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Focus of your role

  • Strategy and policy
  • Research and innovation
  • Tech ecosystems (including SMEs, startups)

What areas are you particularly interested in re far future tech?

  • AI
  • Citizen-centric tech
  • Resilience and emerging tech
  • Privacy and ethics
  • Human-centred design in tech
  • Tech for good
  • Tech-enabled growth / Investing in tech
  • Governance / innovation-friendly regulation

Phil Benson is a serial entrepreneur. A graduate in International Business, Phil cut his teeth within the food and drink industry moving on to diversify his business interests into education, retail, creative industries and tech. Phil has played a key role in assisting in economic regeneration initiatives and assisting new start ups, in addition to teaching entrepreneurship to the next generation in schools. He has operated on several boards in the public, charitable and private sectors. With a keen interest in tech and advocate for business with positive social impact, Phil Co-Founded UK Black Tech, delivering innovation through diversity.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for future and emerging tech (5-20 years)?

AI and ML- Increased technological advancement will have fundamental changes in the way we live, play and work.

Green Tech- Developments here are certainly on my radar as the world looks for solutions to tackle climate change. Another important part which could be linked and should be considered, is agri tech & food tech as we aim to create more sustainable ways of living and surviving on this planet.

Smart Cities- creating more efficient, better run & better connected places to live and work.

I would also add blockchain technology alongside crypto assets as a real disruptive and emerging technology. With a peer to peer emphasis It is considered by many working at the coal face, of having the potential to be as transformational as the internet.

I see one of the biggest challenges (which is not new) as been the balance and effectiveness of regulation and the ethical provisions and considerations around best practice. How regulators approach this is a massive challenge due to the huge pace of change. Will laws, regulations etc be fit for purpose and manage to not stifle the positive outcomes of tech development whilst protecting us from any unintended (or more worryingly, intended) consequences.This becomes ever more complicated with different aims and approaches from differing nation states.

Also data and privacy is becoming an ever more debated topic and one which I believe will have even more tensions and challenges in the future between government, tech companies and the public.


What’s the one priority for joint action you would like to take forward?

Creating the most diverse tech ecosystem the world has ever seen, where a broad range of talents can thrive in leadership positions, boosting innovation within all sectors and institutions (both public and private) thereby creating societal and economic benefits whilst building community cohesion.