‘Tech Futurist’ joins local broadcasting royalty and regional Olympian amongst the global speaking talent at VentureFest North East.

03 May 2023

Adah Parris, credit Gokhan Goksoy

TED Talks Global Emerging Innovator, Adah Parris will top the bill at next week’s VentureFest North East, the regional cross-sector innovation conference taking place 10-11 May 2023.

Described as a Tech Futurist and Anti-disciplinary Artist, Adah has 20 years of experience in transforming cultures to prioritise inclusive innovative environments with internationally recognised organisations, including Google, Sainsbury’s, NatWest Bank and Innovate Finance.

She specialises in the exploration of technology, society, and culture, and has spoken at a range of events worldwide on these topics. Her work explores transformation and innovation, merging ancient wisdom, living systems and ecological knowledge with digital technologies. Adah will speak as part of the morning keynote on day one (10 May), exploring ‘The Softer Side of Tech’, challenging the audience to consider a ‘living systems’ approach to new technology.

Other notable speakers include Finbarr Dowling, Project Manager at Siemens and Martin Hunt, MD UK & Europe at global sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future. 

The two-day event, also features regional names including former BBC Newcastle Broadcaster, Charlie Charlton. Charlie will join an interactive session on day two of the conference looking at the Net Zero Challenge and taking a design thinking approach to systems change.

VentureFest North East takes place across two central Newcastle venues, Boiler Shop and The Common Room, both of which have inspired and housed leading regional innovation of the past.

Estelle Blanks, CEO of Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “It’s thrilling to see the programme for this year’s VentureFest come together to include so many high-profile and inspirational speakers with real global reach. The region has a long history of bringing innovation to a world-wide audience, VentureFest North East inspires transformative innovation practice within the same historic walls as our innovative predecessors. I’m looking forward to seeing the real cutting-edge services and products coming out of the region demonstrate their ideas, collaborate and connect across both days.”

Day one (Wednesday 10 May), takes place at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle. The programme includes former Olympian come business coach, Chris Cook, speaking about ‘keeping things simple’ when reaching those all-important business and personal goals.

Chris Cook, Former Olympian and Business Coach

Chris Cook, Former Olympian and Business Coach

The day also features innovator stories from regional businesses including Infotel Consulting UK and Transmission Dynamics, culminating with Judith McMinn, founder of innovative sports headband company, Rezon.

Day two (Thursday 11 May), at The Common Room, takes a pragmatic approach to equipping innovators with the skills and knowledge they need to innovate. It features a full day of workshops and seminars, including a panel discussion led by CEO of UMi, Nicki Clark, on the B Corp movement to create sustainable, equitable workplaces.

For businesses looking for digital inspiration, an expanded ‘Digital Meet Up’ brings together local tech talent, including Nebula Labs, Spark EPoS and Opencast.

Tickets for both days are FREE, book now and explore the full programme: https://supernetwork.org.uk/venturefest/

VentureFest North East is delivered as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters Project 2021-2023, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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