Kirsty Styles, head of talent and skills, Tech North
Until 2016, Kirsty worked as a technology journalist, editor, podcaster and campaigner in East London.
She started out covering mobile before it was everywhere, then the city's startup scene, then global tech trends. Kirsty specialised in the political, social and economic issues related to technology, so recently headed back home to head up the talent and skills programme for DCMS-backed Tech North.
It's her job to help us establish what our 'digital skills crisis' looks like in the North and work with others to do something about it, and she's just been recognised in the Northern Power Women Future List for 2017.
So far, her work has included taking northern cities to a London-based jobs fair to attract 'boomerangs' back, a speaker training programme to make women in the northern tech industry more visible, and the upcoming Digital Jobs Action Summit where Tech North will be creating a Northern Digital Jobs Strategy.
She has trawled through every policy document there is to read on skills in the North and the UK, both in her current job and previous roles, so is able to speak on skills, digital skills, digital exclusion and digital employment, along with wider technology trends.
Before Tech North, she was B2B tech editor at the New Statesman, and was previously a reporter at The Next Web and editor at Tech City News.
She's also the creator and was the founding presenter of the New Economics Foundation's Weekly Economics Podcast, which aims to make economics easy to understand, was featured in The Observer and has received hundreds of thousands of listens.
The podcast has just been shortlisted for the Best Current Affairs show at the British Podcast Awards, alongside The Economist and the BBC.