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Talent2018: Creating a Skills Manifesto For Our Digital Sector

Claire Hopkins making and sharing ideas at the Skills SummitIn June 2018, Wired Sussex organised Talent2018, a three-day skills festival for the digital sector designed to support our digital, media and tech industries.

It included a Skills Summit at the University of Brighton; a one-day conference that brought a hundred digital business leaders together to explore how, collectively, we can support the growth of a sustainable talent pool that benefits both our individual organisations and our digital sector.

After a morning of talks which featured a series of reflections from different businesses, we ran a workshop that asked participants to consider three key questions:

  1. How should businesses work with the educational sector (schools, colleges, universities)? What kinds of schemes or initiatives would we like to see in place to support the development of digital talent and opportunity?

  2. How do we attract, develop and retain all the talents to create a diverse and inclusive workforce?

  3. How can the City Council or other public-sector organisations make the city an affordable and accessible place to build digital businesses?

The Skills Summit was an invaluable, inspiring day of constructive thinking, with lively, positive debates around each question.

After the event, the Talent2018 team collated and transcribed the hundreds of ideas from the participants. You can find the list here.

Our goal now is to take all that discussion, learnings and enthusiasm and turn it into a Talent Manifesto.

A Manifesto will help us articulate, together, what we believe and what we intend to do to ensure we make our cluster the best in the UK for attracting and nurturing the talented individuals who will help us prosper. We will be publishing a draft for comments in the next few weeks.

We’ll be engaging with groups and individuals who already work on the themes identified above, to ensure we support (rather than replicate) them and their activity.

We would like to thank everybody who has participated thus far, including:

Claire Hopkins, Ideal
Eugenie Teasley, Uber
Caroline Walmsley, Further my Future
Chloe Langford & Zara Syversen, GENE commerce
Ed Hickey, DabApps
Tom Chute, Pragmatic
Mariam Crichton, Every1 Mobile
Chris Ricketts, Turn10 consulting
Rob Verheul & Jon Hume, Graphite Digital
Helen Kennedy, University of Brighton

All the talks from Talent2018: Skills Summit are available to watch on our Youtube. You can view photos from the day on our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Skills Summit and contributed to the event:

Abby Moreton, Alex Bond, Alexandra Stewart, Alister Scott, Andrew Adams, Andy Cummins, Athol Halle, Ben Collier, Bonamy Waddell, Boo Vaughan, Carol Green, Caroline Collyer, Chloe Flexman, Christopher North, Claire Dixon-Hill, David Bishop, David Alloway, Debra O’Callaghan, Donna Close, Emily Cooper, Fiona Partington, Frankie Knight, Fred Hasson, Gareth Graimes, Hanna Smith, Harriet Doherty, Holly Fisher, Holly Smith, Hyunsoo Lee, Jack Hiett, Jack Bedell-Pearce, Jake Maxwell, Jason Riahi, Jean Travis, Jean-Mark Bou Mansour, Joanna Miles, John Davison, Jonathan Malyon, Joshua Bell, Juliet Tzabar, Kerrie Webb, Kirsty Kearney-Greig, Lars Hyland, Lindsey Pickles, Lisa Mitchell, Loran Douglas, Lucie Sadler, Lucy Bunn, Luke Gibson, Luke Taylor, Marc Convey, Mark Raymond, Nadine Schofield, Nick Juba, Nina Garner, Paul Drewitt, Paul Kooner-Evans, Penny Daly, Rachael Yolland, Robert Jamieson, Sam Fenton-Elstone, Simon Pringle, Simon Bulteel, Tim Lyons, Tom Allen, Victoria King, Victoria Heyward, Viki Faulkner and Will Hudson.

Special thanks to our headline sponsor: Legal & General, sponsor: the University of Brighton, and supporters: DabApps, MAG Interactive, Brightwave Group, iCrossing, Lumesse Learning, Cooden Tax Consulting and Creative Process for the generous support.

Many thanks to: Plus Accounting for providing lunch at the Skills Summit and Forgotten Cuts for catering, Lo-Fi Arts for live-blogging the Skills Summit and all our volunteers for helping out over the three-day festival.

About the author

Rifa Thorpe-Tracey

Rifa is an award-winning coach, consultant, and connector for the digital and creative industries. She advocates for diversity and inclusion for women and people of colour.

View more posts by Rifa Thorpe-Tracey