Leeds Digital Festival launched the second edition on 21 September. Running until 2 October, it will include 294 events.
The earlier online edition of the festival in April drew participants from over 50 countries to its events, and the September edition aims to have a similar international reach, with events including EUROCITIES and Leeds City Council’s joint event, which will look at how opportunities for Smart Places can be created through living labs, along with the Embassy of Israel, which will be hosting a panel discussion on making art from data, and the links between art and technology.
Other features include the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s event entitled ‘The Future of Tech’, which will look at how tech relationships can be built across international markets. David Lloyd, general manager for the UK at Netherlands and Nordics at Alibaba Group, will be featuring as a keynote speaker.
Lloyd said: “The city of Leeds is a significant digital hub in the UK, and I am looking forward to speaking at the Festival. I will talk about some of the digital trends we’ve seen this year and how UK businesses can use technology to access new customers in other markets and support their business recovery. As the world seeks to bounce back from the pandemic, I believe international tech firms can play a major role in global economic recovery, providing digital solutions to new problems.”
Stuart Clarke, festival director of Leeds Digital Festival, said: “At the beginning of 2020, the future seemed uncertain for organised events, however we were determined to continue in our mission to celebrate and highlight the innovation that is emerging out of Leeds and Yorkshire. We’re really pleased that our next instalment of the Festival has received such a positive response, exceeding expectations across the board.
“Welcoming events from across the globe is testament to the growing presence of Leeds as a leading digital hub. The opportunity for key northern technology firms to connect with prominent leaders around the world is invaluable.”
Partners and sponsors of the Leeds Digital Festival include Crisp, TPP, Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds and Channel 4.
Professor Neil Morris, dean of digital education at the University of Leeds said: “The University of Leeds is delighted to support the Leeds Digital Festival, which has gone from strength to strength. Now more than ever, the Leeds City Region’s expertise in digital will be critical to support individuals, business and our society as we re-imagine life and work as a result of Covid-19.”
Early in 2020, the festival organisers took the decision to split this year’s celebrations between the Spring and Autumn as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Between April and May, the first Festival attracted 134 digital events over two weeks and welcomed a range of tech events on subjects from online safety to digital marketing.