Digital Digital inclusion Digital skills

Greater Manchester digital sector well represented at upcoming festival

  • Greater Manchester's cyber ecosystem well represented at Digital City Festival
  • Digital inclusion and a future digital workforce also covered
  • New GMCA Lead for for Digital, Education, Skills, Work and Apprenticeships Cllr Bev Craig to speak

Once again, Digital City Festival will gather thought-leaders from around the world to address the key challenges facing people, businesses and governments as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, when it returns to Greater Manchester between 7th to 11th March 2022.

The combined authority's digital portfolio team and partners are ensuring the digital sector is well represented and showcased at the festival, bringing several events to the Digital City Festival agenda.

On Monday 7th March, following the official launch of the festival, HOST, along with the Greater Manchester Cyber Security Advisory Group and other key partners will bring the first Cyber Summit to the North West.

A variety of panels, workshop masterclasses and networking opportunities will take place throughout the week, showcasing how Greater Manchester is rapidly becoming a UK and European centre for cyber and digital ethics, trust and security. The day will celebrate  Greater Manchester’s outstanding cyber security capabilities and the inclusive economic growth that this brings to the digital-city region.

Keeping on the theme of cyber, Greater Manchester Combined Authority brings “Greater Manchester - a global digital influence in cyber” to  the main stage during the Digital Festival Expo. Taking place on Wednesday 9th March 2022, 1.00pm – 1.45pm, during day one of the Digital City Expo, the session will explore the steps being taken by Greater Manchester to position itself at the epicentre of cyber security in the UK and internationally.

The region is already recognised as a centre for cyber and digital ethics, trust and security and is home to the UK’s national security agency GCHQ and the recent announcement of a new North West based home for the National Cyber Force only cements the region’s position as the cyber centre of the UK.

Speakers include Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester Council and GMCA Lead for Digital, Education, Skills, Work and Apprenticeships, Victoria Knight, Strategic Campaigns Director at BAE systems and Co-Chair at Greater Manchester Cyber Security Advisory Group, Detective Superintendent Neil Jones, Managing Director, North West Cyber Resilience Centre, Ruby Motabhoy, Innovation Lead at Plexal and Professor Emma Barrett, Professor of Psychology, Security, and Trust at the University of Manchester and Director at SPRITE+.

On Tuesday 8th March, GMCA will also be hosting two fringe events:

  1. Collaborating to get Greater Manchester residents online 9.00am - 10.30am, this event will demonstrate how Greater Manchester organisations are collaborating to fix the digital divide, showcasing local initiatives already underway and demonstrating how attendees can support this work. In Greater Manchester we're dedicated to becoming a world leading digital city region, to achieve this we know we must make a big commitment to fixing the digital divide. As many as 1.2m residents in Greater Manchester could be excluded in some way from accessing the benefits digital brings.

    A lack of digital access and skills can have huge negative impact on a person’s life, leading to increased loneliness and social isolation, less access to jobs and education, which both in turn are associated with poorer health outcomes, lower life expectancy and financial exclusion. Tristia Harrison, CEO, TalkTalk will welcome attendees to the event before handing over to Adam Micklethwaite, Director of Partnerships and Fundraising, Good Things Foundation. Other speakers include Daniel Kasmir, Chief People and Procurement Officer, TalkTalk, Jason King, Senior Team Leader, Salford Foundation, Nick Horne, Chief Executive, Wythenshawe Community Housing and Sherelle Fairweather, Digital and Social Inclusion Lead, Manchester City Council.

  2. Building Greater Manchester’s future digital workforce-12.30pm - 2.30pm. The event will share current digital talent development regionally and skills provision available with an emphasis on how businesses can benefit from utilising these schemes. It will also take a look at the  how we see the future digital workforces developing. Speakers will forecast key areas of demand, new technical roles, high priority skills, and the latest digital trends in sectors. Event attendees can hear how GM businesses can attract, recruit, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. As well as how businesses can consider accessibility needs, inspire people to take up careers in tech, and provide skills training needed to do this.

    Event speakers will include Beckie Taylor, CEO, Tech Returner, Emma Grant, Head of Talent & Skills, Manchester Digital, Gunnar Menzel, Chief Technology Officer, Capgemini, Lee Jones, Public Sector Digital Skills Lead UK, Microsoft and Liz Scott, Head of Entrepreneur Engagement, Tech Nation demonstrating the depth and breadth of work and skills here in Greater Manchester.

Visit the Digital City Festival website to find out more via the What's On section including how to book.

Article Published: 23/02/2022 14:13 PM