Thinking Digital is raising the bar higher

A MAJOR technology conference which has helped to put the North East on the radar of the world's digital innovators is to return to the region for a third year.

A MAJOR technology conference which has helped to put the North East on the radar of the world's digital innovators is to return to the region for a third year.

Thinking Digital – the UK’s answer to world-famous American conferences’ such as TED and Pop!Tech – has announced it will return on May 25-27 next year following hugely successful events in the past two years.

To date the conference, held in Gateshead, has brought the world’s leading authorities on technology, the digital industry and new-age cultural trends to the North East.

Last year Microsoft, Virgin and Google were all represented, while the mix of Thinking Digital speakers has also included globally successful toy makers, scientists who aim to challenge the ageing process and electronic rock stars.

Next year’s event already looks set to bring an equally thought-provoking blend of experts to the region, with a number of high profile names having already signed up to attend.

Among them will be Joi Ito, CEO of the Creative Commons – a non-profit organisation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others.

Also there will be Rory Sutherland, the vice-chairman of one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies, Ogilvy UK, and Don Levy, the senior vice-president of marketing and communication at Sony Pictures Digital.

More than 500 people are expected to attend the event at The Sage Gateshead

Herb Kim, the director of Thinking Digital and CEO of digital industry body Codeworks – the organisation behind the event – said: "We took a big risk in attempting the first event in May 2008, but since then the feedback from delegates has been incredible.

"People attending the event tell us they come away each time feeling inspired and energised, and having made important business connections.

"We’ve got a tough task to try to top this year’s event in 2010, but we’re determined to do it. With the likes of Joi Ito and Rory Sutherland on board already, it’s shaping up to be another excellent event."

Thinking Digital has already made a name for itself as being the country’s most varied conference having attracted the world’s leading expert on love, Helen Fisher, renowned toy-maker and ‘Furby’ inventor Caleb Chung, and Aubrey de Grey, who argues that the first human who will live to 1,000 has already been born.

Next year’s event will be similarly eclectic with leading origami expert Robert Lang and Julian Treasure lined up to talk. Mr Treasure is CEO of The Sound Agency, which helps its clients achieve better results through the use of sound in their activities.

:: For more information on the event go to www.nebusiness.co.uk/events

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