March 3rd 2021 | London


Alison Pritchard, Director General (interim), Government Digital Service (GDS) - Keynote

Alison is the Director General (interim) of the Government Digital Service (GDS).  Prior to this, Alison was GDS’s Director of EU Exit and Transformation. She joined GDS in 2018 from the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs where she was Director of Transformation. 

Alison joined the Civil Service in 1987. She has worked in departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD), HM Treasury and Home Office. During her time at the MoD, Alison lived in Saudi Arabia for 5 years. 

Outside of government, Alison has worked for an IT engineering business and a multi-faith research body supporting counter-radicalisation. 

Elizabeth Foote, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company - Keynote

Elizabeth is an Associate Partner in McKinsey’s London office, where she serves public and private sector clients on strategy, workforce and organisational transformations. She leads our UK future of work and reskilling research, working closely with the McKinsey Global Institute. Prior to McKinsey, Elizabeth was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard, LSE and the Singapore Institute of Management. She holds a PhD in Economics from the LSE, an MPhil from Oxford University, and a BA (Hons) in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University.

Tom Smith, Managing Director, Data Science Campus, Office for National Statistics (ONS) - Keynote

Tom is Managing Director at the Data Science Campus, joining the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2017. He was co-founder and, prior to joining ONS, chief executive of Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI), a research and data ‘spin-out’ company from the University of Oxford.

Tom has more than 20 years’ experience using data and analysis to improve public services. Working at the intersection of government, academia and industry, he has led data & research projects with hundreds of local and national public and community sector organisations, including the government’s English Indices of Deprivation. His primary research interests are in using data science to improve public services, machine learning, and assessing non-traditional data sources to improve our understanding of society and the economy.

A life-long data addict, Tom has a PhD in computational neuroscience, evolving neural networks for robot control (Sussex, 2002), an MSc in knowledge-based systems (Sussex, 1997), and MA in theoretical physics (Cambridge, 1994). He is vice-chair of the Royal Statistical Society Official Statistics section, and previously chair of the Environment Agency Data Advisory Group, and a member of the Open Data User Group ministerial advisory group to Cabinet Office. He has also acted as an external advisor on opening-up, sharing and using data for multiple government departments.

Sam Trendall, Editor, PublicTechnology - Conference Chair

Sam is editor of PublicTechnology, the UK’s leading source of daily news and analysis for anyone interested in how the public sector is using technology and digital platforms to transform citizen services. Sam has been a technology journalist for over 10 years and worked for various IT and business publications before joining PublicTechnology in June 2017.   

Vinous Ali, Associate Director for Policy, techUK

Vinous oversees techUK’s work developing and delivering on policies to make the UK the best place to start and scale tech businesses as well as examining longer term issues such as the future of work.

She is currently undertaking a fellowship at Cambridge University’s Centre for Science looking at the impact of the future of work on the economy and society.

Prior to joining techUK Vinous was an Adviser on Home Affairs and Justice in the UK Parliament and previously worked in European Union delegations in Morocco and Thailand where she explored issues such as Human Rights and Democratisation.

Marika Beckford, Digital Skills Officer, West Midlands Combined Authority

Marika has been involved in the creative and digital sector throughout her career history, as an artist, practitioner, project manager and enterprise leader. She is aware of the challenges that the digital skills gap presents across industries and the UK economy and having experienced some of the challenges personally she is a passionate advocate to champion digital skills development and technology for civic and social good.

In her current role as the Digital Skills Officer and Regional Co-ordinator for the WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority) & DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport) she uses my experience and skills to connect industry to education, supporting local and national digital skills campaigns in alignment with the regional  digital skills strategy and developing integral partnerships and opportunities across the region.

She is also a Silicon Canal Tech Leader helping to shape Birmingham's thriving tech community and the creator of the Digital Shapers Blog

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London

Appointed in 2017 as London's first Chief Digital Officer, Theo leads on London-wide digital transformation, data and smart city initiatives at City Hall. His role involves strategic leadership on the digital transformation agenda for London's public services, across the GLA group and the wider public sector; convening on behalf of the Mayor, across London local government to support the take-up of innovative, technology, and data-led approaches to service delivery and public engagement; and developing and promoting partnership between the public, private and community sectors to enable and support the development of new public service-oriented technology and innovation.

