Coventry is a city that is going through an intense period of change and regeneration. In this time of complex, and sometimes difficult, economic and political landscapes, Coventry has shown that it is possible to restart and revive what you already have.

New opportunities are arising all the time throughout the city of Coventry; from our arts scene, our bustling Universities to our rising cultural prowess. We are Coventry, and we are rising from the ashes.

Our theme – Rebooted – is aimed to be symbolic of Coventry’s culture and its workforce, rising from the ashes if you will. Equally, this theme gives recognition to the digital era we now find ourselves in, where information is boundless and from which our knowledge is now growing at an exponential rate. This era represents a new territory in which many new lessons are being learned.

Our Speakers:

Hannah Cotton – Breaking the Man Box #KillerStereotypes

Hannah is a progressive feminist, whose strong Cambridge University academic achievements in Modern Society and Global Transformation were shaken by a serious sexual assault in her early career. When a diagnosis of PTSD and support from gender networks rewarded Hannah with national recognition of her talent and potential, she learnt from some industries finest across a broad range of professions how significantly an individual’s authenticity boosts productivity, which she has since put into action and paid forward since.

Frustrated by the pace of change for women despite Male Allies, conscious of the scale of #MeToo, mindful of the male suicide epidemic and factoring in the future of automation, Hannah ties her passion for education and authenticity to flip the feminist conversation. How can women help men?

Laure Reillier – How to unlock the power of communities online

Laure has lived in the UK for the last 25 years, but grew up in rural France and South America, where she picked up her love of nature, cooking and eating good food. She has always been interested in tech and even saw the birth of the Web as a computer science student in the early 90’s.

She’s spent the last 10 years developing platform ecosystems, first at eBay and now with her own company, Launchworks & Co, where she helps organisations design, ignite and scale platform ecosystems and communities.

Rich Armitage – Now is the time to start working on your bucket list

Rich is a lover of music, fitness, travel, and many other things. In his spare time he works as a doctor. He’s a GP in the East Midlands, and also works in a local A&E department, and in medical education at the University of Nottingham. His talk turns what he’s learnt from his patients into a call to action. As, surprisingly, it isn’t the things we do in our lives that we regret…

Bianca Wright -Rebooting the news through immersive technologies

An award-winning technology journalist whose work has appeared in consumer and trade magazines and websites in the US, the UK, Australia, South Africa and Europe, Bianca Wright is passionate about investigating the possibilities, challenges and risks of new and emerging technologies including virtual reality and gaming.

Bianca is currently Course Director for the BA Digital Media course and an Associate of the Centre for Post-Digital Cultures at Coventry University. She holds a Masters in Science and Technology Journalism and a PhD in Media Studies focusing on gamification in serious games.

David Wicks – How do we solve the talent crisis?

David Wicks is the founder of Digital Hunters, celebrating the phenomenal success of high growth technology businesses and helping others follow in their footsteps.

David has 26 years’ experience of software engineering across the media, telecom, gaming and health sectors in successful start-up companies and leading-edge multi-nationals including News Corp, Cisco and Sky. Whilst Director of Development at Orbis Technology, revenue grew by 999% and the company was awarded a place in the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 for two consecutive years.

Gavin Kibble – What’s Eating the UK: A joined up strategy for dealing with food poverty nationally

As the founder of Coventry foodbank Gavin has built partnerships with 17 city churches which distribute food to people in crisis. Since the project started seven years ago it has fed around 109,000 people in Coventry (over 20,000 people last year alone). In partnership with Coventry Citizens Advice he implemented a 3year project which provided debt and welfare relief for recipients of food parcels.

Under his leadership the Foodbank has grown to become one of the largest in the country. As well as providing people with emergency food parcels it directs families to vital support and advice services.

Mary O’Malley – Creating dementia-friendly spaces

Mary is a dementia researcher working at the University of Northampton, and is passionate about improving the quality of life of people living with dementia.

Mary’s Psychology PhD research (Bournemouth University) investigated how we can create more supportive environments for older adults and those showing signs of dementia. Through a variety of experiments, that tested people’s spatial memory when learning new routes in real and virtual environments, as well as interviews with older adults, Mary was able to identify aspects of navigation that were more (and less) affected by early signs of atypical ageing. Her research findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at academic conferences, and she is keen to share the knowledge from this research base to see how we, as a community, can make small changes in the environment to better enable people living with dementia to continue living independently.

Chris Birch – From Zero to Hero

Chris Birch is Professor of Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Greenwich. He lives in Birmingham and London. He attended the University of Warwick in the early 70’s and has always loved Coventry.

He is an economic and social historian who has learnt that it is the ingenuity of our people and human capital which defines what happens both now and in the future. Society and the communities therein can influence and shape their own destiny through policy and thoughtful interventions which encourage and nurture creativity, innovation and enterprise. That is what ‘rebooting Coventry’ is about, and we can both learn and take encouragement from the glorious past of a very great City.

TEDxCoventry – Rebooted