Alan Dix is Director of the Computational Foundry, and the mission of the Foundry very much matches his own personal goals: to do world-class research that makes a difference to real people. In Alan's own career this has included seminal work in human–computer interaction (HCI), including one of the core textbooks in the area, foundational work on formal methods and the user interface, and the earliest academic papers on mobile interfaces, on privacy and on gender and ethnic bias in machine learning. In 2013 he was elected as a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy, one of the highest accolades for research in HCI. However, he has also been involved in a wide variety of practical commercial and non-commercial applications including agricultural spayers, submarine design, educational technology, intelligent internet interfaces, and technology for rural communities. His techniques are often eclectic, not least his one thousand mile walk around the perimeter of Wales that combined a technical investigation of technology at the margins, with more philosophical and artistic exploration. Not surprisingly he has also written and taught academically and practically about technical creativity.