Director of TheHill
Megan has a career history in entrepreneurship and innovation. She ran the University of Oxford’s Entrepreneurship Centre at the Said Business School, helping to plan and launch the Oxford Foundry which included the precursor Launchpad space. She managed ecosystem development and inward investment as Head of Innovation at Harwell. She is particularly passionate about building ecosystems and communities, and creating the right environment for innovation to flourish.
She sits on the Board of The Oxford Trust, an independent charitable trust working across enterprise and innovation, science education and public engagement with science. She has also held voluntary roles with the angel network OION, Oxford Startups and St John Ambulance and continues to teach entrepreneurship through her social enterprise OxLaunch.
We asked Megan to tell us a bit more about herself so you can get to know her a better…
Where do you call home?
I live in Oxford, and I love the city with all its culture and the great people I get to meet and work with. However I’m a Welsh girl at heart and always will be.
Do you read, and if so, what are your favourite books of all time?
I really enjoy reading both fact and fiction – the latest book that really inspired me is ‘Doughnut Economics’ by Kate Raworth. I’ve read so many great books I find it difficult to pick a favourite, so I always fall back on my first ‘big’ read and a childhood favourite, Lord of the Rings (which I read and loved well before it was popularised by the films). Sci fi and fantasy are my favourite fiction genres.
What’s your favourite downtime activity or what’s a hobby you enjoy?
I have always done some form of dancing – mostly partner dancing as I love the social and cooperative aspects– and I still sometimes manage to get out for some modern jive with my husband, though mostly these days it’s dancing in the kitchen with my kids! I also took up ice skating a couple of years ago and I really like the way it responds to practice. I love learning new skills and being able to get a little bit better every time I skate is really rewarding.
Do you like animals and do you prefer a particular type of pet?
I grew up on a smallholding with lots of animals, and love having them around. We don’t have any pets at home right now though as we like to travel.
What attracted you to working at TheHill?
The most important thing to me professionally and personally is making a difference in the world, and when Nick asked me to come and build TheHill, I felt there was a real opportunity to have an impact and make this better for staff and for patients. I’ve always wanted to work for the NHS as I’m so proud of our health service and want to help make it even better – and the role suits my skills in innovation and creating new ventures. Three years on, I’m still really excited by the difference we can make with digital innovation and there is so much more work to be done!
What’s been the most important thing you’ve learned through the pandemic?
During the first lockdown my life really was nothing but work and childcare and not enough sleep, because my young children were both at home and there was a lot of work to be done in digital health innovation – some real opportunities for TheHill that I didn’t want to miss. It was in a way a very positive time for me: I really cherished the extra time with my children, and also felt like we made great headway at TheHill. I also realised that I need a little time to myself to reset and recharge, which is why I now make time for regular skating and other exercise! One of my favourite activities is wild swimming, which I now do with an informal group of people from my village, who got together during the pandemic.
What part of your role do you enjoy the most, and why?
The most interesting aspect of my role is the people. I trained as a chemist and have worked as an innovator and educator, but in fact the most important part of my work is building relationships. I love working with such a great team and I enjoy the challenge of empowering them to do their best work. I also love working with colleagues across OUH and external partners, creating new ideas and helping to solve problems.