Paul Williams

I'm passionate about technology, space, photography and music, and, as well as having immersed myself in a tech career, I care deeply that the next generation feels inspired to pursue those things. This has led me to get involved with a number of projects, challenges and fund-raising initiatives.

My work

Image from Bloomberg

The Bloomberg Terminal - I am a programmer, technical manager and part of the engineering leadership team at Bloomberg in London, where we have over 1000 software developers working closely with our colleagues in New York, San Francisco, Frankfurt and Hong Kong. The teams I look after design, build and maintain major subsystems of the multi-screen real-time desktop browser known as the Bloomberg Terminal. Here's my bio and an interview from my first 20 years at Bloomberg (now 24 years!).
Charities I support

I support Virgin Galactic's education outreach programme Galactic Unite, inspiring kids to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects (known as STEM) and demonstrating that the future holds amazing possibilities for them to participate in the next generation of space travel and exploration.

I co-founded the Galactic Unite Scholarship at the University of Leicester, awarding mentorship and financial help to some first year Physics students pursuing Space Science and Astrophysics. Holly Branson very kindly recently featured this initiative on her blog, here.

Photos of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, taken from Teton Valley, Idaho, US, in the company of the community of Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts.

In 2015, at "Virgin Disruptors in Education", the impact accelerator Big Change were showcasing their pioneering work re-thinking our education system. I saw two 12-year-olds interviewing Richard Branson with such confidence and clear communication but with true humility - I thought there's something special going on here. These were kids at School21 - one project associated with Big Change. There was so much positive energy in the room as various people from Virgin Unite and Galactic Unite came up to speak, that I had to get involved. I discovered that Big Change consult with experts to establish at what points in the education arc the most difference can be made by focusing on those areas. They have been finding projects developing innovative solutions in these areas, mentoring them, giving them access to a network of experts, and providing early-stage funding to give them an opportunity to prove their ideas practically.

Big Change, a registered charity, partly funds these projects through a series of endurance events. I passionately believe in what they are doing, and have tried to get behind them, so far raising


My target was to raise £100,000 in total by the end of 2021, then £150,000 by the end of 2022. In fact, through the generosity of friends, family and Bloomberg I reached both targets early, despite the pandemic - THANK YOU!

2021 saw more challenges - the 100 km Virtual Strive Challenge and hiking the 100 km STRIVE Weekender in the same week. The work continues - even thought I have now reached my overall total target of £150,000, I remain committed to Big Change.

Ongoing Projects - An online photo store, again raising funds for Big Change, previewed here:

Past Adventures

The 2020 Virtual Strive Challenge, running, hiking and swimming (virtually) alongside 200 other Strivers raising £50,000 in total for Big Change.

London to Paris in 24 hours - cycling 300 km / 186 miles during a wet and windy day and night in May 2019, a challenge organized by Sophie Radcliffe.

The 2018 STRIVE Challenge, an endurance adventure in the French Alps, cycling 285 miles and climbing 42,000 feet up some of the mountain stages of the Tour de France, helping collectively to raise £1.3 million. Blog here. Previously I was part of the 2016 STRIVE Challenge - blog here, and also part of an article written by Richard Branson about the challenge from his perspective.

In-Flight Entertainment - a hardback book now sold-out but available for viewing online - containing a collection of photographs I have taken at 38,000 feet. All proceeds from the sale of this book went to support Big Change.

Stemettes Futures is the charity arm of Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise working across the UK, Ireland and beyond to inspire and support young women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers . I've seen how they have guided young women in their impressive journeys into Computer Science, entrepreneurship and setting up their own startups. You can support them here.
Justine and I are patrons of the Science Museum in London. Ever since I was a child, I have loved exploring the galleries there, learning about scientific discoveries and being inspired by the incredible ideas so many people have developed. It thrills me to see kids still getting so much out of the exhibits there - it gives me hope for the future.

For anyone wanting to support the Science Museum in this way, have a look here.

The Children's Trust look after kids with acquired brain injury, helping them recover and rehabilitate so that they can live as normal a life as possible.

I have cycled the Ride London 100 in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for the Children's Trust and hope to ride again when these challenges start happening again.

The Prince's Trust does amazing work with young people, preparing them for work.

What it was like to run my first and only London Marathon in 2015.

charity: water is a nonprofit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. 785 million people live without clean water. That's nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide, or, twice the population of the United States without access to life's most basic human need. For those in the UK, find the UK site here.
Other passions

"In Flight Entertainment": Aurora seen in-flight. A Timelapse with music and a Timelapse Playlist.

Photos too.

Blog by Virgin Atlantic.

Feature by ITV News.

Another by Huffington Post.

As a keen aurora photograper, I was thrilled to have one photo shortlisted for the Royal Observatory Astronomy Photographer of the Year, 2014 (10th picture on the page). You can still buy the book from Waterstones or Amazon. See similar photos in the In Flight Entertainment section of this site.

I dabble in music composition and production using Logic Pro X, Spitfire Audio sample libraries, Roland Cloud virtual instruments and Waves plugins.

SoundCloud Profile here.

Follow @pcwilliams on Twitter.