The new Smarter London Together Roadmap launched by Mayor Sadiq Khan in June 2018, is supporting the collective capabilities of the city through citizen-centred design, data-sharing, smart infrastructure, digital skills and collaboration

Gary Coyle, Head of Engagement, Local Digital Skills Partnership, Department for Digital, Culture, Media, Sport (DCMS)

Gary heads up the Local Digital Skills Partnership policy area for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). He is responsible for developing strong and effective partnerships at both a regional and national level, to help support the delivery of innovative digital skills programmes to tackle some of the regional skills challenges across the UK.

Previously, Gary was Head of Corporate Partnerships for Go ON UK, a digital skills charity, chaired by Baroness Martha Lane Fox. He has also worked for many years in the start-up sector, launching several start-ups himself, but also supporting others to develop.

Matt Eason, Lead Developer, Fivium Digital

Matt, Head of Design & Accessibility at Fivium Digital, has over 10 years’ experience building accessible digital services for central and local government. He’s worked in areas including export licensing, correspondence management, energy regulation and emissions monitoring. He's passionate about helping to ensure that the public sector's digital services are accessible for everyone, both inside government and for businesses and citizens. He leads on accessibility at Fivium Digital, providing support, guidance and training on how to design, build and test accessible services.


Aldis Erglis, Head of Technology Strategy, Emergn

Aldis has over 20 years of experience building software-based solutions for business performance, is passionate about ML/AI and is recognized as an AI influencer in Eastern Europe.   For the past six consecutive years he has been awarded the Microsoft Data Platform MVP Award recognizing his technology expertise and outstanding contributions to communities.

Aldis create the formation of the largest Data Analysis and ML/AI communities in Baltics, and over the past three years held more than 100 meet up events interacting with more than 2500 community members He is passionate about sharing his experience and guiding groups interested in building technical knowledge and skills. 

At Emergn Aldis is responsible for setting the Technology Strategy Direction for the organization and helped created the Machine Learning Lab where new and advanced technology solutions are built, tested and experimented for our diverse client base. 

Aldis is currently pursuing his PhD studies in management, Latvian University, Faculty of Economic and management. 

Gavin Freeguard, Programme Director, Head of Data and Transparency, Institute for Government (IFG)

Gavin joined the Institute in August 2013 and leads the organisation's work on data and transparency, including our Whitehall Monitor project. He has also worked on government contracting, preparing politicians for government and digital government.

Gavin was previously political adviser on culture, media and sport to Harriet Harman MP and, before that, deputy director of the Orwell Prize and senior researcher at the Media Standards Trust. He holds an undergraduate degree in Modern History and Politics from the University of Oxford (2007) and a Masters' degree in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History from UCL and Queen Mary, University of London (2012).

He is a trustee of the Orwell Youth Prize, a member of the UK Open Government Network steering group, and a member of the research commissioning board of the ESRC’s Administrative Data Research (ADR-UK) project. He represented the Institute on the advisory board to the Treasury’s Government Financial Reporting Review. He sends a weekly email on data visualisation and data called Warning: Graphic Content.

John Glover, Sales & Marketing Director, Kahootz

John has been the Sales & Marketing Director at Kahootz (INOVEM Ltd) for almost 17 years.

In 2012 he ensured Kahootz was a founder member of the G-Cloud and is instrumental in Kahootz becoming recognised as one of the most successful SME SaaS cloud providers to the UK public sector.

John is responsible for key accounts such as the UK Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office, NHS England, Dept. of Health & Social Care and the Ministry of Justice which, combined, have well over 120,000 users collaborating and finding new ways to work together using public cloud technologies.

Kahootz has been awarded a UKcloud Award for best Digital Marketplace project and the EuroCloud G-Cloud Outstanding Success Story Award.

Kerry Harrison, Digital Skills Coordinator, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Digital and Tech Innovation, Reform

David Johnson, Deputy Director, Knowledge Exchange, Data Science Campus, Office for National Statistics (ONS)

With nearly twenty years experience building and managing operations from 10 to 100+ employees in the online and telecommunications sectors in the UK, Europe and the US, David joined the Data Science Campus in May 2016 as Interim Head, working with a small team to build the Campus and prepare it for formal launch. Prior to joining the Campus he was co-founder of a machine-learning start-up that developed a real-time local event detection platform using geolocated social media photo and video uploads, forming a €1.6M EU FP7-funded Research programme in association with the University of Dublin, Trinity College and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon in the areas of Machine Learning, Data Mining and Computer Vision. He was part of the leadership team that launched Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, running its AdSense Online ad network in EMEA, and worked previously with BT and Comcast. In addition, he has served on the Boards of the University of Dublin, Trinity College and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire.

