Each month we talk to a new character in town to discuss living and working in the city. This month it’s Nick Booth, managing director of Podnosh
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Nick Booth, the managing director of Podnosh Ltd. We specialise in using the web to encourage civic conversations. Besides developing social media skills in communities and public services, like local council’s police and housing associations, we also develop software which helps organisations capture the social impact they have.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I live near Cannon Hill Park and work in Digbeth. I’m ashamed to say I drive.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
On the whole, not bad – I nip up Edward Rd onto Moseley Rd and then down into Digbeth. If I want to get home for early evening it’s a bit of a crawl out though.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
Birmingham has been at the heart of the growing movement for online civic media for some time now – so it’s been great to be part of that. I’ve worked here for many years so I especially enjoy the benefits of being able to get to know people over time. After all, its understanding and trusting each other that tends to lead to the best business.
I’ll often pop into Urban Coffee on Church Street, but I also like meeting out of the city centre – Maison Mayci in Moseley or even Cherry Red’s in Kings Heath.
Big fat home-made sarnies stuffed with filling and chutney. Failing that, my most frequented eatery is the Fazeley social – but I prefer Yumm in the Custard factory.
I love street walking. Mooching around the roads of Moseley or Edgbaston and gawping at the architecture suits me. Trying cafes in more rugged neighbourhoods like Digbeth is also a pleasure – there’s so much interest in the landscape and street scene.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
We get to work on many, many neighbourhoods of Brum with brilliant community groups, active citizens and public servants. My favourite places are the ones where people get off their backsides and make things happen. That (in some shape or form) is just about everywhere.
Fighting Cocks in Moseley or, when I am feeling very devil may care, Hotel Du Vin.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I’ve always thought the key to a thriving economy is connectedness. How well do people know each other, how well can they build trust that means they can do business together. So I’d like the city to have a new KPI – “the cup of tea”. We should aim to double the amount of tea drunk in this city every year for a decade, and then see what happens with all those new found connections.