conference

10th Anniversary Thinking Digital Conference

Date: Wednesday, 16/17 May 2017
Venue: Sage Gateshead
Tickets: From £195
Ticket Link: http://tdcncl.com/register



2017 marks our tenth year of bringing together some of the brightest minds across the UK to discuss technology, ideas and our future. Thinking Digital Arts is part of the wider Thinking Digital Event, which tajes place over the 16th and 17th May.
Register

Day one includes interactive workshops looking at Virtual Reality, live-streaming, Personal Development and Data Visualisation, and our 6th annual Startup Competition followed by infamous pre-conference dinner with over 200 delegates.

Day 2 brings over 500 of the UK’s top thinkers to The Sage, Gateshead for a jam packed agenda where we will be joined on stage by double Grammy Award winning artist Imogen Heap, Author of The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets Simon Singh, Twitter’s Dan Biddle, Quirkologist Richard Wiseman, Internet Entertainer and YouTube star Tom Scott, as well as speakers from NASA, DARPA, and more!

We hope you can join us for what is set to be our best event yet!

Simon Singh

Simon Singh


Author, TV producer and journalist Simon Singh has guided us through many of science’s great stories, from the Big Bang to the secret maths of The Simpsons. After completing a PhD in particle physics, Simon made the leap to the BBC’s Science Department, where he won a BAFTA for his documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem. He has also written books investigating alternative medicine, and the history of codes and code-breaking. He has campaigned for fairer libel laws, toured with Robin Ince, Brian Cox and Ben Goldacre, and helped to nurture education projects in schools.

Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman


Professor Richard Wiseman has been described by one Scientific American columnist as “the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today”.

During his career, he has critically explored - and often debunked - paranormal phenomena, examined the habits that can influence good or bad luck, and set out in search of the world’s funniest joke. He has written best-selling psychology books including The Luck Factor, Quirkology and 59 seconds, and has been published in a number of the world’s leading academic journals.

Richard holds Britain’s only professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology. His YouTube channels have received over 500million views, and he has acted as a consultant for Mythbusters, Brain Games and Derren Brown.

Mark Mullen

Mark Mullen


How do you build a bank for the mobile world?

For three years, Mark Mullen has been helping to build the foundations of Atom Bank, the UK’s first bank made exclusively for mobile. Mark left his job at the HSBC Group in 2014 to co-found the bank, and is currently its CEO.

The Durham-based firm offers app-based banking with no branches and no opening hours. It recently launched an online-only mortgage product.

Before Atom Bank, Mark was the chief executive of first direct, and his role was expanded to include the HSBC UK Contact Centres in 2013. He joined HSBC in 2000 to launch its business internet platform, and has also worked as head of marketing for first direct and HSBC Bank’s Middle East operations.

Laetitia Cailleteau

Laetitia Cailleteau


What role will virtual helpers fill in our daily lives in the (near) future?

Accenture managing director Laetitia Cailleteau is responsible for leading the company’s exploration of virtual agents. At Accenture’s London Liquid Studio, her team looks at the impact and potential of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. She is also the global lead for Delivery Innovation, and the UKI lead for Emerging Technology within Accenture’s Technology Innovation & Ecosystems organisation.

Laetitia co-authored a publication on Virtual Agents for e-Commerce in the final year of her Master degree at INSA LYON, and rose from software engineer to master technology architect after joining Andersen Consulting in 1999.

John Kershaw

John Kershaw


John is the Founder of M14 Industries, the service that lets anyone have their own dating app. M14’s flagship app is Bristlr, dubbed the “Tinder for beards” and winner of the “Best new dating site” at the UK Dating Awards.

Jeremy Silver

Jeremy Silver


What’s next for digital innovation in the UK?

As the CEO of the Digital Catapult, it’s Jeremy Silver’s job to help support businesses working in fields such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The author, mentor and investor is a former CEO at Sibelius Software and an executive chair at Semetric Ltd, and he has held senior positions at both Virgin Records and EMI.

Jeremy was an advisor to the founders of Shazam, and wrote the acclaimed Digital Medieval: The First Twenty Years of Music on the Web…and the Next Twenty. He specialises in digital media, big data music and the creative industries.

Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap


Self produced, twice Grammy awarded artist and innovator, Imogen Heap blurs the boundaries between pure art form and creative entrepreneurship. Heap has always communicated and collaborated with her loyal following (currently she has over 2.2m twitter followers alone) both on and offline in pioneering ways. This has included fans contributing sounds, words and ideas through her inventive Listening Chair project for example or taking on a whole city in China for her song Xizi She Knows.

Her graceful tunes such as signature track Hide & Seek populate movies and TV shows, accompany dance and theatre performances and more recently, have been sampled by a whole new generation of young rappers and producers. On the more commercial end and being an 'artistąs artist', Heap has penned songs for and with Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Mika and Josh Groban among others.

Heap has recently produced the music for the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, theatre production. J.K Rowling's next story in the series has opened at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End, May 2016.

Heap’s latest project “Mycelia” is a pioneering vision for a sustainable future music industry ecosystem in light of Blockchain technology. ‘Mycelia’ is now a foundation from which to create, champion and maintain the ethical, technological and commercial standards required to run a fair trade music industry.

Dr Justin Sanchez

Dr Justin Sanchez


The future of mind-controlled machines might not be as far away as we think.

