Vision and organisation

Dynamo North East is an industry led organisation with the core mission of:

Growing the North East tech economy through collaboration, innovation, skills and noise.

Our vision for the region is to have a world-class reputation as a hotspot for digital, data and technology. We raise awareness of north-east England as a great place to build a career in tech, as well as to live and work.

We help local people and organisations thrive, and build confidence, and showcase the great work already being done throughout the region. We are proud to be based in the north east and recognise the importance of passing the message on to others.

We do this through:

CollaborationDynamo helps people work together to achieve our shared ambition.
Due to its size and geography, the north east is uniquely placed to foster collaboration and innovation. Collaboration requires contacts, and Dynamo creates the opportunities for members to network and share
with each other, as well as proactively making actionable connections.
InnovationWe share “what good looks like” and provide inspiration from national and international insight, to help our members to innovate together for the good of their organisations and the region. We identify market opportunities and future areas of growth, and create a supportive environment for innovation to support economic development.
SkillsDynamo has its roots in addressing the skills gap in the region. We help build the workforce for more and better jobs in tech, and assist companies to upskill in order to increase their capacity to grow their business. We raise awareness of participating in the tech sector as a career.
We want the north east to be recognised as a place to build and grow a career, offering high quality jobs and an unrivalled standard of living.
And we want to capture the talent base of the ‘boomerangs’ so that people can come back to continue their global career in the north east.
A critical part of this is making the case that your next job is here, as well as your current one.
NoiseWe celebrate local achievements, especially through the high-profile annual Dynamites awards and annual conference.
In the last 5 years there have been over 15,000 jobs created in tech in the region. We place a big focus on advocacy for the region to local and national government, to celebrate success, create opportunities, and We celebrate local achievements, especially through the high-profile annual Dynamites awards and annual conference.
In the last 5 years there have been over 15,000 jobs created in tech in the region. We place a big focus on advocacy for the region to local and national government, to celebrate success, create opportunities, and drive investment.
We generate the positive noise we need to promote the region as a tech hotspot, including on behalf of companies in the region who may not have the resources or connections to do this themselves.

Dynamo’s unique strength is in the breadth of its membership and their shared commitment to growing the north east tech economy. With over 150 members, we are made up of IT organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry.

As an industry-led initiative we rely on membership fees to fund our cluster activity, stage high profile events and engage resources to pull together projects. Dynamo membership is made accessible to the full spectrum of organisations in the region, through a range of categories and levels of membership that fit every size of organisation.


Members benefit from a very strong and mutually-supportive network, where senior representatives of our member organisations are constantly making relevant introductions and supporting other members to achieve their objectives in the region.

Members can take advantage of a wide range of opportunities to make connections, build relationships and be inspired by successful businesses in the region and beyond. We know that smaller businesses want to contribute to the region but many aren’t able to put significant resources into this whilst they are trying to win new clients. We know all of our members would benefit from addressing the skills shortage in the region, building on Dynamo’s success with North East Futures UTC. We help our members with shared themes such as modernising ways of working, digital transformation, and cyber-security.

By acting as a voice for the tech sector, Dynamo enables members to get their message across in ways that might otherwise not be possible, for example through contacts with the government.


Dynamo North East is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC), which is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community, rather than private shareholders. Any surplus funds are reinvested towards its social objectives and do not generate a profit for shareholders or owners.

The governance of Dynamo North East is as follows:

Exec BoardDirects policy and makes major decisions to
ensure Dynamo North East best serves its
community purpose.
The Exec Board fulfils this function through a
monthly Operations meeting, which is typically
held just before each Advisory Board meeting,
and quarterly strategy meetings.
Charlie Hoult

