Arguably the UK’s best known physicist, Professor Brian Cox’s books & TV programmes have been read and watched around the world & credited with making science engaging and accessible to millions. With his down-to-earth, likeable enthusiasm, Brian is frequently labelled a ‘rock star scientist’. Once the keyboard player for D:Ream, he has come a long way to his position as Professor of Particle Physics at Manchester University, a key part of the ATLAS & the CERN Large Hadron Collider projects.
Brian’s blockbuster TV shows include Wonders of the Universe, Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of Life, each looking at the fundamental science behind everything from stars and planets to atoms and microbiology. He has also presented
Stargazing, Space Hoppers, The Big Bang and numerous editions of Horizon. His books accompanying the Wonders of... series have become huge bestsellers, as did his co-authored title Why Does E=mc2?
From speaking at TED in the US to World World Economic Forums in Davos and China, Brian’s presentations engage, inform and entertain featuring awe-inspiring images from the depths of the universe as well as his trademark infectious enthusiasm for his subject. Alongside the story of life, the universe and everything, Brian argues that science can unite the world in an attempt to discover our shared origins. He also explains the work of CERN and their attempts to use cutting-edge technology and engineering to recreate events fractions of a nanosecond after the Big Bang “in the hope of revealing the underlying simplicity of the universe.”
At the age of 17, Samy co-founded Fonality, a unified communications company, which raised over $46 million in private funding. He is possibly best known for creating and releasing the fastest spreading virus of all time, the MySpace worm Samy and being subsequently raided for it by the United States Secret Service under the Patriot Act.
He is also known for creating SkyJack, a custom drone which hacks into any nearby Parrot drones allowing them to be controlled by its operator, and for creating the Evercookie, which appeared in a top-secret NSA document revealed by Edward Snowden and on the front page of The New York Times.
He is known for his work with The Wall Street Journal and his discovery of the illicit mobile phone tracking where the Apple iPhone, Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone mobile devices transmit GPS and Wi-Fi information to their parent companies. His mobile research led to a series of class-action lawsuits against the companies and a privacy hearing on Capitol Hill.
Tim currently presents 'Sunday Brunch' on Channel 4 and he also works as a consultant to BT Sports. His other recent credits include 'How To Be England Manager' on BBC3 and a Dispatches for Channel 4 'Sharing Mum and Dad' which aired in January 2013.
Tim has been presenting on live weekend TV for over 16 years and has over 1500 live hours under his belt. He first became well known for hosting and producing Sky Sports football show Soccer AM. He remained on the show for eleven years as it steadily grew in popularity and enjoyed cult viewing status - much down to Tim's dry wit and sense of humour. Following the success of the series, three hugely popular Soccer AM DVD's were released. Since Tim's departure fans of the show have repeatedly called for his return. He also hosted his own Sky One chat show 'Tim Lovejoy and the Allstars'.
In 2011, along with former British number one, Greg Rusedski and Olympic champion, Denise Lewis, Tim launched Allplay - a national campaign to help more people play tennis. The campaign was designed to make it easy for people to find a playing partner, a local court or coach and also provide tennis coaches and places to play with resources, including posters and leaflets, to promote the sport and attract more players. The campaign was created by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
Last year Tim fronted a huge bike ride for Right to Play where he cycled 300 miles over 3 days and this year he completed a team 5km Swimathon for Marie Curie.
Tim has also had a varied Radio career hosting music shows on XFM and Virgin. He was also the midweek host for 5Lives famous 606.
Built Roundwaves in 2012, a multi-channel YouTube network creating music to help people sleep, concentrate etc. Getting 5 million views a month with revenue from ads and itunes sales which put Amman in a good position to fund is 2nd startup Rormix.
Daniel Appelquist (https://twitter.com/torgo) is the Open Web Advocate for Telefónica (http://blog.digital.telefonica.com) where he plays a leadership role in web standards as co-chair the W3C Technical Architecture Group (http://w3.org/tag) as well as leading developer advocacy activities for FirefoxOS. He is a web and mobile industry veteran and a long time technology community and event organizer, having founded Mobile Monday London and a co-founder of the “Over the Air” (http://overtheair.org) hack day series.
