Digital Lancashire team at Thinking Digital Manchester!

On 11 October, members of the Digital Lancashire team attended Thinking Digital at HOME Manchester @HOME_mcr, a centre for contemporary art, theatre and film.

Thinking Digital, hosted by its Founder and CEO Herb Kim, is a series of workshops, talks, interviews and digital technology showcases, centred around influencers from the digital industry and attended by people from across the digital industry all waiting eagerly to be inspired!

This was certainly achieved. Especially inspiring was the key message which flowed through the event, “collaborate – groups of people working together are better than working alone, and digital has the power to achieve this.”

We found this particularly relevant to our goals for Digital Lancashire. One of our aims is to create an agile, lean, creative digital hub that can support the growth of digital in Lancashire, so hearing like-minded people talk about this with a similar passion and vision to ours was very refreshing!

The day was split into four different sessions, with each session hosting three speakers providing their thoughts on a specific digital theme.

Summarised below are snippets of the talks we found most inspirational, relevant useful for the future direction of Digital Lancashire:

Sarah Drinkwater – Campus at Google @sarahdrinkwater

Sarah’s talk on collaborative working spaces, sharing ideas, growing communities, creating opportunity and connecting people was an absolute inspiration for us, because its exactly what we’re all about.

One of our goals is to create a number of community groups across Lancashire to bring local organisations, businesses and people together in the digital and tech industry. Digital is booming in Lancashire and we’re constantly receiving information to share on new career opportunities – we need the world to hear about this!

Sarah spoke to us in detail about Campus at Google in London – a creative space for entrepreneurs set up by Google, which encourages entrepreneurs to share ideas, collaborate, build the future, launch the next generation of innovative companies and help grow the economy.

The final message from Sarah was to “put your community first”. This made us want to do a little whoop from the auditorium because that’s exactly what we’re about. We’re hoping to speak with Sarah in the near future about Digital Lancashire and our plan for growth.

Amber Case @caseorganic and Clara Gaggero Westaway @claragaggero

Amber Case and Clara Gaggero weren’t presenting as a team, however they shared the same message in their individual presentations. Both discussed the simplicity of technology, how some of the tech solutions being created aren’t needed because they’re trying to solve a problem where one doesn’t exist. The best tech is the solution you don’t even notice. Basically less is more and we need to get back to that way of thinking!

This gave us two clear messages to take away and keep at the forefront of our minds. Firstly, ‘keep it simple, don’t over complicate your offering, both in the digital and physical worlds’ and ‘context, magic and empathy are key’.

Ian Forrester – Firestarter at the BBC @cubicgarden

Well, what a job title! Who wouldn’t love to be a Firestarter. Igniting ideas and being the creative spark that leads to the roaring fire of success.

Ian spoke about how the BBC have completed research in their R&D North Lab that found that people living outside London are more interested in stories that make direct reference to their location (it doesn’t work in London because there is already a bias).

Ian then went onto speak about how following his research, they are now introducing responsive viewings and are texting how viewers respond to this based on their location, length of shows or type of content.

Sam Aaron – Rhythmic Coder @samaaron

Thinking Digital was the third time we’ve seen Sam perform. As always he never ceases to amaze and inspire us.

Sam is the creator of Sonic Pi, a free and easy to use piece of technology to help people see the creative potential of code. The joy is that you don’t need to be a software developer or professional coder to learn code and have fun with the tech he has created.

The session with Sam was wrapped up with a live code rave, which left me and the people around me dancing in our seats. It was a lot of fun and a very different perspective to using code.

What a fantastic event and our thanks to Herb Kim and Emma Turnbull for arranging it and bringing us an amazing speaker line-up.

Also, for giving us the opportunity to sponsor the event and raise awareness of Digital Lancashire. We had some great conversations during the day with some very inspirational and talented people.

We can’t wait for next year!

This article was created by @emmagibson from Digital Lancashire.

For further information regarding Digital Lancashire or to sign up, please visit www.digital-lancashire.org.uk.