What did we learn from London Tech Week

Posted by Rachelle Palmer
Posted on June 19, 2019 Leave a comment

London Tech Week has always held considerable importance in the STEM calendar, however this years events were arguably more significant. Due to the UK's uncertain political and economic climate, especially surrounding the chaotic upheaval Brexit has triggered, London Tech Week was a sign of unity and strength within this rapidly changing industry. Its aim was to re-establish London as the tech capital of the world and maintain the developmental lead. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his Spring Statement "our capital is the world's financial centre" and this needs to be protected. Recently, it has been reported by several publications such as the Business Cloud and City A.M that tech jobs within the capital rose by almost two thirds for the past year. 

Since London is synonymous with finance and technology, attracting global talent is part of the digital infrastructure of the city. Tech Week was a reflection of this with a variety of different size companies from both the UK and abroad attending. This year was the first occasion where the Prime Minister launched Tech Week with a speech, where she acknowledged London's unicorn companies and the advancement of technology so far.  This open recognition of London's achievements and capability was important as the first half of 2019 brought with it record breaking VC investments for London based companies. May also noted, that it has now become abnormal to mention tech without mentioning the economy and that she is proud to be a part of the revolution. With this being said, we are all part of the revolution whether we are excited by this or wary, as tech in London is growing and changing exponentially, at one and half times faster than the rest of the British economy and contributing greatly to the global economy. 

Altogether, London Tech Week attracted over 58,000 attendees globally from countries as near as the Ukraine to as far a Ghana and China, which cemented London's importance on a global scale. What we learned was that diversity and inclusion was key to growth and there is much pride in championing this, despite the turmoil surrounding Brexit. Reinforcing the concept of unity, was the presence of the Prime Minister who showed support, appreciation, value and understanding for the industry which will improve standards of living globally, and even assist in the development in curing chronic diseases. This year's hot topics also included an intense focus on AI and machine learning with CogX in King's Cross and the ExCel centre hosting the AI Summit, which examined the role such technology is currently and will be playing in the future. On a final note, it is safe to say that London Tech Week was a success and the most inclusive so far, giving us hope for continued growth and progression for Tech Week 2020.   

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