The multi award winning Entrepreneur Polly Barnfield, OBE is working on a new project: Maybe, the decision making space between shopping and buying. Her vision is to make shopping more personal, more interactive, more fun and easier.
This new social ecommerce platform will reduce the pain points experienced when shoppers navigate the increasingly fragmented retail space. Maybe recognises that shopping is no longer simply an online or an offline experience. Maybe connects activity across multiple devices and both online and offline experiences. For retailers Maybe’s technology will provide deep customer insight, a single customer view and a hyper personalised marketing channel.
Craig Beattie is a senior analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice, and based in the firm's London office. He brings extensive experience in the use of enterprise architecture and applications architecture practices in the insurance industry, working with and within insurers.
Drew Benvie is founder of communications agency Battenhall. As one of the UK's most experienced practitioners in social media consultancy, Drew was named the industry's most respected individual by New Media Age, one of PR Week's 29 under 29, and he was first to write about social media on Wikipedia back in 2006. At Battenhall, Drew works with global brands on marketing, PR and technology campaigns. Still a new agency, Battenhall has been named agency of the future by the PRCA and the UK's best small agency by the UK Social Media Awards. For more head to www.battenhall.net
James produces detailed weekly Sci-Fi prop and costume build videos using 3D printing, electronics and also traditional methods. Pushing the boundaries of consumer grade 3D printers to build large structures and composite parts, many of the experimental processes are shown in full as they are created - leading to high viewer demand and industry blog commentary.
Martin Bryant is Editor-in-Chief at international technology news site The Next Web. He is also a member of Manchester Digital's council and an advisor to the SpaceportX work and events space in the city centre.
Asa is a creative technologist, civic hacker, DIY biologist, lapsed mathematician and co-founder of MadLab, a community space for science, technology and art based in Manchester, where he gets to tinker with new & emerging technologies in collaboration with others as part of its Speculative Futures programme.
MadLab (AKA Manchester Digital Laboratory) is one of the UK's most active creative community makerspaces, with more than 15,000 visitors a year and around 50 regular meet-ups covering everything from software, app & games development through to electronics, film-making, fiction writing, book clubs, DIY biotechnology, a space programme and plenty more besides.
Emma joined Big Brother Watch as Deputy Director in February 2012 and was appointed as Director in August 2014. Previously, she worked for political campaign and research groups. Emma has a MSc in Public Services Policy and Management from King’s College London. She has a particular interest in cyber security and cyber crime, which formed the topic of her dissertation. Emma frequently appears in the media commenting on issues relating to privacy, civil liberties and cyber security.
Ocuair Limited is a tech start-up exploring, designing, building and operating drones for commercial industrial applications. Ocuair pilots are qualified to fly drones manually and operate them in their ‘autonomous mode’, both day and night, carrying visual and non-visual sensors. Steve served nearly 30 years in the Army, primarily as a logistician and latterly within the MoD, where he managed equipment funding finance and most recently had a key role in the outsourcing competition of Defences’ logistics functions. With a Masters degree from Cranfield in Military Technology and an APM qualified practitioner in programme and risk management, he is very much focused on how drones can deliver unique and powerful results.
Tom is the founder of applied futurism practice, Book of the Future, where he works with a wide range of organisations to help them see, share and respond to a coherent vision of tomorrow. Clients include Daisy PLC, Enfield Borough Council, Institute of Leadership and Management, LG, NHS, Nikon and Sony Pictures.
Tom followed a degree in Mechatronic Engineering with 14 years in the tech industry, working with global brands such as BT, EE and IBM, and subsequently founded a series of technology-driven companies. Most recently he co-founded venture-backed big data analytics start-up CANDDi (http://canddi.com), of which he remains a shareholder.
Tom is a frequent presence on TV and radio, appearing across the BBC from the Breakfast sofa to World Business Report, and as a regular contributor to 5live’s Saturday Edition, Wake Up to Money and other shows. He is the resident futurist on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, and has shared his views on the future with XFM, Kiss, Kerrang and many other stations. He has also contributed to Stuff Magazine, MSN and other publications.
