Exceptional talent from the worlds of technology, media, science, industry and the arts will draw in more than 700 delegates for this year’s Thinking Digital conference.
Last year marked the first time that the North East’s answer to TED took place without financial support from digital business group Codeworks, which broke up following the closure of the regional development agency, but the group’s former chief executive Herb Kim bought the rights to the conference and made sure the sixth annual event secured its long-term future.
Building upon that success, Kim and his team have worked over the last year to create an equally exciting and inspiring programme of events due to unfold at The Sage Gateshead from May 20 to 22 at the Sage Gateshead Music Centre.
Along with the expected top-notch line-up of 40 inspirational speakers, who are coming to Tyneside from as far afield as Canada, the US and South Africa, the team have scheduled a series of workshops, social activities, a start-up competition, business lunches and, for the first time in its seven-year history, an arts programme.
The conference gets underway with a series of workshops held at Newcastle University Business School on Tuesday, May 20, with sessions ranging in content from how to reinvigorate your meetings to learning how to print in 3D.
Talks take place at the Sage on Wednesday and Thursday, with speakers including science performer Steve Mould, last seen at the Edinburgh Fringe, innovation economist Mariana Mazzucato, former Forbes & Newsweek tech editor Dan Lyons and designer Aral Balkan, who returns in 2014 to talk about his bold new Indiephone project.
Lunchtimes will feature two sessions involving local businesses, each focusing on the value of apprenticeships and how companies can get involved.
Evenings see a full programme with an opening party, a sit-down dinner to wind down after the first day of talks on Wednesday May 21 and a farewell party straight after the last speaker on Thursday, May 22.
Kim said: “This year really is set to be the best ever conference with so many activities complementing our excellent set of speakers.
“I’m thrilled to be able to host this calibre of talent in the North East – a place which in my mind is very much part of the digital revolution”.