Christopher Histed was yesterday installed as Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) following a formal ceremony held at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great in London. Histed takes over the role from outgoing Master, Alderman Sir David Wootton. His 12 month-long tenure coincides with a year in which WCIT will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of it becoming the 100th Livery Company of the City of London.
“It’s an honour and privilege to become Master of a Livery Company that so well embodies charity and diversity, and which combines modernity with tradition,” says Histed. “WCIT is a mature organisation, with significant charitable achievements, and a legacy of 25 years as a Livery Company to celebrate. We’re incredibly proud of the positive good we have done for society, especially in education and for the disadvantaged and disabled.”
Since 2010, the City’s 110 Livery Companies have given over £280m to charitable causes, and WCIT has played an important part in this effort, not least through the extensive pro bono expertise, advice and support it provides.
“The charities, schools and not-for-profit organisations that we help and support tell us that our Livery Company and grant-making Charity will have an increasingly important part to play over the next quarter of a century as technology takes on a more pivotal role in society,” he adds. “Our members have achieved a huge amount for society in general in the past, are continuing to do so today, and will do more in future.”
WCIT members include many tech philanthropists such as Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley; ‘father of the Internet‘, Vint Cerf, who is currently working on NASA’s Deep Space and interplanetary Internets; Tim Berners-Lee who founded the World Wide Web; and Bill Gates, currently working to solve global problems through philanthropic activity.
WCIT’s goals are simple: it works for the well-being of society. Its members contribute their time, talent and financial donations to help charities and improve disadvantaged lives. It improves education and nurtures the IT profession, and members enjoy social fellowship.
Histed, this year’s Master, joined WCIT in 2002, chaired its Education & Training Committee from 2006 to 2013, and led the team which developed the Company’s new forward-looking strategy and strategic objectives, which were approved by WCIT Court in Spring 2016.
Histed has worked in the City on and off all his working life, since his first summer job on Fleet Street at the Daily Telegraph. Since 1997 he has launched, grown, directed, bought and sold companies in the digital and internet area. He has been a Vice-President at FT.com, general manager in charge of interactive production at Sky and run many other internet businesses. He devotes much pro bono time to advising the boards of charities.