It’s fair to say that last week was a pretty monumental and historic time for our country *cough*EUReferendum*cough*. I could use this post to share my views on Brexit but I’m going to leave that to our Public Affairs team – plus, if like me you’ve devoured article after article and are feeling even more confused and worried, then you may want to read about something else…
So instead, I’m going to reflect on some of the other key events from last week; kicking off with London Technology Week that took place 20th – 26th June.
For those that aren’t familiar with LTW, it’s a series of “festival” style, annual events that both homegrown and international brands host across the city. Companies that took part this year included well-known names such as Amazon, Imperial College London and Ford as well as Apps For Good, Sabre and Seedcamp. LTW is a chance to celebrate our city’s diverse tech ecosystem and show the world why London is a strong rival to Silicon Valley.
Now in its third year, the focus of London Technology Week 2016 was on the future – recognising the next wave of technology and thinking how it will redefine our world. In fact, we’re already seeing how industries such as health, fashion and sport are using technology to disrupt their sectors and this is only going to continue. It’s no longer about geeky guys tapping away at code in a basement – technology is now working hand in hand with corporate innovation programmes. From wearable tech and IoT within healthcare, to sensors on clothing and Formula One technology being used in manufacturing, the potential for collaboration across different markets is staggering and we’re only at the beginning of this exciting journey. Plus, working in PR means we get to hear about some of these mind-blowing initiatives first – jealous?
The media world also capitalised on LTW with myself and a couple of team members attending Dennis Publishing’s exclusive 1/10/100 event, which was held at the achingly cool Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.
The meaning behind 1/10/100? Well the answer is simple: Alphr.com’s first birthday, the tenth anniversary of IT Pro and 100 guests to mark the celebration. Everyone, from hot startups and VCs, to established tech companies such as HP attended and of course plenty of media types to schmooze the room.
Particularly for IT Pro a decade is a long time, especially when you report on the fast moving world of tech. Can you believe that ten years ago we were using iPods to listen to music and hankering after the latest digital camera. Now the majority of us do everything (work, play, socialise) from our smartphones! To mark the occasion, apart from enjoying a couple of glasses of well-deserved Prosecco, IT Pro also presented a couple of awards on the night to celebrate their successful ten years.
The first went to SAM Labs – a company that’s doing some pretty cool things to get kids (and adults) interested in technology. Their mission is to make coding as easy as building something out of Lego. With the majority of employers seeking out those individuals with savvy digital skills, it’s great to have companies such as SAM Labs making it their mission to make coding fun and creative to both boys and girls from a young age.
And speaking of girls, the second award of the evening went to one of FHF’s close media contacts – Kayleigh Bateman – who writes for We Are The City. Kayleigh was recognised for all of her efforts in shining a light on diversity, championing women in tech and celebrating those individuals and companies that are driving equality within the tech industry.
Brexit aside, there’s one thing that LTW proved: London’s hot bed of collaboration, diversity and drive for long-term growth has fuelled a thriving ecosystem; something that cities the world over would be envious of.
Charlotte Nicholds, Senior Account Manager, Technology
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