Shaf is Head of Operations at Fatsoma, the UK's fastest growing social ticketing platform. With over 1.4 million users and operating in 20 countries, Fatsoma have been described by the Huffington Post as one of the UK's top 5 tech firms to watch in 2015.
Shaf has a Computer Science degree from Salford University which was followed by five years at The Bank of New York Mellon as an Investment Accountant and eventually managing technology projects across the EMEA region. Prior to Fatsoma he launched and was CEO of SpaceportX, a coworking space for tech startups in the Northern Quarter. While at the BBC he launched the Digital Glastonbury app and iPlayer on Smart TV's. Shaf has previously managed projects for Code Computerlove a leading UK digital agency and at hotel booking site LateRooms.com. Having launched (and crashed & burned) his own startup he shares his startup war stories on his blog, at conferences and to anyone who will listen.
Nathan graduated from Reading University in 1996 and started his career working for Slough Estates plc. (1996-1998) and then Saville Gordon Estates plc. (1998-2001) working on a variety of development projects throughout the UK.
Tired of traditional corporate thinking, Nathan wanted a change. Because of its growing reputation for quality, and doing things differently, Nathan joined Urban Splash in January 2002.
Nathan is responsible for a number of Urban Splash’s landmark projects including;
· The Rotunda – conversion of the famous landmark into 234 apartments above Bullring Centre
· Fort Dunlop – conversion of the iconic 500,000 sq ft old tyre factory into a mixed use commercial scheme
· Royal William Yard, Plymouth – redevelopment of 450,000 sq ft of a grade 1 listed, historic dockyard into apartments, commercial and retail / leisure
· Chimney Pot Park, Salford – redevelopment of 349 neglected terrace houses into ‘upside-down houses’
Nathan is also responsible for much of Urban Splash’s transactional work including its 1.75million sq. ft. commercial portfolio and the groups land acquisitions and disposals.
Nathan is a Member of the RICS, is a keen fan of Nottingham Forest Football club and has an unhealthy love of Bungalows!
When Rob joined NCC Group in 2000 the company was making a loss. Since becoming chief executive in 2003, he completely transformed what was an ailing IT business into a global information assurance specialist, steering it through an MBO and floating it on the London Stock Exchange.Under Rob's leadership, NCC Group has gone from a loss-making business that was breaching banking covenants, to a global leader in the field with a market cap just shy of £0.5 billion. Rob has not only delivered consistent organic growth in revenue and profits since 2003, he has also carried out a huge series of brave and strategic acquisitions – 16 in total, including nine in the USA.Passionate about making the Internet safer, Rob put this into practice last year by launching the .trust generic top-level domain (gTLD) - the first domain to combine brand protection with the best practices in security to give peace of mind to both organisations and consumers alike.
Lesley is the first ever Chair of the DVLA and a Non-Executive Director of:
She is also a Consultant with Architelos, a RUSI Independent Review of UK Surveillance Member, a BCS PPAB Member and an ICANN ccNSO Councillor.
Lesley was previously the CEO of Nominet, the registry for .uk Domain Names. Under her leadership, Nominet became the trusted guardian of a vital part of the UK Internet, providing services relied upon by millions of businesses and consumers.
Brendan Dawes is a designer exploring the interaction of objects, people, technology and art using an eclectic mix of digital and analog materials, for himself and for clients around the globe. Not concerned with current trends or fashions, Brendan's work is instead born from universal themes such as beauty, simplicity and curiosity.
Gavin is Chairman and Creative Director of multidisciplinary design practice BDP. An architect by profession, Gavin joined BDP in 1988 having completed his studies at Manchester University. Over the years he has designed a series of innovative and award winning schemes across a wide range of sectors including the Abito micro-apartment projects, numerous education projects for both Schools & Universities, as well as major sports projects for Aintree Racecourse, Lancashire Country Cricket Club (The Point), MCFC ‘City Square and the MIF 11 ‘Music Boxes’ installation at Media City in Salford, constructed out of up-cycled shipping containers. He became Chairman of the Manchester Studio in 2008.
