Held from the 11th - 17th of June, the event saw 55,000 attendees from over 90 countries, coming together for a mix of conferences, summits, expos and parties. If you missed the action-packed week then keep reading for a roundup!
The week kicked off with the LeadersIn Tech Summit. Tech is the UK’s fastest growing sector, and with London being the tech capital of Europe, the Mayor of London himself, Sadiq Khan, gave the opening speech. Speaking on the importance of young talent for the future of UK tech the Mayor said, “Careers in tech are for anyone who dreams big”.
Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK, went on to emphasise the pace at which the tech industry and innovation is moving, commenting that “65% of young people will do jobs in the future that do not exist today”, while Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, highlighted the lack of female representation within the tech industry, saying, “Women are still under-represented in the tech industry. Empowering women makes organisations stronger”. Day one ended with an extravagant Prince’s Trust gala dinner, held at the Tower of London.
The second day saw an overlap between the last day of the LeadersIn tech summit and the beginning of the headline expo, Tech XLR8 at the ExCel London. Tech XLR8 ran over three days and featured eight events under one roof, covering everything from 5G to smart transportation and IoT.
Founder of Last Minute, Martha Lane Fox, spoke on the gender gap in tech and said, “90% of the world's developers are male. We're about to build a future that is very, very much non-female. The time for intervention is now!”
The third day included the ABP International Tech Exhibition, enabling founders of start-ups and UK tech companies to make global connections and gain some extra tech knowledge along the way.
A panel discussion on whether AI can be emotionally intelligent took place in the middle of the day with speakers from Google and Photobox. With only 17% of Wikipedia biographies belonging to women, a Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thon’ also took place to help tackle the issue. The day then ended at the OXO tower with the ‘Art of Work’ event, a collaboration between Microsoft Azure and SAP showcasing beautiful Cloud technology innovations and artwork.
An exciting AI summit on day four saw talks on blockchain as well as demos from a range of AI, AR and VR innovations. Following on from the AI summit was a Future of Work summit, which saw speakers discuss the future of talent in tech.
The Getahead festival also formed part of London Tech Week with tech being recognised as one of the most stressful and demanding sectors. The festival looked at ways of taking care of yourself at the same time as being ambitious.
Day five was the final day of the IoT World Europe event as part of Tech XLR8 expo and saw a keynote from Director of Workplace by Facebook, EMEA, Julien Lesaicherre, who commented on the future of tech saying, "Robots can change the world. This will impact the lives of millions of people, but it is also reshaping business. In 10 years, 40% of the Fortune 500 won’t exist. We have to change, we have to adapt, we have to evolve the way we do business."
Day five also saw the Wonder Women Tech conference take place, featuring speakers from Intel, Facebook and the Ministry of Defence, amongst others, to encourage diversity in the tech sector. Joanne Watson, director of the global inclusion office at Intel mentioned that “Full inclusivity is not a hiring problem but a culture problem. It’s all about fairness, respect and accountability”.
The week ended on a thrilling high with the Formula 1 Powerboat Racing London Grand Prix and with the PM, Theresa May announcing a £2.3bn private investment into the UK sector.
With so many plans for the future of tech in the UK, it will be interesting to see just how much has changed in a years’ time before London Tech Week 2019!