Keynote Speakers

Kate Russell, Technology Reporter, BBC Click & author

Journalist, reporter and author, Kate has been writing about technology and the Internet since 1995.

Appearing regularly on the BBC technology programme 'Click' she is also a partnered Twitch streamer. Kate speaks at conferences and lectures in schools and universities, helpign to inspire the next generation of technologists.

Her website, won the 2015 UK Blog Awards for best individual digital and technology blog and in June 2016 she was voted the Computer Weekly 13th most influential woman in UK IT.

Keynote Title : 'Technology +/- 10'

Abstract: 'A whistle stop tour of the last 10 years and a look into the next 10 years' @katerussell

Kevin Baughan, Chief Development Officer Innovate UK

Kevin has a 35-year track record in the telecommunications industry, including roles with British Telecom, Nortel Networks and Virgin Media, where he was Director of Technical Strategy and Wireless. 

He played a leadership role in the technical evolution of Virgin Media and its predecessor companies, championing innovations spanning high-speed broadband, TV, Wifi, cellular infrastructure and services driven by ‘big data.’

Keynote Title : 'Shaping the Future'

Abstract: 'We live, work and play in an innovation economy and as a result our future prosperity is now dependent on our ability to  continuously deliver better outcomes for consumers, businesses and society. Where do the opportunities for innovation come from and how do they differ in their journeys from concept to commercialisation?

Innovate UK has a unique perspective across the UK economy and in his presentation Kevin will draw on those insights, to examine how innovation shapes the future.' @KevinBaughan @innovateuk

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA

Matthew Taylor is Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA - formerly the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). He was previously General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britian’ s leading think tank. Prior to that he was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to Tony Blair during his tenure at No.10.

A regular media commentator on issues around policy, politics, and public service reform, Matthew frequently appears on Newsnight, The Daily Politics, Radio 4’ s Today and The Moral Maze as well as writing for the Guardian and the Local Government Chronicle.

Keynote Title: Creative Crossover and Community Prosperity

Abstract: In this new world of Brexit, Matthew will be challenging our Creative industries to think about how we can spread the benefits of innovation and collaboration to reach those in the community who currently don’t reap the rewards. Individuals in our communities have felt the squeeze from austerity measures, have seen work opportunities dry up, benefits reduced and services cut. They don’t see the value of staying in Europe or have had the chance to access EU funding, collaboration opportunities or to build new relationships. How can Creative Crossover directly impact communities and not just the universities or innovation opportunists?

@RSAMatthew @theRSAorg

Pip Jamieson, Founder, The Dots

Pip Jamieson is the Founder of The Dots. Best described as a ‘LinkedIn for creatives’, The Dots is designed to help creatives showcase work, network, collaborate and (most importantly) connect with opportunities. Pip has spent the last 13 years immersed in the creative industries, including executive roles at MTV Australia and New Zealand.

Pip lives on a houseboat with her husband in Kings Cross, London.

Title: 'If it was easy everyone would be doing it!'

Abstract: 'Pip Jamieson will share her extraordinary start-up journey from quitting her dream job at MTV, sinking her life savings into co-founding her first creative business in Australia - which she quickly grew into the leading professional networking platform for creatives in the region - to exit and then launching a further improved offering here in the UK.  Pip will give a very honest account of the 10 invaluable lessons she's learnt along the way that have helped make The Dots a lovemark for its users.' @pip_jamieson & @The_Dots_UK

Sir Eric Peacock, CMG DL

Sir Eric Peacock is the Chairman of luxury furniture brand Timothy Oulton and the parent company Halo International. He also chairs Buckley Jewellery Ltd.  He is formerly the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of Babygro.

He is a non-executive director of the Department for International Trade (formerley UK Trade & Investment) and sat on the boards of the Foreign Office and the Department for Business.

Eric has wide ranging experience of start-up, turnarounds, internationalisation, financing, acquiring, disposal and flotation and is passionate about people development, culture, engagement and innovation as ways to create differentiate competitive advantage.

Title: 'Employee Engagement – Going the Extra Mile as a Differentiator and Provider of Competitive Advantage'

Abstract: 'Eric will be sharing insights from his entrepreneurial journey both nationally and internationally. He will focus on the impact of how employee engagement has delivered competitive advantage, innovation, creativity and awesome customer service.  His address will focus on the financial benefits as to why employee engagement should be on the boardroom table, how he has used it across various companies, the impact and why it should be a priority.'

Tim Leigh, Sales & Marketing Director at Stage One

Stage One is a creative engineering and manufacturing company and is best known for creating the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympics. Based just outside of York the company has been involved in some of the most creative projects ever commissioned. As Sales & Marketing Director, Tim is responsible for ensuring there is always something interesting simmering in the workshops. Tim has a background in technology, a middle ground in creativity and a foreground in extraordinary.

Title: Make me a unicorn that flies!

Abstract: Extraordinary projects always start with an unusual phone call. Tim will describe his experience of estimating costs in the absence of detail, fighting the laws of physics and always wishing there was one more day. He will present insights from the secret world of Stage One and convince you that difficult is always preferable to easy.

Jonathan Elvidge, founder of Gadget Shop and RED5 amongst others …

With a handful of 'O levels' and no real direction I left school at sixteen to dig holes in the road and climb telegraph poles.  I stayed with what became Kingston Communications (now KCOM) for the next ten years moving through various technical, support and sales roles.  I then took a leap.  I felt there was a gap in the market for an innovative gift retail concept and set about doing it inspired by the success of other 'ordinary people' I had read about who had achieved extraordinary things driven by an idea and a belief, passion and determination.  With everything on the line, The Gadget Shop was born in March 1991 in Hull.  I never looked back.

Over the next ten incredible years The Gadget Shop became forty four stores across the UK, a pioneering web presence, and a market leading brand delivering £40m turnover.  In 2002 With a nervous bank pulling their support, the resulting sale of shares to generate funds saw The Gadget Shop with a new owner and a new vision. It went into administration in 2005.

In 2002 a friend and I started Blue Sky Designs to create new products for the gadget and gift market.  The Company continues to go from strength to strength and is now a dominant player in the gift and stationery market.

In 2005 a good friend and colleague from The Gadget Shop days and I decided to try to fill the gap on the high street for a gadget retailer and RED5 was born.  With a different route to growth as the high street was hampered by the 2008 recession, we focussed on brand development working with a raft of respected market leading high street retail brands creating a variety of different routes to market.  Over another incredible ten years we created another dominant and leading brand which we sold to our main competitor in 2015 in a multi-million pound deal.

There have been many other business adventures, including Monocle Madness! and more recently Moodbeam, an exciting new tech start-up with a vision to improve young peoples lives.

Keynote Title : ‘The fall and rise of Jonathan Elvidge’

Abstract: Jonathan talks about how he left his secure job and with no retail or business experience opened a shop called The Gadget Shop in Hull.  It went on over a period of 10 years to become an award winning, market leading brand with more than 40 shops across the UK, and then it all went wrong.  Jonathan recalls the rollercoaster business adventure and subsequent rise of RED5 'the ultimate gadget shop’, and explores lessons learnt along the way.

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