In recent years he has become increasingly involved in a series strategic multi-disciplinary initiatives related to the smart cities / future cities agenda, sustainability, and the challenge posed by climate change - becoming Chair of Manchester: A Certain Future Steering Group in 2013.
Chris Elsworthy is the CEO of product development company CEL and creator of Robox, the plug-and-print 3D printer which topped GQ’s 100 Best Things in the World list in January 2015. Prior to taking on the challenge of creating a 3D printer for the masses, Chris invented the POWER8workshop, the world’s first portable compact cordless workstation. The POWER8workshop was featured on Dragons’ Den (where the Dragons fought to invest in the business), and won the Federation of Hong Kong Industries’ Consumer Product of the Year Award. Prior to founding CEL with business partner Kenneth Tam in 2006, Chris spent time working for Grey Technology and VAX. Chris has a degree in Industrial Design from Leicester’s De Montfort University and is a recipient of a Royal Society of Arts Design Award.
Katie Gallagher is the Managing Director of Manchester Digital, she joined the organisation 3 years ago, transforming it from a volunteer association into a successful, sustainable trade body, relevant to a broad range of digital businesses.
The organisation has over 500 members and provides specialist support to its members covering everything from workspace, finance, conferences and talent development.? She has significant experience in both digital industries and economic development, ?having run The Sharp Project for a year? ?and worked as a digital industries specialist for an inward investment agency.
Part of her role at Manchester Digital is to lobby and comment on regional and national policy for the development of the digital industry in the North West. Much of her time is devoted to promoting and encouraging the development of digital skills at all levels and finding short, medium and long terms solutions to the current skills shortage.
Martin Geddes is a scholar of emerging telecoms business models and technologies, and a network performance scientist. He works with business partners on the commercial application of state-of-the-art techniques in network measurement, modelling and management. Geddes is formerly Strategy Director at BT's network division, and Chief Analyst and co-founder at Telco 2.0. He is currently writing a book called "The Internet is Just a Prototype". He holds an MA in Mathematics & Computation from the University of Oxford.
Chris is a partner at Pinsent Masons, an international law firm and market leader in the area of infrastructure, energy and construction projects.
Chris helps his clients formulate and implement procurement and construction strategies for major infrastructure and energy projects.
He has advised on some of the most high profile and prestigious projects procured in the UK. These include Europe's largest waste management / EfW deal – the £6bn Greater Manchester Waste Management project, Transport for London’s £15bn Crossrail programme, the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium for the Football Association and new-build nuclear power projects in the UK and overseas.
Chris writes for a number of publications and his musings can often be found in the pages of industry titles such as Construction News and Building Magazine, in addition to national titles including The Times. He has a particular interest in the use of technology and Building Information Modeling in the construction industry and regularly tweets on this subject and others under the Twitter handle @ChrisHallamLaw
Dr Guido Herrmann received the German degree “Diplom-Ingenieur der Elektrotechnik” (with highest honours) from the Technische Universität zu Berlin, Germany, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Leicester, UK, in 1997 and 2001, respectively. From 2001 to 2003, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Data Storage Institute in Singapore. From 2003 until 2005, he was a Research Associate, Fellow, and Lecturer at the University of Leicester. He joined the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, in March 2007. In August 2012, he was promoted to the position of a Reader in Control and Dynamics (Associate Professor). His research considers the development of novel control systems in application to robots, cars and nano-precision devices. He published more than 160 papers. He is editor of two books in robotics and author of one book on Networked Control Systems for auotmotive and aerospace systems. Dr Herrmann’s PhD-student Dr S Stefano Longo, first author of the latter book, received the IET 2011 Control PhD Award. Dr Herrmann was main advisor of seven Doctorate Degree holders and co-advisor of another six Doctorate Degree holders. His research portfolio as principal investigator amounts to £ ~1,000,000. He is a Fellow of the IET, Senior Member of the IEEE, a Technical Editor of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics and an Associate Editor of the International Journal on Social Robotics. He is leading the Nonlinear Robotics Control Group (NRCG) at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
Stuart Jackson is founder & CEO of UP – one of the UK’s most connected communications companies. UP works with some of Britain’s best-loved brands and most exciting start-ups, helping businesses of all shapes and sizes build awareness and grow reputations. Prior to launching UP, Stuart was Director of the Chief Executive's Office at EE, Britain’s largest digital communications company and the pioneers of 4G. He was the company’s Communications Director for five years, overseeing the PR & Communications strategy for the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile and the creation of EE. Prior to joining the communications industry, Stuart was a journalist working for a number of national newspapers including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Mirror.
