Digital Cities to visit the North East

BBC Academy is set to bring its popular Digital Cities initiative to the North East for the first time later this month, with a series of events hosted between October 15-19th across Sunderland, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Gateshead.

The five-day Digital Cities agenda features free training, workshops and masterclasses all aimed at building the skills of those with an interest in technology and the creative industries. The BBC will lend the assistance of global brands such as Google and local champions like PROTO as the organisation seeks to expand its support for the region’s exciting digital sector.

Kicking off on Monday 15th October at Sunderland Glass Centre, events will initially focus on digital journalism and storytelling. The BBC Academy programme then makes its first of two trips to Newcastle on Tuesday, with Tyneside Cinema playing host to various film and production workshops.

Attention then moves away from the creative, with two consecutive days at Teesside University signalling a switch of focus to technology. Highlights include a hands-on virtual reality workshop ran by Animmersion as well as a digital news and talent showcase from BBC journalists.

The week will be rounded off with a nod to the future as Newcastle-based tech consultancy, hedgehog lab, play host to a Google Digital Garage session before holding Innovate Now – Tech For Good. A thought leadership event set to showcase how the region is helping tackle national and global issues, attendees will take in presentations from leaders in the NHS, Newcastle United Foundation and more. Wrapping up the week over in Gateshead will be a pre-launch party at Europe’s first dedicated centre for emerging technology, PROTO.

Melanie Rodrigues, Lead Producer from BBC Academy said:

“It’s very exciting to be working with so many creative partners in the North East of England, all of whom have dedicated a huge amount of time and resources to making these free events as accessible and innovative as possible.

“Whether you are an industry starter wanting to get the inside track on the latest jobs and skills in creative and tech, or a business owner keen to make new contacts and start collaborations, I think the week offers something for everyone.”

Sarat Pediredla, CEO at hedgehog lab and founder of Innovate Now, said:

“We were delighted when BBC approached us to play a leading role in their Digital Cities week. A driving factor in the success of our event is the values we ensure they abide by, and we think their alignment with what the BBC is looking to achieve from the week is perfect.

“Accordingly, we’ve looked to support Digital Cities beyond simply running an event – this is a real opportunity for the region and those within it.

“Having previously attracted speakers from organisations such as Amazon and Nissan, it’s great to see the growth of the Innovate Now brand as well as its ability to pull in world-class speakers. With BBC Academy’s support, we’re delighted to have secured more incredible presenters. We’re excited to deliver our best event yet and to continue developing knowledge, understanding and applications of tech throughout the North East.”

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