Public Sector Executive Emerging Technologies Online Conference header image

2024 Public Sector Emerging Technologies Online Conference

Whether a public body, or a private company, organisations around the world are fighting to keep up with the latest technological advancements. If the UK private sector is going to keep up with the latest trends, policy and attitudes must adapt to remain in line with these priorities, whilst also avoiding being left behind.

As with any new, cutting-edge technology, new legislation must be put in place to ensure that it is used in a safe and responsible way, and this process has already begun. Government departments have commenced conversations with various sectors and stakeholders to scope out how the latest tech can bring widespread benefits.

In order to address the new technology that is being introduced, and how the public sector can reap these benefits, Public Sector Executive hosted its 2024 Public Sector Emerging Technologies Online Conference, featuring a host leading voices including representatives of:

  • National Audit Office
  • London City Hall
  • Crown Estate
  • City of Wolverhampton Council
  • Queen Mary University of London

AI and Automation

The first panel of the day centred around the use of AI and automation, and how the public sector can utilise new advancements to increase productivity. Whilst AI removes some of the legwork that humans would usually have to do, it is important to explore how the human touch can be maintained as organisations provide citizen support, as well as how it can provide valued insights into the lives of communities.

Participating in this panel was the National Audit Office’s Jonathan Pownall (Senior Digital Specialist), Hatim Abdulhussein from the Health Innovation KSS (Chief Executive), and London City Hall’s Theo Blackwell (Chief Digital Officer).

Ethics, Privacy and Regulation

With the development and adoption of new technology, it is imperative that they are introduced in a way that is ethical and well regulated. Never has this been more prevalent than now, as we are discovering the power of artificial intelligence and generative tools. The second panel discussion of the day focused on this, and how this tech can be regulated to properly align with data use ethics and morality. Also discussed was how legislation can be introduced to keep pace with the accelerating development of new tech, and how new advancements can be adopted in the right way.

Joining the conversation for this panel was Professor David Leslie from the Queen Maru University of London (Professor of Ethics) and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s Mark Durkee (Head of Data and Technology in the Responsible Tech Adoption Unit).

Big Data

Fraud is one of the biggest problems facing the entire public sector at the moment. As ‘Big Data’ plays a more prominent role in improving efficiency across the sector, it can also support work to prevent fraud. Despite this, a conversation needs to be had surrounding the most important aspects of protecting that data.

For the next panel discussion of the day, Jonathan Pownall returned, and was joined by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Simone Thomas (Senior Manager, Strategic Data Systems), and Simon Salmon from Nottingham City Council (Head of IT) to talk about ‘Big Data.’

Procurement and Adoption

The penultimate leaders debate of the session saw expert voices coming together to discuss the importance of modernising technology within the public sector, whilst also updating policies surrounding tech procurement. The panel also considered the challenges that are faced when organisations are attempting to implement new technology solutions when budgets are already being stretched. These challenges include inclusivity in the rollout of technology, and the importance of providing the necessary skill training.

Taking part in this session was techUK’s Georgina Maratheftis (Associate Director), Helen Hoyland from Health Innovation Yorkshire and the Humber (Head of Commercial Innovation and Growth), and City of Wolverhampton Council’s Julie Bentley (Digital Programme Manager).

Digital Twins

The final discussion of the day saw the topic of Digital Twins discussed, with the debate centring around the numerous advantages presented by digital twins. These include improved efficiency, predictive capabilities, reduced cost, and improve citizen experiences.

Engaged in this conversation was Bradford Council’s Adrian Walker (T Services Manager), Sarah Hayes from Connected Places Catapult (CReDO Engagement Lead), and Socitm’s Martin Ferguson (Director of Policy and Research).

To ensure that you don’t miss out on the expert insights into how new and emerging technologies can be adopted across the public sector, make sure that you watch the Emerging Technologies Online Conference on demand here.


PSE April/ May 2024

Alarming decline in UK costal water quality

Dive into our latest edition for April/May 2024!


More articles...

View all
Online Conference


2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of public sector leaders responsible for procurement and strategy across local authorities and the wider public sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for leaders of industry to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation.

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep. 53 Compassion and Co-operation - Dr Nik Johnson

For the 53rd episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, spoke to host Dan Benn about some of the most important issues facing his region, as well as what drives him as a leader.