Sarah has a history of nearly 20 years in digital, right from her original undergraduate degree and subsequent Masters qualification to her current role as Digital Director at the MS Society. With a variety of high profile client-side and consultancy roles, Sarah is a strategic practitioner and transformation specialist with experience across commercial, not for profit and publishing sectors.
Sarah was previously Oxfam's Head of Digital Strategy, judges for BIMA, DADI & the Econsultancy Digitals awards, runs her own women's networking event in Oxford, and has recently co-founded a business to support women in the digital industry.
Jamil Khalil is the Founder & CEO of Wakelet, a fast growing social sharing web platform, which helps people, artists, bands, sports clubs, businesses and academic institutions to organise their online information so it is easier to find and share.
Prior to Wakelet, Jamil was the Head of Sourcing and EADS co-ordination for Airbus' Value Chain Visibility (VCV) and Auto-ID programme and oversaw the company's Auto-ID Innovation Centre.
Over the past three years, in parallel to a demanding role at Airbus and with very little resources, Jamil has put together a passionate team from a LinkedIn appeal to build the Wakelet platform. He’s recently closed a £1M investment from investors across UK and the US including backing from the original publishers of Angry Birds.
Tim is CEO and co-founder of CANDDi, an innovative marketing platform that gives companies real insight into their online interactions. Tim combines technical know how with the vision and drive to transform the ways in which businesses can measure, engage and transact with their audiences. Tim studied Maths at the University of Cambridge and was an awarded an MBA by Manchester Business School.
David is an energetic entrepreneur with a strong track record of high value business development deal-making. Most recently, David was the Global Director for Automotive Telematics at Vodafone, following a career as International BD Director at INRIX (ITIS Holdings Plc,) where he was responsible for the sale and delivery of leading-edge technology projects to the likes of BMW, Toyota, Audi, Nissan and Hyundai-Kia. He spent 7 years working for Office of the CTO at HP, specifically on innovative projects incubated outside of the standard business-unit structure. He has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Manchester and an MBA from the Manchester Business School.
I’d like to say I’m an expert on Mobile; I develop strategies to deliver the future of mobile commerce and I write about all things mobile. Really I’m just fascinated by shopping and I believe mobile apps, commerce and payments are a fantastically interesting area to work in as they have the potential to entirely disrupt how we shop.
With 10+ years in mobile technology & strategy and a couple of mobile startups under my belt, I love to share new ideas and challenge the status quo.
In recent years I helped join up the future for loyalty, mobile and payments for some of the world’s biggest loyalty programmes (Nectar, Aeroplan). Personally, having become a parent recently I am fascinated by how mobile technology and wearables are set to so rapidly develop that how future generations do things may look completely alien to us.
I’ve worked with a lot of payment providers and retailers and I believe the path to mobile payment nirvana is unclear. Does Apple Pay really have the answer? Do we want to be rewarded with points, discounts or cash? Are we happy to give up privacy for convenience? And will cash make a come back?
Stuart Marks is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold four businesses over the past 25 years. They have spanned several sectors including CRM, location-based services and digital media. Every company applied innovation to challenge existing business models. Stuart has worked with a diverse and international customer-base including Sainsbury’s, British Airways, Unilever, Vodafone, BMW and various Government agencies across the world.
His most recent exit was ITIS Holdings plc in 2011. The company was listed on the LSE and was Europe’s leading provider of real time traffic information and connected car technology and was the first company to commercialise crowd sourced data from GPS devices and mobile phone networks. In 2012, Stuart set up the L Marks investment fund and L Marks now consolidates his many investments and manages corporate innovation and venture projects. Amongst these, L Marks manages and co invests in John Lewis’s JLAB retail technology incubator and DPD’s Last Mile Labs.
