Speakers: Education Evolution

Speakers: Education Evolution


Joanna Davinson
Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer, The Home Office

Joanna joined the Home Office in November 2017 following a 28 year career with Price Waterhouse Coopers and IBM, where she focussed on delivering large Public Sector ICT programmes, often in the UK but also for governments across Europe and in the US and Canada.

Before that Joanna enjoyed 5 years in the Civil Service in the National Audit Office and is delighted to now be back in central Government at the Home Office. She is the department’s Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer, leading a team of over 3,000 employees reporting directly to the Permanent Secretary, with a seat at the departmental Board.

Julia von Klonowski
Digital Director, Careers Colleges

Julia has over 35 years’ experience in the Digital and Technology industry and has spent the last 15 years concentrating on the effective use of technology in education. Prior to this, Julia lived and worked in South Africa, where she ran her own business delivering IT solutions.

On her return to the UK in 2001, Julia joined Sun Microsystems (and later Oracle) as a senior Project Manager and then as Program Director for Schools. Her experience stretches from programming, software support, large project delivery and consultancy.

Julia is passionate about education and sits on various Department for Education (DfE) and industry advisory boards, promoting the use of technology to improve education and skills. Her role at the Career Colleges Trust includes leading the annual digital project with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and supporting our digital Career Colleges.

Theo Blackwell MBE
Chief Digital Officer, London

Appointed in 2017 as London’s first Chief Digital Officer, Theo leads on London-wide digital transformation, data and smart city initiatives at City Hall.

His role involves:

  • Strategic leadership on the digital transformation agenda for London’s public services, across the GLA group and the wider public sector.
  • Convening on behalf of the Mayor, across London local government to support the take-up of innovative, technology, and data-led approaches to service delivery and public engagement.
  • Developing and promoting partnership between the public, private and community sectors to enable and support the development of new public service-oriented technology and innovation

Dr Vijak Haddadi

Head of Digital Innovation at LSBU Business School

Academically trained in philosophy, business management, and political economy (PhD, MBA, MA) Dr Haddadi has a knack for developing conceptual systems. Having been a professional leader in global innovation and venture ecosystems for +10 years, Dr Haddadi is deeply versed in real world applications of tools and frameworks to generate tangible outcomes and bottom line impact.

Dr Haddadi is currently leading a world class team in a new technology startup and am teaching and contributing to digital innovation efforts at LSBU Business School in London having previously founded and led Tract 9, one of Toronto’s most impactful startup incubators, cofounded Syndikat, a London-based entrepreneurial alliance, designed and led digital transformation campaigns for governmental institutions and NFPs.


Nick Hynes
Co-founder and CEO Somo Global

A true business visionary, Nick co-founded Somo in 2009 and has led the business to become one of the world’s biggest independent digital product firms.
Somo is one of the fastest-growing digital product and experience agencies, helping the world’s biggest brands and coolest startups become leaders in digital change.

Somo design and build intuitive digital products and accelerate the transformation journey, solving technical and creative challenges from a truly customer-first perspective.

Chris Rothwell
Microsoft UK Director of Education

Chris oversees a team which helps schools, teachers, pupils and others embrace technology to achieve their goals. The team work with schools, colleges, universities, museums and libraries to help them use technology to achieve their goals.

Eddie Copeland
Director, London Office of Technology and Innovation

Eddie is Director of the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI), a public sector start-up that helps London boroughs work together, bringing the best of digital, data and innovation to improve public services for Londoners. Previously he was Director of Government Innovation at Nesta, the innovation foundation. There, he oversaw the organisation’s work helping governments and public sector organisations improve public services, increase citizen engagement and tackle big social challenges.

He is the author of six reports on government use of technology and data, and a book on UK think tanks. He is also a member of the Smart London Board, a group that advises the Mayor of London on how London can harness digital technology and data for the benefit of those who live and work in the capital. In 2018 and 2019 he was on Apolitical’s list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government.

Christina Cole
AWS Educate Programme Lead, EMEA, Amazon Web Services 

Program leader for AWS Educate for Europe, Middle East & Africa. Working to build the next generation of technology and cloud professionals.
Extensive experience of working with public and private sectors tackling solutions to close the digital skills gap. 

Mark Smith
The National College for Digital Skills

Ada was founded by Mark Smith and Tom Fogden, both of the inaugural Teach First cohort which aims to get talented teachers into classrooms in low income areas. Previously Smith assisted Lord Adonis writing his book Education, Education, Education.

Ada, the National College for Digital Skills. (Ada College) is a further education college in Tottenham Hale, London and Whitechapel, London. It is named after Ada Lovelace and opened in September 2016.  Its curriculum is designed with input from founding industry partners such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Gamesys, IBM, Deloitte, and King.



When: Wednesday 25 November – 3.00pm to 5.30pm

Where: Online Event

Email: [email protected]