Wingham Rowan is a former British television journalist and now a self-identified “policy entrepreneur.”
His television career started as host of Rowan’s Report, a 1980s children’s series exploring the lives of unique youngsters. He later moved into producing live current affairs and politics programming as well as documentaries.
In 1995, he began producing and hosting a late-night weekly television series about the internet. Over its five-year run, he tracked the emergence of online technologies and became fascinated by their potential for economic inclusion.
Working with experts assembled by the London, UK-based think tank Demos, Wingham developed ideas about new kinds of markets for the economic base. This led to two books: Guaranteed Electronic Markets: The Backbone of a Twenty-first Century Economy (Demos 1997) and Net Benefit: Guaranteed Electronic Markets: The Ultimate Potential of Online Trade (Palgrave Macmillan 1999).
The UK government funded a first iteration of the technologies outlined in Wingham’s books. He led that initiative and now runs the Modern Markets for All non-profit company that emerged as a result. He is also senior adviser to the team launching the same market platform in the United States. Based at the public workforce board for Long Beach, California, the market launched in 2020 and is expanding with public funding in 2021. The program won the United States Conference of Mayors prize for best economic development initiative and was profiled in a March 2021 New Yorker article by Nick Romeo, “Should Gig Work Be Government-Run?”