Katharine studied English and Classics at the University of Nottingham before embarking on a career in journalism. In 2007 she joined Daisy Group, a B2B IT and communications provider, and has been Head of Public Relations since 2009.
A runner-up in Insider’s Young Professional of the Year, Katharine is an advocate for digital skills and ‘Superfast Britain’, with a keen interest in the consumerisation of IT and the prospect of “anything as a service”.
Lisa is Head of the Financial Services and Payments programme at techUK, where she leads activity across fintech, payments and financial services. She joined in 2014 from the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation.
Lisa focuses on the role of technology in ensuring the future of the UK’s financial sector as a world leader. She is passionate about the ways in which technology can make financial services better serve the needs of its customers, more inclusive, and more transparent and resilient.
Lisa has an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
An award winning and dynamic creative entrepreneur with a pioneering approach to harnessing new technologies for the creative and retail sectors. A passionate advocate for disruptive design thinking with proven experience in identifying emerging technologies and their commercial potential within the fashion-tech space.
Over the past 8 years, Lynne has developed a unique global perspective on the luxury and retail industry’s inside approach to digital and has advised over 100 premium brands on emerging technologies. As part of her role as Co-Founder of Holition, her experience includes successfully bringing to market luxury Augmented Reality experiences, the worlds biggest Holographic fashion performance, and multiple in-store interactive experiences for the worlds leading brands.
Lynne has recently be appointed as Director of Digital Research at London College of Fashion and is currently working to establish a world leading facility to explore new horizons of technology across the fashion space.
Tom is co-founder of Formisimo, and analytics platform that analyses why visitors do not complete online forms and checkouts. Since co-founding one of Manchester most promising new start ups, he has spoken at Retail Week, Wired Retail, Manchester Digital Events and at the Manchester School of Business.
Tim is a futurist/coder with a strong pragmatic instinct, but currently spending his time with Parrots and drones for YoPet.us and other non-telephony uses of secure real-time communication especially where one or both ends of the 'line' are non-human.
Dr Daniel Prince is an associate director and business partnerships manager for Security Lancaster. He works closely with external organisations to develop collaborative research activities in security and protection science. this includes helping define business strategy and growth plans for companies both large and small.
Prior to this he was the course director for the multi-disciplinary MSc in Cyber Security teaching penetration testing, digital forensics and information security risk management.
Daniel completed his undergraduate studies in Computer Systems Engineering in 2000 and went onto complete his PhD in Programmable Ad Hoc Networks in 2004. During his PhD he extensively worked with Mobile IPv6, working on projects for Microsoft and Cisco to implement network stack prototypes.
Ulysses is a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester School of Architecture and was previously at the University of Nottingham and the University of East London. He works with a complexity science framework to address complex urban situations produced by the rapid rate of urbanisation today and the resulting extreme changes to the physical fabric of many cities. His research is interdisciplinary and overlaps with Future Cities, Smart Cities, Big Data and Open Government agendas. Ulysses’ current research focuses on how to design and manage future cities through co-productive computational tools/platforms based around real time geo-spatial systems. He is also Director of Softgrid Limited a research, design and consultation practice, specialising in city planning, urban regeneration, computational methodologies and integrated approaches to sustainability.
Noel Sharkey BA PhD DSc FIET FBCS CITP FRIN FRSA Emeritus Professor of AI and Robotics and Professor of Public Engagement at the University of Sheffield (Department of Computer Science) and journal editor. He has held a number of research and teaching positions in the UK (Essex, Exeter, Sheffield) and the USA (Yale, Stanford). Noel has moved freely across academic disciplines, lecturing in departments of engineering, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, artificial intelligence, computer science, robotics, ethics and law. He holds a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology (Exeter), an honorary Doctorate of Science (UU), and an honorary doctorate in Information Science (Skovde). He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and Chartered information technology professional. Noel is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the British Computer Society, the Royal Institute of Navigation, the Royal Society of Arts and is a member of both the Experimental Psychology Society and Equity (the actors union) for his work on popular robot TV shows.
