This year, Data Summit was a one-day event, taking place on Wednesday 24th November at The Balmoral, a luxury hotel in Edinburgh. We were excited to be running a hybrid (part virtual, part live) event, with a very small number of tickets to attend this wonderful event location in person. The virtual elements of the event was free of charge.
Keynote: Nina Schick
Nina Schick is an author and consultant working on the intersection between society, politics and technology. From misinformation and fake news to how AI is changing trust and communication, Nina explores some of the most vital issues facing governments, businesses and individuals.
Originally working in politics, political strategy and journalism, Nina’s career has included time with the BBC, CNN, Spiegel Online and The Sunday Times, covering politics and in particular issues around the EU. She was the Communications Director for the Open Europe think-tank, and held senior roles in political strategy companies focusing on the use of data and technology in campaigns. She was also an advisor to the Alliance of Democracies Foundation where she advised, amongst others, Joe Biden and former Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Nina then went on to found her own business advising clients from governments and NGOs to a range of private sector businesses on issues from cybersecurity and espionage to synthetic media, disinformation and the geopolitics of tech.
Nina’s book Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse: What You Urgently Need To Know explores a global threat that is prevalent, but all too often ignored or misunderstood. Nina looks at the growing access to and power of a form of AI that can learn how people speak, look and move, and to subtly alter video footage. The result convincingly shows subjects saying and doing almost anything the user wishes. Although it has some benign applications, the ability to make videos of public figures appearing to say or do anything has huge implications, from affecting elections to inciting violence to blackmail and censorship.
Keynote: Kevin Fong
Kevin Fong is both astrophysicist, medical specialist and a natural storyteller.
After working with NASA he specialised in lessons from the effects of extremes on human physiology. He is also part of hospital Emergency Response and Major Incident Planning, an air ambulance Emergency Doctor, and worked as a National Clinical Advisor to NHS England during the Covid-19 pandemic.
All of this provides a unique insight into how we all cope with risk, planning and making decisions under pressure, as well as teamwork. He’s the author of Extremes – probing the limits of the human body, and hosted 13 Minutes to the Moon, the acclaimed, international hit podcast about the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.
Keynote: Mike Berners-Lee
Mike Berners-Lee is a leading author, academic, consultant and advisor on climate change and sustainability. As a professor at Lancaster University he focuses on carbon metrics and food systems, whilst his company Small World, which is affiliated to the university, helps businesses around the world monitor and manage the carbon impact of their supply chains.
In his book There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years, Mike examines the challenge of climate change and how individuals, business and governments can each play their own significant role in keeping the planet habitable. Whilst in How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything he explores the hidden impact of everyday items and activities, as well as the big effects of small changes. The Burning Question, co-written with Duncan Clark, examines the bigger questions from politics, economics and beyond that need addressing in order to tackle climate change.
Mike considers every aspect of our world and how it affects the climate. He helps investors consider the long-term effects and viability of their investments, and how to change. He looks at ideas of ethics and purpose in business and the role of carbon in these increasingly important concepts. And he considers the connections between often apparently separate disciplines and activities, the threats and opportunities, and how climate bring them all together.
Keynote: Reema Patel
Reema is an Associate Director at the Ada Lovelace Institute and has worked for the organisation from its establishment as part of its founding team. She leads the organisation’s public attitudes and public deliberation research, and its broader engagement work on justice and equalities, particularly health and social inequalities, seeking to inform the Institute’s overall agenda to convene diverse voices.
Reema has just over a decade’s experience in public policy and has advised a range of organisations on their approaches to public engagement, particularly as they relate to understanding lived experience and impacts on underrepresented communities. These include the Bank of England, the Nuffield Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, Understanding Patient Data and the Scottish Government. She is on Engage Britain’s policymaker advisory network, the OECD’s Innovative Citizen Participation network and the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 response public engagement expert working group.
Keynote: Chris Moon
Chris Moon is one of the most fortunate people to be alive you’re likely to meet. His exploits have been covered in a Discovery documentary I Shouldn’t Be Alive. He improves individual and team performance through keynote speeches, workshops, programs and mentoring.
Chris is a former British Army Officer with three year’s operational experience who left to work for a charity clearing landmines. He’s survived being taken prisoner in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge (one of the most brutal terror groups in history) and negotiated his release and that of two colleagues from threatened execution.
In 1995 he was blown up in a supposedly safe area of a minefield in remote East Africa losing an arm and a leg (ironically doing one of the least dangerous things he did). He survived initially because he treated himself. About fourteen hours after injury, he arrived in South Africa where doctors say they’d never seen anyone live with such a small amount of blood.
He recovered four times faster than expected and in 1996; within a year of leaving hospital ran the London Marathon, raised significant sums to help disabled people in the developing world and successfully completed a full time Master’s-Degree in human behaviour.
Chris taught himself to run and is thought to be the world’s first amputee ultra-distance runner after completing the Marathon De Sables in 1997. He’s run the world’s toughest ultra-marathons and most recently the Badwater Death Valley 135 mile ultra in the hottest place on earth. He’s led numerous teams to complete rigorous challenges ranging from climbing mountains to cycling the length of Cambodia.
Chris has a passion for the process of achievement and uses his unique experiences to help people do what they do better. He speaks with enthusiasm and humour on resilience, change, personal and strategic leadership and all aspects of behavioural choices. His interactive presentations and workshops are tailored to deliver desired outcomes and actions.
Host: Gemma Milne
Gemma writes about science, tech and the broad cultural issues surrounding their advancements. Her book ‘Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It’ is on the role hype plays in dictating and derailing crucial progress in science and tech (and how to empower yourself against it). Gemma is a PhD researcher at UCL focusing on the ethics and responsibility of corporate futurism. Gemma also co-hosts the Radical Science podcast, which discusses the role science plays in society with a variety of guests across disciplines, and she is a deep tech advisor – for governments, investors and other organisations working in those spaces.