China - a parallel digital world

Type of session: keynote

Protected by the Great Firewall, China’s digital isolation in the early days of the internet era prompted the kinds of innovation not seen in the western tech world. Apps are different; business models are different; UX is different; even the fundamental role of tech in daily life is different.

With so much innovation happening in China, there is a lot we can learn. In his talk, David will dive deep into China tech covering the country’s most important apps as well as sharing insights covering mobility, climate tech and data regulation (it’s interesting, honest!).

Session takeaways

  • Inspiration
  • a different perspective
  • a laugh!


Until summer 2022 David was Head of Digital Innovation in the EDF R&D China Centre, based in Beijing (he’s now back based in Exeter). In that role, he created of team of researchers and innovators working hands-on with cutting-edge technologies such as quantum computers, blockchain and machine learning as well as innovating new products and services built on mature Chinese digital technologies such as miniprogrammes and mobile payments.

He has over a decade of experience in the exploration of cutting-edge digital technologies emerging from the best academic research centres and technology labs. The first half of his career was in sustainability strategy, first in the development of a climate and social commitments for EDF in the UK then later based in Paris as part of the EDF Group Sustainable Development team.

David has an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the RSA, a was formerly a visiting lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School, a Non-Executive Director of Exeter Science Park and a member of the advisory board of the UK Government’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence.

Note: Speaker information is subject to change

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