Celebrating women’s past + empowering our future

Spring Forward is a month-long celebration of the role of women in digital culture and runs throughout March in parallel with Women’s History Month. First started in 2014 by Viv Doctorovich and Jenni Lloyd, the current festival director is Rifa Thorpe-Tracey.

Our mission

To encourage women to take a greater role in digital by creating a platform that promotes digital community events organised by women for women.

Events

Welcome to a massive SheSays evening of inspiring talks and networking with four fantastic speakers. Come and celebrate their successes on International Women’s Day 2020. We’re honoured to hear from Bethanie Mardon, marketing director at Brighton based success story RocketMill; Myra Appannah immersive tech specialist and director of BRiGHTBLACK; freelance strategy director Catherine McPherson, and equality & diversity expert Sarah Pickthall. 

Codebar is a community run free weekly event, aiming to increase diversity in the tech industry through teaching coding skills to people under-represented in the tech industry. Developers volunteer to mentor codebar students to learn coding skills, often starting with web development. You do not need any prior coding experience to sign up as a codebar student, the idea is to come along and give it ago in a friendly and supportive environment. Please join us on 10 March for a special Spring Forward codebar workshop and learn coding skills with the help of a friendly mentor. There will also be food and refreshments, thanks to Spring Forward sponsors. To attend you will need to sign up as a student or mentor on the codebar website. Any questions? Email brighton@codebar.io

Ladies that UX is a monthly meetup that creates a welcoming, transparent community of women that work in UX, who positively promote and teach each other. Not got UX in your job title? That doesn’t matter! If you’re inquisitive, enthusiastic and interested in making the world a better place for users, you’re one of us! We will be running a workshop hosted by Sarah Corney and Sam Whittaker: How to create a culture for innovation: A Design Thinking approach. How do you develop and sustain a culture of innovation? How do you consistently deliver a great customer experience? Are you a leader struggling to help your organisation remain agile and responsive to external challenges? Or are you a change agent passionate about your customers? Building on the Design Thinking framework, this playful workshop will provide you with ideas, tools and techniques to take back to your organisation to build a culture for innovation.

RocketMill invites you to an up close and personal evening with three women at very different stages in their career. From new entrant to middle manager to high flying executive, we’re unearthing the gritty truths of life in the fast lane. Join the conversation and hear about their roles, the challenges they’ve faced along the way and the ones they’re still facing. Meet Cat who changed careers entirely, building from the ground up again. Meet Lotte who showed great tenacity to break into the market, promoted several times, and took a six month sabbatical. Meet Helen who has just been promoted as the first woman to join the C Suite at RocketMill, and is fighting to balance it all within a part time role.

A opportunity for women working in games, women wanting to make connections within the industry, and like-minded people supporting diversity and change, to meet and network in a social environment over drinks, nibbles and games. This event will run monthly and be hosted at Loading Brighton, on the Lower Promenade, opposite the Sea Life Centre, Brighton and sponsored by Hangar 13 in partnership with Women in Games. As well as the regular monthly social drinks, there will also be special events being held that will include mentoring, inspiring speakers, motivational talks and much more!

For the second year running, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a day-long conference celebrating women in all their glory. Believe it or not, Kickass Women 2.0 will be even bigger and better than last year – packed with inspirational talks, workshops and special features that explore the 2020 theme of #EachForEqual. As well as highlighting the women that have paved the way for progress, we’re looking forward to painting our very own perfect picture of the next 2000 years. There will be a carefully curated mix of talks and workshops throughout the day. To close, we’ll be hosting a special intergenerational panel of speakers who will be digging deep into the Future of Womanhood, with a focus on the exciting things to come for women everywhere.

Get an in-depth look at the AI landscape and how it is taking shape for women. Join us to hear our leading experts from business and academia share their insights on how you can be a part of the AI revolution. Whatever you feel about AI, right now is the perfect time to look forward and make a plan. AI can be a transformative force for good and is already being used to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Seize the new work opportunities by upskilling, reskilling and pivoting in your career. You do not need to know anything about Artificial Intelligence to be part of this event.

According to the Vision for Women in VR report, 14% of immersive tech companies in the UK are women. Women still lack representation both in front of and behind the screen, but what is represented and the topics explored often only shy away from subjects considered taboo or niche. Why do we still find it so difficult to discuss feminine health, and how can immersive technologies shine a light on some of these issues? Join Immerse UK, Barclays Eagle Labs and Hatsumi for an evening of talks and conversation exploring the therapeutic value of immersive storytelling, the future of femtech and the importance of representation when it comes to developing innovative technology.

Codebar is a community run free weekly event, aiming to increase diversity in the tech industry through teaching coding skills to people under-represented in the tech industry. Developers volunteer to mentor codebar students to learn coding skills, often starting with web development. You do not need any prior coding experience to sign up as a codebar student, the idea is to come along and give it ago in a friendly and supportive environment. Please join us on 17 March for a special Spring Forward codebar workshop and learn coding skills with the help of a friendly mentor. There will also be food and refreshments. To attend you will need to sign up as a student or mentor on the codebar website. Any questions? Email brighton@codebar.io

We’re on a mission to give agency to freelancers. Creating a ‘CV’, relying on LinkedIn or creating an entire brand website isn’t always a viable or effective option for freelancers. FRiBE enables you to create a showcase profile as a freelancer and build freelance collectives for specific projects or join forces with freelancers who share the same values and are on the same mission. Speakers will share their stories and provide insight that will empower portfolio career professionals to go freelance or help freelancers struggling with low rates and high turnover to up their game and go big. There will also be some practical exercises to help you refine your personal brand and get started.

