Digital technology has become so important in all of our lives. Even over the past 18 months the way that we all use digital has changed hugely, from keeping in touch with friends, to working remotely, to enjoying live-streamed theatre performances or music gigs. Digital is ingrained in everything that we do, which is why I think it’s vital that digital tech plays a big part in our Year of Culture.
I’ve recently joined the LEEDS 2023 team as a Creative Technologist, and my role is to work with creative, digital and tech experts in the city and beyond to create amazing digital experiences for audiences. We want everyone to be a part of it, whether you’re a digital native or someone who is a bit nervous with technology. And we’re not just waiting until 2023 – there are some exciting digital projects and events happening right now that you can get involved with.
I’m really excited that Leeds Digital Festival is back in a few weeks from 20th September to 1st October. I’m always thrilled to see how many events not only celebrate digital expertise and innovation that’s happening here in Leeds, but connect us to others around the world. This year LEEDS 2023 is running a series of events which emphasise the importance of collaboration and allow people the space to experiment with new ideas.
Our main event is a Game Jam which runs from 21st to 30th September. A Game Jam is for people to come together individually or in groups to test out ideas for a digital artwork or video game. For me, events like this have always been a great space to attempt new things, have the space to learn, experiment and even permission to fail. Testing, learning and prototyping are vital parts of digital development and something I believe anyone should be part of, not just tech developers! There’s still plenty of time to get involved; you have until 15th September to book your free place.
We know that digital is one way we can help develop creative solutions to all sorts of problems. Tech for the Public Good, which we’re working on with the British Council and the Frontiers Institute at the University of Leeds, is an online international project for 10 people who want to find answers to some of the biggest challenges faced by people around the world and try to solve them through creativity and technology. So, if you are passionate about social justice, have an interest in collaborating with an international community and want to test new ways of working together then we want to hear from you, no matter what your background or experience. Again, you have until 15th September to apply and be part of it.
You can book on now to any of our LEEDS 2023 events at Leeds Digital Festival, and for information about Tech for the Public Good visit head to our Get Involved page.
IMAGE CREDIT: Little Live Stories for Leeds, photograph Simon K Allen.
First Published in Yorkshire Evening Post, Saturday 11 September.