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The (truly awesome) TechTown Partners are: Barnsley / Basingstoke / Cēsis / Clermont Ferrand / Dubrovnik / Gävle / Limerick / LOOP City Nyíregyháza / San Sebastian / Siracusa
With thanks to our URBACT experts and colleagues, our facilitators and our speakers who’ve all supported us and challenged us over the last two years.
Welcome to TechTown Digital Futures: Adapt or Die, the final event sharing the learning and action plans from the URBACT TechTown Action Planning Network.This event is an exciting culmination of two years of hard work, difficult conversations, open minds and innovative thinking. Led by the lead partner city, Barnsley, our 11 TechTown cities have worked together at a transnational level and also locally with their stakeholders to delve into the digital economy and explore its opportunities and challenges - not just for us, but for all cities in Europe. We’ve looked at everything through a lens of what can small and medium sized cities do to create more digital jobs and businesses?
Throughout our process we’ve faced the challenge of venturing into the unknown. There isn’t a huge amount of policy and good practice out there about the digital economy; this is a sector that moves and shifts organically, that challenges the status quo through disruption and that changes rapidly. Despite our best intentions, cities are not universally known for our agility but actually we have found that smaller cities are perhaps better placed sometimes than larger ones to respond to such shifting sands with less hierarchy, less noise and more focus.
Today is a day to share our future plans and our ambitions for our cities, answer the question of ‘what can cities do?’ and to mark this moment in our TechTown journey. This journey will continue with TechPlace.Online, a new community of practice and URBACT capitalisation project launching this summer that will connect anyone who wants to see cities grow more digital jobs and businesses.
Enjoy, participate and watch our tech towns of the future in action!
Tracey Johnson, Lead PartnerAlison Partridge, Lead Expert
09:00 Arrivals and Registrations
09:30 Welcome and introductionsTracey Johnson, Barnsley (Lead Partner) and Alison Partridge (Lead Expert)Sally Kneeshaw, URBACTProgramme Expert, VIP, Barnsley
09:45 Setting the sceneTales fromTechTown, Tracey and Alison
10:15 3-4 minute pitches from TechTown partners Barnsley, Clermont Ferrand, Dubrovnik, Siracusa, Gävle, Limerick pitch their Integrated Action Plans. Up to 2 questions following each pitch
11:30 3-4 minute pitches from TechTown partners LOOP City, San Sebastian, Basingstoke, Nyíregyháza, Cesis,pitch their Integrated Action Plans. Up to 2 questions following each pitch
12:15 Feedback from and panel discussion with digital and tech experts – What more could TeamTechTown do to grow digital jobs? Moderated by Alison Partridge
Tanya Suarez (IoT Tribe), Rich Brett (WeLikeToday),Ola Wallberg (KickStart and Fiber Optik Valley), John Spindler (Capital Enterprise)
13:00 Lunch and networking
14:00 Feedback from and panel discussion with digital and tech experts – What more could TeamTechTown do togrow digital talent and skills? Moderated by Tracey Johnson
Craig Burgess (Genius Division), Bela Kezy (Megakom), Dr Janice O’Connell (Mid West Tech Ambassador), Elina Ingelande, Find IT
14:45 What is a TechTown? Presentation exploring the key elements of a successful Digital Ecosystem and focusing on the role of the city
16:00 What next for TechTowns across the EU? Short fireside chat moderated by Sally Kneeshaw (URBACT Programme Expert)
Tracey Johnson and Nuala Morgan (Capitalisation Manager, URBACT)
16:30 Digital City Futures - Adapt or DieTracey Johnson and Alison Partridge
Tracey JohnsonTracey is project director of the Digital Media Centre (DMC) in Barnsley, UK, which is a successful landmark hub for the digital and creative sector at the heart of a new and ambitious Digital Campus plan. As well as supporting digital and creative businesses to startand scale up, the DMC leads on supporting other sectors to digitalise and innovate through a range of programmes and initiatives, such as Connected Manufacturing and the IoT Tribe Accelerator (www.iottribe.org), currently being delivered in partnership with Rolls-Royce.
Tracey leads the TechTown URBACT Action Planning network which is actively developing ways to support cities to engage with and benefit from increased digitalisation across jobs, businesses and public services. With Alison Partridge, Tracey also leads the TechPlace.Online platform, launching summer 2018, to connect digital economy enablers and supporters across Europe and capitalise on the work of the URBACT Action Planning Networks.
[email protected] Digital Media Centre
Alison Partridge With a focus on economic development, entrepreneurship and enterprise, Alison has extensive experience of working with pan-European networks to co-create and implement integrated policies and programmes in response to complex ever-changing challenges. Since 2009, this has included being Lead Expert of 3 URBACT networks, most recently being TechTown. Alison led URBACT’s capitalisation work on ‘More Jobs Better Cities’ in 2012/3 and on ‘Job Generation for a Jobless Generation’ in 2015.
Over the past 2 years Alison has led on Projects and Partnerships for Capital Enterprise - a membership organisation for those who nurture, advise, mentor, accommodate and invest in entrepreneurs in London. She has developed an innovation and knowledge exchange programme in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and is currently developing an ambitious ‘Diversity in Tech’ programme which will increase the numbers of BAME and female founders in London’s tech start-up community. Alison is a member of the Mayor of London’s Workspace Providers’ Board which has affordable workspace as a key priority. [email protected]
Sally KneeshawSally Kneeshaw is director of a knowledge management consultancy, specialising in innovation, sustainability and inclusion. Her career spans over 25 years in the public, private and non-profit sectors working for the European Commission, cities, interregional programmes, international networks and NGOs. Sally is currently an URBACT Programme Expert supporting exchange and capacity building on sustainable, integrated development for European cities. Sally’s interests include urban policy, diversity, gender equality and creative approaches tolearning and leadership.
