One Year On: mapping the digital shifts in a time of change

24 March 2021 • 3 min read

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January began with the usual array of tech trend reports and forecasting pieces, as business leaders prepared to tackle a new year - and the ongoing repercussions of 2020. But with the first three months of 2021 nearly behind us, and over twelve months on from the first national lockdown, which tech trends seem to be bearing out? Are new priorities emerging? When it comes to their digital agenda, where should businesses really focus this year?


To explore these questions further, we’ve brought three highly respected leaders across the business and technology spectrum together at our latest Red Chair Talk, and invited them to share their own perspectives on what really matters this year.


We are delighted to welcome Eileen Burbidge MBE, a Partner at Passion Capital and HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech [and Chair of Tech Nation (2015-2020)], to share her views of the impact of 2020 on the tech industry ecosystem, and where the priorities lie for 2021. Eileen will discuss the increasing need for digital awareness in executive leadership, and explore the increasing demand for accountability and transparency from customers and regulatory bodies.


Jack Smith, Director of Digital at British Airways, will then join Eileen Burbidge and Wendy Stonefield (Club Executive, AND Digital) for a panel discussion sharing their expertise and perspectives for 2021 and beyond.


About Eileen


Eileen Burbidge is a Partner at Passion Capital, the preeminent early stage technology venture fund based in London. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product roles at Yahoo!, Skype, Apple and elsewhere.

Eileen is also a member of the board of Dixons Carphone, the FTSE 250-listed consumer electronics retailer and non-executive director on a number of fast growing SMEs including Monzo Bank, Digital Shadows, Marshmallow and Butternut Box.


Eileen was awarded an MBE in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to Business. In addition to Passion Capital, and as described by Fortune Magazine as “The Queen of British VC”, Eileen Burbidge is one of the UK’s biggest Tech personalities and one of London’s most influential venture capitalists. She is the UK Treasury’s Special Envoy for Fintech, appointed by the Chancellor; Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London’s office and served on former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group as well as Chair of Tech Nation for 5 years, stepping down in 2020.


About Jack


Jack Smith joined British Airways in 2017 to lead its digital strategy, with responsibility for the commercial business in direct online channels and for the transformation of the digital experience across the customer journey. Alongside his airline responsibilities, Jack is also a Director at British Airways Holidays, one of the UK’s leading, largest and most trusted UK holiday companies.


Prior to joining British Airways, Jack was Group Digital Director at fashion group New Look. He also spent seven years in consulting, where he was a founding member of the team that set up Deloitte Digital in the UK, delivering scaled digital transformation in organisations such as John Lewis.


Jack attended Sheffield Hallam University where he was awarded a first-class honours degree in Business Information Systems.


About Wendy


Wendy Stonefield has spent the last 20+ years engaging with clients throughout the lifecycle of digital transformation.  Working with teams and clients to devise digital strategies, associated roadmaps and digital products that deliver maximum impact. She has worked across a wide range of sectors including automotive, retail, technology,  FMCG, Financial Services, travel/hospitality and leisure, and with clients that include AMEX, HP Inc, Metro Bank, John Lewis, Emirates, Lexus, Unilever, Toyota, Robert Walters, Whitbread and Azzurri Group.


Wendy works with senior client stakeholders to assist them in transforming their teams and organisations in response to the challenges and opportunities that digital disruption invariably serves up.  She enjoys sculpting teams that blend strategic, technical, creative and experience design capability to deliver solutions that make a real difference to clients and their end users.  In doing so she is passionate about working closely with clients to build their digital capability enabling them to ultimately own and drive their digital future.




11.00: Join online and welcome

11.05: Keynote - Eileen Burbidge

11.25: Panel discussion

11.45: Q&A

12.00: Close


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