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Creative Tech Festival


23 Feb / 8am-12pm / Case New Holland


How can business harness technology for a sustainable competitive edge?

  • What technologies are making us more productive?
  • How is this affecting recruitment / apprenticeships?
  • What are risks and opportunities for young people?
  • What innovation should Basildon be known for?

A showcase of emerging technologies, innovations and creative thinking shaping the future of business in Basildon and beyond. From AI to hybrid working, XR to the Internet of Things, this morning event will be a mix of networking, demonstrations, talks and fireside chats with breakfast.

This is by business for business. About the changing opportunities that people face when navigating the world of work - and how we can best support, attract and retain potential talent in south Essex.


Friday 23rd February

8am - 11:30am


CNH Industrial NV
Cranes Farm Road
SS14 3AD





Dr Naeema Pasha

As the former Director of Research at MKAI.org, Naeema contributed world-class research and engagements on ethical and inclusive AI, delving into how they align with purpose-driven business strategies.

Naeema is a Behavioural Scientist at Philosophy At Work and a Coach Consultant at Richmond. Her pioneering work has seen her named on the Top 50 Global AI Ethics Thinkers and voted 11th on the Top 30 Global Thinkers 2021 by HR Magazine. Naeema has contributed to Microsoft’s Unlocking the UK’s Potential with Digital Skills report and co-authored Futureproof Your Career. She has also been featured in LBC, WIRED, Business Insider, FT, BBC, Forbes and Cosmopolitan.

Topics covered:

Naeema will speak about what's important and relevant to YOU and your business. Complete a short form to let Naeema know about your skills needs and challenges.



In 10 minutes each, our expert speakers will deliver a short learning session outlining the relevance and potential application of tech for your business. Summary slides will be distributed after the event with links to profiled technology and contact details for follow-up conversations.

Julie Winnard

Julie Winnard

Director & Sustainability Consultant, Haynard Ltd


Mary Kemp

Founder, Simpler with AI

Alison Mitchell

Alison Mitchell

Innovation Growth Specialist, Innovate UK EDGE

5 Ways to Future Proof Business: why green and ethical matters are a must.

  • Why more sustainable businesses are more resilient - and yes, there is proof!
  • Where and how to start, when your customers ask for your planet or people impacts.
  • Where to find tools, apps and help - you don’t have to learn it all yourself!

5 Things You Need to Know About AI: Your Fast Track to Business Growth.

  • Streamline with AI: Learn how AI simplifies operations, cuts costs, and opens up room for strategic growth.
  • Edge in the Market: Discover AI's role in superior data analysis and decision-making for business leadership.
  • Customer Connection through AI: Explore AI's power in enhancing customer service and marketing for deeper engagement and loyalty.

5 Ways You Can Grow Your Innovation: helping your great ideas take flight.

  • How you can access fully funded mentoring and coaching for growth.
  • How you can decide what grants are right for you and why.
  • Support to get ready for investment and expansion.


About Julie Winnard
Julie started her career in design engineering and project management in the automotive sector before founding the sustainability consultancy company Haynard Ltd - helping clients to identify and deliver their sustainability projects, from creating resilient strategies, business cases or innovation plans, to footprinting, reporting, targets and Net Zero reduction plans for carbon.
They believe the most practical and appropriate way to deliver real-world improvements in carbon emissions, energy and material use or risk and opportunity management. They help unpick customer asks and coach and train clients in strategic sustainability and resilience approaches for engineers and managers.
Julie has delivered results from creating new tools and green vehicle fleet best practice analysis, to Net Zero plans for manufacturers, supported transport data startups, and sustainable innovation and design work with various organisations.
Haynard Ltd-plain-logo-reverse


About Mary Kemp

Meet Mary Kemp, a leader in the AI enablement space and the co- founder of 'Simpler with AI'. Mary stands at the forefront of AI adoption, transforming complex concepts into practical tools for business growth. Her unique expertise lies in bridging the gap between advanced technology and everyday business applications, making AI an accessible powerhouse for entrepreneurs.

With a firm belief in AI as a catalyst for business innovation, Mary and Simpler with AI, has become a go-to expert for companies seeking to leverage technology for competitive advantage. Her collaborative work, especially with female founders, demystifies AI, turning it from a daunting buzzword into a strategic asset.

Simpler-with-AI logo


About Alison Mitchell

As an Innovation Growth Specialist Alison supports businesses as they grow - helping them to find the right sources of funding or partnerships, and helping them to develop both in the UK and overseas.

As a Director for Sensor City, an innovation hub in Liverpool owned by the Universities, Alison supported businesses with office and lab space and collaborations.

At BT, Alison was responsible for the delivery of major programmes such as Fibre Broadband and the splitting of BT Retail and Openreach.

Innovate UK EDGE is a key part of the UK innovation agency’s deep investment in the pioneering businesses that drive economic growth. It is a publicly-funded service available to all high-potential small to medium sized innovation-driven companies.

