Executive Director, UnLondon Digital Media Association | Age: 30 TITUS FERGUSON HAS always been curious and eager to learn how things work. As a teen, you?d find him tearing apart computers and electronics just to rebuild them. He says this curiosity eventually evolved into the confidence to create and the desire to congregate others with similar interests. ?In the early 2000s, as social media began to emerge, Web 2.0 companies launched and technology really began changing the world,? he says. ?I realized this culture was something I wanted to be a part of. Social media was truly social, and building communities of shared passions and interests, online and off, was suddenly much more feasible.? For the past decade, Ferguson, 30, has been bringing people with a passion for technology together. As co-founder and executive director of the UnLondon Digital Media Association, an organization dedicated to making positive change through unconventional methods and embracing new technologies, Ferguson works hard to help organizations and entrepreneurs grow passions and realize dreams. Over the past year, UnLondon?s membership has grown from 20 members to over 100, their team has grown from one employee to six, they?ve partnered with numerous organizations to teach and promote digital and creative literacy and they opened 121 Studios, the city?s premier media production and co-working space. Ferguson believes London is one of the best places to start a business and anticipates its tech sector will expand even more in
In 2014, my wife and I, along with a number of close friends, climbed Mount Rainier in Washington State. We reached the 14,410-foot summit in a blinding snowstorm. I try to be an avid runner and have completed a number of long-distance runs, including a marathon in Belize and a 50-kilometre ultramarathon. I love to read and collect trivia, facts and information. Learning and educating myself and others is a big passion. the coming years. ?London?s creative cluster and interactive digital media companies are poised to continue growing their successes,? he says. ?I anticipate that, building on past successes, in the next few years London will launch the next big tech company and platform.? 20 UNDER 40 ? 2015 BUSINESS LONDON 18
Founder and Executive Director, Growing Chefs! Ontario | Age: 36 BELIEVE IT OR not, Andrew Fleet used to be a picky eater. The 36-year-old founder and executive director of Growing Chefs! Ontario admits that, as a young man, his diet used to be far from healthy. That was until the London native spent a decade working in Vancouver?s fine-dining scene. Cooking alongside some of Canada?s top chefs forever transformed the way he looked at food. ?Food became a passion of mine and turned my whole life around,? he says. When Fleet moved his young family back to the Forest City in 2008, he noticed there was a lack of quality food education programs. So he tapped his strong network of friends and colleagues and founded Growing Chefs! Ontario, an organization dedicated to getting kids excited about wholesome, happy food. Today, Growing Chefs! runs programs for over 11,000 children and youth in London. They use a hands-on approach to teach kids how to prepare their own healthy meals in a dynamic, fun environment. Regularly partnering with London?s top chefs and restaurants, Fleet uses Growing Chefs! as a platform to support many small, local businesses, a strategy that he says strengthens the community as a whole. ?A chef?s passion for food and cooking is infectious,? he says. ?It helped me change my own diet and my own life, and now it?s changing the way children all across London think and learn about food. Supporting local businesses is so important for the strength of our community.?
I love music?possibly even more than food?and spent years of my life travelling to see over 1,200 concerts all over North America. I play mandolin and violin in several local bands, including Kevin?s Bacon Train, Marty Kolls and The Jim Macdonald Show. I have two beautiful daughters named Orla Rose and Greta. Together with my wife, they forced me to move back to London to be near our families when they were born. Each day, I am truly grateful for it.