Need a website but not sure how to do it? Join us for a practical session designed to empower you to build your own website and feel more confident with technology.We will help you plan out who your website is for, what your visitors will do when they go to it and the actions you want them to take. You’ll leave with a clear understanding about how you can use a website to your advantage and our aim is for you to build at least a home page. The workshop will be a friendly and supportive environment in which to learn. No coding is required and you’ll learn to use Create.net’s tools to build your site.

How to claim your personal power and make the impact you want at work. What if you knew you could confidently show up as yourself and make the impact you want to make at work? Professional career and leadership coaches from Career Garden and Hayley Lawes Coaching invite you to learn alongside your peers in a practical and interactive workshop. Increase your self belief, show up authentically and be heard in the way you want. You’ll come away with a clear action plan you can use right away to make 2020 a turning point in your career. We look forward to seeing you.

An empowering panel discussion, about being a new mum in the music industry. MAMI is a collective of creative and empowering mamas in music. Founded by Bee Adamic & Johanna Bramli on International Women’s Day 2018, MAMI is a collective of mamas in music, who come together and promote a positive message to the current and next gen of females in music – with a strong passion for supporting women through empowerment.

Legal & General Digital Team: Driving Your Own Success

Tue 24th March, 18:00 Platf9rm Hove Town Hall - The Grounds

Legal and General’s Digital team have proudly sponsored Spring Forward and SheSays Brighton over the last few years and could not say no to the chance to hold our own event. Hosted by Liz Harrison-Flynn (Group Director – Digital Services and Operations) who has previously spoken at Brighton She Says, we are excited to present an evening of talks from three of our senior leaders on the topic of “Driving Your Own Success” followed by a short Q&A session.

Codebar is a community run free weekly event, aiming to increase diversity in the tech industry through teaching coding skills to people under-represented in the tech industry. Developers volunteer to mentor codebar students to learn coding skills, often starting with web development. You do not need any prior coding experience to sign up as a codebar student, the idea is to come along and give it ago in a friendly and supportive environment. Please join us on 24 March for a special Spring Forward codebar workshop and learn coding skills with the help of a friendly mentor. There will also be food and refreshments. To attend you will need to sign up as a student or mentor on the codebar website. Any questions? Email brighton@codebar.io

A unique chance to hear some of Brighton’s leading female innovators discuss their journeys in the world of new and emerging technologies. We will be shining a spotlight on some of the incredible women working in Brighton at the creative cutting edge of emerging technologies.Join us for a series of inspiring and informative stories from 5 of the residents at the FuseBox R&D hub and hear about their adventures, real and virtual, in the new worlds of immersive and emerging technologies.

Many companies talk about their culture and values, but how can we make them more than just words on a screen? INSHUR, sponsors of Spring Forward 2020, will be hosting an informal breakfast where together we’ll discuss how to create meaningful values, how all roles across a business can help bring values in to action, and the importance of those values aligning with your own personal ones. Come to our place and enjoy a delicious breakfast (vegan and GF available, of course!), hear how other businesses have found ways to bring values to life, and share your own experiences – if you would like to. Places are limited to 25, so be sure to book your ticket early.

Thrive’s Meetup for Female Founders and Women in Business is a two-hour peer-to-peer business support session for any female entrepreneur, creative, changemaker, or women in business who would like to find solutions to the challenges they are facing, generate new ideas, and meet like-minded people. Bring your thinking caps, an open mind, and a willingness to help other women in business! Complimentary drinks and nibbles will be provided. There is a £5 charge for this event.

Get top tips for business success and financial independence from the experts. We’ve got Emma Hardwick from Plus Accounting to answer your questions from business structures to cloud computing. You can also learn all about crowdfunding from specialist Jes Bailey. This event is aimed at entrepreneurs, freelancers and business owners, however, anyone who wants to make more money is welcome to come along. Complimentary drinks and nibbles will be provided.

An informal monthly meet-up for anyone who identifies as a woman of colour, including non binary people of colour for whom this is a large part of their identity. By ‘of colour’ we mean: black, brown, Asian, Arab or mixed. We meet last Thursday of the month. It’s chilled and it’s for any women of colour from digital, charity, arts, academic, any professional background or not!

Sponsors

Spring Forward wouldn't be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:

  • Legal & General – Investments, Retirement, Life Cover & Insurance

    Legal & General – Investments, Retirement, Life Cover & Insurance

Gold sponsors

  • Clearleft – Strategic Design & Innovation Consultancy

    Clearleft
  • 68 Middle Street – Events and Meeting Space in Brighton

    68 Middle Street - Events and Meeting Space in Brighton
  • RocketMill – Digital Marketing Agency

    RocketMill | Digital Marketing Agency
  • INSHUR – Private Hire Taxi Insurance Quotes & Cover

    INSHUR – Private Hire Taxi Insurance Quotes & Cover
  • Balsamiq – Rapid, effective and fun wireframing software

    Balsamiq – Rapid, effective and fun wireframing software

Silver sponsors

  • Brandwatch: A new kind of intelligence

    Brandwatch: A new kind of intelligence
  • Cogapp - digital media projects

    Cogapp - digital media projects
  • Refigure - reframe, refresh, refigure

    Refigure - reframe, refresh, refigure