The David and Jane Richards Family Foundation has appointed leading figures from the fields of management science, public service and technology as trustees.
They are Chris Brady, one of the UK’s best-known business school professors, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, and Herb Kim, the founding chair of Tech North.
Technology entrepreneur David Richards, the founder and CEO of WANdisco, set up the foundation with wife Jane to educate, empower and improve the lives of children.
The registered UK charity aims to inspire young people to fulfil their potential through hands-on programmes and targeted assistance.
Mr Richards believes that computer studies in schools should be fun and focused on data science to give students the ability to understand and solve real-world problems.
Prof Brady said: “I was very pleased to be asked to join the foundation because it played into two of my learning hobby-horses – employability and pedagogical innovation.
“I think that David Richards has caught the beginnings of a wave that will change the way we think about how best to learn about the utilisation of technology for years to come.”
Prof Brady is professor of management studies and director of the Centre for Sports Business at Salford University.
He has authored a number of award-winning books, including Quiet Leadership, co-written with three-times Champions League winner Carlo Ancelloti, and The 90-Minute Manager.
Lord Kerslake has extensive experience in local and central government and has held roles including chief executive of Sheffield City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.
He served as permanent secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2010 until he stepped down in 2015 and was head of the civil service from 2012 to 2014.
Lord Kerslake said: “I delighted to be joining the foundation to further the excellent work that is already going on in Sheffield.
“There is the potential here to transform the way information technology is taught and developed in schools.”
Mr Kim played a key role in setting up Tech North, a government-backed initiative charged with accelerating the growth of the digital business sector in the North of England.
He said: “As the founding chair, I had the great fortune of meeting with a huge number of ‘tech northerners’.
“Having seen David operate I know this exciting new foundation will be a big success and do great things for education in the UK and beyond.”
Mr Kim is also founder and CEO of Thinking Digital, one of Europe’s best-known conferences on technology, media and content.
The David and Jane Richards Family Foundation will launch computer science and environmental programmes in the coming months.
The foundation has hired Liz Drayton, the former head of information and communications technology at Sheffield’s Tapton School, as its first employee.
David and Jane Richards said: “The appointment of Professor Chris Brady, Lord Kerslake and Herb Kim as trustees underlines the ambition of our new foundation.
“Each has a special set of skills, experiences and networks that will be invaluable to our purpose of educating, empowering and improving the lives of children.
“Liz Drayton brings a highly organised, knowledgable and friendly touch and will be instrumental in making a success of our aims.”
Mr Richards founded WANdisco in 2005. The Live Data company is dual headquartered in Silicon Valley and Sheffield and is listed on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market.