As director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office, Dr Justin Sanchez is part of a team that is looking at how to decode brain signals and use them to control robotic prosthetics.

His research includes the visualisation and decoding of brain activity, the development of devices that could help patients with memory deficits, and advanced prosthetic arm systems that could restore feeling and movement after an injury.

The former associate professor of Biomedical Engineer and Neuroscience at the University of Miami has also looked at the potential of neurotechnology for treating paralysis, Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Dr Anita Sengupta

Dr Anita Sengupta


It’s not every day you get to meet a world-class rocket scientist.

Dr Anita Sengupta has spent the last 15 years developing spacecraft technology that can probe the far reaches of Mars, Venus and deep space.

She started her career on the Delta IV launch vehicle and communications satellites, and was the brains behind the supersonic parachute system that helped the Curiosity Rover land on Mars. She is currently spearheading the development of the cooling-based atomic physics facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab which will be launched to the International Space Station this year.

Dr Sengupta is a research associate in the astronautics department of the University of Southern California, the University from which she earned her MS and PhD in aerospace engineering.

Di Mainstone

Di Mainstone


For artist Di Mainstone, the magic starts with movement.

Di creates sculptures, devices and installations inspired by the movements of the human body. Many of these transform movement into sound, and are inspired by developments in technology. Her projects include a clip-on device that allows people to “play” suspension bridges like a giant harp, and a “hydrocordion” which creates soundscapes by playing with air and water.

Di is an artist in residence at Queen Mary University, and has also worked with The National Portrait Gallery, The V&A and The Barbican.

As a commissioned artist for Thinking Digital Arts, she will also be creating a film that will draw out the unique characteristics of TDC’s long-time “home”: The Sage Gateshead.

Darren Jobling

Darren Jobling


How do you adapt the car-buying experience for a 21st century consumer?

Darren Jobling is the digital innovator behind ZeroLight, a company which uses Virtual Reality technology to change the way that people check out the car of their dreams. ZeroLight’s platform enables dealerships to build a simulation of a car, and give customers an immersive virtual tour.

Darren draws on experience from his many years at independent game developer Eutechnyx to bring games industry talent and technology to the automotive industry. ZeroLight’s clients include many of the world’s leading car manufacturers, including Audi, Pagani, VW and Toyota.

Dan Biddle

Dan Biddle


Dan was most recently director of broadcast partnerships at Twitter in the UK. Dan worked with partners to devise compelling new ways to pair broadcast with conversation.Twitter has built a reputation as the “watercooler” of the social media world. It’s where we discuss the latest shocking events in politics, entertainment and sport. Dan’s big question was ““how can Twitter make TV better?””

As BBC Vision’s Social Media Executive, he developed social media strategies for the corporation’s iPlayer and TV offerings. Dan’s an old hand at developing online communities, and was the Social Media Producer for BAFTA-winning multiplatform production Virtual Revolution. He hosts the Off The Wall Post, a podcast about digital media.

Chris Turner

Chris Turner


He’s an unlikely freestyle rapper - with a taste for tea and Roman numerals.

Chris Turner is an award-winning comic, known on the comedy club and corporate circuit for his neat gags and improvised raps. The West Australian has dubbed him “the thinking man’s comedian”.

Chris is a veteran of three Edinburgh Festivals and was nominated for Best Comedy at Perth Fringeworld 2017. He’s racked up over 5 million views on YouTube, and is no stranger to audiences on BBC Radio 2, 6Music and RTL4’s standup show, The Comedy Factory. He is also a favourite on the corporate circuit, and recently worked with Yorkshire Tea to create a tea-centric rap called Blessed are the Teamakers.

His 2017 Edinburgh show - What a Time to be Alive - will spill the beans about his recent move to America.

Adrian Westaway

Adrian Westaway


What connects the mystical arts of design and magic?

According to Adrian Westaway, designers should be no strangers to “magic thinking”; the ability to “introduce surprise, delight and fuzzy feeling in the things they create”.

The first-ever James Dyson Fellow is a full member of the Magic Circle, and this perspective to make familiar-yet-wondrous designs as the co-founder of London-based product studio Special Projects.

Adrian has built a playground in Peru, and became a fellow of the Royal Commission of 1851 for his work on interactive lighting systems. He is a tutor and lecturer at Queen Mary University and the Royal College of Art, and teaches Magic and Design as a visiting faculty member at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

Tom Scott

Tom Scott


In a world filled with technology, it’s easy to forget how it all affects our daily lives. Thankfully, we have Tom Scott.

Tom makes things with video editing tools, lines of code and a few metres of network cable. They help us to think about the internet, technology, the pace of change, and occasionally about tea cozies. His videos and projects have been seen by tens of millions of people, and he’s popped up in the media around the world.

If you’re interested in little known facts and the hidden consequences of technology, join his 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, or find him at tomscott.com or on Twitter at @tomscott.

Sophie Bostock

Sophie Bostock


How can improving your sleeping habits make a difference to your mental health?

Sophie Bostock works as a “sleep evangelist” at Big Health, a digital medicine company which aims to improve the mental health of millions by helping them get a good night’s sleep. Sophie’s research focuses on the links between sleep, well-being, health and performance, and she has been awarded an NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellowship to help promote the use of digital medicine in the NHS.

She has a PhD in Health Psychology from UCL and collaborates with colleagues at the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford.