Congratulations to Freeman Ji Li for raising over £3,000 for the WCIT Charity in the London Marathon

Thank you everyone for your very generous donations to the WCIT Charity and your super kind support before and after the race! Even though my run was shy of my 3 hours 20 minutes target, together we managed to raise over £3,000 for the WCIT Charity.

So how was the marathon?

I started the race really well and executed the pace exactly as planned: the 5K mark at 23mins, 10K and halfway still on target. Then just as I thought it was going to be a new PB (personal best), both my calves started to cramp. Saltstick pills and gels didn’t help much, so I had to walk, jog, stretch almost every 10 or 20 steps for the second half. I crossed the finish line after 3hrs 42mins 48sec, ranking 14,077 out of approximately 50,000 runners.

After the finish line, in the runners only section, I found a quiet corner, shed a few tears, then washed them away by spilling water onto my face. Pretending to be Brad Pitt just out of the shower, I limped to a nearby Korean BBQ to join my wife and children. Had I been thinking about a cold beer during the painful moments? Oddly enough, not this time. My primary focus instead had been an inner push to complete the race and to not let anyone down.

Thank you again for your support, it means the world to me!

Ji Li

If you would like to celebrate Ji’s incredible achievement by donating to the WCIT Charity there is still time so please click on this link: WCIT Charity (justgiving.com)

Visit to the Honourable Artillery Company

Twenty-five members of the Company and guests visited the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) on 10 April through the good offices of Freeman Brian Best of the Government Panel. Armoury House, the headquarters of the HAC, is a veritable oasis of calm in the middle of the City and includes in its ground the only cricket pitch in the City – which can also be used as a helicopter landing ground!

The evening started with a presentation by the Captain of the Pikemen and Musketeers (P&M) who explained the history of the HAC and in particular the P&M. The HAC is the oldest regiment in the British Army and traces its history back to Henry VIII, while the P&M was set up in 1924 and provides the ceremonial bodyguard for the Lord Mayor.  (You will also have seen them at certain events such as our Summer Banquets in the Mansion House.) The HAC still has a Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve battalion and provides the ceremonial artillery salutes from the battery at the Tower of London. While the P&M are all volunteers, they all have had some connection with the HAC in the past.  The Captain’s presentation of the history was clearly well-received and there were plenty of questions, which resulted in his overrunning his 30 minute slot by nearly 20 minutes!

Following the presentation, we split into three groups for a tour around the historic building, including a visit to their fascinating museum where we could have spent all of the allotted time. After this, and while plied with champagne and a finger buffet supper, several of our group tried on some of the armour of the Pikemen, handled the muskets (unloaded) of the Musketeers and modelled the hats of both.

Not surprisingly, the visit significantly overran is scheduled finish time of 8pm and all of the visitors had a very enjoyable time. We are grateful to Brian for his organisation and to the HAC P&M for allowing the visit.

The Role of IT in Health Building Design & Medical Device Management

Graham Stanbury, with a rich career in health IT, presented on an often unseen aspect of healthcare, the importance of software in NHS standards and hospital building. His small company’s software has set standards for managing hospital construction and medical devices and is now widely used. His presentation shed light on architectural briefing and design, touching on the Health Building Note (HBN) program and the complexities of medical device management. Graham highlighted how these tools integrate activities and equipment requirements for effective health facility creation and operation. He also provided amusing anecdotes on some of the realities of implementation and the challenging requests set by real-life clinicians.

The presentation was well received and was followed by a number of probing questions from the participants. It is hoped that other panel members will be encouraged to provide similar insights into their respective areas of expertise.

Storytelling for STEM Entrepreneurs

On 14th March the WCIT Hall was filled once again for a WCIT Entrepreneurship Panel event with guest speaker Liveryman Dave Robertson presenting a fascinating insight into the art and structure of storytelling. He very clearly :

  • Defined what stories are and explained how our brains have evolved to use stories to process information
  • Explained how effective storytelling can help the communication of ideas that are novel, abstract or esoteric, or a combination of all three
  • Provided a high-level framework for developing and delivering effective stories in a startup setting

Other take outs from Dave’s presentation:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

So said the sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke. Whilst not aimed at STEM entrepreneurs and innovators, this quote touches on a perennial challenge that we all face. Namely, presenting new concepts and discoveries to the world at large, in ways that overcome skepticism, confusion or resistance and foster understanding, acceptance and adoption.

