June 27th 2018 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh



Claudette Jones

Chief Information Officer, University of the West of Scotland


Claudette Jones has been the Chief Information Officer at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) since leaving the City of Edinburgh Council in September 2016.

At UWS Jones is responsible for the delivery of IT and digital services transformation for the University’s 16,000 students across 5 UK campuses and world-wide. Leading an in-house team to deliver a transformative student success experience in a 21st Century University environment and enabling increased research activities.

At the City of Edinburgh Council, Jones was responsible for IT and digital across the corporate and education services for 18,000 staff and 40,000 school children. Jones oversaw the procurement of the £186m contract with CGI to transform IT and digital services for staff and citizens which also targeted access for SMEs to the Council’s IT budget. As part of the deal all Secondary schools in Edinburgh each received 1GB of scalable bandwidth, and major efficiency savings were contractually guaranteed for the effective use of the newly procured technologies. 


Alexander Holt,

Head of CivTech®, Scottish Government


Alexander has worked in the Digital Directorate of the Scottish Government for the past three years. His current role is as architect and Head of CivTech® - a groundbreaking programme whose mission is to drive daring and innovation within the public sector, delivering better public services, and providing economic development opportunities and fast becoming a culture change programme. Previous roles included running a number of government tech procurements. Before moving back up to Edinburgh he spent eight years in London, six of which were spent growing his own digital creative agency delivering 'super shiny' web apps for Google, PayPal, Sony Ericsson, McDonald's, Adobe and other leading brands. He is massively passionate about the benefits of digital transformation in the public sector which leads to better value services that make our lives better.

Colin Cook

 Director, National, International and Research Group, Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)


Colin Cook has been appointed as Director, Digital at Scottish Government. This follows previous roles as Head of the Digital Public Services and Business Transformation Division which included responsibility for Scottish Government’s Civtech incubator, Digital Transformation Service and National Ecosystem Unit and Head of the Digital Strategy and Programmes Division where he was responsible for the delivery of Superfast broadband, promoting digital skills and tackling digital exclusion.   

Outside of Scottish Government, Colin’s experience includes spells as Marketing Director, British Army and both Marketing Director and Service Specification Director of Royal Mail’s core Letters Business.

Chris Ferguson

Director, National, International and Research Group, Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)

Chris Ferguson is one of the original senior management team that built the UK’s Government Digital Service. In 2011 he was brought into the Cabinet Office to take on the digital identity challenge and created the team that developed GOV.UK Verify.

In January 2015, Chris became the GDS Director responsible for the Digital Group comprising GOV.UK , GOV.UK Verify and the Government-as-a-Platform delivery team.

In February 2017, Chris established the National, International & Research Group within GDS. This will focus how GDS engages and collaborates with the UK's wider public sector, devolved administrations and partner organisations worldwide.

Chris is the chair of the cross-government Digital Leaders network and head of the digital profession within HM Government.

Prior to his involvement with digital transformation of public services, Chris’s career mainly focused on diplomacy and security in the UK and overseas.


Martyn Wallace

Chief Digital Officer,  Scottish Local Government Digital Office

@Digital_MW @DigitalOfficeLG


Martyn leads the new Scottish Local Government Digital Office which was set up in 2016 to look at creating and delivering innovative digital solutions to help councils with the challenge of balancing their budgets whilst still delivering critical front line services.

Before joining the office Martyn’s career has been in the tech sector where he has worked for companies including Capita Secure Digital Solutions, Telefonica O2UK, BlackBerry, Computacenter and Compaq. Throughout his career Martyn has worked with multiple private and public sector clients where he has helped advise, design, procure and implement solution within technical areas such as Internet of things, Cloud Services, Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP), Big Data and Managed Security Services. He has also seen and worked with new emerging trends, products and Technologies which have come to market in the last few years such as Drones, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.

Robert Skipworth

Head of Public Sector Sales and Services - Scotland, NetApp

Robert joined NetApp in July 2015 as part of a major expansion of resources based in Scotland to service and grow NetApp’s customer and partner base.   With experience of big data, mobile and enterprise database & applications delivery, Robert is helping focus the NetApp engagement with current Scottish Public Sector customers. A key responsibility is developing the communication of NetApp’s data management innovation and capability that will help Scotland’s Public Sector Services take advantage of hybrid-cloud and on premise data services.

Prior to NetApp Robert developed the MicroStrategy  Business Analytics and Mobile business in Scotland, with particular focus on the NHS.  Former roles include 14 years with Oracle culminating in global account management for pharmaceutical and Oil & Gas customers.   Robert has a B.Sc in Software Engineering and has worked in the IT industry since 1993 where he was first employed as a programmer with NEC Semiconductors in Livingston.  

