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President's Conference 2024: People make places


This event has now ended.

Date & time

  1. 12 June 2024 09:15 - 16:00
  2. 12 June 2024 18:45 - 00:00
  3. 13 June 2024 09:30 - 15:30

*We are now sold out – please do not register*


Welcome to President’s Conference 2024, where innovation meets community!

Conference theme: People Make Places

Day 1: Turning insights into impact
Day 2: Service delivery in tomorrow’s world

Get ready to embark on two days of re-imagining public services as we dive headfirst into the heart of communities. This year, our theme “People Make Places” sets the stage for a transformative experience like no other.

Join us as we gather the brightest minds and passionate souls from across the public sector in a safe and inspiring environment. It’s a gathering where innovation sparks, ideas flourish, and connections ignite.

We have a packed agenda. Hear from local authority chief executives as they reveal the challenges and aspirations that keep them awake at night. Hear the essence of social value in Oxfordshire. Explore ground breaking initiatives shaping communities which you can adapt and adpot.

Collaboration is key.

And let’s not forget a key highlight of conference – our dazzling Gala Dinner, where we celebrate the trailblazers and visionaries of local government with our Socitm Awards. Get ready to be inspired in an evening filled with recognition and camaraderie.

So, join us in Birmingham and be part of a movement that’s shaping the future of public services, one community at a time. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience!


  1. 09:15 Registration

    A warm welcome will greet you at the Socitm registration desk where you can sign in and receive your delegate pass. You’re then free to start networking as well as helping yourself to refreshments – including breakfast pastries.

  2. 09:45 Socitm President's Opening Remarks

    Socitm President Mark Lumley will make us all welcome, run through the practical housekeeping, set the scene, share his thoughts and reflect upon his last 12 months in leading the organisation. Mark will then kick the conference off by introducing our first keynote speaker.

    Mark Lumley, Director Digital, IT & Resilience, London Borough of Hounslow

  3. 09:55 Leading a city powerhouse

    What a fantastic start to day one. Gain key insights from Ian Thomas CBE, who will reveal how he leads the City of London Corporation. How does the organisation keep London’s unique Square Mile area a vibrant and thriving place while supporting a diverse and sustainable city? Join the session and take away actions for your organisation to strengthen connections, increase capacity and retain the character of your place.

    Ian Thomas, Town Clerk & Chief Executive, City of London Corporation

  4. 10:15 Transforming Oxfordshire: A Journey to Cutting-Edge Council IT Services

    Join Tim and Alastair as they share the transformative journey of Oxfordshire County Council’s IT services. Discover the innovative strategies implemented to prioritise customer satisfaction and empower the workforce. Learn about the adoption of pioneering technologies, including the robust Zero Trust security model, and how these advancements are propelling Oxfordshire towards a future of seamless, secure, and user-centric digital governance.

    Tim Spiers, Director IT, Innovation, Digital and Transformation, Oxfordshire County Council
    Alastair Read, Head of IT, Oxfordshire County Council

  5. 10:30 Dragons and Unicorns: Socitm Institute - the heroes tale

    Find out more about Socitm’s policy and research work that’s designed to be your virtual colleague; understand what connected places are and why they matter to us all; find support in collections of resources around AI et al; the latest training in the Leadership Academy and with alumni; and last but no means least the Place Insights offered by our partners Impera Analytics

    Sam Smith, Director of Institute, Socitm
    Pye Nyunt, Chief Executive Officer, IMPERA
    Diana Rebaza
    , Senior Research Analyst, Socitm
    Martin Ferguson
    , Policy and Research Director, Socitm
    Aidan Matthews
    , Leadership Programme Manager, Socitm
    Nadira Hussain, CEO, Socitm
    David Ogden,
    Engagement Director, Socitm
    Matthew Fraser
    , Technical Consultant, Socitm
    Emma Macquarrie, ICT Project Manager, Wiltshire
    Irene Docherty, Strategic ICT Business Partner, Wiltshire

  6. 11:15 Networking Break

    It’s time to gather our thoughts from the morning sessions over refreshments and snacks. This is an opportunity to connect with fellow colleagues both from the public and private sector.

  7. 11:40 First there was the Silicon Fen, now there's Silicon Sands

    It’s amazing what is going on in Blackpool. The region is leading the way on renewable power.

    Learn from Tony Doyle, Blackpool Council’s Head of IT Services, as he reveals the inside story on ‘Silicon Sands’ and the council’s drive to make the entire data centre industry more environmentally friendly.

    You’ll take away insight on renewable power such as solar and wind and the positive reduction in carbon footprint, data centres being cooled using liquid immersion, and swimming pools being kept warm with waste data!

    A fascinating pitch not to be missed.

    Anthony Doyle, Head of IT Services, Blackpool Council

  8. 11:55 What can we learn from the private sector?

    What does the private sector have instore for us today? Listen to Shaping Cloud, HSO and TechnologyOne who will help you get the best from working with commercial organisations

    Helen Gerling, CEO, Shaping Cloud
    Andy Clough, Head of Public Sector, HSO
    Ian Owen, Industry Director, Public Sector, TechnologyOne

  9. 12:10 2 become 1

    What’s it like when 2 become 1?

