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Every year sees change. But this year broke all records with one huge catapult into an uncertain future. So what can the experiences of the past 12 months tell us about what’s next? From climate change to Black Lives Matter to Covid-19, how do we take the lessons of now and use them to accelerate forward? And how can digital drive that acceleration?
In Lessons for the Future, we explored the tech that’s powering digital transformation at pace. We looked at digital’s report card in the light of data bias and security slips. We shone a spotlight on the ways digital is innovating and empowering. We looked at the role we can all play in advancing economic growth. And we meet the entrepreneurs and leaders taking positive action by learning the lessons of the past. Meet our speakers.
Launching this year’s BIMA Conference, Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley will reflect on what a lifetime of innovation and pioneering (in tech, in business, in quality and equality) has taught her about how we should approach what happens next.
Our first lesson for the future is to understand how to recognise opportunities for what they are, and how to innovate to seize them.
Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley CH, age 86, is a workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist. www.steveshirley.com.
Her life story begins with her 1939 arrival in Britain as an unaccompanied Kindertransport refugee. In 1962, she started a software house, Freelance Programmers, that pioneered new work practices and changed the position of professional women, especially in hi-tech. She went on to create a global business and a personal fortune shared with her colleagues; she made 70 of her staff millionaires at no cost to anyone, but herself.
Since retiring in 1993, her focus has been increasingly on philanthropy based on her strong belief in giving back to society. In 2009/10 she served as the UK’s first ever national Ambassador for Philanthropy. Her charitable Shirley Foundation has initiated and funded a number of projects that are pioneering by nature and strategic in impact, totally £67m to date. The focus is on IT and her late son’s disorder of autism.
Her memoir Let It Go was published in 2012 www.let-it-go.co.uk. It has sold 27,000 copies and Penguin re-published in April 2019 with a view to distributing it worldwide – the first translated version is launch in Germany in July 2020. A big screen film is also in the making by The Artists Partnership, with Producer Damian Jones and Director Haifaa al-Mansour. The shortlist for an actress to play Dame Stephanie includes Claire Foy and Emily Blunt. Filming should start in the next two years.
Dame Stephanie has been much honoured. In 2013, she was named by Woman’s Hour as one of the 100 most powerful women in Britain. In 2014, the Science Council listed her as one of the Top 100 practising scientists in the UK. In 2015, Dame Stephanie was given the Women of the Year Special Award. Her TED Talk in 2015 was to a standing ovation from more than a thousand of the world’s most recognised technical entrepreneurs, thinkers, creators and doers. It has received 2.1m views. In 2017, Dame Stephanie received a Companion of Honour, one of only 65 people worldwide to receive such a recognition.
Jamie Bartlett is the author of three books: The People Vs Tech (2018) about data and democracies (Winner of the 2019 Transmission Prize), Radicals (2017) about political outsiders and the best-selling The Dark Net (2014) about internet subcultures. His books have been translated into 15 languages. He founded the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he specialised in online social movements and using machine learning to study the impact of technology on society. He is a regular commentator on national and international media outlets, and a regular writer on technology for The Spectator.
Bartlett’s TED talk ‘How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream’ has been watched almost 5 million times. His main topics are cyber security and privacy online, new political movements, social media research and analysis, and internet cultures.
In 2017, Jamie Bartlett presented the two-part BBC TWO documentary series The Secrets of Silicon Valley about how technology was changing politics and society, including Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 US election. In 2019 he wrote and presented the hit BBC podcast series ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’ which exposed the biggest ever cryptocurrency.
Dr. Margaret Heffernan produced programmes for the BBC for 13 years. She then moved to the US where she spearheaded multimedia productions for Intuit, The Learning Company and Standard&Poors. She was Chief Executive of InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and then iCast Corporation, was named one of the “Top 25” by Streaming Media magazine and one of the “Top 100 Media Executives” by The Hollywood Reporter.
