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Accelerating Growth in the Digital Age

11 Nov 2016
Institute of Directors, London

Businesses are going mobile and personal like never before and now with access to global audiences that they previously could only have dreamt of, business leaders need to supercharge their digital strategies to compete.

To help navigate this digital jungle, Accelerating Growth in the Digital Age will gather together some of the most dynamic digital brains currently leading innovation in this sector, who together will ensure you leave both inspired and with a clear plan of action. 

About the conference

Through social media and the sharing economy, the revolution in mobility brought by smartphones and other devices, the delivery of services and storage in “the cloud”, the availability of “big data” coupled with powerful new analytics and insight tools, the behaviour of our customers and consumers, suppliers, employees and competitors is changing. To grasp the opportunities and mitigate the threats, businesses need to change their approach to information technology. Innovation and agility are key. Security is the watch-word. But how can you be agile and innovative, delivering value through technology, whilst also being secure and keeping your existing IT investments running?

Key details

Date & time: 11 Nov 2016 09:00 - 17:00
Location: Institute of Directors, London
CPD Hours:

Prices from

288.75 GBP + VAT - Chartered directors
288.75 GBP + VAT - Fellows
385.00 GBP + VAT - Member rate
485.00 GBP + VAT - Non-member rate

Event manager:
Laura Jumnoodoo
Contact phone:
0207 766 8919

Who should attend

Whether you are a growing company looking to create an IT strategy, want to find out more about social media or a tech-savvy firm looking at new and advanced ways to use IT, our Accelerating Growth in the Digital Age Conference can help you to benefit from the undoubtedly huge opportunities that digital technology can bring.

Why you need to attend

  • Learn the latest trends – Get access to the latest digital trends and best practice from the most digitally advanced organisations around.

  • Stay competitive - Add to your professional toolkit the tactics and strategies needed to keep you ahead of the game in the digital economy.

  • Grow your company - Redefine your company’s digital strategy with tangible take-homes that will not only transform how your company operates but will also make a positive difference to your bottom line.


Host: Simon Hughes, Communications Consultant, MCHA

When it comes to knowing just what goes on behind the scenes in Whitehall, Simon Hughes is the man.  For over 10 years Simon was involved in media and event production for the government. Simon is an engaging speaker, having addressed audiences in the UK and internationally, on topics ranging from government communications to influencing behaviour change, public engagement and how to achieve the best return on investment in communications.


David Tomchak, Head of Digital No 10/Cab Office and Deputy Director of the Government Communications Service

David Tomchak-Head-of-Digital-10-Downing-Street-and-the-Cabinet-Office

David is responsible for digital channels at Number 10 and the Cabinet Office. From his desk, next to the Prime Minister’s office, he also drives the digital communications strategy across the UK government.

What you will learn from David: Why effective digital communications can be the difference between a business succeeding or failing.

Emma Cerrone, Co-founder and CEO, Freeformers


Nearly 30% of SMEs don’t have a website. Freeformers help companies build a digital strategy and for every business person they train, they will also train a 16-25 year old for free. Clients include Asos, Barclays and Tesco. In 2014, Emma won the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year award.

What you will learn from Emma: "In the digital world, change is constant. As everyone is gaining access to the same technology, the key differentiators are the creativity and resilience of your staff, and pace of customer adoption. You need to be able to combine people and data to constantly evolve and disrupt your business."

Paul Coby, Chief Information Officer, John Lewis

Both John Lewis and Waitrose have been setting the benchmark for customer satisfaction in British retail and are regular fixtures in in the top 10 of the UK Customer Satisfaction Index. Paul has been the head of IT at John Lewis Partnership since 2011 and was recently made Chief Information Officer (CIO). One of his key responsibilities is to ensure that the sites don’t crash during major retail events such as Black Friday.

What you will learn from Paul: The importance of understanding the needs of your customer and meeting their expectations when it comes to buying goods online.

Jeremy Waite, EMEA Evangelist, IBM

Jeremy has been voted the Most Influential Person on Twitter for #BigData by software company Onalytica and ranked as the third most Influential Social Media Marketer in the UK by Europe’s biggest marketing website, The Drum. In his role as Evangelist he talks about how some of the world's most successful companies are using IBM’s technology to ‘make the world a better place’.

What you will learn from Jeremy: “The future of marketing, and how machine learning technologies will probably mean that the next 18 months will be more transformational for business than the last 18 years!” 

Kate O'Neill, Author of Pixels and Place, Founder KO Insights  

American Tech Futurist & Cultural Strategist Kate O'Neill advises Fortune 100 companies, Faith Popcorn's Brain Reserve and major retailers on the future of data, meaning and humanity. Frequently quoted in the media, she was featured by Google in their global campaign for women in entrepreneurship.

What you will learn from Kate: "Explore the opportunities for companies to use data to grow while remembering and demonstrating respect for the human lives represented by the abstractions in that data."

View Kate's book: Pixels and Place 

Mark Wright, Director, Climb Online

You may recognise Mark as a former winner of The Apprentice. He is now a Director at Climb Online, a digital marketing agency formed in partnership with Lord Sugar. Within two months of its launch in January 2015, Climb Online was making a profit. It has an annual turnover of £1.7m with more than 200 clients in the UK and overseas.

What you will learn from Mark: 

“Learn about the challenges of starting a digital business in today’s world.”

Mitchell Feldman, Chief Digital Officer, RedPixie


RedPixie is one of the UK’s leading Microsoft Cloud Partners, and a former winner of the Microsoft World Wide Cloud Partner of the Year – beating more than 650,000 Microsoft partners globally, with 60,000 alone in the UK. Furthermore, 87% of customers see a return on their investment within three months of working with RedPixie. Clients include HSBC, Hiscox, and Charles Stanley.

