Oli Barrett MBE: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

Rachel CrowtherStreet Wisdom

Oli Barrett MBE – Connector, Presenter and Co-Creator

About Oli:

Described by WIRED magazine as “the most connected man in Britain”, OIi Barrett is a serial co-founder who enjoys connecting people and ideas. He is a shareholder in several companies including Calm.com and Troubadour Theatres and co-founded the UK’s largest schools enterprise competition, Tenner. He co-founded StartUp Britain with support from the British Prime Minister and the Clean and Cool Mission, supporting cleantech scaleups to connect with global investors and markets. He is a regular event host, including for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and sits on the advisory boards of Tech London Advocates, One Million Mentors and Founders4Schools. His latest audio course, Build a Better Network, has been taken by people around the world and his latest charity campaign (TOTS) encourages broadcasters and tech companies to turn on the subtitles, improving children’s literacy. 

Podcast Timeline:




David introduces Oli Barrett


Tenner – The Schools Entrepreneurship Challenge


Where Do You Get Ideas From?

Distilling a big idea and making it something beautifully simple


Turn on the subtitles (TOTS)


The get-up-and-go mentality?


Bringing people together & the process of collaboration


The love of hosting events

  • The amazing people you get to meet
  • Breadth of subject
  • The process of being on stage and making other people feel comfortable.
  • Creating authenticity and honesty in the room.


Oli’s network – the golden rules


The joy of meandering – life is a search for people


The lessons of ‘seize the day’ – action / restoration


Getting to know other people more easily – the sense of the fellow traveller


The ‘Wanderful’ experience – seeing the funny side

The link between lightness and creativity


Post ‘Wanderful’ exercise – what did we learn?


End credits




Turning on The Subtitles (TOTS)


David Ogilvy


Brij Kathari – TED Talk: Reading For A Billion, With Bollywood


Nudge Theory – Richard H Thaler & Cass R Sunstein


Start Up Britain



‘Make your thinking as funny as possible’ (Oli Barrett)

“Most of the things I’ve started have come through experiencing or reading about a problem.” (Oli Barrett)

“TOTS is all about the power of same language subtitles… if you put subtitles on kids TV you double the chances of them becoming a proficient reader.” (Oli Barrett)

“That process of connecting ideas and people – you create conditions for people to inspire each other, which means that quietly and respectfully, you can step back and enable them to get on with it.” (Oli Barrett)

“If something I’ve been involved with in any gets mentioned publicly and I’m not mentioned, I take that as a huge compliment, because it gives me that sense that it really could carry on without me.” (Oli Barrett)

“I do like process of making people feel comfortable, who wouldn’t normally feel comfortable and getting something from them that almost surprises them.” (Oli Barrett)

“You can travel the world looking for joy but they’re also on your doorstep.” (David Pearl)

“Life is a search for people is a beautiful thought” (Oli Barrett)

“To solve some of the biggest problems in the world you have to join unusual forces together.” (Oli Barrett)

“If you think you’ll live forever you do give yourself time to moan, whereas if you remember its finite, you may make more use of your day.” (David Pearl)


Oli Barrett

Twitter @oilbarrett


David Pearl

Twitter @davidpearlhere Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine

Twitter @ItPainesMe

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