“I love to help people bring their ideas to life more sustainably, so that, together, we can reduce our impact on nature”
From a young age, I knew I wanted to design & make stuff. I enjoy the combination of skills & knowledge required and the journey from thought to thing. Growing up in West Country villages, in a family that spent a lot of time camping & mountainering, I’ve been surrounded by beautiful nature and countryside that has seemed to become part of my soul. So as I’ve spent more time in manufacturing I can see the issues when these worlds collide.
After University I worked as a Draftsperson on large industrial projects, then became a Mechanical Design Engineer at AGD Systems – a SME that manufactures robust, reliable products for the Highways Agencies and international customers. Here in this small, successful R&D team I took products from an initial brief through ideation, prototyping, testing to onsite manufacture, plus ongoing support and upgrades. The full product lifecycle.
I also helped set-up, and became Chair of, the Environmental Working Group, which helped AGD achieve ISO14001 accreditation in just 7 months and build a culture that made being ‘Green’ an integral part of the company’s ethos. Back in 2009, Environmental issues were not as mainstream as today, but the company saw the requirements coming from Government and decided to get ahead of the curve. A successful strategy and one I think all companies should take.
Having made it my mission to learn all I could about Sustainability, in 2012 I went to the first workshop of The Great Recovery at a Cornish Tin Mine, to learn about the intriguing new concept of a “Circular Economy”. This is where I came to the conclusion that emulating, and working within, the cycles of Nature is the only logical way forward.
To see projects that Mark Young Design has been involved with, please visit the Case Studies page.Case Studies
The start of a new journey…
Mountain biking the UK –
From The Isles of Scilly to Shetland
In May 2016, after many successful years at AGD Systems, I felt it was finally the time to attempt 2 life-long ambitions: to start my own business, and, before that, to ride the length of the UK on a mountain bike. My aim was to ride off road as much as possible, raise money for charity, see family and friends and experience the best of the UK.
So, what did you learn?
Firstly, that they say the UK is a small country – well it’s not on a bike!
After 2 meandering months of lows & highs (physical & mental…), a referendum result that sent the country crazy, traversing every type of terrain and visits to cutting edge green innovators, I finally arrived at John O’Groats.
I stopped to rest on the beach…and I was confronted with the most polluted coastline of my whole trip. Plastic everywhere. It was genuinely depressing.
But the irony that my carbon fibre wheels, my plastic clothes and my plastic tent had helped me to get there, was not lost on me. Where would they end up?
So I pushed on, arriving in Orkney to find a place where schoolkids organised beach cleans. On islands that produced more renewable energy than they used. 3 months after I started, I finally arrived at Muckle Flugga – the top of the UK – with a very different perspective to the one I started with.
The whole trip gave me a new perspective on the problems, and the solutions, created since the Industrial Revolution (a kind of global Industrial Experiment), which started on these islands.
Since then, I have learnt many lessons about business, been co-director in a start-up, worked at a University, met many diverse and fascinating entrepreneurs, developed my own concepts around sustainability and helped many innovative local businesses bring their ideas to life.
It’s been quite a ride.