    Brentwood and Rochford Council has established a unique partnership between two councils that don’t share a boundary but do share a management team and resources to deliver similar place-based outcomes for its residents, businesses, and communities.

    Find out from Jonathan Stephenson, Joint CEO of Brentwood Borough Council and Rochford District Council how the One Team was established, the journey the partnership has been on, the benefits realised to date, the future of the partnership and the lessons learnt.

    How have 2 teams become 1 ? Why did climbing mountains bring the teams together!

    Also find out about the Public Sector Challenge and how you can get involved in 2024.

    Jonathan Stevenson, Chief Executive, Brentford & Rochford District Council

  10. 12:40 Networking lunch & AGM

    Lead members are very welcome to join our Annual General Meeting (AGM). For all other delegates and partners you’re welcome to enjoy some catch-up time over lunch.

  11. 12:40 Annual General Meeting

    Our current president, Mark Lumley, will lead us through what Socitm has done with and for members over the last year. Then he’ll hand over to incoming president Carol Williams.

    Mark Lumley, Director Digital, IT & Resilience, London Borough of Hounslow
    Carol Williams, Director of transformation and digital, Walsall Council
    Nadira Hussain, CEO, Socitm
    David Bryant, Finance & Commercial Director, Socitm

  12. 13:40 The next generation council – A fireside chat

    Local government has always been people focused:

    • Service delivery,
    • Links to local geography and communities
    • Regular elections

    All add up to a sector that has communities at the forefront of what it does.

    But there are obstacles to maintaining this unrelenting citizen focus. Increasing demands (as populations have grown and aged) combined with years of austerity have strained councils’ ability to deliver services.

    The Next Generation Council builds on the significant digital transformation already completed. It provides a roadmap of how best practices can be combined with AWS Cloud technology to meet the expectations and needs of its citizens now. And in the future.

    Kris Burtwistle, Head of UK Local Government, AWS
    Polina Shloido,
    Local Government Account Manager, AWS

  13. 14:00 Place-based problems facing local government: The academics' point of view

    This panel session will explore the characteristics of complex place-based problems facing local government and the kinds of approaches that can be taken to tackling them for the benefit of the people and communities that they serve.

    Chair – Martin Ferguson, Policy & Research Director, Socitm
    Shailen Popat, Director MSc Public Management, University of Birmingham
    Rhiannon Jones
    , Head of Civic, Associate Professor Civic Practice, University of Derby

  14. 14:30 Lessons from the front lines

    Providing consistent, accessible, usable services to your citizens is paramount, but budgets are tight and ‘digital transformation’ doesn’t seem like a panacea.  We are going to talk about different approaches that have worked, look at some things we could be tracking,  and help you get ahead of hidden costs.  You might be surprised by Robert’s insights.

    Jessica Chambers, Senior Customer Success Engineer, Silktide
    Robert Ling, Director of Transformation, North Yorkshire County Council

  15. 14:50 Networking break

    Another chance to network and compare notes from the afternoon sessions over refreshments and snacks.

  16. 15:10 Collaboration, Community and ... Copilot

    Reflections on how Local Authorities and Microsoft are working together to form communities of practice to enable collaboration and accelerate responsible innovation; maximising the value from technology at this AI moment

    Kieran Johnson, Microsoft

  17. 15:20 Charity keynote: Capstone Care Leavers Trust

    The Capstone Care Leavers Trust is a charitable organisation focusing on supporting young individuals ages 17-25 who have been in local authority care. Through grants, the CCLT assist care leavers in areas such as education, training and essential items like laptops or household goods. Their mission is to reduce social exclusion and enhance life opportunities for these young adults during their transition to independant living.

    Zoe Greenwood, Manager, Capstone Care Leavers Trust

  18. 15:35 Closing remarks

    On behalf of us all Mark will reflect on a significant conference for Socitm and bring proceedings to a close.

    Mark Lumley, Director Digital, IT & Resilience, London Borough of Hounslow

  19. 18:45 Drinks reception

    After an inspiring and thought-provoking day, it’s time to absorb all that information and unwind at our President’s Conference drinks reception

    Whether you choose to carry on existing conversations or start fresh ones with new contacts, this is an opportunity to reflect and relax in a welcoming and friendly environment where catching up and connecting is key.

  20. 19:15 Gala Dinner: Celebrating Success

    Our President’s dinner isn’t just about good food and great company. It’s also the time where we acknowledge and celebrate the hard-work, vision, delivery, best practice and personal achievements of digital leaders in the public sector.

    In these most challenging times , peer appreciation and support are more important than ever. The President’s dinner is an opportunity to demonstrate how much our community, as a whole, values, recognises and appreciates the triumphs of individual members. This is why our President, President’s team and our partners have such pleasure in welcoming you to the evening.


Who can join our events?

Our events are open to everyone and relevant to all levels of staff, from new joiners right through to senior executives. This creates a vibrant mix which promotes innovation, sharing of best practice and drives the modernisation of public services.

Attendance is included in some of our membership and partnership packages – please refer to your organisation’s package details to see if you are eligible. You can do that on your account section.

A fee may apply for non-members.

Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to discuss your options.