Dynamo 15 - a great conference with great speakers
Today I attended the impressive Dynamo15 conference at Sunderland University. Dynamo North East is a Community Interest Company (CIC) set up by Opencast Software’s chairman Charlie Hoult and Accenture UK Delivery Centre MD Bob Paton in 2013. Its mission is to grow the North East IT economy through promoting the North East as an IT and technology hub, and digital city of the future.
The conference got off to a great start with a front page story in the Journal about a speech by Chairman Charlie Hoult, who flagged up plans to create a Northern Institute for Technology and Business Exchange (NIT) in a move with the potential to electrify the quality jobs market and boost the region’s standing in the Northern Powerhouse.
With conscious echoes of the internationally-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the new North East-based NIT could create as many as 900 fresh jobs - including 200 apprenticeships - in 30 spin-out firms and change the livelihoods of 5,000 people.
Around 700 people attended the conference and associated events and it really does seem that this vital sector to the North East economy is on fire! Already 32000+ people work in the sector in the North East and, according to keynote speaker Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage plc, this makes the North East the fastest growing tech sector employer in the UK.
Stephen made a brilliant speech. He has worked for some of the world’s top IT firms including Oracle. He was also the COO of HM Government and was in charge of the hugely successful digital project which saw www.gov.uk become such a useful web address for so many citizens. He is a foremost expert in the field of business and the digital world. He painted a landscape of a connected world where work meets home and customers have a notional seat in the boardrooms of all businesses.
A few facts he laid out were really jaw-dropping. 90% of all data in the world has been generated in the last year! In the last two years more photos have been taken than the entire period from the invention of photography to 2013!
When one considers the scale and the depth of the change you can be excited and proactive or fearful and defensive. He was right when he said the days of long-term planning are over and most businesses can only make effective plans that last six months. He is certainly a great leader for a great company and I was all the more pleased my firm uses Sage after hearing him!
Dynamo is a very exciting organisation. It’s still in its comparative infancy, but if you work in the tech sector or own a tech business, you should get involved. www.dynamonortheast.co.uk