Noel is well known for his early work on many aspects of neural computing, machine learning and genetic algorithms. As well as writing more that 150 academic articles, he also writes for national newspapers and magazines and has created thrilling robotics museum exhibitions and mechanical art installations. As holder of the EPSRC Senior Media Fellowship (2004-2010) he engaged with the public about science and engineering issues through many TV appearances and in radio and news interviews. Noel has been the architect for a number of large-scale robotics exhibitions for museums and has run robotics and AI contests for young people from 26 countries including the Chinese Creative Robotics Contest and the Egyptian Schools AI and Robotics competition. He is a joint team holder of the Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke medal for the promotion of engineering.
Noel's core research since 2006 has been on ethical/legal/human rights issues in application of robotics and AI in areas such as the military, child care, elder care, policing, autonomous transport, robot crime, medicine/surgery, border control, sex and civil surveillance. At present Noel is mainly engaged in advocacy about the ethical, legal and technical aspects of lethal autonomous weapons systems (AKA Killer Robots). He travels the world to talk to the military, NATO, policy makers, academics and other groupings such as the International Committee of the Red Cross. He was Leverhulme Research Fellow on the ethical and technical appraisal of robots on the Battlefield (2010-2012) and is a co-founder and chairman elect of the NGO: International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC).
Harshitha is product manger in Connected Homes – Start up business unit of British Gas set up for disruptive innovation, using Lean principles to deliver home automation/ management products that bring internet of things to life.
She is experienced in managing products in digital arena, has management and technical consultancy background in creating a compelling product strategy, business system/operational changes in energy, banking and retail sectors.
Harshitha has Engineering degree in computer science and MBA from University of Nottingham.
Rob Skinner is Director of PR, UK & Ireland at PayPal. He joined PayPal in 2008, leading communications for PayPal’s drive into mobile and in-store payments. He is a member of the company’s UK management team.
Rob regularly appears at events and in broadcast interviews about the future of money and mobile payments.
Rob joined PayPal from HSBC, where he was head of PR for first direct, Britain’s favourite bank, and M&S Money. He previously worked for Nationwide Building Society and insurance companies Eagle Star and RSA.
Freya studied Media and Communications before going to work in London for an advertising company. She bought her first Bitcoin in Nov 2013 and began podcasting in early 2014 to give a voice to the Bitcoin community in the UK. She now works exclusively as a marketeer for Bitcoin start ups, acknowledging the technology behind Bitcoin as one of the most profound innovations of our time.
Vin Sumner founded and runs Clicks and Links Ltd ( www.clicksandlinks.com ) an company that that today focuses on using game and other innovative technology to provide immersive visual experiences in areas such as learning and training , the built environment and smart cities.
Vin previously led work with Manchester, Eurocities and the European Commission on how the innovative use of ICT can help reduce a City’s carbon footprint. This has resulted in over 43 European Cities adopting the Green Digital Charter for Cities. ( www.greendigitalcharter.eu ).
In the context of the current Future and Smart Cities agenda, Vin is looking at how games technology might be applied to help both solve city challenges and improve citizen engagement. Vin has led Clicks and Links contribution on visualisation to both the CityZen project for the Cities of Amsterdam and Grenoble and the recently awarded Triangulum Lighthouse project with Manchester. Vin was a member of the Manchester Smart City delegation that visited China in autumn 2014.
Prior to founding Clicks and Links in 2000, Vin held senior roles in both Logica and Sema Group ( now ATOS) .
Gary Turner has been Xero's managing director in the United Kingdom for six years during which time the cloud accounting software vendor has grown to more over 400,000 customers and 1,000 staff globally. Prior to heading up Xero UK, Turner held executive positions at Microsoft and Pegasus Software.
Nicky is CEO of BJL Group. A leading independent agency, BJL are listed in Campaign’s top 50 agencies and work with a diverse range of clients from well established brands including Subaru, Asda, Ronseal, Swinton, Lambrini and Hallmark, as well as innovative start-up brands such as Pockit, Kovert and Beautiful Destinations.
They have a reputation for building strategic solutions and brands, and the team of 85 is spread across two locations – Manchester and London (Shoreditch).
