Digital Leaders North West celebrates its first anniversary

At this month’s Digital Leaders North West (DLNW) Salon we celebrated our one year anniversary and shared some of our highlights of the year and what we'd like to talk about at future meetings. DLNW Steering Group member, Liz Copeland, summarises this special salon...

What a pleasure it was to get together with other digital leaders to celebrate the first anniversary of Digital Leaders North West. It was a mixture of 'old hands' and 'newbies' who gathered at Manchester Metropolitan University's Shed (which has become our home) to talk digital and eat cake (well, what birthday party is complete without cake?)

It was great to welcome Robin Knowles from Digital Leaders who gave an overview of how Digital Leaders came about and its history over the last few years.

The key aim of the meeting was to recap on what we've learnt and shared together over the last year and consider subjects and issues we'd like to cover in future.

Here's a romp through what we've done this year:

  • July 2014: Liverpool – understanding North West digital landscape
  • September 2014: Warrington – digital collaboration
  • October 2014: Manchester – joint with Digital Leaders nationally, Lloyds digital business index November 2014: Macclesfield – digital inclusion
  • January 2015: Manchester – digital retail
  • February 2015: Lancaster – the digital employee
  • April 2015: Manchester – social digital businesses
  • May 2015: Manchester – recruiting and retaining digital talent
  • June 2015: Manchester – the ideal office

Here's a selection of people's highlights:

  • Carlos Oliveira’s (Founder of Shaping Cloud) overview of IT resources for small business (April 2015)
  • Hearing more about the Men in sheds project (November 2014)
  • The diversity of the group – it’s cross sector and we can all learn from each other
  • User/customer viewpoints – hearing what people think about digital products and ways of doing things
  • Learning about the range of tools we can use
  • Using some of the tools we've talked about back at the ranch
  • Networking – friendly and informal environment
  • The anarchy!

And here are some thoughts on what people would like to get out of future meetings and some suggested themes:

  • Digital business showcase – could we match people up ‘wants and offers’ style, as there’s a lot of expertise in the room
  • Technology we can use – what's out there to help us do our jobs better?
  • De-mystifying technology – how do we get past the fact that technology so often gets in the way of what people want to do, rather than enabling them as it should do?
  • More networking opportunities
  • The digital skills gap – future skills needs
  • Understanding more about who we’re building technology for
  • Getting a local paper involved? Counteract media scaremongering about technology for older people
  • Shout about achievements in the North West – there are great opportunities for people in digital here
  • Become more knowledgeable about local economy and digital status
  • Engagement of talent
  • Innovation – using creativity to deliver digitally
  • More local government people
  • More outreach generally
  • Interest in Digital Leaders Research and what it can offer
  • Internet of things – how can cutting edge digital technology help people in their daily lives?
  • Privacy and security
  • Open data
  • Panel debate
  • Create a promotional film – has been done in other regions really successfully

As you can see, there’s a lot of exciting things coming up at Digital Leaders North West in future. We’ll be holding our next meeting on Thursday 13 August where we will be discussing all things Open Data. So please save the date and register here:

You can also join the Digital Leaders North West group on the Knowledge Hub to continue the conversation.

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Former Member 5 Years Ago
Sounds like a productive year! Well done to you all.