MK Geek Night

#30 Sep 5 2019

  • In-person event
  • Talks start 19:30

MKGN #30 will be held on September 5th 2019 - doors open at 18.30 with our first speaker on stage around 19.30. The talks usually finish around 22.00 to 22.30, but do hang around for drinks and chat.

Topics, speakers & schedule

Timings are approximate

​Cennydd Bowles

Building Better Worlds

Listen back on SoundCloud

Dystopias loom large over the coming decades: mundane surveillance, autonomous weapons, widespread disemployment, all set against the perpetual dread of climate crisis. It’s easy to succumb to fatalism, to feel powerless in the face of a world tipping off its axis. But there’s no time to mourn everything we stand to lose. Our trajectory is not yet locked in: we have millions of futures to choose from.

We’ve talked enough about how the tech industry – and, indeed, the world – lost its way; now it’s time to make things better. Cennydd Bowles, author of Future Ethics, will explain the essential role designers will play in realising positive visions of the future, and how addressing the world’s most urgent issues requires us to reimagine design itself. Drawing on the fields of speculative design, foresight, and futurism, the session will examine how to mobilise for change, how to bring ethics into the heart of practice, and how to make technology more responsible, more just, and more democratic. Better worlds are possible, if we wish them.

About Cennydd

Cennydd Bowles is a London-based designer and futurist with fifteen years of experience advising clients including Twitter, Ford, Cisco, and the BBC. His focus today is the ethics of emerging technology. He has lectured on the topic at Facebook, Stanford University, and Google, and is a frequent speaker at technology and design events worldwide. His second book, Future Ethics, was published in 2018.

​Cennydd Bowles

Oliver Byford

Government Services That Work For Everyone

Listen back on SoundCloud

Working on the GOV.UK Design System has given Ollie a lot of opportunities to learn how to build government services that work for everyone.

In this talk he will walk you page-by-page through a (fictional) GOV.UK service – highlighting some of the things that he's learnt.

He'll answer questions that you didn't know needed asking, like:

  • when is a button not a button?
  • when is a triangle not a triangle?
  • and when is a heading more than just a heading?

About Oliver

Ollie is a developer at the Government Digital Service, a part of the cabinet office based in Aldgate, London. As the tech lead on the GOV.UK Design System team, he spends a lot of time thinking about accessibility and inclusion… and devouring the team's never-ending supply of biscuits and cake.

Oliver Byford

Abi Bennetts

30 Days of Ideation: How to build your creative confidence

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They say it takes 30 days to form a habit. Whether you think of yourself as a ‘creative’ or not, we all need creativity to solve problems, express ourselves and create new campaigns, designs or business strategies. After taking on 30 days of ‘ideation’ - coming up with a new idea everyday - Abi will be taking you through the top three challenges she experienced when developing her own creativity and delivering her top tips for building your creative confidence.

About Abi

Abi is a Digital PR Executive at Aira Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Milton Keynes. She graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BSc in Psychology last year, and when she's not exploring all things digital PR, Abi can be found devouring books, singing or taking pictures of her two Maltipoo puppies!

Abi Bennetts

Meredydd Luff

Faster Prototyping on the Web

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The road from idea to "working prototype" is long, and despite the supposedly democratising influence of web apps, that road has somehow only got longer over the last 20 years. Meredydd will talk about why and how this is, and how he attempted to address this with Anvil - with retro techniques from the 90s!

About Meredydd

Meredydd started programming since the 90s, in the halcyon days of Visual Basic and Delphi. He holds a PhD from Cambridge in the usability of programming systems, and he has strong opinions about both the power of the Web and how its unnecessary complexity excludes creators from it. He founded Anvil as a way to open Web apps to a new generation of coders.

Meredydd Luff

Jane Hunt

Social-ly Unacceptable

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Have you ever used a hashtag on social media and questioned its meaning or how it could be interpreted by your followers and the wider social community?

No? Me either, until now. We tend to take hashtags for granted and look for the most relevant and popular when posting, not really reflecting on their wider cultural meaning. And this is what we failed to consider when we launched a digital PR campaign for a client - the sensitivity of a hashtag and how it could be received by the media.

About Jane

Co-founder of JBH - The Content Agency, Jane splits her time between their Manchester and Northampton offices, overseeing all client campaigns. An experienced public speaker, Jane shares her content marketing expertise through speaking engagements and webinars in both the UK and US.

Jane Hunt
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