North East Connected


MANY of the region’s technology sector leaders are among more than 70 speakers at next week’s Dynamo conference.

The region’s biggest tech conference will this year focus on how the north east’s tech sector has led from the front through the Covid pandemic.

The conference attracts delegates from the region’s leading and growing IT and software companies, local councils, specialist professional services, universities and colleges, and other related industries. This year’s event, titled Tech Leads the Way in a Challenging World, will be held online tomorrow, June 17.

The virtual conference, delivered by regional tech network Dynamo, is free to members – tickets for non-Dynamo organisations cost £25.

Speakers include Ben Aung, Chief Risk Officer at Sage; Dr Murray Ellender, CEO at healthcare app company eConsult and Amanda Sleight, Commercial Lead, UK, Amazon Web Services.

The conference will have 20 breakout sessions with a mix of interactive workshops and speakers, and three plenary panel discussions. It will be chaired by Charlie Charlton, the former BBC broadcast journalist.

As well as exploring the opportunities and challenges the Covid pandemic has presented the regional tech sector, the Dynamo 21 conference will focus on several other themes, including: digital construction, digital entertainment and gaming, fintech, Govtech, health tech, equality diversity and inclusion, service delivery centres, skills and workplace culture.

Charlie Hoult, Dynamo Chair, said: “Obviously we’d prefer Dynamo 21 to be in person, but I’m delighted with the packed agenda we’ve put together. As well as recognising the amazing response to the pandemic by so many of our tech companies and organisations, we’ll be looking at other major issues facing the sector – such as skills, recruitment, equality and diversity, and infrastructure.

“We’ll also be concentrating on areas of opportunity, such as fintech, Govtech and health tech – all of which have huge potential for north east technology and digital companies. We’ve pulled together a top cast of speakers – real leaders in their fields – and I think delegates are in for a treat.”

Plenary sessions include a regional perspective on health tech; a discussion around making the regional tech sector more diverse and inclusive, and creating more diverse pathways into tech careers.

Breakout sessions include a look at contact centres of the future; an interactive workshop on operational resilience; Newcastle’s smart response to the Covid crisis; a session on creating an apprentice programme; a look at how to create a hybrid office; how to adopt a cyber resilience culture; an interactive panel on whether the region needs a ‘women in tech’ network and how SMEs are helping Govtech innovation.

Companies and organisations represented or speaking at the breakout sessions include: Ubisoft, Connected Voice, Corterum, DWP Digital, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Tharsus, Opencast Software, Vector 76, Waterstons, NextGen, Newcastle Building Society and Whyaye Ltd

There will also be a Dragons Den style session in which local SMEs will pitch their digital solutions to health inequalities – with delegates voting on what they believe to be the most effective solution.

Dynamo 21’s headline partner is Sage, and Lindsay Phillips, Executive Vice President, Sage Product Delivery, said: “2020 changed the way we work in ways we never expected, 2021 heralds a new future where tech is a fundamental driver for recovery and enabling businesses of all sizes to redefine themselves and how they work. Dynamo 21 will help us learn from our shared experiences as a region, to create inspiration and spark innovation for our tech enabled economy.”

Session partners for the conference are University of Sunderland, tombola and Red Hat.

For the full Dynamo 21 programme, event information including a full list of speakers, and to book tickets, go to

Dynamo 21 will be delivered by Dynamo as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and part-funded by ERDF.

Dynamo is a business-led organisation with the core mission of ‘Growing the North East tech economy through collaboration, innovation, skills and noise.’  With more than 160 members, it is made up of IT organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry.

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