Leeds Digital Festival, returning from Monday 20th September – Friday 1st October 2021, has been endorsed by the UK government as an important agenda setting event. For the first time in its six-year history, the Festival will play host to government bodies including the DCMS, the G7 and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

As part of Leeds Digital Festival’s programme of 300 virtual and in-person events, the G7 and the DCMS will host a multi stakeholder roundtable assessing the impact of the G7’s roadmap for cooperation on data free flow with trust. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will also host a joint event with the Office for AI on how Artificial Intelligence can be effectively governed.

The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum, comprising Ofcom, the CMA, the FCA and the ICO, will also host a panel discussion on the importance of regulation in modern digital markets.

Leeds Digital Festival takes its title as ‘the tech event for everyone’ seriously, and this year’s Festival will see a number of events based around diversity and inclusivity. Crisp will present its actor-focused approach to tackling racism in sport, there is an LGBTQ+ hack throughout the two weeks of the Festival organised by the Coder’s Guild, as well as the launch of a report by WILD on racial diversity in the Leeds tech sector.

Stuart Clarke, festival director said: “We’re delighted that Leeds Digital Festival has received government recognition, which is testament to the strength and resilience not only of the event, but also of the city’s tech sector as a whole. With everyone from start-ups to tech unicorns to government departments taking part this year, the Festival provides a great opportunity to come together and discuss how we can create a more accessible and inclusive tech and digital space.”

Deb Hetherington, head of innovation for Bruntwood SciTech and co-founder of WILD, said: “It’s a known fact that we need more racial diversity and representation in tech. As an open platform event, Leeds Digital Festival has always been geared towards ensuring that everyone has a place at the tech table, which is why there’s no better event for us to present the findings of our racial diversity in digital report at. We’re looking forward to taking part again this year to celebrate the city’s fantastic tech and digital sector and make it a more accessible place for all.”

To find out more and view the full programme of events, please visit: www.leedsdigitalfestival.org