Richard Ng

Tech, education, startups, D&I

Looking for a 'professional bio?' There's a separate page for that.

I like to connect with people on a level beyond work.

In that spirit, my hope with this page is to strip away trappings of work, career and achievement - and to expose more about who I am, rather than what I do.

I've focused here on five different identities that I live, wear and perform. They don't define me in my entirety (duh), but they are perhaps interesting facets which aren't obvious from my work.


A family picture. I'm directly central in the bottom row, with my paternal grandparents above me.
A family picture. I'm directly central in the bottom row, with my paternal grandparents above me.

1. 'Third culture kid' 🌏

I was born in the UK and have lived my whole life here. My parents are both Malaysian Chinese, born in the state of Penang.

It's a weird dual-culture identity, sometimes - for example, the capital of Penang is called 'George Town', as an uncomfortable reminder of British colonialism.

(Is my history that of the colonisers or the colonised? A bit of both...?)

A university picture. I am shown: (a) in fancy dress as a friend (hence the facemask); and (b) overdue a haircut.
A university picture. I am shown: (a) in fancy dress as a friend (hence the facemask); and (b) overdue a haircut.

2. Bit of a dork 🤓

I grew up in a secluded bubble of educational privilege: private preparatory school, through to a state grammar, and then to Oxford.

It's made me into a bit of a dork.

Things I am dorky about include:

  • board games (e.g. Settlers of Catan)
  • musical theatre (fave: The Lion King)
  • ties, weirdly (I have a collection of ~40)
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A feature in The Times Magazine. I was interviewed - and styled up for a photoshoot...

3. Openly asexual 🏳️‍🌈

I'm a heteroromantic asexual, and have known this since I was about 17.

  1. Heteroromantic: as a cisgender man, I experience romantic attraction to women
  1. Asexual: I don't experience sexual attraction to people of any gender

I'm lucky - I'm read as straightforwardly heterosexual, and I don't generally experience any overt discrimination.

However... it can be an alienating, peculiar and isolating experience, because it's 'invisible', rare and not yet widely known.

So, I try to raise awareness of asexuality where I can. (Meta alert: this passage is one such way!)

An extract from The Times diary.
An extract from The Times diary. UKIP: The Musical was a show that I wrote, directed and produced.

4. Lover of audiences 🎭

I quite enjoy playing up to an audience - there is an attention-seeker in me.

This started with piano performances when I was younger (3x Finalist in Walsall Young Musician of the Year; 0x podium finish).

From there, it progressed to stage (e.g. UKIP: The Musical, pictured) and even national television - I've been on Channel 4's First Dates.

I like to think that through all of this I've collected quite a good collection of stories, which I also love telling e.g. at the pub.

(Please ask me to tell these stories some time!)

Photographed by the Seine. I'm told I have a recognisable 'thinking face'. This isn't it - it's me being a poser - but I think it's probably quite close?
Photographed by the Seine. I'm told I have a recognisable 'thinking face'. This isn't it - it's me being a poser - but I think it's probably quite close?

5. Deep navel-gazer 🤔

Getting lost in thoughts, ideas and reflections is one of my favourite activities.

I get a lot out of walking, thinking and reading. (But, sacrilege! I tend to opt for Kindle for the convenience.)

Non-work things I quite enjoy thinking about:

  • political philosophy - I currently lean communitarian (e.g. David Goodhart's Hand, Head, Heart)

Other identities, tribes and communities that I belong to:

  • Brummie(ish). No, Londoners, Birmingham is not 'the North' - it's called the West Midlands.
  • Vegan(ish). Really, I'm a vegetarian (mostly on animal welfare grounds) and aspiring vegan.
  • PPEist. Yes, I was one of those 16 year olds who declared "I want to be Prime Minister".
  • Pianist. I deeply regret not practising more when younger. (I got to Grade 7 and then quit.)
  • Brasenostril. I used to hate this term for Brasenose College alumni - but I've become rather fond of it...
  • Agnostic. I wouldn't even say I'm 'on the fence' - I just don't even think about religion.
  • Perfectionist. Or, perfectionist tendencies at leas.

Most of all, though, I find that I am the people whom I connect with and learn from about all parts of life.

I always love hearing the stories of other people and who they are - so if you have enjoyed my story, I'd love to hear yours!

Share with me: hi@richard.ng

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