Nicky has a long-standing career in advertising and marketing and is an active supporter of industry initiatives. She is a member of the IPA Council, Deputy Chair of Tribe Global and is actively involved with NABS (the industry charity)
Annina Verkkomäki is the founder of OMUUS Ltd., a CMF agency specializing in wearable technology and consumer electronics design. Annina has designed many of Nokia’s beloved mobile phones during her 13 year career working for Nokia Design. Antti Kujala, Head of Design at Suunto Ltd. Manufacturer of premium dive computers, heart rate monitors and outdoor sports instruments has said about her 'Annina is a multi-talented design professional and entrepreneur, knowing color and material design deeply while thoroughly understanding the strategic needs of the client. Working with her and Omuus, one will receive highest standard professional delivery ranging from trend insight, design strategy and excellent visualizations all the way to operative execution.’ Read more about her expertise at www.omuus.blogspot.com.
I help businesses like Nike; Dyson; TUI; B&Q; Barclays; John Lewis; Mondelez, Marks & Spencer; RBS; Waitrose & Nivea answer the question:
“How do you get the right message and product to the right customer at the right time, in the right place, in the right way?”
And I help those businesses respond to the customer demand:
“Don’t just tell me about your product – show me the quickest way to the product, take me there to buy it and then get it to me as soon as possible.”
These shopper requirements - context, speed, relevance, convenience – are making all kinds of businesses push at the boundaries of what’s possible, demanding that digital and physical work together in new ways. This ‘know me/serve me here and now’ mindset means that we need new value propositions which are faster to market, contextually relevant and creating more value in a tougher competitive environment. If you need to be ‘In The Moment’ with your customer then you need to understand – not just know – more about them to anticipate their next move and deliver the most relevant service at the right time. That’s more than insight – that’s the new business model.
Although I’ve been strategising my head off for 15 years across Retail, FMCG, Financial Services & education technology, I don’t fit into the ‘strategy & planning’ box. I don’t draw diagrams or pyramids. I do talk like a human being, putting myself in the shoes of both the shopper trying to perform a task and the business colleague trying to deliver value across the organisation. This is what I’ve been doing at AKQA as part of the Retail Practice, working across everything from campaigns to connected products to customer service to payments to near future commerce
Rob has been working in the digital industry around the North West for the last decade. Through Latitude's ascendancy and eventual sale, on to the establishment of MediaCom's award winning iLab in Manchester and now as Director of Independent SEO and Content Specialist Tecmark. He has established and grown multiple teams in the Manchester area so knows the challenges it brings. He has spoken at digital events across the country and internationally, written for publications such as the Guardian and appeared on the BBC on the subject of digital marketing.
Jonathan co-founded Building Blocks digital agency in 2007, having previously started his career as a developer. In the past eight years, Building Blocks has grown rapidly and now operates globally from its offices in Europe and North America. The agency has helped build the digital capabilities of some of the world’s largest organisations, including Guinness World Records, GE Lighting, Goodyear and Regus. Jonathan’s particular specialism, is helping international organisations use digital technologies to become more efficient and effective on a global scale.
Steve Wood is Head of the ICO’s Policy Delivery department. He is responsible for overseeing the development the ICO’s codes of practice, guidance, technology policy and research related to Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation. This includes sign-off responsibility for key FOI decision notices. Previously he was Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for FOI Policy at the ICO. Before joining the ICO Steve was a Senior Lecturer in Information Management at Liverpool John Moores University.
Alon Zadka is a senior innovation lead at Lloyds Banking Group, where he looks after end-to-end delivery of pilots and experiments. Alon’s team’s remit is to identify strategic opportunities and customer pain-points, build and deliver digital propositions aimed at addressing them, and test and capture the results for potential roadmap consideration. Lloyds Banking Group’s innovation team has delivered c.30 experiments and pilots in 2014, and are looking to grow this number this year. Alon also acts as a mentor to several startups in the fintech space, through several accelerator programmes.
Prior to this Alon was working as a strategy consultant for OC&C Strategy Consultants, where he helped clients from multiple sectors solve pressing business problems and identify new opportunities. Alon has also spent several years in the army.