A huge welcome from everyone involved in Digital Leaders, goes out to the ten nominees for Young Digital Leader of the Year 2017 announced today. My first thought, on reading about what they are doing and what they have already done, was to reflect on what I was doing aged 16, let alone 24.
Each year we create a new category that we consider adding into the DL100 the following year. This year we chose Young Digital Leader, and while this category is about showcasing young talent leading digitally, we will only ask our judges to chose a winner and not be calling for a public vote.
A thank you goes out to the Digital Leaders Advisory Board who, between them, have recommended a long list of nominees from which these first ten have emerged to be in our Young Digital Leaders of the Year 2017 list.
So who are they, was the first thought I had when I got to meet the 10 Young Digital Leaders of the Year.
We have 8 young women and 3 young men in the category. We have twins sharing a nomination for the sharp-eyed mathematicians amongst you.
In true gig-economy style and already disrupting the normal sector boundaries, most are doing two or more things at once, combining school with their own business, founding a charity or are in an important advisory role in a mainstream sector. Of the 11, four are still at school; three have created and run charities; two are private sector entrepreneurs and four work across Government, the BBC and big enterprise.
Sector wise they are in gaming, employment, diversity, accessibility, education and skills to name a few.
Are there some common traits that they share? Well all are driven and self-motivated, and all have a passion for what they do and a clear vision of where they are going and want to achieve.
I invite you to take a look at them, their profiles and weblinks and please do connect with them, follow them on social media and if you are in a position to, support them.
For our part we have invited three of them to present from the stage at the National Digital Conference. They will pitch their work from the stage, before DL Advisory board Member Maggie Philbin interviews them and the audience gets a chance to talk to them.
We will also be announcing the first Young Digital Leader of the Year 2017 category winner at the DL100 Awards in London from the main stage on the evening of 22nd June. There are a handful of spaces still available for the dinner, please click here to register.
I am sure you agree that our judges have their work cut out choosing an overall winner from such exemplary and youthful company.