Ctrl Alt Del Summit  

On Wednesday 21st Feb I attended the Ctrl Alt Del Summit, hosted at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro.  

I’m the diversity, equity, and inclusion champion at Agile and it’s something I take incredibly seriously. I appreciate any opportunity I have to learn more and challenge my own biases. So having an event of this calibre on my doorstep was an unmissable opportunity for me! 

The awesome humans at TECwomen CIC organise incredible and thought-provoking events, and the Ctrl Alt Del Summit was no different. It was aimed to reboot the industry and celebrate inclusive and accessible tech. 

It was a jam-packed day filled with enlightening talks, engaging panel discussions, and hands-on workshops.

Caitlin Gould on stage at the Ctrl Alt Del Summit.

From exploring the importance of diverse representation in tech leadership to delving into the latest advancements in accessibility technology, the summit offered a comprehensive look at how we can build a more inclusive and equitable tech ecosystem. 

Throughout the day, we had the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share insights, and brainstorm innovative solutions to some of the industry’s most pressing challenges. 

At the heart of the Ctrl Alt Del Summit were two keynote addresses that brought a unique perspective to the discussions of diversity and inclusion in the tech world. 

The first was from Antonia Forster. 

Antonia Forster 

Antonia Forster’s keynote was incredible. She’s the Senior XR Technical Specialist at Unity and Director of the LGBTQ+ VR Museum. She shared her journey from biologist and bee lover to self-taught XR developer.  

She also created the innovative LGBTQ+ VR Museum.

This is significant as this virtual reality museum is a safe, inclusive space for people to explore and celebrate LGBTQ+ history, culture, and experiences in a way that may not always be accessible in physical spaces.  

Antonia gave a very popular TED talk called “LGBTQ+ and Polyamory in Animals: Yes, It’s Natural”, you can watch it here.

The second keynote was from Dr Kush Kanodia  

Dr Kush Kanodia 

Dr Kush Kanodia’s keynote was eye opening. He’s a disability rights champion & social entrepreneur as well as a Trustee & Director at AbilityNet.  

He highlighted the stark reality that disability is a leading predictor of poverty in the UK. And that shockingly, only one-third of London’s tube stations are accessible. 

Dr Kanodia emphasised the role of technology in supporting people with disabilities, citing examples like Stephen Hawking and his adaptive tech. However, he cautioned against digital exclusion, noting the challenges people face in accessing online services, such as job centres. 

Dr Kush Kanodia and Caitling Gould on stage at Ctrl Alt Del summit.

He critiqued the flaws in London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which disproportionately impacts disabled individuals who may have no choice but to drive due to inaccessible public transport. Additionally, Dr Kanodia highlighted the conflicting priorities between climate and disability initiatives.  

Other personal highlights 

Christopher Patnoe who is the Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion for EMEA at Google was unable to attend in person, so he prerecorded a video tour of the London Google Accessibility Centre.  

Ayan Said who is Chief Executive Officer at Voicing Voices shared her insights on intersectionality. It’s important for us to humanise systems and look beyond stereotypes, understanding the multifaceted identities that shape our users and audiences’ experiences. 

Ayan Said on stage at Ctrl Alt Del Summit.

Elizabeth Chandler who is PPSM Analyst: Gen AI Ops UKI Program Co-Lead at Accenture, shared this video from Accenture, Inclusion Starts with I.  

For me, the Ctrl Alt Del Summit was a pivotal moment in reshaping the tech landscape.  

From Antonia Forster’s groundbreaking LGBTQ+ VR Museum to Dr Kush Kanodia’s urgent call for accessibility, the summit showcased the power of innovation to drive inclusion and equity in technology. As we reflect on the insights shared and connections made, let us carry forward the momentum, ensuring that diversity remains at the forefront of tech advancement.