The author of six books, Margaret’s third book, Willful Blindness : Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril was named one of the most important business books of the decade by the Financial Times. In 2015, she was awarded the Transmission Prize for A Bigger Prize: Why Competition isn’t Everything and How We Do Better, described as “meticulously researched…engagingly written…universally relevant and hard to fault.” Her TED talks have been seen by over twelve million people and in 2015 TED published Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes. Her most recent book, Uncharted: How to map the future was published in 2020. It quickly became a bestseller and was nominated for the Financial Times Best Business Book award. She is a Professor of Practice at the University of Bath, Lead Faculty for the Forward Institute’s Responsible Leadership Programme and, through Merryck & Co., mentors CEOs and senior executives of major global organizations. She chairs the boards of DACS and FilmBath and is a Trustee of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.
Ronan is MD of Google UK & Ireland. Prior to this he was VP of Google EMEA and Head of Google’s operations in Ireland. Ronan joined Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin in 2005. Since then he has focused on growing the company’s online advertising sales across EMEA and also launched several other Google products and initiatives in the region.
A graduate in electronic engineering at University College Dublin, Ronan began his career with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation at their Information Storage Products division in Japan. He went on to spend nine years in Japan working in consulting and technology and returned to Ireland in 2001 to work in private equity before joining Google.
Cori is the co-founder and Director of Foxglove, a new non-profit that exists to make tech fair for us all. She previously directed the national security team at Reprieve and has extensive experience in litigation, investigation and public advocacy.
Foxglove is a team of lawyers, technology experts, and communications specialists who think governments and big tech companies are misusing digital technology, and that this is harming the rest of us. Foxglove exists to fix this, to stand up for a future where technology is used to benefit everyone, not just the rich and powerful.
In its earliest cases, Foxglove has forced disclosure of secret contracts between tech giants and the NHS. It put a stop to a Home Office’s racist ‘visa streaming algorithm’. It also helped make grading fair for every student in the UK by challenging the Ofqual algorithm. It is currently working across Europe, helping tech workers organise for better conditions.
Trevor Johnson – Head of Marketing, Global Business Solutions EU
Trevor is the Head of Marketing, Global Business Solutions for Europe, leading a function that consists of Creative Lab, B2B Marketing and Comms, Brand Strategy and Creator Monetisation. The team will have people sitting in London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Milan and Madrid.
Trevor joined TikTok from Facebook / Instagram, which he joined in 2008 as one of Facebook’s first employees outside of the US. He most recently held the role of Director of Instagram, EMEA, and prior to this held a number of senior global strategic and partnership roles during his Facebook career (which included establishing 14 Facebook offices across the globe, then moving to Facebook’s Global Agency Partnerships function, based in NYC, to manage the strategic global relationships between Facebook and some of its large media and creative agency partners).
Trevor plays an active role in championing diversity and inclusion within the advertising industry, holding advisory roles in a number of organisations in the D&I sector. He is also the Chairman of the board of Trustees of the Ideas Foundation, a UK based charity.
Recently appointed as the NHSX CIO for health and social care across England. Her key priorities are to provide a clear vision for ‘What Good digital transformation Looks Like’ for the nation; support in the best way possible the levelling-up of digital foundations for front-line organisations; suring up local board’s ownership of digital transformation; building a digitally confident workforce to provide new and meaningful ways to empower citizens health and well-being through the use of technology and data. She brings 20 years of healthcare sector experience, her breadth and wealth of knowledge makes her an authentic leader that has proven to deliver digital innovation even in the most challenging of circumstances. She’s passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion and a big supporter of the shuri network and stemettes and also actively mentors up and coming talent.
Title: Step behind the scenes at NASA to discover how scientists, photographers and animators are collaborating to produce – and share – new visualizations of space.
Benedict Evans has been analysing technology trends and strategies since the dot com bubble. He has worked in equity research, media and telecoms strategy, consulting, and venture capital, most recently at Andreessen Horowitz in Silicon Valley. He is now a venture partner at Mosaic Ventures in London, and a widely followed independent analyst.
We have a very special, virtual iteration of our Immersive Showcase at this year’s BIMA Conference. Curated by BIMA’s Immersive Council it will highlight some of the cutting edge XR projects that are at the forefront of innovation. You’ll see some of the council’s best & brightest including Preloaded, Accenture & Dimension showing off their projects from some of the world’s leading brands & businesses including the BBC, NHS and more.
All companies will be featured in our expo and will be available to talk through their various projects.