Chamber’s first Digital Forum event to explore emerging technologies

Author - Courtney Hiles

Date published:

Today (22 February) we have announced details of our first Digital Forum event, due to take place next month, which will be centred around demystifying and exploring the use cases for artificial intelligence (AI).

Focusing on the experiences of professionals and featuring expert speakers, it will provide an opportunity for members to explore and discuss the potential of emerging technologies for their business and employees.

Callum George, policy adviser at the Chamber, said: “We’re really excited to launch our first Digital Forum event and to start exploring this dynamic sector with the region’s businesses.

“We’re also delighted that Chamber Partner member Sage are sponsoring the Digital Forum’s activity.

“As a Chamber, it has never been more appropriate for us to bring members from a range of sectors together to connect, share insights, and lean on each other’s experiences surrounding this topic.”

Callum added: “Whether it’s the development of Sunderland as a digital city, or the skills demands of new investors to the region, we believe there could be a large scope for meaningful discussions around digital technologies.”

During the launch event, forward-thinking AI and communications agency The Future Communicator will host a session aimed at demystifying AI for corporations and SMEs.

In this session, participants will develop an AI mindset, exploring the latest trends as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by using these tools to enhance their roles as business leaders. The session will also address crucial topics such as its impact on jobs, establishing effective policies, managing editorial bias, and combating misinformation and scams.

Sponsors and Chamber Partner members Sage will also present at the event.

Fiona Yip, Sage’s external technology relations manager, said: “We have reached an inflection point in the role of technology and recent advances in AI and automation; businesses no longer question if technology will help, but when and how and with high expectations.

“Much of our work is focused on bringing AI to bear for SMBs across the world, for whom it can foster growth and deliver huge productivity benefits.

“The Digital Forum event will deliver actionable insights, help demystify AI, and outline the importance of setting universal standards that establish trust and provide assurance to the businesses that seek to use it.”

Our new Digital Forum is a platform for businesses to learn about the latest technological advancements and how technology can transform ways of working, as well as addressing any challenges or concerns businesses may have.

It will provide businesses with an opportunity for their voices to be heard at a national level, with insights being raised with relevant stakeholders within the Chamber network, such as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and government, where possible.

Callum added: “The digital world provides a hotbed of potential for sectors across the North East. As a region, we’re currently at a real point of transition, from our heavy industrial past to new technologies that will shape the way we travel, work, live, and interact with each other for years to come.

“For many businesses across the North East, the digital world brings both opportunities and challenges, in terms of skills, infrastructure, and new ways of working.”

The Digital Forum launch event takes place at Sunderland City Hall on 25 March 2024.

The quarterly Digital Forum is targeted at those who rely on digital technologies in their everyday jobs or those who are exploring new opportunities to modernise their business. The forum will be looking at three overarching themes – technology, skills and leadership.

Our Digital Forum will support our Stronger, Fairer North East policy plan, enabling businesses to be more creative, innovative and resilient, and encouraging enterprise and growth.

To be involved in the Digital Forum and to receive event invites please contact your Chamber engagement manager.

Alongside the Chamber’s work, the BCC’s Business Council is focusing on five key challenges, with one concentrating on Digital Revolution. The challenge themes are being chaired by five experienced business leaders, working with commissions of businesses, experts, Chamber representatives and academics.

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