London Tech Week is an annual event based in London which focuses on celebrating tech innovation, alongside the most innovative thinkers and talent of tomorrow. It spans across three days, each with its own agendas and discussions. With such a jam-packed schedule, full of insightful talks from inspirational leaders, we had to get involved in the action and network with like-minded individuals. Here are some of our key takeaways from the event:
AI – the Hot Topic of the Event
Artificial intelligence (including products such as generative AI, AI support for chat services, AI and the Metaverse to name a few) was a prominent topic throughout the event. It was discussed in various panels we attended, with people expressing their fears, excitement, and engaging in debates about its advancements. It was inevitable for it to be a key focus of conversations because of the current craze surrounding it, and so it was only right for it to be discussed in a room full of tech innovators and enthusiasts, to be able to have their say.
There were several political figures from across the world who guest spoke at LTW and shared their thoughts on topics surrounding tech and innovation. With such high authoritative figures making an appearance, it was apparent that everyone in the room wanted to understand their stance on AI, with their opinion holding a lot of weight because of their political influence. For instance, the surprise opening guest at LTW, turned out to be the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who shared his thoughts and plans surrounding AI. He made it known that he sees AI as having indefinite opportunities for success, economic growth, and improvements in healthcare and education, along with the potential of AI being able to act as a co-pilot to help workers across all sectors. Despite his extremely positive outlook on AI’s potential, he emphasised the importance of having immediate and appropriate regulations to ensure it is done safety. Similarly, the current Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin shared her positive views on AI, emphasising its potential to solve future challenges while calling for appropriate regulations.
Diversity and Inclusion in Tech
Diversity and inclusivity in tech were major themes across the event and throughout numerous panel discussions. It was great to see the implementation of the ‘EQL:HER’: segment at LTW which focused on gender parity and included talks from influential figures, speaking on important topics around diversity and inclusion in tech. Although tech statistics currently indicate that only 5% of leadership positions in tech are held by women, we can see that the industry in making positive strides in the right direction to balance out the numbers, as suggested in many of the talks. The panels in this segment covered crucial topics, from the importance of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, how organisations can grow and attract a diverse tech team, and equal opportunities for everyone in the tech industry. Guests invited to speak in this segment included many influential, industry-leading figures, which set an encouraging and empowering tone to the event.
A standout panel in this segment included Baroness Martha Lane Fox and Lady Mariéme Jamme, two recognisable figures within the industry, during which they discussed “How to change the World through Code.” Lady Mariéme Jamme, a technology activist, founded the ‘iamtheCode’ movement to teach coding to marginalised women and girls, with the aim to empower 1 million female coders in Africa by 2030. The panel highlighted the importance of providing opportunities to underprivileged women in what is currently still skewing as a male-dominated industry.
The themes of diversity and inclusion at LTW instigated important conversations that need to be spoken about in the industry. The insightful topic encouraged us to address how we can all embrace diversity in tech and use it as a force for innovation.
London’s Ongoing Success as a Tech Hub
It is without question that London is one of the leading cities in the world of tech and LTW did a great job in celebrating just that. The ongoing accomplishments that have been achieved, was a major topic at the event and new schemes, such as HSBC Innovation Banking and talks of government funding into tech and innovation were announced.
The HSBC Innovation Banking announcement by Rishi Sunak generated quite the buzz amongst the audience. The scheme will provide specialised banking to unlock the potential of UK innovation businesses and their investors. This will give innovative businesses access to large-scale financial assistance and support to help them excel.
Sadiq Khan, current Mayor of London, celebrated that tech has been at the forefront of environmental progress in London, helping to build a sustainable city. Khan announced the launch of the London Climate Resilience Review, which will tackle the threat of climate change with the help of technology. There is endless potential with using tech as a force for good and we are excited to witness how it can contribute towards positive changes for the environment.
London Tech Week provided valuable insights and networking opportunities, showcasing the latest tech trends, and fostering discussions on important topics such as artificial intelligence, diversity, and the power of coding to effect change.
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