Judging Panel

The Tech to Connect Challenge has selected 6 Judges to sit on the expert Judging Panel. As a group, these Judges offer a wealth of experience and insights, covering social isolation, technology and civil society. They will determine which entries are taken forward first as Finalists and then ultimately as the Winner and Runners Up.

Carrie Deacon

Carrie is Head of Social Action Innovation at Nesta, leading the work on social action and people powered public services.  Carrie’s current portfolio of work supports a range of people powered innovation projects including funds that are testing new models of intensive volunteering, testing models harnessing the time and talents of people aged 50+ in new ways, as well as innovations exploring the role of citizens in emergency response. Before joining Nesta, Carrie worked for a many years supporting charities and social enterprises around the country to develop their organisation to achieve greater impact, including working with a number of funders on innovation and organisational development programmes. Prior to this she worked on developing and delivering public service reforms at a number of central government departments including the Department for Education and Ministry of Justice.

Cansu Deniz Bayrak

Cansu is Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s leading early stage tech for good VC, where she focusses on fundraising for their investment vehicles. Previously, she was with the global accelerator Startupbootcamp, first running their MENA branch in conjunction with a $10M micro-fund in Istanbul, then scaling their industrial IoT programme to London and running it. She has been in the tech industry both as a founder and a facilitator for several years. Her background is in international politics and humanitarian law, before going into the tech industry she was with IGOs and NGOs like Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, and the UN in Turkey and France. Currently based in London, she is an alumna and an ambassador for UK Government’s Tier 1 Tech Nation Exceptional Talent scheme.

Ed Evans

Ed leads the Social Tech Trust to deliver its vision of a world where social transformation drives tech.  By investing in and providing support to early stage ventures to grow and scale their social impact, the organisation challenges others to think differently about the relationship between tech and society.  Passionate about the potential of socially motivated tech, Ed has a background in social investment and venturing. He joined the Trust from the Cabinet Office, where he led the government’s work on innovative finance – blending philanthropic and commercial investment to scale ventures by developing initiatives including the Dementia Discovery Fund.

Kate Shurety

Kate is Acting Executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness – before taking on that role she was the Campaign’s Director of Development and Communications. With more than 15 years’ experience as a senior communications professional, she has led public awareness raising and behaviour changing campaigns across the public and charity sectors.

Sebastien Krier

Sebastien Krier joined the UK Government’s new Office for Artificial Intelligence as a Policy Adviser in 2018, overseeing the first comprehensive review of AI in the public sector and the publication of the AI Guide for Government. Seb’s role involves building working relationships with industry, academia, and NGOs around the globe, and he has previously represented the UK at the EU Commission Group on AI. Prior to this, Seb worked as an international arbitration and litigation lawyer at Freshfields, and has particular experience of disputes relating to cross-border investments, expropriations, public international law, and human rights. He also has a Masters in Public Administration and Management from UCL.