Space X executive quits position to fight Trump and Brexit 'nightmare'

Mr Trump’s victory indicates 'a growing gulf in understanding, empathy and policy', says Dex Torricke-Barton 

Heather Saul
Thursday 17 November 2016 12:10
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Dex Torricke-Barton says he plans to work at the grassroots level to address ‘growing social divides’
Dex Torricke-Barton says he plans to work at the grassroots level to address ‘growing social divides’

A British Space X executive has announced his decision to quit his “dream job” in the aerospace company in order to tackle deepening divisions created by the US election.

Dex Torricke-Barton is leaving his communications job at Space X after six months to dedicate himself to engendering social change following the “huge setback” that was Donald Trump’s victory.

Mr Torricke-Barton, from London, said he initially plans to spend time working at a grassroots level “to help address the deep and growing social divides in this country” while also collaborating with Silicon Valley tech innovators.

He told CNN Money his only motivation for leaving his position is “to go and fight a nightmare: a future where the world is less open, less compassionate, more closed”. His new project is called Onwards.

Mr Torricke-Barton’s father was a refugee from Burma. In a blog post outlining his reasons for leaving, he criticised the anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and anti-women rhetoric employed by Mr Trump throughout his bruising campaign.

“More than 65 million people are refugees, more than at any point in history. Entire nations have been destroyed in war as the world has stood by. Nationalist movements are ascending across Europe. Brexit, a British tragedy, is in danger of becoming a general European failure.

“As an immigrant and the son of a refugee, and as someone dedicated to advancing the interests of humanity, I don’t want to watch while the world slips backwards. So I’m choosing to go and make whatever contribution I can – no matter how small – toward making the change we need: standing up for openness, compassion and sound global leadership.”

He said Mr Trump’s victory indicated “a growing gulf in understanding, empathy and policy” and a sign of the division between elites and the working and middle classes.

The President-elect has said he plans to deport up to three million immigrants 

“After Brexit, after Mr Trump, after the refugee crisis and all the wars and terror of the last decade, I have to try and answer this call,” his post went on. “Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to take this step. Onwards.”

Mr Torricke-Barton has also worked as Google’s executive speech writer and as Facebook’s Executive Communications Manager. His former Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said he was “excited” to see the outcome of Mr Torricke-Barton’s work.

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