Innovate UK EDGE is part of the Innovate UK family, it partners with the EEN network, which is the largest innovation network in the world, it spans more than 65 countries worldwide bringing together 3000 experts from more than 600 member organisations.

Innovate UK EDGE empower businesses to grow at pace and achieve their industry- and society-transforming ambitions by pairing each business with an Innovation & Growth Specialist to deliver bespoke, tailored innovation and growth support.



Luke Anderton Virtus Studios

Luke Anderton

Founder, Virtus Studios

Charlotte Simmons

Charlotte Simmons

Founder, Charlotte Simmons Coaching

5 things you need to know about games engines for business.

With references to their work with industry partners such as Lexus car, Virtus will look at:

  • Product configurators
  • Digital twins
  • iOS app making

And other games engine applications for businesses at the cutting edge of creative tech.

5 powerful tactics to transform your marketing game.

  • How AI can create dynamic, custom personas, bringing a unique edge to your customer interactions.
  • Dive into using AI as a smart, data-savvy team member, enhancing efficiency and knowledge management.
  • Uncover the game-changing potential of AI plugins to supercharge your existing tech tools, driving innovation and adaptability in your business.


About Virtus Studios
Virtus Studios Ltd, based in Farnham, Surrey, is at the forefront of the immersive technology revolution. Our studio excels in creating cutting-edge, immersive, gamified experiences tailored for a wide range of applications, from entertainment to business and training.
With over a decade of experience in Unreal Engine, we have created virtual production environments for Super Bowl commercials, Digital Twins of factories and cities, VR experiences, product configurators,
training simulations, and much more. Our impressive client roster includes industry giants such as HTC, Meta, Electric Skies, Marshmallow Laser Feast, NFTS, Studio Ulster, and Lexus.
Virtus WhiteStudioLogoWebsite


About Charlotte Simmons
Charlotte Simmons is an experienced marketeer who leverages cutting-edge AI tools for marketing efficiency and small business growth. With over 15 years of experience in the digital marketing sphere and emerging tech space, Charlotte has spent the last two years educating businesses and entrepreneurs on how to integrate artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to revolutionise their marketing strategies.
At the core of her expertise is a deep understanding of how AI can streamline marketing processes, reduce costs, and save significant time, allowing businesses to focus on growth and innovation. Charlotte has helped numerous small businesses and startups harness the power of AI to not only optimise their marketing efforts but also to gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.
Charlotte’s approach combines practical experience with a keen insight into the evolving landscape of digital technology, making her advice and strategies both accessible and cutting-edge. Charlotte is not just a strategist but also an educator, committed to demystifying AI and making it an attainable asset for businesses of all sizes.
At this event Charlotte will be sharing insights on using AI tools effectively, providing actionable tips that attendees can implement to transform their marketing and accelerate business growth.


Exhibition and networking

An informal space for networking. Each exhibitor will either host an exhibition stand or hold a space where people can come to ask questions and get further advice, or try a short interactive taster activity at their own pace.

AVRT logo Adaptive Virtual Reality Training
the drone rules-DOUBLE-LOGO
Aaron Shrimpton

Basildon based Adaptive VR Ltd provide bespoke training experiences to high risk sectors such as the military and law enforcement. 

The Drone Rules provides drone services and aerial photography for businesses, as well as offering drone STEM activities for schools and universities.

Get Shot Studios is an Essex based photography studio that is owned and operated by award-winning director and photographer Tom Coles.

Aaron Shrimpton, Essex based director and video producer, creates documentary and promotional content for a diverse range of clients.

Colbea logo
Virtus Asset_22x_Black_2

Screen South is a cultural development organisation with digital creativity at its heart. Demonstrating how digital artists work with corporates across different sectors.

Colbea are appointed by Basildon Council to deliver business support across the borough - courses, advice sessions, grant scheme application support.

Virtus Studios craft immersive experiences, harnessing real-time gaming technology to create captivating, value-driven interactive solutions. Dynamic experiences that inspire.

Venue sponsor CNH Industrial will exhibit their VR tractor simulator and answer questions about their new innovative new tractor, which is fueled by methane produced on farms.

About the organiser

always possible logo

always possible is an energetic social impact consultancy who use facilitation, design, curation, events, problem-solving, story-telling and research to help ambitious organisations shape the future. They help to join up the spaces between business innovation, skills, culture and place - and help organisations to define, measure and communicate their positive impact in the world.

About the sponsor


CNH (NYSE: CNHI) is a world-class capital goods company specializing in equipment and services for Agriculture and Construction. They operate commercially through their brand portfolio which includes Case IH, New Holland Agriculture, CASE and New Holland Construction Equipment.

Across a history spanning over two centuries, CNH has always been a pioneer in its sectors and continues to passionately innovate and drive customer efficiency and success. As a truly global company their employees form part of a diverse and inclusive workplace, focused on empowering customers to grow, and build, a better world.