Kathryn Parsons

Kathryn Parsons (1982 - ) is a British tech entrepreneur, known for Decoded, a London-based tech startup, founded on the belief that technology is for everyone: it aims to increase digital literacy through programs such as Code in a Day. Kathryn grew up in Highgate, and continues to live there. Interested in language and linguistics, she received her BA in Classics at Downing College in Cambridge in 2003. In 2004 she worked as the UK head of channel planning for Ogilvy, a NYC based advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, until she left to co-found Scarlett Mark, another advertising agency, but one which applies digital technology to branding (ie, “Cherry Girl” the virtual/real-world character on MTV). In 2011, she co-founded Decoded with Alasdair Blackwell, Steve Henry, and Richard Peters, and conducted their first workshop 6 months later. Decoded claims to train novice participants to code in one single day. Their aim is to “simpify and accelerate that learning experience”, as Parsons puts it – to decode the code. They have opened up branches in NYC, Sydney, as well as smaller “pop-up” locations in more than 30 cities. Decoded has taught over 100,000 people so far. Programs include Data in a Day, Hacker in a Day, Innovation in a Day, Tech in a Day, and CodeEd in a Day (for teachers). She says “Digital enlightenment is empowering. I speak Japanese, French, Italian and Mandarin – to me, coding is just another language.” and ‘Why be a consumer when you could be a creator?’