It was staged in its Grade II-listed Salem Chapel headquarters in Leeds as part of Digital Leaders Week, which provides best-of-breed examples of leadership and transformation by leveraging innovation, skills and experience from across the UK tech sector, with a particular focus on promoting digital leaders and leadership outside of London.
Aql’s founder and chief executive Dr Adam Beaumont, also Digital Leaders Yorkshire chair, addressed the audience as part of the series of lectures and introduced the keynote speaker, Rob Wilmot, founder and chief executive of idea management software company Crowdicity and notably, founder of Leeds-based Freeserve, the first subscription-free dialup-ISP in the UK.
Mr Wilmot’s talk touched upon the threats and benefits of artificial intelligence and robotics. He even covered the early-years challenges of the autonomous “lift” - removing the attendant from the lift carriage, which was opposed by the Unions of that time. Similar concerns still remain.
Dr Beaumont said: “As a key player in the Northern Powerhouse, aql was delighted to host Monday’s Annual Lecture, as part of Digital Leaders Week, at our Salem Chapel datacentre in Leeds.
Mr Wilmot said: “When The Rt Hon Lord Maude of Horsham, chair of Digital Leaders, asked me to give their Annual Lecture this year, we agreed it would be a great idea that instead of running it in London where it usually takes place, we run it in the North of England instead.
“We agreed on Leeds as a beacon of the Northern Powerhouse. I was delighted when Dr Adam Beaumont CEO of aql, and Digital Leaders Yorkshire Chair, offered up his magnificent and historic venue at aql’s Salem Chapel HQ for the lecture.”
Aql is also a partner of the Northern Powerhouse.