Maria Ingold was the first person to combine Computer Science and Fine Art at her university. Her unique STEAM background enabled her to innovate computer audio, video and games at IBM and help invent the beginning of 32-bit computer gaming for Ocean Software.

She became a start-up and small-company CTO – successfully deploying emerging visual technology and content monetisation across film, TV, video, games and media. Working in small companies honed her as an entrepreneur – not just vertically into technology and IT, but laterally across innovation, strategy, product etc.

As CTO for Disney / Sony JV, FilmFlex Movies, she delivered of one of the most successful on-demand movie services in Europe from launch – for Virgin Media cable and Channel 4. It was built prior to many other services, for under £1 million – literally over 100 times cheaper than YouView. FilmFlex had 15 staff. It was profitable from year one. All still classed as impossible.

Six years ago, she took her expertise for innovating the impossible and founded Mireality, where she consults as a board-level strategic CTO and innovation advisor.

She’s seen individuals, education and industry limit how they think about innovation, thereby limiting their potential – potential for growth, success and revenue. Maria delivered her TEDx talk “Innovating the Impossible” to change that thinking.

Vertical innovation is evolution. Lateral innovation creates revolution. Three-dimensional innovation – where the human mind connects disparate ideas, i.e. STEAM not STEM – makes the impossible possible and is where humanity adds value over AI.

To meet the UK Government’s objective to become the world’s most innovative economy requires all three types of innovation. Maria is working across education, industry and government to get STEAM not STEM into education, reduce industry “bucketeering”, and demystify the creative industry to government and vice-versa. She loves making the impossible happen.