Vice Chairs:
Andrew Besford
Giselle Stewart
Phil Jackman
Sarah Thackray
DirectorsCIC directors are listed at Companies House
and ensure that Dynamo North East CIC
complies with company law and other statutory
obligations. Directors’ meetings are held from
time to time as required.
Andrew Besford
Charlie Hoult
Phil Jackman
Sarah Thackray
Dynamo TeamThe Dynamo team engage with stakeholders
and members, leading the work on Dynamo
clusters. These are the only remunerated roles.
Phil Jackman
Dawn Dunn
Laura Kemp
Emma Whitenstall
Fareeha Usman
Advisory BoardA group with senior representation from member
organisations which advises on how best to
meet Dynamo’s objectives. The terms of
reference are included below.
List of members is
maintained on Dynamo
North East web page
Clusters and
Special Interest
Each cluster has a steering group, drawn from
Advisory Board members and senior
representatives of interested organisations.
These groups are responsible for the direction
and progress of their cluster.
Listed below
Events and
Secretariat team
Runs Dynamo North East events, maintains the
membership database, provides secretariat for
meetings and other essential support.
BeaconHouse Events
AccountantsProvides finance operations and management
Blu Sky Chartered


Group NameDynamo Advisory Board
ChairDynamo North East Chair, Charlie Hoult
SecretariatBeaconHouse Events
PurposeThe Dynamo Advisory Board comprises senior representation from Dynamo member organisations, including tech industry, major corporate users of IT,
education, and public sector. Although an informal board, it plays a critical role in supporting the strategic direction of Dynamo and its activities
● Advising Dynamo on how best to meet its objectives
● Sharing developments and achievements from their organisations and raising awareness of where members may be able to collaborate
● Acting as a ‘critical friend’ to develop the strategic direction of Dynamo
● Reviewing progress on the delivery of Dynamo work
● Helping to develop ideas for new and innovative activities that are of benefit to Dynamo and its members
● Acting as a resource for national and international best practice and knowledge in key areas of interest
A key purpose of the meeting is to allow members to disseminate important information back to their own organisations, to raise their awareness of what’s going on and how they can be involved.
The membership is intentionally drawn from a diverse cross-section of local stakeholders, and the meeting covers a broad range of topics. Due to the high-level nature of the discussion, the focussed decision-making for each cluster is conducted separately in cluster steering groups, which report progress to the Advisory Board.
FrequencyMeets bi-monthly, usually afternoon of 2nd Monday of the month.
Dynamo evening events such as panel sessions are scheduled wherever possible to follow on from the Advisory Board session, to maximise attendance.
VenueHeld at a different Dynamo member’s offices around the north east or virtually. Where appropriate a tour will be provided.
Typical agenda1. News highlights since previous meeting (Dynamo and members)
2. Brief update on Dynamo finances and upcoming events
3. Detailed discussion of 2 clusters as published in forward look
4. Discussion topic related to north east tech sector
5. Any other business as relevant to members
MembershipMembership includes senior leaders by invitation from Dynamo member organisations, including tech industry, major corporate users of IT,
education, and public sector. Senior representatives of other local stakeholders who are not Dynamo members (for example the Local
Enterprise Partnership) are also invited, at the discretion of the Chair.
Advisory Board membership is on a voluntary basis, is not remunerated, and does not confer any accountability for the legal obligations of Dynamo North East CIC.
Membership of the board is listed on the Dynamo website. Advisory Board members are welcome to include on LinkedIn and professional profiles that they are a Dynamo Advisory Board Member.
Expectations of
Each month, Advisory Board members benefit from a rapid news update, and the opportunity to make connections with other members. Holding the meeting monthly has proven to be an appropriate frequency to achieve this. We recognise members have commitments to their organisations, so Advisory Board members are encouraged to attend the meeting at least once per quarter. Attendance will be reviewed from time to time to ensure members remain active.
Advisory Board members have an ambassadorial role to pass on information for the benefit of their organisations, and to help bring everyone together to meet the Dynamo objectives. We also request that members
have a visible presence at Dynamo events wherever possible.
The steering group for each cluster is drawn from Advisory Board members.
Members are encouraged to play a more active role in driving clusters that meet their organisation’s objectives and needs.
Time commitment2-3 hours per month.
Any additional commitment at the discretion of individual members.
PapersA detailed update on all cluster activity will be sent out from the secretariat during the week before the meeting, along with the draft agenda for the meeting. This will highlight in advance 2 specific clusters which will be
considered in detail that month. Members with a specific interest in those clusters are encouraged to attend if at all possible.
The monthly Dynamo finance management pack is available on request.
ReportingMinutes will be circulated after each meeting to all Advisory Board members, which will include enough detail for those who were not able to be present. This will include the detailed updates on progress from each
cluster as a separate document.
Volunteers will take it in turns to publish a more personal blog post after each meeting, highlighting what they found particularly interesting, to drive transparency and help members “pass-it-on” to their organisation’s teams.
NotesAny potential conflicts of interest should be flagged to the Chair and will be
handled appropriately.