Daniel Korski, CEO, PUBLIC

Daniel Korski CBE is the Chief Executive Officer at PUBLIC and has 20 years’ of experience in senior positions in government across the UK, EU, and US. Daniel was most recently Deputy Head of Policy at No. 10 Downing Street and Special Advisor to David Cameron. Before that, Daniel was adviser to the Vice-President of the European Commision and has worked for the UN and Foreign Office in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. He co-founded PUBLIC to enable tech startups to transform the way public services are run and delivered.


Richard Laux, Senior Statistician, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office

Rhiannon Lawson, Head of Technology Policy, Government Digital Service (GDS)

Rhiannon is the Head of Technology Policy in the Service Design and Assurance (SD&A) directorate at the Government Digital Service (GDS). She joined GDS in August 2017.

Rhiannon leads the development and continued iteration of the Technology Code of Practice which supports the UK Government to buy, build and reuse technology. Her team manages and adds to the 350+ pieces of guidance which are linked to the Technology Code of Practice, and owns the Cloud First Policy.  The team also has an input into digital and technology guidance and policies owned by other government departments. 

Rhiannon has led the creation of the Government Digital Functional Standard and has worked extensively on the cross-government work related to the Cloud First policy, producing guidance, blogs and case studies to support organisations on their cloud journey.  Rhiannon works closely with NCSC, Cabinet Office, the Government Security Group, and local authorities to develop policy and guidance which meet user needs and supports government priorities.  

Before joining GDS, Rhiannon worked at Transport for London (TfL) as the Senior Cyber Security Policy Advisor and has worked in a number of other government departments on a range of policy areas. She is CISM certified and is studying for an Advanced Level 7 Chartered Management Institute qualification in Leadership and Management. 

Philip Loveland, Senior Account Manager, Public Sector, Cintra

Phil is a senior sales professional with over 20 years’ experience in both the Public & Private Sectors, spanning High Technology, Cloud, SaaS and Professional Services. Most recently he’s worked in partnership with Oracle to deliver one of its largest European government cloud programs; aimed at delivering class-leading transformation across the public sector and supporting the UK government cloud first strategy.

Ross Lyon, Transformation Manager, Cloud 1st Programme, Scottish Government

Ross started his career with the Scottish Government in 2000, initially in Agriculture, moving to Digital Communications in 2007 working on the intranet and website, latterly as Website Manager for Ross moved to Digital Directorate on the Scottish Government Cloud 1st Programme as Transformation Manager in March 2018. The Cloud 1st Programme’s main aim is to promote cloud & support public organisations to move to the cloud.

Adam Maddison Client Services Director, dxw digital

David Mann Managing Director, dxw digital

Claudia Natanson, Cyber and information Security Specialist, Security Practitioners

Claudia is a Cyber and Information Security specialist with over 15 years' global experience and expertise. A senior executive, has held roles such as Chief Security Officer, Information and Cyber Security consultant across diverse industry sectors, FTSE 100, Fortune 500 companies, and government. She has a successful track record of leadership for the development and delivery of risk-based security transformations which align and support business and strategic goals; expertise in digital and security transformation collaboration which quickly identifies cost efficiencies and revenue opportunities; and has held responsibility for over 180 markets and 115 countries. She has sound knowledge of global compliance and regulations, and quickly moves organizations from reactive to proactive compliance states. She isa specialist in stakeholder management at executive and board levels to support alignment of security to business strategic goals. 

Simon Newman, Head of Cyber and Business Services, Police Crime Prevention Initiative (PCPI)

Simon is the Head of Cyber and Business Services for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI). Within his current role, Simon is responsible for the Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) and the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC), helping Small and Medium-sized businesses reduce their vulnerability to cyber crime and fraud. Prior to PCPI, Simon held a number of senior management positions across Government, including the Home Office where he established the National Police Air Service. He also worked as an Advisor to Abu Dhabi Police and the Ministry of Interior in the United Arab Emirates.