Another writer, Stephen Fry, said that “using facts on someone who doesn’t have a shared understanding of the subject comes across as lecturing. The best approach to common understanding is to tell stories.” By utilising a well-constructed and well-delivered story, entrepreneurs can reveal the significance and value of their offer in ways that resonate with their audiences. Yet, few entrepreneurs are good storytellers. Storytelling is a skill that can be learned and, at the same time, it unlocks open dialogue with a range of key stakeholders, beneficial for us and our respective businesses.

Following the presentation and interesting Q&A’s, Members and Non-Members created a real buzz in the room over drinks and snacks during networking, which was testament to the excellent feedback received from all of the attendees. Tremendous insight, great clarity and sound advice, that captivated the audience. For those who attended we feel sure you now have the capability to be “EPIC” in your storytelling exploits !  For those who weren’t able to join us why not book below for our next event.

Thank you to Dave Robertson for the presentation and our attendees, for making this such a special event.  

Dave has kindly provided a handout document which can be viewed using this link

EVENT REVIEW BY MARK BRIDGER

Busting Gender Stereotypes – an IWD Event

On Tuesday 5th March, WCIT hosted its annual International Women’s Day event, a collaboration between the Equality Committee and the Financial Services Technology Panel.
Our theme this year, in line with the official IWD theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’, was ‘Busting Gender Stereotypes’, and the event aimed to foster a true dialogue on how to make the financial services and technology industries more inclusive and welcoming to all.
The event began with a panel discussion, chaired by Maggie Berry OBE, and featuring three fascinating speakers: Kirstie Galloway, Partner at NextWave Consulting; Mark Freed, Co-founder, Men for Inclusion; and Kwaku-Kyei Manu, Director of Wealth App Support, SS&C. Each speaker gave a rich and often personal account of their experiences and work in championing diversity, before the floor was opened up to audience members to contribute their own thoughts and opinions.
Of the many topics discussed, some highlights were how to ensure that the coming AI revolution promotes social progress, rather than causing it to regress; how to influence organisational and professional politics; and what parents, carers, and teachers can do to counteract harmful gender stereotypes among children.
Following a closing speech from WCIT’s Master, Kerri Mansfield JP, attendees continued a very lively conversation over drinks and a buffet supper.
We hope that all attendees found the evening as enjoyable and engaging as we did. Special thanks to the Hall team for their impeccable running of the event, and to our speakers and chair for their valuable insights.
This IWD event was the first joint Equality Committee event in collaboration with another WCIT panel as part of our series of three ‘Busting Gender Stereotype’ events for 2024. The second will be on June 12th jointly with the Cyber Security panel and the third will be on October 3rd with the Education and Training Panel. Please put these dates in your diaries and continue to support DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) at WCIT.

Vicki Schmidt, Chair Equality Committee and Julia George, Chair Financial Services Technology Panel.

Use of AI in Gastrointestinal Imaging

Medicine and Health Panel, 29 February 2024

Despite a rainy February evening we managed a good turnout including a healthy mixture of Medicine & Health (M&H) Panel members, wider WCIT and Livery members and their guests. Attendees were treated to an entertaining and thought-provoking presentation from Professor Gina Brown of Imperial College London covering the latest insights on the use of AI in gastrointestinal imaging to deliver better patient and healthcare outcomes.

Professor Brown is a leading expert from Imperial College with a distinguished career in cancer imaging (including 400+ papers published!). She holds a pivotal leadership role in national cancer imaging programmes and has also contributed enormously to wider international organisations.

Professor Brown explained some of the challenges in simply using AI on images in her field. Detection rates were not nearly as good compared to the standard practice. This involves two expert clinicians working independently followed by consensus meetings for any conflicting interpretations. Researchers found that by using a combination of AI and one expert initially, followed by the other expert providing validation, not only were the best diagnosis results obtained but some clinician time was also saved.

Another problem highlighted was if the scan data (including the additional patient and biopsy data )was not recorded in a consistent way. Gina has contributed significantly in this field by driving the standardisation of data collected via standard forms both in the UK and internationally. This is an important step if future advances are to be made using analysis of existing data.

Other complexities in the field were also identified. For example, existence of lymph nodes in scans was previously considered an indicator of poor survival rates but in many cases the opposite can be true. Existence of tumours connected to a vascular system is also an important indicator for staging and prognosis. Not only can these images be complex to analyse but the meaning and interpretation requires expertise currently too multi-layered for an AI system.

Early experiences with AI interpretation for breast cancer has shown some positive results in identification but has also led to too many false positives. This can result in more diagnoses and a greater workload on clinicians and resources.

