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Uniting Knowledge across the tech industry, Tech UK Launch 2024.

As I stood amidst the impressive skyline of Birmingham, overlooking the city from the top floor of the x+why building on Colmore Row, I felt a sense of anticipation and excitement.

The exclusive event I was attending marked the launch of Tech UK, a significant moment for the tech community acting as the central point for all tech hubs, tech weeks and tech opportunities that happen across the UK, is a big task and it will require the strategic, collaboration and partnerships to facilitate the network, however I believe in the vision and the capabilities of the Tech UK team who will no doubt ensure united knowledge is shared across the UK tech industry.

The event started with Stuart Clarke MBE, Founder of UK Tech Week, who provided insight into the significance of this nationwide celebration of technology. We also had the opportunity to hear from Naomi Timperley FRSA, from Tech North Advocates, Naomi has a wealth of experience across the sector and did a great job of emphasising the importance of national organisations supporting regional initiatives, which set the tone for Yiannis Maos MBE and CEO of TechWM, who warmly welcomed everyone to a grey day in Birmingham nevertheless he highlighted the success and opportunities coming from the West Midlands tech eco-system and he set the stage for an enlightening discussion.

I attended the event as an official Tech Talent Charter Ambassador and I had the privilege of being part of a panel discussing the importance of regional representation in national policy, the collaborative efforts that drive the tech sector forward, and the outlook for the industry. The panel, was hosted by the incredibly engaging Oli Barrett MBE and I was joined by Nigel Lambe from Sussex Innovation and Camila de Coverley Veale from Startup Coalition. Each of us shared insights gleaned from our experience working with tech organisations and I also shared a perspective of the opportunities and challenges around diversity, equity, and inclusion within the tech industry.

For me, this event wasn't just about sharing knowledge; it was about sparking meaningful conversations and driving actionable change. With a background in collaborating with local and national government agencies, media broadcasters, and policy leaders, I've witnessed first hand the transformative power of inclusive practices in the tech and creative sectors. From leading regional and national campaigns to fostering partnerships with tech giants including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, I've seen how diversity fuels innovation and drives business success.

During the panel discussion, we delved into topics ranging from the importance of supporting regional initiatives to the challenges faced by growing businesses in the tech ecosystem. Through engaging dialogue and thought-provoking questions from the audience, we explored the importance of collaboration across the tech industry and I discussed the bespoke approach that is needed across regions to cultivate valuable partnerships, I also highlighted what collaboration looks like when its done well, using the example of the £2.4million pound innovation fund for Further Education Colleges in the West Midlands region, this initiative came about through the collaborative efforts of the West Midlands Combined Authority and Innovate UK, its the first fund of its kind specifically available for FEC and I look forward to supporting the FEC Innovation initiative and helping industry connect to education through inclusive and strategic partnerships and collaboration.

As the event concluded with networking, drinks, and tasty canapés, I felt inspired by the conversations I had and the connections I made. Its moments like these that remind me of the collective power we have to effect change and shape the future of the tech industry.

Moving forward, I am committed as ever to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion across the tech and creative industries. Through my advocacy work with Tech Talent Charter, I aim to empower tech organisations to embrace diversity and inclusion as fundamental values. By encouraging businesses to become signatories Tech Talent Charter are laying the groundwork for a more equitable and dynamic tech sector. read their latest diversity & Inclusion report.

If you share my passion for driving diversity and inclusion in tech, the please connect with me on LinkedIn: Marika Bee and together, let's create a tech industry where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.


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