Tech for Good

Aiimi 25

As the Head of Employee Engagement and Wellbeing at Aiimi, Charlotte Richmond has a passion for workplace wellbeing and the environment. This sees her ensuring that everyone within the organisation has access to the best possible advice, guidance and support, as well as being part of the Aiimi Goes Green team that focuses on Carbon Neutrality.

We are Aiimi, an MK tech enterprise

It’s simply amazing how much value can be extracted from the information each one of us already owns. It’s there, within reach. You just need to work out how to find it, interconnect it, and unlock it to reveal fresh new insight. At Aiimi, we use our data expertise and AI technology solutions to do just that, helping to connect more people to even more business insight. You could say it’s our calling card. Since starting out on this mission back in 2013, we’ve grown in size and spirit. 2020 saw us up sticks, leaving London to take our place in the UK’s thriving tech centre right here in Milton Keynes.

Inside Aiimi, Milton Keynes

When we relocated our HQ to MK, who would’ve guessed we’d be weeks away from a global pandemic, and that our shiny new workspace would sit gathering dust while we all worked from home. Fast forward two years, and you can see that national lockdowns haven’t stood in our way.

We’ve gone from strength to strength, growing our team by 50% and bringing on board amazing new customers, including the Financial Conduct Authority, Islington Council, the Department for Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy, and a new data and digital framework with Anglian Water. Always striving to ensure everything we do has a positive impact on the world around us, especially our local community, we’re made up to call MK our new home.

Our MK workspace celebrates local history

Aiimi's workspace celebrates local history

Excited to add a local flavour to our new workspace, our visual team got to work. Designing a collection of Bletchley Park-inspired images to adorn our walls, it’s our homage to the incredible WWII code breakers blazing a trail from just down the road. While our meeting room windows feature frosted coding in recognition of their heroism, our rooms and hubs feature Bletchley Park zones – Hut 1, The Mansion, and The Cottage – to highlight their valiant war effort.

Our collection of in-house designed skateboards is another celebration of our local community. Featuring our key customers and partners, we’re showcasing our appreciation in skateboard form to reflect MK’s accolade as ‘skateboarding capital of the UK’ in the 80s and 90s. A focal point of the MK scene since those early days, ‘The Buszy’ is very much alive (and skating) today, counting some of our very own Aiimi’ers among its active community.

Our Hack Zone hosts community and industry events

Why is our local history so important? Well, from day one we knew this space would be more than just ‘the office’. We wanted to create a community hub too! A space where local meet ups, like MKAI and MK Geek Night, could take place. A space for summer school programmes and coding sessions for beginners. A space where people from our new community will always feel welcome and at home.

The Aiimi Hack Zone

Whether it’s an in-person event for 100-plus visitors in our purpose-built Hack Zone or a live virtual session streamed across the globe, we’re always excited to bring people together, hear new perspectives, find new solutions, and have fun! And if you’ve got a tween in tow or need a break, our PlayStation is always set up for sure.

In February, we proudly hosted a Google Developer event produced by REAS Group. Ajeet Kaur-Sucha, Ori Marash, and Jordan Slater – one of our very own Data Scientists – shared their tips and tricks on working in tech right here in Milton Keynes.

Last October, we partnered with Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) to host their Innovation Festival in our brand-new Hack Zone. Putting the very latest in tech to the test, QUEST CX brought a whole load of people passionate about data, analytics, and the user experience together for this collaborative event. Over three days, we put our heads together to transform data-driven insight into unrivalled customer experiences. Musicians and comedians dropped in to entertain us while Louis Theroux live streamed an inspiring interview, keeping spirits high and the atmosphere light. If you’d like to get on board with Innovation Festival 2022, you know where to find us. We’ve got plenty more events planned, so stay tuned.

Some of the Aiimi team at work

Our team supports independent businesses and sustainability

And it doesn’t end there. Our outdoor space is a work in progress. Boasting spectacular views over local parks and beyond, we’ve got big plans for luscious greenery, comfy seating areas, and zones for yoga and meditation. Sustainability and wellbeing are always top of mind for us. It’s not only going to be great space to chill out or catch up, but a place to harness energy for our office. All will be revealed in time.

Have you heard on the grapevine that we love to party? When it comes to social gatherings, we’re well up for inviting local talent in to entertain us. MK band Naked Next Door rocked an incredible set at our Christmas office party, and we’ve got no doubt you’ll be hearing a lot more from them soon.

Marshall’s jukebox sits proud in Aiimi's open social space

And when we’re going it alone, our Marshall jukebox sits proud in our open social space. Created down the road in Bletchley since 1966, it feels great to have a piece of iconic MK history in our community space filled with records chosen by our very own staff.

Even when we’re having fun, we keep sustainability and independent businesses front of mind. Where possible, we avoid plastics in favour of glass or canned containers, use reusable or compostable cutlery, and source local produce. Local MK caterer Lucky Spoon is a firm favourite for our events because its food is fresh and healthy, and it supplies bamboo cutlery and plates.

When it comes to our workspace, it’s always well stocked with ethically sourced goodies to fuel our team throughout the day. Think healthy fruit bowls, protein snacks, and B Corp-certified DA-SH Water, which uses ‘wonky’ fruit to make delicious hydrating drinks whilst reducing food waste. Talking of B Corp, we’re completing our own certification to show that we’re “meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency”, joining like-minded people in putting our social and environmental impact front and centre in all we do.

Aiimi's collection of in-house designed skateboards is another celebration of our local community

Carbon Neutral Plus and our footprint

Talking of social and environmental impacts, in 2020 we embarked on our journey to become Carbon Neutral Plus because sustaining our environment for new generations is a team effort. In the final throes of offsetting our carbon right back to our inception in 2013, we’re on the lookout to support local projects as part of this process, reducing our footprint. Partnering with MK organisations like Pooleyville is just one great example..

Some of our partners, such as i10, have also joined us on our carbon neutral journey, which is fabulous news. We really value working with like-minded people, so this February we’re hosting our very first Sustainability Panel, sharing ideas and brainstorming what more we can all do as individuals and as organisations. If you’d like some sustainability tips, touch base with our Aiimi Goes Green team. They’re always happy to help.

Inside Aiimi, Milton Keynes

As much as we love supporting the local community, when it comes to our carbon offsetting we also focus on global projects. We funded a borehole project in Uganda to offset our carbon for 2019, and we’re currently exploring new local and global opportunities to offset our carbon from 2013–18 and 2020–21.

As a tech company, we’ve got hardware that’s no longer suitable for our business purposes but does have plenty of life left in it. We donate our pre-loved laptops to third-party organisations where possible, and if our staff upgrade their home device, we can also donate replaced items to charity.

Plant Your Future is another charity that’s close to our heart. Supporting restoration of the Amazon Rainforest through community-led climate action and education, it’s a very worthy charity we’ve glad to be backing.

2022 promises to be an amazing year, and we’re delighted to be celebrating our second MK anniversary with you all.

Photography by Chris Henley.

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