Event Chair - Jos Creese
With over 30 years IT leadership experience, Jos has held a variety of CIO roles and non-executive director positions. He is a recognised independent analyst and researcher, strategic advisor for multiple IT businesses, past President of Socitm, and also of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. He chairs the Open University ‘School of Computing’ Industrial Advisory Board and is a non-exec on the Risk and Audit Committee for the Department of International Trade, covering cyber and digital risk.
For over a decade Jos was CIO and latterly CDO for Hampshire County Council, leading a range of ground-breaking shared services and achieving national recognition with a range of awards for IT innovation. He has worked with national and international governments on IT programmes and has led large-scale mergers, and the start-up and subsequent sale of a tech business. Previously listed as the ‘most influential and innovative CIO’ in the UK, he now operates as an independent consultant, advising public and private sectors on digital and IT strategy.
Panel Chair - Colan Mehaffey
Chief Operating Officer, Health and Social Care Sector - Data Driven Innovation Programme, University of Edinburgh
Colan is Chief Operating Officer at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He leads the health & social care sector strategy and implementation for the Data Driven Innovation programme, a major new initiative to increase the provision of data and digital skills in the workforce and use the region’s world-leading expertise in research and data analytics to improve products and services, transforming the City Region into the data capital of Europe.
Colan was Head of Web Strategy & Technologies at the University, working across the institution to develop a comprehensive strategy, roadmap and programme of activities. He delivered change across centrally-supplied services, and worked with colleagues across the University to co-design the strategy, establish the change programme and secure funding.
Prior to this, he was a Lead Digital Consultant to the Scottish Government, developing digital transformation strategy and programmes, specifically in the Health and Justice sectors. He worked with a number of Scottish Government agencies and NHS bodies, including the Scottish Prison Service, NHS24 and National Services Scotland.
He is a non-executive Director of the Centre for the Moving Image, including the world-renowned Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Digital Director, Scottish Government
Colin has held Head of Division roles in Public Health, Healthcare strategy, Cabinet Secretariat and Digital. A former marketing director of Army Recruiting and Royal Mail's letters business, Colin is also a trustee of The Poppy Factory, a charity that helps disabled, sick and injured ex-service people back into work.
The Director of Digital is responsible for improving connectivity across Scotland, designing and implementing digital public services that meet user needs, enabling public service reform through digital technology and approaches, raising levels of digital participation amongst individuals and businesses, and transforming Scotland's digital economy.
Kate Forbes MSP
Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Scottish Government
Kate Forbes MSP is from Dingwall, although she spent part of her upbringing in Glasgow and India. Until she was elected as MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate was employed as an accountant in the banking industry. Prior to that she studied History at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.
As a backbencher, she has served on the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, the Health and Sport Committee and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. She also served as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Finance and the Constitution.
As well as leading a campaign to ban plastic straws, Kate has participated in several cross party groups at Holyrood including Crofting, Gaelic, Human Trafficking, Palliative Care and Rural Policy. A fluent Gaelic speaker, Kate made history earlier this year by becoming the first female MSP to give a plenary speech entirely in Gaelic in the current Scottish Parliament chamber.
On 27 June 2018 she was appointed as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy.
Head of ICT, Aberdeenshire Council
Nicola has worked in ICT for the past 25 years having graduated from Napier University. Her career spans retail, finance, outsourcing and the public sector.
She joined Aberdeenshire Council as Head of ICT in 2011, with a remit to bring about change to ICT service provision. Nicola has led the organisation through a transformation programme, implementing new technology innovation, strengthening the skills of the ICT Team and developing the wider digital skills of the workforce. Nicola is now a key player in developing the Aberdeenshire Councils approach to Digital Services and bringing innovation to the rural North East.
Nicola is the current President of SOCITM, leading this year on the ethical use of emerging technologies. She also played a leading role in the setup of Scotland’s Local Government Digital Office and the creation of shared CDO and CTO roles across Local Government
CIO, The City of Edinburgh Council
Over 25 years of IT and Business Management experience spanning both public and private sectors. A history of achievements covering ICT Digital Strategy, Service Delivery Management, Service and Contract Assurance, Commercial Management, Supplier Management, Delivery of IT and Transformation of Services. Focused on driving the City of Edinburgh Council IT strategy with Cyber Security at its heart.
Data Innovation Programme, University of Edinburgh
Ritchie is the Data Innovation Director within the City Region Deal funded, Data Innovation Programme. He has supported the development of the Programme since its inception.
With over 20 years experience across a wide range of local government roles in planning, economic development and business development, in 2011 he was appointed Programme Strategy Manager Edinburgh's Connected Capital Programme, part of the UK Government-funded Urban Broadband Fund. In 2013 he joined the Council’s ICT Solutions Team as Planning, Strategy and Relationship Manager, developing the Council’s ICT and Digital Strategy. In 2016 he became Innovation and Futures Manager.
He contributed to the BEIS-sponsored Science and Innovation Audit for South East Scotland, led by the University of Edinburgh. He has been seconded full-time to the University since summer 2017.
A co-founder of the Edinburgh Living Lab, he is a former Board Member of Digital Leaders Scotland, and the Cities Standards Institute. He is a BSI Committee Member on Smart Cities, a Member of the Institute for Leadership and Management, a member of the Scottish Government Digital Planning Taskforce, an Associate of the Association for Project Management and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
Chief Digital Officer, Scottish Local Government Digital Office
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.
Charlie founded Fluency Communications, a start-up network operator in 2010 which was acquired by Commsworld in 2012. Since acquisition Charlie has developed the Fluency network making Commsworld Scotland’s biggest indigenous network operator. Responsibilities include the day-to-day operation and strategic expansion of the network as well as developing future Commsworld products and services. Charlie is active in the UK Network community and Scottish Digital development communities, sitting on various committees and steering groups.
RVP UK & Ireland, UiPath
Alastair stands at the forefront of the fastest moving technology industry trend: Intelligent Automation. He’s evangelising the adoption of Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence within both private and public sectors and helping position UiPath as a leader in this space.
A former interim CIO in the visual effects industry and sales leader in emerging technology organisations, he has designed programs that are fueling the industry-wide transitions in big data, hybrid cloud and automation.
Throughout his 24-year tenure in the technology industry, Alastair has built a reputation for developing business strategies, incubating new business models, and building out successful technology projects.
Sally has worked in Local Government Digital for over 20 years and has wide ranging experience from digital service creation and management to delivery of open innovation products. She currently has a wide portfolio for digital, advising on digital development, championing innovative approaches and exploring emerging technologies.
She has used data and service redesign in a range of areas such as Assets, Active Travel, Waste and Health working with partners such as University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Living Lab.
Previously as the Council’s Web Manager Sally led development of the Council web estate for over ten years, keeping Edinburgh’s Council website at the top of SOCITM Better Connected rankings for 6 years, building a UX, design and quality driven approach.
Sally delivered the first Scottish Council Open Data Strategy and programme in Scotland, creating EdinburghApps (an early open innovation challenge competition) to showcase data sharing, developing new products & service improvements using digital and design.
Sally is currently Project lead of the Scottish Digital Office Partnership Open Innovation project, co-chair of Eurocities Data Group and Emerging Digital Task Force, is a co-founder of Edinburgh Living Lab, and has previously been a member of Scottish Government’s Open Data Strategy development and review group
Head of Scottish Digital Academy, Scottish Government
Tai joined the Digital Directorate at Scottish Government in 2016, planning, developing and driving the digital talent strategy proposition for the Scottish public sector and setting up the Scottish Digital Academy.
Her experience spans Talent acquisition consultancy, strategic resourcing partnership, talent process improvement and programme management across public and private public sector organisations UK wide. Throughout her career, her roles has been focused on building capability in niche and competitive markets, developing strategies and devising and implementing solutions to capability challenges, in financial services, I.T. and public sector organisations.
Programme Director - Payments Project, Scottish Government
Hugh is Transformation Lead within the Digital Directorate at Scottish Government and has over twenty years’ experience working with digital tools and technology. He currently leads a programme seeking to transform the way payments are made and received within government and across the public sector.
His work has spanned multiple sectors and includes oversight of the design function in a commercial digital agency. His previous role was Head of Digital Media for National Museums Scotland, overseeing their digital strategy, website, social media and mobile plans. Prior to that he was Oxfam’s Head of Digital Communications where he led the online approach to fundraising, campaigning and awareness raising.
Director, Product Marketing
Baldeep (Bal) has been in BlackBerry for almost 15 years, predominantly in a Technology Leadership role. Bal recently made the move to Corporate Marketing where he is responsible for the Global Financial Services Industry.
Bal steadily built up a team of technical sales experts over the course of seven years, playing a key part in the restructuring of BlackBerry from being a fully channel focussed business to incorporating a direct model and then helping the pivot from a device-centric business to software & services. Bal also played a key part in the integration of Good Technology; taking the EMEA lead role in the process.
Throughout his career at BlackBerry, Bal has championed a relationship based, customer-first approach to his work which ties in well with his passion for technology and helping customers and partners manage risk through the use of technology.
Bal holds a Bachelors degree in Physics with Astronomy from UCL, and an MBA from the Open University. He is a keen photographer and astronomer and likes to play Golf when he gets the opportunity.