Tech London Advocates launched The Road to one million campaign, an ambitious initiative to draw on the campaigning power of the private sector to create one million tech jobs by 2023.
The stage was set in the breath-taking Egyptian Hall at Mansion House, where 300 of Britain’s leading figures in tech gathered to discuss talent and how to make London tech not only more diverse, but more inclusive.
The Rt Hon. the Lord Mayor of London welcomed guests and reiterated his commitment to signposting the capital as a city at the forefront of global tech innovation. A keynote from Zoe Chambers of Octopus Ventures followed, outlining the business case for driving change in UK tech and sharing fascinating input from its new report: Question the questions, a stress tested guide to international expansion.
“Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not … the digital economy must be for everyone.” Those were the words from the Shadow Digital Minister, Liam Byrne, who was next on the agenda and delivered an insightful speech — reflecting on the impact of AI on the workforce and the steps he would welcome in creating a fairer and more universally prosperous tech sector.
Attendees then heard from some of the tech community’s most prominent voices during panel discussion, including Amali de Alwis from Code First: Girls, Ella Goldner from Zinc and Theo Blackwell, London CDO. The topics ranged from tech inclusivity, to transforming corporate hiring and digital infrastructure in London.
Proceedings came to a close with celebration of the UK’s future tech talent — the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. Finalists of the inaugural Tech London Advocates “25 under 25” took to the stage to collect their accolade. The initiative identified and championed the outstanding achievements of a cohort of young tech leaders, ranging from founders and entrepreneurs, to leaders of not-for-profits and coders.
Joshua Uwadiae, one of the TLA 25 under 25 and CEO of WeGym said:
“I’ve been building WeGym, my personal training startup, since I was 21 and it’s exciting to be recognised as one of London’s future tech talents. I’ve always lived by the mantra that you should surround yourself with people who will make you more ambitious and I feel bringing together some of London’s smartest young minds only amplifies this!”
TLA founder Russ Shaw closed the event with an impassioned call for the private sector to sign the Tech London Advocates pledge, promising to take definitive action in supporting the campaign to increase diversity and inclusion within the industry.
The event attracted significant attention from the media, with coverage in The Sunday Times and numerous pieces in City A.M. in the leadup, and Bloomberg and The Daily Telegraph both in attendance on the day.