We believe the best interventions we can make to achieve growth in the north east tech economy are to help create clusters based around the features of our region that are unique, distinctive, and meaningful. Clusters have been shown to mutually reinforce job creation, development of intellectual property, and the formation of new industries. We believe this will lead to smarter economic development than chasing the next big thing or trying to ‘become the next Silicon Valley’.

For example, the north east is a major player in Digital Construction and Building Information Modelling (BIM). Dynamo has created a cluster group that provides a unified voice for construction in the region, which has brought together specialists to establish a hub for skills development and retention.

Dynamo runs a number of clusters, and special interest groups which are geared towards creating clusters. These are currently the following:

Cross-CuttingVertical / Industry Focussed
SkillsDataCyber SecurityDigital ConstructionFintechService Delivery CentresGovTech / National Leader CentreHealth Tech
Cluster LeadDawn DunnPhil JackmanAngela LynchWayne BryantLaura KempHermina Ely
Steering Group Industry LeadGraeme FletcherPhil JackmanCharlie HoultStuart LynnAngus KiddAndrew BesfordMark Thompson
Steering GroupPhilip Anderson
Emily Bentley
Tony Burgess
Robin Fewster
James Holmes
Steve Hood
Alastair Irons
Nicola Japp
Graham Jordan
Charlie MacDowall
Beverley Robinson
Procter & Gamble
Home Group
Amy Stabler
Contributors from Advisory BoardAccentureAccenture
Nathanial Ray
Summary availableYesYes

Each Dynamo cluster has a Cluster Lead (member of the Dynamo paid staff team) who is responsible for managing the cluster activities day-to-day, including managing and running the steering group, overseeing and delivering cluster communications and leading its strategic direction.

The cluster lead is the decision maker and responsible for the overall progress and management of the cluster. The cluster lead will report progress regularly to Dynamo Directors and Innovation SuperNetwork.

Each cluster maintains a short summary setting out purpose, scope, objectives, stakeholders, and action plan, following a similar format for each cluster.

We invite one of the Dynamo Advisory Board members to volunteer their time as Cluster Steering Group Chair. This person sits on the steering group for that cluster and acts an ambassador for that cluster area, for Dynamo. They will be a representative of the relevant industry the cluster is addressing, either as a provider or significant user. The chair will be expected to take an advisory role supporting the Cluster Lead, when required, to deliver their action plan. They will act as a sounding board and offer other assistance where appropriate, for example making introductions to potential contributors for the Dynamo cluster lead to follow up for cluster events and meetings.

The time commitment expected from each cluster chair will vary but is likely to be approximately half a day per month to cover steering group meetings, plus attendance at any cluster focused events that the cluster decide to run.

Each cluster will be discussed in detail at around three Advisory Board meetings throughout the year. Appropriate Advisory Board members take part in the steering group for each cluster.


Dynamo’s cluster team is part-funded through to March 2021 by the European Regional Development Fund in collaboration with Innovation SuperNetwork.

The Innovation SuperNetwork is a ‘network of networks’ in north east England which brings together over 50 partners and 5000+ businesses to generate fresh ideas, new market opportunities, knowledge and money. Innovation SuperNetwork is the brand of a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund: Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters, which is receiving up to £1.24m of ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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