Glasgow Tech Week 2024 – The First of its Kind

Monday the 13th of May saw Glasgow Tech Week 2024 kick off with a packed schedule spanning the week, organised by Glasgow City Innovation District. Livingston James Consultant, Rachel Sim attended some of the events organised as part of Glasgow Tech Week and has provided highlights of her experience below.

 

In the first of its kind for Scotland, Glasgow Tech Week provided access to events, workshops, webinars and networking opportunities; showcasing the cutting-edge technologies and creative advancements driving progress across various sectors. Whether attending as a tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, or industry leader, there was something for everyone to get involved in and draw value from. Following last year’s successful one-day event ‘Tech Fest’ – the upscaling of this to a weeklong occasion has been a great addition to the city and tech community.

Tech trends and emerging technologies such as AI, VR, Automation and Cyber Security were front and centre of many discussions, with talks discussing the positive changes we can harness from these technologies and how we can ensure the sustainable growth of our industries. Concerns around ethics, transparency and security were highlighted. With GDPR regulations only coming into play in 2018, yet data collection being a long-term practice, it suggests it may be a long time until we have the regulations in place to control AI and other advancing technologies – it is our responsibility to ensure we are using new technologies in an ethical and safe manner.

One of the highlights of Glasgow Tech Week 2024 was the Glasgow Tech Fest – the day that sparked the creation of this week’s event. Held at The University of Strathclyde Technology & Innovation Centre, the event featured keynote addresses delivered by industry leaders. Speakers shared their stories and insights on the latest trends and challenges facing the tech landscape, inspiring audiences with their vision for the future. From innovation impacting the healthcare, e-commerce and space sectors, these sessions sparked thought-provoking discussions and brought to light the incredible work happening in Glasgow and the wider UK.

I attended a very interesting presentation by Dame Maggie Aderin-Pocock, where she discussed how she fell in love with space from a very young age. If it hadn’t been for the role models she saw in the media who encompassed some of her characteristics, she might not have believed she was destined for – or even capable of – this career. More must be done to improve the representation of minorities within the tech industry to ensure we can encourage diverse uptake in future generations. By breaking down barriers (whether that be financial, educational, physical, or otherwise), Glasgow can continue to position itself as a hotbed for innovation.

A positive observation of the event was the organisers, presenters and attendees’ commitment to inclusivity and diversity within the tech community. At Digital Dominators, Thiago Carmo spoke about his social enterprise Passion4Social (a creative agency which creates sustainable employment opportunities for people with disabilities) and the practical steps and tools we can use to create a more inclusive and accessible workplace.

The first event I attended was a webinar hosted by MAPP Psychology, “Behind the Screen: Exploring the Mental Health Epidemic in Tech”. With a tendency for tech professionals to work independently, lack of collaborative opportunities and the growth of remote working, mental health issues within the technology industry are on the rise. Creating opportunities for increased collaboration, improving work-life balance and stress management will all be key to reducing mental health challenges such as anxiety within the community.

With 83% of tech employees experiencing high levels of workplace stress, Glasgow Tech Week and events which create a sense of inclusion and community are a positive step toward reducing this.

Whilst the range of opportunities given to attendees by Glasgow City Innovation District during Tech Week were great, what was even more impressive was the level of uptake, engagement, and collaboration from attendees. The room was full at each event – demonstrating the innovative, committed and passionate mindset of tech professionals within Glasgow and further afield.

As Glasgow Tech Week 2024 drew to a close, attendees left feeling inspired and supported by their increased subject knowledge, the opportunities and the networks they have developed throughout the week. I am sure Glasgow Tech Week 2025 will be one not to be missed!

 

If you are feeling inspired to take the next step in your tech career journey, please reach out to Rachel Sim at Livingston James – [email protected].

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