Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, Greater London Authority
As London’s first Chief Digital Officer, Theo will play a leading role in realising the Mayor’s ambition to make London the world’s smartest city, ensuring that the capital’s status as a global tech hub helps transform the way public services are designed and delivered, making them more accessible, efficient and responsive to the needs of Londoners.
Theo joins with extensive public and private sector experience. As Cabinet member for Finance, Technology & Growth at Camden council, Theo established Camden as London’s leading digital borough through its use of public data – and this year they received national recognition as Digital Leaders ‘Council of the year’.
He’s worked at GovTech accelerator Public Group, advising start-ups on the growing market in local public services, and was previously Head of Policy & Public Affairs for the video games industry’s trade body, Ukie.
Professor Liz Bacon, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Greenwich
Professor Liz Bacon PhD, CEng, CSci, CITP, FBCS, PFHEA, is a Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Greenwich in London, with a University wide remit leading the development of technology enhanced learning and pedagogic research. She is currently President of EQANIE (European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education). She was President of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, in the year 14-15 and is a past Chair of the BCS Academy of Computing, and the CPHC (Council of Professors and Heads of Computing) national committee. Liz is a Professor of Software Engineering with over a hundred publications. She is an experienced systems designer and developer and her research interests include computing policy, smart systems, security, semantic web, big data and technology enhanced learning. Liz is passionate about the development of her discipline and keen to inspire more people to choose computing as a career, particularly women.
Dionne Lowndes, Head of Digital, Staffordshire County Council
Having successfully delivered strategic priorities whilst focusing on channel choice and cost reduction, Dionne is constantly seeking innovation and is passionate about improving service delivery with a focus on user experience.
Working in partnership, Dionne is the strategic lead for customer service across Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Connects Partnership comprising of 8 District and Borough Councils and a Unitary Authority. Creating shared services, technology platforms and MyStaffs App to develop a One Staffordshire Approach to the Public Sector.
Dionne is leading on the Digital Agenda in Staffordshire, developing a Digital Mindset culture internally and working with partners externally to create a Smart Staffordshire focusing on the use of data, digital skills, innovation in health and building the digital economy in Staffordshire.
Alieen Murphie, Director, Department for Communities & Local Government & Local Government Value for Money, National Audit Office
Aileen has been Director of DCLG & Local Government VFM at the NAO since July 2013 and leads the NAO’s value for money work on local government. She has published reports to Parliament on financial sustainability of local authorities, most recently on capital expenditure by local authorities, the local economic growth landscape and on Adult Social Care. One of her most recent outputs Progress in setting up combined authorities builds on previous work in Devolving responsibilities to cities in England: Wave 1 City Deals and Local Enterprise Partnerships examining at the government’s steps in devolving power and responsibility as the Government’s programme of devolution gets underway. She has published Housing in England: an overview and Homelessness in England assessing trends in homelessness and the government’s measures to combat its rise.
Peter Davies, Head of Digital Transformation and Policy, Canterbury City Council
Peter has worked across local government for almost 15 years, with the vast majority of his time spent delivering or leading change programmes. Over the past 18 months Peter has led the council's digital transformation agenda using it as much as a platform for internal culture change as an opportunity to improve services for the council’s customers. His team follows the operating model established by the Cabinet Office's GDS team, and were early adopters of the Local Government Digital Service Standard. Whilst Peter is not an ICT professional, that in itself has made the approach, programmes and changes Peter and his team have so far delivered all the more interesting given the positive results being delivered.
Neill Crump, Chief Data Officer, Worcestershire Office of Data Analytics
Chief Data Officer for Worcestershire Office of Data Analytics – the UK’s first jointly funded data focused organisation that represents all local public sector agencies (NHS, Police, Fire, County, Districts, and our Local Enterprise Partnership). In the public sector, Neill was Head of Digital Transformation and Customer Services at Worcestershire County Council where he delivered their World Class Digital Council aspirations by transforming culture, processes, and systems to support Worcestershire citizens, businesses, partners and employees. In the private sector, Neill has delivered Global and European digital and data consulting assignments at firms such as Vodafone, Sony, Diageo, Unilever and Danone. One such role was as Programme Director of a £500m transformation programme across 18 countries.
Samantha Smith, Head of Strategy & Architecture, LGSS
In her role as Head of Strategy & Architecture for LGSS Sam is able to draw on her extensive experience across multiple local authorities. In a wide range of roles she has delivered IT projects and programmes alongside a high standard of operational support for enterprise level infrastructure and multiple line of business IT services.
Sam is passionate about getting the best out of IT for maximum business benefit and leads and develops the LGSS IT Strategy to do just that with a pragmatic approach to defining IT Strategy to deliver increased business results.
Sam has extensive experience of all aspects of people, project and financial management and a proven record of inspiring the teams that work for her by providing strong leadership and support with clear direction. With excellent operational and technical leadership skills she forms and manages relationships at all levels of the business and IT from senior management and customers to technical engineering staff.