Why the UK needs Digital Leaders Week 2018

Jacqueline de Rojas

Written by Jacqueline de Rojas, Chair of Digital Leaders

As we approach Digital Leaders Week, I wanted to share some of my anticipated highlights that I am looking forward to taking part in as Chair of Digital Leaders.

Our week starts with Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP launching the week on Monday morning the 18th June at a roundtable with our Digital Leaders Week partners Nominet. I’ll be there, before heading off to my next event, one of 120 taking place up and down the country over 5 days.

This one is about “Cutting through the Hype” – in this case the hype being around blockchain Solutions. I’ll be joining Qadre speakers including Imogen Bunyard, COO; and David Smith to cut through the hype, and help attendees leave with a deeper understanding of this seemingly complex technology.

Then it’s on the train out of London to Birmingham to Chair the Digital Leaders Annual Lecture. This year the lecture is being given by Scot Gardner, UK CEO of Cisco. In a year dominated by AI and IoT he is asking “how can we realise the opportunity offered to us by digital innovations coming online, and do we all have a role to play in making this a reality?” The lecture is followed by a great panel including Daniel Korski from Public, and the promise of watching the World Cup England game afterwards.

On the Thursday I am giving a keynote at the 13th National Digital Conference. Our theme is Transformation and while the UK remains the best place to start and to build businesses, we also need to bring our established businesses with us and ensure that those who are not tech businesses are transforming their business model and people, to be ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Then finally, it’s time for the big reveal of who the winners are in the Digital Leaders 100 list 2018. It is our sixth celebration of those at the forefront of digital adoption.

We know that embracing technology is the key to unlocking the UK’s productivity problem and represents our opportunity to create a digital nation of significance. I am heartened every year to be able to acknowledge those creating the innovation and momentum to transform the UK across all sectors. It is also impressive to see another UK-wide list, which reflects that our Digital Leaders and our transformation is not just about London.

Last year we included `Young Digital Leader of the Year` to highlight the 16-30 year olds making their market. The inclusion of a category dedicated to young people proved so popular it returns this year as one of the ten main categories. I am pleased to say that all ten of the finalists are taking part in the Week in three separate events about disruption and innovation, which seems to come so naturally to these incredible young people.

The popularity of their category in 2017 has encouraged us to create a new trial category for 2018, `Digital Team of the Year`. It is a known fact that 66% of teams make better decisions than individuals and it is another known fact that diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time, so teams are at the heart of digital transformation and I hope you agree that the first 10 we have assembled in 2018 highlight a great set of both team behaviours, diversity of thought and the application of great technology and innovation.

I’d like to thank our Digital Leaders Week partners and supporters, the expanded group of Digital Leaders 100 judges, many of whom also make up my hard-working Digital Leaders Advisory Board.

Thank you finally to you the Digital Leaders Community whose thought leadership, cross sector community and willingness to share and connect with your peers makes ours such a rich network.

If you are in the UK next week I do hope to get a chance to say hello to me and to tell me about your own transformation journey.

Transformation Matters!


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