Sessions that work around you

Enjoy presentations, discussions and workshops segmented by sector and region, including dedicated workstreams for the devolved nations and international audiences.

There’ll also be plenty of opportunity across the week to talk to BCS specialists or your peers about your particular situation and challenges.

Explore our extensive conference programme and begin planning your visit to the festival, there is something for everyone!

Day 1: Monday 30 November

10:00 - 10:20 - Welcome and opening

Speaker: Brian Runciman, BCS

Keynote speaker: Gillian Keegan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

10:20 - 10:35

Title: Levelling up the UK's economic performance

Speaker: Bill Mitchell OBE, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

10:35 - 10:50

Title: Skills in computing and data science - insights from the national skills landscape

Speaker: Matthew Forshaw, Senior Lecturer in Data Science, Newcastle University, National Skills Lead, The Alan Turing Institute

10:50 - 11:30

Title: Digital Economy and Skills, the role of professionalism and standards
Format: Panel discussion

Speakers:

  • Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Scottish Government
  • Rebecca George OBE, BCS President, Managing Partner for Public Services Deloitte
  • Sharon Moore MBE, CTO Public Sector UK, IBM

A discussion on the future of the digital economy and skills. Kate and Sharon will join Rebecca to discuss these topics, as well as the Scottish Government’s agenda in this area and the findings of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (The Logan Report)

11:30 - 12:00 - Exhibition and networking

12:00 - 12:30

Title: To be confirmed
Speaker: To be confirmed

12:30 - 12:50

Room 1

Title: Apprenticeships - supporting economic recovery
Speaker: Rob Nitsch, COO, iFATE

Room 2

Title: Race and Ethnicity issues in the IT Industry
Format: Panel discussion

Speakers: 

12:50 - 13:30

Title: Can digital apprenticeships play a key role in economic recovery and growth?

Speakers:

  • Anna Ambrose, the director of London Progression
  • Lori French, Degree apprentice and winner of the UK IT Awards
  • Nicola Drury, UK Apprenticeships Manager at Amazon
  • Luke Allen, Managing Director of Galahad

Annette Allmark, BCS’ head of apprenticeships will continue the conversation on the role of apprenticeships in supporting businesses now and post COVID.

13:30 - 14:00

Title: In conversation with digital apprentices
Speaker: Lori French, IBM

Lori will lead a conversation with digital apprenticeships finding out what their apprenticeship means to them, the impact they make on the businesses they work with and other important matters including diversity and inclusion.

14:00 - 14:30

Title: CPD: What does good look like?

Facilitator: Sharon Pillai, Senior Product Manager

Speaker: Kevin Streater, Chair BCS Learning and Development Specialist Group

14:30 - 15:00 - Exhibition and networking

15:00 - Close

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Day 2: Tuesday 1 December

10:00 - 10:20

Room 1

Title: Digital skills and transformation in Wales in 2021 and beyond.
Speaker: Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy & Transport - Wales

Room 2

Title: An ethical data and innovation economy starts with ethical skills and competencies
Speaker: Roger Taylor, Chair, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI)

10:20 - 11:00

Room 1

Title: Digital skills in the Welsh public sector. Panel discussion hosted by Brian Runciman

Speakers:

  • Michelle Sell, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Sally Meecham, Chair - Centre for digital public services

Room 2

Title: Data innovation and digital skills
Speaker: Steve Caughey, Director - National Innovation Centre for Data

11:00 - 11:30

Room 1

Title: Trust and credibility valuing digital skills under the microscope!
Host: Julie Andrews, Head of Health and Care, BCS

Panel:

Room 2

Title: Emerging skills that will make you stand out
Speaker: Eileen Jennings-Brown MBCS, Head of Technology, Wellcome Trust
Panelist: Andrew Barnett, Key Account Manager, Corporate Engagement, BCS L&D
Facilitator: Ian Borthwick, Head of Publishing, BCS

11:30 - 12:00 - Exhibition and networking

12:00 - 12:30

Room 1

Title: Value of professional standards in a competitive talent market. 

Speakers:

Room 2

Title: Case Study: Digital bootcamp helps Nationwide Building Society build new tech talent
Speaker: Ian Andrews, Head of Engineering, Nationwide Building Society

Find out how Nationwide partnered with tech skills and talent provider QA to reskill colleagues from across the organisation to help build their digital capability.

12:30 - 13:00

Title: Healthy career prospects: Securing the future of digital skills in health and care
Host: Lucy Ireland, Managing Director, BCS L&D

Panel:

13:00 - 13:30

Title: Developing software for research

Speakers:

The speakers will discuss how software permeates all research conducted today, and consider the challenges around skills, incentives and career paths for those working in the sector.

