Technology and ideas summit returning to North East

A successful North East technology conference is returning in May, and the organisers have announced some of the attending speakers.

Among the guests at the Thinking Digital conference will be Alex Hunter, the man in charge of online marketing for one of the world's biggest brands, Virgin, and Hans Rosling, the creator of Trendalyzer, which turns boring statistics into animations and interactive graphics (and which was acquired by Google in 2007).

An audience of 400 people are expected to attend the event, which will take place at The Sage Gateshead on 14-15 May next year. Also speaking at the event will be:

  • Caleb Chung, the creator of the wildly successful Furby toy and now this year's must-have Xmas gift - recently launched robotic dinosaur, the Pleo.
  • Dan Lyons, tech columnist at Newsweek and creator of hilarious satirical blog, The Secret Diary of Fake Steve Jobs. Dan returns as Thinking Digital's top rated speaker from 2008.
  • Johnny Chung Lee, a human-computer interaction researcher who shot to fame on YouTube by making a white board (and other amazing things) from a Wii remote control.
  • Michael Shermer, the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and columnist for Scientific American.

Herb Kim, Thinking Digital Director, says: "We took a massive risk in attempting the first Thinking Digital back in May and the feedback has been incredibly positive and warm. The delegates, sponsors and speakers created a vital community of insight, inspiration and energy, I'm still getting people today telling me Thinking Digital was the best conference they have ever attended. So, we've got a very high bar this year to reach but I can't wait to try and top what we did in 2008."

Although the conference isn't until next May, people who interested in attending are being encouraged to book early. Early bird discounts of up to £300 are available to anyone who books by 31 January 2009. For more information or to book go to

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