Buckinghamshire Future Tech Summit

Discovering the technology and trends that can drive your Future Tech ambitions forward.

'Learn more, fear less' - the Buckinghamshire Future Tech Summit

The Future Tech Summit was held on November 23rd in the beating heart of Britain’s motorsport industry - Silverstone.

Thank you to the speakers, companies and exhibitors who joined us – we hope you are ready to ‘learn more, fear less’ on your road to digital transformation.

The ‘hybrid’ event was attended in-person and watched via livestream, and whether you joined online or were there in person, we hope you took away some ideas and inspiration. We’d love to find out what those were. Please give us your feedback on the Future Tech Summit here >

Catch-up on all the highlights!

You can see some of the pictures taken on the day here > 

Social media was awash with excitement throughout the day. See how the event unfolded through the lens of Twitter >

This great video captures the excitement, the collaborations and the innovations that made the Future Tech Summit such a success.

Here's what we learnt and took away from the Future Tech Summit

Described as “the best possible place to be” for people who want to learn about digital innovation and how to overcome any barriers to progress, the Future Tech Summit was hosted by technology journalist and presenter Nikki Dean, who was later joined by a panel of speakers, comprised of:

  • Sarah Armstrong-Smith - Microsoft’s Chief Security Advisor
  • Dr Harin Sellahewa - Dean of Faculty of Computing, Law and Psychology at University of Buckingham
  • Kieran Arnold - Chief Architect - Future Networks & Systems at Satellite Applications Catapult
  • Peter Parfitt - Head of Digital, Buckinghamshire Council

A big focus of the event was to ensure that businesses were:

  1. Aware of the changing digital landscape and the opportunities it presents
  2. Reassured that SMEs can greatly benefit by embracing AI, cloud technology and other digital innovations
  3. Given practical advice and no shortage of inspiration to turbo-boost their journey along the 4th Industrial Revolution of digitised manufacturing, smart systems and machine learning

Heather Dean, Head of Skills and Business Support at Buckinghamshire Business First, cited a recent report that found that digital innovation has the potential to unlock £1.12 trillion worth of value to the UK economy - £9.54 billion in Buckinghamshire alone.

With that in mind, Nikki Dean encouraged businesses in attendance and those watching the live video stream to always ask questions and always look to learn more about the future of technology and how it can impact their business and their customers and clients.

Although some of the ideas expressed can sound like they’ve been taken from the pages of a sci-fi novel – like hologram meetings! – it is clear that advancements in technology are only going one way – forwards. They key is to embrace it and not be scared of it. See the positives and learn how to overcome the negatives.

As Harin Sellahewa put it succinctly and memorably: ‘learn more, fear less’.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most talked-about subjects in this realm, but as Nikki Dean pointed out, rather than fearing robots taking people’s jobs, embracing AI is a chance to free people from doing repetitive tasks, automating processes to allow people to focus on more high value, creative jobs and projects.

After Nikki’s speech, she was joined on stage by Sarah Armstrong-Smith, Dr Harin Sellahewa, Kieran Arnold and Peter Parfitt for an in-depth, expertise-based conversation about:

  • artificial intelligence
  • cyber security
  • cloud technology
  • how to retain human qualities alongside automated systems
  • what all of the above means for the present and future
  • why fully embracing future tech is just as important for small businesses as it is for large firms

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