13:30 - 14:00 - Exhibition and networking

14:00 - 14:30

Room 1

Title: Role of unions in the IT and tech sector (role of technical workers coalition)
Speaker: Andrew Pakes, Prospect Union and CWU Union

Room 2

Title: AI and Robotics skills - what does AI mean for IT professionals?
Facilitator: Patricia Barlow, Product Manager, BCS

Speakers:

  • Sarah Burnett, Founding Partner at Emergence Partners, BCS Women volunteer and BCS book author
  • Andrew Lowe, Director at iA42 Ltd, BCS course and book author

14:30 - 15:00 - Exhibition and networking

15:00 - Close

Book now

Take your place at BCS Virtual Festival of Digital Skills.

Day 3: Wednesday 2 December

10:00 - 10:30

Title: Digital transformation and skills in the third sector - a devolved nations approach

Speakers: 

  • Sally Dyson, Head of digital and programmes SCVO
  • Aaron Slater, SCVO
  • Marc Davies, Regional Manager West Wales, Digital Communities Wales
  • Brian Runciman, BCS

10:30 - 11:00

Room 1

Title: Scottish computing education and skills 
Format: Fireside chat

Speakers:

  • Kirsty McFaul, Education Scotland
  • Julia Adamson, Director of Education, BCS

Room 2

10:30 - 10:45
Title: Collaborating to create engaging, inclusive experiences with technology for all children
Speaker: Kojo Hazel, Treorchy Comprehensive School

How do we ensure that all children have the opportunity to be involved in learning and community activities during these testing times and into the future? These real life examples and practices suggest how technology can play a key role in addressing the above.

10:45 - 11:00
Title: Empowering our local learners and communities during these challenging times through innovation way beyond the classroom
Speaker: Mark Martin MBE, Urban Teacher

Being innovative in challenging times: In this session Mark Martin MBE will explore how teachers can support their learners at this challenging time. This year we have witnessed a global pandemic, Black Lives Matter Movement, Climate Change and many more issues that have affected teachers  and student’s way beyond the classroom. Is this a moment in time where we can reflect and build a brighter future for our learners and communities that we serve?

11:00 - 11:40

Title: Roundtable: Leadership skills as part of continuing professional development
Facilitator: Charles Rumball, Director of Publishing Sales, BCS

Speakers:

  • Brian Sutton, Professor of Learning Performance, University of Middlesex, co-author of Technical Leadership Capabilities series
  • Robina Chatham, Visiting Fellow, Cranfield University School of Management, co-author of Technical Leadership Capabilities series
  • Philippa Thomas, Skill Shift Ltd, co-author of The Human Touch

11:40 - 12:30 - Exhibition and networking

12:30 - 13:00

Title: Why digital skills need strategies and charters to deliver on diversity

Speaker: Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter

13:00 - 13:30

Title: Driving up standards and excellence in technical education and skills

Speaker: Neil Bentley-Gockmann, CEO Worldskills UK

13:30 - 14:00 - Exhibition and networking

14:00 - 14:30

Room 1

Title: Digital Poverty and digital capital - a skills perspective
Speaker: Dave Donaghy, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bristol

Room 2

Title: Developing a learning mindset: You can go your own way
Facilitator: Russell Friend, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Panelists:

  • J. O. Uhomoibhi PhD CPhys MInsP MIET FHEA FBCS CITP FCHERP Elearning SG Chair and Digital Learning Specialist
  • Craig Rollason, IT Senior Manager, Energy & Utilities

14:30 - 15:00 - Exhibition and networking

15:00 - Close

Book now

Take your place at BCS Virtual Festival of Digital Skills.

Day 4: Thursday 3 December

10:00 - 10:30

Title: Framework for Digital Skills - Northern Ireland. Fireside chat

Speakers: 

  • Justin Edwards, CCEA Council for Curriculum, Exams and Assessment
  • Dr Jayne Brady MBE, Belfast Digital Innovation Commissioner and member of the UK Government Innovation Expert Group
  • Rachel Steenson FBCS, Market Engagement Manager - NI - ESRI Ireland
  • Brian Runciman, BCS

10:30 - 11:00

Room 1

Title: Why computer science and geography should be best friends: Developing the right skills and knowledge to ensure future generations can make data driven decisions about sustainable development.
Speaker: Jason Sawle, Head of Education for ESRI UK

