Hi-tech talks help bring about change

A student-led charity is hosting an event to encourage social change through innovative use of technology.

High-profile speakers from the worlds of finance, industry, research and international development will speak at the conference, organised by the Turing Trust.

The Trust, founded by Edinburgh PhD student James Turing, was named in honour of his great-uncle, the celebrated computer scientist Alan Turing.

James, who is studying in the University’s School of Social and Political Science, set up the Trust to enable rural communities in Africa to access educational opportunities using IT.

High-profile event

The first-ever Turing Talks will take place at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 13 June.

Speakers include endurance cyclist and broadcaster Mark Beaumont and social development specialist and former First Lady of Zambia, Charlotte Scott.

Also speaking will be Barclays vice-president Roland Bone, European Space Agency engineer Amanda Regan and Microsoft’s Chief Storyteller Steve Clayton.

Social challenges

Topics include stopping the spread of disease with sensors; using predictive analytics for waste water collection; and the challenges of remitting funds to aid recipients in conflict areas.

Philanthropic adventurer Bernie Hollywood, who has raised more £39.6 million for charities, will provide the welcome address.

Edinburgh’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Tim O’Shea, will draw the event to a close.

Discounted tickets

In recognition of the support the University has given the Turing Trust over the years, the charity is offering a limited number of discounted tickets to staff and students.

The first 20 Edinburgh students or staff to apply can claim a ticket for £20 – a saving of more than a 90 per cent on the standard ticket price.

To claim a £20 ticket, please contact for full details.

Student enterprise

The charity began as a volunteer project following a visit by James to Ghana in 2009.

The social enterprise now processes more than 1,000 computers every year from premises at the University’s High School Yards.

Charity search engine

A search engine that raises money for the Turing Trust has been installed in computers across campus.

More than 1,100 University computers within the campus are using the search engine to support the charity.

The initiative also helps people to gain first-hand experience of using computers.

Not only will the Turing Talks be a fantastic event for bringing together individuals who are keen to learn about how technology is changing health, education, energy, and finance but it will also help the Turing Trust continue its far-reaching work in sub-Saharan Africa.

James Turing

Related links

Book tickets for the Turing Talks

Turing Trust