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First 20 speakers confirmed for Thinking Digital 2015

Superb line-up for eighth annual event The Thinking Digital Conference has announced the first 20 speakers from the innovative digital and technology realm who will be sharing their keynote addresses from the stage at Sage Gateshead. The leading discussion forum for the latest digital developments in technology, science, media, business and the arts is now in its eighth year and takes place from May 19 to 21. The roll-call brings together movers and shakers from top UK start-ups to academics and specialists from Hollywood and Silicon Valley, in a line-up that is sure to enthuse and inspire fresh thinking and new approaches using the latest ideas in practical applications. Speakers travelling to Sage Gateshead from the US include Holly Lloyd, who has worked on more than 10 films, such as Finding Nemo and The Incredibles in almost 20 years with Pixar Studios, and who has developed creative elements for Disney World and Disney Land. Washington D.C.-based thought leader, UN World Humanitarian Summit member and author of Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response, Patrick Meier, will discuss the digital world’s impact on humanitarian efforts. Dr Catherine Mohr, of Intuitive Surgical, which developed the da Vinci surgical robot, will look at the digital-healthcare crossover, and San Francisco-based Tim Leberecht, author of “The Business Romantic” will also be crossing the pond to share his vision for the future of business. Further north along America’s West Coast, Tony Hay joins Thinking Digital via Seattle. While originally from the UK, Tony spent a decade at Microsoft leaving last year as Vice President of Microsoft Research. BBC science presenter Steve Mould, who is known for his knack of explaining complicated scientific ideas in an accessible way, returns to Thinking Digital after a triumphant presentation last year. Presenter and music composer/hacker, LJ Rich, who works on the BBC’s tech show Click, will look at music and technology crossovers. And Thinking Digital staple Tom Scott, a former Sky 1 geek presenter, will deconstruct how the Internet continues to impact our lives in weird and wonderful ways. Entrepreneur Ken Banks, who founded kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS, will be discussing his internationally-renowned work using technology for social, conservation and environmental change. Start-ups, the sharing economy and how individuals can become micro-entrepreneurs will be highlighted by Hassle.com CEO, Alexandra Depledge, the 2014 TechCity Insider’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Sam Aaron, a Postdoc Researcher at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, is a live coder who considers programming as performance and strongly believes in the importance of emphasising, exploring and celebrating creativity within all aspects of programming. Sam is the lead developer of Overtone and Quil, powerful live coding platforms for music and visuals. Sam is also the creator of Sonic Pi, a music live coding environment used to teach programming within schools. Ian Wharton, who is creative director at AKQA and the creator of Jamie Oliver’s bestselling mobile app, will look at creative thinking, while Canadian-born Stefanie Posavec will showcase her design process that specialises in the visual representation of data from language, literature and science. Thinking Digital is also welcoming top academics Prof Luciano Floridi from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, an international expert on the philosophy and ethics of information; Tara Shears, a particle physicist at Liverpool University and a representative at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, who is known as one of the world’s best communicators of scientific ideas; and Prof Andy Stanford-Clark, who combines his role on IBM's global Internet of Things team and as an IBM Master Inventor with more than 40 patents, with his visiting professorship at Newcastle University. Thinking Digital’s Herb Kim said: “We have pulled together a truly eclectic and inspiring line-up for this year’s event. There is truly something here for anyone with an interest in technology, innovation and creativity and how ideas can transform our lives. “The calibre of the speakers already confirmed for May is outstanding, and we are looking forward to be what promises to be the best Thinking Digital event we’ve ever organised.” Thinking Digital is also providing a range of hands-on workshops and possibly the best networking opportunities for anyone involved in pushing the UK’s digital innovation to the next level. To find out more and book your tickets, please go to www.thinkingdigital.co.uk/speakers/