Room 2

Title: Soft skills that will make you kick ass
Facilitator: Sharon Pillai, Senior Product Manager, BCS

  • Why soft skills matter
  • Understanding our impact on others
  • Building relationships of trust at work
  • Communication skills that help us kick ass!
  • How I build my soft skills

Speakers:

11:00 - 11:40

Title: Interactive workshop - Progression through the Education Portfolio: Introducing EDSQ, ICDL Digital Student (Smart Digital, Robotics, Computing) and Standalone Knowledge Modules 

Facilitators:

  • Zoe Spilberg
  • John Maskrey, BCS
  • Frank Mockler, ICDL Foundation

11:40 - 12:00 - Q&A following the interactive workshop

12:00 - 12:30

Room 1

Title: ESFA discussion and Q&A

Speakers: 

Department for Education (DfE):

  • Rebecca Denham - Traineeships
  • James Archer - Apprenticeships
  • Amelia Brennan - T Levels

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP):

  • David Boxall - Kickstart
  • Nicholas Campbell - Kickstart

Room 2

Title: Making computing accessible to learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
Speaker: Catherine Elliott, eLearning Consultant & NCCE Subject Matter Expert

In this talk you will hear about the importance of teaching computing and key digital skills to young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and some simple ways that teachers can make their lessons more inclusive.

12:30 - 12:45

Title: The future of digital further education - the college of the future

Speaker: Lesley Giles, member of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future

12:45 - 13:30

Title: Q&A discussion with Independent Commission on the College of the Future
Host: Brian Runciman, BCS

Speakers:

  • Lesley Giles, member of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future
  • Nichola Hay, Vice Chair of the Association of Employment Learning Providers (AELP)

13:30 - 14:00 - Exhibition and networking

14:00 - 14:30

Room 1

Title: Agile skills in a digital world

Speakers: 

  • Lyn Girvan, CMC Partnership Consultancy, co-author of Agile and Business Analysis
  • Simon Girvan, Agile Coach, UK Civil Service

Room 2

Title: BCS Higher Education Qualifications to IT Professional
Format: Fireside chat

Speakers:

  • Stephen Tweed, International Sales Director, BCS
  • Becky Lemaire, Product Developer, BCS

14:30 - 15:00 - Exhibition and networking

15:00 - Close

Book now

Take your place at BCS Virtual Festival of Digital Skills.

Day 5: Friday 4 December

10:00 - 10:30

Room 1

Title: Giving back to your community: Professionalism that helps everyone
Format: Live panel session
Facilitator: Ian Borthwick, Head of Publishing, BCS

Speakers:

  • Andrea Palmer, Chair of BCS Women
  • Tom Crick, Swansea University
  • Dalim Basu, Chair of BCS North London Branch & BCS Central London Branch
  • Gillian Arnold, Tectre / BCS / CEPIS

This panel session will explore the perspectives of key BCS volunteers on why it’s important to engage with professional communities, from personal career progression and professional development, to how it makes a difference in both the IT industry and wider society.

Room 2

Title: Neurodiversity - Thinking differently about technology
Speaker: John Levell FBCS

10:30 - 11:00

Room 1

Title: The NCCE - lessons learned and the future of computing education in the UK
Speaker: Simon Peyton-Jones, Chair - National Centre for Computing Education & Principal researcher at Microsoft Research

Room 2

Title: Mind the gap: Engaging Afro-Caribbean girls in Computer Science  
Speaker: Tessy Mosindi, Founder of Educating Africa, Educator and Tech Entrepreneur

11:00 - 11:40

Room 1

Title: Computing education panel discussion
Facilitator: Niel McLean, Head of Education, BCS Academy

Speakers: 

  • Steve Ireland, Head of Computing, Dartford Grammar
  • Pete Dring, CAS Master Teacher - Fulford School in York
  • Dawn Walker, Bentley Federation in Walsall

Room 2

Title: BCS "Women: Transforming digital leadership"

Speakers: 

  • Claire MacManus - Vice Chair, BCS Northern Ireland Committee
  • Emer Kielt - Product Development Team Lead, Bazaarvoice Belfast
  • Darren Dillon - Worldwide CTO for Azure Cloud, Microsoft Consulting Services
  • Niamh Campbell - Journalist, SyncNI

Following the recent "Women: Transforming digital leadership" programme run by BCS in association with Empowering You, the panel discusses the value of continued targeted leadership initiatives in the digital industries from the sponsor, employer, and participant perspectives.

11:40 - 12:00 - Exhibition and networking

12:00 - Close

Book now

Take your place at BCS Virtual Festival of Digital Skills.