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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UK – Some of technology's greatest visionaries will head to North East England from around the world in May to discuss the ideas and technologies that are set to fundamentally alter the way people live, work and play.

Ray Kurzweil, a futurist who predicts computer intelligence will surpass human intelligence in 2029, Aubrey de Grey, a biogerentologist who says we can engineer a cure for the ageing process, and Greg Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, are among those speaking at the inaugural Thinking Digital conference, which will take place at the Sage Gateshead, NewcastleGateshead, on 21-23 May.

An exclusive audience of 400 people is expected at the two-and-a-half day event to hear from an eclectic mix of speakers including key players from some of the world's leading digital agencies and media organisations, such as:

• Sean Phelan, the founder of Multimap,
• Jessica Flannery, chief marketing officer for, a web 2.0 social enterprise that helps entrepreneurs in developing nations
• Dan Lyons, the senior editor of Forbes magazine, who was outed last summer as the man behind The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, a satirical blog about the CEO of Apple
• Gerard Grech, strategy and business development director, Orange Group, Content Division
• Matt Locke, commissioning editor for Channel 4 Education
• Mark Selby, vice president, sales and industry collaboration at Nokia
• Tara Hunt, community marketing guru, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Citizen Agency
• Daniel Pink, Al Gore's former speechwriter and author of A Whole New Mind, which charts the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economies

Herbert Kim, programme director for Thinking Digital, says the broad scope of the conference makes it the first event of its kind in the UK: "As technologies get more and more sophisticated and complex, they're driving an ever-greater need for concerned and informed individuals to meet face-to-face in order to better understand the changes in our world, digest the future trends we face, and think creatively about what we can do.

"We have created the Thinking Digital conference to bring together some of the world's brightest, most accomplished and innovative minds as speakers, sponsors and delegates across a wide variety of disciplines, industries and functions.

"This is a rare chance to look across borders, boxes and walls in order to stimulate new thinking, insights and connections."

The conference will kick off on the afternoon of 21 May with a series of workshops. The talks will begin on day two, with sessions on the future of media, the 'network effect, technology and even happiness. The final day will include sessions on globalisation, mobile 2.0 and management in the digital age.

The Thinking Digital conference is being organised by Codeworks, North East England's centre for digital innovation. It will take place at the Sage Gateshead and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on 21-23 May. For more information and to book seats, visit


Notes for editors

About Thinking Digital
The Thinking Digital conference is an annual event where 400 outstanding individuals gather to take part in an exclusive conversation about technology, ideas and our future. The conference is run by Codeworks, a centre for digital innovation based in North East England. See for up-to-date information on speakers.

Photo 1 (from L to R) Vikki Carr, Thinking Digital conference producer, and Herbert Kim, Thinking Digital conference producer & CEO of Codeworks.
Photo 2: Ray Kurzweil
Photo 3: Aubrey de Grey

Sponsors & media partners to date include: Microsoft,, New Media Age, Chinwag, TechCrunch UK, and E-Consultancy, BBC Backstage and Madgex.

For media enquires and to arrange interviews/photographs with Herbert Kim and/or available speakers, please contact:

Lewis Harrison
PR & Communications Manager, Codeworks
0191 556 1128 or 07867 674 994

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Codeworks in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Media & Marketing, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit