Celebrating outstanding creativity is critical to the UK. The UK’s creative industries are a real success story. They are worth more than £36 billion a year; they generate £70,000 every minute for the UK economy; and they employ 1.5 million people in the UK.
It is a corporate issue that London plc is actively pursuing. Ketchum is proudly supporting this great initiative on our own very doorstep in the East of London, where Tech City is rapidly becoming one of the technology capitals of the world. Already some 1,300 technology companies are based here.
Digital Shoreditch festival 2013 is expected to double in size, bringing together a community of 15,000 digital creatives to showcase and debate the latest advances in digital and technological innovation. The event held in East London last year attracted over 6,000 delegates with support from more than 40 sponsors and partners. This year the event is even bigger reflecting London’s ambition to become one of Europe’s technology capitals, and has already attracted leading venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and leading figures from the digital and technology fields.
The festival itself throws a light on many corporate issues, ranging from the extent and effectiveness of public/private partnerships to the factors that have become catalysts in helping shape London’s digital community. Now in its third year, Digital Shoreditch provides a rare opportunity for attendees to hear from 400 speakers on the latest social and technological changes that are disrupting the digital space, the challenges and opportunities in advertising and consumer engagement as well as how behavioural economics and user experience can influence behavior.
This year’s event has attracted speakers from Google, IBM, Mixcloud, Adobe and London School of Economics just to mention a few. There are also specific sessions aimed at how companies can best raise capital, grow their business and become more profitable, all of which are insights shared by remarkable existing entrepreneurs and investors, including ex-BBC dragon Doug Richards. This year’s supporters include City of London Corporation, The Technology Strategy Board, and Imperial College London as well as many media partners, including Ketchum.
This year’s festival starts on May 20 at Shoreditch Town Hall with a day entitled What Tech City?, bringing together the companies and organisations that make up London’s technology cluster and exploring ways to exploit the growing global engagement with the digital economy and society.
The second week (27th-31st May) of the festival is dedicated to Open Houses, where businesses within the cluster invite the community to their offices and studios for showcases, hands-on workshops, parties and networking.
It is initiatives and events of this type that have made London one of the leading technology centres in Europe and I anticipate that following this year’s event, London’s technology community will only continue to grow.