Showcasing our digital expertise

Colleagues across the University are preparing to showcase their digital expertise as part of a record-breaking programme for the largest tech event in the UK.

Check out the full Leeds Digital Festival 2020 programme for what will be a record-breaking number of events

Leeds Digital Festival 2020. September 2020

Leeds Digital Festival (LDF) has announced the full schedule for its second edition of 2020, with a massive 294 events taking place from Monday 21 September to Friday 2 October.

LDF is an open, collaborative festival celebrating digital culture in all its forms, with events covering fintech, coding, social media, artificial intelligence (AI), healthtech, data, start-ups, digital music, cyber security, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) and more.

The Festival was due to announce 250 physical events for its April edition, but was forced to switch to a reduced online programme due to covid-19 restrictions. While some physical events are planned for the second edition, the vast majority will once again be delivered online.

And as one of the Premier Sponsors, we’re very much playing our part!

The University is presenting nine free events (see below for full details), ranging from data and coding to a digital education live session. Colleagues at Nexus, the University’s innovation hub, will also be involved.

Professor Neil Morris, Dean of Digital Education at Leeds, said: “The University of Leeds is delighted to support Leeds Digital Festival, which has gone from strength to strength.

“Now more than ever, the Leeds City Region’s expertise in digital will be critical to support individuals, business and our society, as we re-imagine life and work as a result of covid-19. The University is well placed to support the Leeds City Region with the digital transformation of life, work and society, and is leading the higher education sector through its own digital transformation to maintain and extend the excellence of the education it offers, and the research and innovation activities it conducts.”

Leeds Digital Festival 2020. September 2020

Some physical events are planned for LDF 2020 but the vast majority will be delivered online

Programme highlights

With an ever-growing voice and reach, LDF will continue to celebrate the digital expertise and innovation that is happening in the city on a regional, national and international level.

Highlights include events arranged by organisations including BJSS, ODI Leeds, Asda, Deloitte and Raspberry Pi. There’s a growing international flavour, too, including a ‘Tech in China’ event featuring Alibaba organised by Leeds City Council, the Embassy of Israel putting on two events, four sessions from the Department of International Trade and a Eurocities conference.

Many of the events are free but places are limited, so book tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Stuart Clarke, Festival Director, said: “I often say that the Leeds tech community is the most collaborative in the UK, and to host almost 300 events in our second Festival of the year goes a long way to prove that.

“This year has been difficult for many people and firms, so it’s great to see events relating to how we can get back up and running in a post-covid world, as well as a number of sessions looking at careers in the tech sector. The Festival is also a good way for students and recent graduates to get involved in the tech sector.”

University events

Name: How big data is changing the way we do business

Date/time: Tuesday 22 September, 1-2pm

Description: Dr Richard Hodgett, Associate Professor in Business Analytics and Decision Science at Leeds University Business School (LUBS), and Dr Sajid Siraj, Associate Professor at LUBS, discuss challenges related to the future of utilising big data and answer your questions regarding how this is changing the way we do business.

Name: Can’t code/won’t code: journey’s into digital leadership

Date/time: Thursday 24 September, 11am to 12 noon

Description: No two journeys to become a digital leader are the same. Do you need a technical background? Are you too technical? Or not technical enough? Hear about different paths into digital leadership, learn from a group of leaders who love learning and get the opportunity to ask your questions.

Name: Funding for the future

Date/time: Thursday 24 September, 5.30am to 5pm

Description: As the UK continues to emerge from lockdown, Nexus – the University’s innovation hub – takes a deep dive into the investment landscape to reflect on the impacts and challenges the past year and the covid crisis have created within the deals and funding markets. Leaders and experts from private, not-for-profit and investment sectors will set the scene on the current state of play and share success stories from recent angel and venture capital deals, along with tips and IP essentials for entrepreneurs, dealmakers, investors and buyers.

Name: Making Leeds Smarter with Data

Date/time: Friday 25 September, 1-2pm

Description: We join Nexus members, Slingshot Simulations and Scaled Insights, to discuss how they’ve applied their technology to help local government and public health organisations to make sense of the vast quantities of data covid-19 has produced. Dr Stuart Flint (Associate Professor in Psychology at Leeds and President, Scaled Insights) and Dr Alicja Piotrkowicz (Linguistics and Computer Science Research Fellow at Leeds) will discuss their findings and how the results of the survey can be used to support people during and after the pandemic.

Name: Apprentice becomes the master

Date/time: Wednesday 30 September, 10-11am

Description: This event will showcase the work the University IT Service has achieved within the digital space. It will discuss how we have made use of the apprenticeship levy to recruit, develop and upskill our staff. Apprentices will be talking about their experiences along with our training partners and HR team sharing the benefits across the whole of the organisation.

Name: What’s the deal with 5G?

Date: Wednesday 30 September, 1-2pm

Description: What is 5G? Why do we need it? What impact will have it on the way we live and work? Hosted by Nexus and CityFibre, presentations will be given by Dr Gesa Reiss, Senior Innovation Fellow with Smart-Agri Systems at Leeds; Dr Matthew Davis, Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor at Leeds University Business School; Professor Mark Mon Williams, Centre for Immersive Technologies Director; and Steve Porter, Senior Business Development Manager with City Fibre, followed by a Q&A.

Name: Digital Education Live Session: Online teaching resources for high school students

Date/time: Thursday 1 October, 4-5pm

Description: Find out how to use a series of short online courses from the University in your teaching. Our broad range of courses comes with ready prepared teaching support materials for both face-to-face and fully online teaching. Courses are designed for 16-18-year-olds but can also be used with younger students, depending on the abilities of your classes. They can be used in classrooms, computer suites or at home. Join this event to explore how these courses can help you and your students explore interesting and interdisciplinary topics, such as sustainability, human health, business and more.

Name: Develop resilient people and teams who thrive

Date: Thursday 1 October, 1-2pm

Description: Even before the coronavirus pandemic, we lived in a challenging world where being our best and fulfilling our individual and collective potential was difficult. But we don't have to struggle. There is a solution. Improve individual, team and organisation resilience, wellbeing, performance and transformational leadership in this sessions led by Nexus and Tougher Minds.

Name: The Problem Is?

Date/time: Friday 2 October, 2-2.45pm

Description: This event delivers an overview of the University’s Application Support team’s implementation of the IT problem management process. Find out what we’ve learned and what you could do to implement problem management in your team or organisation.

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