Hi, I'm Stef Lewandowski

I'm a software developer, designer and startup founder. A hacker for short. My work focusses on playful approaches to technology and its cultural, social and political applications.

I playfully hack on things that matter and live by the maxim “create something every day”.

"Things that matter" is a catch-all for projects and concepts that I find challenging, creatively interesting and will result in some kind of positive outcome for someone. It's pretty diverse, but I am working on (or have recently worked on) projects around the Internet of Things, democracy, culture, open data, live-hacking, visualisations, social entrepreneurship, charitable giving, music, accessibility, education, sport, health, transparency and citizen journalism.

I'm co-founder of Makelight - we help people learn to take beautiful photographs through online courses, tools and community.

I was the technical cofounder of Makeshift. It's a digital product company building a series of useful web/mobile/tech products aimed at 'giving a leg up to the little guy'. We repeatedly built early stage digital business ideas by trying out many small prototypes. In our first cohort we tried twelve prototypes and ended up with Attending, Hire My Friend, Wrangler and Linkydink, which spawned the rather wonderful Product Hunt. Based on what I learnt there, I've recently finished helping set up another startup studio with R&D and venture backing from a large organisation. Our process was about discovering, validating and growing new businesses that help people get from A to B in new ways.

Prior to Makeshift, I co-founded Aframe, a cloud-based video production platform, as the technical founder, helped grow the company from two to over thirty staff, saw it through $10m of private investment and on to expansion in North America.

Before that I undertook a Clore Leadership Fellowship, sponsored by the Cultural Leadership Programme, having previously been more-or-less simultaneously involved in a boutique web agency, a record label Type, a creative industries membership organisation, and a number of experimental startup projects and festivals. Along the way I've been lucky enough to be part of some great teams and won a handful of awards.

I’m a father of four young kids and enjoy spending my spare time writing, doing hacks, drawing monsters, doing photography, making mixes, spending far too much time on Twitter and generally keeping up to date with the latest trends and thinking about “what’s next?”.

I’m chair of governors of Heber School, a community primary in South London. I maintain a close link with the University of Birmingham and I am on the industrial advisory board of the School of Computer Science and I am a member of Court, one of the University's governing bodies.

Stef Lewandowski

Photograph by Emily Quinton

This page is also available in the third person.