Thinking Digital
Jamie Hardesty

North East digital diary: 3 of the best from this year’s Thinking Digital Newcastle

Editor Jamie Hardesty shares his top three highlights from this year’s Thinking Digital, an annual tech conference bringing inspirational speakers to the North East.

Getting to this year’s Thinking Digital conference was no easy feat. While many attending entrepreneurs and top techies descended on Sage Gateshead from all corners of the globe, Newcastle itself was locked in a morning standstill.

Flooded metro lines soon spilled out into overflowing bus queues, unleashing a raft of gridlocked traffic which laid wreckage to seemingly every morning commuter’s plans.

Luckily, after a short lambast of our local transport infrastructure (honestly I’m over it, don’t worry) I managed to take my seat at the conference just in time for organiser Herb Kim to open the event.

Alluding to the current political spectrum on an international level, Herb reinforced the need to constantly innovate, collaborate and look outward to propel us to greater technological heights. Take note messrs Trump and Pence.

Three of the best

Dan Biddle

Dan Biddle knows his stuff. If you want to know the latest, and greatest, social media trends existing right now - talk to this guy. If you can’t talk to him, follow him on Twitter. The fact that he’s both humble and full of humour only makes him more likeable. Check him out if you haven’t already digital fans.

Darren Jobling

Entrepreneur Darren Jobling is the digital innovator behind ZeroLight, a North East company which uses Virtual Reality technology to change the way that people check out the car of their dreams.

ZeroLight’s platform enables dealerships to build a simulation of a car, and give customers an immersive virtual tour.

Packed full of career and personal anecdotes, Jobling’s talk summed up what Thinking Digital is all about - giving you the belief that you too can start, grow and succeed in business. Today ZeroLight works with the world’s leading car manufacturers, including Audi, Pagani, VW and Toyota.

Dr Anita Sengupta

World class rocket scientist Anita Sengupta stole the show, bagging the biggest applause of the morning.

Spending the last 15 years developing spacecraft technology to probe the far reaches of Mars, Venus and deep space, Dr Anita’s passion and love of her subject matter quickly transmitted to the crowd.

A research associate in the astronautics department of the University of Southern California, the aerospace engineer shared how she helped facilitate space landings on Mars and opened up our collective imagination to future travails on the Red planet. Truly inspiring indeed.

If only the leading innovators could turn their hands to our Metro system.

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