Making IT Good for Society
|Date||Tuesday 15 Mar 2016|
18:00 for 18:30
The Park Inn Hotel, 2 St Mary's Street, Bedford MK42 0AR (Free parking at rear - inform hotel reception)
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT champions the global IT profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession for the benefit of all. The organisation represents 70000 members globally and is a recognised voice for IT. People are concerned about IT because it’s so prevalent in society - they want to keep their children safe; they are concerned about privacy; the legal and regulatory areas have a lot of challenges ahead; some are worried about unchecked AI research. This all goes beyond technology to societal impact, ethics and our way of life in general. BCS launched its new vision ‘Making IT Good for Society’ to position ourselves as a powerful force for good, and to keep this in mind with everything we do. This is about both the IT industry and the IT profession. But, crucially, it’s also about IT’s interaction with the world around us. One of the key objectives of our royal charter. That one phrase covers the professional (internal) and the societal (outward-facing) aspects of BCS. BCS is engaging with partners, organisations, government and individuals by addressing the wider issues around the role of technology in society. Jeremy Barlow, Director of Standards at BCS, comes to share this vision with the Bedford branch volunteers and partners. The Branch Committee looks forward to exciting activities spawning from this meeting.
As Director of Standards Jeremy leads on the development and management of professional standards for BCS. These standards currently include the BCS-owned Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and Registered IT Technician (RITTech) as well as other licenced standards such as Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Chartered Scientist (CSci). Jeremy has been at BCS since 2003 and has previously managed the development of some of BCS’ leading qualifications and managed relationships with key stakeholders in the qualification sector. More recently Jeremy led a number of high profile projects within the BCS Academy of Computing before moving on to the role of Director of Standards in August 2015.
BCS Bedford Branch has about 950 members registered, about 400 are based in the Bedford area and another 360 in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. We also have members as far afield as Auckland, Texas, Singapore, Karachi and Lagos. The geographical area is largely rural with concentrations of business and professional employment in Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes. A sizable body of professionals commute to work in London. There are four universities in our patch and a number of FE colleges. Student prizes are awarded to all four local universities, and a vibrant Student Chapter has been established at the University of Bedfordshire.
We have regular monthly meetings on a variety of topics of interest to the local community. These meetings are opened to non-BCS members and have been well supported by local business and students. The Branch works with the local IET branch as well as the Federation of Small Business to coordinate meetings. The branch also partner with the Northampton Branch to run a Family Fun Day at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park each summer.
The Branch works with the local CAS Hubs and school community and run an annual BCS Bedford Challenge competition for Years 7 and 8 computer coding.
Recently, the Branch started to work with the Bedfordshire Police High Tech Crime Unit as well as the Regional Cyber Crime Unit of Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).