  • Executive Consultant for Sunderland Smart City Initiative, and sitting on their Smart Cities Board, on target to achieving >£100m of inward investment and create a 5G Neutral Host;
  • Board member for 5G Create Connected Automated Logistics on the Nissan site;
  • Executive Consultant for a Digital Strategy for a Smart New Town in Medway, contributing to a successful £170m Housing Infrastructure Fund bid in 2019;
  • Programme Director at Bristol City Council to implement an ambitious integrated, multi-partner Smart City Operations Centre;
  • Interim CEO of Bristol Is Open– a Joint Venture Company between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol delivering a world-leading Smart City R&D testbed.

In his spare time, Barney is an advanced competitive sailor, explores the countryside and experiments with tech. In the moments that are left, he is currently trying to re-establish his musical keyboard and guitar skills after curtailing it as a teenager by accidentally putting his hand on a hydraulic ram at just the wrong moment.

One of Barney’s proudest moments is that when at the age of 12, in 1982, he wrote and sold his first computer game for £50. At the age of 19, as the ’Teenage Fellow’ at the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Barney was a co-author of his first academic paper on an application of Monti-Carlo Simulations. 

Barney has degrees from Cambridge University (MA) and Imperial College (MSc) and is a Member of the Institute of Directors (MIoD) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). 

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