Three prominent Metro Mayors will speak on the opening day of Connected North 2022, the first anchor show of Manchester Tech Week, on Monday 25th April.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Tracy Brabin, Metro Mayor for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, will feature on a keynote mayoral panel to discuss levelling up, the digital economy and addressing the digital divide.

Burnham believes connectivity is a basic human right and is a passionate advocate for Greater Manchester supporting the region’s progress in the startup space, tackling digital exclusion and using tech to improve public services.

The former Labour Cabinet Minister will also deliver the closing keynote for Digital Transformation EXPO (DTX), another anchor show of Manchester Tech Week, on Thursday 28th April.

The speech will focus on what’s next on Greater Manchester’s journey as a leading hub for innovation, technology and collaboration.

“In Greater Manchester we have the fastest-growing digital economy in Europe which contributes over £5 billion a year to our region,” he said. 

“We are also making strides to becoming recognised as a world-leading digital city region and are taking our position as an internationally recognised centre of digital innovation, research and practice.

“I’m looking forward to speaking at Digital Transformation EXPO (DTX) Manchester. DTX Manchester showcases the latest technologies and insights from world-leading experts and we are proud to host it in Manchester.”

Burnham will follow a series of compelling afternoon sessions on day two at DTX, starting with techUK and Manchester Metropolitan University sharing a new approach to closing the digital skills gap and addressing the talent tech shortage.

Infinity Works and AstraZeneca will be looking at how to build soft skills for hard times and drive change as inclusive leaders.

Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Cottages, will be discussing what it takes to be a great leader in tech and level up yourself, your company and your community on a special panel hosted by BusinessCloud Executive Editor Chris Maguire.

CEOs confirmed for BusinessCloud’s Manchester Tech Week panel

James McGough, MD of Imago Techmedia, the organisers behind Manchester Tech Week, said Burnham’s support was invaluable. 

“Real progress in digital transformation – whatever that looks like for local authorities, companies or individuals –  is driven by those who use their voice to stimulate debate and change,” he said. 

“Andy is that person: an influential advocate for the city, the North as a whole, and a supporter of tech communities who have a vital role to play in all our futures.”

Dominic Beresford-Webb, from Connected North, emphasised the significance of city leaders heading up the digital debate: “Andy’s passion for digital equality and his participation in the launch of Connected North highlights the importance for the North of the UK to have its own digital economy forum to address crucial regional issues on Levelling Up, inward investment, and tackling the digital divide.”

Manchester Tech Week logo

Manchester Tech Week 2022 is the North’s biggest ever digital transformation event which will also feature the launch of Unified Communications EXPO (UCX).

Aimed at ‘powering the Northern tech revolution’ it will help IT leaders tackle major tech challenges with a focus on network and infrastructure, cloud, cyber, unified comms, data and AI, digital culture, skills and hybrid working.

For more information on Manchester Tech Week 2022 and to register to attend for free click here.