What you will learn from Mitchell: “Discover the art of the possible when it comes to what you can do with your company data.”

Elliott King, CEO and Co-founder, MintTwist

Elliott King is an entrepreneur; CEO and Co-founder of the digital agency, MintTwist and Co-owner of a digital innovation company, RadLab ventures. He is the co-author of a recognised Digital Marketing training course, that is used by (among others) City, University of London.  Elliott is a regular speaker on all things digital and acts as a Visiting Lecturer for Universities and training institutions world-wide.

Tobi Oludayomi, CEO, Studio 14


Studio 14 is a digital agency based in Birmingham that in a short space of time has been rapidly growing its portfolio of clients in the UK and Africa. This includes First Bank, Cussons and Mencap. Studio 14 also earned a host of plaudits last year for developing a ‘Fight The Virus’ app to help support charities in the battle against Ebola. 

What you will learn from Tobi:  “The many ways digital products can transform an organisation and streamline processes that free up capacity, so staff can focus on moving the business forward.”

James Codling, Co-founder and Managing Director, VentureFounders


VentureFounders offers individual investors a chance to place their money alongside leading institutional and angel investors in some of the UK’s fastest growing companies. To date, it has supported 10 businesses to raise over £20 million.

What you will learn from James: You will see both sides of the coin – both how technology can be used by investors to get access to opportunities as well as how James has used technology as an entrepreneur to grow his business.”

Jamie Rawsthorne CEO and Co-founder, Unique Insight

Around 30,000 UK students quit university every year. Each student is worth £27,000 in tuition fees alone. This is where Unique Insights comes into the equation. It is an analytics company that identifies the students most at risk of dropping out and helps to tackle a problem that can have serious implications for a University’s budget and reputation. At the age of 21, Jamie was highly commended in the IoD’s Student of the Year award for 2015.

What you will learn from Jamie: “How to optimise the usually ignored resources around you and see the negatives as positives.”

Key topics

Panel session: Being entrepreneurial and dynamic in the digital age - case studies

During this panel we will hear from a new generation of entrepreneurs thriving in the ever-changing digital landscape.  They are innovators with imaginative products who have taken risks and will discuss amongst other things:

What matters doesn't change - Paul Coby, Chief Information Officer, John Lewis

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution - the digital revolution. This is an extraordinary time to be alive and this revolution is transforming industries - retail included.  John Lewis, inspired by founder John Spedan Lewis, has always been a company willing to experiment. Paul Coby, IT Director, will share his learnings from the last five years touching on dramatic e-commerce growth, Smart Home and John Lewis’ technology incubator, JLAB.  Innovation and leadership are central to the John Lewis success story along with their belief that what really matters doesn't change.

Digital Downing Street - David Tomchak, Head of Digital No 10/Cab Office and Deputy Director of the Government Communications Service

As Deputy Director of the Government Communications Service (GCS) and Head of digital at No10, David Tomchak is responsible for the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office digital channels, campaigns and driving digital communications strategy across government. The discussion will focus on looking at key areas of innovation and the potential risks and rewards that exist for digital communicators today.

Key differentiators for success in the digital age - Emma Cerrone, CEO and Co-founder, Freeformers

If you want to accelerate your growth in the digital age then you need to think tech – but you also need to think people.  At Freeformers the belief is that the people part of the puzzle is the biggest and most valuable resource and often the most underestimated.  Emma will explore how to leverage both demonstrating via live case studies from major global companies she has worked with why this is crucial and how it can be done successfully as well as explaining how companies could and should have a positive effect on the future workforce.  

Meaningful Growth: Tech Data, and Cultural Insights for Lasting Customer Experiences and Relationships - Kate O'Neill, Author of Pixels and Place, Founder KO Insights

Even in a cluttered landscape, there are always companies and brands that manage to stand out, grow, and foster loyalty among their customers. How do they do it? How can you? Kate O'Neill will talk about how ?human-centered ideas like empathy, meaning, and value align with smart data and technology strategy to build strong? organizations and strong brands.

The future of marketing will build itself - Jeremy Waite, Marketing Evangelist, IBM

2017 will be the year of machine learning and cognitive systems. In a world where big data is getting bigger, consumer attention is getting shorter, and the majority of executives feel overwhelmed, what are the technologies that business leaders should really be focusing on.  Jeremy will talk about AI, marketing technology, "mood graphs", IBM's Watson and will also share the greatest piece of advice he ever received!

A digital apprenticeship - Mark Wright, Director, ClimbOnline

Two years’ on from his victory on the Apprentice Mark will undoubtedly share his experiences of working with Lord Sugar and what he learned from the experience that spurred him on to success in starting his current business specialising in using digital marketing to help firms grow.   Mark will also talk about the challenges of starting a digital business in today’s world and the skills needed to succeed.  

Spotlight on analytics - Mitchel Feldman, Chief Digital Officer, RedPixie & Dirk Anderson, Managing Director, RedPixie

It's clear that analytics can empower any business, helping them to become more insightful decision-makers by providing key business performance information and identifying opportunities to address business issues and improve outcomes.  During their session Mitchel and Dirk will explore the best tried and tested methods for using analytics to unlock key business insights.

Cybersecurity - Ollie Whitehouse, Technical Director, NCC group

Technology offers greater opportunities, yet poses greater threats, to business than ever before.  Security is the watchword and during the conference Oliver will explore how can companies can be agile and innovative, delivering value through technology, whilst also being secure.


CSID logo


Prices from

288.75 GBP + VAT - Chartered directors
288.75 GBP + VAT - Fellows
385.00 GBP + VAT - Member rate
485.00 GBP + VAT - Non-member rate


  • Institute of Directors
  • 116 Pall Mall
  • London
  • SW1Y 5ED

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