John Sheridan, Digital Director, The National Archives

As Digital Director, John is responsible for The National Archives' digital services, enabling the organisation to fulfil its ambitions to become a digital archive by instinct and design. His role is to provide strategic direction, transform our digital offer, and to shape and drive forward our web-based services.

Prior to this role, John was Head of Legislation Services at The National Archives where he led the team responsible for creating the website, as well overseeing the operation of the official Gazette.

A former co-chair of the W3C e-Government Interest Group, John has a strong interest in web and data standards. He serves on the UK Government’s Open Standards Board which sets data standards for use across government. John was an early pioneer of open data and remains active in that community.

Aaron Simons, Senior Policy Adviser, Committee on Standards in Public Life

Aaron is a Senior Policy Adviser to the Committee on Standards in Public Life. He led on the research and writing of the Committee's report 'Artificial Intelligence and Public Standards', which examined how AI will affect the Seven Principles of Public Life when deployed in public service delivery. 


Mark Simms, Public Sector Lead, Equinix UK

Mark has 15 years’ experience in telecommunications and has worked in the datacentre world for the last 8 years, first with TelecityGroup and, following acquisition, for Equinix.

With an extensive history in understanding and supporting how Cloud and IT Service Providers interconnect to build their businesses, Mark now leads up Equinix UK’s Public Sector practice, engaging across local and central government, higher education, public health and social care, and national critical infrastructure.

Lisa Talia Moretti, Digital Sociologist, Strategist, Associate Lecturer, Goldsmith University London and Cardiff University

Ben Tate, Head of Service Design and Standards, Government Digital Service (GDS)

Ben is a Service Designer with 12 years of experience in public sector digital design and transformation. He was an accessibility champion at Islington Local Authority and currently works at Government Digital Service as the Head of Service Design and Standards.

Dr Jacqui Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, FlyingBinary

Jacqui is one of the 100 most powerful UK entrepreneurs, awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her international web science work. One of the 250 Founders of Tech City in December 2016 she pivoted her company FlyingBinary to meet the challenge of Brexit and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with spectacular results. She was recognised as one of the 100 Global Leaders in 2019, Top Ten Global IoT innovators, and is an independent industry analyst for IoT. One of 4 IoT leaders advising the European Commission on their Citizen strategy for smart cities. One of the UK’s most influential Women in Tech, most influential web science researcher in 2019, 34 IoT Influencers on Twitter, 20 global entrepreneurs to watch, a UK Smart City leader. 

Shortlisted for a Cyber Security industry award based she was invited to speak in Davos on the future of the Cyber Security Industry. Globally recognised as a Smart City Tzar, and a strategic Advisor to the UK Government, Cities lead on Digital Built, Principal UK Expert lead for BSI international team for Smart Cities and AI.

She created CyberSafe to share the secrets of her Brexit success plan with entrepreneurs via a unique membership offering. CyberSafe launches in 2020 now the UK has exited from the European Union and will give entrepreneurs resources to meet the challenges of Transition and the IIoT based on a proven Brexit success plan.

Stephen Tokley, Head of Office, Small Business Crown Representative

Stephen is Head of Office for the Small Business Crown Representative. He plays a key role in closely supporting the Crown Representative’s work to drive up Government’s spend with SMEs and make SMEs aware of the opportunities to sell to government.

Stephen has worked in government’s commercial function for 18 years. Before his current role he led work on prompt payment policy and headed the Cabinet Office’s “mystery shopper” procurement investigation team.

Rob Walton, Business Industry Director, Public Sector, Six Degrees

Jim Wilkinson, Digital Skills Partnership Co-ordinator, South East Local Enterprise Partnership

Jim joined the South East LEP team, as Digital Skills Partnership Coordinator, in July 2019. The South East LEP region is the largest in terms of population and economic output, outside London, and covers Essex, Kent and East Sussex and, as a consequence, Jim will often be found travelling throughout, meeting stakeholders and discussing opportunities. Prior to joining SELEP, Jim spent a number of years with Essex County Council’s Skills Unit, managing an Essex-wide STEM Programme and part of the Essex Apprenticeship Programme, as well as designing and delivering an extended paid work experience scheme for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Brian Wheeler, Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC - Moderator

Jessica Bowie, Editor, Civil Service World - Moderator

Jess became editor of Civil Service World in December 2014 – and has been job-sharing the role with Suzannah Brecknell since 2018. She originally joined CSW’s parent company Dods in 2012 as a writer and sub-editor, and went on to become content editor of The House magazine and subsequently deputy editor of Total Politics. Before Dods, Jess worked for a variety of publications, including environmental lifestyle magazine National Geographic Green and Japanese newswire, Jiji Press.


