November 26th 2019 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

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Keynote speakers

Kate Forbes MSP

Minister for Public Finance & Digital Economy, Scottish Government

Kate Forbes MSP, 28, is from Dingwall, although she spent part of her upbringing in Glasgow and India. Until she was elected as MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate was employed as an accountant in the banking industry. Prior to that she studied History at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.

As a backbencher, she has served on the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, the Health and Sport Committee and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. She also served as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Finance and the Constitution.

As well as leading a campaign to ban plastic straws, Kate has participated in several cross party groups at Holyrood including Crofting, Gaelic, Human Trafficking, Palliative Care and Rural Policy. A fluent Gaelic speaker, Kate made history earlier this year by becoming the first female MSP to give a plenary speech entirely in Gaelic in the current Scottish Parliament chamber.

On 27 June 2018 she was appointed as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy.


Steve Roud

Chair, Socitm Scotland

Steve Roud is an Associate Director with NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) where he delivers digital solutions to enable transformation within NSS and to support similar work across the NHS in Scotland in technical areas including web services, business intelligence and integration.

Before joining NSS Steve worked for 18 years with Angus Council, supporting digital service and business transformation in a variety of roles. Steve is an experienced professional who has a degree in Information Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology, he is currently studying towards an MSc in Public Services Leadership.

Steve is enthusiastic about developing the next generation of digital leadership through his role as a STEM ambassador and his professional role as Chair for SOCITM Scotland.


Andrus Kaarelson

Director of State Information System, Information System Authority, Republic of Estonia 

Andrus Kaarelson is responsible for strategy and development of public e-services’ ecosystems and e-government platforms in Estonia. He has over 20 years of experience in services development and Info Communication Technology based services delivery. 

Previously, Mr Kaarelson has worked as Chief Technology Officer and Board Member of mobile operator Elisa Estonia, where he managed and coordinated the work of technology strategy, investment planning, services development and networks operations. In addition, he was leading the public - private partnership in Estonia as Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Estonian Broadband Development Foundation, which targets the rollout of country wide next-generation fiber optic based broadband network by 2018.

The Information System Authority is responsible for coordinating national cyber security, developing public IT solutions, including Estonia's e-government infrastructure and administering IT-related public funds. 

Eddy Van der Stock

President V-ICT-OR vzw (Vlaamse ICT Organization) and President, Linked Organisation of Local Authorities, Belgium

Eddy Van der Stock started in 2001 as CIO at the city administration, department for social security and local police and fire brigade from the city of Lokeren, where he learned to know the kernel of public administrations.

In 2008 he became president/chairman of V-ICT-OR, the Flemish Organisation for ICT responsible in Local Authorities. His concern in bringing various levels of government together puts him in a lot of different think-tank's and cooperative working groups.

His broad perspective on e-government has taken him to an international empirical as well as academic journey into the world of reference architectures where his visionary, creative and pragmatic skills build strong relationships across the several involved organisations.

Carolann Miller

Chief Information Officer, City of Edinburgh Council

Over 25 years of IT and Business Management experience spanning both public and private sectors. A history of achievements covering ICT Digital Strategy, Service Delivery Management, Service and Contract Assurance, Commercial Management, Supplier Management, Delivery of IT and Transformation of Services. Focused on driving the City of Edinburgh Council IT strategy with Cyber Security at its heart.

Laura Lucas

IT Director, National Records of Scotland 

Laura joined the National Records of Scotland (NRS) six months ago as CTO and is currently acting as Interim IT Director supporting their IT modernisation programme alongside the delivery of Census 2021. After graduating with a degree in Mathematics, Laura has worked in technology for around 25 years – predominantly in financial services. Over the last 10 years she has worked in strategic IT roles in Standard Life, RBS, Sainsburys Bank, and NRS.  

Originally from Denny,  Laura has lived in Edinburgh for the last 12 years. 

Martyn Wallace

Chief Digital Officer, Digital Office

Martyn leads the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government which was set up in October 2016 to look at creating, delivering and accelerating innovative digital solutions to help Scottish Councils with the challenge of balancing their budgets whilst still delivering critical front-line services.

Before joining the Digital Office and indeed Public Sector, Martyn’s career has been in the tech sector working with Private & Public Sector clients to understand and innovate with new Digital technology. He has worked for companies including Capita Secure Digital Solutions, Telefonica O2UK, BlackBerry, Computacenter and Compaq plus been a board advisor to some startups

Geoff Huggins

Director, NES Digital Service

Geoff is the Director of the NES Digital Service which is part of NHS Scotland and has responsibility for developing Scotland’s National Digital Platform.  From 2014 to 2018 Geoff was Director for Health and Social Care Integration and prior to that was Head of Mental Health at the Scottish Government.  

Gemma Diamond

Senior Manager, Audit Scotland 

Gemma Diamond is a senior manager at Audit Scotland and has extensive experience of auditing large-scale digitally enabled public sector programmes and the use of digital technology across the public sector.  This has included outputs such as Principles for a Digital Future, and Enabling Digital Government.  For the last 18 months Gemma has also been leading the new social security audit team looking at how the Scottish Social Security Agency and the Scottish Government are delivering the new social security powers.

Colan Mehaffey

Chief Operating Officer, Health & Social Care, Data Driven Innovation

Colan is a delivery-focused digital leader and strategist with significant project and programme management experience across a number of sectors. He is recognised in Scotland’s ‘Tech 100’ as one of the key figures driving the nation’s digital agenda.

Colan is currently the chief operating officer for the Health and Social Care strand of the University of Edinburgh’s Data Driven Innovation programme. Prior to his current role, he led the development of a new overarching web technology strategy and governance programme for the University of Edinburgh and worked with the Scottish Government’s newlyformed Digital Transformations Service, developing strategies and transformation programmes across public sector organisations. Colan was the Head of Digital Media for the National Trust for Scotland – winning awards for the innovative use of web and social media; delivering transformational uplift in online revenue; and becoming the first Scottish partner for Google’s world-renowned Street View programme.

Andres Honeywell

Chief Information Officer for Customer Strategy and Tax Design, HMRC

Prior to HMRC I worked for Home Group, one of the UK’s largest home associations where I was Director for Customer Relationships Management.  I was responsible for managing an ambitious digitalisation drive in social housing systems.
Currently working on: 
Our team supports Customer Strategy and Tax Design in their ambition to design and deliver a brilliant tax system – one that brings in revenue for public services, makes it easy for customers to get it right, and is valued and trusted by all.
We work with our internal users as well as external customers, and support how we work with agents and partners to administer tax via technology.
We also have an important role to play in the Brexit space; we look after Customs Operating Model, Future Customs Arrangements and Future Borders.
Making Tax Digital is another one of our big priorities