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UK’s largest data festival secures new speakers

  • DataFest 21 welcomes futurist Robin Winsor, wellbeing economy champion Dr Katherine Trebeck and polar explorer Ann Daniels
  • Mathematician Hannah Fry and space medicine expert Dr Kevin Fong will provide keynote speeches at DataSummit

DataFest21, the UK’s biggest data and artificial intelligence festival, has revealed the names of its keynote speakers for this year’s series of events running from May to November.

Robin Winsor, champion of digital advancement and inventor of the world’s first direct digital x-ray imaging device; Wellbeing Economy Alliance founder and advocate for economic system change, Dr Katherine Trebeck; and polar explorer Ann Daniels, who was one of the first women in history to reach the North and South Poles as part of all women teams, will headline three week-long events focused on different themes.

The first themed week, ‘Our Future’, takes place from 18th May with a free Data Talks event led by Robin Winsor, who will be discussing the role of artificial intelligence in modern teaching models and what intelligent machines will mean for students and teachers in the 21st century.

Events in September and November will explore themes including #OurPlanet, covering environment and climate change with Ann Daniels, one of the first women in history to reach the North and South Poles as part of all women teams; and #OurPeople, reviewing social elements such as health and wellbeing, with Dr Katherine Trebeck.

They will be joined by heralded mathematician, presenter and author Professor Hannah Fry, and emergency physician and expert in space medicine, Dr Kevin Fong at DataSummit, the two-day conference which is planned to take place in-person this November, bringing together industry professionals to discuss and digest inspirational and innovative examples of using data for good.

Now in its fifth year, DataFest21 is exploring the theme ‘#OurData’, underlining how important our data is to the growth of the economy, social progress and knowledge base, whilst encouraging debate on ethics and deepening understanding of data ownership.

The festival has grown to become the UK’s largest data festival and a key calendar event for professionals working in data and AI across the UK and beyond, with 2019’s event attracting more than 4,000 visitors.

Additional speakers revealed to be taking part in this month’s series of DataFest events, Data Tech and Data Talent, include Ellen Friedman, Principal Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Albert King, Chief Data Officer in the Scottish Government; food and social enterprise entrepreneur, Priya Lakhani; and Matt Higgs, Lecturer in Business Analytics at the University of Bristol and a Co-Investigator on the UKRI-funded project ‘Observatory for Monitoring Data-Driven Approaches to Covid-19′.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “Each year, DataFest proves itself to be the premier data and artificial intelligence event in the industry calendar, attracting a raft of excellent speakers – and this year is no different. Being able to welcome names like Robin Winsor, Dr Katherine Trebeck and Ann Daniels, who can each share invaluable insights across three very important themes, is a real highlight after a turbulent year for everyone.

“It’s fantastic to be able to bring the data and AI community together once more, and with DataSummit taking place in-person later this year, I’m looking forward to networking and hearing from the dynamic Hannah Fry and Dr Kevin Fong who, through their varied and successful careers, can bring incredible insight into the innovations and applications of data science and AI for the betterment of society.”

DataFest’s first themed week, Our Future, kicks off from 18th May with a series of events – Data Talks, Data Tech and DataTalent. For more information and to book tickets, visit:

About The Data Lab

The Data Lab is Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI. Through hubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Inverness, we foster innovation through collaboration, build skills and grow talent, and champion Scotland’s data science community. We help Scotland maximise value from data and lead the world to a data-powered future.