Claire Mack

Director of Policy and Place, SCDI (Scottish Council for Development of Industry

Claire is Director of Policy and Place working across all sectors and all geographies in line with SCDI’s remit. Claire focuses on strategic engagement and policy to deliver the ambitions and recommendations of SCDI’s Blueprint document designed to meet the challenges in Scotland with regard to Productivity, Innovation and Internationalisation to deliver strong future growth. She previously led on telecoms, spectrum and postal issues for Ofcom in Scotland looking at regulation and coverage of those industries while also looking at developing digital participation of individuals and businesses. Prior to this Claire spent time working in retail and the construction industry as well as on regulation of regional broadcasting in the Borders and North East of England. 

Derick James

CEO, Symphonic Software

Derick has over 30 years' experience in consultancy and IT-driven business change through Board level roles in both industry and information technology organisations. He has a strong track record in IT management and client engagement across a number of sectors. He has led Symphonic Software since its formation and works closely with Symphonic's technical teams and client management to ensure alignment of Symphonic's technology with market needs.

Simon Ward

Director Northern Europe Solution Consulting, OpenText

Simon has over 15 years of experience in the IT technical field. As a market visionary, he has gleaned a keen understanding of emerging products and web technologies and has used this knowledge working within a wide range of industries including both public and commercial sectors.

Since Joining OpenText in 2008, he has successfully enabled delivery of On-Premise and On-Demand software and hardware solutions. His current position sees him leading solution and technical sales within the UK & Nordics regions, working with customers and prospects to resolve their business problems and drive sales revenue.

Simon has extensive experience in successfully delivering Web Content Management, Web Applications, Social Media, Document Management Solutions, Business Intelligence, CRM and E-commerce solutions.

Jonathan Cameron

Head of Service - Strategic Development Public Health and Intelligence, NHS National Health Services Scotland

In July 2015, Jonathan was appointed as Head of Service for the Strategic Development team in NHS National Services Scotland. Jonathan has responsibility for a wide ranging portfolio including Data Science, Data Visualisation and delivery of major information programmes including Open Data. Jonathan is a CivTech Challenge Sponsor for NSS and is currently leading on the new challenge for citizen engagement with data. 

Niall Burns

CTO, Symphonic Software Ltd

Niall is the CTO and co-founder of Symphonic Software. He has been involved right from the conception stages through to the delivery of Symphonic’s suite of commercial products that focus on authorisation and resource access in complex data sharing environments. Prior to Symphonic he was Technical Director for the design and delivery of an innovative patient safety solution for the health service market, working in collaboration with the NHS and leading pharmaceutical companies. Along with his technical expertise Niall brings a great passion for transforming technical ideas into commercially viable products.

Gemma Diamond

Senior Audit Manager, Audit Scotland


Gemma is a senior manager at Audit Scotland, Scotland’s public spending watchdog.  Over the last few years Gemma has worked on a number of performance audits looking at the management of ICT programmes across central government, and also on audits of individual ICT-enabled programmes including the Scottish Government’s CAP Futures programme.  

Cat Macaulay

Head of User Research and Engagement, Scottish Government


Cat is Head of User Research and Service Design in Scottish Government. She leads a team of User Researchers and Service Designers helping people and organisations across the Scottish public sector learn to make sense of their user’s worlds, and put that sense to work in the design of services, strategies and policies.

After a diverse career in the private sector and international emergency relief she took a PhD in Computing. Starting out as a Human Computer Interface (HCI) and interaction design lecturer and researcher in the late 90s, she led the development of the BSc in Interactive Media Design at Dundee University, worked on a number of large European, industry and EPSRC research projects, and helped 5 people get their PhDs and designed and launched the world's first masters in Design Ethnography. She has consulted, taught and talked about design and design ethnography in India, the USA, across Europe and in Australia. Companies she has led projects for include Intel USA, Unilever UK, Microsoft USA, the BBC, Intel Eire, Swisscom and NCR UK.

Her professional specialisms include design ethnography, user research, innovation and concept design as well as team leadership, project management, teaching, training and mentoring. 

Nicola McBain

Head of Change, OSCR (The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator)


Nicola McBain joined OSCR in 2006 as a Senior Policy Officer. She is currently working a job share as Head of Change, a temporary post in OSCR whereby she is managing a range of change projects including the development of an online application system. Before joining OSCR, Nicola worked for Perth and Kinross Council and Tayside Policy where she developed policy in the areas of Best Value and Community Planning.  Nicola is a graduate of Strathclyde University.

Simon Haston

Head of IT and Transformation, Aberdeen City Council


Simon has worked for both central and local government for over 15 years.  This includes working on The City of Edinburgh's strategic IT partnership, helping develop shared services with Improvement Services and more recently working with Scotland Excel, Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council on commissioning transformation.  Simon currently leads transformation at Aberdeen City Council, within which digital features highly.  In his current role Simon is responsible for driving digital transformation within the Council, for the City and at a regional level.   Simon has a passion for sport and history, a loving wife and four noisy children.