TechNExt 2023

Opencast festival fringe sessions

Online | In-person at Opencast HQ, Newcastle
19 June 2023 - 20 June 2023
08:15 - 19:00

TechNExt 2023

Opencast festival fringe sessions

Opencast is hosting series of five curated events at its Hoults Yard HQ on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 June, as part of 2023's inaugural TechNExt festival for the North East.

We're opening the Opencast doors so you can find out more about us and the work we do!

TechNExt has been created to promote and celebrate the North East’s tech sector – and we've put together a festival fringe programme with a focus on the challenges faced by technology business and the economy, as well as offering insights and ideas for those interested in a career in technology.

Opencast’s festival fringe events convene leading figures from the regional and UK-wide tech sector. Included in our speaker line-up are Labour science and technology spokesperson Chi Onwurah, North of Tyne Combined Authority chief executive Henry Kippin, DWP Digital head of integration Jacqui Leggetter, techUK associate policy director Neil Ross, Dynamo North East director Jill McKinneyand Invest Newcastle director Jenny Hartley.

Opencast speakers include chief executive Tom Lawson, chief people officer Cate Kalson, client experience director Sam Manson and head of user-centred design Emily Allinson. Consultants working on the front line of client projects and in our people and tech teams will also speak.

Our sessions

Monday 19 June is aimed at people working in tech business and interested in Opencast's work and its impact, while Tuesday 20 June is for people looking to work in technology and interested in the work of Opencast. Young people are particularly welcome to join on the Tuesday.

You can join our TechNExt fringe events both in person and online. See below for links to register for each session. Food and refreshments will be served at all our events, with networking before and after.

Monday 19 June sessions

Breakfast and fireside chat with Chi Onwurah MP

Newcastle Central MP and Labour science and technology spokesperson Chi Onwurah in conversation with Tom Lawson. The fireside chat follows an informal breakfast gathering. Watch the full session video.

Technology and a manifesto for change

A panel discussing the new techUK manifesto and how technology can transform the regional and national economy. Speakers: Cate Kalson – chief people officer, Opencast; Henry Kippin – chief executive, North of Tyne Combined Authority; Neil Ross – associate director, policy, techUK. Moderator: Jenny Hartley – director, Invest Newcastle. Watch the full session video.

Partnership for impact: how our work makes life better

A joint session with DWP Digital, highlighting the impact of our partnership projects. Speakers: Jacqui Leggetter, head of integration (deputy director), DWP Digital; Dan Davies Brackett, senior technical architect, Opencast; Liam Lagay, senior software developer, Opencast. Moderator: Sam Manson – client experience director, Opencast. Watch the full session video.

Tuesday 20 June sessions

Grow your own way: how to get into and stay in tech

A practical session on the skills required to join the tech workforce sees four Opencast specialists share their unique 'squiggly' career routes. Speakers: Emily Allinson – head of user-centred design; Sinéad Cummings – senior consultant, software development; Hazel Dixon – senior consultant, user research; Judith Esrome Rozario – senior consultant, agile delivery management. Moderator: Jill McKinney – head of skills and director, Dynamo. Watch the full session video.

Myth busting: what working in tech really looks like

This session will discuss then debunk common myths about working in tech. We're joined by a panel of Opencast people who've take a range of journeys into tech. Speakers: Srilekha Ganesan – developer; Mark Hall – lead consultant, agile delivery manager; Ed Harrison – junior user researcher; Kerry-Anne Kane, practice lead QA. Moderator: Khaled Nawaz – learning and development business partner. Read our blog and watch the full session video.

Also at TechNExt

As well running our own festival fringe programme, Opencast is a headline sponsor of TechNExt, with a presence at the festival’s main conference at Sunderland City Hall on 21 June and with a stand and lightning talk at the Tech Talent Live jobs fair at Baltic Gateshead on 22 June. Find out more about the 2023 programme at the TechNExt website.