The first London Tech Week out of lockdown was held from 13th to 17th June 2022, bringing together over 20,000 government and industry leaders, start-ups, investors and innovators.
It was described by Tech London Advocates founder Russ Shaw as “an exhilarating glimpse into the future of UK tech and the capital’s place at the heart of the sector’s growth.” Writing on UKTN, Shaw also said of the landmark event:
“London showcased itself as a truly global city, with the tech sector at the core of an attractive launch pad for the world’s most exciting and innovative ventures.
“Not only was London showcased as a cradle of innovation, but also as a hub of global connectivity. The week tech communities from across the globe – from Shenzhen to Ghana, to the West Midlands – came together to look to the future of the sector and how it can positively transform other landscapes.”
Let’s run through a few of the hot topics which were under discussion at London Tech Week 2022, and what they suggest about the future of the industry.
The future of work
Being the first post-pandemic London Tech Week, it’s no surprise that the future of work was high on the agenda at the event. The world has undergone a work revolution thanks to the stratospheric (and necessary) rise in the use of remote working technology. And as AI advances and the metaverse inches closer to becoming a reality, the boundaries between ‘work’, ‘home’ and ‘office’ are set to become ever fainter.
One of the main impacts is on recruitment. Businesses and recruiters can now drastically expand their talent pools, reaching beyond geographic restrictions to find skilled professionals all over the world.
Solving the D&I ‘paradox’ to tackle skills shortages
The world’s tech industries have a seriously daunting challenge to overcome if they are to continue to flourish – skills shortages.
According to Shaw, the UK tech sector alone has a huge 10,000+ vacancies to fill. It also has a pressing diversity and inclusion problem. The industry is predominantly white and male, with just 26% female employees and only 15.5% workers from a BAME background.
Improving these figures and giving UK tech the benefits of a more diverse workforce could help to address the skills shortage. As Shaw puts it:
“So, beyond the ethical imperative to be inclusive, there is a pressing practical need to place diversity at the heart of the drive to grow our sector.
“The key takeaway from this sustained focus throughout the week was that diversity and inclusion are vital prerequisites for the UK tech sector to fulfil the potential on display at London Tech Week.”
A ‘glimmer of positivity’ for the sustainability agenda
London Tech Week is famous for showcasing the brightest tech innovations, and this year was no different. For many exhibitors, the focus was sustainability. This meant a dazzling array of ClimateTech solutions to the challenge of meeting net zero targets. The event also held a ClimateTech summit, featuring discussions and speakers on subjects such as how to decarbonise the supply chain.
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