Sure Coffee Break Chat: Ben Wratten
There’s a powerhouse of talent behind Guernsey’s dynamic Digital Greenhouse. The organisation is proactively introducing innovative new ways for digital and creative entrepreneurs to become successful. Sure chatted with Digital Development Officer, Ben Wratten, about his life and career, and the goals of the Digital Greenhouse.
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Guernsey, first entering the world of work as a photographer and then moving to the Guernsey Registry, progressing to the role of Senior Registry Officer. While working across both the Company Registry and Intellectual Property Office with a range of customers, I developed an interest in customer service and project management. In 2015, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to join the project development team for the Digital Greenhouse and then continued as the Events, Communications and Memberships Officer. My current role is now as the Digital Development Officer.
Describe your role at the Digital Greenhouse Guernsey.
My role as Digital Development Officer at the Digital Greenhouse is an exciting and diverse role which includes managing the front of house team, the co-working spaces and the digital programmes that we run through the project.
Please explain the concept behind the Digital Greenhouse.
The Digital Greenhouse project was established by the States of Guernsey to act as a focal point for the growth of the digital and creative sector. It is designed to support effective collaboration, co-working, networking and learning to enable successful innovation to thrive in Guernsey.
What is your typical day?
Usually it will start with a daily stand-up with the team getting an update of where everyone is and the tasks ahead. My day will then consist of project work driving forward the various programmes that we run, meeting with a range of people who are linked to those programmes and ensuring the space is running correctly.
Who are your clients?
We work with a wide range of individuals, small businesses, third sector organisation, corporate clients and States of Guernsey. With a growing membership base and a footfall count of over 35,000 visitors to the Digital Greenhouse over the first three years, every day sees different people come through the door.
How can businesses become corporate members?
Businesses can find out more information about our membership offers and the benefits on the Digital Greenhouse website. If they wish to find out additional information they can email us to arrange a meeting to discuss it further.
What is the key to your success?
The key to the Digital Greenhouse’s success is the people that we work with. Whether it is our team, Digital Greenhouse members, industry partners or the public; it is the people who enable the project to grow and develop, enabling us to achieve positive outcomes across the island community.
What are the best and most challenging aspects of your job?
The best aspect of my job is the ability to see the direct impact of the projects, especially being able to see some of the students from our first internship developing and growing along their career paths in the sector. The most challenging part is being super organised to make sure that nothing is missed, with many different projects running at the same time.
Describe yourself in three words.
Creative, adventurous and out-going.
What do you like most about living in Guernsey?
I like that nothing is ever far away; you can go from being on the beach to enjoying local food, then to experiencing some of the amazing local music talent in a short space of time.
What do you do / where do you go to relax?
To some, it may not seem to be relaxing but most of my time outside of work is spent on the jujitsu mat. I achieved my black belt in 2018 and enjoy both the sparing and teaching side. The rest of my time, I’m sat behind a drum kit, where I play in local bands, including Gentle Suburban Boys.
What local community events or groups are you personally involved in?
I believe that getting involved in your local community is really important and I am pleased to be involved in a number of initiatives. The Guernsey eSports Association, which a group of us created in 2017 to grow the eSports community in Guernsey, has been great to be part of. Most recently we worked with other organisations to run DonkeyCon which was Guernsey’s first gaming convention.
How would you summarise your approach to life?
Do something that you are passionate about, take advantage of the opportunities that you get and don’t be afraid to fail.