Overall Prof Brown indicated several areas where future technology could improve the clinicians and patients lives. Examples included managing the patient experience and workflows. Auto population of reporting templates, improved diagnosis and research outcomes from better data collection and storage and better management of the security and privacy aspects were all areas needing improvement. Plenty of work and challenges going forward!

A lively Q&A session followed with good interaction from all the floor.  Freeman Rosey Woodhead provided an entertaining summary of the event in her vote of thanks and even managed to include a reference to Professor Brown’s passion for the Japanese art of Niwaki!

Everyone had a good chance to mix and chat afterwards and we all walked away with a far better understanding of the challenges and reality of trying to apply Technology and AI in this vital area.

A big thank you to Professor Brown for her time and energy, to the Hall team (especially Mellissa) and the Panel team (especially Rosey) for their enormous help in ensuring the success of this event.

London Careers Festival at the Guildhall

The London Careers Festival took place at the Guildhall’s prestigious Great Hall on the 26th and 27th February 2024, marking a collaborative effort between the WCIT’s Education & Training Committee and the Careers Panel.

This year, the Festival was held in February rather than July in order to better align with secondary students’ timelines for making crucial decisions about their futures. During the 2-day event, the team engaged with approximately 300 students including those who challenged the notion that being a Youtuber or a Gamer was not a proper job. It’s our hope that these conversations will guide the young attendees in making informed decisions about any future courses and careers.

A special note of appreciation goes to Freemen Simon Perriton, Russell Macdonald, Alan Dainty, Sam Winterbottom, Ji Li, and prospective member Mark Flahant for dedicating their time and contributing to the success of this year’s Careers Festival. Additionally, heartfelt thanks to our exceptional Hall team and the Chairs of both the Education & Training Committee and Careers Panel for their invaluable support and assistance!

WCIT Suffolk group lunch – The Evidence

WCIT Suffolk Social Group is now meeting regularly with an opportunity to catch up with other members and their guests alike.

If you are a member of the WCIT and find yourself in Suffolk from time to time, message @Paul Finch who will be happy to include you in the news items.

If you are interested in joining the WCIT or finding out more, then please make contact and join one of their social events.

Portrait Unveiling

The WCIT was delighted to welcome Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley as Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, the two artists – Mr Saied Dai and Ms Jane Bond, as well as Past Master Dame Stephanie Shirley CH to the unveiling of two portraits that she had very generously commissioned. These were of our two Past Masters who have also served as Lord Mayor of the City of London – Sir David Wootton and Sir Brian Jenkins,. Dame Stephanie kindly sponsored a reception following the unveiling  which was attended by members of Court and 16 Past Masters.

A Message for the Festive Season

May the festive season bring you and yours joy, happiness and, most importantly, time together for some rest and relaxation!  

It has been an exceptional year to reflect on; being installed as Master for 2023/24 continues to fill me with immense gratitude. I must first thank Rob, my predecessor for all his commitment and expertise, before thanking each and every one of you, my fellow members, for your unwavering and generous support.  

With a calendar bursting at the seams, it feels like we haven’t stopped! Our four pillars of Charity, Fellowship, Industry and Education have been upheld proudly and continue to form the foundations of our Business Lunches. Most recently, with the moving speech from Jo Youle OBE, CEO Missing People. Other highlights have included the grandeur of the Lord Mayor’s Show with the Modern Liveries AR float; the intellectual stimulation of the Gresham Lectures and the fun online Christmas Party. 

The impressive events and initiatives that our Panels and Committees are leading and the continued quality of our panel discussions has been exemplary, providing invaluable insights and fostering meaningful connections among our members. Thank you to all those who provide their time, support and expertise.  

I have particularly enjoyed our First Thursday events, which continue to be lively and promote camaraderie amongst members as well as introducing to potential new members. Many thanks to the Hall team who make these events such a success.  

Also, I must, of course, mention the incredible work of the WCIT Charity, whose invaluable efforts have continued to raise funds and provide technological support for many deserving causes in the City and beyond. I look forward to continuing to support their endeavours (and must remember to make an uplift in my CCG contributions for 2024).  

Our theme of “ConnectivITy” is particularly apt at this time of the year, as it reflects our commitment to strengthen our fellowship links, bring together different parts of the industry, and continue our charitable undertakings.  

As we stride into the new year, I am excited to continue our journey of innovation, collaboration and giving back. I am confident that together we can continue to embrace the spirit of ConnectivITy and increase our reach into new communities as we foster collaboration into 2024 and beyond.

Finally, a toast to our members, past, present and future – Merry Christmas to all of us.  

Many thanks

Kerri Mansfield, Master