National digital literacy conference set to tackle societal skills gap scores record sales at the ICC

05 February 2020 Becky Humphries

The ICC will host Skills for a Digital World 2020 in March, a national digital literacy conference organised by award-winning conference organiser BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The conference has proven popular with delegates with almost two thirds of tickets being sold in the first two weeks of advertising.

The conference to be held on March 19 has been organised to discuss the importance of the government’s new digital skills agenda and its impact on people who are working in non-digital roles as well as society’s most vulnerable people.

Carl Harris, Marketing Director said: “This is a new conference from BCS dedicated to digital literacy skills. Everyone in society needs to have the basic digital literacy skills to thrive and to be safe in a digital age; digital skills are now as important as numeracy and English.  We cannot allow societies most vulnerable to get left behind and now we are seeing digital becoming the norm in non-digital roles too.  We all have a duty of care and responsibility to ensure everyone has access to the basic skills they need to function in society today.”

The one-day conference will include input from rising star and Lloyds Bank research lead, Jemma Waters who will share the research output that led to the government’s digital literacy education reform, as well as Lloyds’ upcoming research initiatives for 2020. AELP’s Chief Policy Officer, Simon Ashworth will talk through the changes to digital skills funding and the role of education providers. The Good Things Foundation’s, Director of Digital Social Inclusion, Adam Micklethwaite will discuss bringing about a digitally included nation.

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BCS’ Director of Policy, Dr Bill Mitchell who was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours for services to Computing and Artificial Intelligence Education; will also discuss the underlying issues around educating people of all ages to succeed in a world where digital technology is automating ever more complex tasks, but where common sense, ethical practice and technical creativity are increasingly in demand.

BCS won Best New Conference at the AAE Association UK Awards in 2019, also held at the ICC, with its BCS Insights 2019 conference, which shared insights on the IT profession from IT professionals. Key to winning the award was the conference’s ability to inspire delegates to activate around the insights and take the debates and issues back into their places of work and influence.

Harris said: “Choosing a venue which represents your tone and your brand is critical to the success of a conference, and we were very mindful of this when choosing the ICC. As a chartered institute, BCS represents professionalism, quality and standards and we felt the ICC could deliver and support our objectives because it is a venue that appreciates those values and how important the conference experience is from the moment delegates arrive until the end of the day.

“The ICC has prestige and is a well-known brand in its own right; it is also easy to get to with great transport links.  It is purpose built for conferences and working with a dedicated team as opposed to one sole account manager has been a really important element to ensure that all the logistics are taken care of by a team of experts. This means we can focus on the content of the day and feel 100% confident that the ICC team will focus on the venue experience”.

Donna Cunningham, Acting Sales Director, NEC Group Conventions said: “We are really pleased that BCS has chosen the ICC to host its conference. As an award-winning organisation, its event team appreciates what it takes to host a successful conference and we are proud that they recognise our venue has the capacity to contribute to what will be another highly important and successful event.”