Every year for the past eight, we have gathered to welcome a new cohort of the top 100 Digital Leaders for that Year and on Monday this week we gathered again, but under lockdown it was virtual and in the #DigiLounge. The #DigiLounge if you have not yet been is, as one member said – is about as close as you can get to the real thing without being there.
As well as the finalists for 2020 we were also joined by our 20 judges. They have a tough task ahead before we gather in Leeds on October 15th to announce the winners. Chaired by DL Chair, Russell Haworth, this year’s judges include Vimla Appadoo; Jacqueline de Rojas CBE; Robin Christopherson MBE; May-N Leow from MHCLG; and Cognizant’s Yatin Mahandru to name six of them.
There were two main tasks on Monday. Firstly, to meet this year’s cohort and secondly, to announce to open the public vote. To get the event going, we had last year’s overall winner and Digital Leader of the Year 2019, Seyi Akiwowo join us. She shared her incredibly important work over the last 12 months, before we also heard from our Young Digital Leader of the Year for 2019 Andrea Rodrigues. Two fabulous winners who have used their profile as winners to promote their vital work.
Opening the vote means that the 100 list members that make up the 2020 list will now compete in their 10 categories. This year’s list is made up of individuals and organisations from 42 private, 36 public, 18 non-profit; and 4 from the academic sectors.
The response from the DL Community since we met on Monday evening has been incredibly positive, with over 4,000 votes cast already in the first 2 days. This bodes really well for the DL100 list members, but who are they?
The list is about recognising 100 people and organisations across the UK who are leading the way in digital transformation in all sectors. Previously, the list has featured industry names such as: Sam Shah, Martha Lane-Fox, Mike Bracken, Liam Maxwell, Seyi Akiwowo, Kevin Cunnington and Eileen Burbidge.
All 12 of our DLUK regions are represented in this year’s list, reflecting the national reach of the Digital Leaders Community. Outside of London and the South East, the strongest regions are Scotland, the South West, Yorkshire and the North West and North East.
We are once again proud to see recognition of leading female role models in the DL100 with 13 out of the 20 individuals on the list being women.
The most hotly contested category each year is the Digital Leader of the Year Category. This year’s list notably includes: Leeds Festival’s Stuart Clarke; CEO of Wigan Alison McKenzie Folan; Apps for Good CEO Heather Picov; Quantum Black’s Yetunde Dada; and Newcastle University’s Reem Talhouk to name 5.
So good luck to this amazing group of leaders. The DL100 Finalists and Voting can be accessed at www.digileaders100.com.