Suzannah Brecknell Editor, Civil Service World - Moderator

Suzannah joined Civil Service World in 2010, as the general election gave way to a period of significant corporate and policy reform for the civil service. As well as taking a lead role in producing many of CSW's ground-breaking special reports, she has helped to launch a number of products  including the Civil Service World podcast and the annual Leadership  and Innovation Lectures. She has a particular interest in questions of accountability, diversity and new service delivery methods. She previously edited magazines for wider public service managers, and has an MA from the London College of Communication. 

Debbie Carter, Editor-in-Chief, TJ magazine - Moderator

Debbie is Editor-in-Chief of TJ magazine and has been involved in learning and development for nearly 25 years. During her tenure as editorial lead on TJ magazine she has been involved in meeting the growing demands of a digital audience and acknowledges the role played by her team and partners in this field. In 2006 Debbie launched the TJ Awards and over the past 15 years they have grown in popularity and remain one of the most highly-regarded programmes in the sector.

Jessica Figueras, Business Intelligence Leader, Tech Market Strategist, Dods Group - Moderator

Jessica leads Dods’ business intelligence division, including its respected political monitoring, data and research programmes for policy and public affairs professionals.

Before coming to Dods Jessica led a public sector technology advisory business that advised tech clients on the impact of public policy and politics on the UK tech industry. Her research focused on data innovation and ethics, government sourcing policy and industrial strategy.

Over her 25 years in the tech and media sector Jessica has been an advisor to C-level executives, commentator and speaker. As an industry analyst she has published extensively on enterprise tech markets, specialising in vertical sectors (government and telecoms), SMEs, digital and mobile. She has also been a strategy consultant and director at a London-based digital start-up.

Jessica has an MA from the University of Cambridge and a Diploma in Computing from the Open University. She is Chair of the Board at a major UK charity and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Jonathan Kennard, Digital Editor, TJ magazine - Moderator

Jon is Digital Editor of TJ magazine, with a decade's experience in learning and development and 15 years in digital publishing. 

Having studied maths at university, Jon gained digital media experience working for record labels and other media companies in the early 2000s, before becoming a freelance writer and social media consultant a decade later.

With one parent who worked as a university lecturer and the other a management consultant, coupled with his own professional development in media, Jon thinks L&D publishing for business is the job he was always going to do.

Based on his own unconventional career progression he says "you never know when or where you might discover something that changes the way you work and think, so always be available to learn". 

Richard Johnstone, Deputy and Online Editor, Civil Service World - Moderator

Richard is the deputy and online editor of Civil Service World, Public Technology’s sister title. Richard edits CSW's daily news coverage and oversees its online output, helping to keep civil servants informed about what’s happening across government: the people, agendas, policies and reforms that affect their working life.

He has previously worked for a number of publications in the public policy and transport sectors, including Public Finance magazine and the Scottish political magazine Holyrood.

Beckie Smith, Reporter, Civil Service World - Moderator

Beckie is a reporter for Civil Service World, PublicTechnology’s sister title. She writes news and features on government policy and the work of departments and agencies. Previously she has reported for a number of specialist titles covering science policy, research and higher education.

Dr Robert Stoneman, Principal Analyst, Dods Group - Moderator & Speaker

Robert is head of custom research within Dods’ Business Intelligence team and oversees the current public sector research agenda. Robert has several years’ experience as an analyst examining how the public sector procures and uses technology. He has also previously worked across the education sector, first for a multi-academy trust and before this as a university lecturer at the University of Kent, from where he was awarded a PhD.

Trian Rebeira, Customer Success Manager, Huddle - Demo Zone

Trian is a Customer Success Manager at Huddle where he partners with Ministerial and Non-Ministerial Departments, Emergency Services, and Local Authorities, to help public sector knowledge workers use technology to transform the way they collaborate across teams and agencies. Trian comes from a project management background where he has led technology deployments across different industries. His experience includes managing PMO teams at research and advisory firm, Gartner. Presently, part of Trian’s role is to lead education and user-adoption initiatives for Huddle’s UK Government customers. This involves group training and process-improvement workshops that focus on helping civil servants better manage key government priorities through Huddle.