[email protected] Consulting
Nuala Morgan Nuala joined URBACT in February 2017 as Head of Unit for Capitalisation and Communication. She is responsible for developing and implementing the programme’s capitalisation strategy, as well as coordinating the work of the Cap’ & Com’ team. Graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with an honours degree in Business and Politics, Nuala has always had a European outlook. An Erasmus year in Strasbourg, France, saw her involved in the launch of cafebabel.com, the online European magazine and for whom she later worked as Communication & Project manager. Before moving to URBACT, Nuala was responsible for communication at Interreg Europe and Interreg IVC, also dedicated to exchange and learning across Europe.
Rich BrettFormally Creative Director of a large international architecture and design consultancy, Rich founded We Like Today in 2007, with the intent to, as with every project, liberate everyday life, through the creation of meaningful architecture, interior and environmental graphic design. Drawing people and inspiration together, to create a present worth remembering, as well as a differentiated and valuable social and cultural capital.
Clients that Rich has worked with include Sea Lanes (National Open Water Swimming Centre, Brighton) U+I Group PLC (Office interiors/Placemaking, UK), Google (Worthwhile/Meanwhile, London), Kollider (Startup eco-system, Sheffield), YES. YES. YES (Co- Living/Working community, Hamburg), The Dartington Experiment (Retail/ Residential/ Craft destination, Devon) and KINGDOM (No waste-leisure destination, UK).
[email protected] WeLikeToday
Béla KézyBéla graduated in 1992 from the Faculty of International Relations at the Budapest University of Economics (MsC). He is the founder and managing director of MEGAKOM Development Consultants, Hungary, focusing on regional and urban development.
Béla is an urban development specialist working with cities across Hungary. He is also an URBACT thematic expert. In his work he uses participative co-creation methods extensively. He has strong facilitation and presentation skills, and he believes that effective communication is the key to successful (urban) change processes.
ké[email protected] MEGAKOM
John SpindlerJohn Spindler is the CEO of Capital Enterprise, the founder and partner on the London Co-Investment Fund, the founder and partner of AI Seed and as such a leading member of the London’s world class start-up cluster. John is also an Associate of University College London and a mentor and advisor for Tech Stars London.
John has an MBA from Leeds University Business School and a BA Hons in Philosophy & Politics from University of London.
[email protected] Enterprise
Craig BurgessCraig is Creative Director at Genius Division, a branding and digital agency based in Barnsley, UK. Craig works with organisations to help them improve their branding, their marketing and their visual presence to give them a better advantage in the marketplace.
Craig is a self-confessed “lifelong student of creativity”. He’s also obsessed with challenges, and spends every day striving to create something new across a lot of different mediums. Over the past year his focus has been on exploring the power of personal branding, particularly the power of podcasts and how they can be used to boost a personal brand. He is now exploring the power of blogging, creating videos and social media.
[email protected] Division
Tanya SuarezTanya is CEO and founder of IoT Tribe and is a firm believer that corporates and startups need to work together to find new, scalable value propositions. With a global network of contacts, she has worked alongside clients from a wide variety of sectors including financial services, health, telcos and agrofood.
She also co-founded the Cloud Incubator HUB, voted Spain’s best incubator in 2016. A Tech London Advocate, she is regularly invited to speak and host panels at digital events of the themes of entrepreneurship, open innovation and ecosystem creation. Tanya has recently been nominated to the Board of the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation, a 200+ industry association fostering IoT innovation and adoption.
[email protected] IoT Tribe
Ola WallbergOla’s background includes being CEO in a number of tech SMEs, and companies that also have been object of change in organisation, ownership, business segments and technical development. Now Ola works for Swedish organisation RISE, as a business developer for SMEs. Much of Ola’s work focuses on the digital transition that these companies need to adopt to. One of the projects that Ola is heavily involved in is the national programme Kickstart Digitalization, aimed at SMEs within the manufacturing industry in Sweden.
As well as the above, if you want to get Ola started you could mention classic Italian cars, open water swimming and telemark-skiing.
KickstartFibre Optik Valley
Elina IngelandeAs a pupil in high school and a student in Law school, Elina was always interested in student learning processes and wondered how to make it more efficient and engaging. In 2014, Elina volunteered in Kindermuseum Frida und Fred in Austria, Graz, where she discovered that children learn best by experiencing and actively interacting with certain environments, and that modern technologies can benefit students’ motivation and improve learning outcomes. Elina brought this experience back to Latvia and co-founded an after school club where children learn coding in an interactive and engaging way.
Dr. Janice O’ConnellJanice’s current role is as a Mid-West Tech Ambassador. Previous experience includes a blend of industry and academia: Janice has previously been a software developer for large multinationals and SMEs, been self-employed in Ireland and Australia as a Software Engineer, and has worked in an academic environment in a private college (GCD), University (UL), and in the IoT sector (LIT).
Janice’s education background includes a degree in Applied Mathematics, Graduate Diploma in Computing, an MSc in Computing, and a PhD in Entrepreneurship.
Mid-West Tech Ambassador