Baroness Joanna Shields OBE

UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security




The WePROTECT initiative brings together government, law enforcement and industry to create breakthrough solutions for protecting children around the world from online sexual abuse and exploitation. The first industry event in July 2013 laid the foundations for a new model of collaboration: harnessing the diverse range of skills, knowledge and experience from industry to produce breakthrough concepts. Eighteen months later, the solutions developed as part of WeProtect were presented at the Prime Minister’s Global Summit on December 10th and 11th in London.

Read Baroness Joanna Shields speech at the Summit here.


Elbi Advisor 

Our mission is to inspire and encourage everyday philanthropy. We believe in the power of philanthropy for all. Not just the hyper-rich or the A-list celeb set but you, me and everybody. Every day and at any given moment.


We’d all love to run a marathon, climb Kilimanjaro or host a charity concert, but for most of us, it’s just not possible.

Our new app is a hub for small, shareable acts of goodwill and compassion. It allows you to give a small amount of your time or talent to charity, in a way that is fast, fun and rewarding. Perhaps you’ll act on something already close to your heart, or maybe you’ll explore one of the many diverse causes and actions at your fingertips. It really is up to you. Your personalised charitable experience is just a few screen taps away.

Why not cheer up a kid starting chemo with a digital doodle on the morning commute? Or play a game that helps decipher protein structures for AIDS research, while the kettle boils on your tea break? Well, with our app you can.

Now is the time to think smaller to achieve more together and create lots of little actions which combine to make a big difference.

Doing Good On-The-Go: New App Elbi Offers a Deeper, Richer Charitable Giving Experience


iRights Supporter

is a civil society initiative that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.



The UK digital economy continues its rapid expansion with growth projections of 11% a year through 2016, creating an Internet economy worth over £221B.  The UK is the most digital nation in the G20 with a greater percentage of its GDP attributed to tech and digital businesses than any other country, currently 10% of GDP.  The combination of great talent, world leading academic institutions, competitive tax incentives and pro business environment means that more businesses are setting up and growing in the UK than ever before.


Tech City

Tech City was created in 2010 to transform East London into a digital hub.  In 2012, Joanna was invited by Prime Minister David Cameron to become Tech City’s CEO.  Since then, the UK has become a global digital powerhouse and Tech City became TechCityUK, a national organisation that promotes the development of digital businesses and entrepreneurs all across the country. In 2014 Joanna hired Gerard Grech in January 2014 to lead the organisation and remains its Chair.


Tech Nation


Tech Nation is an interactive data project that demonstrates the growth of digital clusters across the UK. It brings together extensive data via a report and interactive online guide. From East London’s Tech City up to Edinburgh and beyond, digital businesses increasingly choose to work near each other, creating dynamic tech clusters up and down the country.

The UK’s digital economy is thriving. Venture capital investment in London’s tech companies alone is 20 times what it was five years ago. Cities as diverse as Cardiff and Newcastle now boast growing digital tech economies. Now is the right time to shine the spotlight on this exciting network of digital clusters, and map out the prospects for professionals and investors. Tech City has become one of the UK’s greatest success stories. Now it’s time for Tech Nation.


It’s very un-British to brag but nowhere beats the UK as an international hub for business.  With our dynamic and highly educated population, specialist tech capabilities and great infrastructure, the UK is a true tech powerhouse.  We have created the best conditions for business builders anywhere in the world.  We are an innovation-driven, knowledge-based economy made of creators, innovators and groundbreakers.  We listen to the needs of the  ecosystem and create policies that help our businesses flourish and lead on the international stage.


Digital skills are the most acute need of businesses in the UK, with 746,000 additional job openings expected by 2017. To meet this growing need we launched the Digital Business Academy (DBA) on November 17 of this year. The DBA is a free digital platform offering courses for UK residents on how to start or join a digital business. Powered by Tech City UK, this initiative offers unique content from top UK universities such as UCL and Cambridge Judge Business School, on topics as varied as setting up a digital business, creating a marketing strategy, or mastering finance for your business - for free. Thirty industry partners including the BBC, Twitter, O2, and Microsoft Ventures are offering rewards to completers of the course in the form of paid internships, mentorship, and free start-up support and working spaces.


Future Fifty


The UK is now known for its start-ups but it was our high growth scaling businesses that contributed the most to the economic recovery.  High growth companies are the engine for job creation.  In 2012, recognising the huge potential of a growing cohort of companies in the UK, Tech City and the Chancellor of the Exchecquer launched Future Fifty to nurture and support fifty of the fastest growing business in the UK. The Future Fifty programme connects businesses with experts in capital markets, mentors, government programmes and investors.  It provides support on a range of fronts, from obtaining visas for top talent to negotiating with regulators and tax authorities.  Future Fifty accelerates the growth of UK-based businesses by creating a community of support from institutions and markets in the UK.  From Edinburgh to Norwich, as well as London and the South East, Future Fifty companies have generated £2.1 billion in revenue since entering the programme, with an average revenue growth of 60%. In the last 10 months alone, four Future Fifty businesses have gone public - Just Eat,, Zoopla and Horizon Discovery with a total value of £4B.


Hour of Code, a non-profit has launched a global campaign to bring its ‘Hour of Code’ to 100 million people later this year. This is the biggest ever initiative that gives anyone the opportunity to experience and understand coding, whilst also furthering digital literacy. To date over 40 million people have tried an hour of code including over 3 million in the UK.

The Hour of Code introduces individuals to coding in an engaging way through very simple and fun tutorials such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Bill Gates teaming up to encourage learners to program their very own Angry Bird. The campaign culminated in a global week-long focus on coding between 8th – 12th December, in which Prime Minister David Cameron participated.

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Copyright 2017 JOANNA SHIELDS