Digifest 2021 speakers

Gillian Keegan, minister for apprenticeships and skills, Department for Education

Minister Keegan will make the opening keynote speech at Digifest 2021.She will take a look at how education technology will play a vital role in delivering on the government’s Skills for Jobs white paper, support skills reform and revolutionise education. A former car factory apprentice, having left school at 16, the minister had a 27-year career in business before becoming an MP for Chichester in 2017.  

See Gillian on the main stage at 10:20, Monday 8 March 2021. 

Ann Rossiter, executive director, SCONUL

At SCONUL, Ann leads on all aspects of the organisation’s work including policy, service delivery and advocacy. She also works closely with the community and stakeholders to help further understanding of libraries’ vital role in delivering teaching, learning and research. She's spent the majority of her career working in public policy and in parliament, in consultancy as director of a think-tank and as special adviser on higher education policy.

See Ann on the main stage at 14:00, Monday 8 March.

Priya Lakhani OBE, founder CEO, CENTURY Tech

Priya left her career as a barrister to launch a successful cooking sauce, with a charitable foundation that provided meals and vaccinations to the underprivileged in India and Africa. In 2018, Priya co-founded the Institute for Ethical AI in Education and CENTURY won a prestigious MIT Solve (Education) award. Since then, she's been named Economic Innovator of the Year by The Spectator, been appointed to the UK government’s AI Council and become honorary vice president of COBIS.

See Priya on the main stage at 10:30 on Tuesday 9 March.

John O'Brien, president and CEO, EDUCAUSE

Non-profit EDUCAUSE aims to advance higher education through technology innovation, serving over 2,300 members from 45 countries. As CEO, John speaks and writes about higher education, technology and the crucial intersection where the two meet. John's 30-year career in higher education has involved key leadership roles including senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, president of North Hennepin Community College, and director of 'Students First', an initiative to redesign online systems to meet students’ needs.

See John on the main stage at 10:30 on Wednesday 10 March.

Keith W McIntosh, vice president for information services and CIO, University of Richmond

Keith has written and spoken written and spoken extensively about diversity, equity, and inclusion - he's the first CIO to serve on the Board for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and his peers elected him to the EDUCAUSE board, where he is now vice chair. In 2018, he served on the EDUCAUSE task force on diversity, equity, and inclusion and in 2020 he received the CapitalCIO of the Year ORBIE Award for education and nonprofit organisations, as well as making the 2020 Dean's List: 30 Higher Ed IT Influencers selected by Ed Tech Magazine.  

See Keith on the main stage at 14:40 on Thursday 11 March.

Confirmed speakers