The future comes to Leeds


A new, ambitious and exciting cultural festival celebrating Leeds’ international appeal is plugging into the city’s technological credentials.

The Leeds International Festival (LIF) 2017 focuses on three main strands: music and moving image alongside technology to showcase the best of what Leeds has to offer. LIF, taking place from April 22nd-30th, offers a stellar line-up including film premieres, headline performances, exhibitions and conferences, with keynote speakers leading the debates.

Leeds is home to world-leading technology brands and the festival’s Tech strand centers on emerging trends as well as providing a platform for inspirational female Tech role models in the industry to engage and inspire future females.

In what is a first for an international Tech festival, over half (67%) of the speakers across the 15 tech specific events are female – linking into a global focus on getting more females to consider a career in digital/technology. Only an average of 17% of the digital/tech workforce are females, with less than 10% in leadership roles. LIF’s diverse Tech speaker lineup is progressively showing the direction that others Tech festivals should be taking.

Heading up a calendar of innovative events is “Empowering Women with Tech”, a one-day conference featuring female industry leader The conference will try break down the misconceptions about women in technology, demonstrating the wealth of opportunities a career in Digital presents and inspiring more females to become tech creators.

With emerging tech themes at the forefront of the festival, accessibility of data (and the control of it) is a talking point with a focus on the Hacker culture, harnessing hackers for good and a look at cyber security elements around data, in light of several high-profile hacking stories in 2016

The programme also features events focused on Virtual Reality (VR), the ‘Internet of Things’ and improving the digital skills pipeline shortage, with a specific aim in encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get interested in Tech. The interactive ‘Make, Believe’ Kids conference asks the younger generation to imagine, make and invent the Tech of the future and the Herd Leeds Digital Jobs Fair is the biggest tech and digital jobs fair in the North of England.

Other highlights include an evening with Oscar-winning Visual Effects (VFX) artist Andrew Whitehurst from Double Negative discussing his award-winning work on films including ExMachina, Spectre and Harry Potter, and an exclusive Future of Technology talk with Mike Butcher, Editor In Chief of TechCrunch.

For further details on LIF including the full programme, dates and venues, please visit www.leedsinternationalfestival.com



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