Minister to speak at Impact Awards

Margot James speaking at event

Written by Julian Blake, Editor, DigitalAgenda

Digital minister Margot James is to join us on stage at next month’s DigitalAgenda Impact Awards. The news follows hard on the heels of last week’s announcement that the government is to support DigitalAgenda’s tech-for-good awards programme in the year to come.

Margot James, digital minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is to join DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards on 7 March as a headline speaker – reflecting the new support by the government for our tech-for-good programme.

The news follows last week’s announcement by culture secretary Jeremy Wright of official government backing for the Impact Awards, with DCMS joining our 2019 programme as an government partner in supporting projects using tech for good. Wright confirmed the partnership at the Doteveryone Responsible Tech event, as part of a package of measures to help grow UK tech for social purpose.

Margot, the MP for Stourbridge, succeeded Matt Hancock as digital minister in January last year. She was previously small business minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Before becoming an MP, Margot was a local councillor in Kensington & Chelsea in London.

With her entrepreneurial background, Margot is well respected in business circles. She was a co-founder of public relations and clinical trials business Shire Health Group, which was bought by WPP Group in 2004, after which she became head of European healthcare for WPP subsidiary Ogilvy & Mather.

Margot also has a strong charity background. As well as looking after corporate responsibility in her last ministerial role, she is a former trustee of African women’s charity Abantu, and she has been a mentor for both The Prince’s Trust and Young Enterprise.

As small business minister, Margot was government champion of the industry-led Scale-Up Taskforce, giving her good preparation for the digital startup world.

The government’s wider support for tech for good – of which our Impact Awards forms part – promised “measures to spark a wave of innovation in tech for social good”, including £700,000 for a data trust programme, an investment partnership with the Social Tech Trust to establish a fund of up to £30m and £1m in incentives to tackle loneliness and bring communities together.

Last week, DigitalAgenda named the 36 projects to have made the cut as 2019 finalists. Winners of 12 key categories are unveiled on 7 March, along with the winner of our people’s choice poll, open for public voting until 28 February.

The minister joins a 7 March speaker line-up that includes Paul Miller from Bethnal Green Ventures and Tessa Clarke from OLIO. As well as great speakers, the awards event connects good ideas to good money, including at our evening reception. Tickets are on sale now.

Originally posted here

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