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  • Webinar: BCS Policy and Campaign Priorities 2021-2025 - Northern Ireland Briefing

The BCS President is working closely with BCS to establish our four themes and campaign goals for 2021-2025.


John Higgins CBE FBCS,
President, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
John was director general of TechUK's predecessor Intellect and then DigitalEurope. He chairs the Global Digital Foundation, a think tank, and is a senior advisor to Burson, Cohn & Wolfe and the EU’s Intelligent Cities Challenge. He was appointed CBE in 2005 for services to the IT industry.

Rachel Steenson FBCS, Business Development Manager Civica NI Ltd
Rachel has recently joined Civica NI as Business Development Manager. Civica works primarily into the Public Sector to make a positive impact on wider society. She is past Chair of BCS NI Branch and holds several voluntary positions including, BCS Council and BCS Society Board. As a Fellow of the BCS she believes passionately in using IT to solve the biggest issues we face and encouraging more diversity in Tech. She has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry in both public and private organisations, with 17 of those being in spatial technology and data.

Dr Irene Bell, Regional Academic Lead for Digital School House, Stranmillis University College and Chair of NI Computing at Schools
Dr Irene Bell has been a member of the academic staff at Stranmillis University College since 1996. She is Head of STEM and a Principal Lecturer. She holds a BSc honors degree in Mathematics, a MA(Ed) degree and a PGCE from Queens University Belfast and an EdD from Exeter University. She has 11 years’ experience of teaching mathematics in Post-primary schools and 24 years of teaching within Initial Teacher Education. Formerly Head of Numeracy and Chair of Primary Education she now leads STEM Education at all levels within Stranmillis University College and is Chair of Post-primary Education. She has been the recipient of a Teaching Award in both 2005 and 2007 and the joint winner of the ‘Blackboard Technology Award’ (2013).

Justin Edwards, Director of Learning Programmes, Microsoft
Justin is currently Director of Learning Prorgammes, working for Microsoft’s Mojang Studios on Minecraft: Education Edition. He leads education content, policy, community engagement and educational research within the world’s most popular game franchise. He was formerly Chief Executive of the Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment, with responsibility for Examinations, Curriculum and Assessment in Northern Ireland. Prior to CCEA, Justin was Assistant Chief Executive at Belfast Met. He is a passionate advocate of bridging the digital divide in society and increasing computer coding skill in young people for over 20 years.

Dr Rachel Gawley Chief Technologist & Site Lead Bloc Labs
Rachel is a research leader experienced in building and nurturing collaborative teams to create ethical and impactful solutions to complex problems. Her background is in software engineering and I learned my craft in server-side, web, and native smartphone applications before settling into emerging technologies. She was the CTO of a MedTech company for over 5 years with a focus on leading the research and development of a product from inception through to clinical trials in the NHS and resulting release in app stores.


18:30 - Room opens
18:35 - Introduction to Chair and Panellists
18.45 - Presentation on the four themes and campaign goals
19:00 - Panel discussion and audience Q&A
19:25 - Summary
19:30 - Close


The BCS President is working closely with the team at head office to streamline BCS activity under four themes and campaign goals agreed and signed off by the BCS Trustee Board and Council:

  • Our digital lives should be in the hands of competent, ethical and accountable professionals.
  • Greater diversity and inclusion in the IT profession benefits society
  • The Digital Divide is a modern measure of inequality; it can be closed by access to skills as well as technology
  • The world will achieve Net Zero more rapidly with support of digital and data technologies

This webinar series is an opportunity to hear from the BCS President about the four themes, how they will be taken forward across the BCS and ask questions.

Expert panels with be convened to provide context and identify how the key themes can intersect with the wider contexts across the UK and internationally.

Our events are for adults aged 16 years and over.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event, please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.

This event is brought to you by: BCS Policy

Webinar: BCS Policy and Campaign Priorities 2021-2025 - Northern Ireland Briefing
Date and time
Wednesday 11 August, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
This event is sold out